Smartphone Spring Cleaning

smartphonesSmartphone slowing down? No room for apps? “Storage full” errors when trying to run updates? Welcome to the world of digital overload! Before you start deleting all of your text messages, voice mail, photos (precious ones, at that), check out some solutions for spring cleaning your mobile device…

Give It Room

  • (Android only) Add an SD expansion card to your phone and move your photos, videos & albums to it. If there’s an option to set the default location for saving photos, be sure to change the default to the SD card. (While you’re at it, delete any blurry or no-good pics you may have taken. And if you’ve got multiple pics of the same scene, keep the best & delete the rest!)
  • Move some of your installed apps to the SD card, too. (Some apps won’t allow it, so move the ones that will!)
  • (Apple Users) Since iPhones & iPads don’t have expansion slots, connect the device to a computer to transfer the Camera Roll to a computer – especially if iCloud is full (or rent more space from iCloud). Then, you can safely delete pics you don’t need to be carrying around with you.
  • Do the same for your music.

Help Your Text Message App

  • If your text messaging app is slowing down, it could be due to the fact that you have lots of pictures attached to messages. Save the pics to your Gallery or Camera Roll, then delete them from the messaging app.
  • Group texts are also memory hogs! Since they are considered “multimedia”, they take up more space than a one-to-one text conversations. Make it a habit to delete group text threads that are no longer active.

Browser & Other Apps

  • Your web browser may need a cleaning, too. Be sure to periodically clear the “cache” data to speed up your web surfing. The Settings list will lead you to the button that deletes this temporary data saved by websites you’ve visited.
  • Open apps stay open even when you’re not using them. Close down open Android apps using the Recent Apps button (found at the bottom of the screen next to the “Back” and “Home” buttons – looks like two overlaid rectangles). Swipe up/down to scroll through open apps. Tap the “X” to close unused apps. On iPhones, double-tap the Home button, swipe right or left to select the running app, swipe up to close.
  • Still feeling bogged down? If your phone hasn’t been turned off recently, simply re-starting it can do the trick.

With significant improvements to smartphone cameras, photo & video quality increases and so do the size of these files. One other way to clear some smartphone storage is to move photos (and other files) to a cloud-based storage service and use their app to view/reference the files when needed.

Like any relationship with man, woman or machine, maintaining it revives and restores it! With these little steps, your smartphone will LOVE you for it!

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Mac’s, PC’s & The Cloud: Can we all get along?

gold computer virtual meetingCase Study: Teamwork In The Cloud

Using the Cloud for collaboration in today’s digital world seems to be the answer to the age-old dilemma of choosing between Mac or PC. Businesses with virtual office workers across the globe can share resources instantly, regardless of time zone or operating system (OS).

The cloud-based storage and apps have brought together and almost obliterated the disparity among computer users who have, for years, looked down their noses at others who were using “the other guy’s” version of a computer. Whether it was Apple users talking about the Windows folks or vice versa, comments could be heard everywhere: “That’s what you get when you eat an Apple.” Or, “You can thank your buddy, Bill Gates.”

Today, we have an environment that has many more players: Android, Apple and Microsoft smartphones and tablets, Kindle’s devices, Smart TVs, gaming consoles and, on and on. Here’s where folks say that Cloud computing has saved the day. Sharing documents, digital files and knowledge among team members working on the same project simplified. No more sending attachments via email and losing track of who has the current version (or who’s got which edits!!). Making sure information is accessible on multiple devices is no longer a worry. Just store everything in the Cloud, and you can get to everything. There are some caveats and here’s one story to illustrate.


I was working with a new startup company who was busy setting up their website. One of the excited owners was busy on his Macbook loading photos to be used for their website inventory page.

In order to make the photos available to the web designers and other folks within the company, he was adding the photos to his Dropbox folder, making sure that the names of the photos matched the items depicted in each photo. When someone opened the folder containing the photos, he wanted the list to show related-items grouped together so, one group of photos he used a “#” (pound) sign to start each filename. Another group of names started with a “*” (asterik), and so on.

The Problem

I received a call one day in the middle of his project. “I don’t know what happened! I can’t see any of my files now! I’ve done so much work and now they’re gone!” He was the only one that could see these files. He further explained, he couldn’t even see them when he logged into his Dropbox account from a web browser on ANY machine. After some prodding, I discovered:

1) He was using an Apple computer to rename his files,
2) He used symbols in his filenames, and
3) The other team members (who couldn’t see the files) were on Windows PCs.

Know The Rules

We advised him that file naming rules for both Windows and Dropbox restrict use of special characters. Certain special characters such as  ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ‘ ” are not allowed. We advised him to use either numbers or keywords at the start of the filenames to keep them grouped together. We also recommended that he keep the length of the names to a minimum since operating systems have length limitations based on the combination of folder name(s)+file name.

Sync Contacts To All Your Apps

Enter It Once, Find It Everywherecontacts everywhere

How do you sync contact information between apps? In tech terms, it’s called CRM Integration. The longest standing dilemma in the small business world is that contact info needs to be connected and shared with third-party eMail, mailing list, sales and/or accounting programs. These programs usually run independently of each other. Clients constantly ask the same question, “Isn’t there something out there that I can use so I don’t have to enter this information again and again??”

Adding Contact Info Again?!

Do you find yourself adding the same name and contact info into several lists? You get a new lead. You add them to your contact list or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. You want them to receive your eNewsletter so you add them to your email list app. Then, they become a customer so you add them to your bookkeeping program. The fastest way you know how to do all of this is via Cut & Paste or manually entering it in – piece by piece: name, address, phone, email, etc. Each of these methods takes TIME and you risk making entry ERRORS.

The Issues

CRM programs focus on ways to better manage your contacts through relationship building and the sales process. They’re great at helping to
document your appointments, to-do’s and one-on-one contact such as phone calls and your email correspondence. eMail marketing programs are fantastic for creating good-looking email campaigns, managing targeted lists and providing statistics: how many opened your email, how many times it was shared, and which email addresses unsubscribed or are no longer valid. Accounting
software perfectly manages the order and invoicing process, lets you know who owes you money, and who bought which product or service.

But, you’re left with the problem of having to enter the basic contact info three different times. Or, you’re looking for them in one place only to find they haven’t been added yet so, you hunt down the information to do so! Frustrating!

The Answer

Springing up everywhere is a class of software apps called CRM Integrations or CRM Sync. You choose your CRM app, your eMail Marketing app and/or your accounting app and select the information you want to sync between them
and it all happens in the background. Each program must “allow” the other to share the info. It’s done with a special authentication code called an “API” (application programming interface). There are variables that can be set
such as how often the transfers take place, whether there’s new or changed information and others. Setup can be tricky depending upon which apps you use for your CRM, eMail and accounting, but it seems we’re moving in the right direction to solve this age-old problem!

Reprinted with permission from

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