Track-It-Back: Peace of Mind for You and Your Photos and Data
Have you ever had one of those heart-stopping moments when you realize you have misplaced or lost your cell phone, laptop, camera, or video camera? I experienced one of those moments this month when I was in Hawaii on vacation. I normally know where my PDA is at all times, but when I reached into my bag to grab it, it wasn't there. After calling my phone from another number and not hearing it ring, I knew where I had left it and I had hoped that when I called the Westin that they would have it. I was lucky - it was there.
Some of my electronic equipment that I travel with is labeled with my handy label maker, marked with my cell phone number and "reward if found" note. Unfortunately, my PDA was not a device that was labeled. Because I set the password to access all information on the PDA, my contact information does not display unless you know the code.
A lost PDA is costly in more than one way. First, you have the actual cost of the device - I can assure you, I would not be a happy camper replacing a $600 PDA while on my vacation...I can think of much better ways to spend that money; especially on vacation! Additionally, and even more costly is the lost information if that PDA is not backed up and synched to a computer. Thankfully, I do not ever worry about that as mine is always synched. Just think about all of the lost information and time it could take to recreate this information! To me, that is even more than the cost of the phone - as time is so precious.
When I travel for business or pleasure, I'm typically traveling with a couple of thousands of dollars of electronic equipment. By the time you add up the cost of the iPod, Bose Head Phones, Laptop or Netbook, PDA, Camera and Video Camera....that is a lot of dough. I am extremely careful when I travel - always keeping my electronics with me or locked in a safe, but as you can see, accidents happen.
A couple of days after my adventure, one of our clients called while I was still on vacation. Her story did not have a happy ending. While she was on a trip, her iPhone and laptop were lost. She quickly replaced the iPhone and laptop, but not without incurring a big expense, not to mention the lost time shopping for the new devices and setting them up. The good news is, her data was backed up and easily retrievable to load on her new laptop and phone. Would you be this lucky if you lost your laptop and/or phone? If you can't answer "YES" to this question, it's time for you to invest in a backup system....today.
Popular backup systems are Mozy and Carbonite. For more information on these services, please click here to read the March 2009 issue of our newsletter: Computer Backup - 15 Minutes Could Save a Lifetime of Data.
Misplacing my phone was a wakeup call and I decided I needed a better way to track my electronics to prevent any more heart-stopping moments. I found a low-cost service I wanted to share with you. It's "TrackItBack." TrackItBack is a lost and found recovery service. For as little as $19.95 I was able to purchase a TrackItBack personal ID label with a unique code and register it with them. Now, I get free shipping from any location worldwide on my item if I misplace it again with an unlimited number of recoveries. Hopefully, I will never need to use this service, but if I do, support is available 24/7 for life! If someone finds your device, the TrackItBack label has a toll-free number for someone to call along with a reward notice. The award is $100 in TrackItBack labels.
You can use TrackItBack for all sorts of items - for example, your laptop or netbook, camera, video camera, passport, MP3 player, keys, luggage and more. Discounts are offered for quantity purchases, making some of the labels as little as $12 each. What is peace of mind worth to you?
If you decide this service is not for you, I would encourage you to label your expensive electronics before your next trip or summer vacation. Be sure to record the S/N of each item and keep this information in your files at home. Don't let a little miss-hap like this ruin your next business trip or vacation.
Outlook Productivity Moment for Outlook 2007
Need a fool-proof system to follow up on e-mail? There's no need to dig through your "Sent Items" folder. Instead, set the follow up flag on the e-mail message 'before' you send it. I like to use the "custom" option, so I can select the date and time of the reminder that appears in my reminder window. After you send the message, you can forget about it. The day you set the reminder for, it will appear in your reminder window and you can double click the e-mail to open it. If you've received a response, you can delete or dismiss the e-mail. If you did not get a response, open the e-mail and resend with a gentle reminder of what you need.
I use this system in our office and set my reminders for 7am each day, so they are waiting in my reminders window when I get into the office.
If your "Reminder's" pop up box does not display, go to your View menu and click on Reminders Window.
Watch Laura's Organizing Segments on Seattle's New Show: New Day Northwest
April 8th: Spring Organizing in 30 Minutes - Organizing ideas for your closet you can accomplish in less than 30 minutes.
May 14th: Clean the Clutter off the Counter - How to Create a Daily Action Center.
Watch both segments here! Be sure to look for this logo:
Laura on KOMO 1000 Radio
Sunny Kobe Cook and I had a fun conversation about getting organized in your home and home office. Listen here!
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