Posts Tagged ‘Essential’

How does a geek plan for 3 weeks in 4 countries with a small bag & a laptop?

July 23, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

Traveling with just a laptop and a stick The headline’s not meant to sound exotic.  The surprise for me was how much I’ve relied on technology and the web to plan the trip I’m now on.  I want to share some quick tips that have been surprisingly effective.

If you plan to travel domestically or abroad, I hope this will save you some money and help you travel lighter…while still staying connected (if you’d like). If you have other tips to share, I’d enjoy them, too!

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How to win hours back every day – a presentation and resource guide

May 29, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

Time... Today I’m presenting at the TECH cocktail Conference in Chicago, and the following is a guide to the timesaving material that will be discussed.

Whether you’re viewing this from the conference or just stopping by from elsewhere, I hope this will serve as a resource for:

  1. Time-saving software tools
  2. Tweaks to win back time from popular applications
  3. Techniques for manufacturing time every day

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How to get started with working remotely

April 30, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

Telecommuting by the fire

Three quarters of the meetings that “merit a face-to-face” really don’t. It’s not “telecommuting” (that’s so 1997) and it shouldn’t even be called “working remotely”–it’s just WORKING. I’m putting my foot down and removing any distinction. Working from home has greatly improved my business, my sanity, and my life. So I’m opening up the kimono here on my tools. No, you don’t need to come in, you can read this from anywhere in the world.

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A quick checklist for making your email more professional

April 24, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

magic email

A pet peeve of mine is receiving unprofessional email–but I realize there’s no easy way to learn the subtleties. I’m not talking about email content, but how you format and configure it. This stuff is visible to your recipients and easy to fix. If you’re not familiar with this, then that’s the point–I hope you’ll read on to improve how your email reflects upon you.

Next week I’ll tackle the much harder topic of the email content, but for now…

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Being perceived as busy makes you a jerk, and misses the whole point of productivity

March 5, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

We have a problem when we equate busyness with productivity (or, worse yet, success). We have a problem when we let people know we’re fitting them in to our schedules. We’re all busy people, and some of us might be considered productive, but none of us have the right to make others feel less important. A productive person is one who gets a lot done but doesn’t feel busy (or make others feel that they are).

I was talking with one of my employees about how much I had to do and when I would be able to get him some feedback. A few minutes after our conversation I cringed–I may have leeway with when I get him the feedback, but he didn’t deserve my listing out my to do list. He has just as much to do, if not at work then in other places, and I should never let my “busy life” be more important.

I got a phone call last week and the client exclaimed, “I’m so lucky I got you on the phone…I know how busy you are.” Maybe he meant it as a compliment, but it sort of irked me. Here I am trying to feel on top of my life/schedule…and I’m making an important client feel like I don’t have time for him. No, that’s not quite what he said, but it bugged me. It’s not that I’m not busy, but I want it to be clear to people (especially friends and, well, prospects/clients) that I have time for them.

It’s all about the approach: Continue reading…

Everything you need to know about cancelling appointments and responding to cancellations

January 7, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

In this post I’ll offer advice both on how to cancel an appointment and how to show that you respect your own time when people cancel on you. In this world of instant electronic gratification and RSVP’s with “Maybe” categories, etiquette sometimes slips by the wayside. This advice is designed to facilitate better use of your time and demonstrate that you care about the person you’re meeting with.


First of all, don’t cancel an appointment unless you really have to. Do you think of yourself as someone who sticks to their word…as someone who people can count on? Then don’t cancel on people unless you’re sick or out of town. And if you’re out of town, let them know the minute you find out about the trip. If you must cancel because you’ve got some “big client meeting,” then it had better be a week in advance or more.

If you must cancel, here’s how to do it:

  1. Apologize and make a comment about how you respect their time
  2. If you have a DAMN GOOD REASON (a funeral, you’re deathly ill, etc) mention it. Otherwise, don’t mention any reason at all. Don’t ever say that you have to do something more important like a big client meeting–that’s adding insult to injury
  3. If at all possible, suggest that you meet at their office or some place closer to them than the original appointment
  4. Offer possible dates for rescheduling in the same email; don’t let time go by before expressing that you want to get together

Here’s a skeleton message that’s both apologetic and to the point. It also will serve to minimize the amount of back and forth by being very clear about available dates: Continue reading…

Five tips for how to process email without being a jerk

December 4, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

The only thing less productive than reading an email three separate times and not responding is misreading the message and responding right away. Some people come off either illiterate or disrespectful with their correspondence. Worse yet, I think it’s because they’re attempting to be productive and responsive–but both of those aims are best achieved when doing something right the first time–which both saves you time and is more professional. Working faster is not the only goal.

I ran into an old acquaintance at a business function who suggested getting together. In each email correspondence he missed something I said earlier in the message thread, forcing me to repeat myself and him to respond to many more emails. The worst part: though we both restated the date numerous times in the message, he showed up on the wrong day. When I notified him on the day-of our meeting (which was a week later) he had to cancel because he never realized that he was at fault all along and at that point didn’t have the date available. It was both a laughable taste of his own medicine and doubly frustrating for me.

This is not the first time something like this has occurred (I have so many more stories, and I’m sure you do, too). So here’s my advice, with a smattering of both productivity tips and etiquette: Continue reading…

The Bigger Picture of DC Technology

September 22, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

My head is spinning from all the excitement in the DC technology community. Over 90 people at an event on widgets this week? WTF!? nextDC, Refresh DC, Social Media Club, DC Bloggers, NoVA Open Coffee, NetSquared, Tech Tuesday, Lunch 2.0 (fyi, this is a random selection, and probably not accurate or complete)…and those are just the ones that want to meet monthly. The only thing to be sure of from all this: there’s a lot of Type A geeks inside the Beltway. But how will all this evolve into something sustainable, vibrant, more diverse, and larger than the sum of a few energetic parts?

I’ve spent the last five years networking with people who think online communities were invented in the last five months. My clients are primarily MBA & lawyer types, and my friends are mostly save-the-world liberal arts people. But every day I’d go through the geeky & design-y podcasts and RSS feeds, dreaming about the west coast. So I thought of starting a technology group in DC because I knew there would be people with similar passions. I purchased the domain and did what any entrepreneur would do: market research. That’s what led me to the cacophony of DC technology groups above. Needless to say, DC no longer needs me to bring people together to talk tech.

What the latest round of DC technology needs is a vision. Continue reading…

Wallet Efficiency

April 26, 2006 by Jared Goralnick

Here from Lifehacker? This week in April 2008 I’ll be writing numerous related posts on topics like productivity on the phone, online purchases that will save you time, and hacks for finishing your projects.  I’d love if you’d check them out by subscribing via RSS or email.  You won’t be disappointed!

So many threads have been rounding up the slimmest and coolest lately that I thought I’d take a stab at what I consider to be an efficient wallet. To me, intelligent use of a wallet is a combination of the following:

  • Quick access to the things you need
  • Professional appearance (“you’re gonna cover the bill with that worn out thing?”)
  • Convenience for it fitting with any outfit or occasion

Let me say right off the bat that I’m a geek, entrepreneur, and efficiency-nut. As such my idea of the intelligent wallet fits within these paradigms. In line with the company whose article inspired this post, I’m going to offer insight through what’s worked for me.

The wallet you use all the time, and storage for the rest of the junk

Being a spendthrift I have one of those frequent shopper cards at every store from my bagel place to my hair salon. As someone who travels a lot for work, I have a frequent-use card for every major hotel and airline. But I don’t hold onto any of them, not really. This leads me to two tricks I’ve picked up.

Tip 1. Store the frequent flier and frequent guest numbers in your cellphone or PDA.

When I show up at the Hilton I click the Find feature on my Samsung Palm phone, enter “Hilton” and ouila, there’s my membership number. Same thing for

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