Monthly Archives: September 2012

GET WORK DONE WHEN YOU’RE ON THE ROAD

By Gail Z. Martin

Whether you’re a true road warrior or you just seem to be on the go all the time, mobile apps from your tablet PC or smart phone can make your life much more productive.  Even better: many great apps are free, and others are very inexpensive, so productivity seems sweeter than ever.

What are the basics you need to get work done when you’re not in the office?  At a minimum, you need some good ways to take notes, work on or read documents, store and retrieve files, and access the tools you usually have close at hand in an office or on your laptop.  Fortunately, there are apps for all these needs, and on your smart phone or tablet PC, they’re truly at your fingertips.

Managing your documents when you’re on the road

Smart phones and tablet PCs are desirable because they’re smaller and lighter than a laptop and easier to carry around.  But that same portability comes with a price: they can’t carry all of the files stored so conveniently on your laptop.  Good news: an ever-increasing array of apps bridge that gap between laptop and mobile device, making it easier than ever to work on the go.

Quick note taking is essential to keep your thoughts organized, especially when you’re constantly in motion.  iPhones and iPads come with a basic Notes app, which while not perfect, is quite suitable for the kinds of things you’d jot on a cocktail napkin.  While it doesn’t sync with other apps and it doesn’t have any security beyond that of your phone’s keypad, Notes is perfect for jotting down something you don’t want to forget and assuring that you won’t lose the scrap of paper you wrote it on.  Not perfect, but it’s free, and there’s a lot of basic function that goes a long way.

Evernote, which I’ve discussed earlier in the book, also has a mobile app.  So if you love it on your other devices, you can bring it along in your pocket with your phone or tablet PC.  A few other note taking apps include Awesome Note, WriteRoom, Simplenote and RememberTheMilk make it easy to jot down what you need to remember, and come with varying additional capabilities, such as being able to sync to other devices or store data in the Cloud.

Pages is very good, basic app for reading and writing documents.  Documents you create in Pages can be emailed in RTF or Word format, and you can email yourself (small) documents in those formats and edit using Pages.  While I find it cumbersome to type documents of any length with the on-screen keyboard or a phone or tablet PC, when you pair Pages with a wireless keyboard, the result is pretty efficient.

For those who want to access their Microsoft Office files from their iPad or iPhone, Quickoffice® Pro HD bridges the gap between Microsoft and Apple.  There’s also a scaled down version, Quickoffice Connect Suite.  With Quickoffice, you can open a Word document, access a PowerPoint presentation, or edit, save and share other types of Office-based files.  Office2 HD is a similar program, offering a few more capabilities for word processing than some of the more basic apps.  Documents To Go® Premium Office Suite not only handles Word and PowerPoint, but it will also access Excel spreadsheets, and it syncs with storage programs including Dropbox, SugarSync and Box.net.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin—available now in bookstores and online!

 

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Yoga is Much More than Asana/Physical Fitness

by Satya Kalra

Pssst! Want to know a secret? There’s more to Yoga than “downward dog” and “sun salutations.” If you’ve been wondering what’s beyond “warrior pose” and are intrigued by what those in the know mean by “Yoga off the mat”, join us as we journey through Satya Kalra’s latest, acclaimed book “Yoga Beyond Asana…The Complete Guide to Blissful Life.”

In the west, more than 20 million people alone practice Yoga. And, at least for many of those practioners, Yoga is part of a fitness routine in classes like Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga, etc.; a series of postures or asanas. But this ancient practice is much more than just asanas.

Originally proclaimed a way of life in the Bhagavad Gita https://www.pathtoanandam.org/myquestions&godsanswer.php and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, each of these ancient scriptures describe what is Yoga, the power of Yoga, obstacles on the path of Yoga and how to overcome them, how to practice Yoga and the benefits of doing so.  Each is a step-by-step instruction manual for everyone who wants to live life to the fullest and reach his or her unlimited potential.

Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “yoke” or “to connect”; UNITY.

UNITY of what? YOGA is the union of the body and mind or your individual consciousness, with your highest self, supreme consciousness (Spirit/Soul). It also means the oneness/alignment of the body, mind and soul that result in eternal, happiness and peace “Sat Chit Ananda”. It is the path of rising to the state of bliss where your “I-ness” and “My-ness” is dissolved. It is the elimination of ego and selfishness and the letting go of attachment; the art of right living that helps one attain True Yoga.

How does Yoga do this?

Find out in our next post.

Can’t wait? Buy the BOOK https://www.pathtoanandam.org/yoga-beyond-asana.php

“Yoga Beyond Asana…The Complete Guide to Blissful Life.”

Join the conversation. Share your experience with YOGA in the comments section.

Namaste!

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Get More Social Media Exposure in Less Time

By Gail Z. Martin

Beyond the main benefits of a social media dashboard (pre-posting, scheduled content, analytics, etc.), several other programs are out there for social media users with more specialized needs.  These dashboards may not be useful for everyone, but they do fill specific needs and it can be good to know they’re out there, just in case you need what they provide.

Threadsy gives you a way to combine social media with your email, and connects with many of the major social media networks.  If you’d rather have a single dashboard active rather than switching between different screens, Threadsy is worth a look.

If multiple people in your organization are maintaining your social media presence, you can bring sanity to the situation with MediaFunnel.  MediaFunnel lets you assign different roles to those in your social media team, consolidates log-in information, and helps you monitor your brand and important keywords.  It incorporates some of the features of HootSuite and the other basic dashboards, such as pre-scheduling tweets and posts and assigning messages to team members to handle questions or issues.  MediaFunnel also has a mobile capability, as well as a built-in URL shortener to make it easier to tweet links.  MediaFunnel offers a basic free level for small organizations, and a fee-based level for larger companies.

MarketMeSuite is yet another all-in-one free dashboard with the ability to manage multiple profiles, pre-schedule content updates, access the program from a mobile phone, and post through Ping.  In addition, MarketMeSuite has a location-targeted capability and interfaces with Klout and PeerIndex to help you determine your online popularity.  MarketMeSuite offers the ability to monitor branding across your platforms and supports use by a team of users.  The location targeting is a nice feature, since it can help you augment your social media connections with real life meetings, or help a local business focus its messaging on locally-based followers.

Regardless of which dashboard program you use, remember that it’s your content that matters.  If you’re creating content that is highly targeted and meets the needs of your ideal audience, then how it gets posted is a back office issue of no consequence to your online network.  Remember also that while these dashboards have the ability to increase your reach, poor quality content will hurt your brand and over-posting with hard-sell copy will lose you friends and followers, and may get your account suspended.  These are power tools; use them with caution!

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin—available now in bookstores and online!

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Big Dreams Require BIG Energy

by Sheevaun Moran

There’s the big of Texas, big hair, too big for your britches and big ego and yet that is not what I mean by BIG Energy.

You see, energy is something that can be felt just as you can feel the surface of a table or chair. Not may people thing about energy in this way. Mostly energy is thought of in terms of electricity, saving our resources and enough energy to… I, on the other hand, think about energy in terms of how it looks and feels. More importantly how energy impacts every day life, health and wealth and spirituality.

Energy is a feeling but it is also a sensation that needs a bit more descriptive until there is a broader language for it.

Your body is filled with energy inside and outside. This energy is like a force field that radiates from the skin outward. As it radiates outward those who can feel, or are more sensitive to energy, will say things such as – you’re in my space, it feel claustrophobic, I feel drained. Each of these statements are really a way to describe energy and how it is impacting the sensations around the body.

Now let’s take this a step further. Healthy energy actually emanates about 18-24 inches from the skin of the body. This energy field allows the body to have more vibrant health and feel more “on it” or “in the flow”. Energy that is too close to the skin indicates there are health challenges on the horizon and improved finances and dreams are difficult to realize in such a condition.

This is why BIG energy is necessary. When you learn how to have clarity in your energy field then there’s a greater chance your energy is big and puffy, as my wonderful assistant says.

One of the challenges is that to have BIG energy you must be on your game day in and day out. If you are not then you have chaos in your energy field. This is where having someone who has that ability as a mentor or collaborator is highly beneficial. You’ve heard the saying that you are the sum of the people around you. Well take that one step further and if those helping you achieve your dreams have big energy then it stands to reason that yours will improve as well.

Sheevaun Moran is an author, trainer and expert with subtle energy and works with energy to solve the obstacles that hold you back from your dreams of health, love, wealth etc. You can find her at https://sheevaunmoran.com

 

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ONE-STOP TIMESAVERS FOR BUSY PEOPLE

By Gail Z. Martin

“Dashboard” programs provide all-in-one-place control, much like the console of a car or airplane.  Programs like HootSuite, Social Oomph, Ping and TweetDeck make it possible for you to plan your social media campaigns and load content in advance.

One of the central benefits of a dashboard program is the “set it and forget it” feature; the ability to enter content into the dashboard and schedule blog posts, Facebook updates and Twitter tweets to go out over a period of time.  While pre-scheduled content is no substitute for live conversations, dashboard programs fill the very real need of making sure that busy people maintain a baseline, consistent level of content without large gaps.  You can always pop in online to add updates, post photos or jump into conversations in addition to your pre-scheduled content, but you won’t get to Thursday and realize you haven’t posted or tweeted all week.

A caveat: many dashboard programs post content with a source credit that says “from API”, meaning that it has been automatically posted.  Some social media users and search engines view pre-scheduled content as less desirable than live-posted information, regardless of the quality of the actual information itself.  This means that to keep your friends, fans and followers happy and to raise your social media score with ranking programs like Klout and Alexa, keep a good balance of live posts and pre-scheduled posts.  On the other hand, realize that pre-scheduled content is better than no content. Followers, search engines and ranking programs also take a dim view of prolonged absences. I maintain that if the best you can do during a busy period is pre-scheduled content, being present on a consistent basis far outweighs the alternatives.

HootSuite is one of the best-known dashboard programs.  It’s a powerful, user-friendly site that offers levels of membership ranging from a basic free service to a more robust Pro level.  The heart of HootSuite is the ability to enter posts in advance into the dashboard and program when your content goes live across multiple social media sites.  This works especially well if you are using a virtual assistant to help you load the content you’ve written, and it makes it easy to keep track of what you’ve said and where you said it.

For those who want to go deeper, HootSuite also has the capability to do detailed tracking across your sites, looking at follower growth, metrics from Google Analytics, and other indicators.  For larger organizations with a social media response team, HootSuite not only can prepare reports, but enables team collaboration and the ability to assign messages to team members for follow-up.  Other features, such as file upload, follower management capabilities and localization are great for enterprise-level use, but not important for the average small business or solo professional user.  HootSuite also has a convenient mobile app for smart phones, so you can keep an eye on your account when you’re on the go.

SocialOomph, the program formerly known as TweetLater, is another dashboard with many of the same capabilities as HootSuite.  As you’d expect, SocialOomph lets you pre-load and schedule on Twitter, blogs and Facebook, and provides both a basic free level of service and an extended professional level.  You can track keywords, view your @Mentions and Retweets, purge spammy Direct Messages (DM), and monitor multiple accounts from one dashboard.  The professional level offers blog integration, profile filters, and some interesting ways to assess which of your followers might be your most valuable prospects.  While SocialOomph leans heavily toward Twitter with a nod toward Facebook and blogs, it does enable Ping to send your information to LinkedIn and MySpace.

TweetDeck is another of the well-known dashboards.  TweetDeck offers connectivity with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Buzz, and Foursquare.  It makes it easy to create and manage Twitter Lists and helps cut down on Twitter spam.  Another valuable feature is the ability to follow Twitter Trends, real-time topics and TwitScoop to stay abreast of the most popular topics.  TweetDeck is available for iPhone, Android, iPad and a new Web-based interface, as well as the original desktop version.  At the time of this writing, TweetDeck is free, which is good for a solid, basic dashboard.  However, if you’re looking for a pro version with additional features or you want more analytics, at the moment, they’re not built into TweetDeck, so one of the other dashboards may do a better job if those elements are important to you.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin—available now in bookstores and online!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Social Media

How To Do Business on Social Media RIGHT

by Laura Rubinstein, Social Media and Relationship Marketing Strategist

Maybe you’re like I was a few short years ago and knew you had to get your business on social media, but didn’t know which network to attack first or where to go to learn how to do it right. The fact that you want your business on social media is the MOST important part of the whole process. Once you’ve made that decision, you are ready to set your business up on social media RIGHT

1-Start With RIGHT Goals

Social networking sites are all about people! Therefore, you must put people and your relationships with them first. Additionally, since social networking platforms enable entrepreneurs to access thousands of people without having to spend thousands on advertising, the playing field for marketers has been leveled.  The world of marketing is finally shifting toward the principles of relationship marketing that I have always implemented successfully with clients. The first step in setting up the right goals is to make them relationship oriented.

On social media you can be very creative. You know that you don’t like to be sold in a social environment. I believe that selling/sales should NOT be one of your primary goals. Instead choose goals that build relationships and ultimately drive sales. This way your focus is not on selling. That’s super important so that you don’t come across as desperate or push

Goals that are relationship oriented include

  • Growing advocates and active community members. This means you may track retweets, mentions, shares, comments and endorsements by influencers.
  • Increasing newsletter subscribers by a certain amount. Then you can track conversions of subscribers to sales/raise money. Take them through a sales funnel once they are on your list.
  • Driving more traffic to website. Google analytics makes setting a specific targeted percentage increase easy to track.
  • Attracting a specific amount of new community members.
  • Developing brand advocates to regularly mention, share and post about your content.

Remember to make your goals specific and measurable.  Use percentage increases and numbers.

2-Choose the RIGHT Networks

Whether your business is coaching, speaking, or you’re a local professional, or retail book store, salon or mechanic, you need to choose the networks where your market is hanging out and engaging

Facebook is about People

Facebook is a great place to start for most businesses because it starts with your immediate circle of influence. In other words, the people you already know and as a result you will be a second or third degree separation away from millions of others. Facebook is also the number one network for forming new relationships because of the sheer numbers of people using it and the variety of ways you can connect with them. Use groups where your market hangs out and is active.

Twitter is about Popularity

On Twitter you can find out about what’s trending in real time. In essence your Twitter account is like your own news station that is interactive. This is a great network to meet the media, do market research, and provide customer service. In other words, you can elevate your influence fairly easily with Twitter.

LinkedIn is for Professionals

Everyone should have an optimized profile on LinkedIn because it is your power resume on steroids. Prospective clients/customers can read recommendations of others and you can showcase your blog and presentations with their apps right on your profile page.

Also, LinkedIn has very segmented groups that are great for connecting with your audience.

 

Google Plus is about Passions

People love posting about what they are passionate about. If your niche is a cause or area that you and/or others are passionate about, you’ll find your people there interested in engaging. Don’t forget that Google owns this platform and therefore can be useful for SEO purposes.

Pinterest is about Pictures

Make sure you have a visual component to your brand and content and you’ll get good SEO by using Pinterest. If you don’t yet have a website built out or intriguing pictures to post, you may want to come back to this network.

Also, the network(s) that are right for you are the ones you resonate with as well as your market resonates with.  If your market is there, I highly recommend you find a way to get into it.

Here’s a great infographic posted by Mashable [https://mashable.com/2012/04/16/social-networks-tips-infographic/] that describes what each of the most popular networks are focused on.

3-Get Your Business Set Up RIGHT on the Social Networks

Once you’ve chosen your social networks, you want to make sure your brand is well represented there with the following:

  • High quality photo of you
  • High quality brand images
  • Professional copy written for bios, about information, summaries, etc.
  • The information 100% complete

Make sure you know the Do’s and Don’ts of each network and follow their Terms. We cover that in the Social Media Blast Off program (https://SocialMediaBlastOff.com).

4-Learn How To Find the RIGHT People and Build Profitable Relationships

If you are going to be on social media, you need to interact with people. There are a few groups of people to focus in on.

  1. Your Market Influencers (may include competitors/colleagues)
  2. Your ideal prospects
  3. The media

There are an unlimited number of ways to meet new people.  You can be a newbie or even local business and meet influencers right in your community.

The Social Buzz Club (https://SocialBuzzClub.com)  is great platform to meet other influencers who have large networks and are committed to collaborating and growing each other’s influence on the social networks.

5-Implement the RIGHT strategies

The very first step was setting the RIGHT goals. Given that you’ve done that and understand what’s important to your market, you then need to plan a relationship building strategy for achieving each goal.

Strategies may include the following:

□   Educate your market about your solution, cause, or area of mutual interest.

□   Entertain your market and build an affinity

□   Exchange ideas

□   Engage and respond

Getting social media done right does take some effort, but the relationships you build can become very profitable.  To learn more how to do social media RIGHT for your business subscribe to my fan page https://fb.com/CoachLauraR or check out the Social Media Blast Off program for entrepreneurs.

About the Author: Laura Rubinstein, CHt is a Certified Social Media and Relationship Marketing Strategist specializing in brand visibility and profitability using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  She is the President and co-founder of the Social Buzz Club (https://socialbuzzclub.com) She regularly posts social media strategies on her blog at https://TransformToday.com and leads the https://SocialMediaBlastOff.com social media marketing business training course.

 

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Music and Sound – The Inside Story!

By Sharon Carne, BMus, MFA

More and more people are beginning to understand and acknowledge that everything is in vibration. Sound is defined as vibrational energy.

It pushes against atoms as it travels. Including your atoms. Not everyone knows that sound travels through the human body about four times faster than it travels through the air. Yes, we hear the sound – like a knock on the door – but it is also traveling through our bodies – creating waves as it travels.

Sound is actually a nutrient for our body. It feeds us. Particularly our nervous system. As you become aware of how you respond to sound at all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, I encourage you to ask whether a particular sound feeds you or whether it doesn’t.

Some sounds are beneficial and some are not. Do you know how to tell the difference?

Here is an experiment that offers you a physical experience of two contrasting sounds:

1. Take a deep breath. Release the breath slowly with a big sigh.

2. Check in with your body. How are you feeling right now? Just notice.

3. Click on the track below to listen to its sounds. The track is 22 seconds long.

Click here.

4. Check in with your body again. Do you notice a difference from how you felt before listening to the track?

5. Click on the track below to listen to its sounds. This track is 30 seconds long.

Click here.

6. Check in with your body again. Do you notice a difference in how you respond to these sounds?

7. You can repeat this experiment with your attention to what is going on in your mind instead of focusing on how your body feels.

8. You can repeat it again with your attention to what is going on in your emotional state to increase your awareness of how sound affects your emotions.

The next time you go shopping for groceries, listen to the music playing. Decades of research have shown that music with a slow rhythm can increase sales by up to 40% in grocery stores. The next time you go to the mall, listen to the music played in the various stores. Most retailers know what music will keep customers in their store longer.

This process is called entrainment. Your heartbeat is affected by the rhythm of the music. This takes about five minutes. Your altered heartbeat then affects your breathing rhythm and your brainwave state.

These three systems are intimately connected. When you affect one of them, you affect all three. And we can’t turn this off. The human body is a resonator for sound.

We all use music intuitively. For example, a favorite piece of music after a tough day can shift your mood completely.

And some music can be healing – reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening your immune system and much, much more.

For thousands of years, sound and music have been considered core values of civilization itself. Music is a language that transcends borders and differences. By touching our souls, it welcomes us all into one human family.

Sharon Carne has been a musician and teacher all her life and a student on the path of evolving consciousness for over 40 years. These two paths have merged into the visionary work of Sound Wellness – bringing the ancient power of sound and music to a deeper awareness and practical everyday use for these challenging times we live in.

Her workshops help people with tangible experience in how sound and music reduce stress, deepen meditation, assist emotional release, enhance focus and concentration and ease the symptoms of illness and disease. Sharon is the author of Listen from the Inside Out, has produced and recorded several CDs, solo and with others. She is invited to speak about sound therapy to a wide variety of corporate and private audiences, many within the medical community.

Join the free online community at www.soundwellness.com to download audio, video and explore more than 100 articles.

Join Sharon on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/scarne1

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