Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Development of Business Instant Messaging

 Even as recent as a few years ago, the use of instant messaging clients by employees in the workplace were strictly prohibited by supervisors and managers. However, once business owners began to realize the power behind instant messaging as a communication tool, they learned that it may be more that just a waste of company time. IM can actually increase productivity, employee team cohesion, and the  efficiency of communication.

At first, supervisors began to allow employees to download instant messenger programs like AIM and Yahoo! Talk. However, as important or confidential data began to be traded through this new channel of workplace communication, companies began to worry about the instant messenger security.

This is where  corporate  messenger systems come in. They provide secure instant messaging by encrypting all conversations, data, and file transfers that take place. This is achieved by allowing businesses to download an enterprise instant messaging client that is kept on a secure server.

As more and more businesses make secure instant messaging a priority, hosted instant messaging clients will continue to grow in popularity. Besides encrypting all data and conversations, many programs allow managers and supervisors to oversee their employee's accounts using an online account manager. From this database,  they can add new employees, remove employees, view employee conversations,  and much more. This may ease the fears of many business owners who worry that their employees will use instant messaging to talk to friends or others not affiliated with the company.

The goal behind enterprise instant messaging programs is to provide the flexibility to communicate online instantly, while still providing security and control due to the confidential nature that is crucial to most business's profits. Many hosted IM programs offer free trials and can be found online. Try out several different interfaces, programs, and options before deciding which is best for your individual company.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Download Instant Messenger Programs Safely

In an ideal world, it would be great if every program that was downloaded was completely safe and no one had to worry about the program containing a virus or Trojan. However, in the real world, this simply isn't the case. Malicious computer hackers will use whatever means necessary to gain access into home computers through viruses posing as safe and legitimate programs, like instant messenger   clients. Some hackers use these programs to collect personal information, allowing them to steal a user's identity and wrecking havoc on their credit. Below are some steps to take in order to ensure that users download instantmessenger programs that are safe and credible.

Research Ahead of Time
Before you download instant messenger clients, be sure to do a lot of research. Only download instant messenger clients who have all the components you need and will use almost every day. Make a short list of what you are looking for and try to stick with it when you decide which program to choose.

Company You Trust
It's important to remember to only download instant messenger programs that have good reviews from the users that have a lot of experience with them. User reviews are also great because they allow you to find out bugs or flaws that may come from every day use of the client.

Verified Download
After you have located a IM client to download, make sure you either download it from the creator's website itself or from a trusted download site like CNET. To make sure that it is safe, look for an icon that says it is verified, certified, or has been 100% tested for viruses by an independent resource.

Virus Scan
Finally, after the .exe file has downloaded, have your virus scanner check the file to make sure that a virus isn't embedded into it.

Once you have completely downloaded your IM program, use it and make sure you provide feedback both to the developer and the user community. They will appreciate your feedback and put it to good use.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Find Effective Self Storage Marketing Opportunities

There are several different available self storage marketing opportunities, both online and offline. Varying your marketing strategies can certainly make your overall marketing and advertising efforts generate a higher return on investment (ROI). 

·         Direct Mail: This may be a good strategy if you have access to a new homeowner or apartment tenant mailing list. Other instances where people may be a good targets for direct marketing are college students leaving school for the summer, as well as recent graduates. 

·         Social Media: Hosting social media exclusive specials, promotions, and events can be a great way to use this online marketing medium. 

·         In-Store Advertising: Having a billboard or sign outside the storage grounds can attract potential customers driving by. Additionally, advertising specials in the store (such as volume or referral specials) is also a good way to drum up business.

·         Website: Having a website is a necessity for local businesses. Many potential customers look for self storage facilities online before deciding on one. A website can help your future tenants find you easily.
·         Business Exchange: Partnering with other area small businesses can definitely be a great help. Choose businesses or properties where their customers would benefit from your facility, and vice versa. Such places include container and organizing stores, moving services, home stores, and more. 

These are just some of the offline and online marketing strategies for self storage owners. Do you have any others? Let us know in the comments. 

This post was sponsored by Scott Meyers' Self Storage Investing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Helping Severe Sweating with Botox

Botox can be used for a variety of reasons beyond decreasing the look of wrinkles, which was also discussed in my previous blog post. But did you know that Botox for men and women can have different uses as well?

For instance, men may find Botox useful to help cure Hyperhidrosis for excessive sweating in the armpits and other areas. While women can also use Botox for this reason as well, it is usually more common for men.

A use of Botox for women that is becoming more popular is the inject of Platisma bands in the neck. This can decrease the occurrence of "turkey neck" or sagging neck skin. Many women feel self-conscious about this occurrence and Botox can certainly help reduce the appearance of sagging platisma bands.

This post sponsored by CI MedSpa, a medical spa, Chicago-based

Other Uses for Botox

When Botox was first introduced, it was mainly for reducing the look of wrinkles temporarily. Now that it has grown in popularity, the medical community is discovering more uses for Botox.

The advantages and benefits of Botox can go beyond traditional layered fillers (even though layered fillers can help with under-eye bags and other physical flaws). Some patients get Botox treatments to decrease rosacea, which has been shown to decrease after regular use when injected in cheeks.

Botox can also help with headaches and excessive sweating, which is something I will talk about in my next blog post.

This post brought to you by CI MedSpa, one of the Medical Spas, Chicago

Medically Advanced Facials

I have always wanted a facial, but I keep thinking that they aren't worth my time or that they are too costly. Luckily, I scored a coupon for a discounted facial and went into to get it last year. I loved it! The best part of any facial (in my opinion) is the facial massage.

There are several medical spas that offer advanced medical facials, Chicago and beyond. While I haven't been to any of these medical spas, I do know after getting my first facial last year, I do reason how much facials can improve skin and overall tone, complexion, and skin health if they are done regularly.

This is one beauty treatment that I wouldn't mind getting regularly!

This post brought to you by CI MedSpa, one of the Medical Spas, Chicago

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Uses for an iPad or other tablet

I recently got an iPad. I was sick of taking notes in several different notebooks or post it notes and p then not finding them later. It wasnt productive and I might as well not have been taking notes at all. The iPad 2 has gone down in price since the new iPad has come out, so I went for it.

The iPad has a variety of uses, including:
  • Taking notes at meetings
  • Sending emails
  • Sending text and instant messages
  • Looking up information on the internet
  • Playing games
  • Downloading productivity apps, such as Wordpress and document editors.
I have found that the iPad is a very useful tool for business owners, working professionals, and for personal use. Finding a sale on a used iPad or a new one from a wholesale distributor online can be a good way to save some money. Other tablets are available as well, including the Samsung Galaxy and the Kindle Fire.

This post was sponsored by Brosix Instant Messenger, an alternative to Skype.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Communicating With My Business Partner Online

I have a business partner that lives about 3 hours (by car) away from me. Because of this, we had to find some affordable (and free) ways to communicate every day by phone.

  • Email: We use gmail and go daddy email addresses with our URL to communicate with one another and our clients.
  • Instant Messaging: We talk via gchat, Skype, and Brosix every day to stay in touch so we can chat about clients, projects, and other developments.
  • File Sharing: We use Google Documents for a lot of our files that we both need to access. This is especially useful for spreadsheets.
  • Text Messaging: We both have iPhones, so we can use iMessage or HeyWire to communicate via WiFi or our phone's data service.
These are just some of the free tools we use to stay in touch and have a successful business partnership.

Do you have any others we can use?

This post sponsored by Brosix, a corporate messenger program available for Android and iPhone.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding Party Ideas

I always love creating theme ideas for parties, and this is especially true for birthdays and around the holidays. I have had several themed parties, including:
  • Vegas
  • Neon
  • Halloween Housewarming
  • Flannel
and several others. I will say that the one theme party I have never had is an ugly sweaters party. These are usually really popular around the winter holidays, especially Christmas. Ugly sweaters can be very fun, especially searching for an ugly sweater to wear before the party. I'm sure I would try to find the ugliest sweater I could, maybe one with a dog on it, since I have two dogs.

Have you ever had an ugly Christmas (or other holiday) party? Was it fun?

Finding a Dentist

I am not a huge fan of dentist. It could be a San Antonio Dentist or a Kansas City dentist, it really doesn't matter.

I am not a fan of drills in my mouth or really, anywhere near my body. This might be why I am not a huge fan of dentists at all. I also had a bad experience with anesthesia at the dentist's office when I was little, so that is definitely a big part of it.

Now, I have some cavities and I'm not so keen and having them, and want to get rid of them. I got x-rays taken and now I just need to make the appointment! I found a good dentist nearby, and I'm going to call Monday.

Please wish me luck!

Brought to you by: Dentist in San Antonio

Friday, March 2, 2012

Making Side Income

Everyone needs some side income once in a while...when I was working full-time I did freelance work to help pay down my student loans (which are still haunting me) and to have extra money for trips and Christmas presents.

Now that I freelance full-time, I am still always looking for ways to make side income for even greater trips and a bigger savings account (as well as still paying down that pesky student loan debt).

There are several ways to make side income on the weekends or evenings. They include:
  • Freelancing (painting, moving, writing, designing...)
  • Buying and selling items at storage auctions
  • Selling owned items on eBay
  • Reselling concert tickets (if legal in your state or city)
  • Babysitting
  • Being a server or bartender
  • Helping people move
  • Lawn mowing
  • Pet sitting
  • Selling goods on Etsy or Fiverr
and so many more!

Do you earn a side income? Have you tried storage auctions or Etsy yet? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Finding Polish Pottery Prices

Because I am a new homeowner, I still am constantly finding new home decor or improvement projects and ideas, especially because of Pinterest. One such find are beautiful Polish Pottery pieces, which can get quite pricey. The Polish are well-known for their pottery pieces, and they can become valuable collector's pieces or family heirlooms.

Thanks to the internet, sites like Polish Pottery Store make finding the most reasonable prices on Polish pottery a reality. I really love this Polish Pottery Bowl (pictured in this post), and the website helped me find it for around $60. What a great deal! We have glass cabinets at our house, so this would look great in those.

Next time I need some more Polish Pottery, I'll certainly check out Polish Pottery Store again!

It's Tax Time!

Tax time is fast approaching, and luckily, we have an accountant this go-round to make sure that we don't make any mistakes and pay any remaining taxes that are left over from my consulting and freelance work.

I enjoy owning my own business, and especially being my own boss, but I will say that the whole tax and financial side of the business can definitely get overwhelming at times. Accountants and Attorneys can definitely make the process easier and help prevent any penalties or legislation against you or your business.

That is definitely a "worse case scenario" situation, but it always helps to be prepared and have people on your side who know what to do in these situations. I always feel less anxious and more calm whenever I have a professional guiding me through a difficult or stressful process that I haven't experienced before.

Have you done your taxes yet? Did you get a refund?

This post was sponsored by Florida Tax Solvers, which helps individuals with their Florida Tax Return.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is becoming the "next big thing", mainly because avid internet and technology users are finding it hard (not to mention risky) to have all of their files, including music, stored onto their computer's hard drive.

Cloud hosting involves hosting files "in the cloud", which means they are stored via a remote server and can be accessed almost anywhere (and usually from any computer) through the internet. Cloud Hosting users appreciate this flexibility as well, as they can still access files when they are away from their home office or computer.

Many services, such as HostZilla, offer FREE Cloud Hosting up to 100MB. They also make it easy to upgrade for as low as $15/year, which is only a little bit more than $1 a month. That is a small price to pay for unlimited cloud web space.

The HostZilla website is easy to navigate and simple to use. It outlines available features easily and I would definitely recommend it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tiny House Design

The tiny or small home movement has been something that I have been very interested in. I appreciate that some people are willing to only build houses that are "big enough" instead of huge mansions that total 30,000 square feet and beyond.

I always tell my husband that if I won the lottery I wouldn't want to move, because our 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house is just the perfect size for us and our first child (whenever we have one). However, if it was just me, I wouldn't definitely look into utilizing small house floor plans, like the ones featured on Cozy Home Plans.

This site specializes in floor plans that range from 208- 781 square feet. Some are so pretty, and much more affordable than houses that are much larger. The biggest floor plan currently featured on the site is the High Point, pictured here to the right. It is two stories and definitely doesn't look like it's only 781 square feet!

To learn more about tiny home floor plans, you should check out the Cozy Home Plans site or this interesting blog post: Viva La Tiny Revolution: Why We’re Building a Little House

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Juicing It

Guest post by Gerard Mcdaniel

The other night my husband logged on to to look for great deals for Ohio movie channels. He is very interested in the concept of doing a juice-cleanse, so he wanted to watch the movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It is a personal documentary about a man who was overweight and sick with an auto-immune disease that had wrecked his body. He was taking numerous prescription drugs each day including blood pressure medication and steroids to control the inflammation present in his body. All of his years of bad eating habits and reduced exercise had left him feeling as if he was living under a death sentence. What this man decided to do was make a total change in the way he viewed food. He stopped depending on food as a fix for his emotional issues or personal problems. Instead, he began to look at food as nourishment for the mind and the body. He began eating only raw fruits and vegetables in juice from. Over the course of his sixty-day experiment, he dropped a huge amount of weight, detoxified his body, and eliminated the auto-immune disease from his system permanently. His blood counts and level s moved back within a healthy normal range. The physical, mental, and emotional transformation was unreal. He is a motivation for us all to change the way we view food as well as the way we nourish our bodies if we wish for a lifetime of health.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making the Most of Your Self Storage Facility

When you become a self storage facility owner, it's important to realize the positive impact that having one or several self storage properties can have on a real estate portfolio.

Because self storage properties usually have less employees and are mainly self-sufficient, they have lower overhead costs when compared to other types of real estate, such as higher utilities and repair and cleaning costs. What's more, self storage facility laws allow owners to auction off a tenant's belongings when they don't pay their self storage rental fees for a certain number of months (which may vary, depending on state and country laws). The winner of the self storage auction has to clean out the unit in 24-48 hours, again depending on the laws and rules of the facility.

Other ways to make the most of a self storage facility is to market it properly so the facility can operate at full or near-full capacity. This ensures that the facility is generating the highest amount of revenue possible. There are several ways to market, including search engine advertising, website marketing, blogging, social media, mail campaigns, and more. Traditional and online marketing strategies, as well as advertising specials and events, can all be viable options for increasing revenue at a self storage facility.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Utilizing Brosix Instant Messenger During Commutes

Brosix is a great option for workers that have long commutes of more than 20 minutes. Because more and more workers are finding jobs in cities that are farther away from where they are based, they are forced to commute up to one or two hours a day. These types of grueling hours may leave some people feeling stressed out and anxious.

However, for those taking car pool (not driving), public transportation, or trains, utilizing the time spent commuting for work-related tasks may help workers feel more productive and more in control of how their day is spent.

For instance, if a worker has an hour-long commute one way, they could use that hour in the morning to go through emails and confer with co-workers using their phone. Furthermore, if they have an Android-powered smart phone or an iPhone, downloading the Brosix Instant Messaging application for work can help ensure that any conversations with co-workers would remain secure and uncompromised.

Instead of spending 2 hours a day during the commute reading the newspaper or waiting for the commute to be over, utilize the time in a productive manner. Emails and IM conversations are a good start, as is writing down goals and to-dos for the next day so those items don't have to be thought about when at home. "Leaving" all the worry and anxiety from the workplace and commute behind when a worker walks through the door to their home can make their home life with their significant other and family much more enjoyable.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fun Internet Finds

One of the things I love most about the internet is the fact that you can find almost anything. From rare, autographed CDs to gag gifts, I enjoy shopping online to buy things for myself and for loved ones.

This is why I was happy to find They have tons of fun gifts for almost anyone, especially because they range from useful (like the Can Grip) to silly, like the Grow a Boyfriend toy. is definitely a good site to "get lost in" whenever you have some free time and are looking for the right unique gift. I would definitely give it a try and check it out for a friend or family member's next birthday or significant occasion where a whimsical, creative, or funny gift would be a perfect fit.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Losing Weight Fast

Like many women, I have a few pounds that I would like to lose. I have a pretty good gym schedule but whenever I feel like losing weight fast, I know that I need to focus on my eating habits.

I know that I could always drink a lot more water throughout my day and there are always healthier food options I could make instead of chips or other fast food.

Making these types of choices are what makes losing weight fast a more definite possibility. Combining healthier eating habits with my exercise habits would certainly aid in my weight loss. Now I just need to buckle down and do it!

Online Writing Tools

Because I do a lot of online writing, I occasionally need help with grammar and spelling. This is where free online resources for writing like Omniglot come in handy. Omniglot offers several different free online resources like a grammar checker, spelling checker, and even English learning websites.

Overall, the free resources page is really easy to navigate and the links are provided throughout the text and summary explaining each feature. I think I'm going to bookmark it in the future in case I ever need to check my grammar, spelling, or find a dual language English dictionary. Sometimes good links like these are hard to find!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Ticket Depot Affiliate Program

Because I have a freelance client that helps people learn about auctions, I am always intrigued by online and offline auctions that I come across. I just read this press release proclaiming that "Cutting Edge Affiliate Marketing Program Caters to Millions of Online Shoppers & Marketers" with information about the website and marketing program,

The site, which runs online auctions and offers public auction listings, is launching an affiliate program to help get more traffic on the site and get more people to participate in auctions.

Affiliate programs and online auctions are two things that I am very interested in. I know that they are both good ways to make some extra income, but it does take a lot of time and attention to make sure you are purchasing the right items and marketing your affiliate clients effectively. might be a site worth checking out, as it combines my two interests all into one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Benefits of Purchasing a Self Storage Facility

The biggest and most obvious draw to purchasing a self storage facility is the fact that a person won't have to deal with cleaning apartments or houses, toilet and plumbing issues, and other types of problems that may arise with owning properties that are used for residential (and even business) purposes.

Because most self storage units are made out of the metal, they are relatively easy to clean out and prepare for the next tenant after one leaves. Furthermore, if a storage unit is listed as abandoned due to non-payment, when they are auctioned off, the auction winner has to clean out the unit.

There are usually less employment costs when it comes to properly staffing a self storage facility as well. In most cases (depending on the size of the property), only one or two employees are needed at open business hours during the day. With proper gates and other security measures, a self storage facility can operate fairly independently, without the extra cost of employees that may be needed for other types of businesses.

There are other benefits of owning and operating a self storage businesses, but these are main draws which convince potential investors that self storage is a viable business and real estate investment.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Having Problems Sleeping?

It has been my worst nightmare to get married and then my husband would start snoring. I know how loud my dad snores at night and I didn't want to have to deal with that. Fortunately, VitalSleep has come out with a stop snoring mouthpiece that works instantly! I visited their website (because I am always looking for new presents for my dad, haha) and I found it easy to use and navigate. The Vital mouthpiece has been cleared by the FDA and it is made in the USA, something I always look for when buying items online.

If my husband ever decides to start snoring, I'm going to have to go back to the Vital website and buy one for him right away!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ArTicks Gallery

I have really been into art lately, especially since I took a tour of Europe in August of 2011. See all the art in Paris and beyond has really made me appreciate artists and their hard work and efforts. That's why it made me happy to be able to check out the ArTicks Gallery website, which is the website of an Art Consultancy providing exhibits and a showcase of the Amsterdam art scene.

I LOVED Amsterdam when I went to Europe, it was one of my favorite cities because of its friendly people and creative atmosphere. The ArTicks Gallery has some great examples of this creativity in its Art Catalogue, which can be downloaded via a PDF.

Next time I'm in Amsterdam, I'd love to check out their gallery-- especially since it's near Dam Square, one of my favorite places in the city.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Perfect Gift

The Author of this post is Velma Baird

I wanted to get my husband something really practical this year for Christmas, but he is really hard to shop for. He buys electronics incessantly during the rest of the year, so he already had everything he wanted in terms of those. He is also in the Army and wears a uniform to work every day, so clothes also weren’t an option. I wish I was better and more creative at buying gifts, but I am notoriously bad at it. I asked around to see if any of my friends had some ideas, and friend of mine at work gave me a great one. She said I should check out DIRECTV Deals because what man wouldn’t want a better TV package for Christmas? I checked it out and decided that it would be the perfect gift. The holidays are so stressful that it was nice to at least have one gift taken care of. I had no idea what to get for my parents or my in-laws so I had more time to obsess about that. Hopefully I’ll figure something out in time for the festivities!