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A couple of recommendations for helpful techno-tools that I appreciate: many of you will know of and use these, but for the few who don't . . .

Dropbox. This is great. Doubtless there are other versions, but this is simple and delightful. You set up an account (the basic one of 250 megabytes is free, others are more expensive), install it on any number of platforms and stick material in your Dropbox file that you want backed up online or available across your platforms. So, say you want to be able to work seamlessly between desktop and laptop, or want to pull up a file to show a friend when you are (horrors!) removed - possibly surgically - from your own devices, then Dropbox allows you to do it. You can even set up public folders for deliberate but limited sharing. Think of it as an automated backup with the added benefit of your stuff floating on a cloud for you to draw on as and when you feel. It has always proved reliable and effective for me, and simplifies stuff no end. Let me make plain that I have a vested interest: if you sign up using these links, both you and I get a bonus 500MB into the bargain. Just saying.

Leechblock. I am sure that there are equivalents for IE, Chrome and other browsers, but if you're a Firefox user, Leechblock is a productivity tool in which you can block certain sites of your choosing for periods of time of your determination, all the while adding appropriate levels of awkwardness in changing your settings (if you are inclined to quickly bypass the blocking). If you find yourself wasting time (well, more time) on certain sites, or spending hours dawdling and following rabbit-trails when you intend to be really searching for something, then Leechblock is a great way to focus the mind and bar swinging doors. You can learn more here or get it as an add-on here.
Posted November 23, 2012 @ 4:26 AM by Jeremy Walker
TOPICS: technology, tools

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