How to Accomplish Anything

1. Decide what you want to accomplish (e.g. build cars)
2. Decide on the final action of your accomplishment (e.g. move new car into lot)
3. Decide the starting point (e.g. have factory and parts)
4. Refine objective (e.g. assemble cars from supply of parts)
5. Simplify (e.g. build just one car)
6. Decide on step just before last (e.g. start engine & put into gear)
7. Decide on step just prior to that (e.g. put gas into gas tank)
8. On each step decide what is needed to do that (e.g. gas pump inside factory)
9. Write down each step going back to beginning, along with what is needed
10. Go forward from beginning to end and refine steps
11. When in doubt about a step, visualize and improvise
12. Due diligence: consult experts who have done it successfully

A Time Saver

There is a new page in eTekHelp. Its buttons access some of the most popular websites. The idea is to download this page to your computer and use it as your browser’s local homepage. It should save you time.

If you know your way around HTML you can customize it to suit your own needs, which should save you even more time. Or, you can let us do it inexpensively.

Anyway, the page as-is is absolutely free. And we won’t even require your email address for you to download it. Check it out at http://www.etekhelp.com/quickpick.html.

Oh, and by the way, its design is responsive too!http://www.etekhelp.com/quickpick.htmlhttp://www.etekhelp.com/quickpick.html

 

How To Send Bulk Emails

If you have a need to send out bulk emails, such as a monthly newsletter, to an existing list of email contacts (whose permission you have to contact them), there is a great way to do so.

I have tried a number of different programs, but I have found the best one, by far, to be Mailchimp. If the size of your mailing list is less than 2000 emails, it is totally free. You can upload your list of names, import the newsletter from your website (or create one from scratch, using heir templates) and away you go. You can send to the entire list with the push of a button.

You can have multiple lists for different audiences, or split your list into different segments. It can automatically create a text version from an HTML file (for people who have text-only email). Of course, both HTML and text versions can be reviewed and edited.

What’s more, if you have a blog, you can get a customizable double opt-in email sign-up form to go into your WordPress blog, so readers will be notified whenever you add a new post and you benefit by getting to expand your mailing list that way, without any effort on your part.

Not only does Mailchimp provide a fantastic service, I found it easy to use as well. They have a slick user interface and their informational messages are upbeat and humorous. A big thumbs up for Mailchimp!

 

 

How To Hide Web Pages

Let’s say you are working on a new Web page and you want to know how it will look on the Web, but you are not ready to release it yet.

You know that search engines have these little things called robots or spiders that constantly ‘crawl’ across the Web, looking for new stuff. How can you prevent Google and other search engines from finding your page and prematurely making its search results available to he public?

Actually, there is a simple remedy. You include a meta tag  in the head section of your page as follows.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

The search engine spiders may still find your page, but they will ignore it.

You may also want any links inside the page to be ignored. In that case, include the ‘nofollow’ directive:

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>

How to Create a WordPress Blog

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. If you have never blogged before, you may be interested to know that there are two “flavors” of WordPress – wordpress.com and wordpress.org.

Both are free and both are easy to set up and maintain.

Starting from Scratch

If you want to start a blog, but don’t have a website and aren’t planning to get one, you may want to go with wordpress.com. They will host your blog for free. The drawback is that your blog’s URL will be something like, http://myblog.wordpress.com. For a personal blog that you share with family and friends, that’s fine, but for business you will want your own, more promotional URL. That leaves wordpress.org.

Using Your Own URL

Assuming you don’t have a website yet and want to have your own URL, the first thing you have to do is register a unique domain name. I recommend namecheap.com; they are cheap and reliable. (By the way, what is the difference between a domain name and a URL? A domain name is the name of your website, such as mywebsite.com, while a URL – Uniform Resource Locator – is the complete name, for example, http://www.mywebsite.com/index.html.)

Once you have a domain name, you need to purchase web hosting. For that I recommend HostGator; they are reliable, provide excellent tech support and are inexpensive.

There are many other good domain registration and Web hosting companies, but I use the two I mentioned above and have had positive personal experience with both of them.

Blog as Part of Website

There are two ways you can go with wordpress.org. You can build the entire website with WordPress (just the blog, or including regular Web pages), or you can add a WordPress blog to an existing website. I like this last option, because it gives me the freedom to create the website exactly how I want it and making the blog part of that website keeps it all together.

To include the blog in your website, you must create a subdirectory for the blog on your domain server. You can name it blog, or something else. (For this blog I named it usefulinfo.) The complete procedure is explained in this WordPress article.

With HostGator it is even easier. It is as simple as selecting WordPress from a menu, pointing to the subdirectory you created, and clicking Install, as explained in this tutorial.

Happy Blogging!

Useful Info

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” This concept is what Thomas Jefferson added to the American Declaration of Independence. These are noble aims, for sure, but something is awry with these words. I appreciate having my life and liberty and being able to pursue happiness, but that is rather self-centered. It is about flowing in. What about flowing out to keep things balanced? I believe that usefulness to others should be what I deliver in exchange for these perks.

We are constantly bombarded with advertising, day in and day out. It becomes too much and we tend to tune out those messages. It’s not just advertising, though. The news media are merchants of chaos; they shower us with stories about wars, murders, mayhem; disease and disasters. Seldom do they tell us about good people doing good things. Instead, they specialize in making us feel bad and insecure.

But useful information is something else. That’s the idea behind this blog. Its purpose is to provide information you can apply to gain new skills; to provide technical tips and tricks that help you get results. But we are not limited to technical topics. No reason to exclude other information that may improve your life in some way.

I invite you to sign up for this blog’s RSS feed, or use he Email sign-up form. I also invite you to comment and submit any info that you feel may be useful to others.