Tag Archives: Technology

Working from your (Home)Office


How To Work From Home: Life Kit : NPR

Remote Working Isn't the Same as 'Working From Home.' Here's the ...

Working from home is not a new concept here in America.  Millions of people have worked remotely either in their own homes or other places to get their work done.  Some have flourished while others have failed (mainly due to low productivity).

Why Home Working Benefits Enterprise Businesses | Wrike

Bathrobe Benefits: Necessity or Luxury - InnStyle

During the pandemic, many people started working from home (either by choice or due to office rules).  They hop onto their laptop or desktop every day, where they connect with their coworkers about the agenda for the day.  Some dress to the nines while others are in their bathrobe and slippers.  Whatever strategies they may have, each employee works their own unique way.

Working from home? Why detachment is crucial for mental health

Telework security: Millions of Americans are suddenly working from ...

And as the days go by, the ‘work from home’ agenda is growing nationwide.  Tech companies like Facebook and Google extended their work from home policies for many employees for the rest of the year.  Twitter allowed their staff to work from home indefinitely.

Over the course of the past few weeks, many people are opting to stay at home to work until the offices are fully open.  Some want to do it choice while others are through their company’s emergency policies.  For those that want to work from home longer, many say the reason is due to the pandemic.  Others have a better time working from home than being in the office.

Working from home: Employee insights on the challenges and ...

32 Working from Home Tips You Can Do Right Now (Updated)

Everybody has their own personal reasons.  But the main point is this – modern technology has allowed a lot more flexibility for many employees to work from home.  Since a majority of their work is through computers, all they really need is a computer all set up and ready to go.  Apps like Zoom or Skype allow us to connect together through video chat to track our productivity progress or simply ask how everyone is doing.

Coronavirus Means Working From Home For More Employees : NPR

The whole ‘Work from Home’ routine doesn’t have to be mundane and strenuous.  Our vast advancement of technology gives us access to many essential tools to help get the job done.

Working from home Memes in 2020 | Working from home meme, Working ...

And the best part is we can get it all done while wearing our pajamas.

Work-From-Home Music Strategy


The city of Boston is practically closed off and many folks are now working from home.  Like me, lots of people have their new laptop/desktop computer set up to complete their tasks.  This isn’t a relatively new concept in the work world, but it is increasing while we are in quarantine.

How To Get Music On An iPhone: Load, Download, Share & Transfer ...

Here are a bunch of free music apps and sample packs while we're ...

One of the best ideas to keeping productive is listening to music.  With lots of streaming options available, there are lots of music to play.  Some can be calming, while others can rev up your energy.

Here are a few suggestions for your next music playlist while working from home:

Rock (Punk, Metal, Progressive, etc)

Sublime - Sublime | Releases, Reviews, Credits | Discogs

Studio Album #1: Junta 5/8/89 – The Phishsonian Institute ...

Carnival '99 by The String Cheese Incident : Napster

Now that you’re at home, its time to turn up the dial with your favorite rock albums.  There are tons of rock music out from the greatest bands around.  You can dive back to your nostalgic teenage or college years while cranking out those tasks.  Some bands I had on my playlist included Pink Floyd, Sublime, Nirvana, Phish, String Cheese Incident, and others.

Pop Hits

Lady Gaga Announces New Album 'Chromatica' - That Grape Juice

Pop music is still coming out, even while we’re social distancing at work.  We’re all a little guilty of enjoying some of the popular music that’s out now.  Whether it be Lady Gaga or Lizzo, both artists should be put on full blast to get that boost of energy.

Classical

A Guide To the Top 10 Classical Music Forms - The New Classical FM

A Night on Bald Mountain in Full Score (Dover Music Scores ...

If music from celebrities isn’t your thing, there’s also classical music.  Classical music, composed by artists like Beethoven and Mussorgsky, has been known to boost productivity.  Besides the increase in workflow, some songs may make the task become more adventurous.

Video Game

Original Sound Version Donkey Kong Country Soundtrack Coming From ...

Super Mario Galaxy/soundtrack | Nintendo | Fandom

Animal Crossing Original Soundtrack (GAMERIP) – Sitting on Clouds ...

Video games are all around the internet, but you won’t be able to play them at work.  You’ll have to go with the second-best thing which is video game music.  Some video games original soundtrack (OST) have incredible tracks that make for a soothing or eventful day.  Better yet, there are even YouTube mixes that vary by categories.  Some are for calm/relaxation sessions while others hone in on a specific type of game.

Ambiance

Ambiance Music (@Ambiance_Music) | Twitter

Sleepscapes - Relaxing Celtic Music & Rain Ambiance - Amazon.com Music

Sometimes you want to create a specific ambiance when working from home.  There is different ambiance music to find.  You can find ambiance music for all kinds of scenarios.  Some include tropical rain-forest, a day at the beach, a cool fall day, and others.

Asus Laptop + HP Monitor = #MonitorWin


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The majority of this blog MakeSandcastlesNotWar was written on this Asus laptop.  This beautiful piece of machinery has been so great when it comes to crafting top-notch blog posts.  Even when I don’t write on this very room, I take it with me during the day.  Every week I use this to crank out the best writing I have.

But just last week, I received yet another magnificent piece of technology.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to introduce… the new HP monitor.

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This… is the new HP monitor.  The HP monitor comes at almost twice the size of the laptop screen.  I simply attached the monitor with my laptop with the HDMI cord.  It is then that I have not one, but TWO monitors!

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Two monitors… This changes EVERYTHING.  Writing with just the one laptop was exciting enough.  But with a screen that’s almost TWICE as big as the laptop screen, the HP monitor will only make the adventures much more thrilling.

It’s like the old saying goes – two monitors are better than one.  The Asus laptop and HP monitor will truly work for the better.  They will surely go hand in hand when completing blog posts (or other weekly errands).

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Adding this new monitor will only make life much better for the world of MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

#YearlyEmailBlastsCommunicationTactic


Image result for Meetup.com

Over the past few years, I have met hundreds of people from around the city.  I have met them from jobs, internships, networking events, and even events through sites like Meetup.com.  Since I enjoyed hanging with these new acquaintances of mine, I always find some way to keep the connection going.

Image result for Business Cards

Image result for Business Cards

That’s where business cards come into play.  Business cards are the best way to keep a person’s contact information with you.  This way you’ll know how to get in touch with them through email, phone, social media handles, and other lines of communication.

Image result for Different Business Cards

Now for me, I have accumulated tons of business cards myself.  I still hold business cards I have received one, two, three, and even FIVE years later.  It’s a neat little connection of mine that’s good to have in handy in my line of work.

For most people, the obvious thing to do once they obtain someone’s business card is to contact them right away.  They have shown a real interest in the other person they have met (professionally and/or personally).  It is then that they send an email out to make that first line of connection.

With me, I take the strategy a step further by reaching out to my contacts through yearly email blasts.  Yearly email blasts are great for keeping tabs on how everyone has been doing every now and then.  It just takes one template email that will be used for every type of contact (only difference is the name of the person).

The template goes something like:

Dear John Smith,

Hope all is going well.  Just wanted to reach out to see how you have been these days.

Things have been good on my end.  I have been busy working at (company you work at).  In the meantime, I have also been working on other projects as well.

Have a great day.

Best,

Jonathan Carey

This is just one of many templates to utilize when reaching out to other contacts.  Better yet, you can even throw in a few sentences about getting together for coffee or drinks at a bar.  Whether they be in your area or not, its always great to stay in touch with as many contacts as you can.

And that is all for today’s lesson on yearly email blasts.  If you have lots of other people’s business cards at your disposal, be sure to send out those emails to them.

MA New Laws 2020


Image result for Massachusetts

A new year means new laws will take effect here in MA.  Many of these laws were passed back in 2019 and they’ll make quite impact here in 2020.  However big or small they may be, these laws will certainly shake things up a bit.

Here are the laws that are in effect as of today:

Hands-Free Driving

Image result for massachusetts hands free law

The hands-free driving law prohibits motorists from using handheld electronic devices while driving, unless they are in hands-free mode.  First offense will be $100, second offense is $250, and the third offense will be $500 as well as auto insurance surcharges.  Some navigation devices will still be permitted.  This law will take effect on February 23rd.

State Income Tax

MA state income tax will fall to 5%.

Minimum Wage 2020

Image result for massachusetts minimum wage

Minimum wage in MA has increased to $12.75 an hour as of January 1st.  Tipped workers’ wages will also increase to $4.95 an hour.

Flavored Tobacco/Vape Ban

Image result for Flavored Vapes

Image result for Flavored Tobacco

Starting this year, MA is the first state in the country to ban flavored tobacco and vape products.  Flavored nicotine vaping products will only be limited to smoking bars where patrons can smoke on-site.  There will also be a 75% excise tax on cigarettes.  Shops will not be able to sell flavored tobacco products, including those such as menthol cigarettes.  All of this takes effect on June 1st.

Be prepared, folks – all of these laws will have drastic effects here in Massachusetts.  The minimum wage will certainly increase, but it will soon be hard to find flavored tobacco or vape products.  Will this create more PR miracles here in the Bay State?  Or will it only cause more PR nightmares?

Image result for 2020

We will soon find out during the start of the 2020s.