POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 23, 2011
The new year is here, and that little voice always tells me it's time to get organized. I took a poll of colleagues and compiled some tips on what you need to get the new year off to safe and prosperous start.
Get a smart phone: Recently I did a column on smart phones and was amazed by the feedback I received. What astonished me was not how useful they are, but how many business people still don't have them. Every small-business owner or sales executive I know is constantly putting out fires, which means you've got to be available for e-mail, text messages, social media apps and, yes, even phone calls. You can do a lot of this with a conventional cell phone, but I can assure you it's a heck of a lot easier with a smart phone, and you get so many more other apps. So is it better to buy a Droid or an iPhone? You can read my last column to find out.
Get organized: Sree Sreenivasan, a Web guru from Columbia Journalism School, was featured on Hawaii Public Radio the other day, and he recommended Evernote (evernote.com), a free download that helps you track all your notes and reminders. With this app you'll never have to use a "Post-it" again. Evernote keeps your phone numbers and recipes in the Cloud, where you can retrieve them on your PC or mobile device any time. You can follow him on twitter at @sreenet.
Stay safe: Consider a Cloud-based virtual disaster recovery system, says Mike Meyer, founder of Islanda Cloud Services in Honolulu. If your physical system fails (say your office burns down), a Cloud system will re-create your old system in its entirety. This differs greatly from basic online backup technology, says Meyer. Why? Even if you have your data, you'll still need to re-create your network to get your business going. For $100 a month, Meyer says, you can get technology that will be up and running in a heartbeat and thus re-create your entire computer system. (However, Mike says, at the least, everyone should have online data backup.)
Mike also likes the idea of Cloud-based software technology such as Trend Micro's Titanium (around $30 on Amazon), which you download online from us.trendmicro.com/us/home. This technology will keep you safe and automatically update itself without slowing down the system. PC Magazine called its online backup system "stupendous." Other good qualities, says Meyer, are its ease of use, parental controls and excellent spam filtering.