Digitize Everything! Simplify your Life by Going Digital

March 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

This is a follow up post to my posts about 4boxes, Dropbox, and Google Apps.  

When making a change to simplify and become more mobile, it’s time to go through those old photos, cd’s, dvd’s, and other types of media, and to DIGITIZE!  

Cd’s become mp3’s.  DVD’s can be streamed by using a Netflix or iTunes account.  

Here’s a system.  Import cd’s into iTunes Library.  Back up that library using Dropbox. Same with DVD’s.  Then, you can donate them to Goodwill or you can get money for them using CD Exchange or other media exchange outlets.  

Using a service like ScanCafe, you can have your photos scanned into a complete digital format.  Use services such as Picassa (a google app) or Flickr, or even Facebook to show photos online.  My suggestion would be however to always have a backup on a file storage service like Dropbox then select and showcase your photos online.  

It feels great to simplify and digitize and of course another benefit is that everything stays with you, no matter where you are in the world.  

Google Apps and Why They Rock

March 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Because everything I do has completely morphed to online.  I haven’t lost a file, thanks to Dropbox, and with Google Apps have been able to:

  • Create and Share Company Documents
  • Maintain and Share Spreadsheets
  • Create a mini-CRM system
  • Connect a Domain Name from GoDaddy and create company email account
  • Use Google Sites to create company wiki pages to manage daily operations manuals, sales sheets and employees, human resource and legal documents, and the list goes on and on

Google Apps makes it possible for you to truly run your business from anywhere.  I use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create documents sometimes, but as often as I can and especially for collaboration, I’ll use Google Apps.  I post my MS docs, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoints into my Google Site wikis.

When traveling, from any computer, you can be instantly working and collaborating online.  I’ve tested this in Argentina, Hungary, Costa Rica, and all over the US.  By slowly switching everything over to Google Apps and Dropbox, your files will be completely mobile!

Files on the Go – Mobile File Management for the Busy Traveler

March 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

About two years ago I was introduced to two file sharing services have that saved my life.  

Box.net and Dropbox.com (formerly getdropbox).  Countless number of files lost after computers hard drives simply crashed, or having laptops stolen, or even external hard drives going bad – or quickly going out of date!  —— then I found Dropbox. 

Dropbox is a service that allows you to store your files online.  I pay for their 50gig service which runs me $100 / year – better than having to replace laptops and external storage drives, and I never have to worry about anything going out of date.  Best of all, with Dropbox, you synchronize your folders online with your local folders, so it’s a seamless experience.  You use your folders like you normally would, then when you connect to the Internet, everything syncs back up to the server and stored automagically.  If your laptop is stolen, as mine was, you can un-sync that computer on dropbox.com.  

Why didn’t this happen sooner?  A breath of fresh air!  Get Dropbox here – you’ll be helping me out by giving me extra storage if you sign up using my link, and you get extra space for accepting my invite (another thanks Dropbox for the great affilate program).   

Box.net is another great service but less for the independent traveler and more for the corporate group looking to share files.  There’s no desktop component (that I’ve seen yet and as of this writing).  The biggest plus to Box.net in my opinion are its easily shareable links to files.  As a company, we store information both on Dropbox and Box.net that is accessible and editable, and secure, to others we work with outside of our company.  

The shift to mobile file storage makes it possible to be working from a desktop computer in an Internet Cafe in Argentina, from your iPhone in NYC, your laptop in Seattle – and stay on top of it all.  

What Matters – Using Tools to Free Ourselves and Follow our Vocation

March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

It’s becoming increasingly apparent why I need to write about ways to live/work anywhere.

A friend called last night, distraught, and said ‘I feel like my life is empty. Can you help me do what you did?’. I’ve always wanted to travel. I feel like I’m doing what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. I have a good job, car, etc, but… my life feels so empty. Can you help me put a plan together?”

I was shocked.  This girl is tough. Everyone is intimidated but respectful of her. To see her break down, I actually asked her if she was kidding, to which – of course, she said ‘no’. There are so many people that have fallen prey to a system that doesn’t work anymore. Or to a system that is fake with so many ‘rules’. But all the rules were invented, they are part of a game.   We allow others to take control of our strings like a puppet.

Everybody was meant to be free, to live life the way they intended – not sitting in front of a tv but going out and experiencing our passion, unleashing our creativity, and following our vocation.  Instead of taking control of our lives, we allow systems to manage our life for us.  The world is becoming increasingly borderless and there are tools that we can use to build the life we want, including especially not being limited to a particular job or location.  

As this blog continues I hope to provide more tools and tips on how we can live and work anywhere we choose.  Follow me also at libtuck.com and twitter.com/libtuck (@libtuck).  

What Does it Mean to be an Entrepreneur?

March 13, 2011 at 3:52 am

“Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it.”

Ideas occur every second. Innovation only happens when an Entrepreneur does something about the idea.
Entrepreneurs are thought leaders, doers, thinkers. People who take risks. One of my favorite concepts is by Paul Graham, where he likens Entrepreneurs to a lion in the wild – you never know each day if you’re gonna eat, but you’re gonna fight. We were meant to be free.
“Vocation is where the world’s deep hunger and your deep passion meet”
Being happy is about being free, being your own boss, taking risks, creating, and carving out your own unique path. Being an Entrepreneur to me means to wake up every day and know that I have a fight in front of me, that there are a lot of fears and unknowns, but just like the lion, that’s my destiny and not my choice.
There are a lot of ups and downs as an Entrepreneur. One day everything is going great and you’re on the way to realizing your vision; the next day – that partnership falls through, a new competitor launches and is featured on TechCrunch, the industry prices go up, your sales guys quits, and on and on. That’s just part of the deal. Someone once compared obstacles to bugs on your windshield – the faster you go, the more bugs you get. Just having a tough windshield, tough skin, and the faster you can resolve and move forward, the better you can control your car, your business.
Entrepreneurs aren’t always the top in their class.  But what they possess is an undying will and relentless optimism that drives them forward.  There a lot of people who say ‘that’s a good idea’ or ‘that would be cool but’ or ‘that could never be done’ – but you can be sure there’s an Entrepreneur who woke up and saw the idea and say ‘hey, I can do that’. Then, they strap on a seatbelt and hold on for the ride – it’s a bumpy but rewarding one.
“Imagination is the Preview of Life’s Coming Attractions”
- Einstein
If we can dream it, we can make it happen.  Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your vision come to reality.  Getting there means facing daily challenges and overcoming them with perseverance.