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About a month ago a friend of mine called me in a panic to ask me to check on his house because his alarm company called him to tell him they were receiving a signal from a smoke detector in his house.  I drove to his house and arrived before him to discover 2 fire trucks and 2 crews of firefighters battling the blaze in the basement of his home.  It turns out someone burglarized his house and then set it on fire to hide the evidence left behind (mainly blood from breaking a window out of a door with his hand).  My friend had not turned on his burglar alarm before he left for work, and he paid the price.

After the fire was out and some of the smoke cleared, we were looking around his house to investigate the damage, and we saw where the thief found the drawer where all of their financial records were kept.  My friend immediately called the bank, credit card companies, and credit bureaus to protect his assets and identity.  This got me thinking about what I would do in this situation, so I’ve been doing some research.  I thought I would share a few of the things I’ve learned with all of you.

Follow these 5 tips to keep your documents safe, secure, organized and uncluttered.

 

1.     Identify.

Set aside a distinct area where you will keep your document management system. Keep this area clean and clutter-free. Having all of your essential information in one place saves you from searching for documents all over the house and reduces your storage space needs. An online digital document storage solution eliminates the need to set aside physical space in your home for document filing. Using an online system also ensures that all of your information will be accessible in one place.

2.     Prioritize.

Decide what’s most important. The FDIC provides suggestions for what should and should not be stored in a safe deposit box. Make sure you have everything you might need in case of an emergency easily accessible in your home document management system. This includes powers of attorney, passports, medical care directives, and funeral instructions. If you must keep these important documents stored in a safe deposit box, having an electronic copy stored away or online means you’ll have the best of both worlds – a safe location for the physical copy, while still having access in a time of need.

3.     Categorize.

Create a categorization structure that makes sense to you. Suggested file headings include: financial, employment, home, tax, insurance, and personal.

4.     Digitize.

In addition to physical file management, it is also recommended that essential documents be digitally stored for safe-keeping. If your electronic documents are currently residing on your computer’s hard drive or a flash drive, they can be uploaded to a secure file management site which means you can rest assured that your most essential information is safe from fire, theft or physical damage – even if your computer or zip drive is lost or stolen.

5.     Annualize.

Stay organized by committing to annual reviews of the files in your document management system. Purge or relocate outdated information and update files as needed.

If you have any ideas to help us keep our documents safe, secure, and organized, you should leave your ideas in the comment section of this post.  All ideas are appreciated and welcomed.

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So we discussed why you need a website.  Today I want to talk to you about creating a top ranked blog.  Most people don’t blog because they don’t have the time.  However, there are certain strategies that help you can get around that. 

Make it a priority. There will always be some kind of resistance to any blog effort.  It takes time and resources.  Focus on your audience and what they will be interested in reading.  Make sure you add some humor and fun to your blogs.

Research keywords and phrases your audience searches for most often.  Incorporate these keywords into your writing. Find out what your clients are searching for on the web.  When you know what your audience likes or what they are interested in it will help shape your message and writing. 

Learn from others.  Spend about 15 minutes a day looking at other people’s blog and see how they write their blogs.  By giving a little time to the work of other people’s blogs you get a better understanding of the direction you want to take your blog in.  Interact on their blog. Other companies appreciate your interaction with their brands and they will likely reciprocate. 

Get Organized.  Make a list at the beginning of the week of what you would like to write about and write out the titles of your blog posts for the week.  As a matter of fact, you can write out all of your blogs for the week.  Most blogging software allows you to post-date your blog so your blogs can be written for the whole week. 

Stay on topic.  Once you have figured out what you want to write about, stay on topic. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

Stay informative.  If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about real estate, then make sure you stay current with latest trends.

Adhere to a scheduleCreate a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content will likely look somewhere else.

Clarity and simplicity.  Keep your blog posts clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don’t always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

Make sure your blog post is keyword rich.  If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

Frequency.  If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.

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I know you are thinking that I can’t spell, but actually I’m not talking about the Germanic God of Thunder or the Marvel Comic superhero.  I’m talking about the tor project (http://www.torproject.org/index.html.en).  Tor is a free anonymity software that protects you against network surveillance and traffic analysis.  It prevents someone from learning what websites you visit and it prevents those sites from learning your physical location.  Believe it or not, some websites charge higher prices for their products or services based on where you live.  Tor protects you from those tactics.  Tor also protects the anonymity of whistleblowers, abuse survivors, or victims of rape or other crimes when in chat rooms and support websites.

This is definitely a download worth checking out since it adds one more layer of protection to your browsing activity.  Check it out and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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A blog is a diary or journal that contains information related to a specific topic and provides links to useful websites. A blog can be written by anyone who has anything to say. Blogs are a fantastic tool for creating a lot of relevant content that other people can use. Blogs can be social media vehicles for business owners, and they are similar to other social media networks such Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace. The difference between the various social media networks and a blog is that you can post a large amount of content on your blog, as opposed to a few sentences on social media sites. Read Full Article →

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