Save up to $250 by shipping your luggage via a carrier rather than checking it at the airport. Airfarewatchdog.com looked at four domestic-route scenarios and found that shipping luggage four or five days ahead of time saved money in many cases—and always allowed for better shipment tracking and security.
Focus on the most important 10% of words you speak or write, to make them more memorable. Mary Civiello, author of Communication Counts:for Busy People, says people remember only 10% of what a speaker tells them after a week has passed. Whether you’re writing an important e-mail or speaking at a team meeting, say the most important 10% early and clearly.
— Adapted from “How to capture a crowd: Expert advice,” Mary Civiello, Fortune.Track your company’s competition with WatchThatPage.com, a free tool that monitors specific web pages and sends you an e-mail when they are changed. A change to a company web site sends clues about its direction.
Breathe new life into an old, scratched CD with a dab of Vaseline. Use a soft cloth to apply it, then remove the excess grease with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. The Vaseline will fill in the scratches, making it readable.Exasperated with your job? Before giving up on it, consider this advice from a couple of Harvard Business School professors: Think long term. Ask yourself what your career goals are and what will make you most satisfied in five years. Don’t let the pressures of an unpleasant workplace force you to make a rash move.
Start your day with a to-do list to get more done, recommends publisher Michael Hyatt. “I am so much more productive when I take 10 minutes and actually decide what tasks I want to accomplish today.”
Stumped by text messages from a number you don’t recognize? If you don’t feel safe replying, get a text-message trace report. TraceText.com will tell you, free, where the caller is located. For a fee, the service provides a report that contains the cell phone owner’s name, address and household information.
Spur innovation by spending at least 15 to 30 minutes per day jotting down questions that “challenge the status quo” in your company or industry, recommends Brigham Young University Professor Jeff Dyer, one of the researchers behind a study called “The Innovator’s DNA.” (The study surveyed more than 3,000 entrepreneurial, inventive executives.) Visionary leaders are much more likely to ask “what if” questions.
— Adapted from “BYU study looks at how business innovation happens,” Lesley Mitchell, Salt Lake Tribune.
Collaborate on the cheap with Basecamp. Beloved by techies, Basecamp is an “addictively easy-to-use” online project Basecamphq.com; free 30-day trial, with prices starting at $24 per month.tool that lets users track shared tasks, due dates and work.