• Create PDFs on the spot. Need to turn a file into a PDF but don’t want to buy an expensive software package to do it? Tech expert Dave Johnson recommends doPDF, a free PDF converter that installs itself as a printer driver, so you can create a PDF from any app just by printing your document.
• Keep track of the boss’s flights. FlightTrack Free, an iPhone and Android app that gives travelers a handy way to access up-to-date flight details, has been upgraded, notes Mary Forgione, the Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger. Users can monitor departure and arrival times, gate numbers, flight route maps, and baggage claim information. The app provides information on more than 16,000 airports worldwide and 1,400 airlines, and it’s available in English, Italian, Japanese, German, Russian, Spanish and other languages.
• What can you learn from free LinkedIn stats? LinkedIn’s Profile Stats can give you a valuable glimpse of activity within your industry and field, writes Laura Smith-Proulx, founder of An Expert Resume. If you see a lot of HR Professionals or Recruiters stopping by, then congratulate yourself for providing sufficient information for a strong digital identity, she writes.
• End conversations gracefully. People worry about appearing rude when they end a conversation, but the reverse is more often true. People overstay their welcome, writes Allison Graham, author of Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy. Aim to wrap things up in 10 minutes or less and make a concrete gesture to follow up.
• Strengthen your secret questions. It’s no good making tough passwords if your secret questions are weak, warns Dave Johnson. His tip: Answer the questions “incorrectly,” using a pattern or system only you know. “You’ll need to take care, and will probably need to make a record of these secret answers somewhere secure (it’s hard to remember lies—just ask any criminologist), but it’s worth the slight additional risk.”
• Develop your skills. Practice may make perfect, but only if it’s done the right way, writes author Jeff Haden. One key factor: Rapid feedback. “Immediate feedback is the best feedback; you’ll better connect the dots because you’re in the flow,” he writes. “Waiting even a day for feedback creates a mental distance and a lack of engagement that are really hard to overcome, which means much of the time you spent trying to learn was wasted.”
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