Keep Windows 10 Organized, Pretty, and Productive

Microsoft Windows can get messy. It’s not (always) the operating system’s fault. You download tons of apps and files, and create new content stuff of your own, until your “Downloads” directory looks like a landfill for old content. Your desktop is so full of icons, you can’t see your pretty wallpaper. Your Start Menu looks like an app buffet. In short, your operating system is a mess, but it’s not unfixable.

We take spring cleaning very seriously at Lifehacker. Far be it from us to let an opportunity to refresh, reorganize, and declutter our homes lives pass us by. We’re also pretty psyched to hit the reset button on our tech usage, take a close look at our finances, and give the heave-ho to the day-to-day habits that have gotten a little musty. Welcome to Spring Cleaning Week, wherein we clear the cobwebs of winter and set the stage for sunny days ahead. Let’s clean things up, shall we?

There are a few free apps you can use to add some much-needed organization to your Windows world. Here are a few of our favorites:

DropIt

Screenshot: DropIt
We covered this app a long time ago, but it’s worth resurrecting. DropIt is a great utility that can help you stay organized if you’re the kind of person who dumps everything you download (or copy to your PC) into a single folder-one giant, sprawling hub that many files enter, but rarely leave.

DropIt allows you to set up a ton of different rules that fire off whenever you drag files onto the utility’s little icon. For example, you can set the app to always move image files into your primary photos folder, video files into your videos folder, and Word documents into-you guessed it-your documents folder.

That’s just the start. If you want to get more advanced, DropIt can automatically scan folders (like your Downloads folder) and apply more advanced filters to anything it finds, like automatically unzipping archives, renaming files based on your parameters, or compressing large batches of files that are otherwise taking up a bit more space than you want.

Automation is a great way to help you stay organized in Windows, and DropIt practically gives you a virtual helper at your fingertips.

digiKam

Screenshot: digiKam
If your sprawling photo library needs some serious organization but you don’t want to pay for something like Adobe Lightroom, the open-source app digiKam is a great alternative.

Use this app to sort your photos and create (or edit) metadata so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in one easy-to-access library. If you’re also a bit of a photo perfectionist, you can use digiKam to edit your regular and RAW shots to make them picture-perfect.

This app is a much better solution for organizing shots than just dumping them into arbitrary Windows folders. Your disorganized hard drive will thank you, and you’ll be much less likely to lose (or forget about) images going forward.

LaunchBox

Screenshot: LaunchBox
We’re not going to ask why you have a bunch of emulators installed on your system, and we’re going to assume that all the ROMs spread across that nightmare of a folder structure in the “Games” portion of your hard drive are completely legal. Right? Regardless, if you just spent the last day getting your nostalgia kick by downloading archives of thousands of different retro games to play on your modern-day PC, keeping these games under control is going to feel overwhelming.

We suggest grabbing LaunchBox, which is a great “game organizer” utility that allows you to quickly find and play titles in your giant library. You can tap into the app’s crowd-sourced database to pepper your titles with useful information, like release dates, genres, publishers, and images, and you can mark certain games as favorites to make theme easier to hunt down when you have a little time to kill.

LaunchBox also makes it (somewhat) easy to import games from your favorite distribution services, like Steam, Battle.net, and GoG (to name a few). If you’re the world’s biggest gamer who plays everything you can download and always grabs new titles to try from all the major services, LaunchBox is a great way to organize your games under one digital roof.

AquaSnap
Screenshot: Nurgo Software
Everyone knows Windows’ Aero Snap shortcuts, right? Hit Windows Key + one of the arrow keys on your keyboard to send your active window flying all around your screen: minimizing, opening, shrinking to fill a quarter or half of your display, and bouncing off your primary display entirely (if you have a multi-monitor setup).

Selling on Social Media Without Driving People Away

5 Social Media Selling Tips & Warnings

Social media is one of the best marketing tools out there: you can grow and reach a large audience with content and ads, and people who like and/or follow you are your fans, so they’re already your target group.

However, people can be resistant to selling on these platforms. They see sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as places to share content and interact with friends, families-and nowadays, brands.

You really have to approach this the right way or you could alienate your audience, causing them to unfollow or unlike you because they expect a two-way conversation and engaging content, not to be marketed to.

It’s also important to clarify that social selling doesn’t mean advertising your product or service online for people to buy.

Social selling means you’re using social media to connect with sales prospects and nurture relationships to hopefully convert them into customers.

For example, I recently did a Tea Time Tip about things that you need to consider before you start building your website. People could comment and asking questions in real time, and the Facebook Live had a lot of information about hiring a professional web development company.

So, I wasn’t simply talking at people to hire us for their website-building needs; I was sharing pertinent information and nurturing those leads who might be looking for a company to help them out.

Now that we’ve defined social selling, let’s discuss what you can do to increase your odds of success:

1. Think relationships, not dollar signs.

Make sure you’re posting relevant, non-sales content. You want to become an expert resource in your industry, so focus on adding value to your users’ feeds.

According to a study performed by LinkedIn, buyers who are active on social media welcome input from industry experts. In addition, 76% of buyers are ready to have a conversation with potential providers.

Get to know your potential customers by asking them engaging questions, answering their questions in a timely manner and responding to comments. The more trust and loyalty you build, the better your odds of converting a follower into a paying customer.

Read: The Power of Social Media Storytelling

Once upon a time your strategy was probably largely focused on sharing links to third-party content with your audience. Well, those days are over, and if you want to stand out in the crowded and noisy online environment, you need to focus on content marketing storytelling.

2. Take the time to build out your accounts.

Make sure that your bio and profile are filled out on all the platforms you want to use for social selling. You should include your website URL, About Us, phone number and any other relevant contact info.

It can also help to pin relevant posts, make sure your branding stands out and have high-quality images to attract followers’ attention. Again, this builds trust and loyalty, making people feel more comfortable and secure doing business with you.

See how one of our clients, A Family Law Firm, has taken the time to not only fill out their contact info, but also the “Our Story” section on Facebook.

3. Choose your messaging wisely.

What works on one platform may not work on another. Where do your potential clients hang out? Where do they talk business, or go for restaurant recommendations? Generally:

* LinkedIn is more business-focused, so people are more comfortable with marketing messaging there.

* Twitter has a great search function, so you can more easily connect with prospects, and find relevant topics.

* Facebook has many communities that you can join and network in (remember, don’t be pushy!)

* Instagram and Pinterest is for visuals, not long content pieces.

By tailoring your messaging for each platform, you’ll be more likely to attract the right kind of customer.

4. Let user-generated content sell for you.

You don’t have to do all the work of social selling alone! There are so many ways to use user-generated content (UGC) to your advantage, including:

* Contests and giveaways that encourage followers to share your content, hashtags and/or messaging.

* Ratings or reviews for your product or service

* Testimonials

For example, J.Crew posts user ratings and reviews on their website, so when they post a dress or shirt on their social media account and someone clicks on through, they see other people’s votes of confidence.

Not only does user-generated content help you, but it helps your customers. Almost 80 percent of people say that UGC drives their purchasing decisions. It’s a win-win situation!

5. Try, test and try again.

Every business owner should be tracking and measuring their efforts, whether it’s a digital Newsletter push or a Google AdWords campaign. Look at your data and stats to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Maybe people are being referred to a page on your website from your Facebook post, but they’re only spending a few seconds on it.

You need to look at why that is: is your messaging unclear? Boring? Is there a broken link? By tracking your visitors’ paths, you can see where you need to take a closer look.

Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to measure your website statistics, and there are also paid tools out there that can help you break down and understand your data.

The more you test and tighten your social media selling attempts, the better your ROI will be (and the happier your followers will be).

While social selling is different than traditional methods, it’s still about building relationships and credibility. Focus on the person behind the platform, not on converting them into a sale or guiding them down a marketing funnel. Take the time to build connections and you’ll create a community of prospects who will welcome hearing from you.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.