The iPad case that keeps me organized

October 28, 2011

ipadopen2 960x560
The removable divider on this awesome iPad case

As you know, I am all about how spectacular the iPad is for business use.

It can literally replace your laptop computer without you skipping a beat.  I love to use it in meetings — to take notes, to hop on the internet if that’s helpful to the conversation or to demo or to review creative with a client.

The iPad has been awesome from the get go. But I’ve struggled with finding a way to transport it.

I couldn’t find a case that allowed me to stay organized.  My messenger bag (which I use for my laptop) was too big but just carrying the iPad loose wasn’t cutting it either.

So when my friend Mike Colwell (from here in Des Moines) said he had designed one specifically for business people — I was more than ready to try it.

You can go to the website ( to read about how it’s made in Chicago, the material and how it super protects your iPad etc.  What I want to show you is the element that makes this a must own tool for me.

There’s this removable center insert that is made from a very rigid material but covered in a soft fabric.  On the divider are a series of pockets made from a very tight elastic so everything stays put snugly.  I love that I can take it out of the case itself to re-pack the contents.

For me, this means I can literally head out to a meeting with just this case.  Inside, I can put my iPhone, some pens, business cards, my car keys, a jump drive in case clients want to give me some digital files, ear buds and my moleskin if I need to quickly draw something out.  My point is — it’s all self contained.

I know this is going to sound a little crazy — but this case has changed how I go to meetings.  I feel more organized and I’ve got everything I need to conduct business.  It’s also awesome on a plane (fits right into the pocket in front of your seat) with boarding passes etc. added to the mix.

There’s plenty of room if you use some sort of cover for your iPad too.  I use the ZAGGmate Aluminum case with a bluetooth keyboard (which I love!) and it fits just fine.

You know I don’t usually promote products — but this case, I really want you to know about this case.  It makes owning and using your iPad for business the cat’s meow.  (Yes…the cat’s meow.)

Note:  Mike did give me my case for free.  He didn’t ask me to write about it.  I just want you to know.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Essential Twitter Tools

June 10, 2011

Twitter is an important part of my daily communications and community.  I use it to:

  • Share great resources
  • Chat with friends and peers
  • Share my own writing/posts
  • Access resources, articles, and keep current
  • Test ideas, vent, laugh and connect
  • Give myself a mental floss — you never know what you’ll see, read or jump into

But…I have a day job so I can’t spend all day, glued to the Twitter screen, waiting for someone to say something relevant.  So, I rely on a handful of Twitter tools that make it much easier for me to accomplish my goals and cover my day job as well.

Let me preface my tool talk with this statement:  Twitter is not about automated conversations between your bot and mine.  It’s about real interactions between real people.  But that does not mean all automation is bad.  It’s about finding the balance.

Twitter Tool #1: HootSuite.

Screen shot 2011 06 09 at 10 43 48 PM
Re-arrange tweets into conversations

Much has been written about this software.  It allows you to manage your Twitter activity (follow the main stream, when someone directs an update to you or sends you a direct message) but what I appreciate the most about Hootsuite is that it allows me to schedule updates (on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) so I can be sharing resources, blog posts etc. throughout the day, even if I’m in a meeting or asleep.

It also lets me “re-arrange” tweets into conversations, as you can see in the screen shot to the right.

Twitter Tool #2: Boxcar

Screen shot 2011 06 09 at 10 53 04 PM
Keep me in live conversations 24/7

Boxcar is an app on my iPhone and iPad.  It streams any message sent directly to me (I have it set just for Facebook or Twitter but you could set up Google Voice, e-mail and much more) right to my device and pops up with a portion of the message so I can decide if I want to read it, respond to it etc.   It’s very elegant and simple and very easy to set up and use.

This allows to to respond in real time — no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

Screen shot 2011 06 09 at 11 30 36 PM
Pre-set a handful of blogs to autopost





Twitter tool #3: Twitterfeed

This is a tool I use very sparingly.  You create an account and then add URLs that post new content (typically blogs).  Then, anytime one of those sites has new content, it automatically tweets it out on your account.  (You can set it up to do Twitter, FB and others).

I would only add blogs that stick to their core content faithfully and consistently deliver A+ content.  In my Twitterfeed account, there are only about 10 blogs loaded up.  I can regulate how often it updates my status with someone’s new content and it tells me what my Twitter friends are clicking on.  I don’t want to bombard my Twitter followers, but I also don’t want to make them wait until I get to my feed reader to share the best stuff.

Screen shot 2011 06 09 at 11 24 28 PM
Manage your followers with a click!





Twitter Tool #4: ManageFlitter

Oh how I love this tool!  With a couple clicks, I can see what tweeps I follow that have gone dormant, who are the super talkers (might be bots) and who has stopped following me, etc.  Then, I can unfollow or add people very quickly.

This used to be one of my most laborious tasks… cleaning up my Twitter followers.  But now I can do it in minutes and it keeps me connected to the people I want to follow and disconnected from those who got bored and haven’t tweeted in 6 months.

Screen shot 2011 06 09 at 11 44 32 PM
What the set up screen looks like

Twitter tool #5: Tweet Old Post

This WordPress plugin allows me to tweet out some of my older posts from my blog.  I’ve been blogging for over 5 years, so in theory, there’s some good stuff in there.  This plugin randomly grabs an old post (I can identify categories I do/don’t want included) and tweets it out.  I can add a prefix like A golden oldie… or a hashtag like #GreatestHits so my followers will know what’s up.

This is a great way to breath new life into old but still relevant content.

So there you have it….these five tools (along with some RSS feeds for listening by topics and Twitter lists for listening to my favorite people) are how I manage my life on Twitter.  They let me connect in real time, share my favorite writers, schedule some of my tweets and manage my followers.

I hope that at least one of these tools is a new find for you and that a mix of them can make your Twitter experience even better!

Enhanced by Zemanta