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How to Find All the Photos Stored on Your Windows 10 PC

Have you ever transferred some pictures to your PC and then forgot where you stored them? Or, maybe you’ve got a few storage hard drives and don’t want to search them manually? Here’s a simple way to get windows to search for all your photos on your computer.

Unfortunately, pictures get stored in different places on your PC depending on the where they come from. Windows itself stores images in your “Pictures” folder. Some syncing services try to respect that, but you’ll often find pictures transferred from things like DropBox, iCloud, and OneDrive in their own folders. If you transfer pictures from your camera or another device directly to your PC, those pictures also can end up in different places depending on the transfer method. And if you download pictures from the internet, they’ll usually end up in whatever download folder your browser is set to use.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to search for your photos manually, the first two places you should look are your “Downloads” and “Pictures” folders, both of which you’ll find in the “Quick Access” section of the pane on the left of a File Explorer window.

A Better Way: Let Windows Search Find All Your Photos

File Explorer has a quick trick for searching for different types of documents. It’s not exactly hidden, but most people never bother with it.

Open up File Explorer and navigate to the location you want to search. You can search your entire PC by selecting the “This PC” entry in File Explorer’s navigation pane.

You can also search a particular hard drive or folder. For this example, we’re going to search our C: drive.

Next, click the search box at the top right of the window. Doing so will display the otherwise hidden “Search” tab at the top. Switch to that tap, click the “Kind” button, and then select “Pictures” from the drop-down menu.

That inserts the following operator into the search box. If you prefer, you can also type it there yourself to get the same results.

As you can see, the results return everything from pictures used by the system to personal pictures contained within the folder and all its subfolders. The search includes images saved in JPG, PNG, GIF, and BMP formats, which are the most common formats used. If you’ve got pictures stored in another format, like RAW, you’ll have to find them another way.

The search I ran on my C: drive came back with 27,494 pictures.

Once you’ve located the picture(s) you were looking for, you can right-click it, then select “Open File Location” to open the folder where it’s contained.

After you’ve located all the photos stored on your computer, you can move them to a more specific folder–like Pictures– or back them up on an external storage device where they hopefully won’t get lost and forgotten again.

Gavin, Brady. “How to Find All the Photos Stored on Your Windows 10 PC How to Geek, 2018 November

 

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7 Signs You Have Malware and How to Get Rid of It

Is your PC acting strange? Look for these signs you have malware, but don’t freak out if it turns out that you do. Our tips can help you get rid of it.

When your PC slows down or acts weird, you don’t always know the cause. Most often, it’s probably just a glitch. But it could be an outward and visible sign of an inward and terrible malware infestation. Review the seven warning signs below. If any of them match your experience, malware may well have compromised your system’s security.

The fact that you’ve got malware protection installed doesn’t mean you can ignore these warning signs. Software isn’t perfect, and sometimes a brand-new malware attack can slip past your security.

1. Popup Ads Start Popping Up Everywhere

While not as common as they used to be, adware programs bombard their victims with advertisements. Sometimes they’re ads for legitimate products, netting an affiliate fee for the adware perpetrator. Other times they contain links to malicious websites that will attempt to drop more malware on your PC.

2. Your Browser Keeps Getting Redirected

Not every site redirect is malicious, but if you find that trying to reach Google takes you to an unfamiliar search site, you’ve got a problem. Sometimes the redirection is less noticeable. For example, a banking Trojan might divert your browser to a fraudulent site that looks just like your bank’s real site. In that case your only clue is the unfamiliar URL in the Address bar. Redirection attacks often rely on browser extensions, so if you suspect a problem, dig into your browser settings and disable or delete any extensions you didn’t install deliberately.

3. An Unknown App Sends Scary Warnings

Creating and distributing fake antivirus programs is a lucrative business. The perpetrators use drive-by downloads or other sneaky techniques to get the fake antivirus onto your system, then display scary warnings about made-up threats. Naturally you have to register a payment before the fraudulent tool will “fix” the problem. And of course, scanning for malware with the fake AV is super-fast, since it’s not actually doing anything.

4. Mysterious Posts Appear on Your Social Media

Malware focused on Facebook and other social media sites propagates by generating fake posts. Typically, these posts include an inflammatory statement of some kind, like “OMG were you really that drunk? Look at this picture!” Anyone who falls for the fake and clicks the link becomes the malware’s next victim.

5. You Get Ransom Demands

Some malware programs literally hold your PC or data for ransom. Overt ransomware threats may encrypt all your pictures and documents and demand that you pay to get them back. Others try to obscure what they’re doing. For example, they may display a warning, purportedly from the FBI or another agency, stating that your computer was used to send spam or view porn, and demanding that you pay a fine before you’re allowed to use it again. Of course, even if you do pay, you may not get your documents back. Antivirus apps and security suites should protect against most malware, but you can also double down on safety with dedicated ransomware protection software.

6. Your System Tools Are Disabled

A smart user, suspecting the presence of malware, might launch Task Manager to investigate, or check settings using Registry Editor. If you suddenly find that trying to use these or other system tools triggers a message saying your Administrator has disabled them, it may well be an attempt at self-defense by malware on your system.

7. Everything Seems Perfectly Normal

That’s right. Some types of malware do their best to hide all activity, leaving no visible traces. Even when you don’t notice anything unusual, it’s possible that a bot on your system may be quietly awaiting instruction from its command and control system. A Remote Access Trojan (or some other form of spyware) may be harvesting your personal information.

So, You’ve Got Malware. Now What?

If you think that malware has taken up residence your PC, install a powerful antivirus application or security suite immediately. Already got one? Then apparently the malware got past its protection. Make sure your antivirus is fully up to date, and run a full scan.If you still have an unwanted app your regular security software can’t get rid of (or you just want to be doubly sure your system is clean) you can scan your PC again with an on-demand cleanup tool, such as Malwarebytes. Do whatever it takes to get that nasty, malicious program out of your system as soon as possible, before it invites friends to make your security problems even worse.

Rubenking, Neil. “7 Signs You Have Malware and How to Get Rid of It” PC Magazine. 2018 August


Right now, we are offering a complementary Dark Web Scan for your business’s email domain. This report will immediately reveal if you or any of your employees have been compromised within the last 36 months.

If nothing turns up, you’ll have peace of mind and you can take preventative actions to make sure it stays that way. On the other hand, if the report reveals a compromise, you are in the best position to take the next logical step towards protecting your business!

You can always contact us at CyberSecurity@Trinityww.com or by calling (732) 780-8615 if you have any questions about what you can be doing to put your business in the best position to avoid a cyber security breach

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Nine Good PC Habits You Should Have

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Forget Passwords! It’s Time for Passphrases!

 Mr. Henry Williams is a deputy editor for The Wall Street Journal in New York, and he reported on something we just also recommended. Here is an excerpt with a link to the full article at the end. You should forward this to your C-suite:

Two researchers say they have come up with a system that makes passphrases more secure and practical.

We all know the drill: When signing up at a website, you’re told to choose a password. It has to be at least a certain number of characters. It must contain letters and at least one number and perhaps at least one special character. Oh, but some special characters aren’t acceptable.

The death of complicated passwords—which are both hard to remember and not that secure—has been forecast for years, but reality hasn’t quite caught up yet.

Now, however, two researchers have developed an idea for replacing passwords with more-secure passphrases that people will actually remember and use.

Kevin Juang, a former doctoral student at Clemson University, and his co-author and adviser, Joel Greenstein, have created a working prototype of an online system for websites and their registered users to replace passwords with randomly generated passphrases that in theory, in combination with other cues, will be much easier to remember and to enter accurately.

Passphrases have been discussed in online-security research for over 30 years, but most websites and apps still use passwords. Partly, that’s because long passphrases are harder to type, leading to more log-in failures, but it’s also because users tend to pick phrases from common sources, likes song lyrics, making them easy for hackers to figure out. People also sometimes use a passphrase on more than one website, or use a certain word repeatedly to make the passphrase even easier to remember.

Williams, Henry. “Forget Passwords. It’s time for Passphrases” The Wall Street Journal. 2018 September

Wall Street Journal Article: “Forget Passwords It’s time for Passwords”


This is only one aspect of our layered security strategy that our cybersecurity team has been recommending to our customers. To see how fast any of your complex passwords can be cracked, go to www.passfault.com.

A good place to start is to see if your employees credentials (email and password combinations) are on the Dark Web.

Right now, we are offering a complementary Dark Web Scan for your business’s email domain. This report will immediately reveal if you or any of your employees have been compromised within the last 36 months.

If nothing turns up, you’ll have peace of mind and you can take preventative actions to make sure it stays that way. On the other hand, if the report reveals a compromise, you are in the best position to take the next logical step towards protecting your business!

You can always contact us at CyberSecurity@Trinityww.com or by calling (732) 780-8615 if you have any questions about what you can be doing to put your business in the best position to avoid a cyber security breach

Posted in: E-mail, IT Support, Security, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Turn That Outlook Email Into a PDF

I think it’s fair to say that most of us like to organize our documents so that they are easy to retrieve when needed.  Well, did you know that you can save your email as a PDF using Windows 10 built-in PDF printer?

Saving an email as a PDF is a great way to create a clean copy of a mail message, or a receipt so that you can save it with all the proper formatting, file it as a document and easily retrieve it when you need it.  It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Check out this quick & easy Outlook tip!

1. In Outlook click File or use CTRL+P

2. Next select Print.


3.  From the printer options choose Microsoft Print to PDF or a PDF printer that you use such as Adobe, Foxit, etc. and select Print.


4. Choose a folder and Save.

 

You must admit, that was too easy!  Go ahead and give it a try and let us know if you find this helpful.

 

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10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations

“Oh no! Not another boring PowerPoint presentation! My eyes, my eyes…!!!”

How much does it suck to be in the audience for yet another drawn-out, boring, lifeless slideshow? Worse yet, how much does it such to be the one giving it?

The truth is, bad PowerPoint happens to good people, and quite often the person giving the presentation is just as much a victim as the poor sods listening to her or him.

Here are ten tips to help you add a little zing! to your next presentation. They are, of course, far from comprehensive, but they’re a start. Feel free to share your own tips in the comments.

1. Write a script.

A little planning goes a long way. Most presentations are written in PowerPoint (or some other presentation package) without any sort of rhyme or reason.

That’s bass-ackwards. Since the point of your slides is to illustrate and expand what you are going to say to your audience. You should know what you intend to say and then figure out how to visualize it. Unless you are an expert at improvising, make sure you write out or at least outline your presentation before trying to put together slides.

And make sure your script follows good storytelling conventions: give it a beginning, middle, and end; have a clear arc that builds towards some sort of climax; make your audience appreciate each slide but be anxious to find out what’s next; and when possible, always leave ‘em wanting more.

2. One thing at a time, please.

At any given moment, what should be on the screen is the thing you’re talking about. Our audience will almost instantly read every slide as soon as it’s displayed; if you have the next four points you plan to make up there, they’ll be three steps ahead of you, waiting for you to catch up rather than listening with interest to the point you’re making.

Plan your presentation so just one new point is displayed at any given moment. Bullet points can be revealed one at a time as you reach them. Charts can be put on the next slide to be referenced when you get to the data the chart displays. Your job as presenter is to control the flow of information so that you and your audience stay in sync.

3. No paragraphs.

Where most presentations fail is that their authors, convinced they are producing some kind of stand-alone document, put everything they want to say onto their slides, in great big chunky blocks of text.

Congratulations. You’ve just killed a roomful of people. Cause of death: terminal boredom poisoning.

Your slides are the illustrations for your presentation, not the presentation itself. They should underline and reinforce what you’re saying as you give your presentation — save the paragraphs of text for your script. PowerPoint and other presentation software have functions to display notes onto the presenter’s screen that do not get sent to the projector, or you can use notecards, a separate word processor document, or your memory. Just don’t put it on the screen – and for goodness’ sake, if you do for some reason put it on the screen, don’t stand with your back to your audience and readit from the screen!

4. Pay attention to design.

PowerPoint and other presentation packages offer all sorts of ways to add visual “flash” to your slides: fades, swipes, flashing text, and other annoyances are all too easy to insert with a few mouse clicks.

Avoid the temptation to dress up your pages with cheesy effects and focus instead on simple design basics:

  • Use a sans serif font for body text. Sans serifs like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri tend to be the easiest to read on screens.
  • Use decorative fonts only for slide headers, and then only if they’re easy to read. Decorative fonts –calligraphy, German blackface, futuristic, psychotic handwriting, flowers, art nouveau, etc. – are hard to read and should be reserved only for large headlines at the top of the page. Better yet, stick to a classy serif font like Georgia or Baskerville.
  • Put dark text on a light background. Again, this is easiest to read. If you must use a dark background – for instance, if your company uses a standard template with a dark background – make sure your text is quite light (white, cream, light grey, or pastels) and maybe bump the font size up two or three notches.
  • Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read and looks amateurish. Line up all your text to a right-hand or left-hand baseline – it will look better and be easier to follow.
  • Avoid clutter. A headline, a few bullet points, maybe an image – anything more than that and you risk losing your audience as they sort it all out.

5. Use images sparingly

There are two schools of thought about images in presentations. Some say they add visual interest and keep audiences engaged; others say images are an unnecessary distraction.

Both arguments have some merit, so in this case the best option is to split the difference: use images only when they add important information or make an abstract point more concrete.

While we’re on the subject, absolutely do not use PowerPoint’s built-in clipart. Anything from Office 2003 and earlier has been seen by everyone in your audience a thousand times – they’ve become tired, used-up clichés, and I hopefully don’t need to tell you to avoid tired, used-up clichés in your presentations. Office 2007 and non-Office programs have some clipart that isn’t so familiar (though it will be, and soon) but by now, the entire concept of clipart has about run its course – it just doesn’t feel fresh and new anymore.

6. Think outside the screen.

Remember, the slides on the screen are only part of the presentation – and not the main part. Even though you’re liable to be presenting in a darkened room, give some thought to your own presentation manner – how you hold yourself, what you wear, how you move around the room. You are the focus when you’re presenting, no matter how interesting your slides are.

7. Have a hook.

Like the best writing, the best presentation shook their audiences early and then reel them in. Open with something surprising or intriguing, something that will get your audience to sit up and take notice. The most powerful hooks are often those that appeal directly to your audience’s emotions – offer them something awesome or, if it’s appropriate, scare the pants off of them. The rest of your presentation, then, will be effectively your promise to make the awesome thing happen, or the scary thing nothappen.

8. Ask questions.

Questions arouse interest, pique curiosity, and engage audiences. So ask a lot of them. Build tension by posing a question and letting your audience stew a moment before moving to the next slide with the answer. Quiz their knowledge and then show them how little they know. If appropriate, engage in a little question-and-answer with your audience, with you asking the questions.

9. Modulate, modulate, modulate.

Especially when you’ve done a presentation before, it can be easy to fall into a drone, going on and on and on and on and on with only minimal changes to your inflection. Always speak as if you were speaking to a friend, not as if you are reading off of index cards (even if you are). If keeping up a lively and personable tone of voice is difficult for you when presenting, do a couple of practice run-throughs. If you still can’t get it right and presentations are a big part of your job, take a public speaking course or join Toastmasters.

10. Break the rules.

As with everything else, there are times when each of these rules – or any other rule you know – won’t apply. If you know there’s a good reason to break a rule, go ahead and do it. Rule breaking is perfectly acceptable behavior – it’s ignoring the rules or breaking them because you just don’t know any better that leads to shoddy boring presentations that lead to boredom, depression, psychopathic breaks, and eventually death. And you don’t want that, do you?

Wax, Dustin. 2018 January, 10. “10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations” Lifehack (https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/10-tips-for-more-effective-powerpoint-presentations.html)

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How to Protect Your Microsoft Word Documents

You can protect your Word documents from prying eyes and itchy fingers.

You’ve created a critical Word document, one that you wish to keep private or that you want to share with only certain people. But perhaps you don’t want others to be able to edit the document, and you certainly don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands. How can you protect your document?

Word offers a few options:

  • You can finalize the document to alert people not to edit it.
  • You can encrypt the document with a password so only people who know the password can access it.
  • You can restrict the type of editing others can perform on the document.
  • You can add a digital signature to the document to ensure that no one can tamper with it.
  • And you can employ more than one of these tactics to truly secure your document.

Let’s look at the many ways you can protect your Word documents.

As always, I’m using Word 2016 here, but the options for protecting a document are the same for the prior couple of versions of Word.

Start by opening an existing Word document that you want to protect. Click on the File menu and then click on the button to Protect Document. From the Protect Document menu, select the first option to Mark as Final.

A message tells you: “This document will be marked as final and then saved.” Click OK.

Another message pops up saying:

“This document has been marked as final to indicate that editing is complete and that this is the final version of the document. When a document is marked as final, the status property is set to ‘Final’ and typing, editing commands, and proofing marks are turned off. You can recognize that a document is marked as final when the Mark as Final icon displays in the status bar.”

The goal of this action is to dissuade anyone from modifying the document by telling readers that it’s completed, and no more editing changes should be made.

When someone opens the document, a message appears at the top: “MARKED AS FINAL.  An author has marked this document as final to discourage editing.” An “Edit Anyway” button also appears. If someone clicks on that button, that person can still edit and re-save the document. That person could then also mark the document as final if he or she chooses. But then the document would show you as the author and that person as the one who last modified it. (You can see the author and other information on a document by clicking on the File menu.)

So the purpose is not to prevent someone from editing the document but to alert readers that it’s in its final version and that you should appear as the author and the person who last modified it.

Alternately, try this:

  • click on the File menu and click Protect Document.
  • Select the second option to Encrypt Document.
  • At the Encrypt document window, type a password and click OK.
  • At the Confirm Password window, retype the password and click OK.
  • Save and close the document.
  • Try to reopen it.
  • This time, you’re prompted to enter the password. If you don’t type the correct one or you click Cancel, the document won’t open.

So this is a secure option to ensure that only people who know the password can even view your document. Just be sure not to forget the password yourself as there is no way to recover it or unlock the document without it, at least not within Word or Windows.

To remove the password, click on the File menu, click on Protect Document, and again select Encrypt Document. Delete the dots that hide your password and click OK. Your password is deleted. Resave the document before you close it.

Here’s another trick.

  • Click on the File menu and click Protect Document.
  • Select the third option to Restrict Editing. Your document reappears, this time with a pane on the right for setting formatting and editing restrictions. This is the option to choose if you want people to be able to open your document but limit or restrict the changes they can make. This option also password-protects your file so only those who know the password can modify the document.
  • Check the box to Limit formatting to a selection of styles if you want to prevent people from changing the formatting of your document through styles.
  • Click on the link for Settings underneath.
  • In the Formatting Restrictions window, all styles are allowed by default. You can keep that setting, change it to the Recommended Minimum, or change it to None.
  • If you’re not sure, choose the option for Recommended Minimum. You can also check any of the three options under Formatting to allow the first one or block the other two.
  • Click OK to close the window.

  • Check the box to Allow only this type of editing in the document.
  • Click on the dropdown menu underneath. You can now choose from among four options. Tracked changes turns on Track Changes for any reader of your document and restricts any other type of editing. Comments allows readers to insert comments in your document but make no other changes. Filling in forms lets readers fill in forms that you’ve created but not change those forms. And No changes puts your document in read-only mode so no changes can be made.
  • Select the appropriate option.

If you check the fourth option for No changes, you can create exceptions for certain user accounts to edit your document.

  • In the Exceptions section, check the box for Everyone and select any parts of the document that you want anyone to be able to edit.
  • Click on the option for Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
  • You’re prompted to create a password. Type and then retype the password and click OK.
  • Save, close, and then reopen the document. You’ll see now that the editing controls on the Ribbon are grayed out.
  • Click in any section of the document that you allowed for editing, and the controls are now available.

To turn off the protection, click on the Stop Protection button at the bottom of the right pane. Type the password and click OK. You can now edit the document and permanently turn off the editing restrictions if you wish.

Finally, you can add an invisible digital signature to your document. Such a signature tells readers of your document that you and no one else signed its contents, assuring people that you were the last person to revise your document. Your document becomes read-only after the digital signature is implemented. To create a digital signature, you need a signing certificate to your identity.

  • Click on the File menu and click Protect Document. Select the fourth option to Add a Digital Signature.
  • The first time you do this in Windows, Word tells you: “To sign a Microsoft Office document you need a digital signature, would you like to get one from a Microsoft partner now?” Click Yes.
  • You’re taken to a Microsoft support page to help you find a digital ID. Try the links for the different providers to get a digital ID.
  • Then click on the link at the webpage to Add or remove a digital signature in Office files.
  • Scroll down the page to learn how to add a digital signature and how it secures a document or other file.
  • After you’ve obtained the digital ID, return to the Protect Document button and again click on the option to Add a Digital Signature.
  • At the Sign window, fill out the necessary fields and click the Sign button.
  • You may be asked to confirm the digital signature. Click OK.

Your document is now digital signed and made read-only. Anyone who opens the document will receive notice of your digital signature.

Whitney,Lance. 2018, February, 8. “How to Protect Your Microsoft Word Documents” Windows Secrets, Office

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Microsoft OneDrive Can Now Backup and Protect Your Folders

The online service’s new folder protection will back up your documents, desktop, and pictures to your OneDrive storage space.

Microsoft OneDrive users now have a new option for backing up critical folders and files.

Currently rolling out to OneDrive on Windows, the service’s folder protection lets you add your documents, desktop, and pictures folders to OneDrive. Any files contained in those folders will be backed up to your online storage and synced to other computers and devices running OneDrive. As such, you’ll be able to access those folders and files from anywhere.

Microsoft OneDrive is a handy way for Windows users to back up, sync, and share folders and files. Until now, Microsoft required you to move any folders and files you wanted to back up into a special OneDrive folder on your computer. The new folder protection feature removes this limitation to some degree as it supports your desktop, pictures, and documents folders in their default locations.

Folder protection had already been available for OneDrive for Business users; now it’s starting to hit OneDrive personal accounts. The feature is just kicking off for personal accounts, so you may need to wait a bit before it pops up on your computer.

When the feature is ready, you’ll see a prompt to set up folder protection, according to Microsoft. Just click the prompt to get started. If you miss the prompt, you’re still in luck. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the Windows system tray and select Settings. Click the Auto Save tab. If folder protection is available, you’ll see a new section to Protect your important folders. Click the button to Update folders. By default, Desktop, Pictures, and Documents will be included in the back up. Deselect any folders you want to exclude. Click the button to Start protection. You can now close the OneDrive window while the folders are being backed up.

There are some caveats. Folder protection won’t back up certain files such as Microsoft Outlook PSTs and Microsoft OneNote files that aren’t already stored in OneDrive. You can’t sync files larger than 20GB. The folders themselves also must be in their default locations for the backup to work. Microsoft’s support page on folder protection offers further details on how to set it up and fix potential problems.

Whitney, Lance. 2018, August “ Microsoft OneDrive Can Now Backup and Protect Your Folders” CNET

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We compared 3 of the most popular note taking apps for iPhone — but the winner depends on what you want to do

I shudder to think where I would be in life if it were not for my smartphone note-taking apps.

Surely, I would have forgotten hundreds of tasks over the years, misplaced hundreds of paper shopping lists, or lost hours-worth of notes taken at work. All those brilliant screenplay ideas that I’ve had while riding the bus or at the gym or somewhere else where I couldn’t easily get to a more traditional word processor would be simply gone forever, if it were not for my note taking apps.

There are tons of generic note taking apps for iPhone on the app store, and they’re all pretty good at the basics. However, I’ve been using Apple’s built-in Notes app, Google Keep, and Evernote for a long time now, and have found that these three stand above the rest, each for unique reasons.

And while I’ve tried (more than once) to consolidate my usage to a single app, I’ve found that each of these meets a specific need in its own way, and I truly do rely on all three for nearly everyday use.

Rather than arguing that one should be the ubiquitous note-taking solution, I’ve pitted these three apps against each other, identified each of their strengths and weaknesses, and identified which you should use based on which kind of notes you’re taking.

Cost Comparison (Luckily, all three of these apps have a free version for iPhone.)

  • Apple’s Notes app comes pre-installed with every iOS and OS device. So if you use an iPhone, congratulations! You’re already a third of the way there.
  • Google Keep can be downloaded from the app store for free on iOS mobile devices, and a desktop version can be installed as an extension of Google Chrome, also for free.
  • Evernote has a free mobile and desktop version for Apple devices, but reserves several features and extras for premium (paid tier) customers.

Ease of Use:

Apple’s Notes app essentially acts and looks like a very minimal word processor which anyone can use with little to no instruction, although some of the most powerful features are a bit harder to get to for a first-time user.

The app allows mobile users to format their text (with bold text, italics, headings, etc) very quickly and easily on mobile, but doesn’t offer any instructions or labeling for many of the buttons, making many of the features (like check lists, photo embeds, and sketching) harder to identify.

Notes can be placed into different folders, so you won’t mix up your work notes with your screenplay ideas, and can be sorted based on the device on which you wrote them.

Google Keep offers a sleek and straightforward take on note-taking, which heavily focuses on images, lists and color-coding.

Rather than organizing your notes in a bare bones list format, Google’s Keep works a lot like cork board covered in post-it notes.

Images, check lists, maps, sketches, and regular ol’ text entries are kept on the static front page, rather than tucked away into folders, so you don’t have to go digging for that entry you made last week. Just scroll down until you see the big headline on the appropriately color-coded tile.

While Keep doesn’t offer the same formatting options for text, it does make the other features more prominent and easier to get to, so I’m more likely to open up Keep when I need to make a quick shopping list or want to draw a picture.

This view can be much more appealing on the eyes, but is clearly not ideal for long-winded musings or journal entries.

I suspect that fans of Pinterest will prefer this approach to notes, while Facebook fans might not.

Meanwhile, Evernote is ideal for long, organized notes that you can keep coming back to, rather than jotting down quick entries or to-do lists.

Evernote is easily the most fleshed-out between the three, and offers the most extensive service. Although, with more features comes added complication, and the app definitely takes some getting used to for new users.

If Notes feels like a lightweight word processor, then Evernote’s powerful formatting capabilities are giving Microsoft Word a run for its money.

To put it simply, the makers of Evernote have thought of everything. The app can easily replace every need for a paper notebook or filing system, by allowing the user to store documents, capture audio, organize and tag their own notes, and even chat with collaborators right there inside the app.

Organization:

Apple’s Notes app lets users sort their entries into folders, so you can easily keep your work notes separate from your to-do lists or quickly-scribbled thoughts. They also allow you to “Pin” individual notes to the top of the app with a swipe.

Google Keep allows you to “label” all your notes, for ease of sorting and finding them again, as well as archive old ones that you might not need anymore.

Evernote smartly uses a “notebooks” system, which allows users to sort their notes by topic, and share entire collections of entries with their collaborators.

In addition to Notebooks, Evernote also includes the ability to tag individual posts and create shortcuts to your most frequently-visited entries.

Search Functions

Notes allows the user to search for keywords through their text and attachments, but that’s about as far as this feature goes for the built-in service. I’ve had multiple frustrating experiences trying to unearth very old writings that I remembered taking down, but couldn’t remember any of the words in the actual text.

Google Keep lets users narrow their search by filtering the type of note (text, check lists, those containing images, etc), as well as searching by label, in the event that you can’t remember any of the right keywords.

Evernote has easily got the other two apps beat in this category, by offering a whole array of search options, including by tag, notebook and source, as well as the time the note was created or last modified, to name a few.

The app can even search for keywords among notes hand-written with a stylus or scanned in through the camera.

Which app is superior to the others?

Actually, these three apps each have invaluable qualities that I believe are unique for the function that they do best. For that reason, I think they are each superior when it comes to specific tasks.

  • Google Keep is best for making lists
  • Apple Notes is best for jotting down thoughts on the go
  • Evernote is best for taking notes at work or school

So, depending on what you need to accomplish one of these apps should suit your needs! As the title of the article states, in comparing three of the most popular note taking apps the winner depends on what you want to do!

Fagen,Kaylee. 2018, August 1 “We compared 3 of the most popular note taking apps for iPhone-but the winner depends on what you want to do,” content taken from Business Insider https://www.businessinsider.com/compared-top-3-iphone-note-taking-apps-evernote-google-keep-apple-2018-7

 

 

Posted in: Mobile Computing

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How to Get the Most From a Managed IT Services Provider

As the managed services provider market matures, CIOs should resist the urge to go with the lowest-cost provider in favor of partners that understand your business and can help you achieve strategic goals.

Leaning on a managed service provider (MSP) for a subset of your IT services can be a boon. More than just tackling a specific domain such as email hosting or customer relationship management, having an MSP as part of your IT mix can free up internal IT staff for more strategic projects.

But establishing a strong, strategic partnership with your MSP is essential. Here we take a look at the current state of managed IT services, where companies are employing the MSP model and how to get the most of your MSP partnership.

Managed services growth is steady

Managed services comprise the second-most popular business model in the channel today, according to IT industry trade association CompTIA’s Fifth Annual Trends in Managed Services study. Three-in-10 MSPs surveyed by CompTIA ranked managed services as the leading generator of revenue in the previous 12 months, second to the 44 percent that pointed to IT solutions (such as projects incorporating hardware, software and services), but ahead of other business model choices like value-added resellers (VARs), IT support, and held desk and consulting services.

The study, authored by Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA, found that the rate of growth of managed services is continuing, but more or less at a steady pace.

“I think the managed services space is moving slowly at sort of the same pace as we’ve seen over the past five years,” April says. “Where we’re seeing more momentum right now is the channel that’s growing around SaaS applications and SaaS ISVs.”

“A lot of these SaaS players are actually MSPs themselves: They’ve either been born in the cloud or they are existing MSPs that are adding a SaaS component to what they sell in their portfolio,” she adds.

Resist the urge to bargain shop for managed IT services

Organizations are continuing to turn to MSPs to handle elements of their IT needs as part of a collaborative arrangement with the internal IT department, according to CompTIA’s research. Companies have become more familiar with managed services and are turning to them for certain IT functions, particularly email hosting, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, storage, backup and recovery and network monitoring.

However, CompTIA is also seeing commoditization occurring because of oversupply, especially at the lower end of the stack. April says this may tempt CIOs to bargain shop for managed services, but they should resist the urge.

“Look for MSPs that understand your business and that speak less about the technology,” she says. “I think that’s important across the board. You want a partner that can talk about business outcomes and how their services are going to help further your goals from a business perspective, not a technology perspective.”

Here, April says a proven track record is key — especially customer testimonials from existing customers. She warns that it should be a red flag if an MSP offers you a cookie-cutter service-level agreement (SLA). It’s a much better sign if they seek to craft a customized contract based on your business and needs.

Top MSPs extending their reach to meet demand

Strategic MSP use doesn’t have to be confined to commodity IT services. Many CIOs, says April, are looking for MSPs that can deliver advanced services, including cloud infrastructure management, application management and business process outsourcing.

April also notes increased demand for services around data analytics, business intelligence (BI) and advanced application monitoring. And while some upper echelon services are offering managed services to meet those needs, most MSPs have yet to extend beyond their heritage in managing network infrastructure and basic software infrastructure.

“I think mobile is an area where the channel is getting some traction but they’re really not tapping the full opportunity there,” she adds.

Partners, not replacements

It is also important to note that while companies are increasingly relying on outside providers for part of their IT needs, MSPs generally complement rather than replace internal IT.

“Very few of these companies get rid of their IT staffs just because they join up with an MSP,” April says.

Instead, especially in larger companies, bringing an MSP into the mix frees up existing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.

“It elevates the IT staff and brings them out of the shadows within the organization,” she says. “It allows them to focus on a custom app dev project or cloud initiative — something highly strategic. I think that’s a win-win for your IT staff.”

That also highlights that the reasons that organizations turn to MSPs have begun to change. In the past, April says, cost savings were seen as the primary benefit of MSPs. Now, she says, cost benefits are considered table stakes and customers are looking for additional benefits like generating revenue and helping the company become more efficient. Even security has evolved from being considered a roadblock to using MSPs to a reason for doing so.

April explains that companies have shifted their views over security as it has become clear that security problems are often the result of human error by internal staff.

Olavsrud, Thor. 2017, June 30 How to get the most from a managed IT services provider. Retrieved from “https://www.cio.com/article/2930498/it-strategy/why-businesses-are-turning-to-managed-it-services.html”

Posted in: Business, IT Support

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