Keyboard shortcuts – an excellent way to increase productivity

A keyboard shortcut is a clear-cut, easy-to-use tool that may save you time on daily tasks. Surprisingly, many people still don’t implement these simple tools to help enhance their efficiency.

A number of programs, such as Microsoft Office and most web browsers, have built-in keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts can shorten and simplify tasks such as:

  • Opening up a new browser window
  • Searching for a document
  • Saving a document
  • Attaching a document to an email

While these tasks aren’t really that time-consuming when performed with a mouse, the combined time you might save by employing keyboard shortcuts is fairly substantial.

If you find yourself performing lots of repetitive tasks, knowing their shortcuts could certainly be worth the effort. If there isn’t already a built-in shortcut for that task, creating your own shortcuts can be fairly easy, depending on the program.

For tips on how to create your own keyboard shortcuts, check out these articles on:

What the SMS of death truly is

Talk of receiving an “SMS of death” has a number of individuals concerned about their cell phones’ susceptibility to viruses. Surprisingly, this alleged deadly message is very different than one would imagine.

How does this affect me?

In contrast to most viruses that threaten cell phones, this attack focuses on “feature phones” rather than smartphones. Feature phones are more basic cell phones that have one distinct feature that differentiates them, such as an MP3 player or web browsing capabilities.

Because feature phones rather than smartphones are at risk for this virus attack, most phones used for business purposes are out of danger. In order for the attack to be effective, the hacker must know the make and model of the phone, otherwise the text would simply be read as nonsense.

Potential indicators of an attack include:

  • The phone can shut down without warning
  • Some phones may then be rendered useless and the SIM card must be placed in another phone to be functional

Luckily, because of the nature of the ”SMS of death” hack, it will be very difficult for hackers to insert their own code into the phone and steal any data. Those varieties of attacks are typically reserved for more high-tech smartphones.

How can I protect myself?

These SMS attacks are preventable simply by updating security software, something that most people with basic feature phones don’t do. Updates usually need to be purchased because most feature phones don’t come with USB cables to update security software.

For more information on this “SMS of death” and how to keep your phone safe, have a look at this IT World article.

Top 3 business products from the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show showcased many great ideas and devices that will influence businesses of all sizes. Now that the show is over, let’s reflect on three of the top products that could have an effect on small businesses in 2011.



BlackBerry Presenter


This mobile presenter connects to any conventional projector and enables you to run PowerPoint wirelessly from your BlackBerry. This eliminates the need for a laptop, which is great for one-day trips. It also gets rid of the common complications that come with hooking up a laptop to an unfamiliar projector.



Splashtop Remote app for Android


The Splashtop Remote program first popped up on the iPad and is now easily available for use on Android devices. This application permits you to log in to your home or office computer and perform many vital functions such as:


  • Maneuver around the desktop
  • Use programs and applications based on your computer
  • Watch videos
  • Access documents, images and videos that are stored on your computer


This application is especially useful for people who do a lot of work on the go. The Splashtop Remote app currently works on Android 2.2 and up.



For more information on the app, check out the Splashtop website.



PlasticLogic QUE proReader


Called a “wireless briefcase” by PlasticLogic’s CEO, the QUE proReader is much more than just an eReader, as it was initially intended to be. The QUE proReader:


  • Syncs with Microsoft Exchange
  • Allows for “print-to-device” technology
  • Reads PDFs and Microsoft Office documents
  • Lets BlackBerry users transfer information from their phones
  • Already has deals in place with all of the top business periodicals


The QUE ranges in price from $650 to $800, making it a little steep for some small businesses, but with all of the features it offers, it will likely prove itself to be worth the money.



These are just three of the many remarkable products that were showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but they are sure to be some of the most beneficial to small businesses. For more information on devices and services that were popular at this year’s CES, check out the Consumer Electronics Show’s “Trends” page.

Did you mistakenly erase a critical file? How to undelete it

Accidentally deleting essential files is a common mistake and can cause you quite a bit of trouble. The good news is that if you catch the problem quickly enough, the file will likely still be on your computer and in one piece. Keep reading for tips on how to undelete files before they’re gone for good.

Before you freak out:

Check to see if you inadvertently saved the file to a different location. People frequently save files to their Downloads or other folders without knowing it, so do a search of all your documents before presuming that it’s gone.

Check out recovered files. Often, if you close a program or your computer shuts down without warning, there is a recovered files folder that saves whatever you were working on. Search your system for those files before losing hope.

Search your email. If you emailed a copy of the file to somebody, it may still be in your Sent Messages folder. Checking here first can save you a lot of time and stress.

Check your Recycle Bin, as this is where many files hang out until they are entirely removed.

When those don’t work

There are some times when these tricks simply won’t be able to retrieve the files you need. If this happens, your best bet is to contact your IT services provider for help.

Losing files can be frustrating. Fortunately, they’re usually not totally lost. These tips are straightforward and easy to follow – and when they don’t work, your IT services provider is usually just a phone call away.

IND Receives Third Inc. Designation

For the third consecutive year, Inc. Magazine has ranked IND as one of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Now in its third year, the Inc. 5000 list is the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – America’s independent-minded entrepreneurs. Taken as a whole, these companies represent the backbone of the U.S. economy.

The list measures revenue growth from 2005 through 2008. To qualify, companies must be U.S.-based and privately held, independent, and have had at least $200,000 in revenue in 2005, and $2 million in 2008.

“Savvy trend-spotters and those who invest in private companies know that the Inc. 5000 is the best place to find out about young companies that are achieving success through a wide variety of unprecedented business models, as well as older private companies that are still expanding at an impressive rate,” said Inc. 5000 project manager Jim Melloan. “That’s why our list is so eagerly anticipated every year.”