The days are flying quickly past, and the holiday season will be over before you know it. If you haven’t completed – or even started – your holiday gift shopping yet, don’t worry; there’s still plenty of time to get everything accomplished.
First, be sure to find an idea for everyone on your list before you even think about shopping. With your ideas written down on a piece of paper, you’ll be efficient in checking each and every name off your list. If the ideas are causing you the most problems, try an Internet search. Keywords to use can include “gifts for mom” or “musical gifts for a teenage boy.” And if your list includes people with hobbies, be sure to try an Internet search using those keywords as well.
Since you’re already at the computer looking for ideas, you might as well continue using it to make your purchase. There’s a good chance you can find the same item for sale on several different vendor sites. A quick online search will help you find the item for the best price, and you might also discover you can get the present gift wrapped as well. When comparing prices, be sure to confirm that the vendor can ship your gift on time, what the cost is for shipping, and whether the company has a return policy.You also can go online to find excellent discounts and coupons for the items on your list. For example, Ebates.com provides discounts and coupons for vendors, and also rewards you with cash back on your purchases once you’ve finished your shopping. So not only are you able to find the item you wish to purchase with a free shipping offer or at a discounted price, but you’ll also receive a percentage of your purchase as cash back to be used however you want.
Before you finalize your purchase, make certain it will arrive before the holiday. Online retailers will provide you with last-minute shipping information so you will know when it’s too late. You’ll also know if you need to pay more for a faster shipping service. Websites like Ebates often have discounts on expedited shipping. The good news is, if you ship the present online while sitting at your computer at home or at the office, you can avoid the long holiday lines at the post office.
If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, your secret is safe. With these tips, you can check every name off your list with minimal effort and know that every gift will be delivered in time for Christmas day.
Hacking Through SXSW Sessions
A sad fact of SXSW is that you can’t attend all the sessions. Do your research now and find three sessions a day that you must hit in order to get your return on investment. As a friendly reminder, you’ll need to walk between hotel convention centers, restaurants, and the main convention center, which takes time. So, plan your priorities and backup options because popular sessions will reach capacity. Here are a few can't miss sessions that are sure to be informative as well as entertaining... How Twitter Humorists Landed Sweet Real World Gigs (Friday) When: 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Who: Jenny Johnson, Josh Hara, Matt Silverman and Megan Amram Where: ACC 12AB Why: Learn how funny people leveraged social media in order to land their dream jobs and high praise from Rolling Stone, TIME and the Wall Street Journal. They’ll give you inside tips and ideas for how to use digital media to build a personal brand — while undoubtedly cracking you up in the process. All the speakers are terrific, making for a great end-of-day panel. Fearlessly Funny: The Women Changing Digital Humor (Saturday) When: 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Who: Issa Rae, Jane Pratt, Kristina Wong, Mandy Stadtmiller Where: Austin Convention Center, Room 18ABC Why: This panel, convened by xoJane.com’s editor-in-chief, promises to be sassy, funny and honest. Bring smart questions to the Q&A and expect to spend some time laughing.
Hacking Through The Connections
The Gadgets: Stay charged and connected. A mobile battery is a great way to stay on top of your game. You’ll be Tweeting, checking emails, consulting the SXSW app, texting or Snap-chatting people you just met over free food and drinks. If you’re not sure which one you should buy, I'd suggest two external battery options that'll keep you powered throughout SXSW. Mophie's Juice Pack Plus is a great source for power on the go. The 2100mAh battery case with added power and protection is equipped with up to 120% extra battery to make it through the busy SXSW week. The Samsung Universal USB Extended Battery Pack isn't just for your smartphone, but it's also portable power for your tablet (or any devise with a USB port) when you need, it where you need it The Networking: Looking for a few SXSW tips from a Pro? Here's one! TIP #4 – Be OUTGOING, but don’t be a DOUCHEBAG! You’ve seen those people that just have to be the center of attention, yeah – you don’t want to be them. Be unique, humble, memorable but most importantly – be yourself! [Discover more tips: SXSW Survival Of The Fittest Tips To Make Your Experience Unforgettable!]
Hacking Through The PartiesFood and drink. If you do it right, you shouldn’t have to pay for a single meal or beverage. Luckily, there are entrepreneurs who streamlined the unofficial and offsite SXSW parties. There are plenty of SXSW party source sites. Do512 is a pretty good source and you can check out the parties here. Also, you can find events on Gary’s Guide, RSVPters and even Eventbrite. The same rule with sessions holds true with parties—find a few that you need to attend and make them a priority. Are you a SXSW pro? If you're a returning SXSW attendee and want to help our readers get the most out of their experience, share your survival wisdom in the comments section below.
How To Get Better Battery Life on Apple iOS 7:
- Automatic App Updates (Settings > iTunes + App Store > Turn off Apps) - the new software allows you to refresh apps automatically like on Android. Save on juice and turn it off!
- Background App Refresh (Settings > General > Background App Refresh) - iOS 7 beefs up the multitasking for your iPhone by keeping apps running in the background. Stop it if you don't need it and more than likely don't.
- Location Services (Settings > Privacy > Location Services) - this uses your GPS w/ Wi-Fi & cell tower support to determine your location for mapping & geotagging services. Turn most or all of them off unless you use Maps/Google Maps, Siri, & Weather.
- Spotlight Search Indexing (Settings > General > Spotlight Search) - the universal search for iOS got better by tracking new data from anything you do. If you don't use it then kill it.
- Set Auto-Lock to 1 minute or less
- Turn off the Music EQ
- Use headphones instead of the speaker if you have to listen to audio or music
- Turn down the screen brightness or use auto-brightness
- Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not using it
- Set all Mail, Contacts, and Calendar accounts to Fetch instead of receiving Push notifications