My Love/Hate Relationship with Dell

This is my fourth Dell. I was entranced by it because it was Pink. There I said it. I bought the damn thing because it was pink. Of course, it did have all the features I needed but I had to have a PINK computer to work on! Woohoo!

 I made an oath to myself. I would put nothing but web based applications on here...not a ton of free music or videos (as I now  have discovered Rhapsody, of course). I just would use what I needed and the thing would run efficiently. I needed it to blog, to do email newsletters and put my peeps and myself on Facebook and Twitter, that was it.

Long story longer I have had a lot of problems with this pink guy. It would be best described as a big pink lemon. Beginning in month 3 to today,I have had to replace: the mother board, the hard drive, the battery and the power cord among other crazy issues.

Every time I have a problem, I get white hot and prickly because I know this means. I have to call Dell customer service.This is like poking your eyes out with bamboo. Because dear sweet Dell has chose to outsource their customer service.

Discover seems to have it down exactly to a tee

This is where I start to lose my mind. Its also where my political views start getting the best of me. We are in a recession, right??  How hard is it to hire and train the many who are out of work right in your backyard? Instead, after pressing one for English (another story for another bottle of wine), I get to talk to "Patrick" or "Henry" over a bad connection and a bad script. Its just not an argument anymore that they are doing this because its cheaper when our own country is suffering. I wish they would take a lesson from Go Daddy.They are true blooded Americans  and they even speak English and converse with you without sounding like a robot. Its so refreshing! 

Knowing that there is always a bright light in my cloud of doom, I looked into to Dell Chat and was satisfied. I could now chat with Patrick and Henry to my heart's content.I could even easily understand what they are typing. SUCCESS! 

Except when it comes to that sad miserable day when you push off your warranty expiration notice. 
I truly forgot. 

So, when you have no warranty-back to India, you go. Just so you know, I always start off positive when I call, like miraculously there will be no language barrier. On Tuesday, I spent NINETY MINUTES speaking to three to five different Peggy's. Not one of them understood what I was trying to explain . If I can give you some advice, putting your head in your hands while begging to please be connected to a person who first given language is English doesn't translate well to them either.

Hanging up, I thought maybe I could resort to Twitter. Let the angels sing!! At @dellcares I was treated like a queen! Fixed, wrapped up like a present and sent on my Merry way! So thank you Dell for getting something right and keeping your Twitter customer service here in the good ol USA. Might I beg you to reconsider your other options?? 
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It has Four Walls and A Door, and its mine

I am excited that I moved into some office space this month. It needs some paint but I am really excited.  A lot of people nod (annoyingly... I may add) "Ohhhhh, you need office space, because working at home you cant stay focused!" That's not really it. I get up at the crack of dawn and start working and continue to work all day. My boyfriend comes home and I may stay off the computer for a minute or two  but sure enough I get back on there and keep at it. I figured if I found something reasonable (and I did) this would give me something to go to each day and more importantly leave each day. Of course, there will be days like today that its too cold outside and the comforts of my own home will do just fine. That, is the BEST thing about having a great boss (yourself)! 

Here are some pictures, let me know what you think and what I need! 

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11 Things My Life Doesn't Need

I have resolved to blog more in 2011, and to find like minded authoress and platforms to spread my word Tonight as I am searching I come across this wonderful idea. Reverb 10. The pretense, according to the website: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. Each day they send out a prompt and ask you the blogger to share your thoughts. I am so sad that I just came across this amazing concept! I would have blogged every day with them!  

11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

Only 11! How I wish this was 2032! I have learned a lot this year and I am excited for the new start that 2011 will bring. Here are 11 things I am happy to let go:

11. Guilt-the good old-fashioned Catholic Kind
10. Excuses-mine or anyone else's! 
9. Headaches (physically and figuratively speaking)

8. Self Doubt-She believed she could so she did!
7. People in my life who are Debbie Downers
6. Disorder and chaos, both external and internal
5. Another Pair of Blue Jeans, white shirt, or kitchen gadgets of any kind 

4. Reasons to not do, say and be exactly what I want
3. Excessive spending 
2. Lack of Motivation to not accomplish these eleven things.

1. Drama, for once I am going to keep it at bay and stay away from things and people that cause it.

I can only think that if I make sure these eleven things stay far away from me in the New Year, it can only be a wonderful one.
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Do you Resolve to Get Organized?

I think people are motivated by different things, money, power, control, self worth, love, etc. To work very hard at being organized is what motivates me the most. I feel that one day or in small spurts of a day a sense of calm is achieved when you really have a grasp on a system that works for you at home and at your job. It isn't rocket science to understand the more organized you are the more efficient you will be. I have recently talked about the use of planners. But in the scheme of things, that is a small piece of the pie. 

Remember the Milk (RTM) is probably one of the coolest list organizational tools out there. Hands Down. The thing that I like about it the most is its flexibility to use. No matter which way you respond to most (email, text, IM , twitter, web extensions etc.) Remember the Milk has you covered. I have gone and tried other systems but I have always come back to RTM wondering why I strayed in the first place. 

I use RTM for all my clients. Each client has their own list where I can list tasks for them that need to be done. I am able to schedule their Facebook posts to appear in my to do list every other day. Every day I look at my daily agenda and know which clients need to have a post on Facebook for that day. I also use my personal Remember the Milk email which will email me reminders and appointments. For Xmas, I would grab my phone and email RTM as I was talking to someone and they were raving about something that would make a good gift. This email was sent to my RTM account and placed in my RTM Christmas List. That way when I went in and looked all those casual mentions were well documentedEmbarrassingly enough, I do have a Fake Wedding list that contains every cool wedding song, design idea, website, color scheme etc that I have ever seen. I know that is kind of ridiculous but when the time comes, I will have some good ideas ready to go.  I also have a list that I keep for shopping websites I like, movies and books that I should see or read, bills that need to be paid with a due date and a recurrence so a couple of days before it is due it comes up in my agenda. You can also make a list of calls to make, people to see and things to do daily. Pun intended, the lists could go on and on.

A good start to see how useful Remember the Milk is here, If you are the kind of person that likes to write everything down, this application is for you, Its Free, but they do have an PRO version. I am interested in what you think and what uses you could find for this system so be sure to leave a comment below! 

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Organize 2011 with The Best Planners

If you look through my house, I can think of about 4 calendars I have bought over the year. Four, because I will start getting really excited about buying and using and then I find something wrong with it. Its too small, its too big, its not the right shape...its really hard to find me one that I love. Now, I love, worship and want to marry the Planner Pad but I have too much going on to have only seven subjects to go off of. One would think that being the techy nerdy butt that I am that I would use my Iphone exclusively. But truth be told, I don't really like that calendar either. I do use my google calendar for some things, but nothing serves me better than an actual hold in your hand agenda. I also want to make mention is that in my crazy OCD world, I only put appointments in my planner. I save to-do lists and other things to remember for Remember the Milk which I will blog about soon. If you are looking for a bargain, I usually have very good luck in Target. I could say that last sentence about everything in my life but Target especially has some very retro looking designs at a very reasonable price. And being that I will get tired of this pretty Tiffany Blue one I am currently playing with very soon, a reasonable price is a must. 

A honorable mention? The I-pad Calendar interface. Its so pretty, I just don't understand why the Ipod doesnt pick it up...aren't they members of the same family?? I would use it in a second.

So, in honor of the Christmas season and the fact that the guilt that I am not done shopping yet is killing me, I wanted to blog a little about some of the best ways to bring your new planner under the tree. The good thing is that if Santa doesn't recognize your need for a 2011 plan you can run and order these for yourself after Christmas with the money or gift cards you get when you take all the presents back that you didn't like....yes, I am most guilty. 

Of course, I have to visit Etsy and it didn't disappoint. Look at this beautiful retro handmade planner that can be used year after year. Provided you don't have the crazy gene that I have.

2011 Calendar Day Planner - Flea Market Pink Posies - Agenda in Pink and Brown


This planner is also on Etsy. I thought it was really cool, because one of the most frustrating things about changing your mind on planners mid year is that you either have to buy an old one and waste the months or buy it and not be able to be able to use it for a while (my current situation). This would also make a GREAT gift. Maybe not for Christmas but for Valentine's Day...or President's Day! Its a little pricy but it looks to me like it is completely handmade and customized which is makes the price well worth it, don't you think? They have them in three sizes.

PIPER Design - Small Personalized Planner

Most boys I know do use their smart phones or their office calendars but if you wanted a nice option for the man in your life, this is a subtle leather version that is classy and will keep all his dates in check. And, I fully expect you to pre-fill in the important ones for him! 

Scully Calfskin Leather Pocket Weekly Planner

This is the one that I am currently playing with. I got it at Office Depot and for the price, its a great deal. Its serves its purpose and there is plenty of room for all your to-do's and appointments. Its also small enough to fit in your handbag with ease. There are a bunch of colors, if you like to stay away from the traditional (I do) 

2011 Weekly/Monthly Maison Planner 8.5x11

Ok, time in the blog post where your heart will elevate. This is the holy grail portion of my planner post. I am sure that there are other designers that have planners but I have always been obsessively a fan of Kate Spade. It is a miracle that I have not picked this beautiful thing up for my very own. It is just the most gorgeous thing on the planet. For a more budget conscious option (boooooooooo) try one of her desk planners which would do just fine and are amazingly $20. 
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Not Your Grandma's Gloves-Texting Gloves Unite Fashion and Technology

Now, I would like you to call Aunt Sally and ask her for texting gloves for Christmas. Do you hear the deafening silence on the other end? Clearly, with the invention of texting mittens her gloves of long ago will stay with bad bridesmaid dresses(Not Okay).

Instead of cutting off the fingers like I have been guilty of, fashion trends this season point to convertible mittens. In one quick flick of the wrist, your fingers will become exposed to text text text away. Keep your hands warm while getting the message across: soft knit gloves that fold back for easy texting. It really makes me excited and sad at the same time. Why didn't I think of this? Here are some options! 

And for the Holy Grail of all that is texting Gloves

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Social Media in a Small Town

I am in month four of owning my own social media marketing company. It has been a pretty amazing journey. The Lack of stress that comes from being your own boss is pretty amazing. To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Women ( which really had some serious girl power attached to it...minus the hooking, of course) I say who, I say when and I say how much. No crazy.coms to go to work for, no one to stress me out but me. I have had a chance to get back in touch with my love of music that makes me happy, thanks to Rhapsody which I make beautiful playlists depending on my mood. If I have had enough for the day, a middle of the day pedicure isn't out of the question.

Not to say it isn't nauseating to be your own boss. I have had to secure My own health insurance with a pre-existing condition, panic every time Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger goes down for fear it's for good thus ending my career. Last week, with a full blown stomach flu I had to crawl to my computer to take care of a client because if i didn't, who would?

But, one of my biggest challenges is explaining what social media is and what I do for a living to my middle sized town. Now, as you read my profile you may notice that I am from Daytona Beach. Thanks to Spring Break, and the Daytona International Speedway, my fair city has pretty hefty brand name awareness. But, sad to say, we are behind a tad in a lot of ways compared to cities with brighter lights. When I am asked,"So, what are you doing now?" I have to dumb it down very much for my community. I would like to hold my head high and answer,"I own a social media marketing company." Boy, does that get the deer in the headlights look for many! "You mean, play on Facebook?" Just recently, my seventy year old aunt asked me how that computer thing is going. Although a good amount understand, my goal for the New Year is to get the understanding of the social media revolution kicking in this area

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Embrace Your Negative Online Reviews!

I am really excited today. I have these theories and sometimes they are a little nuts, a little far fetched and make sense only to me. But sometimes I can use my charm and wit and Holly Go-Lightly anyone to believe what I am really passionate about. I have a new client who was concerned about his online reviews. Some of them were good and some of them were not so great. As far as negative reviews go, you have to take them with a grain of salt...every once in a while you will get someone who has had a bad day or just simply has nothing better to do than bash your business at any expense.

There are some unfavorable reviews, however that serve a purpose- as it is an unbiased opinion of what someone thinks of your business. It is how you deal with these reviewers that have taken the time to voice their concerns with others using the platform of Yelp, Urban Spoon or others that will make or break your marketing efforts.

My theory is to embrace these negative reviews (the ones that are valid anyway) with passion! Do you think that is crazy? I feel that if you at least address the review and try to rectify it, this can only work for your benefit. It gives you and your business a warm and fuzzy, I give a darn persona. If you just take the time to say, call me and let me try to make this right, whether or not they take you up on it, it shows that you actually care what people think about your business.

My client received a not so positive review. We took the time to address the complaint, and asked her to call us so we can make the experience a positive one. This morning as I was checking Urban Spoon for reviews (do you do this every day? you should!), this is what I found:

I was impressed to receive a response in regards to my previous review on My Client. The email instructed me to call one of two people and to discuss my experience with them with an offer that would rectify the situation. I changes my vote to like, as this exemplifies awesome customer service, which is truly an important feature in any business. Again, I loved the entire ambiance of the El-fresco dining as stated in my previous review. Life at this time is too hectic for me to take the management up on their offer, but I will give My Client another try, perhaps for dinner.

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