Tool of the Trade: Fiverr

FiverrWhat new tools and tricks have you found that help you get your job done quickly and efficiently — or your life to run more smoothly in some fashion? We haven’t had a Tool of the Trade feature in too long!

My latest find is Fiverr, which, admittedly, may have limited use if you’re working with proprietary documents and the like — but if not is my favorite tool for fixing software problems, PDF problems, and more. Here’s the premise:  Various freelancers (from all over the world) offer a variety of “gigs” for the starting price of — you guessed it! — $5.  I’ve had someone:

  • clean up a massive Excel chart that was wacky
  • type 10 pages of handwritten notes for me
  • create a 3D image of a book
  • merge a JPG and PDF into one doc
  • fix/correctly resize a million PDF pages so I could get a book printed at Lulu (I forget if their size requirements were wacky or if the PDF pages I had were wacky. Random backstory here: when I lost a ton of weight on Weight Watchers back in the day I had printed out all of my food journals and kept them all in a huge redweld, always intending to get them bound somehow (both to commemorate the achievement and to be able to refer to them again).  There must have been more than 400 pages!  I sweet-talked my husband into PDFing them for me (thank you, hunny!) and eventually decided to get them printed at Lulu.  The bound book was something like $27 and was SO much better than the velobinding I’d originally been intending.  I know: it sounds like a lame project but I’m actually really happy with the finished product, which is about 1/4 the size of the redweld (and way prettier).)
  • help with a Photoshop issue for a personal business card
  • fix a Photoshop/JPG issue with sharpening/color correcting a photo of my husband and me that just didn’t look right in Shutterfly no matter what I did

Seriously, any time that I think of something that needs to be done and is not something I’m eager to spend hours poking through Google pages and arcane software menus — and can outsource easily without sharing too many passwords/giving permissions — then I check on Fiverr and sure enough, someone is offering to fix it for $5.  (You can also hire a ton of freelancers through eLance and O-Desk, but I’ve had mixed success with some of the freelancers I’ve hired through those.  (But then, I’ve also looked for bigger jobs/more complicated tasks through those.)

Readers, have you tried to outsource any tasks (either personal or professional) to freelancers?  What tasks would you outsource? Has anyone had success with someone cleaning up their iTunes library (mine is a mess!) or editing/organizing/tagging old photos or anything like that?  

(L-0)

Tool of the Trade: Hukkster

Kat's Latest Favorite Shopping Tool: HukksterI’ve shared some of my favorite online shopping tools with you already (Shop It To Me‘s addictive emails (also new: their sleek new iPad/iPhone app), Shopping Notes, and ShopSense) but I don’t think I’ve written a few words on one of my favorite newish shopping tools: Hukkster.

Basically, you set up an account, and download a bookmarklet to your web browser.  Then, as you go about your online travels, when you see a product you really like, you click the bookmarklet, and (after you sign in), you get a dialog (pictured below) asking you what size, what color, and what level of sale you want to know about (“on sale,” 25%, 50%).  [Read more…]

Open Thread: The Best Products for Summer

silver-liningsIt’s May 1, and here in NYC the sun is shining, things are in bloom, and it seems as if Bare Leg/Flip Flop Commuting Weather has finally arrived.  (Of course, we all know that you’re not supposed to walk for miles in flip flops, but everyone here does anyway.)  I was thinking it might be fun to have a conversation of some of the best products you’ve bought that can help working women through the summer and changing seasons.  Some ideas:

  • Silver Linings, which are shoe inserts with antimicrobial silver ions to help de-funk your shoes (or keep them from smelling in the first place)
  • Zakkerz, which help you temporarily hem your pants with magnets
  • Sunscreen in a brush — I haven’t tried this yet, but I just ordered some for my son (Tickle Time) and noticed while researching it that bareMinerals makes some as well.  Given that I hate the greasy feel of sunscreen on my face, I’m looking forward to seeing how this works.
  • A wrap.  I’ve sung the praises of your basic wrap before, but I think they’re particularly great for the office at this time of year.  A) If you’ve layered a blazer on top of a dress or lightweight top and are still freezing, you can add a wrap on top of the blazer.  B) You can use it to cover your legs if you’re freezing in a skirt.  C) Add length/coverage to your skirts while you’re sitting (I explain this more fully here).

Readers, which are some of the products you count among your best summer finds? 

Online Shopping Tools I Use

colette shopping bag, originally uploaded to Flickr by KarlHab.How do you get the best deals online, especially for women’s clothes, shoes, and bags? We’ve talked about all of my favorite ways to find deals individually (as well as my best internet shopping tips in a larger scale), but I thought it might be helpful to have one post rounding up the different ways I use these services.  Especially since new tools are coming on the market every day (including Lyst, which lets you follow different influencers to see what they’re buying and recommending) and Wantworthy, which lets you easily keep a “shopping list” of items you’d like, whether to create a registry or just a list for yourself), it helps to go over some of the oldies but goodies. (Pictured: colette shopping bag, originally uploaded to Flickr by Karl Hab.) [Read more…]

Tech Fun: Slightly Geeky Things to Keep at the Office

Not only do I consider myself a bit of a tech geek, but I specialize in a weird subset of tech geekiness: tech for the office.  These are my top techy things to keep at the office — readers, what do you keep?  (Check out our prior discussions on clothes to keep at the office, as well as food to keep at the office.)

Gadgets


1. Refrigerator — This was one of my all-time favorite tech purchases for my office (and it lasted forever).  I bought a super, super small fridge for my office — so small it could barely fit a six-pack of Coke.  I kept water and soda chilled, as well as cheese sticks, lemon juice, cheese, salad dressing — even leftover food.  You can find them for around $50 (look up “mini refrigerator,” “portable refrigerator,” “travel refrigerator”) and up. [Read more…]

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Freezing Food

When you’re a busy woman, taking the time to cook for yourself can be a luxury.  It’s better from a health perspective — you know exactly what’s in the dish, as well as how fresh/healthy the ingredients are– and you can much more easily accommodate special desires (low calorie, low sodium, low fat, low carb) by cooking for yourself.  Furthermore, frequently it’s far cheaper than eating out.  The easiest way that I’ve found, when I get time to cook for myself, is to cook large batches — but then the problem becomes that my schedule is so unpredictable that half of the batch (or more) goes to waste.  Not to mention you get “food fatigue” from eating the same dish so many days in a row. [Read more…]