The Pros and Cons of Flair for Your Phones

The Best iPhone Cases | CorporetteDo you jazz up your iPhone or Android with a fashionable case, ringtones, and more?  Do you think there are pros and cons to doing so?  Reader M wonders what the best iPhone cases are, but I think there’s a broader question here.

I am planning on buying the new iPhone but don’t know what case to get. I thought a post on the best iPhone cases that are also fashionable would be timely. My current case for my iPhone was inexpensive and it shows. Not only is it falling apart but it essentially makes the flash feature unusable which means taking pictures with it is not an option most of the time. I don’t want to make the same mistake the next time around.

Interesting question.  We’ve talked about the best apps for phones before, but we’ve never talked about “flair,” which I’ll use in the same way the movie Office Space uses when referring to the buttons Jennifer Aniston’s character is supposed to wear to jazz up her waitressing uniform[Read more…]

Open Thread: The Best Apps for Helping with Information Overload

How to Deal with Information Overload | Corporette (my brain feels like this desk!)I’m curious, ladies — am I the only one who is crushed by the overwhelming amount of information hurtling my way on a daily basis?  I get about 600 emails daily.  Every time I log on to Facebook or Twitter I end up throwing at least 5 new articles onto my “read it later” list via Pocket (which now has something like 1150 unread articles).  Pinterest seems like a bottomless pit of recipes and DIY projects that I know I’ll never try but decide to Pin anyway.  Not to mention the numerous magazines I get monthly, and the 1000s of RSS feeds in my Netvibes reader. (In fact, when I first started this blog I swore I would never do more than a few posts a day because I had stopped reading other blogs like Jezebel and Gawker, overwhelmed by the sheer number of posts every day.)  So… how do you deal with information overload?  I have a few suggestions, but I’m really curious what you guys do — do you rely on certain apps?  Do you have methods (like maintaining inbox zero, or declaring email bankruptcy on a regular basis)? What helps?

For my $.02: [Read more…]

Coffee Break: Chicago Laptop Bag

Graceship Chicago Laptop BagI don’t read a lot of PR emails, to be honest, but I recently got one about an interesting new company that makes laptop bags specifically for women — and since a) their stuff is pretty cute, and b) we’ve had a lot of recent conversations about women toting laptops around, I thought I’d post this today. I, of course like the dark blue bag the best, as well as what looks like some great internal pockets/organization options for cords, cell phones, and more. The material is described as being “durable, textured, [and] scratch resistant,” so I don’t believe it’s leather, but then I suspect a leather bag would be too heavy. It’s $169 at Graceship Chicago Laptop Bag


How to Campaign for Flexible Working Conditions (Or, How to Change the Company Policy That Requires You Lug a Heavy Laptop Around)

How to Campaign for A More Flexible Workplace (Or: How to Ditch Your Company Laptop)How do you campaign for accessibility and flexibility in your workplace when the policies are less than ideal?  Yesterday’s post on how to lighten your tote bag got me thinking — I was so intrigued by the commenters who noted that they have to carry a huge, bulky laptop to and from the office because that is the the only approved way to get access to the office system.  When I was working in BigLaw, my firm used Citrix to give everyone access to the Docs Open system and other office programs — there were even times you could access document review programs from home.  (Ah, glory days.)  The only thing we needed to access the system was a small, flat device (a 2″ by 1″ fob) that displayed a long number that changed every thirty seconds. When you needed to log into the system, you entered the current security number.  That was five years ago, so it honestly didn’t occur to me that companies with information security issues would not be using something similar to Citrix in 2013.  (Even the Department of Defense has a better remote access option, according to a 2011 Lifehacker article.)  Maybe there are good reasons Reader R’s company isn’t using a secure remote system — but maybe it’s just an old policy that hasn’t been reevaluated in a while or from the right perspective. 

So readers, let’s talk about this — how do you change an office policy to make the conditions better for you (and those who come after you)?  Sheryl Sandberg talked a bit about this in Lean In — regarding how she insisted that the Google parking lot have spaces reserved for expectant mothers — and this was kind of mentioned in a recent NYT article about workplace flexibility  — but I can’t seem to find much else about this topic on the Internet.  For my $.02, here are some ideas… [Read more…]

How to Lighten Your Load

how to lighten your loadIf you’re carrying a million bags, how do you look professional?  How can you lighten your load and reduce the number of bags you’re carrying? Reader R wonders…

I work in a large corporate environment and recently had a daughter. I’m back at work, but I feel like a bag lady. I’m only 5’3″ and have to carry in my laptop, purse, pump, lunch, and coffee. (Not brave enough to add my gym bag to the mix, although I’d like to.) I feel like the bags overwhelm my frame and generally make me look smaller, younger, and unprofessional. How do others juggle all this STUFF?

Congratulations on your daughter, R!  Great question — I can see how this is a problem for new mothers, but also for other people carrying too much stuff.  We’ve talked about what your tote bag says about you, as well as how to save your back while commuting, but we haven’t really talked about a) how to lighten your load, and b) how to balance your load (particularly if you’re petite) so it looks more managed.

From my perspective, most of reader R needs to do is to reduce the amount of stuff she carries.  Some tips: [Read more…]

Coffee Break: Jet Set Travel Tote for MacBook Pro

MiCHAEL Michael Kors Macbook Tote | CorporetteI am always interested when I find a working girl’s cult item that I hadn’t known about before — it seems like the Jet Set tote from Michael Michael Kors might be one of them. A few readers sung their praises on the best interview totes thread, it’s highly rated at all of the stores that carry it, and the bag is so popular that it’s available as a special Macbook tote through the Apple Store (which also has some from Cole Haan and Kenneth Cole) and Michael Kors for $299. The non-laptop version of the bag (dimensions: 14.5″ x 6″ x 10.5″) comes in black, white, brown, and a ton of colors at Nordstrom, Zappos, and Piperlime for $189-$278. Jet Set Travel Tote for MacBook Pro

Readers — are you fans of the Jet Set tote (either as a laptop bag or not)? Which is your favorite laptop tote? Or — do you prefer laptop sleeves?