It’s that time of the year again. Whether shopping is a joy to you, or a source of headache, when it comes to giving gifts, we are here to help. The challenge of the day: getting a gift for under . You may be looking for ideas for a party where you are to exchange gifts, or looking to make a small gesture in spreading goodwill and cheer.
In any case, you will probably find an idea that works in the following list. Note that some of these products may be out of stock – hey, it happens, it’s Christmas – so if you are looking for more ideas, check out our holiday gift guide. And in case you need it, here are some creative gift wrapping ideas you can try out.
Recommended Reading: Gift Exchange Ideas: 40 Gifts You Can Get Under
Do you get your cables mixed up all the time? Then these cable identifiers should come in handy for you. Every set contains 6 tags with different designs and colors.
A 48-page notepad featuring prints of balls from 8 diffferent sports. Crumple up a page for a few rounds of wastepaper basketball.
This aluminium cap is designed for a standard 3.5mm earphone jack. Besides keeping your earphone jack clean from dust, it’s also a nice little decoration item for your smartphone.
Let Mickey’s er… bottom half hold your smartphone in place. This isn’t just a cute smartphone stand, it is strong and adjustable to different angles. Besides Mickey, Donald and Winnie the Pooh stands are available too.
This heat-changing mug, when filled with hot water, will light up with a scene from the legendary game Pac-Man. A perfect gift for any retro gamer.
Are your kids afraid of the dark? This Batman night light comes with a built-in sensor that turns on the light when it is dark. With Batman watching over you, there is nothing to fear.
A can/bottle cooler to futfill the needs of any Green Lantern fans wanting to join forces with their favorite superhero.
Who wants some shark fin ice cubes? Iconic Jaws theme not included – you’ll have to hum it yourself.
Get a totally unique wooden spoon that is personalised with your name and a short message for just 9 bucks.
Built in the shape of a good old joystick, this is one handy phone stand that also doubles as a place to hold your earphones. One job at a time, of course.
Another cool gift for retro gamers. This cool Space Invaders-themed earphone holder would also look really nice when used as a decoration item for your bag.
On a cold winter’s day, what can be better than having a beanie with comfortable built-in headphones? It comes with a 3.5mm output and is made of 100% cotton.
A unique, colorful and lighthearted interpretation of the evolution theory.
Love Minesweeper? This is the scratch card slash postcard version. There are two levels, easy (80 mines) and hard (120 mines). The problem is, you have to stick your own flags one at a time.
Get more out of your mobile gaming experience with AppWheel, a driving wheel that can be used to hold your iPhone while you steer your way to a race victory. It is compatible with iPhone 3GS/4/4S and iTouch 3 & 4.
Here are some multipurpose rubber bands with hooks. You can use them to tidy up your cables, organize your keys, and more – all it takes is some creativity.
Another item to help you take your mobile gaming experience to the next level. These suction cup button controllers are the ideal enhancements for virtual gamepad layouts used in many mobile games.
Show your support for your favorite Star Wars characters with these key covers. With 8 character designs to choose from, the force is strong in these.
This automatic toothpaste squeeze dispenser is not just convenient, but also environmentally friendly. Plus, it spells an end to those squeeze from the middle or from the back of the tube debates.
A pair of steel blade scissors with laser sighting system – cutting in a straight line has never been easier.
Get rid of smudges on your screens with Dustin Screen Cleaner. There are two sides to each cleaner: one side wipes away bigger messes and the other erases fingerprints or smudges.
They may have done away with Kodak film but you can still have one of these as a waterproof toilet paper container.
Although you can only get the 4GB version for under , an Iron Man Hand Model Pen Drive still makes an awesomely cool collectible.
A sharetype is a device that you can use to store your favorite playlists (from YouTube, Spotify, etc.) and share them with your friends, which can be done in 3 ways: tapping the sharetape on a NFC enabled device, or scan the QR code (unique to each sharetape) at the back of the sharetape, or simply enter the QR code here.
Turn just about any bottle into a makeshift camera tripod with this bottle cap tripod. A thoughtful gift for your hobbyist photographer friend.
Know of more gems you would like to share with our fellow readers? Sound off in the comments section below.
Ah yes, the all too constant struggle of networking with social media. It’s one of those necessary evils that everyone, from job seekers to freelancers to name brand companies, have to rethink constantly. This is why it is one of the most commonly discussed topics across multiple industries. We all know just how important social media is, and most of us continue to struggle between making it a successful marketing avenue and a waste of time.
As a freelancer who has struggled with wasting hours on social media and completely ignoring it for a month (or more) at a time, I have learned a few ways to help me narrow this gap between the two extremes. Now, have learned how to better focus my efforts with social media. It’s still not perfect, but I am on the road to tightening down my efforts and am already seeing results. And for those of you social media skeptics, even when I was only flailing along with social media, I gained enough clients through my exposure via Twitter and Google+ that I haven’t had to search for clients since I became active in several social platforms.
If you are a business owner, freelancer, or even an individual simply looking to build up a strong network in your search for a career, you may find the following tips to help you better take advantage of the benefits that social media has to offer. Hopefully, some of the resources below will help you greatly reduce the time-suck trap many fall into with social media. Use your own experience in combination with these tips, and like me you may find clients knocking down your proverbial door.
So, take a look at the following 10 tips and resources and get ready to re-adjust your social networking plan into one that will waste less time and build more positive results for you and your business ventures.
Schedule Social Media Time
This is one tip that I still struggle to maintain. Yet, it’s advice that social media experts give over and over again. One of my, and I’m sure others’, biggest problems with social media is letting it interrupt other daily work tasks. This is why setting aside a half hour, an hour, or any other necessary block of time for social media can be so beneficial. You can even schedule social media time every hour or twice a day. Just find what amount of time works best for you and stick with it. Keep out of all of your accounts except for during that scheduled time. Having a certain time set aside for social media keeps you focused and, consequently, more productive.
Don’t forget that some social media tasks may require a bit more time. For instance, scheduling posts ahead of time (see the next section below) may require a longer time slot than, say, responding to comments. And weekly you may need to set aside an extra block of time for catching up just in case you have extra activity that week. In the following tips, you will find quite a few resources for helping you cut back on the extra time you need for those tedious social media tasks.
Sign Up with an Auto Post Service
There are lots of different resources both free and paid that will save you mega-time on daily or weekly posts. The extra benefit of these services is that you can schedule your posts for the month at a single time, and then essentially forget about posting until the beginning of next month. You can either go with a service that only posts for one platform, or one like Hootsuite that will take care of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social media pages. I have found Hootsuite very easy to learn, and it comes with free and paid account options. SocialOomph is an excellent one that is free for Twitter. With a Premium account, you can also incorporate Facebook and LinkedIn, auto-post your blog posts, conduct emails, and more. You may want to try Post Planner if your focus is on Facebook and Twitter, since it allows you to scan what is popular in your niche and even allow you to share other’s posts in your scheduled updates.
Use Paid Promotional Options
There is a huge misnomer floating around that social media is a completely free method of marketing yourself online. However, between time-saving resources and now the promotion options provided by the top social media platforms, you really need to set aside at least a small budget for social media marketing. Facebook’s Promoted Posts are really the only way to ensure that your followers are ever going to see your updates in their news feeds. LinkedIn has Sponsored Updates, and Google+ even now allows for posts to stretch across both columns in the news feed – for free!
Now, of course, you shouldn’t pay to promote every single one of your posts. However, the really important ones you should definitely promote, and this should be on a semi-regular basis, like once a month. Promoted updates are also a good idea if you feel like you simply need that extra burst of exposure every now and then, even if you don’t have a truly groundbreaking announcement to make.
Download Mobile Apps
Make sure to have mobile apps of each social media platform you use. The purpose of apps is not so that you can waste even more time on social media, although the social media platforms certainly love this. I have found that having the apps on my phone makes it easy for me to catch up on some networking while waiting – in line at the bank, in line to pick up my kids from school, at the doctor’s office.
All of the main social media platforms now have free apps. And there are also some great apps for managing several sites from your phone, such as Hootsuite. Eliott Marrow provides an incredible list of social media apps on the Jeff Bullas blog that definitely are worth checking out.
Filter Spam from Relevant Contacts
Many Twitters users have an auto-direct message feature that goes out every time someone follows them. This is just one example of a spam-like message that warrants no need for a response. On Google+, users have the option of emailing contacts when they share a post. And Facebook of course emails you every time you get mentioned in an update. Some of these direct contacts you will certainly want to follow up on to keep your contacts happy. Plus they are a more productive way to remain active on your accounts, as opposed to just browsing through a news feed and responding to random posts.
However, they will require filtering, especially if you have multiple accounts and lots of contacts on each. On Google+, for instance, don’t worry about commenting on every single shared post. Sometimes you may just want to +1 it. The same goes with Facebook, simply Like an update unless it really calls for a comment. Just practice making that judgement call in the amount of time it takes you to glance at your email preview or notifications and keep moving.
Use Software and Apps for Finding Shareable Content
Personally, I don’t do a whole lot of sharing of others’ content, which isn’t exactly the best practice. However, I am a writer so have an overabundance of my own content to Tweet and share daily and weekly. If you don’t have your own blog or a ton of your own work to share, then a great way to find content to use in your auto-post service is with an app made specifically for this purpose.
An excellent tool for finding content across multiple channels of social media based on hashtags is Tagboard. It makes finding content fast and easy, and it’s also a great tool to use for getting involved in conversations in your niche (i.e. building connections in real time). Another great one is Swayy. This tool drops the most interesting or relevant content into a single platform, which you can then immediately share via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
One note to make: even if you do schedule content once a month or so, it doesn’t hurt to save a bit of time on the front end. If you finish scheduled tasks during your social media slot with time to spare, then you can always browse for content and save it a document for your next month’s content. Of course, if the content is timely, you are better off just sharing it the moment you find it, but many niche content can be reshared months after the first publication and still garner lots of feedback.
Spend Less Time Finding Images
We all know how vital images are for making posts stand out in a news feed. My biggest drawback to including images is how long it can take to find them. Of course, when you are in a huge hurry, you can just use the auto-thumbnail selection when posting links to Facebook or Google+. But a large image does draw a lot more attention.
You can save time finding creative commons images (those pictures that the author has marked free to share) with tools such as PhotoPin or Compfight that allow you to search creative commons Flickr images by keyword. If you have trouble finding images in the right size and don’t have a clue as to how to use an image editing tool, Smush.it is a very quick and easy way to quickly reduce your image size and resolution to improve load time.
Quickly Manage Twitter Followers and Un-Follows
Twitter is one social media platform that is highly effective for gaining exposure and building a network but also can be one of the greatest time-wasting sites. What I found to be the hardest part to manage on Twitter was my followers. There simply is no quick way to look at your followers and follow them back. This is where a Twitter tool becomes very necessary.
One of my greatest time-savers has been Tweepi. This cool, free little tool allows Twitter users to very quickly follow back other users and to even un-follow the ones that are not following you back – among other very helpful time-saving Twitter tasks. Another great social media tool that provides follow and unfollow help along with analytics and more is ManageFlitter.
To really know if you are spending the right amount of time on the right activities in social media, you will need a way to track your results. Thankfully, there are plenty of free resources available for quite the robust tracking. Google Analytics is probably one of the most popular free tracking tools. It does take some time to really learn, but the good folks at Google have provided plenty of help for you to quickly get your analytics up and running.
Klout is another excellent way to not only see how influential you are across various networks but also to see what niches you influence. Plus, you get lots of cool discounts and freebies, called Klout Perks, when you reach certain milestones.
Socialbakers’ Analytics Pro helps you see what actions have given you greatest growth in your social media networking. But this isn’t the best feature. It also shows you what content is the most interesting for your connections – and what gets them involved the most. It works for tracking Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and while it isn’t free, Analytics Pro does offer a free trial.
Eliminate Time on Irrelevant Social Media
Not all industries benefit from the same social media sites. For instance, I have found that Google+, LinkedIn, and especially Twitter are my greatest sources of relevant connections. Facebook and Pinterest are simply voidless time-sucks, and YouTube and Flickr take too much time with little results. You may find that MySpace, Pinterest, and Flickr are your greatest sources of helpful connections. Or maybe Facebook is the only one that is worth your time.
However, this does not mean that you can simply ignore the rest. You simply need to put almost all of your time into those sites that provide you with the best results. The other ones you can simply fill out your profile and check on your notifications to make sure you haven’t had a prospect contact you. At the very least, make sure you have a full profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, even if none of these are relevant to your industry. The reason is that signing up on these big four make you more visible, both to prospects who just happen to only have an account on one of these sites and to Google and other search engines.
Have you learned some ways to help you spend your time wisely on social media tasks? Please share below!
As bring your own device (BYOD) policies become more and more popular with enterprises and their employees, issues related to data security and confidentiality become more and more important. In the past, Android has generally been seen as a less secure platform than either iOS or Blackberry, but this might just be about to change if Samsung has its way with its new security service, KNOX.
Samsung KNOX is a high-level security system that aims to make Samsung smartphones as enterprise-ready as competing offerings from Apple and Blackberry. What KNOX does is it creates a separate instance of Android on your phone that is protected via a multitude of security features.
This instance, the KNOX Container, is completely separate from your personal space, and the two never come into contact. Your business data and apps will thus be protected from leaks, as well as in the case of phone loss or theft.
Recommended Reading: The New Samsung Galaxy S4: Everything You Need To Know
KNOX isn’t available as an .APK or a download from the Play Store. So, if your device doesn’t come pre-installed with KNOX, you’ll have to download and install Samsung’s Android 4.3 Samsung Premium Suite, which will add KNOX support.
If you haven’t gotten this update yet, you can check for it by going to Settings > More > About Phone > System Update > Check for Updates.
Once you have downloaded and installed the Android 4.3 update, you will find a KNOX icon in your app tray. Tap on it and you’ll be asked to download and install the KNOX app itself.
With KNOX downloaded and installed from the app tray icon, you will be asked to set a password and PIN number for your container.
KNOX’s Security Features
As a separate Android installation, the KNOX Container has its own homescreen, apps, widgets and data. It also has security-related limitations – you can’t take screenshots while in KNOX – and there is support for mobile device management (MDM) suites such as AirWatch and Fiberlink. This support will allow device administrators to determine the apps and functions that can be used within the KNOX Container.
All the data within the KNOX Container is encrypted using the Advanced Encryption System (AES) algorithm with a 256-bit key. In addition to this encryption, KNOX also has three additional security features:
- Customizable Secure Boot – manages the apps that start on boot,
- Security Enhancements for Android – isolates data and apps
- TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture (TIMA) – secures the device’s kernel.
There are 2 ways to access the KNOX Container from your personal Android space. You can either tap the KNOX icon in your app tray or swipe down the Notifications Bar and access it via the notification bar icon – Tap to start.
The first time you log in, you’ll be prompted to enter the password you set when you installed KNOX. KNOX has a password timeout feature (customizable in the Settings menu) which lets you skip re-entering your password if you have to switch between KNOX and your personal space in quick succession.
To log out, you can tap the Personal icon in the lower left corner of the KNOX homescreen, or you can swipe down the Notifications Bar and tap on the KNOX icon, which will say Tap to exit.
The KNOX Container comes with some pre-installed apps such as Camera, Email, Internet and S-Planner. Samsung also has a special KNOX-specific app store, "Samsung KNOX apps". Here, you can find KNOX-compatible versions of popular apps such as Dropbox, OfficeSuite Viewer 7, Evernote, Box and others. See the full list of apps here.
All of these apps will only function in the KNOX Container, and will stay separate from the apps in your personal space. This means that any data entered into or captured with any of these apps will only be accessible within KNOX.
You can also add shortcuts for any of these KNOX apps onto your personal homescreen, for quick access without first switching over to the KNOX Container.
There are a few limitations to KNOX:
- KNOX is only available for Samsung devices that get the Android 4.3 Samsung Premium Suite Upgrade.
- If you have rooted your Samsung device, it’s best to skip using KNOX. It will detect if your phone has been rooted, and if it has, KNOX will void your warranty. It is part of the web design Singapore to protect your sensitive business data.
- The applications available in the Knox app store are also somewhat limited.
Overall, Samsung’s KNOX is an interesting and useful security solution that will appeal to enterprise owners as well as their employees, particularly those operating in a BYOD environment. Its KNOX Container will ensure that work and personal data do not mix, and the various security features will help ensure that the data remains secure in any eventuality.
If the features and functionality of KNOX are anything to go by, it looks like there’s now a new player in the enterprise-ready mobile device market.