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Wednesday, February 20, 2002

An article from Life Coach Lisa Kemp today on a few basic but essential tasks for any Coach working with a computer. 

Also included in today's issue are a three BONUS lessons from the very highly rated Certified CyberSkills ecourse from CoachVille, here.

Want to send email so it looks to the recipient like it's from "Your Life Coach"?  You can, by using Certified CyberSkill #5.  How else can your Coaching practice benefit from you becoming more cybersavvy?  Let's let Lisa and the Certified CyberSkill ecourse light the way...

Happy Reading,

Andrea Lee
GM, CoachVille

 

Let's face it…most coaches would rather spend time coaching than on their computer. But, as coaches we work in a very virtual world, what with email and TeleClasses and websites and virtual assistants. Getting this virtual world handled is one of the keys to being able to focus more on your coaching business and clients!

Think of your computer like you would your car - when properly treated and maintained, it will get you around (the internet), and help you get stuff accomplished, like writing articles, handling email, and building your own website. Heck, you might even start enjoying your computer time! If you're maintaining your own PC [Apple users, please note - these tips are specifically for PC users, so there will probably be differences for you - please check your owners manual or contact Apple], here are a few basic maintenance tips that will keep your computer running smoothly and with fewer problems:

1. Virus updates
We've all heard about viruses, some of us have fallen victim to them - they wreak havoc with your computer, your data, your life, your work. The easiest way to prevent this is to "inoculate" your computer regularly - buy the anti-virus software you need, learn the steps involved in updating and scanning, set up a schedule for regular virus updates, log the maintenance schedule on your calendar or handheld, and just do it! Why not set aside time on the same day each week for an update, say, every Friday afternoon? Doing it more often means it takes less time - if you're only updating every six months, no wonder it takes hours! You'll benefit from peace of mind, knowing that not only is your own computer protected, but you don't have to worry about the embarrassment of passing a virus along to someone else.

Another little-known tidbit - if you actually contract a virus, and your anti-virus software detects it, you should run the virus test again! The reason is that sometimes two viruses (virii?) are sent in a piggyback mode, and when you catch the first one and think you're safe, the hidden virus is still lurking, ready to take your computer down. If you detect a virus, keep running the scan until you get two consecutive "clean" scans - better to take a few minutes of prevention than to tear your hair out trying to rebuild your data, or shell out some serious dough buying new computer parts.

2. Disk defragmentation
This is also known as a "defrag." You're probably thinking, "a what?!" This is a VERY important piece of maintenance to do, because if you don't defrag, your computer could eventually stop working! Your computer, a closed system, experiences entropy and decay through the daily use it gets, because the computer is placing data in chunks, or fragments, all over your hard drive, wherever it finds space. What a defrag does is realign your data so that internally things are smoother, slicker. It basically moves things that belong together to the same spot, and crams it all into a smaller space so your computer doesn't have to work as hard to find things. The end result is a faster computer, with less internal "snags" for the computer to have to work around.

To run the defrag: Click on "Start" in the lower left-hand corner; place your cursor on "Programs"; the Program menu will come up, and then you'll move your cursor to "Accessories"; when the Accessories menu comes up, move your cursor to "System Tools" and when the System Tools menu appears, select "Disk Defragmenter". The defragmenter will launch, and you'll have the option to select the drive you want, so pick "Drive C" and then select OK. The defrag will start and run automatically; one important thing to remember is to NOT do anything with your computer while the defrag is running; working on the computer will cause the data to realign, and will make the defrag restart, a frustrating thing if it's already 80% finished! One mildly amusing pastime is to click on the "Show Details" icon of the defragger; it will give you a visual representation of all the bits and bytes in your computer, so you can watch the data as it realigns (of course, engaging in this more than once brands you as a geek par excellence). You should defrag anywhere from weekly to monthly, depending on how heavily you use your computer.

3. Back-up your critical files
Backing up your data files is critical - if something happens to your computer (say, an electrical spike, or your hard drive fries), you can lose your life's work, and gain a fair amount of stress and anxiety in the bargain. There are multiple ways to do back-ups, and you can back-up certain files only, whole folders, or your entire hard drive. Here's one basic way to capture your most crucial data folders:

You'll need a ZIP drive - you can purchase these at your local computer store, and also online. ZIPs work kind of like floppy disks, but hold a TON more data! There are different storage capacity ZIPs, so if you have multiple computers in your house, consider getting the same size ZIP drive for each one. Once your ZIP drive is installed or plugged into your computer (follow the owner's manual for that), you'll be able to copy your data from your hard drive to a ZIP. The steps are: Click on "Start" and launch Windows Explorer; find your C:\ drive in the left-hand screen; left-click once on your "My Documents" folder to highlight the folder, then right-click once to bring up the menu of options; place your cursor on the "Send to" menu option, and it will bring up a second menu; then right-click on the ZIP icon - that will send the folder's contents to your ZIP. Easy as pie.

Some suggested folders you may want to back-up include: C:\My Documents (if that's where you regularly store the files you work on), C:\Windows\Favorites (the websites you've bookmarked), and any other folder where you save important data that you'd hate to lose. Keeping a backed-up ZIP offsite (say, at your office or in a safe deposit box) is also a good idea in case the unthinkable happens to your home. Iomega (the manufacturer of ZIPs) now has a free software for setting up automatic back-ups (good for the busy and the forgetful), called QuickSync. Download it at their site at http://www.iomega.com/quiksync/index.html.

Once you're all done with your back-up, virus updates, and defragging, you should reboot (restart) your computer.

Depending on your schedule, it might make sense to book an hour a week to do all your computer maintenance at once. I like to do mine at a regular day/time each week; that way I know it's done and I don't have to worry about it the rest of the week. While it takes a bit of time and effort, it makes my day-to-day life easier by speeding up my computer's response time. Remember the car analogy we started with? Think of this stuff as a "tune-up" for your computer, so that you'll have a safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient ride on that old information superhighway.

Lisa Kemp is a life coach in the Chicago area. She helps people have streamlined and more enjoyable lives through developing better life strategies. Visit her website at www.lisakemp.net.

copyright 2002 by Coachville.com. Article written by Lisa M. Kemp. All rights reserved.

BONUS IN THIS ISSUE: 3 FREE Certified CyberSkill lessons, complete with "how to" visuals, below...


CoachVille Member Resource
50 Certified CyberSkills
 
Tired of being delayed and frustrated by what you don't yet know cyberskills-wise?

Wish there was a free and immediate online resource that you could turn to get step by instructions on everything from FTPing, to designing an Ezine to clearing the cache on your browser.

Wish you had an easy way to answer cyber questions that your clients pose to you from time to time?
If any of the above is true, then you'll just love the 50 CyberSkills lessons we have created. Our graduates rave about how clear the step by step instructions are and how the screenshots/illustration really make the learning process easy and fast.

The CyberSkills ecourse/site access is a CoachVille exclusive, but we've made three lessons available for you below...

For full and lifetime online access to the 50 completed CyberSkills lessons, consider purchasing CoachVille's Lifetime Membership ($79, click to register) You receive full and lifetime online access to the 50 completed CyberSkills lessons as well as dozens of other resources.

If you are already a CoachVille member, click here, and log in using the CoachVille User ID and password. You'll find the Certified Cyber link in the Free Stuff column.

Order your membership now and start becoming Certified Cyber!  Gain immediate access by ordering now.

The 50 Cyber Skills

Sample lessons underlined and in blue font.

CyberSkill #1. How to upload files via FTP
CyberSkill #2. Having the most current readers/players
CyberSkill #3. Selecting the website to appear
CyberSkill #4. Blind carbon copying
CyberSkill #5.
Having multiple identities in email

CyberSkill #6. Creating an HTML ezine
CyberSkill #7. Having the right surge protector
CyberSkill #8. Saving a webpage or website
CyberSkill #9. Merging emails into a single text file
CyberSkill #10.
Backing up Outlook

CyberSkill #11. Your first webpage
CyberSkill #12. Capture images using SnagIt
CyberSkill #13. Creating PDF files
CyberSkill #14. Creating a logo
CyberSkill #15. Setting up a shopping cart

CyberSkill #16. Setting up a reminder system
CyberSkill #17. Virus protection
CyberSkill #18. Spiffing up your email signature
CyberSkill #19. Audio taping a conference call
CyberSkill #20. Earning money from affiliate programs

CyberSkill #21. Setting message filtering rules in Outlook
CyberSkill #22. Adding interactive goodies to your website
CyberSkill #23. Maintaining a list of all of your passwords
CyberSkill #24. Sending email to a group of folks
CyberSkill #25. Setting up free teleconferences/bridges

CyberSkill #26. Inserting images in your email without attaching
CyberSkill #27. Knowing where to turn for cyber help
CyberSkill #28. The subject line as your message
CyberSkill #29. Using Instant Messenger
CyberSkill #30. Adding Sounds to Incoming Email

CyberSkill #31. ZIP'ing and unzipping (compressing) a file
CyberSkill #32.
Creating RealAudio files
CyberSkill #33. Finding/Installing Software After Downloading
CyberSkill #34. Clearing Cache and other browser tricks
CyberSkill #35. Adding software links to your task/menu bar

CyberSkill #36. Creating quasi autoresponders with Outlook
CyberSkill #37. Using the right mouse button
CyberSkill #38. Mouse button settings
CyberSkill #39. Launch programs automatically when computer starts up
CyberSkill #40. Listening to RealAudio files via your stereo
CyberSkill #41. Setting up an ezine
CyberSkill #42. Finding a PDF you viewed
CyberSkill #43. Backing up your computer files
CyberSkill #44. Knowing where to download utilities and free software
CyberSkill #45. Resizing and tweaking gif and jpg image files
CyberSkill #46. Using the Google Search Engine
CyberSkill #47. Weekly housekeeping functions
CyberSkill #48. Building a firewall and more
CyberSkill #49. Creating links in Front Page
CyberSkill #50. Using Character map

Format and Availability

All 50 CyberSkills are available for immediate access. They are in html/gif and PDF formats (the latter for easy printing).

Order Now!

For full and lifetime online access to the 50 completed CyberSkills lessons, consider purchasing CoachVille's Lifetime Membership ($79, click to register) You receive full and lifetime online access to the 50 completed CyberSkills lessons as well as dozens of other resources.

Testimonials from our happy, happy graduates...


Taking the cyber course proved to be a motivational tool for me. By breaking it down into bite sized pieces, I was able to understand it without being overwhelmed. Not only did I learn tips on how to utilize the internet but it also gave me both the confidence that I could do actually use the internet to extend and expand my practice! What a gift!
--Ellen

I am 75 years young and there was nothing like this in the little 2 room school house where we went to school. And neither of us, being self taught, are computer literate. Just wanted you to know what an excellent teaching tool this is. Technical but clear. I have had no problem following the lessons and the instructions are so well presented as to make it very self explanatory. Thank you very much for providing us with a learning experience we would not have been able to afford otherwise.
--Louise

I learned more from my participation in Certified Cyber than I did from any other computer course or training manual. The lessons are clear, easy to follow and useful for people in a broad spectrum of the learning curve. At first glance, I thought I wouldn't be using some of the lessons but was surprised at how many times I returned to revisit and learn or relearn an earlier lesson! All in all, the Certified Cyber course was an extremely productive use of my time.
--Mary

Before this course, I was basically stumbling along as a Certified Cyber Dummy. Thanks to these 50 nuggets, I am feeling Cyber Savvy and ready to strut my stuff. Thanks very much for this valuable course.
--Susan

I fancy myself something of a wizard in the cyber world, but I was surprised to discover there was plenty of magic left for me to learn! Big value of the course for me was its comprehensiveness - managing the cyber world is critical for someone who's working out of a "home-office" and what you don't know can really hurt you! As an example, setting up autoresponders allows you to reach out to a huge quantity of people and manage the responses intelligently and with minimal effort.
Many thanks,
--Craig


The breadth of topics covered in this course expanded my cyber-proficiency far beyond my expectations. My investment in this course paid off enormously with just two lessons during the week it covered Outlook tips. I used to spend HOURS consolidating information from scattered emails, and now I can merge a hundred replies into a single place in just minutes. And the lesson on backing up Outlook took an enormous concern off my mind. Thanks for running a great e-course!
--Jim