- Make Google Chrome the default web browser on your computer and phone.
The cool kids have already switched to Google Chrome, with good reason. As of March 2013, 51.7% of web users browse with Chrome, and it’s still gaining in popularity. Usage statistics are extremely important because web designers build sites to function correctly on the most common browsers. FireFox (28.5% of users) and Internet Explorer (13%) are trending down, while Safari (4.1%) and Opera (1.8%) are holding steady at the bottom.
Chrome has several noteworthy features. Here are a few of my favorites: (1) Chrome synchronizes the bookmarks I save on my PC to my Google account, and then syncs from the cloud to the Chrome app on my iPhone, and vice versa. (2) Chrome’s homepage displays my favorite apps so I can access them quickly–a simple, yet effective time-saving feature. (3) Chrome’s bookmarks bar is simple and brilliant. (4) Chrome’s built-in “inspect element” feature lets me view the webpage code for specific images and text, which helps me learn HTML and CSS.
- Run blog posts through Facebook Debugger before sharing them.
Ever have trouble sharing a blog post on Facebook? Try entering the web address of the blog post into Facebook Debugger, which clears any previous cache of the webpage and indexes the current page into Facebook’s shareable cache, or tells you why the post isn’t tagged correctly.
For unsolicited submissions, most literary agents prefer email queries with sample pages pasted into the body of the message. Email submissions save time and trees, but if sample pages are requested with a submission, it’s better to ask for that material as an attachment. Here’s why:
An attached file is the only way to maintain the integrity of the submitting author’s work. Emails are sent and received via one of three formats: HTML, rich text, or text only. When the email formats don’t match, the sender’s email loses its intended styling (and Gmail restyles everything, grrr!). Pretend George R.R. Martin doesn’t have an agent, and he queries you, but your email program renders his sample material completely awkward because it eliminates his use of italics to express first-person thoughts. In evaluating Martin’s submission, you would assume that he doesn’t know the difference between first- and third-person narration. Oops. Good writers format their work appropriately, so why let an email program ruin a potentially great query by butchering its format?
I recently googled “best laptops for writers” and found that the the top results dispense advice that is either dated or just plain wrong. Here’s a brief summary of the suggestions from other blogs: writers need a laptop with a nice keyboard, some memory, and, oh, it should have a screen—you know, for viewing things. The general assumption is that almost any laptop can be used for writing. While that’s true, some laptops ease our literary lives more than others. If you write for a living, then your laptop is an invaluable companion, and the right model will significantly increase your overall productivity.
When buying a laptop, consider these ten essential elements:
- build quality
- random-access memory (RAM)
- storage via hard disk drive/solid state drive
- pointing device
- video card
- wireless connectivity
Three components are responsible for how “fast” your laptop feels: the processor, memory, and storage drive. Because these three elements must work in harmony, one weak component adversely affects the performance of the other two.