All my work tools

I never thought I’d be this person, but I use so many tools for my work – mainly online – that it’s a little ridiculous when viewed in a list.

Here, let me show you: Continue reading “All my work tools”


Photo resizing hack (for images from the web)

Please note: Two days after I wrote this, screenshots and all, Fotor launched a new user interface to their website. Oops! So, some of the steps might look slightly different but it should still work the same. DML

Often images are the bane of the website content manager’s existence. Finding them, making sure you have credit for them, resizing them properly… It’s all quite tedious and often can take longer than the actual written content!

So when my colleague showed me how he resizes images using the Fotor collage creator, I got pretty excited. He uses the collage creator not for its intended use but I think it’s going to save me a lot of time. This is especially useful when you’re working on a site where you need to upload the exact same size image. In this case, it’s best to set up the Fotor collage creator once and then leave it open, ready for your use throughout the day.

This hack can work for images saved on the computer but as far as I’m concerned part of the fun of this hack is that it works with images from the web without having to download them first to your computer!

Here’s how to do it. I’ll use a Facebook image for the example:

1. Find the image you want on Facebook, right click on it and save the image URL.

image resizing hack august 2015 1

2. Go to and click on MAKE A COLLAGE.

image resizing hack august 2015 10

3. On the left hand side of the screen are a lot of settings. Scroll all the way to the bottom. Click on the lock button so that the height and width can be edited independently and put in the dimensions you need. Click “Confirm.”
image resizing hack august 2015 2

4. In the collage area, delete all the extra boxes until there is only one left.

image resizing hack august 2015 3

So it ends up looking like this:

image resizing hack august 2015 4

5. The border will be automatically set at 10. You can change it to zero also on the left hand side.

image resizing hack august 2015 5

6. Click on the down arrow next to “Open” and the click on “Web,” the bottom option.

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7. Paste the image URL which you saved in the field that pops up. Click “Open.”

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8. You’ll see it load in the bottom right hand side of the screen.

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9. Drag your photo into the collage space and drag it around until it’s situated the way you want.

10. When you’re done, click on the save button which looks like a floppy disk.

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Done. Do you have any awesome ways you edit photos for web? Please share in the comments!

My latest favourites: Adorable comic of what parenting looks like, hilarious autocorrects, heartbreaking photos and more

There is a lot about parenting in this one. So it shall be. :)

Louis CK on cellphones

louis c.k. about cell phones
Louis CK, a pretty amazing comedian, explains cellphone behaviour and why kids shouldn’t have them. Click to watch the video.

Grand Snider’s adorable comic about parenting

Grand Snider created this beautiful, sweet comic about what it's like being a parent.
Grand Snider created this beautiful, sweet comic about what it’s like being a parent. Click to see the whole thing.

One man dances like everyone’s watching

HILARIOUS autocorrects

Click on the picture for more.
Click on the picture for more.

Pictures that go straight to the heart

These pictures are heartbreaking, beautiful and chilling.

Glenn McCy’s comic: Dad, Mom… I’m a gatherer.

dad i'm a gatherer (he caved)
Just really cute. (Glenn McCoy)

Aziz Ansari on how texting has ruined dating

Not so funny because it's too true.
Not so funny because it’s just so true. Click to watch the video.

Michael McIntyre on how people without kids don’t know

Another one about parenting. “Singles do things that they don’t even realize are things.”

Michael McIntyre about parenting. Click to watch the video.
Michael McIntyre about parenting. Click to watch the video.

Dog wiping his paws

Just so cute!!!

dog wiping his paws
Just so cute!!!

Bill Cosby on cursing

Bill Cosby is baaack and here he talks about how terrible it is that people curse so much. Love it.

Certifying Facebook friends

This really gets across the absurdity of random Facebook friends.

Why do you complain about free services?

I always find it so strange when people take things for free and then complain about them. Like Facebook. OK fine, complaining about Facebook is one of the tenets by which our technologically-connected society lives.

But to think that something better is actually coming to you from these services is absurd. It’s like getting a present from someone and complaining to them that it isn’t good enough.

Unfortunately we really are getting in that mindset. We’re aware of the better things out there and we’ve been trained to get lots of free things so that we’re beginning to think that that’s how it should be and if it’s different, we’re being screwed.

Dan Ariely, in the video below, talks about what a big leap there is between free and practically free. Once something is free, starting to charge for it is very difficult.

I’m always curious to see what happens the day Google starts charging for services like Google Analytics or Google Apps. Ah, an interesting, revolutionary, sobering day it will be.

How to export your Blackberry contacts as a CSV file

It took me a couple of hours to find the solution that worked. Why so long? It’s a mix of Blackberry making this important task seemingly impossible to do and people putting up “How to” posts without showing a publish date making it often difficult to decipher what is actually still useful information.

So in order to help you eliminate the waste of time, I’ll point you in the right direction.

1. You need the not most up-to-date version of Blackberry Desktop Software (AKA Blackberry Desktop Manager) in order to succeed in this task. So, uninstall the new version if you have it on your computer.

2. Click here in order to access a file you can download of the version you need: 6.1. Download and install it.

BlackBerry Desktop Software 6.1 download link2. Go to this page and follow these amazingly easy to follow instructions.

This worked totally smoothly for me. Yay!

You’re a global villager? I’m a shtetl-dweller!

If I were a shtetl-dweller

I always wonder, if I lived in a small shtetl in Poland – which is where I really should be living right now…

Me if we’d stayed in Poland (and if there hadn’t been a Holocaust, of course) (“Babushka”, by Irina Gaiduk)

…would I have the stress I’m dealing with today?

There is so much talk about the wonders of globilization. We can go anywhere, be in touch with anyone, and we have access to everyone’s creations and they have access to ours!

Sounds really scary, if you ask me.

Global village my ass!

I know all the lovely talk about how wonderful it is to be living in such a “small” global village… But, um, where is this “small” of which you speak? It’s a freakin’ mega-city out there, with a web connecting each and everyone one of us to each other.

Now the shtetl – that was a small world. You maybe knew a couple hundred people and you were probably the only butcher, baker or candle-stick maker for a good five kilometers (and who ever travelled that far).

Now, with everyone being bombarded with everyone’s creations, we are not only competing against our next door neighbours anymore. Now we are competing against everyone.

I find the sheer size of it all quite overwhelming.

Global village psychosis

As a writer, every time I think of something I want to write, I wonder if someone else has already written it and if so, did they write it better than I would (I know it’s a simplified question – too bad). In the past, that wouldn’t matter because my town dwellers wouldn’t have read what the writer on the other side of the world had written. But today they have access to the other writer’s work and if it is better, why would they want to read mine?

Then when people actually do read my writing and tell me it meant something to them, the positive feedback and the numbers fall short because there is always bigger and better. My (loyal, pleasant and quite lovely) readership just can’t compare to the possibilities out there. (Dear reader, I do appreciate you. I write more about that below! Just need to finish making my point.)

Finally, every time I come across something interesting to read or watch, I find myself too overwhelmed with information to be able to concentrate on one piece at a time. I want to read it or watch it and then think about it and possibly discuss it, but instead I need to get through it as quickly as possible and quickly move on to the other information out there which apparently equally needs my attention. I find it close to impossible to focus on just one thing for an “extended” period of time because there is almost always a feeling that there is something else I should be doing because there is so much out there to do.

Greed instead of gratitude

Because the whole world is supposedly at our fingertips, many of us global mega-city dwellers become greedy. We lose the ability to feel true gratitude for what we have while we look out at the big world, drooling, hoping we’ll be able to get a nice chunk of the treasure for ourselves. So many of us have so much already – I know I do – but the belief that we could have more makes what we have seem like not enough.

Ironically (and very sadly), that belief can be absolutely debilitating.

As for me personally, I just see that globilization doesn’t really fit my personality. I think that naturally I am a slow and focused person. I feel the need to think slowly and in depth. The depth I yearn for only comes with the correct speed (aka slow) but I don’t feel like I have time for that speed because the world is just too big and I’ll never get to it if I’m slow. I don’t want to BS and I don’t want to pretend I’m something I’m not, but I find that I push myself to rush and I usually brush off the feeling that I’m missing something and move onto the next thought or action, just so I can keep up with the world.

Shtetl-dwelling is the solution

I think that the only solution is for us to pretend we actually do still live in shtetls. This isn’t totally incorrect; my shtetl is my family and friends. It is the people with whom I work and it’s my wonderful readers.

The beauty is that when I think of my closest circles as most important in my life, disregarding how damn huge the world actually is, then I can honestly love my readers unhesitatingly. I can also write all the stuff I want to write and feel good about getting my ideas out there.

And, imagine… I could come across a video and happily watch it, even if it’s something crazy like a whole 14 minutes long.

Yup, as hard as it is to imagine, us shtetl-dwellers have time for 14-minute YouTube videos.

P.S. Please share this post so I can become rich and famous. Thanks.

How to disable a Chrome extension… I mean plug-in

It’s a problem… It takes me half an hour every time I want to make changes to addons/plugins/extensions in Chrome. Last time I needed to make this kind of change, I discovered that my problem was with the lingo. I didn’t realize that there are extensions and plug-ins. I’d go to my extensions page but not be able to find the functionality I was looking for. This is what I’d see:

This is the page I get to when I go to the Wrench > Tools > Extensions. There are also other ways to get there.

If you’re having the same problem – that you’re looking for a certain functionality but you can’t find it, you probably also need to find your well-hidden plug-ins page. This is how you get there:

Wrench (top right-hand corner) > Options > Under the Hood > Content Settings… > Disable individual plug-ins…

Talk about confusing. But there it is. Here you can disable/enable whatever plug-ins you want.

I don’t get the difference between plugins and extensions. I mean plug-ins. But at least now I know how to access both.

Chrome, you’re so cool – drag and drop a URL from the address bar to the bookmarks bar

I just learned this about Chrome and it’s very exciting. Say you have a website open which you’d like to save to your bookmarks. Click on the address bar so that the URL is selected and then click and drag it to wherever you want in the bookmarks bar. Even folders in your bookmarks bar will open if you hover over them while dragging the URL.

Drop the link wherever you want and you’ll see it appear.

Adorable office gadgets

Memo block by Kakuzai

Thank you, Jacob, for this very cool list of fun knickknacks to have around your work (or other) space.

My favourites are the bookmark that keeps not only your page but also your line, the “block” of post-it notes and the cup that says “on” when it’s hot.

Here is the blog post from his blog JobMob.

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