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Evernote – the Ultimate Conference Tool

I love Evernote, the popular, cross-platform note-taking application. I use it on all my devices (desktop, Android phone, and iPad) for many reasons:

Noz Urbina presents at Lavacon 2013
Organize your conference notes with notebooks and tags. Include photos directly into your session notes. Evernote automatically adds the date and location!

  • A to-do list note for every day of the week.
  • Shared shopping lists with my significant other, using the Premium version (I firmly believe in supporting products I use regularly. It’s well worth the $45 per year; that’s $3.75 a month, kids, less than two cups of Starbucks coffee).
  • Automatically saving things to a note in conjunction with If This Then That (IFTTT).

But there’s one more possibly overlooked use for Evernote that I find invaluable: conferences. I attended three conferences this year, including the Drupal NYCCamp and the huge Lavacon conference (see my Lavacon-related posts here and here), with nothing more than an iPad.

It used to be that you had to lug a laptop around — in addition to pen and paper — to take notes from each conference session, but no more! So what makes Evernote so useful at conferences? Continue reading Evernote – the Ultimate Conference Tool

Valuable links from #Lavacon Portland 2013

Here are some of the links referred to in the sessions I attended at the fantastic October 2013 Lavacon conference in Portland, Oregon.
I’ll update as days two and three finish up. Feel free to add yours in the comments!

More on Security and Google Tips from @benwoelk and @careersherpa #stcpmc13

At the excellent STC Mid-Atlantic conference sponsored by the Philadephia Metro chapter, security expert Ben Woelk suggested to the audience that they set up a Google alert for their name, so they know of any possible breaches or security issues. I did this awhile back, purely for security reasons (yeah, let’s go with that). Career Sherpa Hannah Morgan also noted at the conference that it’s important to search for yourself to see where and how you come up when prospective employers search for you. Afterward, I found that Google actually makes it easy for you to search for yourself on an ad-hoc basis. You can do this right now:

  1. Log in to your Google account at
  2. Expand the Account section on the left, and select Me on the Web.
  3. Click Search Now.

On the same page, you can also have Google send you alerts when new information about your name or email address appears online.

Ben also spoke about the phishing emails that frequently look like they come from financial institutions or other businesses, whose goal is to get your account information and passwords. Many of these emails can look quite convincing.

I’ve found that an easy way to check if email is legitimate is simply to drag or move the email to your spam or junk mail folder. These folders turn hyperlinks into text, so you can see where exactly the email is coming from, and the sites to which they are linking. If the Web address doesn’t look obvious, such as, then don’t click on it.

Have additional security tips? Let us know in the comments.

These two men’s fashion trends really grind my gears

Two men’s fashion trends irk me:

1. The horizontally buttoned bottom shirt button. This button goes against established tradition by buttoning from top-to-bottom, instead of right-to-left (unless you’re a girl. Your backwards buttoning is just weird). This lowly button makes you think extra hard at 7 in the morning just to put on a shirt. There’s no possible benefit to this. Just stop.

Why no pockets?! Think of the children!

2. Lack of a shirt pocket. An egregious error. If you don’t carry a cell phone (that’s mobile for all one of you European readers) to work, most likely you carry some sort of ID. Where to put them? Both in the same pants pocket? With your keys? C’mon, clothing companies, it’s almost 2012. Know your audience.

Surely you also have clothing pet peeves. Also, Happy New Year.