The Help Files: Professional Development, Perserverance, and Web Tools

cartoon lightbulbNew month, new collection of hints for making your work life more productive, no matter whether your office is in a cubicle farm, in your car, or even on your couch. Cleanliness, decision-making and web tools—we’re nothing if not eclectic.

Filthy Laptop or Keyboard?

dirty keysClean Your Keyboard Fast

If you’re like me, you’ve eaten one too many lunches while hunched over your keyboard. It might be time to wipe that old chili sauce from your laptop’s power button. Yes, people, I’ve been there and done that. But it was mighty fine chili! Kif Leswing offers a fantastic tip to help us out.

Clean Your Laptop

Don’t know about your laptop, but mine is totally grody. I’ve had it for about two years now. Got it used. Think I cleaned it once just after I got it. Maybe. Anyhow, you know that laptop of yours gets used and abused. Do yourself a favor and clean it with these handy instructions from Taylor Casti

Surviving Setbacks and Making Decisions

you decideSurviving Your Own Personal Recession

Life is full of ups and downs. If you’re around long enough, you’ll have several buckets of cold reality thrown in your face. The dream job you finally landed after several rounds of intense interviews is yanked out from under you because of budget cuts. You start you own business, hang out your shingle, and wait for customers to beat a path to your door—but no one knocks.

Bette Frick, STC Fellow and freelancer for 15 years, has recovered from her share of setbacks, and shares her story with us.

Making Better Decisions

Making tough choices is stressful. It’s also hard work. Do I eat breakfast or not? Should I wear shoes or sandals? Should I sell my company or remain independent? We are faced with an intimidating flood of decisions big and small every day. M. Cecelia Bittner of Fast Company has compiled a guide on the art and science of making decisions.

Professional Development Tips

career path street signMake Yourself Better at Your Job

All of you need become better at your job before someone else comes along who IS better at your job. Drake Baer shares three ways you can improve yourself.

What Gets Done is What Gets Done

In our “I Want It Yesterday” business world, 24 hours just isn’t enough time. The early 20th-Century mantra of “8 hours work, 8 hours leisure, 8 hours rest” becomes squeezed into “work all day, sleep is for wimps.” Stef Lewandowski knows errors creep in when working weekends and late nights become the norm rather than the exception.

Job Hunting

job search globeHow To Use Facebook’s New Graph Search For Job Search

Who isn’t on Facebook now? I sure am. However, if you aren’t on Facebook yet (or if you’re a lurker) AND you’re sorta kinda maybe looking for a new job, you may want to reconsider your non-Facebook status. Why? Well, almost everyone who is computer literate knows that LinkedIn can be used for networking and job hunting. But not everyone knows that the super-popular and ubiquitous Facebook can *also* be used in a job search. Crystal Washington shares some tips on configuring your profile for this.

Browsing the Web, Editing Images

web browserFive Free Alternative Browsers for Windows

We read reports every day that someone has hacked one or more of the most popular browsers. It seems that each new release of IE, Chrome, and Firefox attracts hordes of “security researchers” (aka “hackers”) eager to claim a portion of the web’s fleeting spotlight. I figure the NSA already knows what I’m writing online, so what’s the big deal? Well, if you’re interested in trying a less popular browser to avoid the crowds, Matthew Nawrocki offers five lesser known browsers to take for a spin.

9 Best Free Image Editors

My favorite image editor is Snagit, but it costs money. If you’re on a budget, and who isn’t these days, Denise Lu discusses nine image editors for the best price: Free.

Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow writers and content developers?  Drop Craig a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

Read more articles from Craig Cardimon