Monthly Archives: January 2012

How to Save a Wet Phone – The Rice Trick

Phone in Rice - Flickr.com / husin.sani

Image Credit: Flickr.com / husin.sani

If your phone gets wet, do you know what to do to save it?

As soon as you hear the splash, your stomach flips, your heart pounds, and your mind races thinking of all the important items on your phone that you haven’t backed up. If you’ve ever had a wet phone, you know this feeling all too well.

When faced with this situation, there is one crucial step you can take to help prevent disaster, and all it takes is something you probably have at home already – rice.

Please note the most important factor in saving your phone is time. The longer you wait, the more time the liquid has to penetrate the internal workings of your phone. To greatly increase your chances of success, you must act as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: This trick isn’t always guaranteed to work, and depends on the severity of the incident. However, I have seen rice perform miracles on a digital camera that fell into a river, so it can work if you act fast enough.

Once you realize your phone is soaked, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the phone.
  • Dry the outside very well, using a clean, dry, absorbent cloth.
  • Remove any external connections, such as the charger.
  • Open the case, removing as much of the cover as possible (take care not to break your case).
  • Remove the battery.
  • Remove the SIM card (if applicable).
  • If possible, use a wet / dry vacuum to remove any excess moisture. DO NOT use a hair dryer to dry your phone, it could damage your device.
  • Get a Tupperware container or plastic bag, and partially fill it with rice (any type works). Place the phone in the container, and then cover the phone completely with more rice.
  • Let sit overnight. (24 hours is preferable, if you can go that long without your phone.)

Tip! Once in rice, rotate your device every hour or two, turning it different ways so that the water has a chance to escape your phone.

Once the phone has sat overnight, place the phone on a towel, paper towels, or something else absorbent, and then let it sit for a few minutes, allowing any excess moisture to be absorbed by the towel.

Clean and dry your phone, and put it back together. See if it works. If it does not, take the battery out and put it on the charger. If it works without the battery, you need to replace your battery.

The “rice trick” is a great quick-fix solution for dealing with a wet phone. However, if you are more accident prone, and tend to get your phone wet a lot, you may want to consider another option – Liquipel.

Relatively inexpensive, starting at around $59 per device, Liquipel is a lightweight, protective coating that covers your phone inside and out. With Liquipel, when your phone gets wet, the liquid beads-up and rolls off, protecting your phone because the liquid doesn’t have a chance to penetrate any parts or pieces.
For more information about Liquipel, visit their website, or check out this video.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys finding new ways to help you with your technology woes. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Motivating Employees to be More Productive

Incentives

Image Credit: Flickr.com / opensourceway

Everyone knows that the best way to keep employees productive is to offer them monetary rewards as an incentive for productivity, right? Wrong. In fact, studies are finding that these types of rewards actually demotivate your employees. Instead, create a better, more productive work environment with a different kind of incentive.

Traditionally, productivity is viewed in very basic terms – if you do this, I will offer you this amount of money as a reward. This system is much like getting a horse to work by dangling a carrot on a stick in front of him. But employees aren’t horses. They aren’t motivated by the carrot. And, dangling a carrot in front of your best and brightest employees may actually cause them to seek employment elsewhere.

Contrary to popular belief, money isn’t a motivating factor. It can only motivate your employees for so long before it no longer becomes incentive enough for them to continue working as hard. This is because as humans, our brains aren’t hardwired for money.

Instead, humans are purpose driven. In order to be productive, and more importantly happy, employees must feel like what they are doing has a purpose, and that this purpose will better their life in more ways than the accumulation of a few extra dollars.

How do you empower your employees with purpose instead of leading them with a carrot? By using these 3 factors as motivation instead.

Autonomy: The ability to be self-directed and direct their own lives and workflow in the office. If you want employees who are engaged and energized in the office, allow them to be their own manager when it comes to their specific work.

Mastery: People desire to master difficult things. The need to master something difficult is the whole reason people play instruments on the weekend, or learn to program for fun. They don’t do it because they are getting paid to learn these things; they do it for the thrill of learning and mastering something difficult.

Purpose: Having autonomy and mastery often leads to purpose. People want to feel like what they are doing matters. If an employee doesn’t understand the purpose behind their work, the bigger picture of who they are helping and why, the work becomes meaningless, and over time can stifle the creativity and potential of the employee, ultimately demotivating them.

So what kind of business do you want? One where employees that “toe the line” and follow orders, never innovating or growing the business; or one where employees are energized to come to work, happy to help and ready to innovate because they feel like what they are contributing really makes a difference in the world?

In order for your business to survive today, the answer is clear – chuck the carrot. For more information about how autonomy, mastery, and purpose are more motivational than money, check out this animated speech by RSA.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys bringing peace and calm to your business.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Outlook Productivity Tips: AutoArchive

Outlook 2010 AutoArchiveThe size of your Outlook mailbox increases as emails are sent, received, and stored. You may tuck email into folders manually (or by using QuickSteps) to help keep your inbox more manageable, but overtime these folders will become unmanageable. Keep your email under control, by setting up the AutoArchive feature in Outlook.

The more email you have and store, the larger your Outlook file becomes, taking longer to access. If you find that your email takes forever to open in the morning, or you just can’t find what you’re looking for in all those subfolders you’ve created, then it’s time to turn on AutoArchive.

AutoArchive allows you to manage and process your old email automatically, without spending hours sorting and deleting. You may set your settings to either archive or delete old email items, depending on your needs and preferences.

To setup AutoArchive:

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click on Folder at the top of Outlook.
  • Click on the AutoArchive settings button.
  • Select the option “Archive this folder using these settings”.
  • Then, designate how often you would like the AutoArchive in months, weeks, or days.
  • Either allow old items to be moved to the default archive folder, or choose a location where you would like your items archived to.
  • Click OK.

In Outlook 2010, the default archive folder will be listed under “Archives” in your folder list.

Older Versions of Outlook:

  • Click on Tools at the top of Outlook
  • Select the Other tab
  • Click on AutoArchive
  • Click Enable AutoArchive.
  • Configure settings.
  • To configure settings for individual folders (inbox, calendar, sent items, etc.) right-click on the folder, and choose Properties. Then click the AutoArchive tab.
  • Click OK.

In Outlook 2007 and 2003, the default archive folder will be listed under “Archive Folders” in your folder list.

Once AutoArchive is setup, it will help you keep your Outlook running its best automatically. Over time, if you find Outlook is slow to open, or your email folders are getting to large, revisit your AutoArchive settings and adjust as needed. And don’t forget to look in your Archive folder when locating an email that is older than the time specified in your AutoArchive settings.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in making technology easier to understand.  Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.