Category Archives: Techy Tuesday

Home Office Series: External and Remote Storage for Electronic Media

Two weekends ago, I found a place to live in Gulfport! Now, the image of my home office can begin to unfold because I can imagine the space that I will be working in. I found a three-bedroom condo right near the beach in Gulfport, so I am anticipating a tranquil environment outside. Inside, I will be working everyday during the week from my home office.

I have already begun the transition process in my current office, which will consist of transferring my electronic files onto the universal network at my firm so that others can access them, as well as transferring those files to an external hard drive to take with me. As additional protection in the event of damage or destruction to my computer or external hard drive during my move, I have enlisted the service of a remote storage company online.

Transferring Files and Other Electronic Documents/Media

If you are moving out of an existing office and into a home office and will be transferring files and other electronic documents or media from an office network that will not be accessible from your home office, as in my case, you will need to think about how you will transfer any such files and documents to your new office location. Depending on the volume of files and media you have to transfer, it may not be possible or practical to transfer your files to the hard disk of your computer. Doing so could deplete the performance and storage capacity of your desktop or laptop computer.

In order not to divert too much of your computer’s resources to storing large or voluminous files, you may want to obtain external storage in the form of a flash drive or external hard drive. The most obvious difference between methods of external storage devices that I can see is the amount of storage capacity you have. I have small, key-chain sized flash drives that may be anywhere from 1 to 6 GB. I use these for my personal files such as personal finances, letters, photos, etc. But the volume of personal files I have is nowhere near the volume that I will use for my office at home.

For business, I obtained a much larger device – a WD (Western Digital) external hard drive that has storage capacity of approximately 1 Terabyte. After transferring my files, I’d used only about 1 GB, but I will continue to utilize this drive as my operating network in the near future. With the capacity of this drive, I will be able to download large files from the Internet and email and not worry about depleting the storage capacity on my computer with the large volume of active and archived files that I will be working with in the near future.

If you are transitioning from an existing office with an existing network and will be transferring a large volume of electronic files, documents or other media to a computer, you may want to check into getting an appropriately sized external hard drive. It can spare the functionality and performance of your operating computer by storing large or voluminous files externally.

Protecting Electronic Files/Media from Damage to Computer or External Drive

You will also want to be sure to protect your files from equipment damage or other failure. Remote storage provides the ability to restore files in the event of loss or damage to your physical computer or storage devices.

I am using a company called Mozy for remote storage. Mozy provides an unlimited automatic back up of your computer hard drive and external drives that are connected to your computer for $4.95/mo. It is an investment that offers peace of mind for your small home business.

If you can imagine a worst-case scenario type of situation involving the destruction of your computer or external storage devices, in that situation, Mozy would allow you to recover all of the files from those devices. It is a sort of insurance.

When I started transferring the files from my designated network at my office onto my external hard drive, I wanted to protect myself from the possible misfortune of any damage occurring to my computer or external hard drives during my move. Even once I am settled into my home office, Mozy will give me peace of mind knowing that I will have a backup of all of my work every day.

If you will have a home office, be sure to implement a system for backing up your electronic media.

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications. I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.” This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website. I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others. If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.

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Establishing a Home Office Series: Finding the Right High-Speed Internet for Your Home Office

In this post, I discuss the high-speed Internet services offered in my specific home-office location – Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi. – and the types of packages they offer.  But, in future posts to this series, I would like to keep this discussion open and plan to follow-up with considerations of whether to buy a residential or business Internet package – or both – and which speeds are appropriate for a home office.  The appropriate Internet speeds for your home office will depend on the purpose for which you will you use the Internet.  Stay tuned for these follow-up discussions. 

Over the next few weeks, I am preparing to transition from an office to a home office.  As part of my preparation, I have been thinking more and more about what I will have in my home office that will allow me to function with the same ease and efficiency that I have in my regular office now. 

One of the most important things for me to do is to find the right Internet service.  A typical day in my office now involves heavy use of the telephone, email, and Internet.  Once I transition to a home-office, my emails will most likely only be retrievable remotely via the Internet, as opposed to an internal network, the way I currently use email.  Therefore, it is imperative that I obtain the right Internet service for my home office.

An initial search of Internet service providers in the Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi area shows AT&T, Cable One, HughesNet (satellite Internet), and Wild Blue (satellite Internet).  Although Comcast offers service in Mississippi, it does not serve the Gulfport/Biloxi market. 

AT&T offers residential high-speed Internet with speeds up to 3.0 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.

Cable One offers residential speeds of up to 3 Mbps downstream and 300 Kbps upstream. For business, Cable One offers a Small Office/Home Office package with much faster speeds of up to 8 Mbps downstream and up to 1 Mbps upstream. 

HughesNet offers home & office plans at speeds between 1 Mbps-3 Mbps downstream and between 128 Kbps-300 Kbps upstream. 

WildBlue has much slower speeds than HughesNet.  They offer speeds of between 512 Kbps-1.5 Mbps downstream and 138 Kbps-256 Kbps.

At first glance, it appears that Cable One will be the most promising provider as far as speed and packages appropriate for a home office.  They did not offer pricing online, however, so I will need to contact their offices to determine whether their service will be within budget for home office Internet service.

I will need to determine what is an appropriate speed for my home office.  I will use Internet for email, general online research, web-accessed seminars, and uploading large documents to our FTP site.  It may be that 1-3 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream will be sufficient.  

At any rate, once the appropriate Internet speed is determined for your home office, there may be other factors that make the Internet connection patchy or unreliable that can not be identified until the home office is in use.  Some of these issues may need to be dealt with on a per-occurrence basis are not always based on the particular Internet service.   

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.   

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Building A Blog: Is It Time For Paid Hosting? Pt. 2

Last week, I started this discussion by asking the question of when is it time for paid hosting and whether I am ready to make the switch. 

Today, I ask how moving my blog to a paid host might improve the business of my site, what I would have to do to move to a paid host, and whether now is the time to make the switch.

What will it mean to switch over to paid hosting?

A switch to paid hosting means instant autonomy.  One of the downsides to free-hosted web applications such as WordPress.com and Blogger is that the creator of the website – you – is not the owner of the website.  When you create a website with a free host such as WordPress.com or Blogger, you are subject to the terms and conditions of those providers. 

In addition, you do not own your domain. Owning a dedicated domain name for your site promotes credibility especially in business.  A domain name from subdomain providers such as WordPress.com and Blogger free-hosted sites look something like this: www.yourblogname.wordpress.com or www.yourblgname.blogspot.com, where your blog name is inextricably intertwined with the subdomain host’s name.  If you own a business, it is a lot more credible have a dedicated domain containing only the name of your business or related keywords.   

Subdomain accounts also dictate how much bandwidth your site can support.  Thus, if your site is attracting increasing amounts of traffic, the subdomain provider could choose to shut down the site once your bandwidth maximum is reached. 

Moving your website from a subsdomain to a paid host gives you autonomy, the ability to have a dedicated domain, and increased bandwidth capacity that you choose. 

What will I have to do to make the switch?

1. Choose a Host and Publishing Platform

iNetPublication lists its editor’s picks for the top three web hosting services as (1) midPhase; (2) Easy CGI; and (3) Start Logic.  Each of these services offer hosting for under $8.00 a month for 2-3 GB of storage space.  I haven’t yet gone as far as researching paid hosting services, but when I do, I will be sure to check up on these sites.  They seem to provide valuable services for the price. 

I think that I will stay with the WordPress’ blog publishing platform.  I am accustomed to WordPress’ platform through their free-hosted service.  In addition, WordPress’ platform is reputed to be very user-friendly and simple to use. 

2. Purchase a Domain Name

When you move a blog to a paid host, you will want to have a domain name, which will be the address for your site. 

A few months ago, I purchased the domain ‘aspiretograce.com.’  So, once I switch over to a paid host, I will be able to point my blog to my chosen host’s server at the address www.aspiretograce.com.  As of now, I am forwarding www.aspiretograce.com to my subdomain such that when you type that domain into your browser, it directs you to www.aspiretograce.wordpress.com.  Once I move to a paid host, I will need to redirect my aspiretograce.com to the paid host’s server. 

One of the downsides to pointing my domain name to the subdomain now is my inability to track referrals.  If someone follows a link directly to my subdomain, WordPress will tell me who referred the link.  So, in other words, I will be able to tell from which site the visitor is coming, whether it is from Twitter, Facebook, or another blog or website.  But, if the link is www.aspiretograce.com, the referral information will originate only from www.aspiretograce.com.  Thus, I am not able to tell where a visitor is coming from if they have clicked on the aspiretograce.com link.  Having accurate referral information is important because if you can tell where your traffic is coming from, it will help you target your marketing.

3.  Find a Good Step-by-Step Guide to Moving to a Paid Host

Gemma Baltazar of The Lady Programmer (on JaypeeOnline) provides pretty comprehensive step-by-step instructions on moving a blog from Blogger to a new host using the WordPress.org blog publishing platform.

Some of her suggestions include:

  • Backing up your existing blog
  • Choosing a publishing platform and upgrading to the latest version
  • Purchasing domain name 
  • Choosing a theme
  •  Announcing the move to your readers 

What Have I decided to do?

As you may already know, I will be moving in about two months.  If you’ve been keeping up with other post topics on Aspire to Grace, then you know that I am in the process of converting our primary residence to a rental property, preparing for the transition to telecommuting, and looking for a place in Mississippi.  So, I will be pretty busy for at least the next month.

Do I have time to move Aspire to Grace to a paid host now?   The short answer is ‘no.’

One of the reasons for writing this post was so that I could go through the motions of determining what value and effort would go into moving over to a paid host.  I have learned a lot about this topic and have answered many of my own questions.  

As excited as I am about making the move, however, I have decided to wait.  Since purchasing a paid hosting service would mean a sharp increase in responsibility for maintaining my site, I think it wise to wait until I have more time to take full advantage the service.  Once I make the move, it will be time to take Aspire to Grace to the next level in terms of design and functionality.  I simply do not have the time right now to jump all the way in to get my money’s worth. 

Once I have moved to Mississippi, I will reopen this topic for consideration.  I anticipate being ready at that time since I will have a lot more time on my hands during the month before my husband returns from Kuwait.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried paid hosting?

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Building A Blog: Is It Time For Paid Hosting? Pt. 1

I have been blogging now for a little more than three months.  My goal with Aspire to Grace has always been to get to a point where I could earn passive income directly or indirectly from this site. 

I still have a ways to go building and marketing this website and receiving enough traffic to enable me to earn an income.  As part of this process, I have been thinking more and more about moving over to a hosting service for which I would pay.  I had always intended to do this down the line and even possibly before traffic levels get high enough to warrant such a move. 

My question today is whether now is the time. 

When I sat down to write this post, I realized that I had quite a bit more to say about this topic than I thought at first glance.  I also realized that I am short on time to get this post published.  So, I will break this post into two parts and post the second part next week.  But, you will have to wait until next week to find out whether I have decided to move over to paid hosting at this time. 

When is it time to switch from free to paid hosting?

In a previous post, I discuss some of the benefits of owning a domain name, especially for a business.  Owning your own domain name and coupling it with a paid hosting account, gives you complete control and discretion when it comes to the content and applications on your site. 

Sometimes free hosted, subdomain sites such as WordPress.com and Blogger have restrictions.  For example, some free services won’t allow you to post ads on your page.  Therefore the alternative income side to blogging is severely limited.

The benefits of paid hosting include web support to help you when you are having a problem with your site and the ability to increase bandwidth to accommodate a growing website. 

Great bursts of traffic can take down a subdomain site.  With a paid host site, you have a lot more control over the function of your site.  With the right design, paid hosted sites can look and feel like a higher quality site, which will be good for your business. 

Am I there yet?

I have not yet reached the traffic levels that would compel me to move to a paid host service.  However, traffic levels would not be my only reason for making the switch. 

With a paid host service, I will be forced to learn a lot more and a lot faster.  I will also be able to improve the look and design of this website.  Part of the process of building this website and increasing traffic will include improving the look and feel of Aspire to Grace.

I notice the better quality of sites like The Smart Passive Income Blog and Trish Jones.  These sites include graphics that are a bit more enhancing and compelling.  The visual quality of the sites, in my opinion, is more appealing. 

On this site, I am currently hosted by WordPress.com’s free host service.  I have limited capabilities to manipulate the appearance and functionality on this site as far as improving visual quality and efficiency.  I realize that I may not have tapped into the full potential of WordPress.com’s applications, but I am aware that there are limitations to these types of sites even though I may not be equipped to specify all such limitations here.  That’s why I will need to do a little more pecking at the surface to really figure out whether this is the right move at this time.  Who knows, with a little more research, I may discover additional improvements to make to this site before making the switch to paid hosting.

If I consider the benefits of paid hosting, which include the ability to improve the quality of this site and have full discretion to design and implement alternative income functions, I could be ready to move to a paid host.  But, there are still some other considerations that I will take into account. 

Next week, I will discuss what it would mean to move over to a paid host and what I would have to do to make the switch.  I will also look at whether it is worth the move at this time, considering some of the other things that I need to get done before my move to Mississippi in July. 

Stay tuned for the rest of this discussion. 

In the meantime, do you have any stories to share about moving over to paid hosting?  I’d love them. 

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

 
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Why Subscribe?

Its funny how we can move along without doing something for so long and then all of a sudden we become enlightened one day. On that day, suddenly, we ask how is it that I could have lived for so long without doing ‘X.’

That’s how I feel about subscribing to websites.

For me, it happened very contextually. I was interested in a particular subject matter – personal finance. I started reading everything I could get my hands on dealing with personal finance. Then, I discovered the blog entitled My Dollar Plan and it kind of all fell into place from there. Soon, I was reading many other personal finance blogs, most of which had been referred from My Dollar Plan.

Then, never wanting to miss a My Dollar Plan update, I followed the directions on her website for subscribing. Soon, I was receiving updates by email and then I discovered the Google RSS reader.

Now, I am subscribed to over 40 blogs through my Google feed reader, and not just in the subject of personal finance, but also entrepreneurship, marriage and relationships, blogging, and technology.

With Google’s RSS reader, I can get as little as a want or as much as I want whenever I want. I can follow my favorite writers and participate in conversations between the writers and readers and among readers in the comments section. I feel good because I receive valuable content in the subjects in which I am interested.

At the same time, I am giving something back to the authors of these blogs in the way of my subscription to their website.

What does it mean to subscribe to a website?

These days, most websites offer the ability of readers to receive updates whenever the content on the site is updated. Websites ranging from larger news websites to the smallest weblogs often include such update tools, known as RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds.

To an author or owner of the website, your subscription means you are interested in the site content. It means you are interested enough to want to follow updates on the site. In a lot of ways, a subscription is a high compliment to the content author and is a confirmation that the site is offering valuable content.

A site that attracts numerous subscribers can build on the content being provided by soliciting input from readers that frequent the site or receive regular updates. These readers are most vested in the content being provided on the site.

Why does it matter?

In many cases an author or owner of a site receives revenue from ad views or sales from the site. A website owner and advertisers may look to the subscriber count, among other statistics of the site, to determine the scope and reach of the website for purposes of revenue production.

Your subscription is positive feedback to the site. When you subscribe to a website, especially a blog, it matters to the author of the site because it shows a demand for the content provided. Sometimes subscription numbers are a demonstration of the success of a blog.

What does my subscription mean to the author of the website I am visiting?

Your subscription will inevitably mean many different things to different authors. But most will see it as a nod to the author or owner of a website. It often provides reassurance to the author that he or she should continue doing whatever it is he or she is doing.

How do I subscribe?

Most websites providing the option of subscribing offer the ability for a reader to subscribe by email or by RSS feed reader. The RSS feed icon looks like this:

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Usually, the website will provide instructions on how to subscribe, which will include clicking on the icon and following the directions for completing your subscription.

In the case of email subscription, sometimes you will be sent an email to verify your request for a subscription to which you must respond in order to activate your subscription.

Subscribing to a feed reader is even simpler. Click on the icon and choose the reader to which you are subscribed and the feed burner will deliver the updates to all of the websites to which you are subscribed.

Here on Aspire to Grace, the RSS icon is at the top on the right side bar.  

How much does it cost to subscribe?

Nothing – its free!!!

Should I subscribe to Aspire to Grace?

Yes! If you enjoy the content on Aspire to Grace, please subscribe. I’d love to send you my updates and receive any feedback you have to offer!

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Blog Marketing, Marketing on Facebook, Star-Struck on Twitter

Last week, I mentioned having reached a plateau of traffic on Aspire to Grace in recent days.  In order to break through this plateau, I will need to step up my marketing efforts. 

On average, I receive between 10 & 20 unique visitors daily.  My referrals come from Aspire to Grace subscribers, as well as through my marketing efforts. 

My Marketing Efforts to Date

For the past two and a half months that this site has been live, I have used rather common marketing channels. 

I have marketed this site by commenting on other people’s blogs.  By commenting on another blog, I am usually leaving a fingerprint in the way of a link back to Aspire to Grace.  Through my comments, others can click thru to my website.  But I caution anyone leaving a comment on another blog as a way to gain exposure to be sure to leave a meaningful remark that addresses or responds to the specific information in the blogger’s post.  Meaningless rants in the comment section are often dismissed as spam and may not be published by the blog’s owner.   If your comment is not published, you can not benefit from a back link.   

My other marketing efforts include submissions to directories.  I have submitted 3 articles to the Ezine directory so far.  Two were duplicate articles from blog posts here on Aspire to Grace.  But, I soon learned of the detriment to search engine rankings of having identical posts in more than one location on the web.  So, my latest article, Beware of Miscellaneous Charges on Your Phone Bill is not a duplicate.  From now on, I will submit unique articles to directories.  By submitting unique articles, I gain more exposure for my writings while having the benefit of a back link from the directory page to my website through the associated link in my author information.

I have also made an article submission to a blog carnival.  This approach was a little more nebulous for me, however.  I made the submission back in March and although I received a submission confirmation, I haven’t received any additional information.  Furthermore, the date on which the carnival was scheduled to update has now passed with no updated information to the site. 

Next time, I’ll try a different carnival and perhaps more than one at a time.

Marketing On Facebook

My next move has been to create a Page on Facebook for Aspire to Grace.  Although I have a profile on Facebook already, I never wanted to market my website as part of my persona on Facebook.   I feel like we are all part of a bit of a captive audience as far as our friends are concerned on Facebook.  I would never want to use tactics that are distasteful to market my site.  There’s something about marketing to a captive audience that is quite unappealing. 

Tonight, I created a separate page for Aspire to Grace while logged in as myself.  As far as I can tell, the Aspire to Grace page has no apparent connection to my own profile except to the extent that I am the administrator and currently the only fan.  Although, I still haven’t figured out exactly how my profile will be linked to the Aspire to Grace page, if at all, I know that the connection won’t be too obvious or in-your-face.  So far, the pages coexist without any apparent connection.  The connection is made even less obvious to me considering I can’t even find the Aspire to Grace page without going to the Facebook menu at the bottom of my own profile page, choosing “Advertising” and then “managing existing pages” once inside that link. In setting up the separate page, I found Facebook’s application to be very user unfriendly – not very efficient.  

So far, I have included one post on the page, but will need to do more work to populate the page completely and promote it.  I will provide updates as to whether and how much this additional marketing method works toward breaking Aspire to Grace out of her plateau. 

Update: I discovered a Facebook application called Simplaris Blogcast to use as an additional marketing tool on Facebook.  While his application may provide more exposure, I may actually have just contradicted my intentions to market Aspire to Grace separately from my persona on Facebook.  With Simplaris Blogcast, I am effectively subscribed to this blog site through my Facebook page.  Updates are accessible on my profile page through the Blogcast tab.  Although there are updated blogcast notifications on my profile page, I don’t see the notifications on my friends pages.  Hopefully, it will not send notification to all of my friends pages once my blogcast updates everyday.  Ideally, the blogcast tab will be on my page and my friends can access at their own leisure.  I am inclined to keep the Aspire to Grace page I created also to allow access to those who are not subscribed to my profile on Facebook.   

Star-Struck on Twitter….

I am slightly ashamed to say that yesterday I got caught up in the Ashton Kutcher v. CNN twitter phenom… I became a fan of Ashton (aplusk) and now, Ashton is one if the 13 people that I am following… and strangely, I find that I am a little star-struck. 

This is quite disturbing considering that I haven’t actually met this star, I just feel strangely excited whenever I hear a tone on my tweet deck and discover that aplusk is on deck again. 

But, is he really tweeting that often?  I counted like 4 times in a 30 minute period.  Then I went from being strangely star-struck to taking odd comfort in knowing that, while aplusk has the downtime to tweet 4 times in 30… oops 5 times, there goes another…. I am on a tighter schedule with less time on my hands.  But then again, that could just be because I actually work for a living. 

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications.  This post is part of a series called “Building a Blog.”  This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website.  I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others.  If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.  

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Building a Blog Series: About Me

This week on TECHY TUESDAY, I continue my Building a Blog Series with my new addition to Aspire to Grace – the ‘About Me’ page. When I started this blog in January of this year, I created an ‘About this Site’ page, which you can access via the link at the top of this page. Now, I have added an ‘About Me’ page because I think it is important for an author to introduce herself to her audience. Here is what you will find on the “About Me” page also via the link of the same name at the top of this page:

Su Prieta

I am Su Prieta. My name is literally translated ‘his brown girl.’  My husband is of Puerto Rican descent and when speaking to me, his African-American wife, he will say, affectionately, ‘mi prieta’ or ‘my brown girl.’  Thus, when referring to myself, I am Su Prieta.

Aspire to Grace

Aspire to Grace is an outlet for me to offer valuable discussion in areas impacting my life outside of my profession. The name comes from my own aspiration to grow old gracefully.  In this way, I approach life, with all of its many facets.

The topics discussed on Aspire to Grace generally include issues in alternative and passive income, web technologies, relationships and self-development. Ultimately, these and other topics discussed on Aspire to Grace are issues that I have dealt with, am dealing with, or have questioned in my own personal experience.

I am here because of the many bloggers before me that have been an inspiration to me. I have learned a lot of very specific things from my blog following and hope to offer the same useful information for inquisitive minds that are searching for answers, or simply an apple to chew on.  The Internet is just one big long discussion, and I hope to perpetuate some of that discussion.

My Life

I won’t argue that I have a lot of special skills that make me uniquely equipped to dissect the issues and get to the final resolution on topics I discuss on Aspire to Grace.  I am just living life.

I am an attorney by trade but do not currently practice.  My profession is in telecommunications business consulting.  What I get from my education and professional training is the ability to ask, analyze and apply an appropriate response.

Sharing my own goals and experiences here helps me to stay accountable and creates momentum to keep me moving forward. I only hope that you are moving with me, and that together we are maneuvering gracefully through this messy life.

…..and One Last Thought as I Finish My Taxes

I actually cheered aloud last night as I finished my taxes upon my discovery of the Gainskeeper application in TaxAct. This feature imports all transaction information from your brokerage account, including stock buys, sells, dates, and cost basis.

Since a typical brokerage statement may contain stock transactions grouped by transaction type, you may have a page of stock buys and a separate page of stock sales. For purposes of your taxes, in order to figure capital gains and losses, you will need to match up stock buy dates with sell dates along with the cost basis and the buy and sell price in order to determine losses or gains.

For me, this could easily have been 30 minutes worth of work since I don’t personally keep a separate, more efficient record like I should.  But, thanks to Gainskeeper’s instantaneous compiling and uploading of stock transactions into the TaxAct tax form, 30 minutes worth of work was easily reduced to 1 minute.

If you are using TaxAct and have brokerage transactions to import, TaxAct will prompt you to use Gainskeeper.  It briefly appeared to me that I would have needed to set up Gainskeeper separately with my brokerage account, but I followed the TaxAct instructions for creating the Gainskeeper username and password for my brokerage firm and TaxAct did the rest.

TECHY TUESDAYS is a forum to discuss various technologies and web applications. I am currently hosting a series of posts called “Building a Blog.” This series discusses all of the things that I am doing to build this website. I will also discuss tips and suggestions for building your blog based on my own progress, as well as feed back from others. . If you like what you see here, please use the orange icon at the top right to receive updates by email or RSS reader.

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