Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
If you like to learn new things that enhances your online time or makes
better use of your time, then I call you a "power user." I am one of that type
too! :) One of my webinar outlines goes into different ideas under this theme
and hopefully in the near future it will be the theme of an upcoming virtual
classroom course. (My current course
"Graphics for Bloggers 101" is currently
being recorded. It is a 10 module course with just 2 more recordings to go.)
Anyway, what are some "power user" ideas as regards to your desktop?
Desktop - Part 1 post, we looked at a vertical taskbar, a custom desktop
collage, and keeping your drop zone clear (go back and check it out if you
missed the previous post!)
Notice the diagram below for the new points for us to talk about:
Idea #1 - Shortcut to a "Cleanup Folder"
I'm a big proponent of keeping your desktop clean! But
I know how it goes, as much as you WANT to keep things in organized folders, it
is often really hard to keep everything perfectly organized. (This is not an excuse to
stop trying though!) I keep a "cleanup folder" for files that I am through with
but that I don't want to delete. Notice that my recycle bin and my cleanup
folder are close to each other. It is really an A/B choice to make,
keep the file? or delete it? If there is any chance that you may make reference
to it later, keep it! (just not on your desktop - move it to the cleanup
folder). File naming strategies are really important if you want to ever find it
again. Use keywords! From all our SEO training, I know this is second nature to
Keyword name your files with a few smart words for future searches.
Idea #2 - RocketDock App Launcher
Starting in Windows 7, you can now "pin your top
favorites" to the taskbar for very easy access. I pin my favorites to the
taskbar but have a lengthy list of go-to apps
though that would not all fit there. One launcher app I've used for quite a while helps me keep
all my best apps
an easy click away. It is a free app called
RocketDock. I have it
attached to the bottom of my screen. It auto-hides when you aren't using it.
When you need it, just move to the bottom of the screen and it pops up. It has a
really nice animated flow as you hover over it. You can then add your favorites to it for easy access. It looks like I
currently have picked out about 17! I'm sure
you'll recognize some - you'll get bonus points if you name the harder ones :)
MS Word and Excel can't be seen because I have assigned hotkeys (Ctrl+Alt+W and E) for
those, but ah, setting hotkeys, that's another (future) post.
Idea #3 -
Google Desktop (local file search with Desktop Gadgets,
download link) is a free app that you can download. The reason that I
install it is ONLY for the RSS gadget that you can put on the desktop. (Yes I
know windows has "desktop gadgets" a.k.a "windows sidebar" -
however their feeds
gadget is not as good! In particular, the simple ability to make the height
extend as tall as you want is not possible, but it is with Google's) RSS feeds to me are essential to
keeping pulse in the up to the minute news both regular local stories as well as
tech blogs and pages (including your favorite AR bloggers). Many times
throughout the day, a headline catches my eye. I can click once to see a further
synopsis pop out and then click the heading to jump to the story for more
details if it sounds interesting.
Besides the RSS gadget, I also enjoy the system meters (CPU, Memory, Disk,
Network). You can catch for example on low memory and close some apps down if before you max out
your memory (did I say this was a power user tip??) Also the weather and clock
gadgets round out my nice information area. (brrr winter is here!)
App note: Google has discontinued further development on the Google Desktop app.
However it is still available for download (see link above) and works fine.
I turn off all of the
search functions though. I don't need them and don't want it taking up system
resources. Too bad you can't just download the gadgets app only. And if I
discover a windows desktop gadget that does RSS feeds in a better way, I'll be
going that way next! (if you want to learn about RSS feeds in google reader
other fav way of reading feeds - see the post
RSS Feeds in Google Reader)
There you have it, three more ideas to ponder. If you like any or all of the
ideas, I'll be happy to hear it! :)
About the Author
Craig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. He teaches by means of this blog, online courses and webinars, as well as one-on-one remote sessions with persons located throughout the country and beyond.
craig's classroom blog is a place to come for short technology lessons - here on ActiveRain I focus on technologies for real estate professionals - please subscribe if you want to catch future posts! :)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.