Posts Tagged ‘work’

How to: Create A Facebook Page

laelene Posted in how to guides,Tags: , , , , , , , ,
21

[Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of the original blog post that is now nearly three years old! This includes up-to-date instructions after some changes to Facebook’s interface.]

pinnable quote image for how to create a facebook page blog post on maryqin.com

I decided it was time for me to create a Facebook page for my little blog, so I can really try to build it out and maybe get some followers! I’d like to think that what I’m putting out there is educating or entertaining someone, but I’ve never really promoted it so it’s time to take action.

When I went to create the FB page, I (for the life of me) could NOT find where to choose the “Personal Blog” category! And that’s what spurred this entry. Read on to learn the basics for setting up a Facebook page and how to select a category like “Personal Blog,” “Personal Website,” and more!

Creating Your Facebook Page

webpage to create a new facebook page First of all, here’s where you can create a new Facebook page. As you’ll see, right away they want you to choose a category. Your desired page may fit multiple categories, so it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs. Of the 6 types they’ve laid out for you (1. Local Business or Place; 2. Company, Organization or Institution; 3. Brand or Product; 4. Artist, Band or Public Figure; 5. Entertainment; 6. Cause or Community), all but the last one have a dropdown menu with category choices. Don’t worry if your desired category isn’t there – just pick what’s closest or tickles your fancy. In my case, I went for “Brand or Product”and chose “Website” from the dropdown.

You will be asked to enter your page name, which should be the title of your blog, the name of your business, or whatever you want the world to know your page by. Note that Facebook has certain rules in place about what is allowed in a name – for example, I tried to enter my blog name, ((little fat notebook)), but it was immediately rejected because I’m not allowed to use symbols. You are allowed one set of parentheses, but there can only be two words in it (like this) and obviously I’d have three if I went for (little fat notebook). Alas, I then tried just plain “little fat notebook” and that’s not allowed because the name must start with an uppercase! I didn’t like how Little fat notebook looked, so I went for the boring old Little Fat Notebook. Luckily, you can change it after the fact!

Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Once you agree to their terms and click Get Started, you’re prompted to fill in a description and add links to your site(s). They now allow you to choose your vanity URL (the pretty one that looks like https://www.facebook.com/littlefatnotebook instead of https://www.facebook.com/pages/little-fat-notebook/457453117668145). Check out my post on claiming vanity URLs to learn more. Choose carefully, you can only ever change it once after that. Next upload an avatar/profile picture to represent your page.

You can then add this new page to your Favorites area for quick access. That’s the part on the left when you go to Facebook.com. Finally, you can indicate your target audience including where they’re located, what age range they’re in, their gender, and their indicated interests. You’ll then be taken to your brand new Facebook page! A quick tour is given and then you’re given free reign. Feel free to add a cover photo, invite friends to like your page, and share your very first post!

area to set up target audience of new facebook page

Changing To A Better Category

settings option for facebook pageNow here’s what you’ve been waiting for: how to make the page exactly as you want it! Under the cover photo area, click About. This takes you to Page Info where you’ll see the category you chose. Alternatively, at the top right, you’ll see Settings, which takes you to a page full of them. Along the left is a menu with “Page Info” – that brings you to the same place. Hover over the Category section to find the Edit button. From there you’ll see that the category and subcategory choices are far more plentiful than they let on earlier in the process! That’s where I found a previously unmentioned category called “Websites & Blogs,” which contains the subcategory option I had been hunting for: Personal Blog. The nice thing is that you can change this at any time, so as your site/brand evolves, you can update the category accordingly.page info section of facebook page

dropdown menu to edit facebook page category

dropdown menu to edit facebook page subcategory

So there you go! I hope that helped. If you found it useful, please like my page to show your support. 🙂

A few other tips:

When you reach 30 fans, Facebook will provide “insights” about your page, which include data about the reach of your page and each post (how many people see it, pretty much), how many people are talking about (sharing) your posts, and how many posts you’re putting up daily. You can also find cool demographic information about your followers. Basically if you’re into data, you’re going to love this part.

Note that I was able to update my page name from Little Fat Notebook to all lowercase. Unfortunately you still can’t add symbols, but as mentioned before, you can use one set of parentheses.

From now on, you can choose to interact with Facebook as yourself (personal profile) or your Page. This option is available for anything public that multiple profiles can access. You won’t see it for posts related to your private friends, for example, since Pages cannot post to personal profiles. But on other pages, you can choose to comment/like as yourself or your Page.

dropdown menu to choose facebook profile or page to interact as

I used to highly recommend putting your website URL in the Short Description so users can easily click to your site from your FB page. Now Facebook has added a Call to Action button instead, so you can set that up to get users to your site. None of the options are particularly blog-friendly though, so I’d like to see a “Read More” or “Read Now” action.

dropdown menu to set facebook page call to action button

Now that you have a Facebook page, check out my tutorials on:
~how to manage your Facebook page
~how to link your social media accounts
~how to claim your vanity URLs (as mentioned earlier in the post), and more!

You can find all my “how to” posts for useful tips like how to make a favicon and random things like how to set your iPhone/iPad to stop playing music at a certain time or even how to win a Facebook contest!

If you have any questions or tips of your own, I’d love to hear them! Please do share. 🙂

Down with the flu

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , ,
0

Has it really been three days since my last post already?! Gosh, I’ve been pretty much bedridden this whole time. I first felt ill last week and began sneezing by Thursday. Friday I was working from home in bed and Saturday and Sunday I hung out inside as the snow piled up and Panda made a few runs at it. I was out sick Monday and Tuesday and will work from home tomorrow. Monday was the worst, when I was feverish with the chills, yet went through bouts of sweat spells. My whole body ached so bad and random nerves would have intense periods of pain. I had a headache the whole time and could hardly breathe much of the time. It was all very bizarre.

The last time I was this ill was two or three years ago, also in winter. I should really start getting flu shots, shouldn’t I? I’ve always had a rather strong immune system and wouldn’t get super sick, so as a child I enjoyed being a bit under the weather and spending the time to rest. However, nowadays my immune system might be weaker, or there may be more sick folks I’m exposed to, or the cold weather could affect me more. I don’t know what exactly, but it certainly is worse than it’s been in a very long time.

On Monday night, I was seriously doubting when I’d get better and imagined that pain extending until Thursday or later. Luckily, I woke up this morning feeling far better. Perhaps it was time and I had sweat enough, or perhaps that Aleve type pill I took did the trick. I had previously been taking a daytime flu thing or Excedrin when the pain was worst. I took less than half the recommended dosage, so that might have been a factor. I just don’t like so much medicine though!

Today I made it outside for the first time since Thursday and we got lunch and a few things at Costco. I was happy to stay inside again for the rest of the day. I don’t understand all those people claiming to have cabin fever not even 24 hours into the storm this weekend when I was inside for 5 days without a problem. Are you less likely to experience cabin fever if you’re sick and want to curl up in bed? I don’t think I would have felt it either way, since we luckily had no power outages in the area and I could easily use my devices or read with a light. For the most part, I took it easy and rested.

My head’s still cloudy and I’ve been coughing something nasty all day, but I’m well enough to get some work done from bed again tomorrow. We have a cool event on Thursday at the Australian Embassy, but I’m not sure I’ll be well enough to make it out. Too bad!

The crazies next door

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,
0

At work, we’ve had about half of the floor for the past two years and now we’re taking over the rest of it. It’s nice to have the place to ourselves and my colleagues and I were reminiscing about some of the strange folks who worked across the way.

For the most part, it seemed to be the bathroom behavior of the ladies that drew a lot of raised eyebrows from our office. For example, many of these ladies would take phone calls in the restroom. Didn’t matter if they were in a stall or just standing by the sinks, it was awkward. Who wants to walk in on a phone conversation and have to do your business?

Yeah.

I mean, I understand that they’re a more traditional office so they can’t take calls in their space, but there’s plenty of hallway and it’s not hard to hop on an elevator to stroll around the lobby or even outside. It got to the point where someone actually printed a sign to ask them to take their calls outside the restroom.

Then there was a random woman who would apparently bang her head on the wall, consistently and very much out in the open by the paper towel dispenser. I never actually ran into that situation, but two of my colleagues described it and one said that when she asked the woman if she was ok, she was ignored. Maybe this was some sort of trance? Again, not something that makes you comfortable walking into a restroom.

And then there were the grooming habits that went on in there, with folks washing their faces, brushing their teeth, flossing, or even applying nail polish. I don’t understand why any of these matters would be so urgent that you must do it midday at your office (usually around 2 pm). I mean, if it was at the end of the day, I can see how you might need to tidy up before going straight to an evening event. But when you’re still going to be sitting at the office for a few more hours, what is that really accomplishing?

Granted, these behaviors were certainly less odd, but the most uncomfortable was the flosser who would let things fly out of her mouth and never clean the sink area when she was done. Ick. For someone who seems to care about hygiene, that is not a very hygienic behavior.

And finally, for those who did take their calls in the hallway, there was always one girl who seemed to argue on every single call and have no qualms about airing her laundry (dirty or not). You’d think private conversations would either not be spoken so loudly or be taken somewhere out of the way. Alas, she did neither and nearly all of our office heard her complaints at one point or another. Yet another awkward situation to walk into and ignore.

Suffice it to say, we do not miss the oddballs in bathroom or hallway. Funny enough, they apparently found us odd. It seems that our choice of clothing – not business casual – was something for them to raise their eyebrows over. Good thing they don’t work out west! I can only imagine how they’d react to flip flops, hoodies, and board shorts if our everyday wear was strange to them. So I guess we’re all crazy in someone else’s eyes.

A freezing office was killing our productivity

laelene Posted in general blog, lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , ,
0

For months, the temperature of the office was almost a daily topic of discussion. It was always freezing for at least half of us, and a comfortable cool for the others. It got to the point where I had to wear at least two jackets in the office (which was pretty ridiculous considering it was blazing hot outside). Why waste all that energy to overcompensate for the external heat? Why does it always get SO cold in offices in the summer? It’s really counterproductive.

I would spend my days chugging hot water. The moment I stopped, I’d feel the numbing cold and have trouble focusing on anything else. It was dreadful to spend so much of my work hours uncomfortable and even in pain at times. Those of us who were cold were constantly thinking about how to stay warm, which couldn’t have been good for our productivity. I mean, I actually brought in a blanket that I put on my chair and wrapped around my legs when I worked. Many of us had little heaters at our desks as well, but after one blew a fuse, they weren’t allowed anymore.

Every couple of days, our office manager would call in the maintenance guys who would tell us everything was fine and the temperature was not abnormally low. Tell that to our icy cold hands. Finally, one day one of the sales folks joked about it being like a meat locker in the office – were we trying to keep raw meat from going bad? That sparked a discussion about how insanely cold it was and I shared an article about productivity in warmer temperatures. Some quotes from that article:

When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight.

A forthcoming paper from researchers at UCLA even shows that brief exposure to warmer temperatures leads people to report higher job satisfaction.

When we experience warmth, we experience trust. And vice versa.

We know that cold temperatures worsen productivity. What new research is showing is that it can also corrode the quality of our relationships.

Great workplaces aren’t simply the product of good organizational policies. They emerge when employees connect with one another and form meaningful relationships that engender trust. What’s often overlooked is that connections don’t operate in a vacuum.

It seems obvious that the temperature of a restaurant or theater can alter our experience. So why do we continue to neglect it in the workplace?

It makes sense after all, since if you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the very basis of survival includes physiological needs. How could be possibly expect to be able to operate well in relationships and higher level thinking and work if we couldn’t even satisfy the innate need for body function? Obviously our resources would be redirected towards trying to alleviate that unmet need, not leaving much room for the work we were supposed to be doing.

After this rather lengthy discussion, complete with pictures of how people were piling on the layers to combat the cold, we finally got the thermostat changed. Suddenly, I could wear only one jacket, and a light one at that! Sometimes after drinking my mug of hot water I could even take off the jacket momentarily. It was amazing and immediately lifted the mood of all those who had been freezing before. Now temperature is hardly a consideration at work. Sometimes the office still feels cold, but not nearly as bad. Hopefully it will continue to stay at a steady 74 degrees or higher. Those who didn’t mind the cold before certainly don’t seem to be too hot in this new temperature.

I’m much happier and can actually focus on work without having to consider how to stay warm throughout the day. It’s pretty incredible that something pretty simple took so long to fix (and that it feels oh so rewarding). I no longer yearn to work from home just so I could feel my fingers when I type. Isn’t that glorious?

I prefer to air dry

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,
0

I’ve used a blow dryer once on my hair. I couldn’t figure out this whole brushing hair and blow drying routine. It just didn’t make sense to me and I ended up blowing a lot of hot air at nothing. Afterwards, my hair felt like straw, it looked like a mess, my ears were burning, and I decided this wasn’t for me. That and I just don’t find it very useful to spend time in the bathroom getting ready. So all my life, I’ve air dried my hair.

Sometimes I comb it a certain way, braid it or tie it up. Sometimes I shake it all around and sort of let it fall. At night, I sleep on it any which way. When I get up for the day and it looks dreadful, I comb some water through or tie my hair back. I like showering in the evenings but my hair tends to fall better if I shower in the morning. I try to drag myself up when I can (not often successfully). Alas, I’d rather air dry my hair than spend time brushing and blowing it out.

For rather different reasons, I’ve also started to air dry my hands after washing them. At work, I go to the restroom many times a day since I tend to go through many mugs of drinks. Each time, a twinge of guilt hit me when I wiped my hands on paper towels. I tried bringing in one of my People Towel hand towels, but I kept forgetting to bring it with me. So eventually, I started to walk back to my desk without wiping my hands. By the time I got there, they were pretty much dry and I’d apply some lotion and be done.

You know, despite my reason for air drying hair to be due to laziness and my reason for air drying my hands to be due to environmental consciousness, they sort of have the same result. I save a bit of time and effort while conserving resources. I’m perfectly fine with that! Now you may notice that I did not mention air drying coming out of the shower, but since I’m reusing towels I feel like it’s far less wasteful. Plus it’d take a much longer time to air dry than just soaking up the water with a towel.

What do you think? Am I odd for being like that or do you air dry as well? If you don’t, would you consider it?

Writing confidence

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,
0

Writing is one of those things that I like to do for myself. No pressure to have a certain tone, no topics I need to stick to. When there are more guidelines, I get stressed and I have very little confidence in what I produce. Just replying to emails at times is a strenuous process that requires a ton of revisions.

Funny enough, I managed to get into marketing and sometimes need to produce content. It’s often emails sent en masse to partners, but also includes landing pages, presentations, and the occasional blog post. It’s the emails I dread most. Week after week, we come up with new topics and I need to create a piece around it. Something that will get the point across yet include all the details we need to share. I breathe a sigh of relief every time this is finally completed and scheduled.

While I’ve gotten better about going ahead with confidence, I still wonder each time I send out my initial draft whether the team will come back wanting to completely rework it. Instead, I’ve found that almost every single time there are minor tweaks, but no major overhauls. I’ve received some nice feedback from these and over time I worry less and less. I just can’t get to the point where I consider myself a great writer. I don’t think I ever have, nor do I think I ever will.

When I write for myself, it doesn’t matter how good or bad I am. All that matters is that I get to express myself the way I choose to. Anything that comes out is me, so there is no wrong. But when I write for others, there is so much room for judgement. For whatever reason, even as I receive praise, I can’t quite accept it. I just feel like a farce. Each success is another slip under the radar. One day I’ll be found out: I’m actually not a very good writer at all.

I began reading Lean In and so far many things have rung true for me. One of the points that Sheryl Sandberg made was that she too felt like a fake. So perhaps it’s the woman in me, the one who has been struck by imposter syndrome and doesn’t feel worthy of being a good writer. I’m trying to overcome that, and luckily I’ve received plenty of positive feedback lately to help me along the way. I was rather surprised when my manager praised my writing style, saying I had a way of writing the way I speak and coming off very friendly and amicable even if delivering bad news.

My manager works remotely so most of our interactions to start were via email. When he first met me in person, he expressed the warmth and cheerfulness he saw in me. I had not really noticed that about myself and oftentimes I still don’t really see it, but I’m glad that’s the impression he gets. All that laboring over email replies must have paid off! So maybe I am a good communicator after all.

Whatever the case, practice brings improvement, so I will have to keep on doing. At work, my manager had asked me what I like and do not like to do. Of course the one thing I said I don’t really like had to be the one thing he decided I should try more. Can you guess? Yup, it was writing. So now he has me managing a few new projects where I need to take control of the content and get it produced by a team I work with. I like working with the team, but putting together the copy to use is such a pain. I do recognize this as a learning and growing experience though, so while I don’t look forward to it, I will still work on it diligently. I may not like how I do it, but I hope that my effort comes through and I end up getting a lot better.

In search

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,
0

I’ve been watching a bunch of YouTube videos for the past couple of weeks (yeah, I’m only like 10 years late to the game). While much of what I’ve seen is inspirational and/or thought-provoking, it’s actually made me rather sad. So many people talk about doing what you love, being passionate… and they seem to have it figured out. They’ve been driven to do the things they do from something deep inside. They know what they just can’t live without. They know their passion and they embrace it.

Meanwhile, I have struggled. There are plenty of things I am passionate about: business culture, sustainability, animals, technology. I’ve considered career paths in each, but I struggle with seeing myself completely devoting my life to any one of those. So perhaps I’m not approaching it correctly; perhaps I should be considering how I can balance the many passions I have. That’s not easy though, since if you want to excel at something, you really need to dedicate a lot of time and energy to it. And then I get caught up in the little details, like how I want to avoid working in an office because I love being outside or how I want a somewhat predictable yet flexible schedule so I have more control over when I work. Am I asking for too much?

I guess I’ve been stumped all this time because there might not be something out there that is consistently outdoors at least 20-40% of the time, doesn’t generally require early mornings (or any mornings), allows for and might even require periodic travel, and is pretty stable. The criteria for a job that would be ideal might not be attainable. Then again, I’m probably focusing on the wrong things. After all, when you’re passionate about something, all those other details seem to fall away.

So there it is again, that idea that you need to figure out the passion of your life and do it. If only it were so easy for me to decide what that passion would be. Others make it seem effortless. It’s the thing that they’ve loved since childhood. They don’t even need to think about it. They just start talking about it and their eyes light up, they smile broadly, and they could go on for ages. When I think about what my passion might be, the ones I’ve thought of never hit me like a lightning bolt of inspiration. I haven’t thought, “I must do that. My soul needs that.” That’s sort of the moment of enlightenment I’ve been hoping for.

One of the videos I watched today mentioned the things that come naturally. Everyone has talents where things appear effortless. Mine include being cheerful, sharing, noticing details, and (over)thinking. If you count those as talents. They are certainly the traits I have that come naturally, without a conscious effort. I wish I had a more concrete talent like being artistic or being athletic. Those are easily translated into some type of work that you can pursue. But how does something like ‘being cheerful’ tie in to work? I can apply my skills to any job I have, but are any of them something I can do in and of themselves? Not really.

I envy the people in the world who just know what they want. They may not have had an easy time pursuing their deepest heart’s desire, but they had a goal and direction. I feel like I’m in the center of a glob, with too many spokes leading me outward toward the edge. Which one do I choose to go with?

 

Have you had this sort of challenge as well? What do you think would help?

Reston Town Center April Fool’s

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , , ,
0

It looks like the Reston Town Center does a fun joke each year for April Fool’s! Last year the balls were all rainbow colored and this time around they went with a new theme. Pretty fun!

reston town center fountain filled with large plastic beach balls for april fool's

This year, there was a sports theme!

excited girl throwing beach ball in air by fountain filled with balls

I claimed a giant blue one. 🙂

giant blue beach ball being stuffed into backseat of car

There was no way it would fit in the car like that.

giant blue beach ball stuck in door of car

Obviously stuck, and so started the deflation process.

giant blue beach ball squeezing into backseat of car

Getting there…

giant blue beach ball squeezed into backseat of car

Success! Snugly inside.

giant blue beach ball squished in back seat of car

Buckle up for the ride. 😉

view of giant beach ball in rearview mirror of car

This was my view from the driver’s seat.

selfie in car with giant blue beach ball in back seat

Selfie with the ball, of course.

How to: make a browser tab act as a desktop program

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
0

When I learned of this trick, I was so excited! I hope your inner nerd loves it too.

Are you like me and hate having certain tabs open in your browser because you want to be able to use a site as if it was a separate program? Well, with Google Chrome you can basically achieve that! As I discovered recently, you can pop out certain sites you want to have open without having to resort to new windows or tabs. This way, it gets its very own icon in your taskbar and when you close it, you can quickly re-open it by clicking the image. This is called an application shortcut and is particularly useful for sites you listen to music on (so it’s like having a music player program open), sites you’re messaging with (so it’s like having an IMing program installed), or even just your favorite sites (like your blog editor).

I think you really need to try it out for yourself to understand it better. It’s a lot like the Add to Home Screen option on iOS devices (but the Windows desktop version), if you’ve done that before. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1 – Go to the menu in the top right, More Tools, then Create Application Shortcuts…

google chrome browser application shortcut setting option

Step 2 – Choose one or both application shortcuts to create. You can create a Desktop shortcut and/or a Pin to Taskbar one.

google chrome browser create application shortcut options

Step 3 – Now your app shortcut sits on your desktop and/or your taskbar for easy access. Just click to open!

google chrome browser application shortcut on desktop

Here I set up Grooveshark so I can listen to music and quickly switch to it to pause my music. Behind it, I’m working on this blog post in the browser!

Power Supply Week of Jan 19 review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , ,
0

I’m still trying to get newer dishes so I can get a good understanding of which dishes work for me. There were some hits and misses as it goes, and I’m slowing learning their menus so I make selections suited to me.

Power Supply is around $9.50-$15.50 per meal (when you sign up for a recurring plan – single orders are 5% more) and offers a variety of ready-made meal types, all gluten- and dairy-free. Boxes are sent once or twice weekly (depending on your plan) and you have total control over customization of which meals you get. You can easily switch between plans or choose to skip some weeks. They offer a referral program that earns free meals for referrer and referree.

Apple, Potato, Turkey Sausage Frittata w/ Side Salad

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal in box

I’m not sure why I decided to try another frittata, given that I find them to be too dense.

power supply apple, potato, turkey sausage frittata with side salad paleo lunch meal open

This one was decent, but still not something I’d want again. The sauce helps and the salad was too light with little flavor.

Boeuf Bourguignon

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal in box

I can’t pronounce this for the life of me, but I know I like this sort of thing.

power supply boeuf bourguignon mixitarian dinner meal open

I found it to be delicious! The portion was nowhere near enough and I could have eaten buckets more.

Jerk Chicken w/ Garlic Spinach, Brown Rice & Coconut Sauce (reorder – see the original review)

Apparently I got this before, but I didn’t quite remember so I ended up getting it again. It was alright and I might get it again, but it’s not the top of my list.

Bok Choy, Carrot, Mushroom & Tofu Stir-fry (SPICY)

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal in box

When I see bok choy, I am always intrigued.

power supply bok choy, carrot, mushroom & tofu stir-fry vegetarian lunch meal open

It seems like the vegetarian dishes are actually more to my taste. I loved the flavor here and it was a good portion.

Spring Turkey Salad w/ Green Beans & Dried Cherries (reorder – see the original review)

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