Archive for the Methods Category

Life Tips – Balancing your wallet

Posted in Knowledge, Life Tips, Methods with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2015 by Sirusdark

Hello! Today I’d like to share with you one of my most useful life technique: wallet balancing.

You may also combine this tip with this great financial tip:

Never bring more cash than you can or wanna spend!

Show me the money

In today’s era of electronic transactions, cash may seem obsolete, but it’s not. This technique literally saved my arse the day countless times!

Here are some true stories on how this simple method saved the day:

  • Went for an onsite residential job: customer was suppose to pay with cheque, but instead, decided to pay cash. That wasn’t planned… Still, I was able to give the exact change on the spot.
  • Went to see a relative and by some unplanned circumstance, had to take the bus back home. Fortunately, I had the exact amount to pay the trip’s fare!
  • Went for a bite with a friend: AFTER eating, waitress gives us the addition and tells us the debit/credit card machine is out of order; cash only! You guessed it: I was able to pay. I was even able fill in the missing cash/change for my friend who didn’t have a balanced wallet. (Now does!)

How is when

The most important aspect of this wallet balancing technique, is to do it “daily“. What it really means is the second you use your cash, your wallet becomes unbalanced (I know… Rocket science). The “hard” part is balancing it the same day or the next morning before grabbing it for a new day.

My Settings

Safe (can give change for any bills up to 50$)
2×20$+2×10$+2×5$ (Total of 70$)

On budget
20$+10$+5$ (Total of 35$)

wallet_budget_001

Change (never, EVER changes)
2×2$, 2×1$, 6x 0.25$, 3x .10$, 2×0.05$ (Total of 7.90$ or 13.90$)

wallet_sparechange_001

Instead of keeping a total count of my spare change, I simply configure them in a specific layout: all that’s left to do is empty my wallet’s change pocket and match my original layout.

The above picture shows my basic pattern (left) and the extra pattern add-on (right), if needed.

Voilà! I hope you find this tip useful. Now, by all means, do adapt this technique YOUR specific needs!

Enjoy!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

Blizzard Overwatch Tracer Statue Pre-order follow-up – Business Best-Practice Example

Posted in E-mail, Methods with tags , , , , , , , on February 8, 2015 by Sirusdark

Hello dear readers and followers!

Last Friday I received a follow-up e-mail on a pre-order of mine and felt like writing about it because it’s a nice example of a well crafted e-mail. It also demonstrates how to properly communicate with customers; good communication is EVERYTHING in business and it’s key to success. (and for oh, so many other life’s aspects…)

Here’s the follow-up message I received for my pre-order:

Blizzard Order *********

“Cheers, love!  The cavalry’s here!”

Greetings Sirus ****,

You may have noticed a recent authorization attempt from Blizzard Entertainment on your credit card. This authorization occurred because the current pre-order period for Tracer has ended and we’ve started to prepare for the next stage of the process.  Please be aware that this authorization is only a temporary hold of funds to authenticate your purchase.  You are not being charged at this time.

The Tracer statue is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2015.

Regards,

Blizzard Gear Store Team

Scalpel Please…

Although the e-mail is short, EVERYTHING’S there. Let’s see in detail why it’s a great example to follow:

Numbers

Using an order number or a reference number (aka ticket number), gives both parties the ultimate information: a unique number that refers to a specific interaction between them. I love those.

Humor

The funny quote at the beginning is a very clever way to introduce the purpose of the message (subject). Just like an inside joke, only the recipient knows what it’s about. Anyone familiar with Blizzard’s products knows the e-mail is about Tracer, a game character from Blizzard’s upcoming title Overwatch, as the quote is from her. It creates a deeper intimate connection for something very process-oriented. A nice touch.

Content

Then, the user is politely greeted and the message clearly explains what’s going on: they simply checked the validity of my credit card so that when it’s time to charge for the product, it’ll work. Fine by me! For the control freaks out there, they even explained that it’s NOT a charge. Twice… Hum… no. Make it three.

Using quarters, bubble gum not included

Finally, a time frame is given. In the world of pre-orders, dates are a rare commodity. Using quarters instead of precise dates is also very clever: it tells the customer approximately when to expect the product, and at the same time, gives the company a 3 months grace period to deliver. Smart, huh? I’ll definitely use that for my big quotes!

Conclusion

For good communication (or a radio hit), repetition is essential, even critical. Reiterating the origin of the message in the signature is a good idea. In this case, the Blizzard Gear Store.

Voilà! Just a little example of how to build a clear concise follow-up message.

For those wondering who’s “Tracer” and what this pre-order is all about, here, some pictures.

Enjoy!

overwatch-tracer-04overwatch-tracer-03overwatch-tracer-02overwatch-tracer-01

TIME SENSITIVE BONUS!!

Though they said the pre-order period has “ended“, that “Add to Cart” button still looks pretty darn workin’! :D
pre-order_tracer
Last chance for collectors! Check it out!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

References
-http://us.blizzard.com/
-http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en/
-http://gear.blizzard.com/index.php/default/collectibles/overwatch-tracer-statue.html

Firefox – New One Click Search review – How to use, disable and manage it

Posted in Browser, Methods, Workflow with tags , , , , on December 10, 2014 by Sirusdark

Hello dear readers and followers! Sorry for this delayed post, I didn’t scheduled it last week! O_o

Today’s article is about Firefox new One Click Search feature.

If your browser is up-to-date and it’s Firefox, you must have noticed a few changes since the last updates. One of those is the different search system.

I thought I’d do a quick review since my first impression was not so good and after doing some research and tests, I’ve concluded that it’s a bit better, but still needs improvement.

What about speed?

My first searches using the new system were a real pain in the a$$: I couldn’t use my usual keyboard shortcut to change the search engine! (Alt+Arrow_Down) So, after some research, I was finally able to adjust and get back on track.

Lemme show you!

Let’s search 3 terms in 3 different tabs using 3 different search engines; the first search is made using the browser’s default configured search engine (Ex. : Ixquick).

Here’s how it goes, without using the mouse of course :

Old Search Box

Ctrl+E, search_term1, Enter

Ctrl+T,Ctrl+E, search_term2, Alt+Arrow_Down, Arrow_Down, Arrow_Down, choose Bing, Enter, Enter,

Ctrl+T,Ctrl+E, search_term2, Alt+Arrow_Down, Arrow_Down, Arrow_Down, Arrow_Down, choose Google, Enter, Enter,

One Click Search steps

Ctrl+E, search_term1, Enter

Ctrl+T,Ctrl+E, search_term2, Arrow_Up, Arrow_Up, choose Bing, Enter

Ctrl+T,Ctrl+E, search_term2, Arrow_Up, Arrow_Up, Arrow_Up, choose Google, Enter

What about old school?

If you prefer the old version, it’s very simple to switch back :

Type about:config in the URL bar

Search for (Ctrl+F) : “oneoff” which will find “browser.search.showOneOffButtons

Double-click it to turn it to False

Restart Firefox

BUG – Removing search providers

With the new search system, you can’t “remove” search providers, only disable them. If you’re like me and prefer removing things completely, you’ll need to switch to the old search system and then remove the search providers you don’t want. BUT, if you have the new One Click Search, I DON’T recommend you do that; you won’t be able to add again the “removed” search providers as they will NOT be removed from Firefox. It’s a bug.

Good news everyone

Finally, one of the cool feature, is you can add website search strait in your browser’s search bar. When it detects a search box on a website, you can add it to your search engines! For example, if you want to quickly search articles on this blog without loading the blog every time, you simply add it to your search engines. Problem is, you can’t rename them… it’s sometimes hard to tell which icon is for which website.

In conclusion, Firefox’s Once Click Search is nice, but it’s far from ready. IMO, it’s an incomplete system that should’ve been delayed before being pushed to the public…

Enjoy!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca