Browse Tag: productivity

journal page decorated with stickers printed from thermal printer

Pocket Printers are magic!

I’d almost forgotten that I went down the pocket printer rabbit-hole for somewhat practical reasons. I’d become frustrated trying to create a small scale automated inventory system and part of that frustration was trying to create unique barcodes and print them on appropriately sized labels.

Halfway through that journey I stumbled on Phomemo printers (specifically the M200 and MO2 pro) and was like “I can make super cute stickers with pictures of my cat!”

Don’t laugh. I’m not joking.

Also: Yes, I can use the apps for both printers to scan, edit and print barcodes for my automated inventory system project so my time wasn’t completely wasted researching and debating which printer to buy. I narrowed a rather wide list down to two printers based on cost, apps, assortment of papers and labels available, and dpi (these are both 300 dpi printers.)

It hadn’t occurred to me to test device apps on my phone prior to buying a device, but this time it did occur to me and that was a game changer of an idea. A few of the printers I was considering got knocked out of the running immediately because of issues installing or running the app on iPhone and even though my computer has Bluetooth it can be fussy to connect new devices.
Cute cat stickers

Here are some stickers I made of my cat using the Phomemo M200 which is a bit more geared towards making wider format labels for business purposes and slightly larger than the MO2 Pro (which is what I used to print the floral sticker in the top left corner, the design is stock art from the Phomemo app.)

Both printers only print in a single color on whatever the background is because they are thermal printers. Mostly it’s going to be black on the background but sometimes there are special papers that will print blue or red. I used fineliner markers to color the floral sticker and Prismacolor pencils to give the pictures of Figg a colorized effect.

M02 pro next to M200I prefer the M200 app (PrintMaster) over the app for the MO2 Pro (Phomemo) but both are perfectly serviceable. I did download the Windows app for the M200 and have played around with it a little, however I haven’t successfully connected the M200 to my computer. The Phomemo app has more clipart to use and many of the same tools as PrintMaster however it feels less intuitive. The M02 Pro doesn’t connect to Windows computers at all. Neither has a great selection of fonts but both allow for images to be imported so that’s not a huge limitation if you don’t mind the extra step of creating your design in another program.


Break the Ice: Write don’t Freeze

You’d be more productive and your career more profitable if you could just sit down and write. Instead you agonize over the title. You write and delete, start over. You do a little more research on your topic. You play with your phone, text, clean your desk, read emails. After you’ve returned phone calls, scheduled meetings, rewired the electrical in your entire office and patched the drywall you realize you never got around to writing an actual post or article. Then you realize you really never forgot to write it. The task hangs there, unfinished. Continue Reading

Staying Productive (even when there’s nothing to do)

Just kidding, there’s always something to do.

Clean up your desktop, organize files into clearly labelled folders and delete unnecessary files. I organize by my folders by project type, date and project name and move them to my documents folder.

Make all your devices talk to each other. If you do this make sure to remove any devices you no longer use (or even have) and double check your security and home network administration settings. Follow up by making your all your security updates are updated and installed. Give yourself an extra special pat on the back if you can fire up your printer from every device in the house. Continue Reading

Remote Working Basics

When I started working exclusively from home in late 1999, it wasn’t a smooth transition. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t intuitive. I’d gone directly from tending a popular bar to freelance whatever-ing (transcription, data-entry, appointment setting, website designing, freelance writing, blogging, reviewing and general editing) alone, at home, being lonely and not knowing what I should be doing with my time.

I’m not the smartest or most focused person in the world. I’m actually not that bright in conventional terms, I have my strengths but it took a good long time for me to figure out what they were and how to take advantage of them in any meaningful way. Continue Reading