How to Set the Right Google Calendar Reminders (Video Demo)

Well, look at you using your shiny organized Google calendar to manage everything. You’ve got meetings, doctor’s appointments, projects to work on, and everything’s working great for you. You’ve set up all your appointments so well that you even set reminders to notify you a few minutes before each appointment on your calendar! Go you!

I don’t know about you but I love those reminders so much. I love how I can set each appointment on my Google calendar to remind me hours and even minutes before each appointment so I can remember that something’s coming up. If I have a meeting coming up, I set my reminder so that I can gather my meeting materials and get prepared.

If you use Google calendar, surely you’ve noticed that every time you create an appointment, you get those reminders that pop up on your phone, computer, or both. You set them up every time you schedule an appointment time slot on your calendar.

But there’s only one thing…What if you don’t want to manually adjust that reminder every single time you create an appointment?

What if you want all of your appointments to notify you twice: 30 minutes and 5 minutes beforehand with a pop-up?

Here’s the good news! There’s a way to set your reminder preferences so they automatically populate for you. Let’s take a look at how you can do this, even if you’re a new Google calendar user.

First you’ll create an appointment on your Google calendar. After you fill in your appointment information, you’ll click more options. Here you have the opportunity to change how you get notified. The problem is that Google gives you some default settings that are really easy to change.  I personally like to receive my reminders thirty minutes and five minutes before each appointment, but you can change that to be whatever you want. Some people even set their reminders to be the day before and the hour before.

Google gives you default reminder settings that may not suit you, and manually changing the settings on each appointment is a waste of time.

There’s a special but easy setting to edit so that you can control the default settings and never have to manually adjust the reminders on each appointment again!

Here’s how you’ll do it!

First, you’ll want to click on settings and sharing on the left hand side next to your calendar. Then, you’ll want to scroll to event notifications. Here you’ll be able to modify your reminder settings.  

Next, you’ll remove the existing email notification and add a preferred notification time. It can be the day before, an hour before, or even 5 minutes before, it’s totally your prerogative. There. Now you’ve stopped to sing the Bobby Brown song. Congrats! You’ve officially got that song stuck in your head all day!

Now, let’s get back to it.

All of the appointments on my calendar in the how-to video above previously had default reminders set for a pop

How to Check off Recurring Tasks in Asana Without New Tasks Getting in the Way

How to Check off Recurring Tasks in Asana Without New Tasks Getting in the Way (Video Demo)

I have a confession to make. I’m an Asana addict. I don’t know what it is about it. Maybe it’s the organization or the sections of tasks that I get to check off.

If you use Asana, one of your biggest joys is probably checking off tasks. I know that it’s one of my favorite things, especially when it involves little surprises like happy unicorns jumping out of nowhere when you’re on a roll with completing tasks and projects.

Yes. I’m a bona fide Asana nerd. I love clicking on that check mark to say I’m done with each task. It’s liberating.

But when I go to check off several recurring tasks all at once, they regenerate and sometimes I end up checking off the wrong one. It’s one of my Asana pet peeves so I’ve come up with a solution to this problem.

Check out the video demo below:

How to Create Recurring Tasks

While this little problem can be frustrating and may seem confusing, it’s an easy fix. Let me show you what I mean. If you didn’t know that you could make recurring tasks in Asana, you’re in for a treat because I’m going to show you how to do that so you know exactly where to click and what to do.

First, you’ll click on the task and on the right-hand side click due date. Once you click on due date, look down where you can choose set to repeat. I usually choose set to repeat periodically.

One of my favorite ways to use Asana is to manage my bookkeeping. I have a bunch of tasks that recur, like payments that I need to make monthly or tasks that I need to do weekly, etc.  I check them off as they come back from the last time I’ve completed the task so that they can regenerate for the next time that they need to be done. So, when you click on set to repeat, you click on a little drop down and you can choose how often something will regenerate.

For example, my task can be to pay a specific bill every 30 days or on the 4th of every month. You can even set something for every 3 months or 6 months. You can set a task to recur everyday or for an interval as easy as every 7 days.

This means that every time you check off that task, it will regenerate for 7 days from the day that you check it off.


Here’s the Problem

In the video above I show you how I make a few recurring tasks and the pet peeve I have with recurring tasks. Then you’re going to understand the solution in just a second.

If I go and check off one or all of the recurring tasks they start to immediately regenerate. They start popping back up right as the previous one gets checked off. If they pop up too quickly and …

Email Signature Must-Do Setting for Gmail Users (Video Demo)

Tell me if this has happened to you… Have you ever needed to quickly access the phone number or address of a business acquaintance but their email signature is totally missing?

You’re emailing someone back and forth and they mention that the address to their location is in their email signature but you don’t see it because it’s hidden in a million and one responses from the emails you two have been sending back and forth.

You think, wait… How do I make sure this doesn’t happen to people who receive email responses from me?

Solve this problematic Gmail “default setting” with just one checkbox.

I’ve got the perfect tip to share a super sweet Gmail email signature setting that everyone must use so your email signature never gets lost when you’re in an email thread with someone.

This setting is for anyone who uses a email signature inside of Gmail webmail.

Let’s get down to business…

I recently had some communications with a client where every time she replied it ended up appending her signature to the bottom of the entire thread. Every time she wrote to me it would put her email where it should be, but put her signature all the way at the bottom or all our messages.  I recognized this behavior because it is a common setting on Gmail accounts.

There is a very quick and easy fix to the problem that she was having.  If you log into your Gmail inbox, all you do is you click on the settings gear in the upper right. Then you click on settings, and stay on the very first tab General and scroll down. In the signature area all you have to do is click off the checkmark that says insert this signature before the quoted text and viola… The problem is resolved.

You’ll just need to click save changes and you’re all set.

Want to see the difference this makes? Take a peek at the video for the details!

Again, this is an extremely easy fix. It’s one of those things that if you don’t realize that the default settings aren’t working in your favor, then you end up with these wonky communications back and forth.

In this case, after the settings were in place I was able to see her email signature information after clicking the three dots under her response. I hope you’ll use this sweet little fix to implement in your Gmail account.

Have you ever used this setting in Gmail? Tell me in the comments below.

gmail, google, email signature, tips

How to Continue Your Tabs Where You Left Off using Google Chrome (Video Demo)

If you’re anything like me, you have lots of tabs open across the top of Google Chrome all. the. time.

You don’t have to lose your all your open tabs in Google Chrome when you reboot, or your computer crashes, or your laptop battery dies… Here’s a really quick setting in Google Chrome to fix your tab-losing woes.

This is a really quick setting inside Google Chrome that you may not know about.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all been a victim of it. We’ve all been there. Done that. Worn that t-shirt and lived to face palm hoping our tabs were saved after we got so focused on a project that our laptop died even though we got a notification to plug it in at 15%. We quickly ignore it and the computer goes dead taking our precious Google Chrome tabs with it!

Your screen goes blank and you’re sitting there between “Please! Let me be able to find that website I was on,” and, “Well… THAT just happened. Now what?”

Somehow you muster up the courage to plug in your laptop, press the power button and hope the tabs you were on got saved.

Well I’m here to tell you… You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope for the best anymore because I’ve got the Google Chrome tip of the ages. The one that will help you pick right up where you left off.

Here’s how you’ll do it…

So, in the settings area, there are three dots in the upper right for a PC and on a Mac you can go to edit and then settings in your menu in the upper left. As you scroll down right in the settings area you can choose Open a New Tab or Continue Where You Left Off, and there you have it your lost tabs magically reappear again!

This is my ass-saving trick for when I lose my tabs. After I adjust this setting, I open my browser back up, and it opens up with everything exactly as it was. So simple and brilliant, right? It’s a timesaver that I hope saves you a bunch of time on your next reboot. This is something that happens to us all way too often. Share it with someone you love because this all happens to the best of us.

Do you want more tech tips, organization hacks and productivity tips to make your life easier? Join me in my Facebook group! I post cool hacks often so stay tuned so you can stay in the know!

 google chrome, tech tips, tech hacks, settings

How to Make Lemonade from the Lemons of Credit Card Fraud with Asana (Video Demo)

Credit Card fraud. One of the big scary things we hope and pray we never have to endure, for a variety of reasons. I was recently a victim of credit card fraud on my U.S. Dollar Visa card and when I went to pick up the new card I thought, “This so frustrating. I have so many automatic payments that I have to go and update.”

But, in all the chaos of updating every company I have recurring payments with, I’m making lemonade out of lemons by taking the time to get things in order and make a list. That’s right, a simple list.

I already have to spend my time calling, emailing, or logging onto the 20 places where I currently use this US dollar credit card for monthly payments. I’m using that time wisely, because while I’m doing that, I’m going to compile a list of everywhere that I’m logging into as well as the links just in case I have to do this again!

If you want to see how I’m organizing this process, let’s get started!

Make a List (00:53)

I’m using the project management software Asana for this process. Just to mention, Asana is free and I love using it for my bookkeeping specifically but there’s a lot of other uses for it. One of the features that I love about Asana the most is recurring tasks. But let’s get back to business and look at my credit card fraud issue.

So first, I’ve got my list of payments and places where I’ll need to update my new credit card information. This is a helpful list to have anytime you have a card expire, a new credit card number, or in my case, credit card fraud.

If you have to call or log into 20 different places, having this list will literally save-your-life! Well, not literally, but you get what I’m trying to say here. Every time you get a new company to pay, add them to this list with your account number and/or log-in credentials, the date your payment is due, and the amount you pay. On this list, I also keep places where my credit card may be on file even if I don’t have recurring payments, like PayPal or Amazon.

Using PayPal as an example, I don’t have recurring payments necessarily through PayPal, but I have my card on file so that I can pay through PayPal without pulling out my credit card. This is going to save me time down the road because when I go and log in to order something on Fiverr, I don’t have to go find my wallet, pull out the card, and enter the info. It’s just going to be there with PayPal and I can pay with ease.

Gather Your Payment Info (2:34)

The way that I’ve segmented this is I have started with my full list which includes all of my payments. Next, I went through and I pulled out every transaction that is …

How to Use Chrome Bookmarks to Keep Track of Facebook Groups (Video Demo)

Let me just come right out and say it. I love Facebook groups. We all do! We love the support. We love the friendship. We love the resources and connections.

But what happens when we look up, and we’ve joined 20 or more groups… Oh! I know… we start feeling overwhelmed not knowing how we’re going to keep up with them all.

Someone recently asked me how to more easily keep track of Facebook Groups they’re a part of. They recently switched to Google Chrome so this tip and trick sesh is a two for one!

That’s right superstar! I’m talking about Chrome bookmarks, and how to take control of all the Facebook groups you’re in, and how to have your favorite Facebook groups show up the way that you want.

Let’s get this party started! So if you go to your Facebook homepage you can see the shortcuts to your Facebook groups on the left-hand side of the screen. You used to be able to able to drag them around in the order that you want. Now it’s not easy to make sure that your shortcuts are in the right order and so it’s a little bit frustrating when you’re trying to remember the name of a group or easily find the one that you go to most often.

So here’s what that solution is…

If you are on your Facebook homepage and you go down to explore and click groups, you’ll be able to access the groups page. This is the page that shows all the groups you’re a member of.  In the video above, I’ve gone over to the groups page. Now, what you’re going to do is create a folder inside your chrome bookmarks and save each one of these group links to that folder.

You will do this by right-clicking on the bookmarks bar in the browser. You will then choose add folder and you’ll name your folder. I named my folder fbg because I like to keep things as short as possible so that I can make sure I can fit as many shortcut folders as I can in my bookmarks bar. This is partly why I use these sort of shortcut folders so that I can keep a lot of things that are all related to each other in one folder.

Now that you have your folder, you can simply drag the Facebook links on the group names themselves right into your handy dandy folder. I know. So epic, right! As you drag each link into the folder you’ll magically create bookmarks for each one of your Facebook group links. You can selectively pick and choose which Facebook groups you want to bookmark – that is, you don’t have to create bookmarks to ALL your groups – just the ones that you want to have easy access to!

Once all of your bookmarked links are in your folder you can rearrange the order of them simply by dragging them where you want. You …

Happy Birthday To Me (reflecting on my “Simplify” goal)

Yup, I’m FORTY. I’m not sure how that happened. I mean, I feel like I’m 25.

The gray hairs say otherwise. The crinkles when I smile say otherwise. My improved wisdom says otherwise.

[My smart-assed nature, on the other hand… has always been around.]

And amazingly, I have arrived at forty having recently achieved a number of long-term goals that I’ve been working towards for years.

I started off 2017 with one main goal: SIMPLIFY.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not a Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely goal. Simplify is the THEME of my goals.

I can barely express how freeing it is to be this on top of things throughout my life and business…

    • I am finally debt-free! (Yup, been carrying that weight on my shoulders and on my line of credit since 2008, believe it or not. WOOT!)
    • I got rid of a bunch of crap. My husband and I moved in together after each having our own apartment in two different cities for the last couple of years. We consolidated, and were able to get rid of all our duplicates and surplusses, and we organized the rest of our belongings. Feels soooo good!
    • I narrowed my business focus and obligations; Quality over Quantity. At the start of 2017, I had FOUR jobs/businesses/contracts AND was managing our rental property.  Much as I like to think I’m SuperWoman, no one can do a halfway decent job at that many different obligations. We sold the house, I finished the contracts, and I’m now down to just two business focuses.
    • I feel amazing, physically (and mentally).I decided to do something “extreme” so that I could FEEL as GOOD as POSSIBLE for the big day (and thereafter). Much to my husband (aka drinking partner)’s chagrin, I embarked on the Whole30. I have loved the overall feeling of improved health, constant alertness, and it has been great to discover that I’m just as energetic and goofy whilst sober :).


  • I cranked up my productivity by getting hyper-organized throughout my business and life. I now have templates set up, procedures documented, passwords logged and selectively and securely shared, computer files and photos backed up and easy to find, my emails all searchable, and my personal emergency file in place (y’know, now that I’m 40!).
    ^^ This deep level of feeling organized is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
    It’s the culmination of many efforts over several years… going paperless, finding the right technologies (and learning to use them), doing my taxes on time, scaling my business, and delegating more and more… just to name a few.


I’ve created a course all around getting DIGITALLY ORGANIZED.

It’s called Digital Life Mastered. It’s a hyper-supportive digital course that helps busy entrepreneurs gain mastery and control over their business by becoming truly organized – once and for …

Four Gifts of Hindsight After Recovering from (way too many) Injuries

Four Gifts of Hindsight After Recovering from (way too many) Injuries

Inspiration + Important Takeaways (Deep Thoughts, by Dara)

Let me start this post with my conclusion because the preamble is a little long and I don’t want you to miss out.

As you may know, I started a new business in the last two years. But you may not know that it was because my life changed unexpectedly.

Here are some of my takeaways after two years of injury (aka the interruption of my regularly scheduled programming):

– Pivot if you have to. (Though, perhaps not on the bad leg.)

Try something new. Make new friends. Start a new venture or hobby. They might not just end up being “filler”!

– Do what you can with what you’ve got.

I really wanted to get back to being the old me, but I didn’t waste time wallowing, or waiting for that old me (or the healed me) to show up. I did other things that were worthwhile.

– It could be worse, or could have been worse.

Thankfully, I only sustained injuries I could recover from. Don’t get lost in self-pity, because it’s not constructive.

– Have more empathy. In general.

I am more supportive to an injured friend or a sick relative because I’ve been through it myself. Empathy is a good life skill.

Where did all these takeaways come from?

Two years ago I was in the middle of a grueling squash match… and my knee blew out. 

I was living in Whistler and looking forward to a summer of hiking and mountain biking. 

Instead, I spent a couple of months in pain, then discomfort, slowly rehabbing my knee, planning on moving back to Vancouver, and getting on the squash court for the fall season.

I moved back to the city! Vancouver, here I come! And my first day back, I badly sprained my ankle. On the other leg.

What. The. F. 

Couldn’t hop around, because knee. Couldn’t unpack my apartment, because standing. 

All the excitement from my move, new city, new home, deflated. 

And then…

Two weeks later, I had a scooter accident.

What could have been seriously serious was only a broken arm. 

But a broken right arm. 

That required a plate and screws and surgery. 

This was not the best time for Dara. 

(But yes, I still typed pretty fast with only my left hand.) 

You’d think that would be it for my streak of bad luck… But while my arm was healing, I found out that the knee injury was a torn ACL that would require surgery. 

I went from being active, fit, healthy, and surgery-free, to having two surgeries in 6 months, and more than a year and a half off that beloved squash court. 

Why am I telling you this? 

Because now I’m on the other side of it (more than two years later).

And I stepped back on the squash court yesterday!

I had played since the knee injury. I had played with the metal plate in my right arm.