This is the fifth of a series of reports I’ll be posting monthly about my own lifestyle design hacks.
I’m doing this because I not only want to deliver great lifestyle design / life hack related content, but I want my fans to know that I’m on a mission to hack my way and design the lifestyle I desire and I want to help you do the same.
Some of the things I’ll be reporting on are small hacks that make life a bit easier, safer, more fun, etc and others are bigger and more important.
I’ve come to the realization that there are a lot of life hack websites out there with interesting hacks, tricks, good-to-knows and this-may-come-in-handys but many of them fail to bring it all together under one cohesive theme with an end purpose in mind.
To set myself apart from the herd, I’ve decided that regardless of the size of the hack, the end purpose I’m going to keep in mind is to increase freedom and maximize life, which falls right in line with lifestyle design mantra.
So far, I’m not 100% of the way there in achieving the lifestyle of my dreams, but it’s the journey that often makes us appreciate the destination even more. We’ll see what works, what doesn’t and what I learn along the way. And I’ll share that journey with you in hopes that you achieve your goals and dreams.
Lifestyle Design Hacks for February
Tales of Two Web Sites
When this blog first launched in January, there was hardly any content (posts), the design needed work, and there was no way to collect visitors’ email addresses.
The first order of business was getting some good quality posts written – at least one for each main sub-topic of this blog – which I managed to do.
Next came the design, which was challenging for me because I’m not a web developer and artistic ability is not one of my endowments. I tidied up the menu, added the logo/header from my Facebook group, and then added a nice pretty button so visitors can access and read these reports quickly.
Finally, keeping my end purpose of lifestyle design in mind, I added some opt in forms with a WordPress plug in called Thrive leads. There’s the one at the top (if you’re using a desktop or laptop PC; looks ugly on phones) and a lightbox that fades in after 5 seconds for new visitors (all devices). Right now I’m not selling anything, but if you have a website you should always be trying to capture leads. Even if there’s nothing for sale now, your readers may not mind being informed of new posts, news, etc.
This site wasn’t the only one that got worked on in February though. The last report spoke of an ecommerce website that had an upgrade go awry in 2014. I explained that our traffic bombed and we decided to scrap the website and started building a new one in Oct 2015. A word about the launch, which occurred in February, was also mentioned.
The new site went live on February 9th. Recovering from the wrath of Google is never an easy battle, but so far the response seems positive. A tool called Lucky Orange has been employed to track cart abandonment, real-time stats, and allow live chat with visitors. The great thing about Lucky Orange is that we can watch recordings of visitors’ actions on the site showing where they scrolled, clicked, stopped to read and more, etc. This data may prove invaluable for further improving the website.
Media Center PC Upgrade
As you may already know, I run a part-time computer consulting business in my area. I normally don’t do on-site jobs too much anymore partly because of another business which may require me to take unpredictable calls and partly because I don’t want to, but a customer who lives near me contacted me to help her install a new PC and move data from the old one over to the new one. Because she was so close I agreed to take the job.
Often, moving data from one PC to another can take a fair amount of time depending on the amount of files. I often strike up conversations with customers during this time, mainly because sitting next to a stranger in their home in total silence is awkward, but also so I can get to know them.
While the bits of data were being funneled from the old PC to an external drive I asked my customer what she planned on doing with the old PC. She replied that she wasn’t sure and would probably throw it out. I then told her that if she liked, I could take it off her hands and “recycle” it but wouldn’t be able to pay her anything. She agreed.
I had been using an even older PC, which was connected to the TV in the living room, as a “media center” PC.
The truth is all I ever did with it was watch how-to and self improvement videos from the Internet on the big screen. But the PC I received from my customer was newer and had more potential, plus we’ve been toying with the idea of cutting the cable and using an HD TV antenna, Netflix, and a hacked Amazon Fire Stick coupled with a TV tuner equipped PC (to give us DVR capabilities) instead of expensive cable.
When the job was finished, I the opened the old computer, removed the hard drive and gave it to the customer to keep the burden of protecting her data where it belongs — on her.
After getting back to my place I cleaned the dust out of it, added my own hard drive, installed a graphics card and upgraded the OS from Vista to Windows 10. Viola, media center PC upgrade accomplished.
Though we have not “cut the cable” yet, the PC is better than the last one and when we’re ready to finally cancel cable (I’ll keep you posted) this PC will be able to support the hardware and software we’ll need make it a seamless and savings-rich experience!
In March I’ll be concentrating on writing new posts. I have a lot of helpful computer related content and videos that are practical and easy to understand. These are actually tutorials on how to keep a PC running well which could be helpful to business owners and entrepreneurs, tech geeks, and anyone else who uses a computer.
I’ve also started dabbling in a business which is new to me but has a lot of potential. For now, I’m going to refrain from mentioning what it is because I want to be sure about it before I brag about it. As always, I’ll keep you posted as things develop with this.
Be sure to join the Life Hackers’ Mastermind group, as I’ll be posting great content and answering questions!