Stay Focused! 5 Tools to Avoid Distractions

It’s that time of year again when we all need to get back on track and start to get focused.  But with all of the many distractions online that can prove difficult.  Here are five applications that can help.


focustime focustime2
Cost: $4.99
Device Compatibility: Phone, iPad and Mac
The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method in which you break down tasks into 25 minute sessions or pomodori during which you work solely on that task and then take a 3-5 minute break once the time period is complete. Following 4 pomodori a longer break of 15-30 minutes is taken. The FocusTime app supports those using the Pomodoro Technique through timers and graphs of progress and completed work.


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10 Ways LinkedIn’s New ‘Contacts’ Can Help Job Hunters

LinkedIn used to be just another place to post your resume, but over the past couple of years it has evolved to be so much more. Most recently, LinkedIn rolled out enhanced functionality to its ‘Contacts’ section, adding the ability to keep track of conversations and interactions with your network, make notes about interactions with contacts, set reminders to contact them in the future, tag them with customizable keywords and more. This is the type of sophisticated functionality found in today’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) programs! College students, recent graduates, and anyone on the job market today should definitely be using these new features to cultivate business relationships. Networking is key to finding a great job, and LinkedIn can definitely help in that regard. Here are ten ways that this recent enhancement can help aid today’s job hunters.


1) Keep Detailed Notes about Contacts


LinkedIn’s new “Relationship” tab within each Contact’s Profile allows you to make note of how you met the person as well as add other notes about that contact. This information is visible only to you and can be invaluable for keeping track of conversations you’ve had, making note if you promised to get someone your References, noting a person’s interests or hobbies to ask about in the future, making note of who introduced you or who else knows them, etc.


2) Set Reminders to Contact Connections


Also within the new “Relationship” tab, there’s an easy way to set up reminders within each person’s profile to get in touch with them as some point in the future. This would be a great way for job hunters to make sure that they touch base with recruiters periodically, stay on top of networking connections at a company or organization where they’d like to work, or get back to connections who asked for more information on their background, etc.


3) Tag Contacts


You can also tag contacts with keywords such as classmate, colleague, friend, favorite, etc. as well as create your own custom tags. I use these to tag colleagues in different associations such as LLAGNY or SLA-NY, etc. as well as in different fields of librarianship such as law, public, academic, etc. You can then easily click on a tag to see all those that you’ve categorized in that way. Job hunters can tag contacts with keywords such as recruiters, references, mentors, colleagues, etc.


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How to Create a Social Media Posting Hub with HootSuite

Instead of visiting every social network every day and posting separate status updates, why not set up a social media hub where you can access your customized dashboard and monitor and post to them all at once?



HootSuite is a powerful social media manager with over 6 million users.

It will let you monitor and post to multiple social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, etc.  You can schedule and deploy status updates and tweets in advance, track mentions of your name, and view reports analyzing social media traffic.  The application offers the url shortener for quickly making short urls to post on Twitter.  And there are mobile apps available for nearly every type of device.

Here’s what you can do with some of the major social media applications:



Use HootSuite to send and schedule Tweets, search what others are tweeting, organize your tweets by list or keyword, as well as monitor Mentions, Direct Messages, Sent Tweets, Favorited Tweets, and more in dedicated streams.




Post updates, add images, monitor feeds, and more.




HootSuite allows you to post directly to your Company Pages, Groups and Profiles, as well as create job search streams.



Google+ Pages

Share and comment on posts, search public posts and updates, see recent user activity, as well as view comments and +1s.




schedule and cross-post content to multiple WordPress accounts. The publishing platform integration also allows you to reblog noteworthy posts and create a stream for blogs you’re following.


Create Your Own!

Start by signing up for a HootSuite account here:

You will then be brought to your dashboard page and you’ll see that you haven’t set up any tabs or added any social networks yet.




Set up Your Profile

You can start by filling out your profile by clicking on the default owl avatar in the upper left corner.  This will lead you to your profile page where you can edit your info and start adding social networks.




Add Social Networks

Once you’re done with your profile, click to start adding your networks.  You can add up to 5 with the free account.  You will be prompted to login to your social networks as you choose each one.  HootSuite will then be authorized to access those applications and feed in your info and enable you to post to your accounts from within HootSuite.




View Tabs

Once you’re done adding your social networks, click on the Home icon on the left navigation.  This will bring you to your main dashboard where you will see that HootSuite has set up tabs for you displaying different feeds from each of your networks.  You can organize any of these by dragging and dropping them with the mouse.  Now you can easily monitor what’s happening on all of your social networks in one interface.




Post Status Updates and Tweets

You’re now ready to start posting to your social networks.  Click into the “Compose message” box at the top and you will see that it expands.  Here is where you can write your status update or tweet, include a link to a website in the “add a link” box to be automatically shortened, and choose which of your social networks to send the update/tweet/message to.  Also, if you click on the calendar icon, a scheduling interface appears and you can choose the time and date that your update will be deployed to your networks of choice!




View Reports

There are basic reports that are available with the free account of HootSuite.  Click on the analytics icon on the left navigation and choose either: Twitter Overview, Click Summary, or URL Click Stats –





Congrats! Now you know how to create your own social media posting dashboard, monitor your networks, schedule and post to multiple networks at once and view analytical reports.


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