Restricted list on Facebook

Want to add someone as a friend on Facebook, but don’t want them to see your status updates or photos (for example, your boss or co-workers)? Just add them to your Restricted list. Restricted people can only see posts you make public or that they’ve been tagged in.

Add a friend to your restricted list:

  • Go to their profile page
  • Click the “Friends” button, choose “Add to another list” and choose “Restricted”

Add to or edit your restricted list:

  • On the homepage, scroll down to the Friends section on the left and click More
  • Scroll down and click Restricted
  • In the right-hand corner click Manage List > Edit List
  • Choose “Friends” from the drop-down menu
  • Select which friends you would like to restrict. You can also search for them in the search box.
  • Click Finish

Kindle library books

The Amazon Kindle is a fantastic device for reading books. But did you know you can get free library books to read on it? Check with your local library to see if they offer this (usually there will be a link on their website). For example, the Chicago Public Library offers many titles for the Kindle.

The best part about reading library books on your Kindle is that you can keep them for as long as you want by using this secret tip: Your Kindle will remove your books after the loan expires—but only if it can connect to the internet. If you turn off the wireless internet, the Kindle won’t know to delete your books. If you need to transfer more books in the future, just transfer them via your USB cable instead of via wireless.

Keep a journal

DayOne is my favorite app for keeping a digital journal. It has a simple interface and is very easy to use. Plus, you can use it on your computer or your phone/iPad. Here are some of its other great features:

  • Syncs with Dropbox so you can update it from different computers/devices
  • Upload photos with your entries
  • Tag your entries so you can easily search them later
  • Passcode lock to keep it safe and private
  • Reminders so you don’t forget to write
  • Write quick entries from your Mac menu bar

Check it out.

Keep track of your reading

Good ReadsIf you read a lot of books, it’s nice to keep track so you know what you’ve read and what you might like to read in the future. GoodReads is a great (free) website that lets you save book lists, write reviews, and share recommendations with friends. They also have a mobile app for updating your book list on the go.

Make your music collection portable

music notesWant to bring your music collection wherever you go, but don’t have enough room on your phone to store it? Need to access your library on another computer? There are a few cloud services out there that allow you to upload your music library to their servers and then listen to it on-the-go, as long as you have an internet/data connection.

Google PlayStore up to 20,000 songs for free.

Amazon MP3 Store & Cloud PlayerAll Amazon purchases and the first 250 imported songs are free, or you can import up to 250,000 songs for $24.99/year.

iTunes MatchStore your entire library on iCloud for $24.99/year.

* Remember that listening to your library over a data connection on your phone WILL drain the battery and use a lot of data. It’s best to do this if your phone is plugged in and you have an unlimited data plan.

Listening to podcasts

A podcast is an episodic series of video or audio files that are downloaded or streamed online. Think of it as a radio show that you can listen to/watch on your computer at any time. You can either listen directly on a website or subscribe to the Podcast through a Podcast client.

The easiest way to find and consume Podcasts is through iTunes. Go to the iTunes Store and click on the Podcasts category. Find a Podcast and either download episodes you want to listen to or subscribe to the whole show. When you subscribe, all new episodes will automatically be downloaded to your computer when they are released.

If you don’t have iTunes there are plenty of other podcast clients available.

My favorite podcasts are This American Life (NPR) and WTF with Marc Maron.

iTunes Radio

Bored of the same old music? Did you know you can listen to the radio for free in iTunes? Go to Preferences > General and make sure the Radio checkbox is selected. Click on the Radio icon under your library, browse through the different genres of music and click on the Radio station you want to try. If you find something you really like, you can drag it over to a playlist to find it more easily later.

Sharing YouTube videos

Did you know that you can share a YouTube link that will take people directly to a specific point in a video? Go to the video and place the marker at the point you’d like the video to start. Click on the Share button beneath the video. Under the link, click on Options. Check the “Start at” option. Now copy and paste the generated URL and your friend will be taken right to the exact spot you chose.

Sneaky Facebook apps

If you give a website or Facebook app access to your Facebook account, the site or app may start posting updates to your feed automatically for you. For example, Pinterest.com will post the images you’ve pinned and the Washington Post Social Reader will share what articles you have read.

When you grant Facebook access to a website or app, make sure to read what the site/app will be able to access and what they will share before you give your permission.

To change your app settings or remove access for an app: login to Facebook, click on the arrow in the top right corner (next to Home) and choose Account Settings. Then click on the Apps link in the left column. Click Edit next to the app if you want to change it’s access settings, or click the X if you want to remove access entirely.

More info about how Facebook Apps work