Digital hacks

8 Best Social Media Alternatives to Facebook and Twitter

Social media was already a thing (remember Myspace?) before mainstream juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter took over the industry. These days it can feel like you can either use these services or nothing else. However, there are many competing sites that might offer more of what you want or, at least, less of what you don’t want. 

Regardless of what your specific complaints are when it comes to the social media market leaders, you always have a social media alternative to turn to.

Mastodon

Mastodon is an Open Source, decentralized alternative to the Twitter microblogging service. It looks and works a lot like Twitter, so current Twitter users shouldn’t have too hard a time adjusting. Instead of Tweets, you send “toots” which can be up to 500 characters in length.

Under the hood however, Mastodon works very differently from Twitter. Instead of being a traditional hosted web service, Mastodon is spread out over a “federated” network. 

Different Mastodon instances are home to different types of content or different communities. Each has its own rules and policies, but they work together and share data with no issue. Instances can block each other or specific content from other instances, but users can interact with each other across instances without any issues. 

Its federated network design makes it hard if not impossible to shut Mastodon down and so it’s become a home for a diverse and often fringe set of subcultures.

Diaspora*

Major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are businesses aimed at making profit. Which is one of the reasons they use collected user data to offer more effective advertising to other businesses.

Diaspora* is a non-profit social media platform that’s owned and operated by users. The system is broken up into “pods” that are independently run and owned. Much like Mastodon’s instances, these pods are networked together. Even the initial development of Diaspora* came from crowd-sourcing.

By its very design, Diaspora* can’t be monetized or used to sell advertising. There’s no incentive to collect personal information at all, not to mention that it’s extremely resistant  to attempts to shut it down. The entire system is built around the principles of  decentralization, freedom and privacy. Something that’s built into the DNA of Mastodon’s code.

Ello

Ello started out as a straightforward alternative to Facebook. The main difference was largely that Ello is ad-free and therefore would not collect or sell user information to advertisers. Since then, it’s become a little less like Facebook and more like visually-focused sites such as Pinterest, Deviant Art or Instagram.

Ello has been embraced by artists to such an extent that the site now bills itself as “The Creators Network”. You’ll find a large collection of top artists showcasing their work, as well as many opportunities for up and coming artists to engage with briefs and show off their portfolios.

Ello is notable for its no-ads policy and no enforcement of real names. User data isn’t sold to third-parties either. Which makes it a compelling alternative to the Facebook-owned Instagram, with some aspects of Facebook thrown in for good measure.

The Dots

The Dots is actually more of an alternative to the likes of LinkedIn, but plenty of people use platforms like Facebook or Twitter to build a less formal professional network, so The Dots is still something we need to include in the conversation.

The “professional network for people who don’t wear suits” is pretty much the best description of The Dots you could have. Their copywriter has certainly earned a bonus! 

The Dots plays host to professional people from some of the hottest startups as well as big established brands. It’s a place where companies go to hire talent, but it’s also a good place to find other people who can help you, give advice or even collaborate on projects. It’s easy to set up a detailed profile so that people can see who you’ve worked with, what you’ve done and what sort of work you’re looking to do.

NextDoor

Many people who use Facebook are only really looking to connect to people who are close by, such as those who live in the same neighbourhood. It’s why people set up private Facebook groups for their homeowners associations and schools.

If that’s your primary reason for using social media, you may want to consider NextDoor. This is a social media platform designed specifically to let people who live in the same neighborhood communicate socially without being exposed to a larger social group.You’ll also get access to local resources, such as businesses in your area and nonprofit organizations and programs.

NextDoor requires that every user verify their name and address, but that information isn’t shared with anyone. That ensures the people you get to interact with are really a part of the local community. So you’ll know about events and problems in your own neighbourhood without having to worry about random strangers butting in.

Minds

Referred to as the “anti-Facebook” by Wired magazine, Minds has a unique business model where you can actually earn either tokens or real money for your activity on the site.

It’s a mix of different social media elements. You can publish blog posts, videos, pictures and statuses. There are feeds of trending topics and it has secure group chat as well.

If you create content, you can get paid in US Dollars and cryptocurrency by your fans. So it’s almost a mix of Facebook and the various platforms such as YouTube and Patreon.

Minds uses completely open source code, which means that you can look through their algorithms to know exactly how they work. Their content policy is very open and makes uses of a community jury to determine if something is unsuitable. It’s a platform with strong free speech underpinnings, so be prepared for robust opinions, depending on where you venture.

Signal & Telegram

We’ve grouped these two social media alternatives together because they are both alternatives to Facebook Messenger and similar apps like Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook.

Both Signal and Telegram offer a more privacy-focused service. Although all of these services make use of encryption to protect your messages from prying eyes, Signal and Telegram go the extra mile.

Of the two, Signal is the most strict in terms of privacy. It takes a hard line against storing metadata on its servers and it doesn’t store or share information such as when you were last active. Signal also stores no info about its users at all, but of course that does mean it ends up being a little less convenient to use than Telegram.

We actually recommend that people use both Telegram and Signal. Telegram is great as a more private general-purpose messenger app with fun social features, while Signal is perfect for when you need to communicate with the highest level of privacy and security.

Social Media on Your Own Terms

Different social media platforms have different ways of conducting their business. They have their own policies, outlooks and company structures. Some want to make a profit, others want to build communities. There’s nothing inherently good or bad about any of these choices, but what’s important that you have choices. 

It’s never great for any one service or product to have a total monopoly and these social media alternatives let you decide about which sacrifices you’d like to make.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/cool-websites/8-best-social-media-alternatives-to-facebook-and-twitter/

How to Send Private Emails in Gmail

If you ever need to send an email containing sensitive information, you can use independent private email services to do it, or learn how to do it in Gmail instead. 

Gmail comes with a special confidential mode that allows you to send emails that disappear after a certain amount of time. If you’re a privacy-centric user, you’ll also love this mode for how it makes it impossible for the recipient to forward, copy, print, or download the contents of your private email.

Here’s everything you need to know about Gmail’s confidential mode and how to use it to send private emails in Gmail. 

What’s Gmail’s Confidential Mode?

Gmail’s confidential mode allows you to send confidential or private emails to other Gmail users, as well as people that use other email clients like Outlook, Yahoo, or iCloud. 

When you send an email in confidential mode, you can manually set an expiry date for it – the date when the email will disappear from the recipient’s Gmail account. This is a feature that’s handy if you’re sending someone the “burn after reading” type of information and don’t want it lying around inside their inbox. You can set your email to expire as soon as in 1 day or leave it for up to 5 years. 

Another advantage of using Gmail’s confidential mode is the ability to set an SMS passcode required for reading your email. That means that no one can read the contents of your message without the text that contains the passcode required to open it. 

How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

Using Gmail’s confidential mode to send private emails is pretty easy. You can do it both on your desktop and your smartphone. 

How to Send Private Emails in Gmail

To send private emails on your computer using confidential mode in Gmail, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Gmail and log into your account.
  1. In the upper-left corner of the screen, select Compose.
  1. At the bottom of the New Message window, find an option to Turn confidential mode on/off and select it. 
  1. In the confidential mode window, set the expiry date and whether you want to require an SMS passcode for reading your email (this will add extra security). 
  1. Select Save
  2. If you choose to set a passcode, Gmail will also ask you to confirm your and recipient’s phone numbers before sending your email. Enter your phone number and select Send to proceed. 

You can then continue composing your email and select Send when it’s ready. 

How to Send Private Emails in Gmail Mobile App

If you prefer sending your emails while on the move, you can use Gmail mobile app instead of your desktop to quickly compose and send a confidential email. To send a private email in Gmail mobile app, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Gmail app on your smartphone and log into your account.
  2. At the bottom-right corner of your screen, select Compose

*compose email_gmail app*

  1. Inside the Compose window, select More (the three horizontal dots in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  1. Select Confidential mode
  1. In the confidential mode window, set the expiry date and whether you want to require an SMS passcode for reading your email (this will add extra security). 
  1. Select Save

Write up your email and select Send when it’s finished. 

How to Open a Confidential Email

Thanks to the confidential mode feature, you can send private emails not just to any Gmail user, but also to people who use different email providers. If you’re using Gmail to open a confidential email, you can do it the same way you open your normal emails using your desktop or your smartphone. If the sender requested an SMS passcode, you’ll receive a text message and will need to type the code in Gmail before you can open the email.

If you use a different email provider, open the confidential email and follow the link inside it to request a passcode. You’ll receive a text message and will then be required to enter the code to view the email’s contents. 

Before You Send Any Sensitive Data Over Email

It’s generally not recommended to send any sensitive data over the internet as you can’t be sure anything is 100% secure online. Even though Gmail’s confidential mode prevents the receiver from forwarding or printing out your email, they can still take a picture or a screenshot of it and find ways to save and share it with other users later.

To prevent your own data being used against you, learn how to encrypt all your online and offline data, as well as other ways to send secure encrypted emails for free. However, sometimes the best practice is to try and avoid sending any private or sensitive information over the internet. 

Have you ever sent an email containing private information before? Did you use Gmail’s confidential mode or some other method to do it? Share your experience with email privacy in the comments section below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/google-softwaretips/how-to-send-private-emails-in-gmail/

How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

Seemingly everybody knows about Zoom because it’s easy to use and free for anyone to host virtual meetings, digital clubs, family reunions and even weddings.

However, there are certain features in the video conferencing software that not everyone is acquainted with like Zoom breakout rooms or custom Zoom backgrounds.

One of the most common features that can be confusing for a first-time Zoom user is the little digital hand. This hand allows you to interact with the meeting host to alert them that you’d like to share a concern or contribute to the subject matter. 

If you don’t know where to find the Zoom hand, you may find yourself raising your physical hand each time and the host may not notice you, especially in a large meeting.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to raise a hand in a Zoom meeting on your computer or mobile device. 

How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

If you’re attending a Zoom meeting from your Windows or Mac computer, use the instructions below to raise your hand and request for a chance to speak. 

Raise a Hand in Zoom on Windows PC or Mac

  1. To get started, launch Zoom via the app or on your browser and select Join a Meeting as a participant. 

Note: You can’t access the Raise Hand option if you’re the meeting host.

  1. Select Participants from the meeting controls at the bottom of your screen.
  1. Select Raise Hand from the several options that appear inside the Participants panel. 

Note: There are keyboard shortcuts you can use on your Windows PC or Mac to raise your hand in Zoom. On your Windows PC, press Alt+Y and toggle the Raise Hand option to On or Off. You’ll see the little blue hand icon next to your name when the option is enabled.

Note: If you’re using a Chromebook, turn to our guide on how to use Zoom on Chromebook.

Raise Your Hand in Zoom on Android or iPhone

If you’re using Zoom from your Android smartphone or iPhone, you can raise your hand using the Zoom app for mobile devices. 

  1. To do this, open the Zoom app on your phone, select Join a Meeting (as participant), and tap More from the meeting controls at the lower right side of the screen.
  1. Tap Raise Hand from the popup menu, and the meeting host will be alerted that you’ve raised your hand.

Note: When your digital hand is up, you’ll see a little blue hand icon on your screen, and the host will also see the hand next to your name. Zoom lists participants based on the order in which they’ve raised their hands. 

How to Raise Hand in Zoom Dial-In Calls

If you want to join a Zoom meeting by dialing in with a phone number, the steps you’ll take to raise your hand are slightly different. 

Once you join the meeting, dial *9 on your phone’s dial pad to raise your hand, and do the same to lower your hand. 

What to Do When You Can’t See the Raise Hand Option in Zoom

If the Raise Hand option isn’t available in your Zoom meeting, it could be because the meeting host disabled nonverbal feedback or you’re in fullscreen mode. 

In full screen mode, the bottom toolbar is minimized but you can reveal it on your computer or mobile device by moving your mouse on the screen or tapping the screen. Once the toolbar appears, select or tap Participants and the Raise Hand option will appear. 

If the meeting host has disabled nonverbal feedback, you won’t see the Raise Hand option. In such a case, you can always request the host to enable the nonverbal feedback to enable the Raise Hand feature.  

If you’re the meeting host and you need to enable the Raise Hand feature for your meeting participants, you can do so inside the Participants panel. 

  1. To do this, sign into Zoom on your browser and select My Account
  1. Under the Personal tab, select Settings.
  1. Find the Meeting tab and then scroll down to the Nonverbal feedback option.
  1. Toggle the switch on to enable nonverbal feedback for your meeting participants.

How to Lower Your Hand in a Zoom Meeting

You may have raised your hand or you accidentally raised it and don’t know how to lower it. Whatever the case may be, here’s how you can lower your hand in a Zoom meeting.

  1. On your Windows PC or Mac, select Participants and then select Lower Hand.
  1. You can also lower your hand on your Android phone or iPhone by tapping More and select Lower Hand.
  1. To lower your hand using a keyboard shortcut, press Alt+Y on your Windows PC or Mac, and then toggle the Lower Hand option to Off.

Note: If you’re the meeting host, you can lower a participant’s hand by selecting Participants from the meeting controls, and then hover over the participant’s name and select Lower Hand. On your Android phone or iPhone, tap on the Participants tab, tap on the user’s name, and select Lower Hand from the popup menu.

Meeting hosts can also view all the participants who raised their hands in the Zoom meeting by selecting the raised hand icon on the screen, or look for the Raised Hand icon next to the participants in the Participants menu.

Catch the Meeting Host’s Attention

The raise hand feature is a quick and easy way to catch the host’s attention in a Zoom meeting, compared to raising your physical hand or unmuting your microphone to request to speak. We hope you were able to find the feature on your device and now know how to use it to your advantage. 

Check out more of our Zoom guides including 7 Zoom tests to perform before your next meeting or what to do when your Zoom microphone isn’t working to help you navigate the application. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-raise-a-hand-in-a-zoom-meeting/

How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

Seemingly everybody knows about Zoom because it’s easy to use and free for anyone to host virtual meetings, digital clubs, family reunions and even weddings.

However, there are certain features in the video conferencing software that not everyone is acquainted with like Zoom breakout rooms or custom Zoom backgrounds.

One of the most common features that can be confusing for a first-time Zoom user is the little digital hand. This hand allows you to interact with the meeting host to alert them that you’d like to share a concern or contribute to the subject matter. 

If you don’t know where to find the Zoom hand, you may find yourself raising your physical hand each time and the host may not notice you, especially in a large meeting.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to raise a hand in a Zoom meeting on your computer or mobile device. 

How to Raise a Hand in a Zoom Meeting

If you’re attending a Zoom meeting from your Windows or Mac computer, use the instructions below to raise your hand and request for a chance to speak. 

Raise a Hand in Zoom on Windows PC or Mac

  1. To get started, launch Zoom via the app or on your browser and select Join a Meeting as a participant. 

Note: You can’t access the Raise Hand option if you’re the meeting host.

  1. Select Participants from the meeting controls at the bottom of your screen.
  1. Select Raise Hand from the several options that appear inside the Participants panel. 

Note: There are keyboard shortcuts you can use on your Windows PC or Mac to raise your hand in Zoom. On your Windows PC, press Alt+Y and toggle the Raise Hand option to On or Off. You’ll see the little blue hand icon next to your name when the option is enabled.

Note: If you’re using a Chromebook, turn to our guide on how to use Zoom on Chromebook.

Raise Your Hand in Zoom on Android or iPhone

If you’re using Zoom from your Android smartphone or iPhone, you can raise your hand using the Zoom app for mobile devices. 

  1. To do this, open the Zoom app on your phone, select Join a Meeting (as participant), and tap More from the meeting controls at the lower right side of the screen.
  1. Tap Raise Hand from the popup menu, and the meeting host will be alerted that you’ve raised your hand.

Note: When your digital hand is up, you’ll see a little blue hand icon on your screen, and the host will also see the hand next to your name. Zoom lists participants based on the order in which they’ve raised their hands. 

How to Raise Hand in Zoom Dial-In Calls

If you want to join a Zoom meeting by dialing in with a phone number, the steps you’ll take to raise your hand are slightly different. 

Once you join the meeting, dial *9 on your phone’s dial pad to raise your hand, and do the same to lower your hand. 

What to Do When You Can’t See the Raise Hand Option in Zoom

If the Raise Hand option isn’t available in your Zoom meeting, it could be because the meeting host disabled nonverbal feedback or you’re in fullscreen mode. 

In full screen mode, the bottom toolbar is minimized but you can reveal it on your computer or mobile device by moving your mouse on the screen or tapping the screen. Once the toolbar appears, select or tap Participants and the Raise Hand option will appear. 

If the meeting host has disabled nonverbal feedback, you won’t see the Raise Hand option. In such a case, you can always request the host to enable the nonverbal feedback to enable the Raise Hand feature.  

If you’re the meeting host and you need to enable the Raise Hand feature for your meeting participants, you can do so inside the Participants panel. 

  1. To do this, sign into Zoom on your browser and select My Account
  1. Under the Personal tab, select Settings.
  1. Find the Meeting tab and then scroll down to the Nonverbal feedback option.
  1. Toggle the switch on to enable nonverbal feedback for your meeting participants.

How to Lower Your Hand in a Zoom Meeting

You may have raised your hand or you accidentally raised it and don’t know how to lower it. Whatever the case may be, here’s how you can lower your hand in a Zoom meeting.

  1. On your Windows PC or Mac, select Participants and then select Lower Hand.
  1. You can also lower your hand on your Android phone or iPhone by tapping More and select Lower Hand.
  1. To lower your hand using a keyboard shortcut, press Alt+Y on your Windows PC or Mac, and then toggle the Lower Hand option to Off.

Note: If you’re the meeting host, you can lower a participant’s hand by selecting Participants from the meeting controls, and then hover over the participant’s name and select Lower Hand. On your Android phone or iPhone, tap on the Participants tab, tap on the user’s name, and select Lower Hand from the popup menu.

Meeting hosts can also view all the participants who raised their hands in the Zoom meeting by selecting the raised hand icon on the screen, or look for the Raised Hand icon next to the participants in the Participants menu.

Catch the Meeting Host’s Attention

The raise hand feature is a quick and easy way to catch the host’s attention in a Zoom meeting, compared to raising your physical hand or unmuting your microphone to request to speak. We hope you were able to find the feature on your device and now know how to use it to your advantage. 

Check out more of our Zoom guides including 7 Zoom tests to perform before your next meeting or what to do when your Zoom microphone isn’t working to help you navigate the application. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-raise-a-hand-in-a-zoom-meeting/

6 Best Goal Tracking Apps for iPhone and Android

If you could use a little help tracking specific goals you want to meet like losing weight, learning languages, or just getting enough sleep, you need a goal tracking app.

Goal trackers allow you to set, remember and follow through with your goals. However, not all such apps will work for everyone as they’re each built with some unique features.

If you struggle to track or maintain the self-discipline to stick to your goals, our picks for the best goal tracking apps will help you stay accountable and on track with your habits wherever you go.

Best Goal Tracking Apps for iPhone and Android

Before picking a goal tracking app, check for features such as goal-tracking capabilities, reminder features and ability to review your goals daily via charts or progress reports. Plus, check that the app helps you build habits related to your goals. For example, through grouping tasks related to a goal you’re working on.

Try these goal tracking apps to set goals, track your progress, and finally cross some items off your bucket list.

1. Streaks (iOS)

If you want to manage multiple goals at once, Streak makes it simple for you. The app has a minimal yet colorful interface and offers support for a dozen custom habits inclusive of beautiful icons to personalize your goals. 

You can check off a goal that you’ve successfully met, which in turn reduces the friction that comes with tracking goals. Plus, you can customize goals with granular settings including timers to track reading or meditation activities, days and number of goals completed per day.

Streak also allows you to tap on a goal to keep your streak going, or use Siri Shortcuts to assign a custom phrase to your tracked goal. The app integrates with Apple Health so when you log your goal in the app or any other health app, it automatically updates your progress. 

If you can’t complete goals on time or haven’t visited your tasks in a while, Streaks helps you get back on track by offering helpful suggestions to build upon.

2. Way of Life (Android, iOS)

Way of Life is a wonderful app with lots of charts and graphs to help you see your progress. Once you pick a goal action, you can tell the app which goal you want to develop or get rid of.

The app’s interface has a simple color coding scheme so that you’ll get a green or glaring red color if you accomplish or fail to complete a goal respectively. This way, you can see your daily progress clearly and track your goals effectively.

Way of Life’s built-in reminder system delivers daily reminders about what you did if your goal was to create a good habit, or what you avoided if you’re breaking a habit. You can use the customizable tagging feature to group habits and the note-taking feature to record important notes.

You can use Way of Life for free, or subscribe to its paid plan to track more than three habits and unlock premium features including cloud storage access.

3. TickTick (Android, iOS)

TickTick is a full to-do list app complete with reminder and habit tracking features. If you’re familiar with Todoist, then you’ll find TickTick’s design easy to navigate and use to manage your goals and tasks.

Whether you need to continue with  your workout regimen or develop a new habit altogether, TickTick will help you get stuff done and keep your life on track.

Some of the key features of this app include multiple reminders, ability to set flexible recurring tasks, add tasks via email, creating checklists, and syncing tasks across devices.

You can set a goal to develop a habit, classify your goals with tasks, and set priority levels or sort your goals by order of date, name or priority. TickTick also integrates with the Health app to sync your data and you can use Siri to create goals and tasks faster and easier.

The app has basic habit tracking features and runs on almost any device platform including Apple Watch. You can use it for free, or upgrade to its paid plan and access premium features for less than $3 per month.

4. Coach.me (Android, iOS)

Coach.me is a leading goal tracking app that offers personalized coaching services and access to a supportive community.

The user interface is beautiful and easy to use. Simply pick your goal, start tracking your progress, and get extra motivation through rewards for sticking with and accomplishing goals.

The app allows you to check off your habits as you do them, and you can use its community features such as the discussion thread to connect with other users. This way, you can share ideas on how to meet goals effectively, and get encouragement or support as you pursue your goals.

The Coaching section of the app offers more personalized support and affordable coaching for any goal or habit you want. Your coach will regularly check in with you to make sure you’re keeping up with your habit, and give you ideas to get back on track where you’re having trouble.

Coach.me is free for habit tracking but hiring a coach will cost you $20 per week or more.

5. Strides (iOS)

If you want different ways to track different goals, you’ll get a kick out of the Strides app. The app has a clean, professional user interface that visually presents your progress and projected results so you can understand your progress.

Strides is ideal for long-term habits such as tracking sleep, tracking gym progress, or saving money. You can track habits, projects, averages, and targets using different tools.

You can set goal streaks, tag bad habits, and choose from a list of habits to get you started. You can also see your habits on a dashboard, build daily checklists, and get reminders for any habits you haven’t finished so you can maintain your streak.

Strides offers charts, graphs and lines that show your current streaks and estimated completion dates. The app also tracks projects and your progress so you can know where to focus.

6. Goals on Track (iOS)

Goals on Track is designed to help you become more productive. The app relies on personal development and psychology principles to guide you through the goal setting process.  

The app offers templates you can use to create your goals and customize your action plan. Once you complete a goal or action, you can place a checkmark beside it to track your progress.

Plus, there’s a native goal journal that lets you record your progress and get a visual guide of your accomplishments through the habit tracker. A goal dashboard is included that displays an overview of your target goals, with progress bars and percentage of completion next to each goal.

You can use the Vision Board and SMART Goal feature to make better goals for increased productivity. You can also create sub-goals, which are tasks you need to complete under each of your main goals.

Goals on Track is free to use, but you can upgrade to the premium plan to access more features.

Track and Achieve Your Goals

If you’re not creating or working towards a goal, it’s possible to become stagnant in life or business.

Whether you prefer to manage your goals from your laptop or mobile device, there are lots of options out there to track your personal activities. However, with these six apps, you can focus and achieve even your most ambitious short or long-term goals.

If you need to track your health goals, you can turn to our guide on the best health tracker smartphone apps to get healthy.

What’s your favorite goal tracking app? Tell us about it in the comments.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/smartphones/6-best-goal-tracking-apps-for-iphone-and-android/

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

Have you ever wanted to unsend an email that you just sent to someone? Outlook has a feature that allows you to recall your emails after you send them, but what if you use a different email client like Gmail

In Gmail, there’s a way to prevent your emails from going through after you hit the Send button. However, to be able to do it you have to have a special undo Send feature turned on in advance. Learn how to unsend your emails in Gmail and you’ll never have to worry about your messages going to the wrong recipient again. 

Why Unsend Your Emails

There can be any number of situations in which you might want to cancel sending an email after you hit Send. The most common of them include:

  • Sending an email to the wrong recipient.

We’ve all accidentally sent an email to the wrong person before. Maybe you hit the wrong name when choosing the recipient among your contacts. Maybe you know two people with the same name and forgot to double check before sending the email to the wrong Alex. Either way, you might not want to share this email’s contents with someone it wasn’t meant for. Especially if it contains some sensitive or private information. 

  • Accidentally sending an email that’s incomplete.

Even if you double checked the address line before sending out your email, you might later realize that you forgot to include something in it. Whether it’s an important link, an attachment, or some other details – sending it separately in another message isn’t always very convenient.

  • Finding mistakes in your email after it’s been sent.

Have you ever finished your email with “retards” instead of “regards”? We’re all humans and mistakes happen. Spell checker doesn’t always catch all of them, so you might notice some mistakes only after sending the message. Gmail lets you fix this and many other problems by allowing you to unsend your emails. 

How to Enable the Undo Send Feature in Gmail

The feature that allows you to unsend an email in Gmail after it’s been sent is called Undo Send. By default, this feature is turned off, so you first need to enable it before you can start using it.

To enable the Undo Send feature in Gmail, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Gmail and log into your account.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the window, select the gear icon to open Settings
  1. Select See all settings.
  1. In the General tab next to the Undo Send, select the maximum range of 30 seconds
  1. Scroll down and select Save Changes

After enabling this feature, you’ll now be able to unsend your email for up to 30 seconds after you hit Send if you realize you forgot something or want to double check the address line. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

When you realize that you want to cancel a sent email, you have a few different ways to do it, depending on whether you’re using Gmail on your computer or on your smartphone.

How to Unsend an Email on Your Computer

If you’re using Gmail on your computer, follow the steps below to unsend an email.

  1. After you hit Send, search for a menu bar in the bottom-left corner of your screen. 
  1. Select Undo from the menu bar.
  2. You’ll see a Sending undone confirmation on your screen. That means you’ve successfully cancelled your email.

If you didn’t get the confirmation, then you didn’t manage to cancel your email within the 30 seconds and it has gone through. You can also go to Sent and see if your email is there to confirm this. 

After you receive the Sending undone confirmation, you get the original email back on the screen. You can either make changes and send it again, save it as draft for later, or delete it. 

How to Unsend an Email Using a Gmail Shortcut

As you only have 30 seconds to decide whether you want to keep sending that email or cancel it, you can use a keyboard shortcut to unsend it with just one click. After you select Send and see the same menu bar appear, press Z on your keyboard to undo sending. 

You should then see the same Sending undone confirmation message appear on your screen. Note that this method will only work if you already have keyboard shortcuts enabled in Gmail. You can do it via the Settings, in the same General tab that you used to enable the Undo Send feature. 

How to Unsend an Email in Gmail on Your Smartphone

You can also use your Gmail mobile app to unsend an email. To do that, follow the steps below.

  1. After you hit Send, select Undo at the bottom of your screen. 
  1. You’ll see a message appear confirming your email cancelation.

Gmail will then take you back to the original email window, so that you can edit, delete the message, or save it as draft.

Take Full Control Over Your Emails

Gmail is a powerful email client as it gives you a lot of freedom and control over your emails. Besides the ability to unsend a sent email in Gmail, you can also learn to schedule your emails to be sent later or transfer your emails between different Gmail accounts. However, not all of the features are that obvious, and sometimes you have to learn hidden tips and tricks to organize your emails better. 

Have you ever had to cancel an email that you already sent? What was your reason for doing it? Share your experiences with flawed emails with us in the comments below. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/google-softwaretips/how-to-unsend-an-email-in-gmail/

How to Set Up Direct Deposit With IRS

If you’ve hit working age and pay taxes every year, you’ll need to know how to go about paying any taxes you owe to the IRS.

In the past, paying taxes meant completing the 1040 income tax return every year, and if you owed the IRS anything, you’d simply write a paper check and send it in. If you owed more than you could pay, then the IRS would set up a payment plan and you’d have to send in a check every month.

In the past few years, times have changed. The IRS has caught up with the rest of the world and now everything is electronic. You can make the one payment each year, or set up your installment payments – all electronically.

Logging Into Your IRS Account

The IRS now offers a dashboard not unlike your banking account or other company websites where you can pay bills electronically.

You can access this dashboard at the IRS View Your Tax Account page. To access your account, select the Create or view your account button.

If this is your first time visiting your IRS account online, you’ll need to select the Create Account button and go through the setup process. This includes providing your social security number, birthday, and other identifying information so the IRS can locate your tax account.

Once you’ve created the account with both the Username and password, you can login and view your account.

Your IRS Account Dashboard

Whenever you log into your IRS account dashboard, you’ll need to enter a 6-digit passcode that the IRS sends to your phone. The IRS uses the phone number you used when you first lined up.

The Account Home tab of the dashboard has four main sections.

  • Current account balance
  • Payment plan information including due date and current status
  • Links to get access to your own past tax records
  • A Go To Payment Options button view your payment alternatives and past payment activity

Select the Account Balance tab at the top to switch to a more detailed breakdown of your overall tax bill by year. The list will show you the balance of remaining taxes you owed in that year and how much you have left to pay it off. 

You can select the + icon next to any of those years to see a breakdown of penalties and interest that were charged to the balance.

Select the Payment Activity tab to see all payments you’ve sent into the IRS. This is a useful feature for keeping track of which years you’ve sent in payments toward, and how much you’ve paid in Estimated Tax Payments to the next year. This is helpful when you’re going to do your taxes and didn’t keep a receipt for those estimated payments.

How to Set Up Direct Deposit With the IRS

One thing that’s important to know if you’re trying to set up direct deposit with the IRS for things like stimulus checks, that’s handled in different ways depending on your tax situation.

Direct Deposit for IRS Stimulus Checks

If you’ve filed taxes in the past and haven’t moved or otherwise needed to change your address or bank information, the direct deposit details you provide in the IRS Direct Pay system when you pay your taxes is all you need. The IRS will get your direct deposit information from there.

If you are a first-time filer and the IRS doesn’t have your information yet, then you need to provide it manually at the IRS Get My Payment page.

You’ll need to provide your social security number, birthday, street address, and zip code. The IRS will then tell you if you qualify for a stimulus payment, and you’ll be prompted for direct deposit information if they don’t already have it on file.

Direct Deposit for IRS Direct Payments

To set up a direct deposit payment via the IRS Direct Pay system, log into your IRS account and go to the Account Home tab on your dashboard. Select the Go To Payment Options button.

Scroll down the page and select Go To IRS Direct Pay under the Pay by Bank Account section.

On this page you’ll see a couple of options halfway down the page. Select the Make a Payment button to continue.

This will take you through the IRS Make a Payment wizard. This consists of several steps where you need to enter information about yourself and your payment.

The first step involves selecting why you’re making a payment. The most common selections people make under Reason for Payment is either an Installment Agreement or a Tax Return or Notice.

Whichever selection you choose will populate the next dropdown box. In the Apply Payment To dropdown, select the type for your payment. The most common choice here is 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ – essentially paying against a specific tax return.

Finally, you need to choose the tax year that you’re paying against using the Tax Period for Payment dropdown.

Keep in mind that this is the year of the tax return that you want to pay. So check this against the balances you saw in your account details for each year that you owe. Select the oldest year to pay off, since the IRS wants to apply payments to those years before the most recent. 

Select Continue, then confirm your selections and continue again.

The next page is the Verify Identity page. You’ll need to select the tax year (select the most recent for your address verification), your filing status, name, social security number, and address.

Select Continue to move on in the process. Finally, you’ll need to enter your direct deposit information.

First enter the amount you want to pay, then the routing number and account number of your bank account.

Select Continue again. The next few screens will just require you to confirm the payment amount and bank details. Then you’ll need to type your name to “electronically sign” for the payment.

Now that you’ve made a payment via the IRS Direct Pay system, the IRS has your direct deposit information for future reference.

Making Direct Payments to the IRS

Just remember to always select the Payment year as the same as the year from your account dashboard where you owe a balance to the IRS. Always select the Verification year as the latest year you filed taxes, and use your latest address so the IRS can confirm your identity for payment.

Unfortunately, the process of providing your direct deposit information to the IRS isn’t as straightforward as it could be. It’s not intuitive that to receive payments from the IRS that you would have had to have made a payment already. Thankfully, if you’ve never made any payment (only received refunds), the IRS does have the direct deposit information from your Tax Return that it used to give you that refund.

And if you don’t have anything on record either way with the IRS but you’re owed a stimulus payment, at least you now have the IRS Get My Payment page to provide your direct deposit details.

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-set-up-direct-deposit-with-irs/

8 Best Valentine Date Ideas Using Tech

Valentine’s Day this year might look a bit different. Whether you’re trying your hand at a fancy dinner at home or you want to set a romantic mood in your living room, tech can help. 

Don’t let a quarantine kill the romance–here are some of the best Valentine’s date ideas using technology.

Set the Mood With a Smart Candle

If you’re worried about using real candles (or you can’t due to building regulations), you can still capture the ambience with a smart candle. The Yeelight Candela is a connected light that gives off a 1600k color temperature–same as a candlelight. You can activate “Flicker” mode that makes the light dance like a flame.

Thanks to its mesh technology, you can connect up to 30,000 of these candles together (although if you have that many, congratulations–you’ve already won Valentine’s date night.) The battery will last for eight hours on a single charge. 

Have a Movie Night Under the Stars

A lot of experts might discourage a movie for date night, but it’s been more than a year since many of us sat in a theatre. Recreate that experience at home under the stars with a portable projector. The Vankyo Leisure 3 supports up to 1080 resolution and can create a screen up to 170 inches. 

Pair the projector with your smartphone to stream content directly. Sure, projecting against the wall of your home outside might be a bit chilly in February, but that’s all the more reason to curl up together under a blanket with a warm drink. 

Bring the Night Sky Indoors With a Star Projector

If it’s too cold to spend any time outdoors, you can still have a romantic Valentine’s dinner date beneath the stars with the help of a star projector. A device like the LBell Galaxy Projector can project stars up to 200 square meters, filling the room with the sky itself.

Choose between different colors and enjoy a rotating night sky that will definitely set the mood better than any dimly-lit restaurant ever could. Best of all, when Valentine’s Day is over, this projector can be a great way to host your own in-home rave. 

Create a Calming Atmosphere With Scented Oils

Aroma therapy is more than just a hippie version of scented candles. Your mood can be impacted in big ways by scents; for example, the smell of lavender can provide a soothing effect on your nerves. You can use the right kind of scents to create a romantic atmosphere in your home.

The Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser includes ten different essential oils and makes it easy to fill your home with the scent of your choice. Just make sure it doesn’t overpower the smell of a home cooked dinner.

Cook a Delicious Dinner With a Sous Vide

Maybe your favorite restaurant isn’t open for Valentine’s Day or you don’t think the food would be tasty if delivered. If you want to try your hand at cooking but you lack confidence in the kitchen, a sous vide can help. These cookers allow you to make delicious meals at home and are forgiving to mistakes.

The Yedi Infinity Sous Vide is a budget-friendly place to start. It allows up to 100 hours of cook time and provides more even heat distribution through the water. You can cook almost any type of food without worry of overcooking anything. Best of all, there’s a two-year warranty included with the purchase.

Have a Dance Night to Romantic Music

Everyone knows the first blooms of romance, where you take your lover in your arms and dance the night away. As relationships go on, going out to dance become less common–especially in the midst of a pandemic. Use a smart speaker like the 4th-Generation Echo to recapture that feeling. 

This smart speaker is powered by Alexa and can play your favorite romantic tunes through Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. All you have to do is ask Alexa to play your song. You can pair multiple speakers together to create a surround-sound experience. Just make sure to wear your dancing shoes. 

Spend the Evening Gaming Together

No one can deny that video games have become a huge part of mainstream culture. For many couples, a quiet night spent racing each other in Mario Kart can be just as romantic as going out to fine French cuisine. 

Now you can even race each other in-person with the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit set. Clear out a space on the floor and set up the karts, download the software to your Nintendo Switch, and spend the evening challenging one another to the best times, all while watching it play out in real-life with replica karts. 

Have a Spa Night at Home With Smart Massagers

It’s not always possible to go out, especially during a lockdown–but you can recreate the feeling of going to a spa right in your own living room with smart massagers. These devices fit around your neck and target pressure points to loosen your muscles and relax you. 

Place one of the massagers around your neck, put on your favorite robe, and kick back with your special someone and let the technology send you both into a state of total relaxation. Combine this with a scent diffuser and some soft music and you’ll forget that you aren’t actually at the spa. 

Making Valentine’s Day Special

You don’t have to leave your home to make Valentine’s Day one of the most romantic nights of the year. Just put together a combination of the devices shown above to recreate a night out and keep the love alive, even if you aren’t able to leave your home. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/8-best-valentine-date-ideas-using-tech/

8 Best Valentine Date Ideas Using Tech

Valentine’s Day this year might look a bit different. Whether you’re trying your hand at a fancy dinner at home or you want to set a romantic mood in your living room, tech can help. 

Don’t let a quarantine kill the romance–here are some of the best Valentine’s date ideas using technology.

Set the Mood With a Smart Candle

If you’re worried about using real candles (or you can’t due to building regulations), you can still capture the ambience with a smart candle. The Yeelight Candela is a connected light that gives off a 1600k color temperature–same as a candlelight. You can activate “Flicker” mode that makes the light dance like a flame.

Thanks to its mesh technology, you can connect up to 30,000 of these candles together (although if you have that many, congratulations–you’ve already won Valentine’s date night.) The battery will last for eight hours on a single charge. 

Have a Movie Night Under the Stars

A lot of experts might discourage a movie for date night, but it’s been more than a year since many of us sat in a theatre. Recreate that experience at home under the stars with a portable projector. The Vankyo Leisure 3 supports up to 1080 resolution and can create a screen up to 170 inches. 

Pair the projector with your smartphone to stream content directly. Sure, projecting against the wall of your home outside might be a bit chilly in February, but that’s all the more reason to curl up together under a blanket with a warm drink. 

Bring the Night Sky Indoors With a Star Projector

If it’s too cold to spend any time outdoors, you can still have a romantic Valentine’s dinner date beneath the stars with the help of a star projector. A device like the LBell Galaxy Projector can project stars up to 200 square meters, filling the room with the sky itself.

Choose between different colors and enjoy a rotating night sky that will definitely set the mood better than any dimly-lit restaurant ever could. Best of all, when Valentine’s Day is over, this projector can be a great way to host your own in-home rave. 

Create a Calming Atmosphere With Scented Oils

Aroma therapy is more than just a hippie version of scented candles. Your mood can be impacted in big ways by scents; for example, the smell of lavender can provide a soothing effect on your nerves. You can use the right kind of scents to create a romantic atmosphere in your home.

The Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser includes ten different essential oils and makes it easy to fill your home with the scent of your choice. Just make sure it doesn’t overpower the smell of a home cooked dinner.

Cook a Delicious Dinner With a Sous Vide

Maybe your favorite restaurant isn’t open for Valentine’s Day or you don’t think the food would be tasty if delivered. If you want to try your hand at cooking but you lack confidence in the kitchen, a sous vide can help. These cookers allow you to make delicious meals at home and are forgiving to mistakes.

The Yedi Infinity Sous Vide is a budget-friendly place to start. It allows up to 100 hours of cook time and provides more even heat distribution through the water. You can cook almost any type of food without worry of overcooking anything. Best of all, there’s a two-year warranty included with the purchase.

Have a Dance Night to Romantic Music

Everyone knows the first blooms of romance, where you take your lover in your arms and dance the night away. As relationships go on, going out to dance become less common–especially in the midst of a pandemic. Use a smart speaker like the 4th-Generation Echo to recapture that feeling. 

This smart speaker is powered by Alexa and can play your favorite romantic tunes through Spotify, Amazon Music, and more. All you have to do is ask Alexa to play your song. You can pair multiple speakers together to create a surround-sound experience. Just make sure to wear your dancing shoes. 

Spend the Evening Gaming Together

No one can deny that video games have become a huge part of mainstream culture. For many couples, a quiet night spent racing each other in Mario Kart can be just as romantic as going out to fine French cuisine. 

Now you can even race each other in-person with the Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit set. Clear out a space on the floor and set up the karts, download the software to your Nintendo Switch, and spend the evening challenging one another to the best times, all while watching it play out in real-life with replica karts. 

Have a Spa Night at Home With Smart Massagers

It’s not always possible to go out, especially during a lockdown–but you can recreate the feeling of going to a spa right in your own living room with smart massagers. These devices fit around your neck and target pressure points to loosen your muscles and relax you. 

Place one of the massagers around your neck, put on your favorite robe, and kick back with your special someone and let the technology send you both into a state of total relaxation. Combine this with a scent diffuser and some soft music and you’ll forget that you aren’t actually at the spa. 

Making Valentine’s Day Special

You don’t have to leave your home to make Valentine’s Day one of the most romantic nights of the year. Just put together a combination of the devices shown above to recreate a night out and keep the love alive, even if you aren’t able to leave your home. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/fun-stuff/8-best-valentine-date-ideas-using-tech/

6 High Tech Cooking Gadgets to Cook a Better Meal

In 2020, many people were inspired to try cooking at home, especially because so many restaurants were closed. In that time, many discovered the kitchen is not their friend–but that doesn’t mean they can’t cook a delicious meal.

There are plenty of smart cooking gadgets out available that will help even the most culinarily-challenged individual tackle flambe like Bobby Flay.

Smart WiFi Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is one of the most popular kitchen accessories available, and for good reason: it does almost everything. Not only can you use it as a pressure cooker, but you can make rice, soup, ribs, and even lasagna in a single device. It has 13 different one-touch cooking programs that automatically handle cooking time and temperature.

There are also numerous built-in safety measures. Many people are wary of pressure cookers, but this Instant Pot includes overheat protection, a safety lock, and more. It comes with numerous accessories to help even total beginners cook a wide variety of dishes. 

You can control the Instant Pot through Alexa or through the smartphone app. It comes with more than 1,000 recipes, allows you to check the progress of your meal, and receive alerts all on your phone. 

The Instant Pot combines multiple kitchen accessories into one, making it ideal for smaller kitchens or for people that prefer not to have to sort through a dozen different cooking gadgets.

Amazon Echo Show

The Amazon Echo Show isn’t a kitchen accessory, but it can be a vital tool to help you be a better cook.The large, 10.1-inch screen is easy to read from anywhere in the kitchen. You can display recipes and have Alexa walk you through them step-by-step, showing only one section at a time to minimize confusion.

It’s also a great cooking gadget for adding items to a shopping list for meal planning and meal prep. You can also subscribe to the Food Network Kitchen Premium subscription right through the Echo Show, which provides you with even more resources and in-depth instructions on how to cook incredible dinners.

On top of that, you get to listen to your favorite music while cooking. What’s better than a kitchen-based dance party?

Revolution Cooking Smart Toaster

Do you over-toast bread in the toaster? If you’ve ever struggled to get the timing exactly right, this smart toaster from Revolution Cooking takes the guesswork out of one of the most basic of cooking skills. With a touchscreen display that makes it easy to select your food, this toaster ensures you never over- or under-toast food ever again. 

This toaster includes five different food settings, three toasting modes, and seven browning levels to help you get exactly the texture you want for your morning bagel. There is also a built-in glide that lowers and lifts your food, so you never again have to shake a toaster to dislodge your meal.

Amazon Basics Microwave

The Amazon Basics Microwave has Alexa functionality built into the microwave itself. This means that while you can enter cook times manually, you can also ask Alexa to set timers, cook foods, and much more.

Another major feature of this microwave is the inclusion of Amazon Dash Replenishment, but specifically for popcorn. In fact, you can save up to 10% off popcorn orders by using Amazon Dash Replenishment.

The Amazon Basics Microwave is more compact to save on counter space, but still a fully-featured microwave with child safety locks, 10 different power levels, and more. You don’t have to guess timing. For example, you can say, “Alexa, reheat one cup of coffee.” The microwave will automatically set the power level and time. 

Drop Scale

One of the main areas where beginners make mistakes is in measurements. Recipes that call for volume measurements are less accurate than those that use specific weights, and this becomes readily apparent in baking where precision is required. If you want to bake perfect cakes and pastries, you need a scale.

Not only does the Drop Scale include hundreds of step-by-step recipes, but it provides information on recipe substitutions to make allowances for food allergies and dietary preferences. The Drop Kitchen app will automatically resize recipes to take the guesswork out of making smaller portions.

The app even includes visual steps to make it easy to see exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Measure out your ingredients, set everything in its place, and cook the best meal of your life. 

MEATER Kitchen Thermometer

The key to a perfect steak, roast, or even chicken breast is temperature. Cooking meat to the right temperature, for the right amount of time, will give you the texture and juiciness you crave–with none of the food-borne bacteria that comes from not cooking it long enough. 

The MEATER Kitchen Thermometer includes two probes so you can monitor both the internal temperature of the meat and the external temperature of your oven or grill at the same time. You can set up custom alerts so that your phone notifies you the moment your dish reaches the desired temperature.

The MEATER can also provide you with estimates for how long food will need to cook, as well as how long it needs to rest after coming out of the oven. If you’re new to cooking meat and afraid of undercooking a dish, a kitchen thermometer is your best friend. 

These kitchen gadgets won’t magically make you a whizz in the kitchen. If you want to cook like Gordon Ramsey, you need to be willing to experiment. Practice makes perfect, after all. These devices will help you make great meals without a lot of fuss. 

Whether you’re just getting started in the kitchen or you’re looking for a way to simplify weeknight dinners, these high-tech cooking gadgets can help. 

source https://www.online-tech-tips.com/gadgets/6-high-tech-cooking-gadgets-to-cook-a-better-meal/