How to Merge PDFs

How to Merge PDFs

I was creating an eBook for my client using Canva, and I found that Canva limits the number of pages to 30 pages per design.

If you’re making a little report 30 pages may be enough. Canva gives clear instructions on creating longer books

I used merge PDF tool and I’m happy with the result. Very quick and easy to use. I merged 3 separate PDFs, saved the final PDF file and emailed the file with no problems.

By the way, if you’ve never used Canva try it now, it’s one of the most awesome tools ever 🙂

Are You Procrastinating about Writing?

Are You Procrastinating about Writing?
Here’s a funny little app that may help you with writing, especially free writing, brainstorming and such…
A smart tool for people who procrastinate 🙂
Not a good idea if you’re writing something important as it will delete everything if you stop typing for too long.

You can choose how long you going to write for (a session length from 3 to 60 minute) or how many words you’re planning to write (from 75 to 1667).

 

Working on My Website

Working on My Website

I’m using a new WordPress theme that I’ve never used before. It’s Enlightenment by OneDesigns, and I love it. Check it out, it’ beautiful, has tons of great features, you can customise it to create almost anything you want.

It’s mobile responsive, compatible with WooCommerce, mobile responsive – and it’s free!

A bit of a learning curve though. The designers explain,

Enlightenment is a powerful theme that can help you create advanced page layouts for your website, but may require a bit of mastering for beginners. Make sure to read all of the theme’s documentation tutorials to get the most out of this theme.OneDesigns

I’m definitely not a beginner and I still got stuck creating sidebars. Plus, there’s so much you can add or change it’s just mind-boggling. They provide the users with very detailed documentation,  I’ll get there  🙂

PS. One really nice thing that I like about Enlightenment: some free WP themes that have a pro, premium or whatever they call it version won’t let you change copyright in the footer area unless you upgrade.

It’s a biggie to me. I’m the creator of my content, so it’s my copyright. Additional features – fine, I agree, I’m happy to have only a few layouts to choose from, or not as many fancy widgets when I use a free version of a theme. But my content is mine by default, and I see why I should pass the right to my content to the designers of the theme.

Now, with Enlightenment, they not only let me change the copyright but – listen to this – they left the author’s of the theme unchecked

theme credit

I made sure I checked so he gets credit.

He deserves it. This theme doesn’t have a premium version but still… I could be simplified a bit, but no, the author gave us so many options, and even left his own credit unchecked  🙂

Internet – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Internet – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

My friend told me that he’s afraid of using the internet because of all the horror stories he heard about it. “Spam, scam, and hoaxes”, he said, “me mate got divorced because of that stuff. He set a profile on dating sites, went to sex chat rooms, just for fun, his wife found emails and pictures from girls, and his responses, to keep a long story short, the wife kept the house.”

Wait a second, and you blame the internet?

I don’t want sound patronising, but “taking responsibility for your actions” – does that ring a bell?

Next problem, the scams, everyone wants to take advantage of you, right?

Wrong. There are many honest people, great businesses and genuine offers out there. There’s a lot of crap, too, you just have to educate yourself first, and use some common sense. If you get sucked by a SPECIAL-one-day-only offer 90% and give a stranger your credit card number without even checking his reputation, you can only blame yourself.

Gullible or greedy, doesn’t matter, the result is the same – you lose money (and consider yourself lucky if money is the only thing you lost).

Remember that creating a professional website with an online shop takes only a couple of hours, and closing it down even less than that. As you use the internet more you’ll know what to look for to make sure that the seller is OK and you can trust them and what looks like red alarm.

There are many website, including government sites like ScamWatch (the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s site) or Online fraud and scams (the Australian Federal Police)  where you can have a lot of information from internet banking fraud and email scams identity theft.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to learn how to use the internet correctly and how to protect yourself. If all you do is play dumb games, take What Kind of Sock are You tests or watch porn and have no time to learn about the net security – don’t blame the internet when shit hits the fan.

The internet is a wonderful tool, but just like with other tools you must how to use it safely to bet the benefits without hurting yourself or others.

If you don’t service your car, don’t clean your sewing machine and don’t replace your needles regularly, sooner or later you’ll have a problem.

If you don’t update your browsers or install your Windows updates, sooner or later you’ll end up with a malicious software (even if you are running anti-malware software), corrupted files and computer crashes.

As simple as that.

And the benefits of the internet?

Many.

The most important ones to me is all the knowledge I can find and share, and the instant communication with people. I still love writing, sending, and receiving real letters, with postage stamps on them, but emails have so many advantages, especially if it’s about an urgent matter.

I can learn anything I want, and many of those excellent tutorials and courses I found are free. I can share my expertise to help other people.

I can shop, pay my bills, or make money from home whenever I feel like that, even in the middle of the night. I can support organisations and causes I choose to support, use cloud computing to store and share my files, and connect my PC, tablet and mobile to access the files from any device.

Ah, and cat videos. Old comedies and silly cat videos, key ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.

Just like in real life, there’s the bad, the good, and the ugly in the virtual world. Stay away from the bad and the ugly, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of the good.

Another thought, and a quote I like

What you love, you empower. And what you fear, you empower. And what you empower, you attract.Stephen King, On Writing

Call it the Law of Attraction or whatever – it works. If you see cheats and scams everywhere, that’s what you’ll attract. Change your focus, and it’ll change.

Just like that.

Blogging Again

Blogging Again

Some people say that if you’re passionate about something you’ll go and do it no matter what.

I think that it depends.

I’m reading On Writing by Stephen King – boy, how I wanted this book, thanks for the thoughtful gift, Ian  🙂

There’s a chapter about the importance or reading a writing every day, about dedication and commitment of a real writer passionate about mastering his craft. Stephen tells a story of his son, Owen, who loved Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, especially the band’s sax player Clarence Clemons so much he decided he wanted to become a sax player, too.

After seven months of classes the family decided there was no point to continue the classes. In spite of practising regularly and mastering the basics, Owen didn’t get to that “blissful” level that would prove to him and his hopeful parents that it was worth his time and their financial investment

 

I knew, not because Owen stopped practicing, but because he was practicing only during the periods Mr. Bowie had set for him: half an hour after school four days a week, plus an hour on the weekends. Owen mastered the scales and the notes — nothing wrong with his memory, his lungs, or his eye-hand coordination — but we never heard him taking off, surprising himself with something new, blissing himself out. And as soon as his practice time was over, it was back into the case with the horn, and there it stayed until the next lesson or practice-time. What this suggested to me was that when it came to the sax and my son, there was never going to be any real play-time; it was all going to be rehearsal. […] Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy. Perhaps even ecstatic. That goes for reading and writing as well as for playing a musical instrument, hitting a baseball, or running the four-forty.Stephen King, On Writing

I agree that there’s no point in pursuing whatever you started just because you already paid for the classes, or because others expect it from you. In Owen’s case, they probably knew, especially that he was quite happy to stop the classes, and seemed relieved.

But sometimes writing, painting, teaching, working out can be tough and can frustrate you even if you love it. Especially. if you love it. If you do scrapbooking or learn Spanish because your friend convinced you it’s fun, and you kind of… yeah, as long as there’s nothing good on TV, but you don’t really care, you won’t care much if it won’t work. You’ll give up, no-one will notice (an upset friend, maybe).

But if you’re passionate about it and you’re not very confident, you may spend less time practicing. The fear of not being good enough will stop you, and you’ll find any excuse under sun not to practice. Cleaning the oven with seem to be the most important task to do. Naturally, because of all that sabotaging you won’t be happy with the results, and you’ll prove to yourself that there’s no point of carrying on.

A vicious circle. It’s safer, in a way, to procrastinate or even give up (and annoying everyone around you) than finish and realise that it’s not perfect.

“If I had allocated more time, I would have written an awesome article.” I know this excuse by heart. And still, next time I piss-fart about another article, doing endless and unnecessary research and tweaking every sentence for ever until I run out of time.

It sucks. Some people work well under stress, I’m not one of them.

The best way to make myself write every day is to start blogging again. It doesn’t have to be perfect (my Inner Perfectionist is petrified). By the way, I do write everyday, but I rarely finish, and I can’t publish unfinished post, right? I have some happy clients who like the articles I wrote for them so why the heck writing for my blog is the such a problem?

There, I warned you, you may find mistakes in my posts. One day I will make enough money to hire an editor who will help me with my writing, but for now, it’s about blogging every day and doing it a bit better every day.

I think that’s reasonable.