TIME technology

Uber Offers Free Rides to Its New York Protest

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS—AFP/Getty Images An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC on March 25, 2015.

uberPOOL will pick up participants on Tuesday

Uber is using an unusual resource to protest a New York City proposal: its own cars.

Protesters attending an Uber rally outside New York’s City Hall on Tuesday can get free rides to and from the event through the company’s carpooling service.

The company is organizing a protest against legislation backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio that would limit how much large car services in the city could grow each year in order to limit congestion on city streets.

Uber says the bill “would stop thousands of new drivers from joining the Uber platform … destroy 10,000 job opportunities for New Yorkers in just one year, and result in longer wait times, higher prices and less reliable service for riders.”

Uber says anyone who takes a cab to or from City Hall on Tuesday between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. will get a free ride through uberPOOL—though theoretically that means some City Hall employees could get swept up in the mix alongside protesters.

TIME technology

Federal Agency Announces Temporary Shutdown of Hacked Database

Katherine Archuleta
Susan Walsh — AP Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China says it has temporarily shut down a massive database used to update and store background investigation records.

Hackers linked to China are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former employees

(WASHINGTON) — The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China announced on Monday the temporary shutdown of a massive database used to update and store background investigation records after newly discovering a flaw that left the system vulnerable to additional breaches.

There is no evidence the vulnerability has been exploited by hackers, agency spokesman Samuel Schumach said in a statement, adding that the Office of Personnel Management took the step protectively. He said the system could be shut down for four to six weeks.

Hackers suspected of working for the Chinese government are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former federal employees and contractors last year. Detailed background investigations for security clearances of military and intelligence agency employees were among the documents taken.

The shutdown announced Monday is expected to hamper agencies’ ability to initiate investigations for new employees and contractors, as well as renewal investigations for security clearances, Schumach said.

But, he added, the federal government will still be able to hire, and in some cases grant clearances on an interim basis.

The database is known as e-QIP, short for Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing.

MONEY Opinion

Innovation Isn’t Dead

Dave Reede—Getty Images A farmer looks out over his field of canola being grown for biofuel while the encroachment of his farmland by housing development is in the background, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Most important innovations are only obvious in hindsight.

Wilbur and Orville Wright’s airplane flew for the first time in December 1903. It was one of the most important innovations of human history, changing the world in every imaginable way.

To celebrate their accomplishment, the press offered a yawn and a shoulder shrug.

Only a few newspapers reported the Wright’s first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. All of them butchered the facts. Later flights in Dayton, Ohio, the brothers’ home, still drew little attention.

David McCullough explains in his book The Wright Brothers:

“Have you heard what they’re up to out there?” people in town would say. “Oh, yes,” would be the usual answer, and the conversation would move on. Few took any interest in the matter or in the two brothers who were to become Dayton’s greatest heroes ever.

An exception was Luther Beard, managing editor of the Dayton Journal … “I used to chat with them in a friendly way and was always polite to them,” Beard would recall, “because I sort of felt sorry for them. They seemed like well-meaning, decent enough young men. Yet there they were, neglecting their business to waste their time day after day on that ridiculous flying machine.”

It wasn’t until 1908 — five years after the first flight and two years after the brothers patented their flying machine — that the press paid serious attention and the world realized how amazing the Wrights’ invention was. Not until World War II, three decades later, did the significance of the airplane become appreciated.

It’s a good lesson to remember today, because there’s a growing gripe about our economy. Take these headlines:

  • “Innovation in America is somewhere between dire straits and dead.”
  • “Innovation Is Dead.”
  • “We were promised flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters.”

The story goes like this: American innovation has declined, and what innovation we have left isn’t meaningful.

Cancer? Not cured. Biofuel? An expensive niche. Smartphones? Just small computers. Tablets? Just big smartphones.

I think the pessimists are wrong. It might take 20 years, but we’ll look back in awe of how innovative we are today.

Just like with the Wright brothers, most important innovations are only obvious in hindsight. There is a long history of world-changing technologies being written off as irrelevant toys even years after they were developed.

Take the car. It was one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. Yet it was initially disregarded as something rich people bought just to show how deep their pockets were. Frederick Lewis Allen wrote in his book The Big Change:

The automobile had been a high-hung, noisy vehicle which couldn’t quite make up its mind that it was not an obstreperous variety of carriage.

In the year 1906 Woodrow Wilson, who was then president of Princeton University, said, “Nothing has spread socialistic feeling in this country more than the automobile,” and added that it offered “a picture of the arrogance of wealth.”

Or consider medicine. Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic effects of the mold penicillium in 1928. It was one of the most important discoveries of all time. But a decade later, penicillin was still a laboratory toy. John Mailer and Barbara Mason of Northern Illinois University wrote:

Ten years after Fleming’s discovery, penicillin’s chemical structure was still unknown, and the substance was not available in sufficient amounts for medical research. In fact, few scientists thought it had much of a future.

It wasn’t until World War II, almost 20 years later, that penicillin was used in mass scale.

Or take this amazing 1985 New York Times article dismissing the laptop computer:

People don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so …

Yes, there are a lot of people who would like to be able to work on a computer at home. But would they really want to carry one back from the office with them? It would be much simpler to take home a few floppy disks tucked into an attache case.

Or the laser. Matt Ridley wrote in the book The Rational Optimist:

When Charles Townes invented the laser in the 1950s, it was dismissed as ‘an invention looking for a job’. Well, it has now found an astonishing range of jobs nobody could have imagined, from sending telephone messages down fiberglass wires to reading music off discs to printing documents, to curing short sight.

Here’s Newsweek dismissing the Internet as a fad in 1995:

The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on a computer. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach.

Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet.

Uh, sure.

You can go on and on. Rare is the innovation that is instantly recognized for its potential. Some of the most meaningful inventions took decades for people to notice.

The typical path of how people respond to life-changing inventions is something like this:

  1. I’ve never heard of it.
  2. I’ve heard of it but don’t understand it.
  3. I understand it, but I don’t see how it’s useful.
  4. I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me.
  5. I use it, but it’s just a toy.
  6. It’s becoming more useful for me.
  7. I use it all the time.
  8. I could not imagine life without it.
  9. Seriously, people lived without it?

This process can take years, or decades. It always looks like we haven’t innovated in 10 or 20 years because it takes 10 or 20 years to notice an innovation.

Part of the problem is that we never look for innovation in the right spot.

Big corporations get the most media attention, but innovation doesn’t come from big corporations. It comes from the 19-year-old MIT kid tinkering in his parents’ basement. If you look at big companies and ask, “What have you done for the world lately?” you’re looking in the wrong spot. Of course they haven’t done anything for the world lately. Their sole mission is to repurchase stock and keep management consultants employed.

Someone, somewhere, right now is inventing or discovering something that will utterly change the future. But you’re probably not going to know about it for years. That’s always how it works. Just like Wilbur and Orville.

More From Motley Fool:

TIME technology

12 Questions To Ask Before You Hit ‘Send’ on Social Media

"How many times have I already posted something today?"

Before you hit the Publish button or send an update to the queue, what do you do?

Quite often, I find myself publishing instinctively and sometimes failing to consider all the necessary questions and guidelines for what makes a wildly successful, viral—and valuable!—social media update.

To do right by your audience, to deliver the utmost value and receive the maximum engagement, there are a handful of qualifications that every social media post should meet. From our experience and our research, 12 items stand out, making for a super slick checklist. We’d love to share with you how this looks.

The 12-Step Social Media Checklist

  1. Is the message educational or entertaining?
  2. Is the voice correct?
  3. Is it too long?
  4. Is the URL correct?
  5. Should I target a specific audience with this message?
  6. Did I use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure?
  7. How many times have I already posted something today?
  8. Did I spell check?
  9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?
  10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?
  11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides?
  12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes?

12 questions to ask before hitting send

The foundations for this checklist come from a lot of the learnings we’ve had with sharing and scheduling to the Buffer social media channels. Also, we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from some great resources on the topic of social media post checklists.

Forbes contributor Ilya Pozin passed along some great advice from marketer Lisa Goeckler, who suggested 12 questions to ask before posting on social media.

Similarly, marketing strategist Gerry Moran of the Marketing Think blog, shared 9 ways to think of social media sharing through the lens of content marketing—specifically how it relates to adding value for your audience with each social media post.

I loved this quote from Gerry:

No matter the marketing goal or how well-built the “rails” of the system are, it is content that is king and is the fuel that will make the “train” run and a strategy succeed. I have found that a social media filter is a useful before-you-press-that-send-button tool to make sure that you are delivering the best messages possible for your readers, customers and prospects!

So without further adieu, here are the questions that we settled on for thesocial media checklist for sending your next post.

1. Is the message educational or entertaining?

We’ve found that the most valuable content on social media—the content that gets the most interactions, engagement, and virality—has one of these two components. It’s either educational or it’s entertaining.

We tend toward the educational with our Buffer social media posts (and our content strategy in general).

Jay Baer shared some thoughts on content marketing and social media, two overlapping areas that share a lot of similarities for businesses. As you create content to share on social, you’re dipping into a form of content marketing also.

Content marketing is a device used by companies to educate, inform or entertain customers or prospects by creating attention or causing behavior that results in leads, sales or advocacy. Social media is used by customers and prospects to communicate among themselves, and occasionally with companies.

A few other questions that can be helpful at this stage to determine the educational/entertaining element of your social media post:

  • Is your content interesting enough that users pass it on and post about it?
  • Will anyone really care about this content besides me?
  • If you were to see this post in your social media timeline, would you pause to read or reshare?
  • Does your post add value for the reader?

2. Is the voice correct?

We’re big fans of finding a consistent voice and tone for your social media content. In our case, each social media message we put out seeks to achieve the following:

  • Positive
  • Helpful
  • Actionable

Another way that voice can make a difference is with the pronouns and words you use in the post. Are you using language that others can easily reshare?

For example, a message like: “How I Write 4x Faster Thanks to This One Small Tip” could be a great headline coming from you. When others share it, does the pronoun cause more confusion than it’s worth?

3. Is it too long?

There’s been lots of great research into the ideal length of online content. In general, these guidelines are:

  • Twitter – 71 to 100 characters
  • Facebook – 40 characters (we’ve observed the other end of the spectrum—quite long posts—doing well also)
  • Google+ headlines – 60 characters

The reason these recommendations are in place is because length matters greatly for posts that get viewed and reshared.

For example, tweets of 100 characters or fewer allow those who retweet to add their own commentary to your original message and stay within the 140-character limit themselves. And shorter posts on networks like Facebook and Google+ make it a bit easier on the reader to spend a quick second looking things over.

4. Is the URL correct?

There’re a couple parts to this one:

  1. Is the link accurate? Does it click through to where you intended?
  2. Is the link appropriate for the message and value proposition of your social media post?

It’s not all that helpful to have a catchy, clickable headline with a link that goes to the wrong place. And it also doesn’t feel great for your audience if the link doesn’t follow through on the promise of the tweet or post—or worse, if the link goes to a deceptive, salesy landing page!

When in doubt, click on the link in your social media post and see where it goes before hitting publish.

5. Should I target a specific audience with this message?

e.g., Who is my message for?

In most cases, your message will be intended for all your followers.

In some cases, the message might be better suited for a smaller group or an individual.

Facebook allows for audience customization with the messages you post from your personal profile. You can send to certain segments—friends, lists, or connections from a certain city, school, etc.—or you can send private direct messages as well.

On Twitter, you can point your messages to a particular person (or persons) by starting the tweet with an @-mention.

Also, Twitter direct messages can be sent privately to individuals who follow you (and whom you follow back) or sent privately to groups.

Good to know: For group messaging, those who are invited to the conversation can invite their followers also.

6. Did you use the right keywords and hashtags to maximize exposure?

In many ways, what this recommendation boils down to is this: Am I speaking the language that my audience understands?

  • Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?
  • Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?

You’re likely doing a great job of this already, if you have a sense for your niche and target audience. Focusing on the terminology that your audience uses will help your messages have maximum meaning and be easily found.

Adding hashtags to your messages can also help in terms of surfacing your content for those who follow you and for those who don’t. Users can search social networks for hashtags and click on hashtags to see other updates that use the same terms.

If you’re new to hashtags, we’ve enjoyed learning from one of our favorite browser extensions, RiteTag, which adds hashtag insight to the messages you’re composing.

7. How many times have I already posted something today?

Social media frequency is another area with a ton of great research attached. From what we’ve been able to find, these are some guidelines to consider when thinking about the volume of your social media posts:

  • Twitter – 3-5 times per day
  • Facebook – 2 times per day
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day
  • Google+ – 3 times per day
  • Pinterest – 5 times per day
  • Instagram – 1 to 2 times per day

Of course, you’ll know best what is the right frequency for you and your brand. Feel free to use the above guidelines as a starting point for tests of your own.

8. Did I spell check?

It happens to all of us.

There’re some handy browser extensions and plugins to assist with spell check if it’s something that bites you often. (I might recommend starting with the Grammarly extension.)

9. Will I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing this?

Especially for those who post from a personal brand or profile, understanding the ramifications of this question can be huge. Not only do friends and family see your updates, so too might future employers, colleagues, teammates, and really anyone. Even one’s sharing history can be searched and found quite easily and screen captures taken of content that slipped out too soon.

10. Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?

Sometimes, it’s good to pause and reflect on the emotion behind a post. Is the post a knee-jerk reaction to something? If it’s real-time, did I take a moment to pause and re-read before hitting publish?

Here are some more questions to consider for this one.

  • Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?
  • Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?
  • Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?
  • Is this really something I want to share, or is it just me venting?

11. Did I make the most of visual content—images, video, slides?

Images are the No. 1 most important factor in optimal social media content. This according to an ongoing research survey conducted by Software Advice and Adobe.

If there’s a way to work in visuals—be they images, video, slides, or otherwise—then it’s likely to be best for the success of your message.

And if you’re short on ideas, we shared a big list of ways to create Twitter visuals, including screengrabs, Canva templates, rich media, and more.

12. Did I make the most of my update text—headline formulas, polls, quizzes?

Sometimes I find myself writing a post off the top of my head and neglecting to consider the proven benefits of the formulas and post types that have done well for us in the past.

We shared some fun and interesting types of Facebook posts as well as a host of headline formulas that can work great for social media (copywriting formulas, too!).

Another way to look at this one: Can anything be removed to make the message stronger?

If afforded the time, editing and revision can be a great asset to a social media post. Aim for simplicity. Remove a word here and there, if possible. It’ll make the meat of your message stand out even more.


Working from a social media checklist can be a helpful way to ensure the utmost quality for each post that goes out. And the more you share, the more intuitive this all becomes (until you might not even need the checklist any more!).

When posting, consider some of the following, or print out the checklist to keep by your side during social media marketing time.

  • Is the message valuable for my audience?
  • Is everything correct—voice, URL, spelling, length?
  • How many times have I posted already today?
  • Did I make the most of visuals and post styles?
  • How reactionary is this message? Would I be okay with absolutely anyone seeing it?

This article originally appeared on Buffer

More from Buffer:

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.


You’ll Need a Prescription to Get Google’s Cool New Wearable

It will take your pulse and track the environment — but you can't have one.

Google’s new wearable is something most people won’t get the chance to wear. Google X, the part of the company that innovates new technology, says the wearable will be used primarily as a health research tool. This device is to become “a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials,” says Google’s Andy Conrad.

TIME Autos

Check Out the World’s First 3-D Printed Supercar

Divergent Microfactories

It has a chassis about 90% lighter than the average car

The “Blade” is light, sleek and — at an acceleration of 0-60 m.p.h. in 2.2 seconds — incredibly fast, just like you’d want any supercar to be. But a few things set this wondrous machine apart from others of its kind, foremost among them its method of manufacture.

The car, made by San Francisco–based startup Divergent Microfactories, has a chassis created entirely using a 3-D printer, Engadget reports. The 3-D printing reduces the overall weight of the car by 90%, the manufacturer claims, coupled with the use of carbon fiber for most of the car’s body rather than steel or aluminum. As a result, the whole vehicle weighs just under 1,400 lb.

“How we make things is much more important than how we fuel them and whether they have a tailpipe or not,” Kevin Czinger, CEO of Divergent, said in an interview with Forbes.

Czinger has also put some thought into how the car is fueled, however, with Blade carrying a 700HP engine that can run on compressed natural gas — thereby also making it one of the most environment-friendly automobiles around.

The company will produce a certain number of cars initially, but eventually plans to sell its technology to smaller manufacturers to make their own vehicles.

“We have got to rethink how we manufacture, because — when we go from 2 billion cars today to 6 billion cars in a couple of decades — if we don’t do that, we’re going to destroy the planet,” Czinger adds.

MONEY Shopping

Why I’m Returning My Apple Watch

Apple Watch Available Within Apple Stores
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A new Apple Watch is displayed at the Apple Store on June 17, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple began selling the Apple Watch in its stores Wednesday with their reserve and pick up service.

I’m not saying the Apple Watch is overall a bad product. It’s just not for me. Not yet.

I waited two months after launch, but I did end up buying an Apple APPLE INC. AAPL 0.62% Watch. I picked a 42 mm Apple Watch Sport, which retails for $399. That’s on the low end of the spectrum as far as Apple Watch’s pricing goes, and there was no way I was going to part with $17,000 for an Apple Watch Edition, which is quite literally exactly what I paid for my car.

Yet merely days after receiving the device, I’ve already decided to return the Mac maker’s first wearable product. I’m generally an early adopter of most things Apple, and most of my reasoning for returning the device is personal. I’m not saying the Apple Watch is overall a bad product. It’s just not for me. Not yet.

Here’s why.

Apple Watch as a notification device
It appeared that most of my interactions with the Apple Watch revolved around the notifications it would send me. Texts would come in. It tells me to stand up. There’s a thunderstorm brewing tonight. While it’s undeniably an added convenience to get notifications on my wrist, the value of that convenience doesn’t quite justify the price tag when it was becoming one of the primary uses of the device. I needed the Apple Watch to be something more.

Apple Watch as a communications device
Apple has spent a fair amount of type trying to hype up its new Digital Touch communication service, with which you can send drawings, taps, and heartbeats to friends and family. In practice, I found the feature completely useless. Beyond the fading novelty of sending random doodles (I’m a terrible artist) and taps, I couldn’t see myself using Digital Touch in real-world applications. On top of that, my wife didn’t get an Apple Watch, so I also had no one to send my heartbeat to, because to send it to anyone else would certainly flirt with infidelity.

“You sent your heartbeat to her?” Image source: Apple.

But I also quickly realized that I was utterly uninterested in checking my email on such a tiny display. Not only are the vast majority of emails not formatted in a way that Apple Watch can display them (many emails nowadays are formatted in HTML, which the Apple Watch doesn’t support), but the Watch is also not a realistic way to respond to an email if need be. Besides, my iPhone is in my pocket, so I might as well just check my email from there.

The same goes for iMessages. Sure, Apple’s bizarre animated emojis are unique to Apple Watch, but the experience is more catered to reading messages instead of replying. Voice dictation for inputting text seems less accurate than on the iPhone.

Apple Watch as a fitness device
Perhaps the one area where I had the highest hopes for Apple Watch was fitness. I’m the first to admit that I could use a little bit more exercise, but Apple Watch didn’t really motivate me to get up and out in the way I had hoped. Besides, there are plenty of other devices that offer comprehensive health and fitness tracking for a whole lot less, albeit with the potential trade-off of having to wear two things on my wrist. The Fitbit Flex costs just $80 right now on Amazon.com’s Prime.

If I’m going attempt to break free from my sedentary lifestyle (only to probably fail), I’d rather pay less.

Apple Watch as a payment device
Using the Watch as a payment device was probably one of the most impressive experiences I had with it. To use Apple Pay, you simply double-press the button on the side, and Apple Watch is ready to pay at retail locations where Apple Pay and contactless payments are supported. It easily made for the most convenient payment I’ve ever made — double-pressing the button and then tapping the Watch on the register.

It’s not necessarily a huge improvement over paying with an iPhone, which is already extremely seamless, but it was undeniably smooth. In fact, the biggest overall problem was that Apple Pay isn’t accepted at all of the places where I shop, but the company continues to aggressively grow its footprint.

Apple Watch as a first-generation device
All of this will get better in time. I’m not ready to spend $400 to adopt a product with some early (although not entirely unexpected) shortcomings, only to get locked into the inevitable and ongoing upgrade cycle that’s associated with all tech gadgets. I’m already on enough upgrade tracks for the time being. Instead, I’d rather wait for the second-generation model, and 9to5Mac has already given us an idea of what to expect.

By then, watchOS 2 will have been released, adding important functionalities such as native third-party apps and third-party complications. Third-party developers will also have greater access to the Watch’s hardware and sensors. In essence, watchOS 2 will focus on enabling innovation from third-party developers, which is critical for the platform to thrive.

It’s not clear yet whether Apple will redesign the second-generation model altogether (beyond the expected addition of a FaceTime camera that 9to5Mac refers to), but we do know that Apple’s quest for the thinnest and lightest products it’s ever made will never end. Both the iPhone and iPad were completely redesigned after their respective first generations, so it’s entirely possible that Apple Watch will follow the same pattern. At the same time, Apple has set a precedent that when it enters a new product category at a particular price point, it generally stays in that range with subsequent iterations. The Apple Watch’s $350 entry-level price is unlikely to budge.

Even though I’m returning this one, I’m confident that I’ll buy the next one — and keep it.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple.
MONEY Workplace

The Best Places for Millennials to Work

For FORTUNE's 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, go to California. Or Texas.

As you might imagine, with tech winning for millennial workers, California is the place to be. FORTUNE has released its list of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in 2015, and 20 of the top 100 are in technology, like Google, Twitter and Yelp. Some are smaller companies though, like #3 AlliedWallet.com, based in Los Angeles. Nineteen of the top 100 are in California, 17 are in Texas, while only 7 are in New York. Financial services and insurance is the second-best industry for millennials with companies like Edward Jones and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Read next: The Best Youngest Places to Live

TIME nokia

Nokia’s CEO Just Made a Big Unexpected Announcement

MARKKU ULANDER—AFP/Getty Images Nokia's Chief Executive Rajeev Suri.

The company wants to reclaim its faded glory

Nokia used to be the world’s top phone-maker. Now the company wants to reclaim some of its faded glory.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri recently told the German business monthly Manager Magazin that the company plans to design mobile phones once again. Next year, mobile phone manufacturers will be able to license the brand.

“We will look for suitable partners,” Suri told the magazine.

The Finnish company had previously been barred from re-entering the market. In 2013, when Microsoft agreed to buy its phone business for more than $7 billion, it stipulated that Nokia would have to stay out until 2016. The tech giant — which hoped compete with rivals such as Apple and its iPhone, and Samsung and its Galaxy — instead picked up a loss-making business that claimed a measly 3% market share, according to Reuters. Its devices barely made a dent in the consumer world.

Clarifying the business’ reentry, Suri said: “Microsoft makes mobile phones. We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license.”

Last week Microsoft manager Stephen Elop, who had left to lead Nokia before rejoining to steer Microsoft’s mobile handset business after its acquisition, left again. The move signaled to industry watchers that Microsoft is refocusing from hardware to software.

In fact, Nokia already has a mobile device on the market: the N1 Android tablet, which it makes in partnership with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn. Given that relationship, some speculate that Nokia’s new phones could be Android-based and assembled with the help of that company.

Earlier this year, Nokia bought the French-American networking company Alcatel-Lucent for $17 billion to help gain a foothold in the U.S. It is also in the midst of looking to sell HERE, its maps business. Though companies ranging from the car service Uber to German automaker BMW have demonstrated interest in the business, Suri has not tipped his hand as to who may win the deal.

“Anybody who can improve the business in the long run is a good buyer,” he said.

TIME Careers & Workplace

7 Creative and Fun Ways to Manage Your Time

Getty Images

Let your phone text and take notes for you

BusinessCollective Logo for Web

I am swamped. Requests from colleagues, friends and family leave me with no time to do any actual work. I can’t ignore any of the aforementioned things and it’s impossible to cram them all into an eight-hour day.

But time management isn’t about taking shortcuts in your thinking time, it’s about finding shortcuts for the mundane, administrative and repetitive, in order to make way for the creative, strategic and dare I say… fun? As a busy carpooling mom of three boys (two of them teens!), a CEO of a company that grows 500 percent year over year and a happily married lady with lots of extended family, here’s how I make the most of every hour of every day.

Email Templates and Autoresponders

The Issue: Email is a huge time suck. Everyone knows it. Yet when I find myself bogged down, my first (weird) impulse is to check my email. This only serves to make me even crazier and stressed out because for every minute my inbox is ignored, the magical email bunnies produce about 50 new emails.

The Shortcut: Autoresponders. I have an amazing marketing assistant who helps me wade through requests and schedule important meetings. I archive every client communication so I don’t get distracted when looking for something I know I saw just yesterday (Gmail makes this a snap), and I use autoresponders for things like guest post requests, meetings, phone calls and new client queries. A great article about how to word these emails popped up a few weeks ago and I couldn’t agree with its premise more.

Texting and Typing Shortcuts

The Issue: I like a good manicure and spend a lot of time on the road. I can’t look down every three seconds or enter passwords without flubbing.

The Shortcut: I use autocorrect to make my texting life less frenetic. For example, I can text “RBM” and my phone knows to spell out “Red Branch Media.” I use the same trick to make emails and phrases I type frequently appear. This not only saves me time, it makes even the hastiest text message look professional.

Website Hacks

The Issue: I have usernames on every single website that exists in the English language. Okay, maybe not. But it feels like I do. Add in client login information, software, and the hundreds of media bundles and new apps I buy regularly, and you have a password bottleneck.

The Shortcut: In addition to the company password list, I use LastPass to ensure that I am not endlessly frustrated. I have my kids use 1Password when they access my computer for homework and Minecraft.


The Issue: My kids go to three different schools in two different towns, 25 miles away. Since none of them can drive unaccompanied, I find myself in the car a lot. Once I’ve finished my rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” I settle in and use two tools to make the most of my time in the car.

The Shortcut: Dragon Dictation is like Siri on steroids! I use it to speak out outlines of articles (like this one) that pop into my head. It’s also super useful for strategy documents, as those are the hardest for me to get from the idea stage to publication-ready. Another useful tool is my conference line Speek. It allows me to record and keep notes. My assistant can get all information down on paper if I’m in the proposal phase with a new client or when I simply need to remember what I was talking about as I sped down the highway. Plus, we can save the audio files to the client folder for later.

Group Messaging

The Issue: We have a group of friends in our neighborhood with roughly 28 children between us. There is no logical way to keep track of the barbecues, birthday parties, play dates and fire-pit nights without someone feeling left out.

The Shortcut: Aside from a rolling text string among three of us for social updates, we use NextDoor to keep in touch in our neighborhood. This makes it easy to exchange invites and useful time saving information, like who found the best concrete guy or when trees will be picked up from the last summer storm. This also serves as a de facto neighborhood watch and has led to lots of new friendships on the block.

Archival System

The Issue: Clients come and go, partnerships ebb and flow. Some people and companies with whom I was hot and heavy (professionally) just months ago are now just folders I breeze through.

The Shortcut: Archive. Archive. Archive. I love Dropbox, but if you have a folder for every active and inactive client, you will soon get tendonitis just from looking through your cloud. If I am finished with a project or email, I put it straight into storage. Dropbox syncs on all office computers, making it a cinch to see and sort through only the most active and recent files.

Recipe Makers

The Issue: Boring, repetitive tasks that make me nuts.

The Shortcut: IFTTT and other recipe makers. Sometimes you are pulling in five pictures per day and they all need to be a certain size. Create a recipe that saves them that way to the right file automatically! Sure, it takes about 30 seconds to set up in the beginning. But when making a presentation or building a website, this creates a lot more serenity than manually resizing multiple photos. The same goes for other repeatable tasks (taking pictures of your receipts to categorize, downloading files from your Google Drive, building templates in illustrator for white papers and ebooks). Use a recipe or template for any project you think you will do more than once — and use it!

There you have it — the hacks that get me through every single day. I learned early on that I had to start looking at every task more strategically. I would often think, “There HAS to be a better way to do this.” And there usually is.

Share your time-saving hacks in the comments, and let’s all get out of our own way!

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.

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