Snow Days!

We’ve decided to take a little week-long hiatus here at SA Women Talk Tech and enjoy some snow days, if we’re lucky enough to have them. But we won’t leave you completely without something to read. Here are some suggestions on what to check out on the interwebs this week…

The #SAChat Awards – and hey, there are some fab women among the nominees – including our very own Kristendom (although we’ve never thought of her as much of the “silent” type) – so make sure to get your votes in!

New-ish blog posts from some of our favorite women bloggers: Laura Pasquini, Becca Obergefell, Mallory Bower and Lisa Endersby.

The #SAReads online book club – currently reading Five Seconds at a Time – if you’re looking for a great way to engage over reading, this is it! Follow along on Twitter or join the GoodReads group, where they’ve started by discussing decisions and destiny.

Check out the #satech chat on Wednesday from 2 – 2:30 CST or the #femlead chat every other Tuesday from 1 – 1:30 CST on Twitter.

What else is going on? Let us know so we can share!


Snow Days!

Highlight an App: Google Canned Responses

by Jess Faulk

canned response, google

As a recent Google Apps for Education user at work, I am very excited to highlight an “app” feature that is very useful to my day-to-day life.   Canned responses are a super simple way to save email templates that you find yourself using over and over.   Whether you are tired of emailing candidates and telling them how to apply for your leadership position, or just need to save the directions for how to get to your house, canned responses makes the repetitive email process painless.

How to set it up

In your google mail window, click on the gear in the upper right corner.  Select mail settings and click on the labs link.  Scroll down on the page, which is in alpha order, to find canned responses.  Click the radio button to enable it and click ok.

After this is turned on, to create a canned response, you click on your compose mail button.  You will now see a “canned responses” drop down option under the subject line.

You can either find an email that you know you already use a lot, and copy it into this new message, or you can write a new one.  Each time you want to pull up that template email, all you have to do is press the canned response drop down and find it on the menu.  You can always edit it before you send to make it personalized, but it gives you the framework to start from.  The canned response will automatically be labeled as the subject line of the email, but that can be changed if needed.

Use canned responses for: different signatures for work, personal and board positions, a weekly email you send soliciting shout outs, a monthly report, meeting agendas, thank you email, etc.

Canned Response


Highlight an App: Google Canned Responses

Linkage Love: Health and Fitness edition!

by Julia Golden

Last year I told myself I wanted to make a life change. I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to be more active. Quite often in higher education (especially Residence Life and Student Activities) we are working long hours, eating a slice of leftover pizza from a student meeting, or eating dining food.  While staying healthy can be quite the challenge the following link have helped me to stay focused:


My Fitness Pal:

My Fitness Pal has been an awesome website and app for my iphone. This website has the information on calories for many food and brands of food. The app lets you track this information down. I have found that when I’m at my office I go onto this website or ones like it to pre-plan what I would like to eat for dinner. Viewing this site also let’s me pre-plan eating out at a restaurant. For instance when I glance at a menu what are items with fewer calories? My Fitness Pal has many restaurant’s food item on their site.


Spark People

I enjoy Spark People and the community it provides. There are many blogs and success stories that inspire me to do my best. Connecting with an ‘Average Joe’ on exercising is uplifting. They have many tools that help you track your weight/calories etc. There are apps for smartphones as well. Again, this site is best for people who are looking for a community.


Fit Sugar:

I noticed this website when I was thinking of what songs to buy for my workout mix. They have lists of the top workout music from the past few years. What also made them stand out is their sections on snacks for vegan, gluten-free folks. While I am neither, my students are and this gave me options about what snacks might be appropriate to bring to a training. Lastly, I enjoy their free videos to view on new workouts.


To Hope and Health,


Linkage Love: Health and Fitness edition!

SPOILER: This post is about Spoilers.

by Jennifer Keegin

Last night something terrible happened in the season 3 finale of Downton Abbey. Like a “Who Shot JR?” size event except that if you didn’t try really hard to avoid the internet – you would have found out about it a long time ago via spoilers. (I mean, this is a show that already broadcast in the UK six months ago.)

It got me thinking. To me, spoilers and the internet are a delicate balance. I was amazed how key elements in the latest James Bond, Skyfall, never seemed to emerge. I was so glad in this instance because I wasn’t steeling myself up for anything in particular.

To return to Downton Abbey for a minute – a major, well loved character was killed off earlier in this same season. I had actually accidentally read a spoiler that gave away this plot point and I was looking for the moment all season. It still didn’t happen when or how I thought and I was still caught up in the emotions – but I admit it was dulled by the fact that I knew it was coming. But there’s the thing – in this case I was glad to know it was going to happen – it gave me a chance to get used to the idea.

Twitter is the hardest for me to avoid. Fans of Downton in the UK were tweeting before the finale last night things like, “Here it comes USA” and “Grab your tissues” and “You can turn off the tv now!!” Ok, so they aren’t exactly giving specifics away – but come on! And the poor fans in other time zones – I hope they avoided looking at the #DowntonPBS feed – or it would totally have been spoiled for them although the “incident” was so terrible that maybe they would want a heads up.

I did not look ahead, I did not read spoilers so I was shocked and appalled as I should have been. I called my mom to yell and scream and…my mom had taped it and was not watching live. So I was going to shut my yapper – but she wanted to know and was glad to find out. So you never know.

Any spoilers ruin a show or movie for you recently? Are you glad you learned plot points from a spoiler? Comment below – but maybe try not spoil things for everyone ok?

SPOILER: This post is about Spoilers.

What’s In Your Bag?

by Brenda Bethman

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a wee bit of an obsession with What’s on your home screen? posts. And I feel the same about the What’s in your bag? genre. In particular, I’m a huge fan of the Timbuk2 What’s in your bag? site.  I recently switched to using a Timbuk2 messenger bag and thought I would share what’s in my bag for this week’s blog prompt.

First, the bag — it’s their limited edition Tour de France classic messenger. I know almost nothing about the Tour de France, but the cheery red polka dots won me over:


Seriously, doesn’t that just make you smile? I have had more compliments on this bag from random folks in airports than any other. I ordered the small size as I find the larger sizes just too big. The small is large enough to comfortably fit my MacBook Air and even the MacBook Pro (should I feel like lugging it around).

In addition to the laptop, I can also comfortably fit all of this:


What is all that? Folders for projects / daily work (the paperless office is still just a dream!), my Moleskines (as much as I love my tech, I’m old school about some things, as I’ve noted here before), iPad mini (which I still love), a couple of books (which ones vary depending on current projects), pens, power brick, and my bag of tech accessories. If I’m traveling, there will probably also be a camera and Kindle.

What’s in YOUR bag? Let us know in the comments.

What’s In Your Bag?

Highlight a Woman: SA Women Talk Tech

by Kristen Abell

I know that I’ve highlighted our bloggers before, but I think they deserve more than one post – they’re that amazing. This blog was started just over two years ago, and during that time, we have gotten to work with some fabulous women in tech. These bloggers have written 421 posts (or roughly 15 posts a month) over a variety of topics – both tech-related and student affairs. They’ve presented and done podcasts. They’ve created infographics and tweeted. They are, in short, outstanding representations of women in student affairs and technology. But enough about “they” – just exactly who are these fabulous women?

Colleen – Colleen has been with us since the beginning, and she has been an incredibly active blogger for us. Her experience with new motherhood has given her some additional insight into using technology as a mom, but she’s also big into fitness apps and tech tools.

Jennifer – Jennifer has long been into technology, and she has her own blog where she promotes “Tech Lady Tuesdays.” I was fortunate enough to meet Jennifer F2F at #NASPATech two years ago, where we presented on the state of women in technology.

Anitra – Anitra is our blogger who is always bringing social justice and technology together – she’s pretty awesome like that. Also, she is a fellow Buffy fan, so of course I adore her.

Jess – Jess is the Queen of the Infographic – both for our blog and for student affairs in general. She does amazing work, and her special brand of geekiness makes them even more amazing. Geeks unite!

Lauren – Lauren is our graduate student blogger extraordinaire. Anyone crazy enough to add blogging to their already full grad student schedule is just crazy enough to be blogging with us!

Valerie – Although Valerie is an all-around tech gal, she keeps us sharp on our social media use. Plus, not only is she a fellow Buffy fan, she’s also my favorite new pen pal!

Julia – Julia is our newest blogger, and we can’t wait to see what she’s going to bring to our blog. We’re just thrilled to have her on board!

Kathryn – My co-editor and partner in crime, Kathryn has also been with us since the early days, and she is an incredible asset to our blog. It wouldn’t happen without her help!

Brenda – Last, but most certainly not least – our co-founder and co-editor for the first two years, Brenda is my partner in crime in more ways than you can imagine. She has been my boss, my fellow blogger, and my friend. She brings the important feminism and tech topics to our blog, and she is a support to me in too many ways to list here.

Did I tell you they were amazing, or did I tell you they were amazing? I could not be more proud of what this blog has become from its early imaginings, and I could not be more lucky to have such a great group of bloggers (and even past bloggers!) to work with – you all deserve to be highlighted every day.

Do you know one of our bloggers? Tell us why you think they’re amazing and share the love (it is Valentine’s Day, after all)!

Highlight a Woman: SA Women Talk Tech

Linkage Love: Being Happier

by Lauren Creamer

These past few months I have been on a mission to cultivate more happiness in my life. Generally, I am a positive, upbeat individual and tend to find the silver lining in all situations. I follow the mantras of “people are doing the best they can” and “you can’t change another person, but you can change your attitude.” But, I know that I can do better, and the following two sites have been helping me on my way to a greater happiness.

The Happiness Project chronicles one writer’s quest for everyday happiness over the course of an entire year. Each month Gretchen Rubin, NYC writer, tackels a new topic and sets resolutions for each subject. (Topics include boosting your energy, improving romantic relationships, strengthening parenting skills, etc.). While her focus is on the important themes in life, she improves her happiness through modification of small details. For example, one of the easiest ways to boost your energy everyday is to get eight hours of sleep. Shocking, I know. When you’re well rested, you’re a happier person. Improving romantic relationships? Stop nagging! If you want something done, sometimes it really is easier to do it yourself.

Gretchen encourages readers to create Ten Commandments of their own happiness. (Be Gretchen – one of hers; Be an Optimist Prime – one of mine). The key to her success, she says, is her resolutions chart. While it is easy to set resolutions, it is harder to hold yourself accountable. Her resolutions chart kept her focused on self-improvement each day.

Want to start your own Happiness Project? Check out her tutorial.

My second site? Happier. A site/app devoted to promoting daily happiness and positivity.  Did you know that multiple studies have proven that writing down three happy things each day reduces anxiety, increases happiness, helps people make healthier choices, and gives one a better night’s sleep? Now you do!

Their mission is simple: to spread happiness. While the site explains the science behind their goal, the app puts it into action. Happier will prompt you in the morning, afternoon, and at night to write about something great that happened to you that day. Having a rough time at work? Wish you were doing something you loved? Easy fix. Write about it on the app. Share it with friends and family. Happier is basically a mobile social networking site that is all about positivity. No negative comments. No Debbie Downers. Just happiness.

The only downside at the moment at that it is not available for Android phone. For those of you with iPhones, I highly suggest you download this app! If nothing else, the confetti that rains down after you post will make you smile.

And now I leave you with this: start your own happiness project. It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as Gretchen’s or something you chronicle on your smart phone, it just needs to be an expression of the things that make you happy. Focus on the good and shake off the negative. Be happier!

Linkage Love: Being Happier