Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tracking Amazon Purchases

In my last post I discussed the option at to download order reports. The results of my reports for 2011 and 2012 provided data for the chart below.

When comparing the end-of-year total for each year, I see that I spent about half as much in 2012 as 2011. This chart and the one below use data from business-related books.

Additional analysis comparing books purchased directly from Amazon (new books) and from other vendors via Amazon (used books) reveals the following.

I purchased approximately the same number of books, and the result was that I spent half as much in 2012 as I did in 2013. For me, purchasing used books is a successful money-saving approach.

Take data that is available in your life and think about ways to analyze it and identify trends.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Amazon Orders

One of the best designed websites for online shopping is Amazon's site contains a variety of settings and reminders designed to enhance your shopping experience and, of course, maximum the company's revenue.

Used vs New
I purchase most of my books via Amazon. It addition to its new book. sales, Amazon sells books and other items from third party vendors. Thus, it is extremely easy to purchase used books.

A search for any book will likely yield a variety of quality and pricing options to purchase a used copy, even for books that are out-of-print. I have purchased books for $0.01!

Amazon Order History
A feature of Amazon that is also helpful is the ability to generate and download order history reports, going back several years.

Once logged in to your Amazon account, select Your Account. From the list choose Download Order Reports.

This will open a series of fields where you can enter your search criteria.

A report will be generated that opens in Excel or Numbers, is saved for future reference, and sent as a link to your e-mail.
(C) 2012 by

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Use Dropbox to Store and Share Files

If you are over 20 years old, you may remember a time when apples were eaten, clouds floated in the sky, and tweeting is what birds did outside your window. Today, these still occur, but these words have taken on a life of their own with the company Apple, Twitter app, and cloud storage.

The "cloud" refers to shared storage areas that are web or network based so that your files can be accessed from multiple devices, whether computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Set up Dropbox
Dropbox is a service that lets you access stored files from a variety of devices.
  • Step 1. Visit to create an account.
  • Step 2. Download the software and install on your computer.
  • Step 3. Download the Dropbox app to your smart phone and tablet (link is to the Apple iTunes App Store).
  • Step 4. Begin storing your files! Easily manage files by creating folders.
Recently, I joined a Flickr group titled The Sketchnote Handbook, created by Mike Rohde to serve as a sharing area for people who use creative note taking techniques. Mike's book, The Sketchnote Handbook (see the tie-in to the Flickr group?), is available for pre-order now.

One of the sketchers I noticed in the Flickr group is Sacha Chua. As her website and Twitter information is listed on every sketch, I ended up at her website.

Share files on Dropbox
Sacha frequently shares sketches via Dropbox. This was my first experience with shared files in Dropbox. The ability to share files with others (even non-Dropbox users) is very convenient, especially if the files are large, you have several files, or simply want to control access to the files.

One of the folders that is available in Dropbox is the "Public" folder. Any files you place in this folder can easily be shared with others simply by using the link provided for each file. Click on the link below to view the image file for the picture above.

Use the link below to join Dropbox
If you are interested in joining Dropbox, please click this referral link. You will be able to get started with your own account and I will get additional free space (you can refer people too).

Do you already use Dropbox? If so, or if you sign up, let me know.