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Getting Organized

Here are few ideas I've compiled to help you keep all of your online survey information organized. None of this is by any means necessary; however, these are a few techniques that I use to keep on top of things.

Organize your email - I find it helps a great deal to keep all of my survey emails organized. This not only makes it easier for me to see when I have received a survey invitation, but also makes it very simple to see the history of emails from any particular survey site.

I use "Outlook" for my email handling so I will explain it from that perspective, although this method should work in many other email programs. First, I have created a "Surveys" folder in my inbox. To create a new folder, you can just right-click the inbox and choose "New Folder". Whenever I receive an email from a survey site, I will then create a folder inside of the "Surveys" folder for that particular site. Simply right-click the "Surveys" folder, choose "New Folder" as before and name it the name of the survey site. I then go to the email (which is still in my inbox), click on it to select it and click on the "organize" button at the top. This will allows you to create a rule. Make a rule that moves messages from the survey site into the new folder you created. Outlook will now automatically move that message, and all future messages from that site, into that folder. After a while you will have a separate folder for each survey site within your "Surveys" folder. This is a great way to keep your survey email organized. Other email programs should work in a similar fashion. The key is to set up a folder for each survey site, and create a rule which, will automatically move email from each site into its folder.

Use an alternate browser - There is an internet browser called Avant Browser (don't worry it's a free download). This browser allows you to open multiple pages at once. For example, you can go to the favorites you just created, go to the "Check Account" folder and open all the paid survey sites in that folder at once. They'll appear as separate pages that you can flip through and close when you're done. You can even set up multiple pages to be used as your homepage. I have mine setup to open NFO, Lightspeed, It Pays to Learn and Six Questions whenever I open my browser. That way I never forget to login and get my extra points or drawing entries. I find this a very handy way to keep track of my sites.

Avant Browser is an extension of Internet Explorer, so once you download it, all of your favorites from Internet Explorer will already be there. As mentioned before, you can go to any folder in your favorites and at the top will be the option to open all items in that folder. Each page will open in a separate tab located at the bottom of the screen. You can flip through tabs by either clicking on them at the bottom or by pressing the "ctrl" and "tab" keys at the same time. To close only the current tab, use the red X button in the upper right. To close all tabs use the red X with part of a box over the corner. After a while, you may find you are checking certain sites more often than others. You can group these together, without altering your favorites, by using the "group" feature. Open the pages that you want to group together (or open them all and close the ones you don't want), go up to "Groups" - "Create New Group". The next time you want to access that group of sites you can just go to "Group" and open them up. Another handy tip, if you have a page open, and you can open another in a new tab, by going up to "File" - "New" - "Blank Page". This will open a new blank tab, and leave the old one there. Or, if you're on a page and find a link that you'd like to visit, but still want to leave the original page open, right click on the link and choose "open link in a new window" and the link will open in a new tab. There's lots of other features to this browser, there's a built in popup blocker, you can disable videos, pictures, sounds, etc... to save bandwidth and more. I'll let you explore those yourself. And if you'd like to open up multiple pages whenever you start Avant Browser, go up to "Tools" - "Avant Browser Options" - "Homepage" and enter the pages in the box. Also, if you find that it's working a bit clunky, don't open as many pages at once. The amount of pages you can open will depend on your internet connection as well as your computer.

Keep a spreadsheet - You may want to keep a spreadsheet of surveys you've taken, amounts you are owed, etc... You'll have a better handle on how many surveys you've taken, and of any money that may be in transit. With the different types of payment, it can sometimes be difficult to really know how you are doing. Keeping a spreadsheet does take a bit of time, but you may find it useful.

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