OnePlus 6 -Best OnePlus 6 cases

The recently launched OnePlus 6 is not only one of the best smartphones you can buy, it’s also one of the best looking phones on the market. It’s got a slick design, with a glass back and a 6.28-inch display with very little bezel space. It makes sense to protect this phone from harm, so we decided to find the best OnePlus 6 cases you can currently buy.

We will update this post as more OnePlus 6 cases from third-party companies become available. 

Buy OnePlus 6

Read: OnePlus 6: What’s great, what’s missing
Read: OnePlus 6 specs
Read: OnePlus 6 color comparison

OnePlus 6 Bumper Case

OnePlus 6 - Best OnePlus 6 cases

OnePlus always offers a number of great cases for its phones, and the OnePlus 6 is no exception. One example is its OnePlus 6 bumper case, which has a main polycarbonate shell with TPU sides and corners for a solid protective shell. The even nicer thing about this case is that it comes in three very different designs. One, shown above, is the Nylon black material, but you can also get this case in the “Karbon” back design or with an Ebony Wood finish. It’s available now at the OnePlus store for $24.95 for the Nylon finish, and $29.95 for the Karbon and Ebony Wood designs.

Get it at OnePlus
OnePlus 6 Protective Case

OnePlus 6 Protective Case - Best OnePlus 6 cases

Another first-party OnePlus 6 cases, this one is a snap-on design. It doesn’t offer full protection, but it’ll certainly make your OnePlus 6 stand out, thanks to its two color options. One is the Karbon pattern found on the Bumper case. The other is Sandstone, which looks and feels cool and different. You can get the Sandstone version for $19.95, and the Karbon is priced at $24.95.

Get it at OnePlus
OnePlus 6 Flip Cover

OnePlus 6 Protective Cover - Best OnePlus 6 cases

Our last first-party OnePlus 6 case will make your life a little easier if you need to get to your ID or your credit card quickly. The OnePlus 6 flip cover is made of PU leather and covers the entire phone, but you can flip its magnetic latching cover open to use the phone, which is protected with a polycarbonate frame. The cover’s other side has a slot designed to hold a credit card, ID, business card, or even cash. You can get this OnePlus 6 case directly from the company now for $19.95.

Get it at OnePlus
OtterBox Commuter Series OnePlus 6 case

Otterbox - Best OnePlus 6 cases

One of the best known phone case makers, OtterBox wasted no time in launching one of its Commuter Series designs for the OnePlus 6. The dual layer case includes a polycarbonate shell on the outside and a synthetic rubber slipcover that goes inside the hard shell. The case also has covers for all of the OnePlus 6’s ports to keep out dust and lint, but should still be slim enough so that you can put the OnePlus 6 in your pants pocket. This case is on the pricey side. Otterbox is selling it for $39.95 in black and “indigo way blue” colors.

Get it at OtterBox
TUDIA OnePlus 6 case
TUDIA - Best OnePlus 6 cases

This case comes from TUDIA, which has created a rugged design with a polyurethane TPU shell. It should offer a lot of protection while still remaining pretty slim. It also has raised edged on the back for the OnePlus 6’s twin camera and fingerprint sensor, which should prevent them from getting scratched up when the phone’s back is placed on a table or other surface. You can get the TUDIA OnePlus 6 case in black, grey, navy blue, and even in a frosted clear version, for just $7.90 on Amazon.

Get it at Amazon
Dretal OnePlus 6 case

Dretal - Best OnePlus 6 cases

The next product in our best OnePlus 6 cases list comes from Dretal, which sells a carbon fiber-based case with anti-stretch TPU rubber. This should provide the phone with a lot of protection against small falls and drops, and its brushed texture gives it a nice look. In addition, this case comes in four colors. Two of them are fairly normal (navy blue and black), but you can also buy this case in a nice looking red color, and even in a mint green version, as shown above. The Dretal OnePlus 6 case is priced at $7.98 on Amazon.

Get it at Amazon
Ringke OnePlus 6 case

Ringke- Best OnePlus 6 cases

While some OnePlus 6 case owners may want to cover up their phone, others may want to show off the glass back. If that’s you, check out this case from Ringke. It has a clear design, but still has a polycarbonate outer shell and inner TPU material so the phone can survive falls and drops to the floor. It also contains enhanced anti-scratch and dual coating features so the case will continue to show off the phone. You can get the Ringke clear OnePlus 6 case for $9.99 on Amazon, or you can get the smoke black version, which still lets you see much of the phone’s back, for $10.99.

Get it at Amazon
TopACE OnePlus 6 case

TopACE - Best OnePlus 6 cases

These OnePlus 6 cases are mainly for looks, rather total protection. This slim snap-on case from TopACE comes in four colors: black, blue, red, and gold. All of them pop thanks to the use of dustless matte UV painting technology, which gives them a very fashionable look. The case itself should also not break off too easily. You can snap up these TopACE OnePlus 6 cases now in any color selection for $8.99 each on Amazon.

Get it at Amazon
Wellci OnePlus 6 case

Wellci - Best OnePlus 6 cases

This OnePlus 6 case is designed to give lots of protection. Made by Wellci, the case includes a hard acrylic cover, but still has a lot of clear material so you can still see the back of the phone. It offers raised portions on the front to keep the screen safe from hard when placed on a table, and raised edges on the back to do the same for the rear cameras and fingerprint sensor. Yet this case can still handle falls and drops to keep the OnePlus 6 proected. The Wellci case comes in black, grey, and red, on sale now for $8.99 at Amazon.

Get it at Amazon
Spigen Rugged Armor OnePlus 6 case

Best OnePlus 6 cases - Spigen


The last selection in our best OnePlus 6 case list is from Spigen, one of the most well known phone case maker. It took a little longer for the company to release a product for the OnePlus 6 but its Rugged Armor case for the phone is well worth it. It includes a TPU material with an interior spider-web pattern, along with a raised lip on the front to protect the display on the OnePlus 6. Its Air Cushion design is made to protect the phone from small falls or spills, yet it is still slim enough so that it won’t make the phone too bulky. You can get the Spigen Rugged Armor OnePlus 6 case now on Amazon for $12.99.

Get it at Amazon
Best OnePlus 6 cases – Conclusion

We will be updating this post as more OnePlus 6 cases are released in the next several months. In the meantime, did you like our selection? Which OnePlus 6 cases should we add to this list?

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

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global resources for entrepreneursIf you’re an entrepreneur planning to start a business outside of the United States, you might be looking for assistance and resources that are available in your specific country.

On Bplans, we often share information about United States’ specific resources, like SBDCs (small business development centers), but those resources probably aren’t as helpful to global entrepreneurs.

There are plenty of local resources and services available to help entrepreneurs in their local areas around the globe. But instead of giving you a list of links that are likely to quickly become outdated, we want to share some tips for finding the best, most up-to-date resources, as well as some resources that can help you get your business started, no matter where you’re located.

Download the Business Plan Template today! hbspt.cta.load(467363, ‘134b74f7-b5d6-4fdc-a892-78a109ae1c28’, {});

How to start a business anywhere in the world

The general process for starting a business is pretty similar, wherever you are. Our startup checklist can help walk you through the steps to getting your business up and running. But the specifics, especially the legal, tax, and trade regulations, vary by country.

As you’re getting started and working on your business plan, you’ll need to look into and understand some of the specific requirements in your area:

Obtaining business licenses and permits
Getting a tax ID and understanding your tax obligations
Things you need to include in your business plan to get a bank loan
Research on your target market

Use Google to find country-specific information

If you’re looking for information for specific business planning or startup resources in your country, there are a few ways to do that. One of the fastest is to use Google to search for it.

First, what’s your question? Maybe it’s “What kind of business plan will a bank accept in my country?”

Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur in India. You should type something like this into Google:

“banks in India business plans”

It’s even better if you can make your search specific by including the name of the bank you’re looking for information on. For example, you might try:

“What kind of business plan does United Bank of India require for a loan?”

Search results: How do you know if you’re looking at an ad?

After you type in your question, you probably get thousands of pages of search results. Usually, the best results are on the first pages.

Just make sure you can spot the advertisements: Look for “Ad” on the left side under the name of the website.

You don’t have to avoid ads altogether, but make sure you look at the resources under the ads too. The sites that appear below the ads are there because other people have found them useful. They’re more likely to be high-quality resources.

Look for titles and descriptions that relate to your question

Now, look at the articles below the first few ads. Look for article titles and descriptions that seem like a good answer to your question.

You might have to re-word your question, or just take a look at a few different search results before you land on the best resource.

For example, the search for “banks in India business plans” brought up the first result “Business Plan for Banking Industry—Business Maps of India.” It looked promising.

But when you skim the article, you see that it’s not actually about what an Indian bank would expect to see in a business plan if you’re looking for a business loan. It was actually about how to write a business plan for a new bank—not what you were looking for.  

global resources for entrepreneurs

If at first you don’t find what you’re looking for, go back to your search results and look again. If nothing on the first few pages is relevant, try rewording your search. You might also use Google to help you find a phone number or address so you can get the information in person.

global resources for entrepreneurs

Keep in mind that search results are constantly changing. You could make the same Google search, “banks in India business plans,” one day, and get different results the next day. So if you find a resource you want to return to, bookmark it. If you’re not sure how to do that, Google “how to bookmark a website.”

How to decide if a website is a quality resource

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. It’s always a good idea to verify that the information you find on the web is up to date and accurate.

Keep these criteria in mind as you look at your reach results:

Who wrote it? If the author of an article isn’t clear, there’s no real guarantee that a website is from a reputable organization. Sometimes looking for an “about us” link at the top or bottom of a page can help. The “about us” page should tell you who owns the page and what their main purpose is.
Is it up to date? Look for evidence that the website contains current information. If you find a resource on bank loans dated 2002, for example, you’ll probably want to verify that the information is still correct by comparing it to other pages in your search results.
Is it a sales pitch or an opinion? Is the purpose of the article to deliver unbiased information or to sell you a product or convince you of something? One good way to tell that you’re looking at a quality source is that it provides both sides—pros and cons. If it includes statistics or ideas that belong to someone else, quality sites will link to the original source.

Finding country-specific resources: Incubators and accelerators

If you’re interested in finding offline resources to help you grow your business,  you might want to start by looking into local business incubators and accelerators. They can provide workspace, offer mentorship, and assist with finding investment opportunities.

To find information about a business incubator in your country, try to use specific keywords in your Google search.

Try variations on this formula: [industry name] business incubator/accelerator in [city, country]. So, if you were the founder of a green energy startup in Sydney, Australia, you would Google “green energy business incubator in Sydney, Australia.”

global resources for entrepreneurs

The first search engine result that is not an ad appears promising: EnergyLab. The EnergyLab website’s “About” page includes information about its founding and sponsors, indicating it is most likely a legitimate operation.

Once you have decided the incubator or accelerator is trustworthy, look for a list of services or resources to make sure it also fits your business. Look under “Contact Us” to see if you can call or email for further information.

Finding a business plan writing service

Sometimes we hear from entrepreneurs outside of the U.S. who are looking for someone else to write their business plan for them. Bplans does partner with a business plan writing service—but they only serve customers in the U.S. If you’re starting a business outside of the U.S., it’s best to go to Google and search for a plan writer in your area.

At Bplans, we believe founders know their businesses best. We want to empower you to write your own business plan, but we know that there are times when it makes sense to hire help. Keep in mind that you probably don’t need a formal business plan written by a professional unless you’re seeking a bank loan or outside investment.

If you’re not looking for funding, it might make more sense for you to put together a Lean Plan which you can do in less than an hour, using our LivePlan software or with our free Lean Plan template. A Lean Plan can help you get a handle on the most important aspects of running a successful business.

To find a business plan writer in your area, use Google to search for something like “professional business plan writing service in India.”

And before you hire someone to write your business plan, consider how much you are willing to pay and what kind of results you want to see from them. Here’s a guide on how to get the most out of your business plan writing service.

Country-specific resources

Resources for entrepreneurs around the globe tend to come and go quickly. Your best bet for finding helpful information is to use our tips for searching on Google. Also, look for resources affiliated with your country’s government. They can sometimes be more reliable.

Here are a few examples to help you get started:

United Kingdom

Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

The Institute for Small Business Entrepreneurship (ISBE) publishes its journal of research six times a year, provides funding for research activities conducted by businesses, and offers benefits to members through its network of contacts and access to its special interest groups.


Small Industries Development Bank of India

The SIDBI serves as the Principal Financial Institution for Promotion, Financing, and Development of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise sector in India. It is committed to meeting the financial and developmental needs of the small business sector.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai SME

Created as a division of the Department of Economic Development, Dubai SME seeks to help new small and medium business with everything from finances to “establishing your business from start to finish.”



This non-profit organization seeks to improve the economic climate in the Philippines by helping small businesses.


Local Enterprise Office

The Local Enterprise Office provides support and advising to anyone starting a new small business in Ireland.

Australia and New Zealand

Small Business Association of Australia

SBAA is committed to helping small businesses grow and prosper. It attempts to influence economic policy, provides educational and networking events, and offering support and referral services.

The Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand

The SEAANZ serves as a source of knowledge about small business policy, research, and practice in Australia and New Zealand.


IDEA Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator

IDEA offers an array of services, from sample business plans and links to business-planning software to a list of entrepreneurial training programs.

South Africa

The South African Institute for Entrepreneurship

The SAIE provides an array of articles and other resources for small business, with an emphasis on education, agriculture, enterprise development, and information technology.

Endeavor South Africa

Endeavor South Africa furnishes an array of opportunities for entrepreneurs such as access to markets, participation in networking events and industry tours, and options for investment.

29 Countries

Electronic Commerce: Selling Internationally a Guide for Businesses | Federal Trade Commission

This webpage summarizes guidelines for selling products online and shipping internationally that apply to 29 countries, including the U.S.A., Australia, and the United Kingdom. These guidelines include using fair advertising and marketing practices and addressing consumer complaints.

170 Countries

Global Entrepreneurship Network

The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of resources in over 170 countries with the goal of helping global entrepreneurs. The Global Business Angels Network, one of the many programs GEN leads, recruits investors to bring financial support to areas with underdeveloped angel networks.

Keep in mind online resources are always changing. Even government sources can change. Some links might stop working. Some incubators will stop operating and new ones will take their place. Searching for your own resources is almost always a better way to get the information you need.

Business guides on Bplans

Bplans offers a few different guides to help entrepreneurs write their business plan and get started. These guides offer some US-based suggestions, but a lot of the information in them will apply around the world:

Bplans Guide to Finding a Good Business Idea
Writing a Business Plan Guide
Complete Elevator Pitch Guide
Business Funding Guide
Starting a Business Guide

Market research resources

If you’re looking for resources on how to do market research in your area, check out this guide to doing international market research. This article also suggests checking with your local business development agencies (Google business development agency in your country), business schools, and industry trade associations (Google search for trade associations for your industry in your country).

If you want to learn more about the market research basics or identifying your target market, these resources can help too:

Market Research Resources
How to Do a Market Analysis
How to Define Your Target Market

Now you have a list of best practices for online research. You have access to organizations that promote small business growth around the world, and links to our own Bplans articles on global business.

If you’re writing a business plan for the first time, take a look at our sample business plans from a range of industries. Good luck getting started!

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People who know me know that I’m obsessive about sleep.

Apart from reading a good book, sleeping is probably the activity I find most enjoyable. Most of the days, however, I’m not so lucky to catch the full eight hours – raising three little rascals who get up at the crack of dawn makes this almost impossible.

This busy, anxiety-riddled ‘full-time mum, entrepreneur, writer’ lifestyle is why I’m on a constant quest to make the five hours of sleep I do get feel like eight. I’ve tried almost everything to get there – from your standard herbal teas to melatonin supplements, and even sleep-inducing pillow sprays. It wasn’t until I’ve stumbled upon something called a weighted blanket that I felt as if my life-long quest was nearing its end.

These days, my mornings are energised and invigorated – I feel like I could take on the world, or at least two out of my three children at the same time. I still get up with the sun most of the days, but I fall asleep faster and sounder, and no longer stare at the ceiling until 2 AM while my mind cycles through tomorrow’s to-do list.

My Small Daughter Led Me To Better Sleep

My eldest, Danny, has a sensory processing disorder, which means that her little brain struggles when processing external stimuli.

She’s 9 now, and coping really well, but when she was younger, we had no idea what was going on. Little things would set her off – a loud cough, someone laughing near her, the shape of her food. She would cry and wail at the top of her lungs, unable to tell us what was wrong. As he grew older, whenever she had one of her meltdowns, she would run to my room and pile as many covers and blankets as she could find on top of herself.

One day, I asked her why she was doing that. Her answer surprised me, ‘So I can feel it’. That’s around the time we got her diagnosis and found out what SPD was. Her occupational therapist at the time told me to invest in a weighted blanket since she obviously found some sort of tactile comfort in weighing herself down.

So we did. Sometimes, I would share her small blanket with her (when she allowed me to), and I found that I too enjoyed the weighted sensation. It would sort of ground me, push me into the mattress and relax my whole body. There were nights when I was unwilling to move from Danny’s little bed and often woke up with her watching me snore in the morning.

The more I read about weighted blankets and their use in therapy, the more I wanted to get one for myself. Even though they were developed for people with sensory issues, autism, ADHD, and other health conditions, I found them extremely comforting and relaxing. And, I was not far off the mark – Australasian Psychiatry Association linked the use of weighted blankets to decreased distress and bouts of anxiety in adults.

Get a Weighted Blanket Today – You’ll Thank Yourself for It

Finally, around eight months ago, I loosened the purse strings and bought the Calming Blanket – an adult weighted blanket that is my most cherished possession right now (or it would be, if I didn’t think of my kids as all mine). It is the best $220 that I ever spent on myself.

This weighted blanket is comfy and warm, and the pressure it applies to my whole body once I curl up with it puts me to sleep straight away. Taking care of three small children (and one man-child, I have to add) is exhausting.

Up until the last few months, the sheer intensity with which my brain tried to catch up to and remember everything would often trap me in an anxiety-insomnia loop. I would be so loopy from not getting enough sleep that I would be edgy all day and then, in the evenings, I would stay awake thinking how I had to go through it all once more the moment I open my eyes in the morning.

Although I always did my best not to let it show when I was spending time with the kids, this exhaustion did get to me. I would be cranky and unattentive, sometimes to a point that I would refuse to oblige even the simplest demands they put in front of me.

With the Calming Blanket, I’ve finally re-discovered what good night’s sleep really means, and I couldn’t be happier. I fall asleep faster, toss and turn less and less, and don’t get up during the night at all.

I’m rested, I’m relaxed, and I’m ready for everything that the day has in store for me. This often includes maths homework, cuddling, and horsey rides.

If you want to feel the benefits of sleeping under a weighted blanket yourself, I urge you to give the Calming Blanket a try. It sells for $299, but if you subscribe to their email list, you will get a $80 discount, which brings it down to $219. It’s an investment, but you will be investing in your health, and you can’t really put a price on that.

Author’s Bio:

 Lindsay Karr 

Lindsay is supermum raising three kids (3, 5, and 9), and running her own little business empire on Etsy. She loves to sleep and would sleep for days, if only her kids would stop jumping up and down on her bed at 6 AM every morning. When she’s not on pick-up/drop-off duty, she enjoys cooking, writing, and an occasional outback hike.

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Home security monitoring systems are essential in helping keep your home safe and less likely to be targeted by criminals and criminal activity. With the current wave of technology and its constant growth and updates, having video and audio access to your residence while you are away with a home security monitoring system has become easier than ever. Powered by Wi-Fi, wireless home security systems have become popular with homeowners because of their ease of use.


Many companies that provide video monitoring security systems offer coordinating apps that you can download to your mobile devices. These apps will instantly alert you through notifications on your phone or mobile device- whether you are home or away- to broken or opened windows, movements detected within the home or its perimeter, fire and carbon monoxide alarms, doors opening, severe temperature changes and even the presence of water. Some systems also offer the ability to listen and speak to intruders that do come on your property and signal an alarm to scare them away- or to talk to mail carriers that are dropping off packages.

To make controlling your home more streamlined, many home security monitoring systems are equipped with Smart Home technology. This technology allows you to connect to all your smart-technology powered appliances and electronics, offering you remote access to garage doors, lighting, thermostats and much more right from your mobile device. While having so much power at your fingertips can be appealing, if you are self-monitoring your home exclusively, you’re putting yourself at risk.

Some Issues with Self-Monitoring Home Security Systems

Self-Monitoring Means Emergency Situations are Reported by You Directly

No one really knows how they will react in an emergency unless they’re professionally trained to do so. In the matter of life and death emergencies like fire or criminal acts like a home invasion or robbery, your life and those of your family members may be at risk. Thus, instant access to your phone to reach the police or local fire department may not be possible. A professionally monitored home security system means that when an alarm goes off, your security company will contact the emergency professionals on your behalf so that you can get out if there is a fire or be secure that the police will be on their way if you’re being victimized.

Insurance Companies Offer Discounts for Professionally Monitored Security Systems

Besides your safety, another major perk to picking a professionally monitored security system rather than one that is self-monitored are discounts on your insurance policy. Most major home insurance companies offer deep discounts to homes that are equipped with professionally monitored security systems because they recognize the value in the type of protection that is offered because of professional monitoring.


Internet and Power Outages can Knock your Security Systems Offline

With Wi-Fi powered wireless systems, if there are power or internet outages in your area due to inclement weather or high electricity usage, you may go offline, and instant alerts may be compromised. During these moments- and especially during black and brownouts- your home becomes susceptible to being targeted. Monitored systems don’t depend on the internet to function, but rather utilize live cell towers to send alerts and have backup generators to ensure their viability.

Protect America’s Exclusive Home Security Monitoring System

Finding the right system for your home can be frustrating with so many available from which to choose. A 24/7 monitored system will always be your best choice. Protect America is a nine-time Consumer’s Digest Best Buy winner with reason.  A home security system from Protect America means you get locked-in rates, no installation fees and price guaranteed matches against other popular home security systems. Starting around $30 per month, a system from Protect America is affordable as it is secure. You’ll get up to $1,400 in free equipment which means you’ll save tons of money and if you find a better rate on another system, Protect America will match it dollar for dollar.  If you’re ready to learn more about how a live monitored home security system can work for you, contact Protect America today for questions and get a free quote.

The post Problems with Self Monitored Security Systems appeared first on Home and Life Blog.

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Google Home is a voice assistant smart speaker that connects and automates a myriad of tasks and gives users an easy way to access information. The popularity of these voice assistant speakers has been exploding in recent years and some users will opt to control their entire smart home using their voice. One of the corner stones of any smart home is the ability to power and control outlets wirelessly or inside of complex event chains using things like IFTTT software.

One of the problems with adding more and more smart home devices to a home is that there are so many different brands that usually all come with their own software and some type of central hub. As you can imagine, this can get a little complicated and making sure that your devices are compatible with each other is paramount.

For me, I prefer to keep the proprietary hubs to a minimum and generally if I can use my Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home smart speaker as a central hub for all of my devices that is definitely an ideal situation. Obviously things like security cameras will likely need their own hub, but for things like smart plugs it seems a bit unnecessary. So what are the best smart plug’s that connect to Google Home, don’t have an unnecessary hub, are compatible with other devices and are easy to use?

Best No Hub Google Home Smart Plug Choices

More and more products are starting to come out that don’t need you to get another hub, because let’s be honest, it’s getting a little ridiculous. So with a quick Google search you can find a bunch of smart plugs that have “No Hub” in the title. So how do we choose one out of so many choices? Well, obviously you don’t want to pay too much, you’ll want one that has a reliable connection and obviously you don’t want your smart plug to have a tendency to catch fire randomly. So for this list we’re going to stick to plugs that have been around and while and are tried and true.

Geeni Spot Wi-Fi Smart Plug

The Geeni Spot smart plugs are by far my favorites. You might be thinking “How can you have a favorite smart plug, it’s just an outlet with wifi?” Well as I mentioned earlier connectivity is very important. And I’ve had some pretty unreliable smart plugs in the past that wouldn’t work randomly or lose connection to my wireless network. I have never had this issue with the Geeni plugs. They also have a pretty decent app that you can use to control them if you don’t want to use Google Home or Alexa.

Another bonus is that they are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of different options. Personally I like the ones that also have some USB ports on the because there really isn’t a spot around my home that I don’t charge my phone at. You can get these smart plugs at Home Depot or online for about $20 a pop.


intelliPlug WiFi Smart Plug

The intelliPlug smart plugs are pretty basic, but where they may lack in features, they more than make up for in price. They work with Alexa and Google Home and don’t require a hub. They also have a pretty strict certification process and it’s very unlikely that you will run into any issues with these. You can get these online for about $12.

Merkury Innovations Smart Plug

The Merkury Innovations smart plugs combine the best of the two options above. They are cheap like the intelliPlugs (about $12) and they have a lot of the features of the Geeni. In fact, they actually use the Geeni app. You can get these at Walmart or online and have free shipping. They connect to Alexa and Google Home and work well.

KULED Smart Plug 4 Pack

If you’re looking to set your whole home with smart plugs, the KULED smart plug 4 packs are going to be great bang for your buck. They are made of fire retardant material, connect with google home, have no hub, and have an app that you can use to control and set timers.

Smart Plugs and Home Security

A recent study showed that 3 out of 5 Americans claim that home security is the top benefit of owning a smart home. So if you’re planning on loading up your home with smart home devices you might want to consider implementing Protect America. Protect America ships directly to your home, installs in just a few minutes, and can connect to all of your smart home devices. Call or get a free quote online and protect your smart home today!

The post Google Home Smart Plug: What are my Options Here? appeared first on Home and Life Blog.

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Information Technology Blog – Top 8 Habits of Successful IT Investors and Business Managers – Information Technology Blog

When you look at the behavior of top-performing investors and IT moguls, there’s one trait that they all seem to have in common – the propensity to sustain herculean corporate efforts even in the face of adversity. At the root of this attribute is the impressive ability to continue chasing a vision through 80-hour work weeks even though they could easily afford to retreat to retirement on a private island.

While most average civilians are complaining that they have to endure 40-hour work weeks, somewhere in the world there’s a multi-millionaire who didn’t sleep last night because he stayed up to finish a project that he could’ve postponed but chose not to.

Think about the companies that have risen to the top of the stock market and become global giants during the 21st century, like Google, Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and Facebook — they’re all IT-related business that started out as seemingly ridiculous pipe dreams.

Yet, despite having to spearhead revolutionary ideas that were once viewed as nothing more than the fantasies of tech nerds, the innovators behind those companies still managed to defy the odds by becoming household names.

If you want to develop “what it takes” to accomplish a similar feat, start by adopting the following eight habits of super successful IT investors and business managers.

Read Industry Publications and Newsletters

In most professions, you’re able to study for a degree over the course of 2-4 years and then operate for the rest of your career based on what you learned in school. Entrepreneurs in the IT space need to view education as a part of everyday life, because technological advancement and new trends can quickly render a firm obsolete or ineffective if ignored. Following a newsletter like Money Map Report is the best way to stay in the loop about investments. This newsletter is easy to recommend because it’s been providing investment advice and info for years and yet a quick search reveals there are very few Money Map Report complaints online.

Start Working Early

Studies have proven that humans tend to do their most productive and efficient work during the morning hours. While some people view themselves as night owls and prefer to work nocturnally, if you want to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, you’ll want to get into a scheduled routine that starts before the sun rises. Consistency is great for productivity, so try to do roughly the same thing every morning. You can get inspiration in this regard by studying the morning routines of successful people.

Act on a Same-Day Basis

The only difference between a procrastinator and an over-achiever is that the latter takes action without hesitation. When you come up with a great idea, instead of just writing it down and shoving it aside for a later date, immediately determine the first three steps required to make it happen and at least get started on those steps within one day. If those three steps are too much to do in a day, then at least do the first. The point is, don’t delay the initial action for more than 24 hours.

Devote Time to Skill Building

A great business manager knows that there’s always room for improvement. The more you’re capable of doing for yourself, the less you have to spend on outsourcing and the more control you have over everything. Focus on becoming a better writer, web developer, and leader. Investing time in building these attributes will make you the type of person that investors and employees will want to get behind.

Participate in Public Discourse on Social Media

Being active on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help you promote brand awareness and extend your network. While it’s wise to stay away from political arguments and other sensitive topics, it’s good to have a visible public presence. Of course, amidst the status updates and opinionated tweets, you can also throw in an indirect promotion or link from time to time, so it’s an easy way to boost marketing efforts in your spare time.

Practice Detailed Time Management

Did you know that Elon Musk and Bill Gates both break down their daily schedules into 5-minute segments? Many successful entrepreneurs have stated that precise and strict time management is essential, especially when you’re trying to bring a challenging achievement into fruition within the IT sector.

Track and Test New Trends and Techniques

Being an innovator doesn’t just mean that you invent your own solutions, it also means you adopt to new technologies before the competition. Anyone who is conducting business at a high level should stay on top of world affairs, particularly those related to your industry. Fortunately, this is very easy to do thanks to the abundance of news blogs on the web. However, to reiterate the advice given in tip #3 above, it’s important to not only read about new trends but also to take advantage of them in a way that produces tangible results instead of just nice ideas.

Set Challenging and Specific Goals

An average business owner will plan based on what they think is realistic, whereas an elite entrepreneur only strives towards the most optimal outcome. Be very specific about what you’re trying to achieve on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis, and use precise deadlines to make sure those goals are achieved in a reasonable amount of time.

Developing a Mindset That Is Conducive to Success

Although you might not buy into the overhyped cliché that “mindset is everything,” it certainly does play a major role. Becoming successful in the IT space requires an outlook that balances the right amount- of optimism, pessimism, and realism. Ultimately, reaching your full potential can only be done when you’ve adapted to the pressure enough to have a high stress threshold. If doing business at a high-level every week stresses you out and leaves you feeling drained, you should start looking into striking a better work-life balance by focusing on topics like time management and self-improvement.

The post Top 8 Habits of Successful IT Investors and Business Managers appeared first on Information Technology Blog.

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Believe it or not, Pinterest is one of the most effective marketing platforms out there. While most companies focus on Facebook, which works great for brand awareness and engagement, using an image-based platform is just as important.

Pinterest Facts1

Pins have a long pin life.
On average Pins are re-Pinned at least 10 times.
The average Pin on Pinterest drives 2 website visits.
5% of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest.
The average Pin on Pinterest earns roughly 78 cents in sales.
87% of Pinners have purchased a product because they saw it on Pinterest.
93% of Pinners use Pinterest to plan their purchases.
Pinterest users who interact with a Promoted Pin spend 7x more.
Pinterest users who interact with a Promoted Pin have a 50% higher intent to purchase.

Business Benefits for Using Pinterest2

Advertisers receive around 20% more clicks the month following the launch of a Promoted Pin ad campaign.
70% of sales from Promoted Pins are from new customers.
Orders from Pinterest on a mobile device have increased by 140% since 2013.

While Facebook’s current News Feed algorithm is designed to show posts that are current and relevant, the lifespan of a post is short, which means it will own show to a certain number of people (based on if they are on the platform the time the post is updated, if they follow your Page, etc.)

Pins never go away. The more you post to Pinterest, the more people will Pin your posts, and the more visibility your business will receive. Your followers and customers become your word-of-mouth and spread your Pins for you and further than you ever could with a simple Pin.

Pin This: It’s Time to Use Pinterest to Market & Advertise

While most small to mid-sized businesses think Social Media Marketing is just an extra, a strategy implemented if there is budget left to use it. However, in 2018 and forward Social Marketing using relevant, informative, attractive, visual, content is going to be a requirement to the success of a business.

Social Media activity makes a business appear reputable, interesting, interactive, and loyal to its customer base. It also makes the path from product/service to sale much more efficient and possible.

Sources: &

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The first thing I see when I walk into the penthouse suite at downtown Manhattan’s Beekman Hotel, where Kit Harington reportedly awaits me, is a cloud of smoke. Not cigarette smoke, or smoke from a fire, or any other kind of smoke that signals imminent danger, for that matter — more like an apparition, a light fog, like something that might roll slowly over Winterfell after dusk and settle there, concealing its high turrets and spires. Then the smoke clears, and the Game of Thrones actor is standing there, sliding a slim rectangular object into the pocket of his Dolce & Gabbana suit. “Sorry,” he tells me. “I was just having a vape.”

Many celebratory vapes are in order for Harington, who, along with the rest of the show’s cast, was honored with the award for Outstanding Drama Series (their third in this category) at Monday night’s Emmys. Game of Thrones is, indeed, both outstanding and dramatic, with a particular emphasis on the latter where Harington’s on-screen persona is concerned. It feels incongruous to see him like this, in non-Jon Snow form, wearing civilian clothes as opposed to dense swaths of fur and, occasionally, smiling, free of the residual existential trauma associated with having been stabbed to death (fucking Olly!) and then brought back to life by way of some extremely dark magic.

Emotional baggage isn’t the only one of Jon Snow’s signature traits that Harington is without right now: He also does not wear his hair in a bun, which has become the Warden of the North’s go-to look post-resurrection. “They wanted me to look more like Ned Stark,” Harington tells me, when I ask him about Snow’s sudden preference for the updo. And with that, the actor confirms that prevailing theory about this hair switch-up: The Jon who wrenches Winterfell from the hands of House Bolton in the bloodiest battle the North has ever seen is just not the same Lord Commander who brooded it up as top bastard in the Night’s Watch. Now, he’s renewed his Stark card, just in time for audiences to find out that, um, he actually isn’t the tragic patriarch’s bastard son after all. “There’s a real reason behind [my hairstyle],” he says, “to show how the story was evolving.”

Like many of the show’s other styling choices, Jon Snow’s hair is an important key to the character’s progression. For that reason, Kit Harington’s hair is strictly off-limits; he’s been forbidden from changing it in any way that would prevent an easy return to a Snow-like state. That remains the case, even after filming for the show’s final season wrapped in July. “I haven’t been allowed to touch it for years,” he says. “It’s going to be weird, because it becomes part of your look as an actor. It’s strange to think now that I can change it. Do I want to change it? Am I going to change it? I don’t know.” I ask him if he’s backtracking, after he said in a previous interview that he’d like to do something dramatic, to make himself unrecognizable. He says yes, he is. “That’s what I’ve learned from this,” he tells me. “Just make a statement, then backtrack. Keep everyone confused.”

For someone who regularly considers — and even more often answers questions about — the role his hair plays in his career, Harington is not big on a grooming routine. He tells me that his medicine cabinet is largely empty, except for maybe a few bottles of old antibiotics he never finished the course of. (He knows that this is not advisable.) His pre-red carpet routine involves taking a shower, putting on a suit, and trying not to move (“like a mannequin,” he says), so as not to wrinkle the suit.

The one thing Harington might do that Jon Snow wouldn’t is apply some of Dolce & Gabbana’s new men’s fragrance, The One Grey, of which he is the face. “He probably wouldn’t wear any scent,” Harington admits, a reasonable thing to say about a character who is frequently seen wearing the entire pelts of large mammals and covered in soot and blood. “But if he was going to, you know, I’d have to say he’d wear this one. The name is pretty good for Jon.”

In an alternate universe, one where the Italian brand opens a pop-up just south of the Wall, Jon Snow might smell like bright grapefruit and earthy vetiver, a hit of aromatic cardamom and a base of tobacco warm enough to melt a wall of ice. And, at the very end there, a whiff of wood smoke — which is apropos for Harington, who tells me that wood smoke is his favorite scent of all. “It reminds me of home,” the British native says, suddenly wistful. I guess the ghost of vape smoke, in an expansive hotel duplex high up on the rooftop overlooking a strange city, just isn’t quite the same.

Dolce & Gabbana The One Grey Eau de Toilette, $88, available at Macy’s.

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You’ve ran through the Ikea warehouse shouting “It’s coming home!” You’ve rearranged H&M’s display of folded t-shirts into a Saint George’s Cross. You’ve had a football bouncing around inside your Electrolux washing machine for coming up two days now. You’re posting packs of Panini World Cup stickers to yourself then shouting as they fall through the letterbox. How else can you display your twin loves of Engerland and balls? By covering your Bus Simulator 18 buses with flags and truncated icosahedrons, using a free new skin pack. Other national and pro-ball liveries are available. (more…)

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