Facebook is announcing updates to its privacy settings Wednesday, changing both how easy it is for users to make updates to those settings, and making a few changes in how information is presented, and also how user timelines appear in the search function. Read more »
Although our work is steadily moving to the cloud, we still have a physical space to maintain and keep in order, whether that’s in a traditional office, a home office or from the road. Here are a few gadgets to help you keep your workspace organized. Read more »
“If you’re bolding the bullet points in your email” said a friend of mine recently, “your email’s too long.” Few web workers would disagree. But that comment made me wonder whether the tools we’re using to communicate are becoming more important than the communications we’re having. Read more »
One of the gifts I really enjoyed receiving this Christmas was an iPod nano. What immediately struck me was that with a few minor feature and hardware adjustments, the nano could be the ideal smartphone-paired watch, and an amazing tool for the connected worker. Read more »
If you work from home, having a TV in the vicinity can be distracting. But that same TV could also be the unexpected source of some extra help in the productivity area, if you happen to have a media center PC hooked up to it. Read more »
So I broke down and got one of the new Apple TVs, despite my initial objections. There was a few reasons why I did, some of which I’ve detailed at TheAppleBlog recently. But the future possibilities of the Apple TV for web working also intrigue me. Read more »
I’m on the road this week, and it’s times like these when I really appreciate the tools I use to stay organized. Even while working remotely, I’ve managed to stay on track and not get behind because these tools rarely let anything slip through the cracks. Read more »
Here at WWD, we constantly receive announcements from developers releasing new tools. Time tracking, project management, invoicing, contact management, content management, bookmark management, scheduling — you name it, they’ve built it, and we’ve reviewed it. The question remains, though: what makes a tool truly great? Read more »
We are crawling the Internet all the time; monitoring the latest trends and technologies, seeking, discovering. If you’re like me, during your web travels you often come across treasures you want to share. But sharing what you find can be time consuming and hinder your productivity. Read more »
The real work begins when everything is turned upside down. You want to take advantage of new opportunities, but in order to do that, you have to adjust your systems, support and tools to accommodate that growth and expansion. Read more »
As they did during the earthquake in Haiti and other natural disasters, social-media tools such as Twitter and various other web resources have become a key source of information on what is happening to the country. Here is a partial list of some of those resources. Read more »
In techno-tourism terms, I’m fairly well-traveled. Mostly because I’ve visited the mecca of gadgetry, Japan, but I’ve also stopped at quite a few other places as well. During those travels, I’m on the look out for one thing in particular: Flash drives. Read more »
JobDeck aims to make the process of looking for work on Twitter even easier. It provides a refined search that allows you to drill down and find job offers and information about prospective employers and employees, and it does it all in the familiar environment of TweetDeck Read more »
I’ve already expressed my opinion on what would make the Apple tablet a significant part of my day-to-day web working habits, but Amazon seems keen on positioning itself in or around the same space in the market, so it’s only fair I turn my attention to the Kindle, too Read more »
I encounter so many web apps over the course of any given day that some tend to get lost in the mix, especially the oddball little applications that do something that isn’t in my standard workflow. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate how useful and creative […] Read more »
The beginning of a new decade is a great time for retrospectives and looking back at what brought us to where we are now, but it’s also a good time to pause and reflect about where the next ten years might take us. Specifically, how might […] Read more »
I’m not entirely sure project management is something you should do on your iPhone, or any portable device for that matter, but if you’re stuck and you need something to help keep track of things while you’re on the go, you could do much worse than […] Read more »
In this gimme-gimme-now-now-now! Internet era, even waiting just a few seconds can spell the difference between someone staying on a page or exiting immediately. To appeal to the instant gratification set, YouTube unveiled its “YouTube Feather” format today. Feather is basically a lightweight version of a […] Read more »
If you’re looking for a solution that keeps track of various social networks at once, all in one centralized location, EventBox for the Mac was a nice beta program that did the trick. EventBox is no more, but the program still exists. It’s changed names and […] Read more »
It can’t beat the recent free Mac Heist giveaway (what could?), but a new Mac software bundle does offer a lot of good applications for a steeply discounted price. The somewhat awkwardly named MacGraPhoto bundle provides seven graphics applications for the same amount that one alone […] Read more »
Because of its recent return to my working methodology, I want to take a moment to single out a very low-tech web working tool for praise. I’m talking about the sketchbook, that handy little tome in which we can capture and generate some of our best […] Read more »
Some big news yesterday was the announcement of the Bing/Twitter/Facebook deals that will see the three services sharing info and working together in all kinds of interesting ways. One of those ways has now gone live, and it’s Microsoft’s Bing Twitter search. It looks a little […] Read more »
Web apps, computers and smartphones are all key tools in my web working arsenal, but using only those things alone, I doubt I’d ever get anything done at all. Instead, to help boost my productivity, I supplement the obvious utilities and devices with some perhaps unexpected […] Read more »
Web forms can be complicated or they can be easy. For a while now, FormSpring has been in the business of making it easier for those of us who might not have a programming background or the patience to take on the daunting task of coding […] Read more »
There’s a new tool available that’s designed to make life easier for iPhone developers, and its surprisingly low tech. It’s called the iPhone Application Sketch Book and it looks like just the thing to keep all those notes and inspirations about a new app idea all […] Read more »
Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me, but I think it’s fair to say that a widely-experienced byproduct of social media engagement is social media disengagement. I’ve encountered it in BBS’s, forums, message boards, with IM clients, on MySpace, Facebook, and now, most recently, on Twitter. […] Read more »
I came across an idea about keeping a one-sentence journal to improve happiness, and thought they could be helpful for improving my business, too. I’m very intimidated by the thought of keeping a personal journal. I’ve tried to do it many times, but I can never […] Read more »
The two biggest problems for most small business owners when it comes to marketing a business are effective planning and consistency.
After what seems like a lot of effort attempting to drum up new business, it’s easy to get discouraged when you aren’t seeing results, but with the right tools and the right approach to planning and carrying out a lead generation plan, you’ll find yourself gaining more and more confidence and traction with your efforts.
Step 1: Setting Up the Nuts and Bolts of Your Plan
First, you have to take the time to carefully consider your options for marketing and promoting your business, rather than just taking a scatter gun approach.
There are many possible tactics for finding new clients and customers, but if you try to do everything, you’ll end up spreading yourself too thin. That said, during the evaluation phase, you should throw out every possibility, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each. Then, after you’ve evaluated them, select the tactics most likely to lead to success for your particular business, taking into account your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as your available resources.
You need a tool to help you with the process. I like using Bubbl.us for this, since it’s like mind mapping and allows you to throw out every available option, while keeping you organized. Read more »
I use a lot of Google’s applications to stay organized and productive, but I’m especially fond of Gmail. In its standard form, it’s a fine email client that makes it easy to stay on top of that mountain of email, but with a little customization you can use it to become even more efficient. Here are six super ways to send Gmail into productivity overdrive.
#1: Use super stars.
You know how Gmail has the standard Gmail star? Now you can make it a super star! Enable Superstars within Labs under Settings. Once enabled, you can select the super stars you’d like to use by dragging and dropping them within the General tab under Settings.
Here are a few examples of how I use super stars.
I use the red and yellow exclamation points to mark items that (a) are work-related and (b) require some action on my part (red indicates something more pressing than yellow). I use the purple question mark for pending payments, deposits, and other things I’m waiting for.
#2: Use search.
I don’t really use folders (or labels) in Gmail, only because the search functionality is so easy to use. If I need to find something related to a particular client, I just type the client’s name and find it that way.
The advanced search functionality allows you to search within a date range (say within a month of a particular date), so finding a particular email is generally pretty easy and requires a lot less upkeep than folders (unless you set up filters to maintain this for you).
The best tip for searching is to use very specific search terms. If you can remember a particular phrase, name, or keyword that was used and the approximate date it was emailed (say the month of June), you’ll reduce your search results tremendously, making it even faster to locate information. Read more »
We all know how painful it is to coordinate a meeting involving more than a couple of people. Everyone has to check their calendar of events to find a date and time that will work for everyone’s schedule. The more people involved with the meeting, the […] Read more »
Windows Live Search didn’t go over too well with the online masses. Few, if any, moved from search industry leader (that’s an understatement) Google. I remember the worst part about doing a fresh Windows install was changing IE’s defaults from Microsoft’s Live services, and replacing Live […] Read more »
Our favorite NewTeeVee hater has the floor again. Online video is a “disappointment” because Google is subsidizing YouTube’s bandwidth, said Mark Cuban at the D Conference yesterday. Here’s the video (I sure hope that BMW pre-roll paid for my bandwidth!): Read more »
Generally speaking, when I’m sharing recently discovered web tools, I try to organize them along a common theme, or a goal that they can be used to achieve. This time around, I just wanted to share three somewhat unusual, but genuinely useful, web tools with you. […] Read more »
Recently, I attended a Barcamp for web workers, where I popped in and out of two groups discussing Getting Things Done (GTD). There was a beginners’ group, and one they called “Kung Fu GTD,” for the hardcore efficiency crowd. Despite not being a GTD user myself, […] Read more »
It’s been a while since I’ve actively participated in the design game, but recently, when I was doing some work for a friend, I took a look around to see if there were any new tools that would work better and more efficiently than the ones […] Read more »
Maybe you’re looking for some money. I don’t blame you. In fact, so am I. The problem isn’t so much coming up with great ideas as it is finding someone keen enough to know a real winner when they see one and throw some financial support […] Read more »
Given the vast and growing number of online tools available to web workers, choosing which to use can seem overwhelming. This makes it easy to obsess more about the tools themselves rather than the strategy for using them, as if by choosing the perfect tools you […] Read more »
Today marks the highly-anticipated release of Tweetie for the Mac by atebits, developer of the iPhone version of the same app. Tweetie has enjoyed tremendous success on the iPhone, and for my money is far and away the best mobile client for my web workflow. Which is why I was first in line to download the new Mac client it this A.M. and see if it might be an improvement over Nambu, my current desktop Twitter solution. Olly Farshi over at our sister site TheAppleBlog has a full review, but I wanted to look at it specifically with web work in mind. Read more »
Twitter continues its march of social networking dominance, spurred even further into the spotlight thanks to a recent high profile race to a million followers between Ashton Kutcher and CNN, and Oprah Winfrey’s decision to sign up this past Friday. Along with its massive increase in […] Read more »
Twitter is incredibly useful for for networking, learning from experts and discovering trends. But in order to get the most out of it and not be overwhelmed, it’s important that you follow those that are useful for your field or business, not every single soul on Twitter. In this post I’ll look at some tools that make the process of finding the right people to follow easier. Read more »