“you have probably saved me a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of stress”
Luan Murat – Humanity Co
“you have probably saved me a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of stress”
Luan Murat – Humanity Co
Seamus is “very pleasant to work with, … stressless and you explain everything very well, too”
Jodie Middleton – Amazing Animals to you
I loved Airtable from the moment I saw it.
Clever software with a fantastic user interface, it is part spreadsheet, part database and all collaboration
It lives in the cloud (obviously) and is a beautifully elegant piece of software.
There are still bits about it that frustrate me, but usually they are on their roadmap.
The team are very responsive and react positively.
I was initially motivated to write this post after watching a video at https://angel.co/airtable by one of the co-founders, Andrew Ofstad
His interest is in sophisticated software with a simple user interface.
He says that a lot of modern software has simple functionality and simple user interface, for example, a push for pizza app – you push a button and then get a pizza.
Other software has sophisticated functionality but very complex UI, for instance, Photoshop – extremely powerful software but it takes you a long time to learn the interface to get the full benefit of the power of the software.
Before co-founding Airtable, Andrew had worked on Google Maps.
The video shows a fascinating story of how Google Maps progressed – we all get used to just how good Google Maps is now, and forget the iterations take him to get to today’s version.
One of Airtable’s design philosophies is based on a Google Map’s one, where they give themselves constraints limits and use just a few pieces of user interface.
With Google Maps this was very hard to do well – but we have all benefited from the work that has gone into it.
The Airtable team have excelled (pun intended) with this.
At Google Maps they thought “what if the map was the actual user interface”, they wanted people to interact with the map directly so the rule sort of became:
After he left Google Maps Andrew co-founded Airtable which he described as “basically a database if anyone can use”
Airtable has followed the “what if the map was the actual user interface” idea with “what if the spreadsheet was the actual user interface”.
The result is an easy, and spreadsheet-like way to build a powerful database.
In 2016 Airtable got $52 million in funding; Business Insider Australia said: “This Silicon Valley sleeper hit app just got $52 million to do for spreadsheets what Microsoft did for computers.”
They added: “The secret to Airtable’s success, according to its CEO, Howie Liu, is that it makes it easy to make a custom app. Every cell of an Airtable spreadsheet can store anything, including photos and lists. Adding an interface on top can turn it into a simple but powerful app – without coding.”
I use Airtable for a huge variety of tasks:
They state on their website that it “has built-in support for many popular apps, a robust API, and can be configured to work with over 450 websites and apps via Zapier.”
A very elegant piece of software run by clever people.
Loom is one of my favourite bits of software
It’s a really quick and easy way to make screencast videos
I use it:
Its beauty lies in its simplicity; it can be used for longer videos but I find it most useful for short (less than 5 minute) videos.
I use it for all my new clients now as well as my collaborative software show them how to do something eg Slack, Evernote, Airtable etc
They’ve just brought in simple editing so you can trim your videos now
All in all, it is an elegant, very useful piece of software.
The beta version is experimenting with public folders. This is my public Boldacious Digital folder.
I do have many other Loom (some on Boldacious Digital Youtube channel) videos but I find it’s so easy and quick to use that I do very focused videos for a specific client about a specific issue with their website or collaborative cloud software.
Modern software allows you to customise how you view your information — to a greater degree than ever before.
You can now use it in a way that suits the way your brain works.
Evernote is one of the best information management systems currently available.
It allows you to collect, store and find your information quickly and easily.
But most of all, it is incredibly customisable, so you can setup your own system for filing and finding all your personal and business information you want at your fingertips.
Much interest in Evernote, with a couple of attendees signing up.
It was a well presented informative workshop and I think most if not all got something out of it
There are 5 core areas of your new WordPress website that need addressing as soon as your site is live (or preferably before).
SECURITY, BACKUP, HTTPS, CDN, ANALYTICS, SEO.
Security should be a priority for any WP website.
The first security action is to ALWAYS keep core WordPress, themes and plugins up-to-date. (And remember to do a backup before updating just in case the update breaks something)
The 2 security plugins I use are:
iThemes Security Pro There is a free version of this but I recommend investing in the Pro version, if not only for the Two-Factor Authentication and Malware Scan Scheduling available in the pro version.
Wordfence This works slightly differently from iThemes Security, in that it, as the name suggests, puts a fence around your website – it is worth using both plugins.
BackupBuddy There are many backup plugins available for WordPress as well as religious arguments about which is best. This is my favourite and the one I use on all my websites. It does cost but I think it is worth it. See the benefits here
VaultPress is a great alternative especially if you are using Jetpack – the paid version of Jetpack includes Vaultpress.
Cloudflare CDN stands for Content Distribution Network – CDN’s can speed up load times, but also they can thwart some spamming and hacking attacks. Another benefit is that they lessen the load on your website’s servers. I use Cloudflare because it is free and very easy to setup.
Let’s Encrypt https is essential for every modern professional website – this article has an excellent overview. It’s also important for SEO I use Let’s Encrypt, again, because it is free and easy to use and setup.
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights is probably the best plugin for google analytics (you do need to open a google analytics account first, but important as it shows you exactly how people use your website.
Yoast SEO – the leader in SEO wordpress plugins.
Slack is one of my favourite tools – it’s a messaging app (but on steroids).
One of the hidden features is the ability to set yourself recurring reminders within slack using everyday English.
Very easy and very quick.
Domain Name Registration serves 2 main purposes
In the past, some web designers and web-hosting companies (including my company) have looked after this for their customers.
Although this makes it easier for customers and web-hosting companies, it is a mistake.
You, as the domain name owner should always be the domain name registrant – this gives you legal ownership of the domain name.
There are 4 types of domain name contact types (sometimes called slightly different names):
Fairly obvious what they mean, but the most important one is the Registrant Contact – this should always be the domain name owner, and indeed the Registrant Contact is the legal owner of the domain.
Usually it’s best to have your own name in all contacts, except possibly for the Tech Contact, who can transfer your domain to a new host.
This does mean, however, that you are responsible for renewing your domain, unless you add your accountant, bookkeeper, or accounts person to the Billing Contact
You can check your own domain name contacts in any whois url.
I use this one https://mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx but there are plenty of other ones around. MxToolbox is very comprehensive, so I’ve got a little how to video below.
After starting the video, click the little “full screen” icon on the bottom right hand corner to view more easily.
It is slightly hidden.
I ran an Evernote workshop with Startup Tablelands (of which I am a founding member) at The Table in Atherton on Tuesday 29th Aug 2017.
We had 12 attendees from small businesses and the local council in The Tablelands. They were a great crowd and very interested in Evernote and its capabilities.
Evernote is your corporate memory or your second brain.
Basically, it’s a filing system of folders (called notebooks in Evernote) with notes inside them; and each note can have multiple tags that they can be searched under.
But … you don’t need a filing cabinet and filing clerk to organise everything; you don’t have a DRIVE x where all files are but no-one can find them, and you don’t have 17 versions of the same docs with different file names.
And it’s all available to anyone (with the correct access credentials) to access anytime, anywhere with any laptop/computer, smart phone or tablet.
And you can store audio, video, web pages, images, google docs, pdf’s, word docs handwritten notes – anything that can be stored electronically.
For instance, I have a Windows laptop, android phone and tablet, my partner, Cate, has the same except mac, and my daughter, Zoe the same but windows – we have various notebooks – some we all share and others just Cate and I share.
But we can all read them on any of our devices, anywhere. Cate is in Canberra at the moment with her new grandson, and she had to go to the bank today to discuss a loan she has –she needed some paperwork to show them – she had all the data she needed on her iPhone in Evernote.
And you can allow access to different notebooks to all employees, just some, or external people and give each of them the ability to edit or not.
WHY DO YOU NEED IT?
Studies now say that now very few people will stay in the same job for more than a year (or maybe 2).
High turnover is just a fact of life now which means that you need new people to be able to get up to speed with your company as quickly as possible. Also when people leave your business, you want their knowledge of your customers and products to stay with the company so their replacement can access that knowledge easily and quickly.
Research shows that salespeople spend 31% of their time searching for the correct information AND 81% of sales and marketing executives say that searching for the correct information is their number 1 area for improvement.
In the modern world, people are connected online most of their lives – they need more than paper to be convinced of anything – they need videos, audio etc.
Recent studies have shown that in the workplace 80% of emails are a waste of time and that emails take up 28% of workers’ time.
Evernote solves all of these issues and it is one of those programs that most people find easy and intuitive to use.
Now for some practical examples – say I am working on a project – I am collaborating with these people here. So I set Evernote up so they can see everything I’m doing. I can send one person a “work chat” which is an internal texting method, then we can look at the same image or text and discuss what we need to discuss (no email) Or I can set up a tag so everyone on the team will see the tasks they need to do tomorrow morning. (no emails).
This team (management) over here don’t want to know how we got the project to work or how much work it took – they just want to see where we’re up to on every Friday afternoon. Evernote will do that (no emails).
I’ve got some great ideas for the project that I found on Facebook (it was for work – honest!) I can add a webpage to Evernote very easily and then annotate and share that with my working partner. We can both annotate the same page together.
And if another employee starts working on a similar project to mine (she’s not aware that our projects are similar) then Evernote will find what I’m doing and ask the employee if my work is worth her looking at.
This is just a very brief overview of how Evernote can help your business to succeed, grow and profit.
It takes some planning to set up efficiently but then is very easy and intuitive for your employees to use.
It is relatively cheap, extremely customisable and very robust.
Check it out here.
(there is a free version, and if you purchase a paid version, I do get a small commission)