By Stuart Avera
Dropp is a fun and useful new iPhone app that lets you share location-based messages and photos with friends, family, and even people you don’t know. For example, let’s say you’re at a restaurant and eat a particularly good cheeseburger. You know your friend Dan likes cheeseburgers, so you can drop a message just for him that says “Dan, you have to try the cheeseburger here!” Whenever he enters the restaurant, he’ll get the text message on his phone.
Dropp is a fun tool, but it can also be used for work. Here are two examples, for law firms and CPAs.
Jim is an attorney at a 10 person law firm. He attends a hearing at the local courthouse one day and finds the judge has postponed the hearing for a date and time that is yet to be determined. Before he leaves … Keep reading
By Neil Jones
One of our Tech Tips readers recently wrote in asking our opinion on purchasing document management software for her law firm. She wanted the ability to enter client information in a spreadsheet and create forms that would be automatically populated with the clients’ information. Through her research, she found she could do these things with programs in Microsoft Office. She wanted to know if she should purchase a piece of software for $900*, or try to build her own system with Microsoft Word and Excel.
(*The size of the organization greatly influences the options available. Document management solutions can easily cost thousands depending on the number of users and features involved).
I consulted Neil Jones, one of our network engineers who has worked with several law firms. Here’s what he had to say:
“Yes, technically you can do what you need to with Microsoft Word and Excel, using templates in … Keep reading
By Anne Shenton
A few weeks ago, I posted an article about how much time is wasted searching for information (especially if you have to search for the same information multiple times). We recently launched a Wiki to combat this problem.
A wiki is a website developed collaboratively by a community of users, allowing any of its members to add and edit content. We use our Wiki as a knowledge base and repository for answers on common how-to’s.
When you hire a new person, point them at the wiki rather than taking time away from another employee. Have current employees document common processes, problems, and instructions that future employees can refer to when they come on board.
A Wiki is a great place to share frequently used documents between employees. Users can collaborate … Keep reading
By Anne Shenton
There’s only 28 days left before the 2nd Annual Technology Symposium, and if you register before the 19th, you can save $10. Here’s a reminder of 7 reasons to not miss out…
By Richard Baker
This was a question from one of our Tech Tips readers who was considering purchasing an iPad. She had recently set up electronic bill pay with her bank and wanted to know if she could use her iPad to manage her finances. I consulted with account manager Richard Baker to get his thoughts on the matter.
“This is a good question. As far as using an iPad to pay bills, it really depends on which bank you use. For example, Bank of America has an easy to use app that you can use to manage your accounts and pay bills. Most banks have online bill pay, but not a specialized iPad/Android tablet app. If this is the case, you’d have to login from the Safari Internet browser. This is not as easy, but it still works. If you’re not sure if your bank has a mobile app, contact them directly … Keep reading
By Anne Shenton
Earlier today, a client sent me a link to this great article by Michael Spremulli, corporate personality profiler and CEO of Chrysalis Corporation. The article talks about how disorganization costs employers time and money.
These numbers were particularly sobering:
“In the average small business, each staff member spends at least 3 to 5 hours per week looking for information. At an hourly rate of $12 per hour that adds up to over $2,800 per employee per annum. Even worse, can you afford to hire and retain employees who spend 15 percent of their work week looking for misplaced information?
“Even with widespread computer usage, 70% of all documentation remains paper based. The average usable life-span of a document is only 30 to 90 days. Often they are never accessed again after this time. Office space is at a premium though – and the more files you have the … Keep reading
by Kevin Moland, Product Manager, ProfitStars
The greatest monetary opportunities come at the bottom of economic cycles. Accordingly, the current recession represents the most opportune financial moment in our generation. While the economy was dipping, technology was soaring. The evolution of online commerce, the proliferation of smart phones, and the explosion of social media sites like Facebook present new marketing channels for small and mid-sized businesses. Back office innovations like remote deposit capture and the integration of automated accounting packages provide tools to reduce costs and maximize productivity. Wise use of technology today will pave the way for growth tomorrow. If you fail to act now, you may not be in position to take advantage of future opportunities.
The most limiting factor for the growth of your business is the number of … Keep reading
By Anne Shenton
Netflix caused quite a stir when it announced some major pricing changes. Instead of getting DVDs and video streaming for as low as $10/month, Netflix has separated its plans into DVD only ($7.99/month) and unlimited streaming (also $7.99/month). Starting September 1, you will have to pay $15.98/month for both services.
This article from the Associated Press gives keen insight to the recent price increases. To summarize, Netflix is trying to push subscribers away from DVDs-by-mail and encourage them to use the streaming-only service.
By Anne Shenton
This week, Spotify, an extremely popular online music service in Europe, made its way to the US for the first time. With over 15 million tracks to choose from, Spotify gives you access to more songs than any other service. And guess what? It’s free.
Unlike Pandora or Last.fm, Spotify allows you to listen to any song at any time. A few months ago, I wrote about a similar service called Grooveshark. Although Grooveshark will allow you to search for and listen to any song of your choosing, the variety of music is not as extensive. Also, Spotify’s interface is much more refined and user-friendly.
With the Premium version ($9.99 per month), you can listen to Spotify on your mobile device, and you can download music directly to your device so that you won’t need a WiFi or 3G connection to access your music.
Spotify is only in … Keep reading
By Anne Shenton
One would think that your computer is one of the safest places you could possibly be during the day. Although you may not be very susceptible to life-threatening situations, certain habits can lead to painful ailments and injuries. One of the biggest culprits is your keyboard. There are a number of ailments that come from using your keyboard the wrong way, including sore wrists, and longer-term problems like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can take years of bad typing habits before Carpal Tunnel rears its ugly head, but once you have it, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to stop it from recurring. The best way to fight against sore wrists and Carpal Tunnel is to take some preventative action. Here are some simple tips from Healthy Computing that you should consider when setting up and positioning your keyboard.
Interested in learning more about office ergonomics? Dr. Joey Broadwater, physical … Keep reading