Tag Archives: productivity

How to Stay Productive in Small Business

Seth David has put together a fantastic eBook of 140 tips and tricks to help keep you on track each and every day. Productivity fluctuates based on our outer – and inner – distractions. Anything from our body temperature to crowd noise to having too much to do can – and WILL – change how our day goes. Seth has put together a list of things that you should be doing on a regular basis in order to help you stay focused.

You’ll find some basic health tips in this eBook, along with some seriously important business gems. One of my favorites has to be:

When a customer complains, correct the mistake — they care more about how you handle the complaint than what they are complaining about.

Look for a guest blog post from Seth about the above gem in the near future. He will be explaining this idea more in depth to help you understand why this is absolutely critical if you are going to succeed.

I feel that this eBook is well worth your time and money… to the point that I am happily endorsing it with my branding and name. Seth’s advice is right-on and will help give you a leg up in a world where every move you make can have a huge impact on your business.

AMD Eyefinity Multi-Monitor for Productivity

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Sometimes, there’s more to the web than a single page. You may want to track conversations on your social media websites while watching a video at the same time. You can easily do this you know. AMDs Eyefinity makes it a snap to connect one computer to multiple monitors – and keep the picture as clear as a bell.

We’ve already shown you what Eyefinity can do for gaming. Did you stop to think what it can do for your productivity? Three screens – all running from the same machine – allowing you to do SO much more.

Running three monitors (such as the setup shown in the video) will maximize your productivity. You don’t have to waste time minimizing and maximizing windows. Everything you need it already open. In addition to running all of the programs you need at once, you can use your setup to expand a single task across multiple screens. Let’s say you’re editing some video footage. Imagine being able to stretch that (in a nice, clean way without distortion!) across three monitors. You’ll be able to see every tiny detail and be able to pinpoint exactly what you’re doing.

All of the things you see running on the screen in the video were being powered by the new Acer Ferrari. The Ferrari is small enough to fit in a purse or attache case, but it’s powerful enough to be a workhorse machine, as evidenced by the triple-monitor setup.

Both Casey and Raymond indicated that it’s hard for them to believe that they get to wake up every day and make money playing with so many amazing new pieces of technology. Casey was quick to point out that what’s astounding to him is the fact that we now have technology devices that are small and light, yet are able to be a powerhorse at home when you need them.

That, my friends, astounds me as well. What about you? Are you excited to see technology such as this? More importantly, are you planning to grab one of these sleek little machines for yourself?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

What Type of Music Helps You be More Productive?

I am like many of you out there… I cannot work unless there is music playing in the background. My assistant Kat is the same way. If she’s at her computer (which is always!), there is music playing. She swears she cannot concentrate unless she has music pumping through her speakers or headphones. It apparently makes her more productive than if she has silence or a different type of noise in her immediate area. Thinking about it, I guess I’m the same way. I do my best writing when there is music to fit my mood at that moment playing.

That’s the key for me… my mood. I don’t listen to any one particular style of music all the time. I like a pretty wide variety of stuff. Some call me “eclectic” in my tastes, and that’s fine with me. I like what I like… and I don’t expect you to listen to it if you don’t. However, I do encourage you to always broaden your musical horizons by listening to something completely different than your normal playlist every once in awhile. Pandora is great for that!

What type of music are you addicted to? Do you work better when you are rocking out, or do you need complete quiet in order to concentrate?

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what great new deals we’ve found today!

What Drives Your Productivity?

Being sick has its advantages – ones I never knew about! I have had some sort of crazy virus for several days now. I admit to spending one entire day sleeping it off as best I could. I stayed out of my office for the most part, and knocked myself out with the medicines the doctor gave me. Since that day, I’ve spent as much time as possible doing nothing other than sitting in my office. Since that happens to be where I work… I’ve actually accomplished quite a lot! I haven’t felt like going anywhere really, or “doing” anything much.

I’ve managed to catch up on some reading I felt I was behind on. I have come up with some ideas for upcoming projects. And, I’ve even managed to croak out some geeky new videos for the YouTube channel. I’m ahead of myself on those, which is kind of cool. Usually, the things I record are uploaded immediately the next day. Now I have a bit of a “buffer”, in case there’s a day I am too busy with other things to record.

As backwards as it seems, being sick has made me more productive. What helps boost your “get things done” levels? Also – what do you spend the most time doing when you’re sick? Do you curl up in front of the tv, or read a book? Do you spend all of your time sleeping? Or, are you like me and plant yourself in front of the computer monitors?

Don’t forget to check out all of the hot new apps we have for you in our downloads center. Today you’ll find several things for Windows, as well as mobile devices!

[awsbullet:cryogenics book]

What Tools do You use for Mobile Productivity?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

It’s super-easy to do things on a computer. If you’re mobile, and don’t have access to the Web… how do you manage to do what you need online? You could always call a friend, but then you’d have to give out your usernames and passwords. Do you really want to go to that kind of hassle? Why not check out Dial2Do?

Dial2Do lets you do common tasks by just calling a number and speaking. Use it to send Email or text messages, record reminders to help you remember things, post updates to your Twutter or Jaiku stream and listen to your favourite internet content. It’s easy and handsfree.

When you dial we ask you two or three questions like “Do what?”, “To who?”. You say what you want and then we’ll look after the rest. We recognise what you said and look after getting your action carried out.

For people who are always on the go, this can save you an insane amount of time. Send out important emails while you’re stuck in traffic, or even Tweet to ask everyone if there’s a clearer route. There are other services out there like this, but this one is seriously intensive on what you can do.


Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Pirillo's Picks for 04/18/2007

I send my picks to 140,000 subscribers every day – join them by sending an email to [email protected]. If you blog and encourage others to subscribe to the list, your site will be placed in the queue to be featured in an upcoming Pirillo’s Picks!

Is Microsoft's Outlook Team on Crack?

I’ve been playing with Outlook 2007 for a few weeks now, trying to get over the fact that it falls short of “impressive” in nearly every way. I wasn’t sure why HTML email messages were looking as though they had fallen out of the ugly tree – until I read this Campaign Monitor post that claims Microsoft takes email design back 5 years:

Previously you could send a HTML email in the comfort that the majority of your recipients would have very good CSS support. Other email clients were also catching up. Thunderbird uses the Firefox rendering engine, the new Yahoo! Mail beta has great CSS support. Things were looking good for us CSS based email designers. Unfortunately, that all goes down the toilet now.

What goes in the toilet – HTML email newsletters in general, or Microsoft Outlook? Not sure why people are so surprised about this turn of events; I’ve been telling you that every release of Outlook (beyond the 2000 client) has been craptacular. Then again, maybe Microsoft completely agrees with my “email is dead” argument? The jury is still out on this one.

The Outlook on Outlook 2007

The UI still has a ways to go before I’ll be completely satisifed, but Outlook 2007 is shaping up to be a smart upgrade from Outlook 2000 as an Internet PIM. I was proven 100% correct on the suckitude of Oulook 2002 and 2003, as the 2007 team has de-merged Exchange and Internet environments (as it was in Outook 2000). From there, I’m able to move forward and consider Outlook 2007 as a viable upgrade.

I was cautiously optimistic when I watched Hank Leukart’s Outlook 2007 Calendar sneak preview. Separately, Jessica Arnold give Scoble a more general Outlook 2007 overview before Beta 2 was released. Both videos are worth watching if you work with Outlook on any level, if only to discover what’s changed. Most concerning to me, however, is how each Microsoft interviewee dismissed two issues which both interviewers raised independent of one another!

  1. You can’t (yet) publish your calendar to your own server from within Outlook. Instead, you’re “forced” to push it to Office Online. It’s not like Microsoft can’t let you put your data elsewhere – it’s just that Office doesn’t make a lot of money, so it has to make up for lost revenue elsewhere. Whatever.
  2. You can’t easily copy an item from a remote calendar to your own. Instead, you have to manually drag and drop from one time slot to another – introducing potential PEBKAC mousing errors. Moreover, if you try to set a reminder on a remote calendar – you’re told that you can’t do it, and asked: “Is that okay?” No solution is actually provided by the error dialog.

I’m happy to be able to share calendars easily from within Outlook 2007, but I’ll miss the being able to edit external calendars like I can do with Net Folders in Outlook 2000. It’s certainly looking like I’ll migrate to the new version once it’s gone gold. My biggest beefs with Outlook 2007 so far?

  1. Fonts. Tahoma needs to be eliminated from Office, wholesale. Segoe UI is the new standard – even though the Windows Vista team didn’t get that memo.
  2. Corners. Around some elements, like Calendar entries, I see rounded corners. Surrounding other elements, like informational “bubbles” inside email messages, I see sharp corners. One or the other, folks – not both.
  3. Flashing. Too often, I’ll watch a window pane redraw itself. This is painfully obvious when you switch views in Outlook, or when you try to resize a pane. My video card has much more than 4MB of RAM, ya know? I’m trying to use Outlook, not a bowl of Jell-o.
  4. Headers. Why can’t I customize the message header? I don’t want a gigantic font for the message subject and sender in the preview pane. I want it to look like it does when I open a message in a separate window. Moreover, the headers in the preview pane for the calendar are rendered differently, too. Make up your mind!
  5. Toolbars. Are you using the ribbon, or what? I realize that the Outlook client is fundamentally different than Word, PowerPoint, and Excel – but you just can’t keep those old toolbars in place. And please, for God’s sake, don’t employ the craptacular Windows Vista styled toolbars?!

What disturbs me most is how Outlook 2007 – a single program – looks and acts differently throughout. Much like the whole of Windows Vista, Outlook 2007 feels somewhat schizophrenic. Spacing is haphazard, controls are varied, and elements (again) are inexcusabily dissimilar. That said, Outlook 2007 seems to be faster than 2002 and 2003. We’ll see what they do with the UI in these remaining months.

Finally, the Office 2007 Ribbon Rocks!

I wasn’t sure if I’d be sold on the Office 2007 Ribbon interface. It’s different – almost too different. I know they said it was supposed to increase productivity, but to me it just increased screen clutter. Today, I heard that the Office 2007 Ribbon [is] To Be Tweaked:

The Ribbon, a new top-of-the-window feature in most of the suite’s applications — including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — takes up too much space, say many beta users and reviewers . In response, the next Office 2007 update, a so-called Technical Refresh (TR), will include changes to the Ribbon. Although an undocumented – or at least unpublicized – Ctrl-F1 key combination has “collapsed” the Ribbon since the very first beta to provide more viewing and working space for documents, Microsoft program manger Jensen Harris has outlined new ways that the feature will be called in future versions.

YES! By doing this, they’ve made the Ribbon UI truly digestable. Taking the Minimized Ribbon to the Max – watch the video to see what I mean. They’re really moving the ideas of menus forward, and I really wish the rest of Windows (and Microsoft) software would follow suit. Collapsing the Ribbon was an AWESOME idea. Now, as far as charging for Office betas is concerned – that was pure stupid.

How to Handle Email Overload

I sent a quick message to Matt Cutts from Google a few minutes ago, asking him when Google might be updating their index to reflect my new site strucutre (since moving from BlogWare to WordPress a few weeks ago). I almost shot milk out of my nose when I received his autoresponse a minute later:

I’m on vacation until June 30th, and I *will delete all email* when I return. In case of an emergency, Carol Smith has my cell phone number. You may wish to send your request to Brian White or Amit Singhal, or you may want to resend your email after I return.

I suppose that’s one way to handle email overload? Okay, Matt – you’re going to delete my original message, but I’m sure this post will show up in your ego feed. Or, at least, it should show up.