Archive for category Tools
Techno Valentines Idea: Cloud Tags
Posted by Tim Rueb in brainstorming, Strategy, Tools on February 14, 2011
Here’s an idea I worked on and provided my wife. And it WORKED! Generally speaking, create a thought stream of your loved one in any word processor. Don’t worry about sentence structure. Just type out any word that comes to mind. Don’t worry about punctuation. Don’t worry about duplicating words, in fact, that’s the point. The words that are most important should be repeated naturally in the thought stream.
Wordle Tag Cloud
You can create a cloud at Wordle.net for this exercise. Cut and paste your text into the box they provide. Below I have included a cloud created from one of my blog post. (I don’t think my wife would want to put my gift to her on this, it was a bit intimate … hint, hint)
Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week
Good hunting and good luck!
Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week
Posted by Tim Rueb in Customer Service, Equipment, leadership, management, productivity, Service, Tools on February 12, 2011
More than 35,000 companies and organizations have pledged to participate in the event. According to the official Telework Week Website, this would save an estimated $2,451,069 and more than 1,600 tons of pollutants from entering the atmosphere. Where these numbers come from is not entirely clear, but it stands to reason that fewer people commuting would help save money and reduce pollution to some extent.
National Telework Week is sponsored by Telework Exchange and Cisco, which makes telepresence and communication products, as well as other tools to facilate remote working.
via Ditch the Office: Next Week is National Telework Week.
I would suggest you spend some time understanding what it would take to perform your work outside the office. As I would explain to past staffs, just because a weather day or some unplanned disaster occurred, project deadlines remain the same. If you and your manager, or if you are the manager, haven’t spent enough time creating a work force that is flexible enough to handle the unique demands of performing all department requirements outside of the normal office space, you will find yourself in the awkward situation of losing value to the company.
Disaster Recovery Planning
OK, maybe it’s because my first job in a large IT organization was helping implement the annual remote disaster recovery test plans that I seem to gravitate to this fact. I ask all my clients, if your office burned down this weekend, what you do on Monday. Close shop? Declare bankruptcy? Put everything on hold until you get a new office leased? What about your paper records? How about your leads? How about your contracts in progress? Are you’re files stored off-site, and if so how long would it take to get them back and running at the new location?
These are all questions that should bring a leader or manager to the point of understanding how important teleworking can be to this scenario and their organization.
An important factor in improving your productivity is to design a work environment that helps you accomplish your work faster and smarter then your competition. Well how about all the time you are not in the office? Are you tied to a paper filing system … how could you change that? (Evernote.com) Can your assistant and team members update file and get them to your quickly? (DropBox.com) Can your team, partners, and client see your calendar and plan accordingly? (Google Calendar) Can you conduct training sessions without having to be on-prem at the client’s location? (WebEx) Can you brainstorm with your team, partners, and clients regardless of their geographical location? (MindMeister.com) Can you manage your To-Do list, or better yet, can your assistant manage your list for you? (Remember the Milk).
My guess the most difficult thing to change in your work space is the paper trails you live with. You probably have become so accustomed to getting something in paper, working on it, then passing it on. Reguardless, it is possible to go paperless. It’s worth the time to implement also.
Over the past 10 years I have moved to a paperless process. That is how I had to look at it. I focused on the process, not the piece of paper or some other physical object. Many of the web based applications I mentioned above I use today. It allows me to complete my client requests while knowing that all the items I need are right at my fingertips.
So what have you done to make it possible to telework or telecomute? I’d love to compare notes some time.
Team Collaboration Gets Better
Posted by Tim Rueb in management, Tools on September 22, 2010
One of my favorite tools for team collaboration and idea collection is MindMeister. I use it for organizing my thoughts on large blog posts (see Marketing Warfare: The iPad Battle and Mind Map: The iPad Battle), helping my boys organize their thoughts for their school writing assignments, and many more instances. Because it can update the mind map in real time with many users signed into the map simultaneously, I have found it to be valuable when working on conference calls while trying to keep the team focused and not hindering the collection of tangent ideas in the middle of a thought stream that is being debated.
MindMeister 4.7 has been announced with some improved features:
- drag and drop attachments and images directly from their desktop to a selected node
- Google API used to view attached files rather then requiring you to download them
- a new social sidebar
- Auto Condensing of maps
- iCalendar task feed has been updated
- Team Edition will now find custom branding options
Check out MindMeister, I think it will help you organize your thoughts and projects.
- Mindmapping for Medical Students (slideshare.net)
- MindMeister for iPad Now Available (magicaltablet.com)
- 15 Creative Brainstorming Tools For Free (madrasgeek.com)
- Mind Mapping is a Great Way to Brainstorm (gcsagents.com)
Affordable Video Phone for Home & Business
I can’t remember if I have ever posted anything about hardware. I often find myself contemplating process improvements, marketing tactics, and internet tools which I assume will help small businesses improve their market share.
I know a version of this affordable video phone was on Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice” and this launched the phone to new heights, but I can’t help but think that the video phone would be a great tool for a small business to improve it’s image.
This phone in the hands of families across the US and world will enjoy video conversations with each other. As more house holds have the phone the more fun each family will have in hold video calls with each other. I can’t wait until all my family in Germany have these phones either.
ACN’s newest revolutionary video phone gives you enhanced features that you can only get here!
- See the person you’re talking to
- Unlimited calling to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
- Send and receive video mail messages
- Project your conversations onto a larger screen
- Bonus Feature: Display photos with the Digital Photo Frame
- Automatic Network Detection: easier for customers to set up their Video Phone
- Enhanced Video Clarity: images/colors are sharper
- Automatic Bandwidth Adjustment: automatically adjusts bandwidth setting to match available bandwidth speed
- Enhanced Light Sensor Camera: camera offers higher pixels for improved A/V sync plus more clarity in the video
- Dual Speakers: audio speakers offer stereo sound quality
- New, Sleek Interface: user-friendly options for exceptional customer experience
- Softkeys: allows user to make selections from the specific screen for easy navigation
- Large 7″ screen: for face-to-face conversations
Plus traditional calling features you expect:
Caller ID • Call Forwarding • Call Waiting • Do Not Disturb • Speed Calling • Three-Way Calling
Call Return • Auto Redial • Voice/Video Mail
$11.99 /month/ line
$159.99 per Video Phone
See your loved ones more often! Purchase additional Video Phones and add up to four lines to your account. Calls on Family Plan lines can only be made to other ACN Digital Phone Service customers.
Virtual Phone Numbers
$4.99 /month/ line
Stay local! Create a virtual phone number from any domestic area code – no matter where you live.
International Calling Plans
Bring your world a little closer. Take advantage of discounted rates on our 300-minute plans
European Plan $4.99/mo
Asia Pacific Plan $5.99/mo
Central & South America Plan $9.99/mo
Twitter’s Design Flaw
Posted by Tim Rueb in marketing, Marketing Warfare, Tools on December 29, 2008
I have come to the conclusion that Twitter has a major design flaw and it is making it difficult for me to continue to grow my network of followers. Not that my number of followers are very large, this is more of a philosophical debate raging inside of me to justify my limited time I have on this planet and the effort it takes to accomplish something in said limited time. I, like others, am a complex human being. I have many faces or areas in my life which are in different stages of maturity. I don’t just share on a singular topic. I expose myself in many ways, to the horror of some, yes!
For Twitter to continue to become the social force that it is destined to be, it must move beyond this singular voice that it has granted us.
Before I Forget
What kind of a Twit would I be if I didn’t take this opportunity to invite you to follow me on Twitter. Sometimes the most obvious mistake for Twits is not to simply ask people to follow them. Thanks!
My Many Masks! (or Filters?)
So, what are the chances that my Twitter followers are just like me. That they enjoy everything I do, or for that matter, are at the same maturity level in those similar areas of our lives. Here are some of the areas I Tweet about, randomly mind you, and often based on what other’s Tweet about also.
Religion – As a Christian, it shapes my thought process and value system immensely. I enjoy studying and talking with people of other faiths, but it is unlikely that this interaction with change my core belief system.
Family – I love talking about my family. My wife and boys are the greatest gift and treasure I have and love sharing them with others.
Marketing – My passion, my hobby, my mistress. Yes, I tend to focus my vocation on internet marketing, but I still love the field. I happen to follow the principles of Marketing Warfare which at times places me at odds with other marketers in how we approach solutions to problems, but that is also part of the fun!
Soccer (true Football) – I absorb all that I can about the game. My hands on experience is at the youth level, mostly because of my four boys. I train, coach, ref at the U15 level or below and volunteer with different clubs and organizations in the area. If there is a match on the TV, I’m watching it over all else.
Chess – I consider myself a novice. Yes, I can put my boys is a good chess smackdown (sometimes) every now and then but put me in a room with a person rated over 1500 and I look like a fool who’s never seen a board before!
SUDOKU – I loves all things Sudoku. I’m even thinking about learning Japanese so I can solve puzzles faster!
And the list goes on and on ……
Now imagine trying to find a set of people on this planet who have the same interests. Ok, now I have a following of 5. Now what? What are my odds of getting to six, without investing heavily into cloning?
Twitter is Tone Deaf!
Now images your Tweets had Tones! Let’s say that each of the areas I’ve described above had a Tone. This would allow people to follow not only the person, but the areas of their life they had an affinity with. Thus, when I Tweet, I would associated a Tone to the Tweet so that you would only hear the items you wanted to and not the other things I find so interesting (and bore the hell out of you!).
Twitter was simply meant as tool to tell others “Hey I’m going out to lunch, will be back in 30 minutes” and there is some developer somewhere laughing his ass off for what Twitter is being used for today!