Displaying All Posts from June, 2010

Lowering Carbon Footprint, Increasing Productivity: From Paper to iPad

I’ve been a big proponent of using paper to plan out projects as well as tasks, but since picking up an iPad I’ve been shifting back into electronic organization.  I still love having a pen and paper handy, but I’m starting to find that with the right tools in play electronically I am producing more efficiently and effectively.  It boils down to a few things, really: Click Here to Read Article …

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5 Awesome Web Based Time Tracking Software Solutions

As a web worker, I understand the importance of time tracking. You’ll always find me urging people to track the time they spent working. Why? Well, there are distractions galore. There are social networking sites, YouTube, chat and what not. Hence, at the end of the day, I want to see how many hours I spent doing “real work.”

I prefer using cloud-based, or I should say online time tracking software. This list talks about some nice web based time tracking software applications which you might find useful. Check them out and offer any of your own recommendations below.

1. SlimTimer

SlimTimer is a brilliant online time tracking solution that lets you track time for different tasks, and also share them with coworkers. And it’s free to use.

2. Toggl

Toggl has a great interface, nice reporting features and also has desktop versions for all the major operating systems. It has both free and paid versions, but the free version should suffice for most of us.

3. RescueTime

RescueTime is a popular time tracking and productivity software for individuals and business owners, and we’ve discussed it here before. If you are only interested in a web based solution then the RescueTime add-ons for Firefox and Chrome should get the job done.

4. MakeSomeTime

MakeSomeTime is a cool time-tracking and invoicing tool for freelancers, and anyone who juggles more than one project at a time. The interface is simple and easy to comprehend. Check out Lifehacker’s detailed review on the tool.

5. Colorhat

Last but not the least, Colorhat is a simple online time tracking tool that helps you quickly analyze the time spent during the day through a graphical interface. Click Here to Read Article …

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Memo:Random #36

Click Here to Read Article …

Is “The Office” Real?

For those that don’t watch the American television version of The Office, it is a situation comedy about a failing paper company led by a charming-but-impulsive regional manager. The show’s humor comes mainly from its wide variety of distinct characters (although typical office stories come into play as well), some of which seem like perfect office archetypes. Protagonist Jim Halpert is a rational, level-headed salesman who, after many attempts to bring sanity to his workplace, resigns to just enjoy the humor all around him. Jim can amuse, but there are others:

  • Dwight, a goofy, abrasive know-it-all with action hero aspirations;
  • Creed, a creepy, funny should-be-retired colleague whose ambiguous comments are often disturbing and funny;
  • Kevin, an accountant who, seems woefully inattentive and thick-headed given the nature of his work;
  • Ryan, the low man on the totem pole who has little else other than Machiavellian ambition and stories of past professional glory;
  • Angela, the peculiar, pet-loving enigma who has some strange habits that are impossible to ignore; and
  • Kelley, the customer service representative who, despite her profession, is prone to having wild, dramatic fits over the insignificant.

The show is full of office-related humor, and its meaningless meetings, inappropriate antics and professional blunders leave us saying:

“Wow, that is so true.”

But, is it? Are these characters real? Can you spot them at your job? Perhaps if you can’t spot them, could you be one of them? Let’s not kid ourselves; we can’t all be cool, collected, “Jim Halpert” types. Someone has to be the drama queen, the cutthroat, the dreamer, the know-it-all.

Are you one of them?  If so, which one are you? Click Here to Read Article …

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Awesome Links #3: Beating the Heat, Cool Home Offices, Custom Toolbars

How to Stay Fit (and Cool) Despite the Summer Heat

The countries in northern hemisphere continue to grapple with scorching heat. Ask me, I’m in India and you really don’t want to know what the summers are like here. Hence, when I came across this guide by Lifehacker to beat the heat, I thought it’d be worth a share. If it’s cold where you are, this guide could prepare you for the upcoming summers.

Professional Time, Leisure Time, and Wasted Time

The Simple Dollar explores what’s the difference between professional time, leisure time and wasted time and how to measure them.

15 Inspiring Home Offices

A nice collection of 15 home office setups by our sister site, Freelance Switch. Which one’s your favorite?

SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide From SEOmoz

A super-comprehensive and brilliant guide to SEO for beginners by SEOmoz. If you are just starting out with SEO then there’s no better place than this guide.

Create a Custom Toolbar In Windows To Quickly Access Programs & Files

If you are a Windows user then you will find this guide to creating custom toolbars by Guiding Tech useful. It’s a simple trick really that could save a lot of time on a day-to-day basis and make you more productive. Click Here to Read Article …

Blog Reading and Sharing: Power Tips for Google Reader

If you’re an avid blog reader, chances are you manage your reading through Google Reader. If you don’t, you probably should (we even advised you as much in our feed reading tips). It’s one of the most popular RSS feed readers around, in part because of its ubiquity, but also because it’s a powerful application that is easy to configure. But Google Reader is more than just a blog repository. It’s a powerful tool for sharing, monitoring, networking, researching and even publishing. Here are some ways to make the most out of what Google Reader has to offer.

(Note: other feed readers like Netvibes may offer comparable functionality, but this post is written in the context of Google Reader.) Click Here to Read Article …

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Do You Outsource or Delegate Work?

Remember when we talked about time management skills, where the last point was “delegate if you can” so that it could free up time for important work? Well, I’d go a step further and recommend that you learn how to delegate and outsource work as much as you can.

You’d be amazed to find how useful outsourcing could be once you get started with it. Of course, finding the right person for the job and then training him or her might be difficult, but once you’ve got someone taking care of things you don’t really want to do (for example, you’re a social media guy but you’re also doing coding and design stuff), not only you’d be more productive, you’ll make more money too.

And maybe you’ll get your weekends back.

So, do you outsource your non-core tasks? Or do you prefer to do everything on your own? Click Here to Read Article …

Breakfast, Brunch or Bust?

Diversity is a commonly used term in the workplace. We have different jobs, skills, backgrounds, ethnicities and personalities.

Breakfast choices can be just as diverse.  Your own diversity, for example, may be that the weekend is the only time you seem to eat breakfast!

During the work week, however, take a look to see what your office mates are eating first thing in the morning.  You can actually learn a lot about a colleague from their choice of breakfast. How many breakfast types are there? Let’s have a look at the typical menu:

  • Busy Breakfast: Coffee loaded with cream and sugar. Don’t spill any on that power-tie.
  • Health Nut: Granola, whole wheat toast, green tea, side of smugness.
  • Intern Breakfast: Cheetos, day-old bagel, chased with a Red Bull.
  • Scavenger Special: Leftover danishes from the 10am manager’s meeting, communal coffee, side of stolen snack from adjacent neighbor.
  • Belt-Buster: Scrambled eggs, bacon, bagel with cream cheese, topped off with a doughnut and an increased health insurance premium.

Can I take your order? Click Here to Read Article …