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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Productive Android Apps

Android has crept into businesses and boardrooms in a big way, easily competing with Apple and gaining popularity as time goes on. But which apps will make you more productive and efficient in the workplace? With so many apps to choose from, it can be difficult to find the best tools to make your life easier.
We’ve assembled a list of the most popular and useful Android apps so that you don’t have to waste your time searching the store, and added some alternatives if our suggestions aren’t cutting it.

Inbox by Google

Google’s newest email client has organizational features that up the ante from Gmail’s more cluttered design. Highlights help you find the most important information without even having to open a message and similar emails are bundled together for focused content. With a snooze option and reminders, you’ll never forget to get back to a message or task.
If you find important messages lost in the masses or have ever forgotten to reply to a message after reading it, Inbox provides useful tools to keep you on task.


Invoice2go Pro

Create and send professional invoices using a variety of templates from your Android device. Save receipts, sign documents, generate statements, keep a calendar, enter location information, and scan information to help keep your business organized. Real-time charts provide a visual representation of how your business is performing as well. Create three invoices for free with Invoice2go with an option to upgrade to Invoice2go Pro.
If you have trouble keeping information organized and need a more comprehensive and professional way to track money owed, money paid, and money received, this is the app for you.

tinyScanner.jpgTiny Scanner Pro

Scan anything you need to, including documents, photos and receipts, and save it as a PDF file to store and share however you like. This way, important files and documents are backed-up and easily shareable with co-workers and clients. The app allows you to store PDFs in various cloud services such as Dropbox and Evernote, send over email and more, with password protection and various customisation options.
Tiny Scanner Pro is perfect for high quality scans of anything, from anywhere, using just your smartphone. As well as scanning documents to send electronically, a good portable scanner allows you to backup and store important information to access at your convenience.


Cabinet BETA

For business users, a good file manager is an essential way of keeping things organised and tidy on your device, and this free app allows you to keep things from getting messy. Easily view your files in list or grid display options, search files, and view content according to media type.
A user-friendly, minimalist file manager that requires very little configuration to help  you get on with what needs done.


LastPass Password Manager

Keep all of your passwords in one place with the “vault” where you can view, edit, organize, and delete data as necessary. Once you’ve created your account, LastPass prompts you to save new information and will auto-fill logins in the future so you never have to worry about forgetting information again. Automatic syncing keeps your information up to date and at your fingertips. You can even create credit card profiles to make online shopping a breeze while keeping everything secure.

cloudmanager.jpgUnclouded – Cloud Manager

Find out what’s eating up your cloud space—whether it’s Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, or MEGA—with this tool to analyse, manage, and declutter your storage. Identify which files or folders are taking up the most space and what type of file is most common, get rid of duplicate files, and see when files were last changed with Unclouded.
If your storage is feeling a bit cluttered, this app  will help you sort through the mess.

Google Docs Phishing

Google Docs Phishing Campaign.

Gmail users beware: a very convincing, very deceitful, phishing scam has been making its way around the Internet. The scam targets Google Doc and Google Drive users with a lookalike login page designed to steal your username and password.

The Google Docs phishing scam is a textbook example: it aims to trick you into handing over sensitive login details, and it does exceptionally well. The scam starts with an email referring to an “important document” stored on Google Docs. Clicking on the link in this message will take you to what appears to be a Google Docs login page—but it’s not. This fake login page allows scammers to collect your username and password for their own malicious use.
Unfortunately for Gmail users, the page in this case is remarkably convincing—emulating Google’s typical login page. And here’s the clincher: because this scam is hosted on Google’s servers (the scam is, after all, a public folder on Google Drive) it effectively sidesteps one of the more reliable ways to detect a phishing scam. Generally speaking, phishing URLs are one or two characters different from the official website that they’re masquerading as. To top things off, because the scammers were hosting this attack on Google’s servers, the URL appears to be secure.
This attack on Google Doc users is especially troubling as Google uses a single login across all of their services. If the scammers successfully obtained login credentials for your Google Docs, they’d also be able to access your email, Chrome browsing history (including searches), YouTube account, and perhaps even be able to make purchases through the Google Play store if you’ve previously registered your payment information.
Despite the sophistication of this scam, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. After its discovery earlier this week, Google has successfully removed the phishing pages. They’ve also stated that their “abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again.”
While this particular attack seems to have been vanquished, phishing scams in general are on the rise. By being aware of how these scams operate, and how to detect them, you’re well on your way to protecting yourself from the Internet’s many bad guys.
Follow the steps below to help avoid falling victim:
  • Double check your URL address. Most of the time, a phishing URL will have some reference to the entity it’s pretending to be, but with some form of variation. For example: www.google.com will take you to Google; www.googl.e3921.com (as an example) will take you to a crash page—but it could also take you to a phishing scam website. That being said, do be aware that the scam described above uses a legitimate Google URL and could trick even the most thorough of skeptics.
  • Don’t send banking or login information via email or text. Professional services will never ask you to send sensitive information over email or text messages. They just don’t. At the bare minimum, they’ll ask you to sign into your account on their website (remember to check the URL) in order to address any sensitive information. If you’ve received an email asking for transmittal of financial or login details via email, you’d be wise to delete it.
  • Watch the links. Be wary of linking on links sent to you over email, text message or social media sites. Most are harmless, but the ones sent to you by someone you don’t know, or a business that you didn’t sign up for, could send you to a malware-infested site.
  • Install comprehensive security software. As always, practice caution, and protect yourself online with comprehensive security services like McAfee LiveSafe. It will help block spam and dangerous email, as well as guard against malware and viruses on your PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.

Cool Google App's Lesser Know Features

1. Video conference with up to 15 people (my Favourite)

Instead of an email, a chat or a phone call, you can look your co-workers in the eye with Hangouts, the built-in video conferencing service that comes with Google Apps.
And you can do it from inside Gmail. Open up an email, hover your mouse over the person's name, then click on the video icon to invite that person into a video call.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click the gear in the top right .
  • Click the Labs tab.
  • Find the "Undo Send" lab and select the Enable radio button.
  • Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


2. Make Suggestions in others documents

With Google Docs, two or more people can work on a document together, live. But if you don't want to make a permanent change to someone else's document, you don't have to.

Anyone that has "commenting access" can use the "Suggest Edits" feature instead (similar to Microsoft's "track changes" feature). Edits can be accepted or rejected with a single click. And if you convert a Microsoft Word file to Docs (or vice versa), your tracked changes will convert as well.

Click on the little green editing icon in the upper-right of the document to access Suggest Edits.


3. Access and include royalty-free images to any document

If you need pictures to spice up your work, you can choose from a bunch of royalty-free images in Docs and the Slides presentation software.

Just click Insert > Image > Search > Stock images to browse.

If you are looking for an image to doctor, try searching the "Life" image database, too


4. Avail Google search awesomeness inside working documents

Open the Research Tool in Google Docs (Tools menu > Research) and find all sorts of scholarly articles on Google.

You can also search for quotes, images, tables, or just search the Web.  Often, if you can click on a result, you will be given the option to drag the result right into your paper or to cite it.


5. Individual Mobile apps for Sheets, Docs, Slides

With the mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides, you can work in real time with your coworkers on your Android or iOS device. These apps also make it easier to find a specific type of document stored in your cloud and let you create (and sometimes edit) documents even if you aren't online.


6. Manage and use different email addresses

There are times when you want to send email from a different address, such as when you are sharing a corporate address or using a personal email address, or when assistants are answering their boss's email.

You can set up Gmail to send messages and replies from alternative accounts. Go to Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Accounts > Add another email address you own.


7.  Subtle Pop-up notifications

If you like pop-up notifications but don't like how they rudely interrupt whatever you're doing, try "Gentle Notifications."
Instead of a pop-up, the title of the Google Calendar window or tab will blink in the background and the computer will make a more pleasant sound.

From your calendar go to Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Labs > Enable Gentle Notifications.

Pro tip: there are a bunch of other cool features in the Labs setting, like automatically declining invites when you are busy, day/night calendar options, sending attachments with meeting invites, and more.


8. Edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files

You might already know this, but it's worth mentioning all the same. There's no need to buy a special app to let you edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint if you you use Google Apps. Documents created with Microsoft Office will open and be editable directly in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, on your desktop, phone or tablet.

9. Quick and Clean your contact list

With just a few clicks, Google will sift through your contacts, look for duplicates and merge them into a single contact file. From the Contacts app click on More > Merge contacts. You can merge them all or select the ones that should be united.


10. Add all sorts of extra features through apps and add-ons

There are a ton of add-on apps that will give you extra features for Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, email, etc. Just log into your Google Apps account and then head over to the Google Apps Marketplace.

You'll find free label printing apps, project management apps, calendaring apps, sales and marketing apps and so on.


11. Recall an email you have sent

In Gmail, you can undo a sent email. To set up the "Undo Send" feature, first decide how long you’d like Gmail to hold your mail before actually sending it off.
  1. Select Settings.
  2. Click the gear in the top right .
  3. Click the Labs tab.
  4. Find the "Undo Send" lab and select the Enable radio button.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


12. Access your files offline with this neat hack

If you frequently find yourself in spots where the internet access is iffy (airports, the train) and you use the Chrome browser, use this trick to keep access to your cloud documents.

Right before you unplug from the office network, sign into drive.google.com from Chrome. Your files will be viewable offline, as will email. You can edit offline (or write an email) and your changes will be saved and synced (or the email sent) when your internet connection comes back. If you don't use Chrome, you can also use the Google Drive app to view and edit Drive documents offline.


13. Security doubled

When turned on, it requires you to input a regular password, and a special one-time password sent as a text to your mobile phone. Every time you use a new computer it doesn't recognize, it sends a new one-time password. So bad guys can't get into your account on an unauthorized computer even if they learn your password.

You can set it up to refresh once a month, so it doesn't bug you too often.

From any Gmail, click on Settings (click the gear in the top right ) > Account > Click 2-Step Verification > Go through the step-by-step process.

Pro tip: download and use the Google Authenticator app which gives you other options besides a text message to get the second password and allows you to login even when your device is in airplane mode.


14. No reply-all by default ( It is annoying )

Sometimes a "reply-all" message goes viral in your company and suddenly your inbox is filling up with replies from your co-workers on a topic that has nothing to do with you.

To stop that, open a message in the string, click More > Mute and you'll no longer see new emails.


15.  Print while en-route

Google Drive lets you print directly to a FedEx office.

Click on the Print icon > Change printers > Print to a Fedex Office and you’ll receive a retrieval code that you can use to print out your job at more than 1,800 FedEx office locations.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Professional Invoice : The Importance

Why Your Invoices Matter 

What do your invoices have in common with your website, your helpdesk and your technicians? They all serve as touchpoints with your customers — among the few recur - ring ones you have if you’re a small or medium-sized MSP — and when they’re done right, they’re a great opportunity to reinforce the value you deliver and strengthen the customer experience. 

Consider these four best practices for creating professional invoices that show existing and potential customers alike that you’re the right MSP for their business: 

1. Accuracy 
2. Professionalism 
3. Timeliness 
4. Service

1. Accuracy

As you grow your managed services business, an accurate invoice is one of the more important keys to building trust with your customers. (Conversely, an inaccurate invoice can spark distrust in your services and your practice.) One of the best ways to ensure accuracy is by automating as much of the billing process as possible. For example, if you can fully integrate your technicians’ field reports and your helpdesk processes with your billing platform, you can deliver accuracy and clarity for every item listed on your invoices.

2. Professionalism 

A clear and easy-to-understand invoice tailored to each customer’s needs allows you to always put your best foot forward. Rather than using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template across your entire customer base, your invoices should be as simple or as detailed as necessary to reflect the different billing models used by each particular customer, whether that’s hourly, on retainer or fully managed services. This way, you can bill your customers in the way they like best — improving satisfaction while showing a deeper understanding of their business needs.

3. Timeliness 

Nobody likes to get a bill? That’s not entirely true. Customers expect to be billed but they expect that bill to arrive at a specific time and date. When customers know they’ll be billed promptly, it’s easier for them to track costs and plan expenses. A late invoice, on the other hand, can feel like an unexpected expense — and that leads to a negative customer experience. When your ticketing, helpdesk and invoicing tools are working together, previously manual steps can be eliminated, helping you generate and send invoices faster and more efficiently… and the faster your customers receive their invoices, the sooner you get paid.

4. Service 

You should always be ready to answer questions after the invoice has been sent to help build and grow the relationship. An integrated ticketing, helpdesk and invoicing system makes it easier to respond quickly to billing questions making you look professional and that you are on top of things.

An Easier Way to Bill Customers 

There are quite a few cloud-based service management platform for creating support tickets, scheduling technicians and generating professional invoices — everything you need to deliver quality service to your customers. These integrated, customizable billing process saves you time while increasing the accuracy of your invoices. You can also generate multiple invoices simultaneously for faster, more efficient billing — and then export your invoices directly to your preferred accounting software. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015




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