SEARCH Click on the icon to start writing

My Favourite Application

I love apps and tools for making my life easier. You may call this lazy (I do sometimes) but doing something in one tenth of the time it normally takes always appeals to me. I always look at a task and see if it can be automated or made easier.  Whether it be an Excel macro or an app like Textexpander that I use hundreds (yes hundreds) of times per day.  I am always downloading new ones, trying them out and binning them if they don’t suit.  I have a core set that I really love using and really help my productivity.  One that is top of the list is Bidsketch What is Bidsketch? Bidsketch is cloud based proposal creation tool.  There are lots out there but this ticks all the boxes and more.  I am not going to list out all the features but an example will explain how I...

Its Not Magic

Its Not Magic

Its not magic. Its sitting in front of the keyboard. Typing, reading , trying things, screwing up. Trying something else. Learning something small every day. Writing crap blog posts, writing better blog posts. Working that extra hour in the evening and managing your time that little bit better. And then starting again. There is no magic button that you press to succeed online. If there was I would be hammering it morning noon and night. Tons of people think there is. They really do. They don’t see the blood sweat and tears. You sweat the small stuff. Then you try again. Its not magic. Photo Credits: Flickr Image by Evaysucamara

Never Fast Enough

Never Fast Enough

I spend a lot of time trying to find faster more effective ways of doing things.  Sometimes longer than the original task may have taken. There is a certain fascination (I have anyway) in trying to find a way of doing a 5 minute task in 5 seconds (think Excel macros if you use Excel). The whole premise for this of course is that it removes the boring and frees up time to do value added things.  Reading in your niche, customer contact, building your network or writing that amazing piece of content. Pity it doesn’t always happen.  It is a constant challenge. So fast isn’t the promised land quality is.  

Free 24 Hours

Free 24 Hours

My teenage kids were away this weekend and my wife also pulled three night shifts  which sucked but today I had a Me day.  Here is what I did. Woke at 7.30 and ate breakfast of my usual oatmeal / porridge with berries.  Squeezed some orange juice. Wife fell in the door and crawled  up to bed. Drove to a my favourite running sport spot and ran a 10K (6 mile) loop with our dog in tow.  He was thrilled I woke up gradually as the day warmed up. In past few months at the start of the run there is a nice coffee stand where I stopped and had coffee and read my Spanish grammar book (one of my goals is to polish this part of my Spanish skills). Spent a pleasant hour there in sun reading and sipping.  The coffee stand owner who I know now from regular...

SEO in A Nutshell

SEO in A Nutshell

I was at a meeting yesterday where someone opposite me started to explain SEO to the CEO of the company I was meeting.  Now I know about SEO and learn something new and exciting every day.  I would  say that after many years of reading about it and using it every other day I know a lot with lots more to learn. It was clear from the minute this person opened her mouth she knew nothing about it.  She blathered on about keywords (and nothing else) for about 3-4 minutes and visibly ran out of steam and tapered off ending with a serious yet hopeful look that said “will that do?”. It doesn’t do.  The CEO had started checking his email on his phone by the time she finished. If I asked you to explain how you do your job I wouldn’t expect you to do it in 3 minutes no matter how long...

Getting Organised

Getting Organised

I’m a believer that you really can’t be organised enough. If you have ever forgotten tickets for a concert or a game you can’t disagree here. I try (and regularly fail) to do this in work as well. One of the changes that I made a few weeks ago was to properly start using Macs Mission Control and putting separate parts of my work into different desktops so that for instance when I was working on email I am now exclusively in a window with email,  ditto for reading and learning, social and even having fun (Tetris anyone). I can’t say I see huge benefits yet but it is a small little 0.001% that is making a difference. With our busy mad lives and our increasing propensity to be distracted often you can end up at the end of a busy day looking back and saying to your self WTF did I actually get...

Are You Seth?

Are You Seth?

Now if you haven’t heard of Seth Godin then he is one of the most well known Internet marketing commentators online today. One of the things the he is very well known for is his consistent blogging. He blogs every day.  Yes every day.  Usually they are short on point messages laced with common sense. Did I mention he blogs every day? Now I don’t  aspire to be Seth (OK I do I will shave my head for s tart as he is bald as a coot).  But blogging every day is damm hard in the distracting worlds we live in. Plus the temptation to pump out any old piece of dog turd is alarmingly tempting. Its really about practice, habit and having information to hand to build a well written piece. You will read a dizzying array of articles about what is the best length for a blog post for...

The Last Call Ever

I got a call this morning from someone who I hadn’t heard from in an age. She basically wanted me to help someone over the phone with a “small problem” they were having.  It was related to why her site wasn’t showing up in search engines. I spoke with the person for about 20-25 minutes and as I even told the person themselves gave them a primer in how Google worked and why their site wasn’t showing up. It wasn’t hard for me. I know this stuff.  It is Internet 101 for website developers to know this.  Of course anyone who doesn’t thinks it is black magic. My wife who was still at home had been listening to the call. Who was that I told here. You were on the phone for 25 minutes. There will be no follow on work from that and I will definitely not hear from the person again as...

what does success smell like

The wind is howling outside as I type this.  Rain is lashing off the window. The office is a bit chilly after the weekend. I was thinking of what is success and some of my personal and business goals. We all put success in different shapes and forms.  For some it is being able to put one foot in front of the other.  For others it is Lear jets.  For most of us it is some place in between. At the moment getting the office a bit warmer might be a success. I think success this morning (or any morning for that matter) is plugging in the headphones, blocking off distractions, turning off social,  and pounding out 3-4 focused hours of work. The Lear jet can come later. Bye.  

on venting

Sometimes when I get pissed off I reach for the keyboard (metaphorically) and pound out 2-300 words and prepare to post them. It can be client frustration,  self frustration, concerns about the future of the Panda (OK not exactly). Then I stop.  Why? I sound like a moaning pain in the ass when I read it.  I did it recently about not being Nice to Santa but I think it was slightly more business related. You should have seen draft 0.1. Usually when I look back at what I have typed realise that with a bit of attention some of the reason for this is mine and with some small teeny weeny process changes I can eliminate this happening again. This can apply to everything from work to social life. Wife is mad because you forgot to do job X.  Solution write it down dummy. Client may be pissed as you didn’t...