Top Five Online Services to make your 2018 a Business Success

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Having worked for myself for many many years, I welcome good services and tools that can make my job easier. Not only does it allow you to smile more at the end of the day, it also gives you some time back and I am sure everyone would admit to liking more time on their hands. I check out new online services regularly and would like to share my top five picks with you today.

I always need to send videos and other files to my clients, more or less on a daily basis. If you need to send files quickly and easily, to someone in the same workplace or to the other side of the world, Send Anywhere could be right up your street. Not only is this a free service, it allows you to send files with no maximum file size. Imagine being able to move files between your own devices when you get a new smartphone or laptop. Or perhaps you need to get that finished video over to a teammate for approval. This is no problem, using the simple web-driven interface. There’s even a WiFi Direct feature that allows you to send files without using data or the internet.

Another really cool use-case scenario relates to emails. Many email providers limit the maximum file size you can attach. With Send Anywhere that problem no longer exists, your file is presented to the recipient as a link which they simply click to download the attachment. Imagine that … email attachments with no limits. 

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Also worth noting is that you don’t even need to register to use this service. A simple six-digit key is all you need to get started. Did I mention that all file transfer from Send Anywhere are safely encrypted to ensure maximum security as well as privacy? With just six digits, you are ready to send your files anywhere, across mobile devices, desktop and the web.  

Intuit Quickbooks Self Employed is a real time saver for small business and especially sole traders. As a content creator myself, I used to spend hours doing my accounts and really hated it. Now my bank account is linked to Quickbooks, with all my transactions syncing across automatically. Nowadays, I just spend one hour per month reconciling my invoices and receipts. It even allows you to track mileage (another great saving on your tax bill) and invoice your customers too. When tax time comes around, help is at hand here with reports that help you file your tax return. It’s super easy to use and a real time saver.

Google Keep is relatively new to my collections of useful services. This allows you to make quick notes, checklists, audio memos, photos, screenshots and reminders. These are then saved to the cloud and accessible across multiple platforms, for example your Android or iOS smartphone and Windows and MacOS via your web browser.

MailChimp for keeping your customers informed is super powerful and it’s free at certain levels. The most simple explanation of this is an email subscription list service. You get your customers to subscribe to your list, then on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis (you decide), you can send them an email newsletter. This is very powerful, as you can update them on new services, special offers etc and it keeps you connected to your customer-base. On the free service you can have up to 2,000 subscribers and send a maximum 12,000 emails per month. You can even check how many of your customers actually opened your email newsletter too. 

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My wildcard service is indeed one you should definitely have heard of, but often overlooked as a business tool. Making your Instagram a business account, allows you to access very useful analytics about the photos you are sharing. A top tip here is to share photos that are not just trying to sell to your customers every single time. Sharing inspirational photographs, that have some relevance to what you do is important. Of equal importance is adding extra value to your followers (and potential customers). Making them smile once per day will make your company more personable and with clever planning can open many new doors for you.

You can download Send Anywhere here.

*Sponsored post. Opinions remain writer's own.

Glasscubes Collaboration and Project Management Software

Smart-minded creative groups, businesses, charities and other teams are all benefitting from the wave of cloud-based document sharing and project management tools that allow for remote working, team efficiency and major savings on costs.

In particular, there is a very special offering from Glasscubes, whose extremely intuitive and complete setup represents superb value to small and mid-sized businesses. 

So below you'll find a round up of why we at Geekanoids are so impressed with Glasscubes' solution for better collaboration.

• Cost The price structure for Glasscubes is the best in the industry. Even where alternative software packages offer a similar suite of high-quality tools for teamwork, there's no comparison when it comes to how the contracts are managed. Glasscubes provide huge flexibility to their customers (no fixed, long-term contracts), and huge storage at very low prices.

• Security Clearly this is an essential issue for any group that handles sensitive information. Glasscubes' infrastructure for storage and security is operated using 2048 bit encryptionand Interxion's data facility in the heart of London's financial centre.

• Workspaces The hub of a group's online interaction, the workspaces are customisable, and provide huge advantages over more traditional methods for exchanging information and files, messaging and project management. Conversations are threaded and avoid the problematic email experience of important pieces of information getting lost in a long chain of comments. Documents are version-controlled, which means individuals can always be sure that they are accessing or working on the correct amended version of a file. Meanwhile, tasks are reported and easily traced throughout a project's development.

• Customer services Glasscubes' UK-based technical support receives excellent feedback and reviews from customers. They provide email, online chat and telephone support to customers of all sizes (many companies will limit their support for customers that fall below a certain account-size threshold), with a super-quick 3-hour response time.

With such a powerful set of benefits to be gained from moving from a paper-led office culture to a smart online one, the opportunity to enhance a team's ability to interact, develop and close out projects with high-level collaboration software will be an exciting prospect for team leaders and business owners everywhere.

What Is Inventory Management Software?

As any new business grows, one can quickly find that sales, orders and deliveries become too much to handle with a simple spreadsheet. Sooner or later you need a more advanced system to keep track of what comes in and goes out - which is where inventory management systems (IMS) come into play.

There are a number of IMS to choose from and finding the right option for your business depends on a range of factors, namely, the size of your business, how much stock you typically have coming in and going out on a daily basis, your current IT network, and your budget.

What does inventory management software do?

Inventory management software is an application that helps you keep on top of your stock by tracking sales, orders and even material costs (for service-based businesses). The concept is quite simple: You never want to run out of stock, or order more than you need. However, in practice this can be much tougher than it sounds when you have surprise bulk orders, supplier issues or defect products come in.

Inventory management software means you always know what you have in stock, what is coming in, and what is going out. Let’s say your customer makes a bulk order for your biggest selling product. You don’t want to accept the order and then have to explain to your customer that you don’t have enough in stock. Or, worse, sell to another customer in the meantime after the goods have already been paid for.

With inventory management software you know exactly what stock you have on premises and when the next order is due. You can also set items aside as they’re sold, so you never have to worry about running out or selling the same product twice.

How to choose the right software

The right inventory management software for your business depends on your specific needs as a company. There is a wide range of free and paid options available, each with a variety of features to help you keep on track.

Some accounting packages like Quickbooks include inventory management features, while dedicated inventory applications like Inventory Pro focus entirely on your in-store stock. More advanced systems often include barcode/RFID scanning, custom pricing models and transfer management - but how useful these are depends on the nature of your business.

It’s not just about features when it comes to inventory management software, and just like any application, you’ll want a fine balance between features and efficiency. The whole point of this software is to avoid mistakes with your inventory so you don’t want a confusing or difficult system. And when you do run into difficulties you want to know you have a good support team available 24/7.

A system for every budget

With a wealth of inventory management software options available there is a package for just about every budget. The most expensive option isn’t always the best so check independent reviews before you commit to buy. And if you’re on a tight budget, just remember that investing more now could save you more in the future.

Mozilla abandons Firefox Metro version

Windows 8’s controversial Metro interface has received another blow today as Mozilla has revealed that after 2 years worth of development and testing that it is shelving the Metro based version of Firefox. Microsoft launched Windows 8 with a new Metro start screen 2 years ago and developer interest in the platform has been slow. The latest snub from Mozilla is not likely to help matters either. Microsoft have been trying to entice developers to write touch friendly apps for it’s new touch interface but so far the interest has been minimal.

Recently Microsoft announced details for Windows 8.1 update 1 which gives users the ability to boot straight to the desktop and bypass the Metro interface all together. Along with this update there will be an option to run metro based applications on the desktop and use the taskbar to switch between them. It seems even Microsoft isn’t sure what it want’s in regards to Windows 8 either. So it comes as no surprise that Mozilla decided it just wasn’t worth their while working on a Metro version of their browser.

In a blog post the vice president of Firefox said, "On any given day, we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we've never seen more than 1,000 active daily users in the Metro environment." The blog post goes on to explain that with so few people interested in this version that bug testing would take far too long as there were not enough people actively using the software to properly test it and squash bugs.

With such a big software developer giving a ‘vote of no confidence’ on Microsoft’s new interface you have to wonder what the future holds for Windows and how Microsoft will move on from this. The idea behind Metro was supposed to be to carry the Windows PC power into the tablet market, a very different strategy from Google and Apple’s approach, which expanded their smaller screen smartphone OSes to tablets. If software developers don't adopt to Metro, though, and stick only with the older "desktop" interface, it undermines Microsoft's strategy.

 

Apple issues iPhone and Apple TV updates

It's update time again as Apple has today released another minor update to iOS 7 that provides a fix to the SSL connection verification issues that people have been experiencing. The 7.0.6 update comes less than a month after Apple released the 7.0.5 update for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C users that fixed network issues affecting people in china. To update your devices open the settings app and navigate to the 'software update' option. If you prefer to update your device via iTunes you can connect your device to your Mac or PC and update there too. 

Apple have also been releasing beta versions of iOS 7.1 to developers over the last few months and is currently at 7.1.4 as of last week. Unlike today's minor update iOS 7.1 is a more feature rich release with major improvements to Mobile Device Management mass deployment system and possibly a new 'volume services' web client. It is expected that iOS 7.1 will be out of beta and available to the public towards the end of March. 

Alongside the iOS 7.1.6 update Apple also released an update for older devices by way of a 6.1.6 release which is available for iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch fourth generation which are unable to run iOS 7. 

Update:

Alongside today's updates for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Apple also released an update for Apple TV. The 6.0.2 update has been classed a stability and performance updates and can be downloaded via the devices settings menu. 

Microsoft launches Office Online

Hot off the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Skydrive had been successfully rebranded as OneDrive, Microsoft today announced Office Online which the company hopes will simplify it’s offering of office web applications. In a blog post explaining the changes Amanda Lefebvre explains "We heard from customers that the inclusion of Apps in our name was confusing,". She goes on to explain how customers were unsure of whether these apps were supposed to be installed rather than used online.

Today’s release of Office Online doesn’t bring with it any new features it’s all about making it clearer and simpler for customers to find the tools they need. The new website which can be found at office.com uses a simple tile layout to highlight all of the online office services that are available online. Together with the recently revamped OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) it’s clear that Microsoft is looking for a slice of the pie that Google has with it’s Drive and Docs service.

Microsoft is also working on putting all of it’s template systems for Word, Excel and Powerpoint into the Office Online service to make it easier for customers to easily get started with the help of hundreds of online templates. Whilst today’s improvements are quite minor in terms of new features, the changes should go a long way to making Microsoft’s Office applications much easier and simpler to use especially for new customers. For more information on today’s changes you can read the full announcement post on Office Blogs website.

 

HTC, Samsung release open source files for Google Play edition phones; KitKat OTAs should follow soon

Ten days ago, HTC announced it delivered the KitKat code for the HTC One Google Play edition, and that it was up to Google to push out the OTA release to users.

Now it appears that the OTA is on its way, as both HTC and Samsung have published the kernel source code and framework support files for the HTC One GPe and Galaxy S4 GPe, respectively. The files contain the open source component of the ROMs for the two devices, that HTC and Samsung have to release to the public, as per their GPL licensing....

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Some Nexus 4 users running into issues after installing KitKat

Last week the Android 4.4 KitKat OTA update finally started rolling out to Nexus 4 users, after a fairly long wait. Now that the update has arrived, it seems that some unfortunate Nexus 4 owners are reportedly experiencing issues including problems with the lockscreen, a broken dialer, a non-working home button, quick setting issues and more.

Not all of these issues are necessarily experienced all at once, with some folks reporting just one issue and others being plagued by several problems. Those that have ran into issues seem to have one thing in common — they used the OTA upgrade to go from Jelly Bean JWR66Y over to KRT16S...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 Beta to Developers

Apple has seeded the first beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 to developers. The release asks testers to focus on Mail, Graphics Drivers and VoiceOver, though there are no known issues with the release.

Earlier this month, Apple released a special update to Mavericks to address issues using Gmail with the Mail.app client built into the OS...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Apple Releases iOS 7.0.4 With Fix for FaceTime Call Issue

Apple today released iOS 7.0.4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, a minor update that includes a number of improvements and bug fixes for the operating system. According to Apple, the update repairs a bug that could cause FaceTime calls to fail for some users. 

Apple has also released iOS 6.1.5 for the fourth generation iPod touch, which fixes the same FaceTime issue. A new version 6.0.2 of the Apple TV software is also available, although it is unclear what has been changed...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Pebble Smart Watch Adds Support for All iOS 7 Notifications, New Developer SDK and APIs

Pebble today announced a significant update to its smart watch that allows any Notification Center alert to be pushed directly to the watch, a big improvement from the prior version which only allowed some notifications like calls and text messages to be sent.

Now, any iOS 7 notification -- whether from Facebook, Google Maps, Calendar or any other app -- will appear directly on the Pebble Smart Watch. The company also announced the next major version of the Pebble SDK for developers, including new APIs for Javascript, the accelerometer, data logging and persistent storage...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

Apple Releases iTunes 11.1.3 With Equalizer and Performance Improvements

Apple today released iTunes 11.1.3, two weeks after iTunes 11.1.2 and OS X Mavericks were first released. 

The update fixes issues with the equalizer and performance when switching views in large libraries. 

This version of iTunes resolves an issue where the equalizer may not work as expected and improves performance when switching views in large iTunes libraries. This update also includes additional minor bug fixes...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours