It’s a new term
September marks the end of summer holidays, students are making a load of noise around the universities (and pubs), and businesses are getting back into work mode before Christmas brings the country to a halt again. Here’s a bunch of articles, links, tools and ideas to help you kick start the new term and get organised.
Organisation & Productivity
Often there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done and any tips to work smarter can help. Conversely, finding the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, especially for those of us without a boss to answer to can also be tricky.
Easy Ways to Make Sure Your Password’s Secure
There’s been a bunch of stories in the past few months of people having accounts hacked and sensitive details / photos / accounts accessed. Don’t let this happen to you - here’s some tips on how to create a secure password.
Productivity Quest: Ultra-Schedule
I heard Jessica speak at NAConf about the idea of “Procrastiworking” (full video here) where she talks about the ideas of loving what you work on, having creative outlets and finding value and meaning in your work. She’s also written an excellent article on squeezing that extra bit of productivity out of your day here.
How a password changed my life.
And while you’re changing your passwords, here’s quite a cute one too. If you’re into the whole “positive thinking” thing, this a very simple and effective way of using something as mundane as a password to bring about positive change in your life.
A little known hack from Japan to get your notebook organized
Quite a fun little one here - how to add clever tagging to a notebook; you know, one of those real life, tangible, pen and paper things you may have lying around. And it doesn’t even cost you anything.
Communication & Email
In theory, “Inbox zero” (reducing your inbox down to zero emails by deleting, archiving or categorising them) is a great idea, but for many it just isn’t going to happen… and that’s OK. But if you can’t beat email that way, here’s a couple more tricks to help you take control of your inbox.
In the same way Twitter’s 140 character limit has made people get more focused and direct with their messages, five sentences takes a similar approach to writing emails. Limiting emails to just five sentences forces you to be equally concise, clear and on topic in communicating with others - it’s not easy, but it is effective. Try it!
How To Write Emails That Will Actually Get A Response
Here’s some more tips on how to write clearer, more effective emails, covering the subject line, lists and deadlines.
Strategy & Marketing
If you’re setting up shop for the first time, knowing what you’re about and where you’re headed is vital to actually being effective and confident.
Write better walkthroughs with the 3x3 Method
This can apply very well to the product or service you may offer. This article explains an interesting method for distilling down what you do to the absolute essentials. From there, by all means spruce it up and make it pretty, but never forget what your core business is about.
Plan? There Is No Plan.
A long read from an experienced marketing person about the problem with elaborate marketing plans. The summary: Don’t bother with them - things never work out anyway! Instead, just focus on raising your profile - everything else comes out of that.
There’s loads of great tools and services out there and many of them are free - Google Drive, email, electronic calendars, Trello, Slack, social media and so on. Here’s a few things that are not worth skimping on.
Dropbox have recently upped the capacity of their Dropbox pro account giving users 1TB (meaning one terrabyte or 1000GB, or basically an obscene amount) of storage space for all your files, photos, music and so on - perfect for keeping all your work documents, invoices, tax records safe and securely synced across all your work machines. As well as accessing all your files from any computer, tablet or smartphone, you can undo deletes, have fine control over sharing these files with other users and remotely wipe any device should it get stolen. Full article on what’s new here.
This service has so many tools in it I’ve no idea how I’d run Moogaloo without it. Everything from creating a project, assiging it to a contact, logging time for individual tasks right through to sending out branded invoices to the client and checking when it gets paid into your bank account, FreeAgent manages your book keeping effortlessly. On top of that you can log expenses and bills, send out recurring invoices and automate email replies, do your payroll, keep track of cashflow and even submit your tax return.
The first month is free and after that costs £15-£25 / month depending on your company type. To get a lifetime 10% discount, use this here referral code.
Websites are one of those cases of “you get what you pay for”.
Shameless self promotion here - get yourself a damn good website! Your website is your space on the internet - it should reflect you and your brand, it should be easy for both you and your customers to use and it should be built from the outset to make your business more successful. When a website does all that, you have confidence in it - you’ll want to show it off, knowing that it sets you apart from your competition.
It should also get you tangible results, as we’ve found with a whole variety of happy clients, for example:
- A 100% increase in new customer contacts.
- Top of the first page of Google (for search terms actually relevant to the clients market).
- Making back more than double the cost of the website in new business within 6 months after launch.
If you need to get yourself a website you’ll be proud of, get in touch.
…and that’s a wrap.
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