Google Calendar Archives - Duct Tape Marketing
Find a Consultant Become a Consultant

Tag Archives for " Google Calendar "

21

7 Virtual Collaboration Tools I Use Daily

Collaboration, outsourcing, and virtual workforces perhaps started out as trendy, but by now, they’re here to stay. As companies look for ways to work more efficiently and cut overhead costs, they transition away from the traditional business model and embrace the idea of a remote workforce. This past year, 53 million workers identified as a part of the gig economy.

Low overhead is one of the competitive advantages of small businesses. Each new technology that allows these businesses to stay lean, getting work done without taking on additional employees, is a major benefit.

Today I would like to share seven of the tools that I use every day, without fail. Some you may have used, some may be new to you. Most are free, some I pay for. (I would pay for the free ones, but they don’t ask me to).

Dropbox

These guys are one of the giants in online file storage and sharing. It’s simply a high powered FTP site, but the interface and workflow is great. I use a desktop application from Dropbox that allows me to drag files to the application, which automatically stores the content online. I can share folders with anyone, and when they upload files they appear on my desktop. I can even set up public folders, that way anyone can send large files without clogging up email.

Basecamp

This is an online project management tool that allows you to set up projects with collaborators and customers. From there, you can manage all manner of communication, file and document sharing, and chat. I use this with the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network as a form of intranet.

Gmail

It’s very possible that you have a personal Gmail account; after all, they hold 20 percent of the global email market. But their business email offerings are not to be ignored. It’s just a big, fat, free email service, but I love the way it works and takes advantage of being fully online. You can run your own domain through Gmail (I use it to send, as I don’t have to worry about my local ISP quirks when I travel). Plus, it’s easy to create multiple profiles for all your various rolls in life.

Slack

Slack is a cloud-based instant messaging system that makes collaboration amongst distributed teams a total breeze. There are direct messaging features, plus the option to create channels for specific topics or projects—a place where the team can share messages, tools, and files. I love that they have thoughtful features that come in handy with a team that’s working from afar, like an icon to notify you if a particular colleague is outside of business hours in their current time zone.

Asana

Asana is a project management tool that makes it easy for teams to track projects, manage deadlines, measure progress, and stay in touch. You can create teams on the dashboard and assign them to specific long-term projects within the platform. Then, for each team, you create projects and subtasks and assign them to specific colleagues with due dates attached. Basically, it’s a hub that helps you keep everyone on the same page, and because it’s easy to track how things are progressing, it allows team leaders to step in when there’s a tiny hiccup before it becomes a major issue.

Loom

Distributed teams need a great way to share ideas and information quickly and clearly. Sometimes an email just won’t cut it—there’s either too much to say, or it won’t come across as clearly as if you could show what you’re talking about. Enter Loom. The tool allows you to record screens and video, which means it’s now easy to do things like walk your virtual workers through a new process for assigned tasks. And beyond using it for your team, you can create 1:1 videos for prospects a customers, which is a great way to build trust and give people the personalized experience they want from your business!

Google Calendar

Another Google tool, I know, but I like setting up calendars and sharing them with collaborators. I can also set these calendars up to produce RSS feeds, so I can publish them in cool ways to websites and have anyone I give access to produce content for those sites. Finally, the calendar seamlessly syncs with desktop and phone calendars, meaning I never miss an appointment or call.

I know there are lots of great tools out there to do everything I’ve mentioned above. Take the time to research your options, and settle on the one that works best with your team’s style of doing things. But whatever you do, don’t try to manage a distributed team without the proper tools to keep you working at your highest possible level.

10 Did Google Just Create the Click to Schedule Ad Unit

The GMail blog team announced what looks like a much needed enhancement to Google Calendar this week called appointment slots.

This functionality allows anyone to create a public showing calendar offering up times when appointments are available. The idea is that people can visit your calendar and schedule a haircut or consulting session any time day or night.

Services such Tungle, Doodle and TimeBridge were created in some ways to fill this obvious gap. (Although they offer much functionality for, say team scheduling, you do have to wonder how hard this will hit them.)

Once the service is rolled out to all users you’ll see an extra link with the schedule box pops open that allows you to schedule blocks of time that are open for appointments. Choosing this function essentially creates another calendar and since every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL directly to friends and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.

Google Appointment slots

Right now, one major limitation appears to be the both the owner of the calendar and those scheduling an appointment must use Google Calendar – not such a big deal for internal teams, but likely a deal killer for a hair salon.

However, think about the implications of Google creating a “Click to Schedule” function for AdWords units, Places Pages, and Review Pages like those in HotPot. For many industries this could be a game changing kind of social action and another big revenue generator for Google.

From a local business standpoint it gives Google another lever into the transaction while adding functionality for both buyer and seller.

12 3 Reasons to Use Twistory for Business

First off, what is twistory? Twistory is a twitter mashup that gives you a view of the backlog of your tweets, but with a twist. Your tweet history can be added to most online and desktop calendars. Setting up an ical or Google calendar is as simple as clicking on a button. On top of creating an archive of your tweets that goes back as far as you like, it also creates a visual display of your tweet activity that can provide insight into your use of twitter as an individual or organization.

twist

Screengrab of twistory in Google calendar. (Click to enlarge.)

Here are 3 reasons I think businesses should employ this simple tool.

1) It’s hard to make, or at least realize, improvements in any skill unless you have a baseline to measure your current activity against. This includes your writing and engagement in social platforms like twitter. Twistory gives you the ability look back at your early tweeting activity and measure your improved use. I think this may be bigger than people realize.

2) I tweet my thoughts (every once in a while something intelligent) and sometimes those thoughts are kernels of much bigger ideas that I might want to capture in a blog post or article. The archive allows me to scan through everything I thought was tweet worthy, including links to sites I might need to visit again, in a very user friendly and familiar week by week view.

3) Using a shared calendar, such as Google, an organization could use twistory to pull everyone’s tweets together on a timeline for easy viewing and monitoring as well as (if this met your objectives) scheduling. If you use twitter to provide customer support this might be a way to collect somewhat common questions and answers for training and static content placement.

There’s something about the visual presentation of data that makes it immediately more useful to me.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

18 The New Marketer’s Toolbox

toolsMore than once those that follow what I do have asked me how I seem to get so much done in a day. I have to admit that I get a lot of help from the man behind the curtain and from you my readers and subscribers. That’s the part that many don’t see, but the rich set of, often free, tools out there now make it much easier to run your business and increase your productivity.

I use a power set of tools throughout the day to write, collaborate, bookmark, filter, find and conduct commerce. Here is my current list of favorites, although like so much on the Internet, some of these could change in the blink of an eye.

Google Alerts – Free service from Google allows you to conduct customer searches for your brand, competitors, industry mentions, and journalists and have any mention of these terms online sent to your email inbox on a daily or as it happens basis. Key tool for monitoring your reputation in real time but it can also serve as a great client relationship building tool as well.

Central Desktop – I use this tool to collaborate with providers and clients alike. The set of features and flexibility from this tool is incredible. I was a hard core Basecamp fan, and still am, but Central Desktop just does so much more. You can manage projects, teams and schedules, but my favorite use is the built in WYSIWYG wiki editor. I use this to build web based operations manuals and document processes for my team.

Google Reader – I subscribe to and scan and read about 100 blogs and think you should too. I get some great ideas, hear about the next new thing, and find tools like I ‘ve listed here by adhering to this practice. Google Reader puts them all in one place and is very mobile browser friendly so I can jump on the site and read a few blogs any time I’m standing in line.

TweetDeck – This desktop application makes it very easy to keep up with what I want to follow on twitter. I create searches for key terms and form groups of people I want to follow closely. The tool also allows you to RT, tweet, DM, follow and unfollow directly from the interface. A mobile app is available as well.

Firefox – Firefox is, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, simply a browser, but it’s so much more due to the fact that you can extend its functionality through plug-ins and add-ons. I use it subscribe, blog, bookmark, filter and aggregate much of what I find online all day. I use it to help with web design, SEO and competitive analysis.

Flickr -In addition to optimizing and sharing images online I use the Creative Commons Licensing of images on Flickr to grab great photos for my daily blog posts. (I wrote about how to use Flickr for blog images here)

Snapz Pro X – This $29 software sits in the background and allows me to do screen grabs and video screencasts with the push of a few keys. There are free programs that can do some of this but the added editing and file format options of this program make it worth the money. I’m always adding screenshots in my blog posts and PowerPoint presentations.

Adium – I’m a pretty big fan of IM for internal office use as well as to use with my key collaborators. Adium is nice as it allows me to communicate with people using IM no matter if they are on Yahoo, AOL, Skype, or GTalk.

ScreenFlow Pro – Another paid program but this is simply the easiest, yet feature rich, video screen capture program I have ever used. I use it to turn many of my web and offline presentations into short movies to share on YouTube.

su.pr – This is a my tool of choice for much of my tweeting. When I use su.pr to post a tweet with a link it shortens the link but also sets up a rich set of tracking so that I can view how many view, retweets and mentions the tweet received. In addition, because the tool is part of the StumbleUpon network it gives me the opportunity to receive or send traffic from this network to the pages I link to.

Email Center Pro – This tool allows me to create mailboxes for departments of information, such as sales, service, media requests, etc. and then, if I choose, assign emails to those addresses to various internal and external resources to address. I can create responses to many common questions and allow anyone to interact from that department. In addition, I can see the entire archive of any of the discussion threads that might occur in any conversation from a dashboard. Great customer service tool.

Jott – This tool allows me to use my phone to “jott” a message that is transcribed and sent to my email. I use this all of the time when I am driving along and am hit with a thought for a blog post. Additionally, you can set-up groups and contacts on Jott so you can send anyone you set-up emails via your voice messages. You can post appointments to Google Calendar and, if you speak very slowly and use simple words, post tweets.

SimpleNote – Every morning I make a to-do list based on what I want to get done that day. I’ve been doing this for years and it keeps me productive. I started using note pads but now I use SimpleNote on my laptop because it is simple (duh) and it syncs to an online page and my phone so I can have access to my daily list no matter where and how I choose to access it.

WordPress – There are many ways to create websites and blogs but I just love WordPress. In addition to being one of the simplest ways to create and manage all your web pages and content, the developer community that creates add-ons, themes and tutorials is hard to beat. I encourage most businesses to use it for their entire site, it’s that good.

Google Analytics – Tracking traffic, trends, searches and conversions is a necessary and basic marketing tactic if you want to grow your business. Google’s free analytics package is a no brainer and can give you so much feedback you’ll wonder how you lived without it. Take the time to read and understand everything it can do and you will get even more. Combine it with Site Optimizer and you can begin to do the slightly more sophisticated A/B split testing and find out how to really fine tune your website.

InfusionSoft – I use Infusionsoft to run the CRM, ecommerce, email marketing and affiliate tracking aspects of my business. There are individual tools that do each of these functions quite well (In fact I also use ACT!, SwiftPage and Vertical Response), but Infusionsoft is the one tool that brings all of the functions under one roof. It’s not for everyone, but it is a nice tool that keeps getting better.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]