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What’s the biggest challenge facing you in business right now?

If you don’t read the rest of this article maybe just take 30 seconds to email me and send me an answer to that question. It’s possible I can locate something or know something that can help you. Or maybe one of my other clients can; the power of networking is invaluable!

Seminar Update

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If you missed the seminar we will be holding a repeat one. However we are aware Wednesday mornings are not good for a lot of people. We are also prepared to come and do a customised version directly with customers and their staff for a flat fee.

Contact us now if you want to do this for Your Business

Windows 10 Specifications

More and more information is coming out around Windows 10 and the specifications have now been released for the upgrade. There potentially will be deprecations of applications and features. The official Windows 10 Specifications page lists the minimum requirements for hardware and also lists all the potential issues.

WARNING! At this stage if you are running a small business network with a server we don’t recommend upgrading to Windows 10 yet. If you are running individual PCS then there should be no problem, but I would recommend either doing it on a non-critical machine first or asking us to assist. Finally you should have a Microsoft ID before upgrading. Windows 8 users will likely already have one but Windows 7 users might not.

Talk to us first if you are not sure about updating to Windows 10.

Office Shortcut Keys

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Learning to use Office applications effectively is critical for information workers. So many hints and tips are out there it is sometimes hard to know where to start. Even the little ones we provide in these newsletters or online are just a drop in the bucket.

Today we are going to show you a bunch of really effective short cut keys that we use regularly and that once mastered will speed up your use of Excel. Print these out maybe and put them near your screen. I have highlighted the best ones that are my constant use Go Tos.

Keys for moving and scrolling in a worksheet or workbook

Arrow keys: Move one cell up, down, left, or right

CTRL+arrow: key Move to the edge of the current data region
HOME: Move to the beginning of the row
CTRL+HOME: Move to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL+END: Move to the last cell on the worksheet, which is the cell at the intersection of the rightmost used column and the bottom-most used row (in the lower-right corner), or the cell opposite the home cell, which is typically A1
PAGE DOWN: Move down one screen
PAGE UP: Move up one screen
ALT+PAGE DOWN: Move one screen to the right
ALT+PAGE UP: Move one screen to the left
CTRL+PAGE DOWN: Move to the next sheet in the workbook
CTRL+PAGE UP: Move to the previous sheet in the workbook
CTRL+F6 or CTRL+TAB: Move to the next workbook or window
CTRL+SHIFT+F6 or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous workbook or window
F6: Move to the next pane in a workbook that has been split
SHIFT+F6: Move to the previous pane in a workbook that has been split
CTRL+BACKSPACE: Scroll to display the active cell
F5: Display the Go To dialog box
SHIFT+F5: Display the Find dialog box
SHIFT+F4: Repeat the last Find action (same as Find Next)
TAB: Move between unlocked cells on a protected worksheet

Keys for moving in a worksheet with End mode on

END: Turn End mode on or off
END, arrow key: Move by one block of data within a row or column
END, HOME: Move to the last cell on the worksheet, which is the cell at the intersection of the rightmost used column and the bottom-most used row (in the lower-right corner), or the cell opposite the home cell, which is typically A1
END, ENTER: Move to the last cell to the right in the current row that is not blank; unavailable if you have selected the Transition navigation keys check box on the Transition tab (Tools menu, Options command)

Keys for entering data on a worksheet

ENTER: Complete a cell entry and move down in the selection
ALT+ENTER:
Start a new line in the same cell
CTRL+ENTER:
Fill the selected cell range with the current entry
SHIFT+ENTER:
Complete a cell entry and move up in the selection
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER:
Enter an array formula (must be used when editing an existing array formula)
TAB:
Complete a cell entry and move to the right in the selection
SHIFT+TAB:
Complete a cell entry and move to the left in the selection
ESC:
Cancel a cell entry
BACKSPACE:
Delete the character to the left of the insertion point, or delete the selection
DELETE:
Delete the character to the right of the insertion point, or delete the selection
CTRL+DELETE:
Delete text to the end of the line
Arrow keys:
Move one character up, down, left, or right
HOME:
Move to the beginning of the line
F4 or CTRL+Y:
Repeat the last action
SHIFT+F2: Edit a cell comment
CTRL+SHIFT+F3:
Create names from row and column labels
CTRL+D:
Fill down
CTRL+R:
Fill to the right
CTRL+F3:
Define a name

Keys for working in cells or the formula bar

BACKSPACE: Edit the active cell and then clear it, or delete the preceding character in the active cell as you edit cell contents
ENTER: Complete a cell entry
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER: Enter a formula as an array formula
ESC: Cancel an entry in the cell or formula bar
CTRL+A: Display the Formula Palette after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+SHIFT+A: Insert the argument names and parentheses for a function after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+K: Insert a hyperlink
ENTER (in a cell with a hyperlink): Activate a hyperlink
F2: Edit the active cell and position the insertion point at the end of the line
F3: Paste a defined name into a formula
SHIFT+F3: Paste a function into a formula
F9: Calculate all sheets in all open workbooks
CTRL+ALT+F9: Calculate all sheets in the active workbook
SHIFT+F9: Calculate the active worksheet
= (equal sign): Start a formula
ALT+= (equal sign): Insert the AutoSum formula
CTRL+; (semicolon): Enter the date
CTRL+SHIFT+: (colon): Enter the time
CTRL+SHIFT+" (quotation mark): Copy the value from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
CTRL+` (single left quotation mark): Alternate between displaying cell values and displaying cell formulas
CTRL+' (apostrophe): Copy a formula from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar
ALT+DOWN ARROW: Display the AutoComplete list

Keys for editing data

F2: Edit the active cell and put the insertion point at the end of the line
ESC: Cancel an entry in the cell or formula bar
BACKSPACE: Edit the active cell and then clear it, or delete the preceding character in the active cell as you edit the cell contents
F3: Paste a defined name into a formula
ENTER: Complete a cell entry
CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER: Enter a formula as an array formula
CTRL+A: Display the Formula Palette after you type a function name in a formula
CTRL+SHIFT+A: Insert the argument names and parentheses for a function, after you type a function name in a formula
F7: Display the Spelling dialog box

Keys for inserting, deleting, and copying a selection

CTRL+C: Copy the selection
CTRL+X: Cut the selection
CTRL+V: Paste the selection
DELETE: Clear the contents of the selection
CTRL+HYPHEN: Delete the selection
CTRL+Z: Undo the last action
CTRL+SHIFT+PLUS SIGN: Insert blank cells

Keys for selecting cells, columns, or rows

CTRL+SHIFT+* (asterisk): Select the current region around the active cell (the current region is a data area enclosed by blank rows and blank columns)
SHIFT+arrow key: Extend the selection by one cell
CTRL+SHIFT+arrow key: Extend the selection to the last nonblank cell in the same column or row as the active cell
SHIFT+HOME: Extend the selection to the beginning of the row
CTRL+SHIFT+HOME: Extend the selection to the beginning of the worksheet
CTRL+SHIFT+END: Extend the selection to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner)
CTRL+SPACEBAR: Select the entire column
SHIFT+SPACEBAR: Select the entire row
CTRL+A: Select the entire worksheet
SHIFT+BACKSPACE: Select only the active cell when multiple cells are selected
SHIFT+PAGE DOWN: Extend the selection down one screen
SHIFT+PAGE UP: Extend the selection up one screen
CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR: With an object selected, select all objects on a sheet
CTRL+6: Alternate between hiding objects, displaying objects, and displaying placeholders for objects
CTRL+7: Show or hide the Standard toolbar
F8: Turn on extending a selection by using the arrow keys
SHIFT+F8: Add another range of cells to the selection; or use the arrow keys to move to the start of the range you want to add, and then press F8 and the arrow keys to select the next range

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Office products more effectively. Training your staff in how to use their computers more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive.

Call us today!

Social Media Images Sizes

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There are so many different social media platforms and they all have different recommended image sizes for use in the header, profile pic and content. It can be very difficult working out what size to use where. Getting it wrong can mean that images don’t display correctly, scale badly, crop text or logos from the image or worse. We actually use a spreadsheet tool we have developed to identify the correct sizes for to convert images to for each platform as well as many other regular formats such as A4 portrait and landscape, DL flyers, business cards and more. If you struggle with this talk to us and we can help. In the meantime this website gives you a great cheat sheet for social media image sizes on some of the more popular platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest) and the sizes to use for headers, profile pics and inline content.

Ask us for help with developing great images with text overlays for your social media advertising and web content

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

1504022FC-Q4-promo-A4x4_1.inddDid you know we are FlexiRent and FlexiCommercial providers? That means that if you are interested in leasing new computer equipment we can not only supply, build and configure it but you can also lease it through us. And if you prefer a Finance lease (talk to your accountant) we are also partners with Microsoft Financing. All you need is one qualifying Microsoft product and they can finance the whole deal. T&Cs apply obviously.

Seminar News

If you have a business website then you probably want to come to this seminar. And if you want to improve your sales skills then you definitely want to come!

Jerrod D. Smith (aka the Attitude Coach) will be providing some real hands on mini workshops that will give you selling skills you can take away and use straight away.

Tim from Jethro will be helping you analyse your website for its selling effectiveness as well as providing some excellent productivity tips.

We are still finalising the location – expect it to be in the Strathpine or Brendale area. Get in and buy your tickets now. We will be providing refreshments – and our 100% money back guarantee applies as well!

Register now and buy your ticket at https://jethroseminar4.eventbrite.com

Windows 10 Free Update can be reserved now

GetStartedApp_Image_1xMicrosoft have today announced that you can reserve the upgrade from your computer. Make sure your PC is up to date and you should see a small Windows Icon in your taskbar.

Click on it, then Click “Reserve your free upgrade” in the app window. Enter your email if you want a confirmation of this reservation. That’s it. There’s no obligation and you can cancel your reservation at any time.

Talk to us first if you are not sure about updating to Windows 10.

Using Windows 8.1 Search to search everything

Did you know you can search the web right from your desktop? Windows 8.1 has search built right into it. Try it now. Click the Start button (or the Windows Key on your keyboard (it’s the one between CTRL and ALT)

The windows start tile screen will display.

Simply start typing. This opens up a whole range of powerful options:

This is the fastest way to open an application. E.g. type Word – and Word 2013 will show up – probably before you even finish typing it.

This is a really fast way to locate documents you can’t remember where they were saved. (Even I do that!) Type a keyword from the document title or in its content and then hit enter.

For example I searched “attitude”

win 8_1 search example attitude

The first column displays the documents containing the word attitude in them. There is a link to all 1060 documents there as well which will open a desktop search of my system.

The second column displays images with the word attitude in them. There’s also a link to the other 72 images. And it seems I have some jazz music with attitude in the title.

The next columns over are web searches for the word attitude. Try it with your favourite band. Here’s my search for Led Zeppelin.

The first page shows my local search and includes Xbox music and video links to online content.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 1

Scrolling right (down using the mouse scroll wheel) shows me more web searches for music, images, videos official sites and other search information.

win 8_1 search example led zeppelin 2

This is a really powerful research tool when working on a document or project. Show your kids at least when helping them with their homework!

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Windows more effectively. Training your staff in how to use their computers and tablets more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Google Mobile Friendly Website Check

mobile friendlyBecause we care about how well your business performs, especially how it ranks on search engines, we wanted to reach out and let you know that if your website is not deemed to be mobile friendly by Google, from 21 April, Google will not rate your website well in their search engine results for local search.

We've already reached out individually to many of our clients that have mobility issues, supplying them with a report from Google showing them evidence of these issues and encouraging them to do something about it.

The fact of the matter is, sites designed pre 2013 aren't mobile friendly, so if you had a website built by us or somebody else prior to this date, it is a high chance that your website is not mobile friendly!

Not sure if it is or not? Go to this helpful link to find out.

Discovered it’s not mobile friendly and need to get it sorted? Contact us now. Do you want a brand new mobile responsive website? We can provide that for you as well.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

Web design seems to be considered rocket science and a mythical art form by many small business people, who simply have no understanding of what’s involved. What is worse there are numerous web developers and design agencies that continue to perpetuate this myth, charge exorbitant amounts of money and deliver poor results. Ok the websites might look spectacular, but for a small business (any business actually) results mean delivering sales.

So lets get started. I’m going to debunk several myths, try and explain the methodologies that should be used in web design and give business owners some empowering questions that they can use to either vet potential developers or quiz their existing one.

This article isn’t intended to be a rant at either business owners or developers, but to simply try and help both achieve their goals. Business owners want a cost effective investment in a website and developers want to be paid fairly for what they do.

First lets start from a business perspective. Unfortunately it seems the majority of web developers do not do this.

A websites primary function is to do one of three things.

  • For an e-commerce (shopping) site it should provide a seamless experience for a customer to enact a transaction and the business owner to fulfil the order and meet all accounting requirements. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of goods sold as a direct cost. Sales less direct costs = gross profit. Simple formula to work out the profitability of a site.
  • A brochure-ware (usually just a few static pages – about, contact, products and services) site’s primary reason for existence is to simply state who you are and how to contact you. It should if done right have as good as possible SEO and you should be able to measure the number of enquiries received from the site. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.
  • A educational and news site (often utilising a blog) is really just a better brochure-ware site with more opportunity for SEO and also social engagement. Blog and news posts can be constructed to deliver keyword searches, and generate enquiries and contact for your products and services. The cost of the site and its ongoing upkeep and maintenance should be factored into the cost of acquiring these new customers with a ratio of customers won over total enquiries.

A business MUST approach this with the same business intelligence they would approach any other marketing or advertising opportunity. The marginal gain from new customers MUST be more than the overall cost – or the ROI is negative. No one is in business to lose money. Yet it seems common-sense decisions go out the window when choosing a web developer. A web developer should be able to help a business make the decision based on the economic value of the site to the business. And a business owner (who wouldn’t employ a sales assistant to stand in a corner doing nothing) shouldn’t be buying an expensive selling tool only to leave it standing in the corner doing nothing. To be fair to web developers many business owners are their own worst enemies here and do not understand this paragraph. Thus they allow developers to charge way to much for ineffective websites that do not produce $ results.

Understanding the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

SDLC chart

Unfortunately it seems many developers also have forgotten this – or conveniently ignore it when talking to gullible business owners (of which there are plenty waiting to have their wallets lightened). I’m not going to explain the SDLC in depth here – use Google or Bing for that!

While some take a waterfall approach to design, the more accurate approach is the circle – with an ongoing cycle that can span years.

As a minimum I would expect a web developer to follow this basic outline – and for a business owner to be prepared to pay on these approximate milestones.

  1. Requirements Analysis and Design. If a business owner is not able to do this themselves then they should definitely be prepared to pay their developer to assist them to do this. Setting out up front the goals for the site, the functional requirements and the actual stages of development provide a sound platform that any competent developer can then quote to – giving the business owner the ability to play the field. A good business analyst will develop a design requirement that they can quote to as well as any other developers.
  2. Initial development – usually a 50% or similar deposit is required to get the large amount of backend work completed. Host setup, often domain registration and business name registration, graphic design and image and other site asset compilation and generation, back end configuration and very importantly documentation.
  3. Go Live. the point where the site is up and running and visible to the public. At this point all social media connections should be made, search engine optimisation complete (for what is there now)
  4. Ongoing maintenance. This is all too forgotten component. Web software is constantly being updated and patched for security issues, additional features, bug elimination and so on. It should cost less with a good Maintenance Service Level Agreement (SLA) to keep o a site updated than to repair it when something goes wrong or to to do a massive number of major upgrades several years later.

Theming – function and form.

While it is possible to have function and form, e.g. great looking websites that provide great UI for the user as well as looking great, it has to be said function is more important than form. If budget is a consideration than definitely drop theming and focus on function. its not good having a snazzy looking website with poor navigation, difficult shopping cart completion etc. These days a professional quality theme can be purchased for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla for around US$50 and a good developer should be able to configure that to suit your site in 1-2 hours. And to be honest if you are a small business owner looking to invest less than $5K into a website than there is no reason to choose anything other than one of these solutions. They are popular for a reason.

Finally great content beats pretty graphics every time. People will be attracted to your business by what you say not what you look like.

So what can a business owner do to ensure they don’t get ripped off?

First, understand your own business, and set goals for the website. What does it need to do to assist your business grow, attract customers, sell products and so on? What results do you need to measure this by? And over how long? Calculate your own ROI.

Second, ensure that the web developers you are looking at can answer these questions:

  • Can you assist me to develop a requirements specification that i can take to any web developer for quoting?
  • What measurement tools can you put in place to ensure that my goals for this site are being measured?
  • What stages of development do you require payment on?
  • What is the total component cost of my site in theming?
  • What documentation do you provide?
  • What training do you provide and how much does it cost for additional training?

Authors note and disclaimer. We have been developing software and websites for over 20 years. While we approach all our clients development needs with best practice in mind, many clients choose to cut costs by cutting corners, don’t complete projects and in many cases don’t choose to follow all our advice. That is their prerogative.

Did you know that if you save newsletter emails into Outlook then all the text is indexed? That means if you search in outlook for anything mentioned in a newsletter you will find it. You don’t even have to read it now! You can save all your newsletter emails from me or anyone else into a “Research” folder and the content will be a resource for you to search whenever you need to know something.

Stop the Chance of Losing your Cloud Data

2010-01-26 Eggs 009

You probably know the adage “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. Well it applies to your data as well. Don’t keep all your data in one cloud!

Your cloud data may be vulnerable to loss or corruption. Most of the “free” services have had failures at some point. Making sure you have numerous points of backup including physical backups is very important. In addition ensuring that you have the right security settings in place for data shared with staff or other people is critical.

There is a very good cloud backup service also called CloudHQ We use this to backup various cloud services from one to another. For example Evernote is backed up to OneDrive, and Box is backed up to Google Drive. For a small cost of US$99 a year that’s great peace of mind.

SharePoint is an even better solution. Microsoft’s multi geo-location data storage system ensures that your data is replicated in multiple data centres around the world and the OneDrive for Business application syncs your SharePoint libraries to your local machines.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current data storage and how to ensure that you are protected against data loss in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 Free Update Clarification

Some more clarification around the free update offer:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year. After the first year, upgrades will be purchased.
  • Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices upgrade to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices upgrade to Windows 10 Pro
  • If upgraded within the first 12 months following launch, the device will receive ongoing Windows 10 updates for free for the life of that device
  • The free Windows 10 upgrade is delivered through Windows Update; domain-joined machines can manually get the update via Windows Update. The upgrade cannot be deployed through WSUS.

outlook ignore conversationTypically business users should not be using the retail versions (e.g. Windows Home Basic or Premium). If you have devices in your network that are incorrectly licensed please talk to us about fixing that. There is simple way to upgrade to Pro now inside Windows 8 in order to qualify for the correct version of Windows 10.

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

5 Quick Tips in Microsoft Office

Fast tips following:

  1. Ignore a conversation in Outlook by right clicking the email and clicking Ignore. Note all further emails in this conversation thread will be deleted.
  2. Instant calculation in OneNote – simply type a formula in OneNote followed by a = and a space and the answer will be calculated for you. E.g. 3*sqrt(pi)= .
  3. In OneNote you can dock the pages list to the left by changing one option in the display options. Click File and Options, Display and then tick the option for Page tabs appear on the left.onenote display options
  4. In Excel quickly see options for your chart data by using the quick preview feature. Select your data to chart, then click Insert and Recommended Charts to see the quick previewsexcel recommend charts
  5. In OneDrive start a quick survey that can be shared easily with people and the answers will come back into Excel for you to analyse. Take my Favourite food and drink survey to see what it looks like. Here’s how to do it. From OneDrive online click New and Excel Survey. Follow the prompts to create your survey and then share it.onedrive new excel survey

Let us know if you like these tips or want to know how to use any of the Microsoft Office Products more effectively. Training your staff in how to use office more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Sales and Website Seminar

Jerrod Smith is the Attitude Coach. If you haven’t heard him speak then you must come along to this seminar just for that. An experienced Sales Professional, Jerrod is going to provide a number of key resources and skills for improving your businesses sales by adjusting your company’s attitude! And Tim from Jethro will be providing some productivity hints and tips as well as a couple of short sessions on web marketing and digital strategy.

Book your tickets for this event now – the location is still to be determined but it will be somewhere in Pine Rivers / Moreton Shire. The cost is $79 per person and includes refreshments. Time is 7am to 9am on the 10th June.

Book Now

2 hour seminar flyer_rev_01

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

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Did you know that email newsletter campaigns are more effective than any social media campaign as a way to grow your business? If you want help writing and sending newsletters like these that you can send to your mailing list then just talk to Tim today. Let me know if these are useful for you – and if you have a burning “how the heck do I do that?” question then ask that as well and we can write about it next newsletter.

Advance Notice

We will be running a Seminar early June with Jerrod D. Smith Attitude Coach. Pre-register your interest as we expect to sell out early as seats are limited to 25

Cloud Management Tips – Accounting systems

One of the easiest places to find potential time and therefore cost savings is in shifting your business accounting into the cloud. There are numerous advantages, but also some things to watch out for.

Advantages of cloud accounting

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some of the more popular features that most cloud accounting packages will offer or use as promotional or sales features:

  • Access to your data anywhere on any device (note this isn’t always true – many do not have apps that work on all mobile platforms and many have plugins that are also similarly hampered.)
  • Access to your accountant for live data review. Not having to close off your accounts, send them to your accountant and then wait for them to finish with them before carrying on working (or go and make the same end of year journals they just made) is a huge advantage. Your accountant can login (usually free) and make the changes while you can continue to operate.
  • Up to the minute reporting. This sounds good but isn’t necessarily so. As a management accountant for many years I know the danger of providing inaccurate data to business owners. GIGO or Garbage in garbage out is a software development acronym that also applies to Accounting packages. If you don’t have all the data entered in correctly then the reports you might be relying on could be inaccurate.
  • Licensing cost means updates are “free” and you are only paying an easy monthly fee. This has a catch for some systems – if you stop paying – your stop having access to your data. Some systems have offline data, others will allow you to download into excel. But this can catch people out so make sure you choose the right package.

So how can you choose? We are partners with Financials for Office 365 so our advice could be biased but we can certainly give you some broad level advice as to which package might or might not be right for you. However for true unbiased advice feel free to get in touch with one of our customers Dianne Kennedy from Small Business Know How on 07 3343 3796.

We can sit down with you and talk about your current accounting system and how to migrate this into the cloud in the most cost effective and efficient manner. Call to discuss today on 0414 770 002.

Windows 10 is Nearly here – crazy amount of news being released

Windows 10 will be released later this year. And if you upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 in the first year from its release you will get the upgrade free*.

I'm not going to try and talk about everything Windows 10 related that has happened in the last 2 weeks. There’s been an avalanche of news both from Microsoft itself and also from the media speculation and hype growing around release dates, inclusions and exclusions and so on.

w10-solitaire

Here are a few key points:

  • We are telling customers to hold off on Win 8.1 upgrades now. There is no point in spending money on that when the Win 10 upgrade from Win 7 will apparently be free and “painless”. Of course we will be testing that thoroughly before we start assisting our customers to upgrade. However if you want to be a test dummy then feel free to let us know. There is a 12 month free upgrade deadline from release date so you do need to factor that in.
  • The new apps store will include carrier billing – that means not having to enter credit card details on a mobile device – it will bill your mobile carrier instead. And there’s a rumour that iOS and Android apps will be ported into the store.
  • A release date was “leaked” for July – still not confirmed officially but seems pretty likely. A second release of October will likely be for the first major refresh with features that didn’t make the cut in July being implemented in this one.
  • Solitaire is back – hooray! The best time waster of all. Where is the productivity tip here?

If you are interested in previewing Windows 10 we can show you some devices with it running and then talk about when your business will migrate to Windows 10 and take advantage of the under the hood features that will make your staff more productive.

*Doesn’t apply to customers running Windows Enterprise or on Software Assurance.

Office 365 Introduces Outlook Clutter Feature

o365-clutterClutter is a new feature being progressively rolled out to Office365 customers. If you want to try it ask me and we can see if it is available for you and turn it on. It is turned on organisation wide but off by default and needs to be enabled per user account.

How Clutter works

Clutter learns from your actions to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. As less important messages arrive, they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder. Clutter does this by leveraging Office Graph’s sophisticated machine learning techniques to determine which messages are Clutter. It gets smarter over time, learning from your prior actions with similar messages, and assessing things like the type of content and even how you are addressed in the message. The Clutter experience is personalized to each individual and reflects an email experience that adapts to your actions and preferences without you having to do anything. The information Clutter learns from each user’s actions are only applied to that user’s experience and are not shared with anyone else.

More info here http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/de-clutter-inbox-office-365/

Let us know if you get a lot of email per day. There are smart ways to work with your inbox that can help save you time and money. Training your staff in how to use email more efficiently and effectively is a small investment that can make them more productive. Call us today!

Using Absolute References in Excel

Excel uses a powerful vector system for managing formulas. Each cell can be linked to many others using formulas. In a simple way of explaining this, 2 cells can be added together in a third cell using a formula that references them. Most people do not know how to use absolute references to speed up their formula development time, and ensure accuracy of formulas in a table. I have a comprehensive article online detailing what they are as well as how to use them. Read all the instructions on how to use absolute references in your formulas at http://spyjournal.biz/back-basics-using-absolute-references-excel

If you want to know more about using some of the more powerful functions in Excel to improve your productivity then give us a call.

Google Mobile Friendly Test – do you pass?

 

In case you haven’t heard the biggest thing in recent times in search engine optimisation happened back on 21 April 2015 (22nd for Australia). Google implemented a major search engine ranking algorithm change for mobile search. With a huge rise in the use of mobile devices for search, and the high likelihood of local search using these devices it makes sense for Google to deliver localised results. However they are now saying for a mobile user the results should be optimised for the mobile device. So if your site is not optimised for mobile (passes the mobile friendly test) then it will automatically drop down the rankings in preference of sites that are friendly.

Test your site today https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Enter your domain name.

If you fail the test talk to us about if you even need to pass. And if you do then we can work out the most cost effective way for you to achieve that. It doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars.

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As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

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