The Hall of Shame in Software Solutions

There are many excellent software solutions available to make life easy and business running smooth. The options are regularly discussed here, and the user has a variety to choose from. Great solutions are even available within a single business need, whether it is marketing, project management or bookkeeping. There are, however, many software creations from days gone by which imprinted terrible memories on everyone who ever had to struggle through the day after a frustrating day. Let’s look at some of the great achievers in the software Hall of Shame.

Norton Antivirus

There was a stage when it seemed that every office PC had a copy of this antivirus software created by Symantec installed to protect the valuable data from nasty virus infections. Norton had the cringing habit of almost bringing your computer’s operating speed to a halt. It scanned every hook and cranny and every thread of data on your PC and that required significant resources. PC’s weren’t as strong back then as they are today, but anybody whoever had to take a forced coffee break thanks to Norton, will know the frustration. Since those days, Norton did indeed address the issue, and this is not the case anymore.

Internet Explorer 6

Internet Explorer 6 could be compared to a smudge right in front of the driver’s view on a brilliantly shiny windscreen. Microsoft refused to update for many years, and when IE6 was launched, it was only breaking the websites it came in contact with. This left many internet users in a state of vulnerability to many unpleasantries which are hidden online. An all-time low in the history of Microsoft.

Microsoft Word

Thank goodness for improvements and valuable updates. Since there were times when Microsoft Word was an annoying little brother causing loads of frustration and low results. Those were the days when it was still considered relatively complicated, but they had a solution. A poorly designed little paperclip icon would dance over your screen with all sorts of answers to your problems. If that weren’t enough, it would send your hard work in .docx format, which almost nobody was able to open up. Rather pointless to deliver some work of greatness going completely underappreciated due to lack of access.

Final Cut Pro X

Making movies can be fun; it can be used to create a marketing masterpiece. It was, however, also a nightmare if you dared to use this movie editing software from Apple. This managed to upset even the pros in video editing. The software was lacking many features, and its lack of compatibility was frustrating.

Adobe Reader

Pdf documents are one of those essentials which you can’t get by without. It has been like this for a long time already. Once upon a time, you had to download a massive 69MB version to be able to open and read your pdf documents. If this wasn’t enough, once installed it would create its shortcut on your desktop and keep on screaming for attention. Annoyance deluxe.

Creating An App for Your Business – Appy Pie

We live in a world where our lives are often centred on apps. They are becoming part of our daily lives, and for every challenge you might face, there will be an app as a solution. Hence, why not be the solution to your client’s problems by creating an app, bespoke to your business. Appy Pie is the perfect solution to assist you through this new journey.

Appy Pie Inc in a Nutshell

Appy Pie Inc launched in 2014 as a mobile app creator. With Appy Pie, you can create an application for a variety of platforms. These will include iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Appy Pie allows people to create and monetize a type of apps. It makes use of a Game Builder Platform, which makes it easy and straightforward for people to use with no experience in the field of application creation. Appy Pie is available globally in a variety of languages.

The Fastest Growing Mobile Apps Builder Software

Since their launch, the users of Appy Pie have built in the access of 2 million applications for mobile. Hence, they consider themselves as the fastest growing software supplier in the mobile app building industry. The two most desirable factors about this software are, firstly, you can access it free of charge, considering you don’t mind some advertisements in between. Secondly, they do offer the implementation of some excellent and impressive services, like Tinder and Uber clones. Their software also provides support for a broad array of different features, like Augmented Reality and CRM.

Great Features

Appy Pie delivers up to 56 added features or pages which you can add to your app. They are easy to use and are categorized according to their purpose. Ease of use is an overall characteristic of Appy Pie. It allows you to build a simple app within minutes. Even the more complex options can also be achieved easily.

They have also made it easy to add marketing and e-commerce to your app. For many platforms, you only need to link your app and the platform. These platforms include some of the most well-known, including Amazon, Shopify, Etsy and more. The support which Appy Pie offer towards credit card payments and loyalty cards of your clients is also amazing. Appy comes with analytics software as well as Mailchimp to ensure easy marketing.

The Cons

Although Appy Pie will deliver on quite a large number of needs when creating your application, you might consider some of their templates on the first side. Another con is that if you have expected to incorporate the technology of for example a Tinder clone, it can be done, but it will require a bit more of knowledge from your side to integrate with third-party developers. In conclusion, Appy Pie can be considered as an excellent solution for most app design needs, yet it can be limiting when more complex applications are required.

Google Trends to Get Your Business Trendy

If you have ever wondered how your business measures up against others in the industry regarding popularity, then Google Trends is where you need to hang out a bit.

The Basics

Google Trends was developed by Google to research and analyze the popularity of searches based on the top searches run on Google. This website breaks it down to different languages and regions and then using a graph give a comparison based on your inquiry.

Determining a Time Frame for Seasonal Marketing

Trends give you an overview of how the popularity of your search term has varied over any period. This is helpful for those who are in an industry where seasonal relevance is vital. By indicating the season of when a particular item increase in popularity in searches on Google, it is a clear indication of when marketing campaigns for that item needs to be increased.

Doing Brand Research

Keeping an eye on the competition is another valuable attribute of Trends. Trends can be used to measure the popularity of your competitors in the marketplace. It is also a place where you can research the reputation of those with which you want your business to be associated with. Keep, however in mind that a high rating on Google Trends can also refer to a wrong time in the company or person’s history. Not all searches are for positive reasons.

Using Trends in Determining Your Niche

Whenever the world is taken by storm by some popular hit, it will reflect in Trends. Depending on the graph indicated, it would be either something which increase and regularly decrease over some time or if short-lived in popularity, it might spike and then go silent again. Knowing when to push which product you are delivering, into the marketplace, can be determined this way.

Expanding Business

Maybe you have reached a point in your business where you want to expand and widen your horizons. Trends is helpful in this manner, as well. When you search for a topic in Trends, you will also be able to find other popular issues which are related. This will give you a great idea about which products to expand to and when.

Trends Can Guide You Regarding Content

Due to the feedback from Trends regarding topics related to your business, you can determine which items you want to focus on when putting some content out. By using material which is relevant to a specific season, you increase your SEO. Thus, it helps you to create trendy content.

Doing Some Keyword Research

Trends help you to determine famous words to incorporate in your marketing material to up your SEO. By finding words in Trends which are often searched and rated high on the Google Trends site and then using these words in your content, to increase your results as well.

Google Trends is a valuable tool in many ways. Regardless of whether you use it for research, measurement of popularity, or only to find some inspiration. Your business can benefit from this handy Google addition.

Standing Out with Video Marketing

We live in a digital age. Therefore, digital marketing isn’t a luxury but much rather a necessity. With technologically advanced tools built into our smartphones and video editing software being freely available. You can produce brilliant video material to market your business and stand out from the crowd. Regularly releasing excellent video content, will benefit your marketing plan in the following ways.

Conversions and Sales – Crucial Keywords

Most information entering your brain is doing it through vision. Thus, a picture speaks a thousand words, and excellent video content does so much more. In an age where people are overwhelmed with the abundance of information with which they are confronted every day, videos are a medium to convey your information. It’s also a way to give your eyes a rest from the written content. This leads to increased conversions through engagement. Adding video content that authentically tells your story, will create interest and boost your conversions.

Trust is the Foundation of Long-Term Relations

Any business values long term clients. Long term clients are the ones trusting your business. Trust needs to be built, and videos are a perfect format to create trust in possible new clientele. With videos, you are not selling a product to your clients, but it is much rather a medium to provide them with information. It is a medium through which you can build a relationship with someone, long before even meeting them. Trust created through video content is the foundation of a long-term relationship; it is the secret ingredient turning conversions into sales.

Video Content Brings You Great ROI

With the unique technology in the palm of your hand and high software applications for video editing like FilmoraGo, freely available, the investment isn’t necessarily monetary. The investment is instead in spending the time in creating a video which is captivating as well as explanatory. If you are providing great information, clearly stated and have managed to stay authentic to your business. You will generate significant returns on your investment of time and effort.

Grabbing the Lazy Readers

Don’t overwhelm your viewers with long and in-depth explanations and detailed information which they need to find and read. Many people are either too busy or too lazy to commit their time this way. You can supply them with enough information by just watching your videos and grab their interest. Engage clients on a level where the information you convey is accessible for them to grasp and process.

Spreading the Word

Videos open up two possibilities for your content to be shared. One is simply through people watching your videos, liking it and sharing it on their social media platforms. Therefore, you have made it easy for them to share it by pressing only one button to share across all their media platforms. The second way is through Google. Google adores videos. Your likelihood of being seen increases significantly when you have video content on your website. The presence of video content improves search engine rankings, and that is effortless marketing.

FilmoraGo, Video Editing Made Easy for Android

Making an authentic and compelling marketing video can be a valuable tool in your box of marketing tricks. We live in an age where people are entirely rushed, and reading is taking a back seat in life. Hence your marketing punch will be much more with a two-minute video than a two-minute piece to read. The good news is that you don’t need expensive equipment and millions of skills. Smartphones offer the technology which you need in the palm of your hand to record your videos. Sometimes though, these might need some tweaking to upon the punching power, and then a great video editing tool on your Android device is invaluable in your marketing strategy. FilmoraGo Video Editor is such a tool, ranking at the top of the list of best video editing tools for Android.

FilmoraGo Video Editor

This Android app is offering the same video editing capabilities which you would typically expect on a PC, except that you can do it all on your Android device. FilmoraGo gives users the abilities to use their images or pictures combined with a soundtrack to create brilliant slideshows. You will be able to do some editing. Even though trimming, cropping, rotating and merging might be considered to be basics in publishing, you will probably not need much more than this when tweaking a short video with the purpose of marketing. It also allows the addition of voiceovers and background music. In addition to these, you will also find animated text, motion elements, overlays and filters and more. FilmoraGo also offers easy sharing on other platforms to get your message out to the world. For those with loyalty to Apple, FilmoraGo is also available on iOS. FilmoraGo is free, and it doesn’t cramp your style with their watermark or allow only a limited time frame for the free service.

The Beauty of Editing in Your Pocket

With all these mentioned features, it is clear why FilmoraGo is the go-to choice for many creators of fun and exciting videos. FilmoraGo is brilliant in the sense that you can either take an existing video and revamp it to brilliance or shoot a new one from the start. Your footage will be cropped to the needed ratio with just one click without losing any of the excellent quality of your video. Templates are also available for those who prefer to work from already set formats. Being available on Google play store, you can download it for both mobiles as well as desktop Android devices. Installation is easy, and soon you will be able to create the video-masterpieces needed to set your business apart.

FilmoraGo is a brilliant product brought to you by Wondershare and is a must-have when creating great content with ease. With all the possibilities locked up in this brilliantly developed app, easily accessible on the go, the only question which remains is why wouldn’t you use it?

Trello, a Magical Wand in Project Managment

Project management can be a vital part of your business’s successful functioning. With team members scattered all over the globe in a technologically advanced world, it is important to have a spot where assignments can be posted, tracked and updated. This is exactly what Trello offers users in a lightweight user-friendly format. A place to collaborate, see progress, follow-up, complete and have some fun while doing it.

In a Nutshell

Trello is easy to use and makes collaboration easy and even fun. Initially released by Fog Creek at a TechCrunch event in 2011 it was bought in 2017 by Atlassian for $425 million. Trello is widely used for project management of various sizes. Some of these projects can include school bulletin boards, accounting, real estate management, web design, and even law office case management.

Functionality with Ease

Trello operates by using different boards that contain cards of work assignments. Through tracking these cards, the progress of the project’s various elements can be followed by all participants of the board. These cards are also an easy way to categorize different tasks into certain groups or sub-headings depending on the category which they fit into, for example, “To Do” or “Under Revision”. Another contributing factor towards Trello’s popularity is not only it’s the price, which will be discussed next, but also the fact that it is a relatively attractive medium to work with and can make job assignments and project management enjoyable.

Pricing Structures

Trello offers a free version that includes an unlimited amount of lists, cards, boards, members, attachments and more. 10MB is the maximum file size that can be attached from either Dropbox, Box, OneDrive or Google Drive. Alternatively, the Business plan can be purchased at a monthly fee of less than $10 which has all the features of the free version with additional integrations with Evernote, Bitbucket, Google Hangouts and files up to the size of 250MB can be attached. Users will also be able to restrict control over certain sections of their boards, have access to email support and can customize their backgrounds. The Enterprise plan is roughly $20 per month and has an additional two-factor authentication, comprehensive legal contract review capability, file encryption, intrusion detection, and security reviews.

Easy and Friendly

The set-up is simplified. Once you have started using Trello, it becomes the medium that you use to control your entire life. Planning is made so easy and it can be done so effectively that you won’t use any other medium likely again. Regardless of whether you need to plan your calendar or manage an entire team, Trello is your solution for trouble-free tracking and collaboration. Together and yet apart your entire team can be part of the progress of your project and seeing how all the different elements come together until mutual success is achieved.

Trello is available on various platforms including Mac, Windows and Web-based and can also be used on your smartphone supporting both Android and iPhone/iPad.

Dropbox, the Obvious Solution in the Global Workplace

Since its launch in 2007, Dropbox has grown to the second largest cloud storage service in the market place. With 500 million subscribers, it is only running behind Google Drive in the lead. Keeping in mind that you automatically become a Google Drive user when you use Google or Android, and this is influencing their numbers. The Dropbox free version is excellent for personal use, allowing you enough space to store and share what is needed, but how does it compare as a solution for your business?

Dropbox Business

For your business, you will be looking at their business orientated version. Dropbox Business is often the first EFSS platform which Small and Medium Business Enterprises turn to. In a world where an organization’s employees can be scattered all over the globe, an EFFS (enterprise file sync and share) platform is required to allow employees to work from anywhere. Dropbox does deliver what is needed from a great EFFS platform. It provides a sync folder where you can upload and share to other synced devices. Changes made to these files, later on, is continuously updated. You can also share folders with certain people and form work groups to work on specific data. This is basically what any EFFS platform provides. For an informed decision, a more in-depth discussion about Dropbox is required.

Dropbox as a Solution

Dropbox has set the expected level of speed, simplicity and excellent feature design which users are accustomed to and therefore once a user decided on Dropbox and is familiar with it, they seldom move away. It can also be considered as the current benchmark when file sharing and device syncing capabilities are required. After a widely publicized breach which compromised 68 million user accounts, Dropbox Business took some serious precautions and strengthened their security settings, keeping accounts safe. Dropbox Business is user-friendly, it is excellent when used for file-sharing and it integrates well with Microsoft Office. They offer many features worthy of note, and this is making it clear why it is such a popular choice.

Block-Level Syncing

Dropbox led the way with developing and launching block-level syncing in 2008. File uploads onto an EFSS platform can take some time and usually the entire file would be synced when changes were made. With block-level syncing Dropbox has cut down on syncing time by only syncing the changed portions in a document by using an algorithmic manoeuvre. This is still keeping them ahead of competitors, which are only using this method either partially or not at all.

Pricing

Dropbox Office isn’t the cheapest cloud storage solution available. They do, however, offer a variety of options based on your needs and storage size requirements. To give Dropbox a trial run, you can make use of the personal option which offers 2GB of storage completely free of charge. Based on these few points, it is clear that Dropbox will remain in the lead as EFSS provider for quite a while still and can be considered as an excellent solution for your business.

Why You Must Keep Your Website Fresh

You have either spent money on hiring a website builder or invested a large chunk of your time in creating it yourself. You have researched what needs to be included, what marketing tools are best to use, and how to use the site to your business’s best advantage. Your website is the face of your business. It needs to be refreshed regularly and the reasons why are stretching much further than just being visually appealing.

Visual Appeal and Much More

A well-designed site which is organized and professional, where information and content are easily accessible, is always beneficial to your business. Content is king unless your content was dated months ago and your site is telling all visitors that you haven’t refreshed anything for quite a while. The reflection it leaves is that you are stagnant. Updating your content regularly shows involvement in the business, being on the edge of development in your field and that you are a dynamic business to deal with.

Testing Different Methods

Part of marketing is trying out different approaches and measuring their effectivity. Your website is one of the places in your business where you can do this. If you stick to the same form and methods over a long period, you will never know whether you are using the most effective way to promote your business.

Fresh Content

Often visitors are on your site for the content that they get there. Refreshing the content regularly with well written and valuable information will bring them back more often. If they visit you regularly and always find the same material, their visits and also their interest will probably die a silent death.

Website Updates and SEO

Your biggest concern is to be found between the millions of other sources of information on the internet. When you don’t regularly update the content of your website, search engines will start to recognize your site as old. When sites are continuously updated, search engines will see them as fresh and providing relevant content for user searches, listing your webpage higher up on the list delivered for a search.

It Affects Your Bounce Rate

A bounce rate as the number of times that visitors to your site leaves without going to a second page or using a call of the action button. Bounce rates go up when the first content which visitors are faced with is old, outdated and irrelevant. Ideally, you want to keep the bounce rate low, by grasping a visitor’s attention and keep them looking for more and of course, returning again and again.

Getting Hacked

The less action and updates on a site, the easier it gets classified as an old site and the more likely it becomes to be hacked. Older sites are also relying on older technology for security, and that gives modern hackers easy access. Update regularly, not just for content but also for safety. Your website is in the position of promoting your business. Therefore, the time and effort it requires to do the job effectively.

Grammarly – delivering professional content

Grammarly is a common name in pop-up ads, especially if you are already using the free version. Then their ad campaign is quite prominent in urging you to buy the premium edition. This premium version does come with a rather hefty price tag of $30 monthly. Thus, it is worthwhile to take a look at the application to determine whether you are going to get enough bang for your bucks.

Grammarly Defined

Grammarly Inc. was founded in 2008 and is offering an online tool to check the grammar, spelling and plagiarism in your documents. It detects incorrect usage of punctuation; style mistakes, and it makes word choice suggestions for you. Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari all offer Grammarly through a browser extension. It was developed by two Ukrainians Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko in 2009 and is available in Android and iOS. Grammarly is supporting Google Docs since 2018.

How does it work?

Grammarly checks your work for punctuation and grammar mistakes from necessary to advanced levels. It does, yet, more than that, it also makes recommendations and suggestions to correct your text. Your spelling gets checked, and your writing style gets a readability score based on aspects like the complexity of the words used and the length of sentences. Your text gets compared against more than 8 billion web pages to determine the presence of plagiarism.

The Pros of Grammarly

Grammarly is a great online grammar checker. It is thorough in finding grammatical errors, it is checking relatively fast, and it is easy to use. In comparison to other online grammar checkers, Grammarly makes it clear where your mistakes are by underlining the problem word in red. The failure is then explained and if needed, suggestions made in a different text box. Grammarly offers the ability to save some of your documents in the application if you want to. The app also allows for individual settings to personalize your experience. Users have the options of either British or American English. They can also determine the genre in which they are writing beforehand to set the tone for a specific audience.

The Cons

Grammarly is slightly expensive compared to other online grammar checking applications. If you are a professional writer, blogger, content copywriter, student or professional delivering reports and presentations, then getting it correct all the time is of vital importance. Grammarly will then possibly be an excellent investment for you. If not, then it is worthwhile to stick to the free version for a tad longer.

Another concern is security related. When you use Grammarly, every word you write is checked through their servers. A security bug was found in their desktop web browser extension in 2018 which allowed other websites to access all documents which users have ever checked in Grammarly. They did confirm that the bug was fixed quickly and that no customer data was obtained, but it does raise some concern regarding security and vulnerability. Regardless, if you are serious about the level of work you deliver, then Grammarly is probably an excellent solution for you to invest in.

Wave Accounting for Your Business

When your start-up finally spreads its wings and starts to fly, it is easy to get bogged down by unexpected admin which is time-consuming and complicated. The unpleasant fact that most entrepreneurs, freelancers or any start-up owner need to face, is that they aren’t free to only follow their passion. There is always some admin that needs to be done, to not only grow your business but also to stay in business. The bookkeeping side of a company is often just that.

Wave Accounting

Fortunately, we live in an era of brilliant software and practical applications. The best part is that these services are often offered free of charge. Wave Accounting is just that. This Canadian company provides financial services and online software for small businesses to make bookkeeping easy, useful and accurate. This service is offered free of charge without any limitations on several invoicing or payment processes. Users can expect to get cash-basis accounting features, automated account tracking and limited e-commerce features. The wave was also the first of all accounting software solutions to offer an integrated lending feature.

Keeping Larger Businesses Out

Besides the fact that a more substantial business would most probably need features which wave doesn’t offer or only offer limited versions, it is also impossible to add multiple users on the wave, and thus the focus remains on small businesses. Some of these limited features include limited time tracking and inventory features and no project management features. It is free of charge, and that makes it superb for your small business, which only needs the basics.

What Can You Expect from Wave?

Wave has been around since 2010 and is continuously updating to improve their service. Over time their lists of positives have exceeded by far the cons of this software. It is easy to use. It is cloud-based, it offers attractive invoice templates, great numerous features and excellent support material. Although it needs to be mentioned that their customer support in itself, is on the weak side.

Being free, new users might wonder whether they are going to be swamped with advertisements in between to keep the business financially viable. The answer is downright no. Wave generates an income from credit card processing, payroll as well as bookkeeping services. This way, they keep the software free and your screen advertisement free.

If the wave doesn’t work out for you or is not what you expected it to be, then cancelling is easy and you can cancel your account at any time.

Requirements

Wave is cloud-based and can run almost everywhere as long as that you have internet access. Wave also delivers Invoice by Wave and Receipts by Wave, which are iOS apps and the same are offered in Android as well.

Wave is focused on small businesses and is offering a well-organized and easy to use solution to them. For a more substantial business with more accounting needs, this might not be the best solution. Before you go out and purchase any accounting software, have a look at wave. They may offer precisely what you need.