DejaOffice 2020 Changes to Edit and View Screens

This week we are releasing changes to DejaOffice PC CRM. A focus of these changes are to lower the number of keystrokes needed to create Calendar Events and Tasks, and to better utilize space on the Contact View Screen.

This set of changes is dubbed “2020”. For all of these changes you can revert to the 2019 screens by going to Settings, and then selecting Contacts, Calendar or Tasks, and choosing the option to use 2019 screen formats.

Calendar Edit

When creating an event, we have moved location higher, and condensed some of the options for private and complete. Most notably we have added “quick select” buttons for most common appointment times.

If you choose to make an appointment for a future day, for instance choose “T” for Tuesday – the appointment will automatically slot to your next available time on Tuesday. If there is no slot, a message will show for the Conflict. The system is always trying to slot you for the future. If you click “T” on Tuesday, it will be for the following week on Tuesday. If you click on “Today” it will be for later today.

Task Edit

The Task Edit screen largely follows the changes on Calendar Edit

Contact View

Our goal With Contact View is to get more info into the available screens space. For our Palm Desktop customers, this has not been an issue, because the screen can easily display Contact info, Phone Numbers, Custom Fields and Notes. For our CRM Customers, however, the view area is both crowded and also forced you to scroll to see important information. There was no way to view History, Notes, and Custom Fields without scrolling up and down.

Our solution is to reset the field display if you give it enough width:

Normal Contact View
Expanded (two column) Contact View

If you make the View Panel wider, it will automatically reset to a two-column format. This allows notes to show beside the Histories, and allows addresses to appear side-by-side.

For our CRM users, we recommend you keep the screen expanded as much as possible, and this will reduce the need to scroll.

Unique Capability

With the expanded view – DejaOffice offers something unique in the CRM world – the ability to see both your notes and your history at the same time. Nearly all competing products use tabs, so you can see notes or history, but not both.

New Edit Modes for Contact Screen

We have added context sensitive editing. So if you click on an Address, it will go to the Address Edit view. If you click on the Custom Fields, it will go to the custom fields edit. If you click on the Notes Header it will go to the larger note edit screen, while clicking on the Notes Body will let you edit in the existing view frame.

Detail feature guide: Here is a Guide for our new 2020 Edit Screens.

Thank you for using DejaOffice!

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The Best Translation Apps and Localization Services for Your Business

Connecting personally relevant information to people in an easy way is key to success in business. But the pursuit of information connectivity can hit a wall when it reaches language barriers. Happily, the latest generation of translation apps bridges the gaps which previously separated businesses from worldwide customers. We’ll consider how you can use an online language translator — software app, bot or online translation services — to increase connections and improve communications with global audiences.

Globalizing your customer communications with professional translation services

Globalization is a megatrend that has transformed our world. The physical borders that previously separated us have been replaced with cloud communications and devices which connect us with everyone else. One main barrier remains language. And even here, thanks to the latest batch of apps, the walls are tumbling down.

Who can provide translation services? If you have the budget, it makes sense to turn to a translation agency that can provide an expert human translation. But for those businesses that want to save money and cut some corners, we’ll outline cost-saving alternatives to certified translation services.  The economic benefits are already built-in: the cost of localizing content is a fraction of the expense to create new, original content. Reach a new country or region that expands your market and your revenues. So it’s an investment with potentially rapid payoffs.

Localization services go beyond mere translation. They involve the adaptation of measurement units and currency to the target location. They sometimes require changing dates and number formats. And, ideally, they involve knowing something about the cultural preferences of your target market, adapting language and graphics accordingly. Localization also involves many technical adaptations to get your website and software localized, but that goes beyond the scope of this post. We’ll focus on the top translation apps, both for mobile devices and on the desktop, hitting the leading business translators among them and identifying the best features of each.

Translation apps to close language gaps

What are the best translation apps? There’s no one best translation app that does everything better than all others.

  • The most common language service that businesses require is document translation. What is the best app to translate English to Spanish documents? It should come as no surprise that Google Translate is the winner. Whether you translate English to Spanish or Spanish to English, choose between copy and paste or choose document mode to produce a translated document. The interface is fast and easy, on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Another common business usage for translation apps is one-to-many speech translation. This is useful when you have a conference call and not all audience members understand the language of the speaker. Here Microsoft Translator really shines. Each member of the audience is given a unique code that embeds their linguistic preference. The speaker’s speech is automatically translated into the preferred language in real-time, just like a simultaneous human interpreter.
  • Google Translate is good at one-to-one voice translation. A voice-to-text algorithm translates your words as you speak. Press another button and the app voice-translates into the language of your interlocutor. It takes a few rounds for both sides to get comfortable with the back and forth in a business or traveling context, but the process soon becomes natural and fluent.
  • Another feature of value is camera translation. Several translation apps have this capability. Point your phone camera at a foreign language menu or sign or marketing brochure and a translation in your preferred language overlays the original text. It’s an implementation of augmented reality. It’s of great use when dealing with unfamiliar texts while on the go, for ordering at restaurants or making sense of images online or in the physical world. Both Microsoft Translator and Google Translate have this feature: judge for yourself which is the more intuitive.

Some apps perform better in some languages than others. While Google and Microsoft do well in Western languages, try Baidu or Gengo for Asian languages, especially Chinese.

Working with freelance translation services to finish the job

Mobile apps can take you a long way, but in terms of translation quality, they still cannot match a quality human translator. You’ll want one of those on your side if you’re producing translated materials for publication. There the cost of an embarrassing mistake is too high to trust only machine translation. Find a translator specializing in the language pair, direction, and who knows your target industry (Software in Spanish, for example) on freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer.com.

Just sign up there as a client and briefly describe your project. You’ll likely get a flood of applicants. Compare their profiles, rating, rates, and reviews. A freelance translator – and you should insist on a mother-tongue speaker of your target language — will certainly cost less than an agency. how much do translation services cost? The range is wide, from $0.01 to $0.20 per word. Bear in mind, too, that you will need to invest personal time in selecting and managing your resources. Time is money. Freelancers can be a cost-effective investment if you wisely. Often it makes sense to do most of the work by machine translation, using your freelancer as a proofreader and auditor, or as a watchdog on an agency. This should give you a level of quality control and keep you safe from embarrassment

When translation and localization online services are needed

While our focus here is on budget translation solutions, there are times when you will want to pay a premium to have a translation company or localization agency to assist you. This is the case if you want to create a multilingual website, mobile app, or any other software. There are also ways to integrate automatic processes to expedite localization, and there are dedicated software apps for this. But this kind of project requires technical expertise beyond what most business people, or freelancers, possess. For these more complex projects, email a few translation and localization companies to get a free quote and some free strategic advice to get started. You can always leverage machine translation after a localization/globalization framework is in place.

For now, at least, you have some starting points for getting “found in translation”. Good luck on the fast track to going global!

Streamlining a Small Business: 3 Effective Tips for Leaner, Better Management

There is actually quite a bit of understandable confusion regarding what defines the broad term “small business.” Technically, it could essentially mean anything from a two-man company that handles the local need for handyman work, to small scale production facilities with complicated processes at every step.

What we are going to discuss here will mostly be targeted towards small businesses with a decent workforce and at least some scale. However, some of the lean management tips will be applicable to any small business owner, even if they are the sole proprietor and employee of their company right now.

Decide on a Lean Management Strategy and Commit to It

There is no shortage of lean methods these days, as a combination of modern software tools and ancient wisdom has apparently come together in the best way possible. However, the important part is to find a lean strategy that would be the best suited for your business, and stick to it, instead of trying out too many principles at once.

Let’s for example, take hoshin planning, or what is actually known as hoshin kanri. Hoshin planning is a lean management technique based on two primary ideas:

  1. Finding and confirming the right direction
  2. Managing that direction with maximum efficiency

As one might guess, hoshin planning is introduced and implemented on an administrative level, meant for people with executive decision-making power. The many steps of hoshin kanri can be divided into the following broad categories:

  • Determining and finalizing an organization’s vision & direction
  • Setting small goals for breaking down the process effectively
  • Setting down, deploying and implementing yearly objectives
  • Monthly reviews and annual reviews.

If you want to know more, take a look at this guide for hoshin planning by Kanbanize, which provides a comprehensive introduction and step-by-step guidance for implementing the seven steps of hoshin kanri successfully. In fact, Kanbanize takes it one step further by mapping the metrics of hoshin kanri on a Kanban board, simplifying and visualizing the entire lean strategy.

Task Automation

Automation is actually not a new concept, because it has been around for decades now, but thanks to the recent improvements in machine learning, the usefulness of automation in lean management has now become more valid than ever before.

Although the exact details of automation tools applicable and useful in streamlining the processes in your business will vary in accordance with the concerned industry, take a look at the list below to take note of the most useful utilizations of automation for lean production and management:

  • Automatic lead generation and client assignment
  • Sales pipeline updates and management
  • Sales & client management, follow-ups and service
  • Payroll management, automatic vendor payments and payment reminders
  • Help your accountant with automation tools developed for accountancy
  • Introduction of advanced robotics in manufacturing, automated by AI
  • Automated delivery route optimization via AI-assisted GPS with real time updates
  • Minimizing the need for data entry via the use of portable barcode scanners
  • Minimizing general data entry work such as form filling as much as possible with automated processes

The principle idea behind any lean management principle is to shed unnecessary steps, processes and measures from the business to boost productivity and profits.

The principle of automation is also quite similar, as it aims to minimize human effort and error, replacing it with mechanized efficiency, accuracy and productive capacity, wherever possible. This is the reason why automation and lean are so closely linked with each other, and in this modern age of business, they are often indistinguishable and mutually inclusive for streamlining production and administration.

Simplify Everything

Businesses often make the mistake of thinking that streamlining is a complicated affair, but in truth, it’s actually quite the opposite. It may seem overly complicated in the beginning, but the end goal of every step involved in streamlining a business is simplification. To implement the same in your own business with efficiency, consider the following few tips:

  • Outsource, instead of increasing the number of people under your direct payroll
  • Hire temps to handle seasonal rushes or particularly big orders/projects
  • Keep the list of services & tools you use concise by only keeping the ones necessary
  • Pay bills on time and according to your financial settings
  • Pay the smaller bills as soon as possible
  • Set aside tax money after every payment
  • Only have meetings in person when necessary, and keep them short
  • Trim down the chain of command by removing unnecessary authentication requirements

With fewer processes to handle, the business automatically becomes more productive, streamlined and profitable, which is exactly what lean manufacturing and management is all about. The steps need not all be implemented at once of course, but initiation is still important. Take your time, but get started as soon as possible. The leaner your company becomes, the easier it will be for the establishment to grow sustainably

The 5 Lessons I Learned From Managing an Off Shore Engineering Team

I’ve been managing offshore teams since 2002, that’s when I founded Optics for Hire in the US and partnered with a team of optical engineers in Lviv, Ukraine. 

Our Team in 2003.

The work we do involves helping companies design and manufacture lenses and optical systems.  We’ve worked with some great engineers at leading companies like Amazon, GE, Mattel, Netgear, and many others.

Having engineers in Ukraine and customers in the United States leads to a number of potential failure points for project management. Issues we have to manage include time zone differences, language differences, different cultural expectations, jargon differences and more. Managing these risks has been critical to our success.

As our business grew and platforms like Elance launched, we expanded our use of remote teams, including hiring from India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Belarus for marketing, web development and many other skill sets.

In the years since 2002, thanks to new communication tools and software platforms, it has become easier to succeed in managing offshore teams.

When we started we used only email (this was pre-Skype, and phoning was expensive). This made talking about complicated technical subjects difficult.

Be sure to check out: 7 Great Project Management Apps for Teams

Here are five key lessons learned in the last 18 years:

1. Use Pictures, Screen Shares, and Voice Talk as Much as Possible  

Don’t expect to be successful with email alone.

Chat is better than emails, voice is better than chat, voice with a screen share plus video is best of all. It can be too easy to send a quick email to communicate, but if you haven’t been clear your partner could waste a full workday halfway across the world working on the wrong thing.

Don’t let that happen. 

2. Always Explain Your Assumptions 

A word like ‘expensive’ can mean different things in different cultures and in different contexts. Maybe when making a prototype expensive doesn’t matter to you but in production, it matters a great deal. Maybe expensive to us means more than $1,000 and to your partner, it means more than $100.

One way to make sure you understand everyone’s assumptions is to use ‘open-ended’  questions like “what do you mean by that?”

3. Make Sure You Communicate Not Just What You ‘Want’ But Also What You Really Need 

Clearly explain your end goal and be open to listening to feedback to see if your partner has a different approach. The reason you hire someone is usually that they have a skill set you don’t. Make sure you respect that skill.

It can be easy to pressure an offshore employee into doing a job a certain way, but they probably know a lot better than you do about how to do their job. Listen and learn from them and you will get better results.

You might be interested in Top Productivity Tools for Small Business

4. Use Software Tools and Keep Trying New Ones   

We use Basecamp, Appointlet, Uberconference, Skype, nimbus screenshot and Tickspot on a daily basis. Developers are always launching new tools that make our jobs easier.

In fact, as we’ve grown we’ve even started building our own tools, including a tool to search machine vision and CCTV lenses, as well as this free automatic graph digitizer Using these tools saves us engineering time and benefits our community.

Don’t get stagnate. If you aren’t trying new and better ways to communicate and manage projects you and your customers will be worse off.

5. Understand Vacations and Holiday Schedules

It’s no fun to find out just before a deadline that your team isn’t going to be working because of a three day Holiday you never heard of. So ask ( often ) about time-lines, working days and make sure you each understand when you and they will and will not be available

Working with offshore teams has been fun and profitable for our organization and our customers, we’ve made our share of missteps but I’ve never regretted the path we took. I wish you luck on your engineering projects and please connect with me if I can be of help you can find me here.

Content Writing Guide for Small Businesses in 2020

If we started naming all marketing options that a small business has, we’d end up with a pretty long list.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are mandatory. Each business also has a website, and most have a blog, too. Email marketing is still a valid practice. Many small businesses engage in local marketing practices. They print out brochures, publish radio commercials, and promote themselves through billboards.

There is one thing that connects all these practices: content.

Great content will drive traffic to your website. It’s what makes the difference in clicks, likes, conversions, and everything else that defines the results of your campaign.

In Keap’s 2020 Small Business Marketing Trends Report, only 13% of the respondents said that distributing content was an important goal when using social media to market their business. At the same time, 43.6% of the respondents said that they didn’t know if their marketing efforts were effective.

Maybe that’s the trick. Small business owners need to focus more on distributing content, so they would see better results from their promotional efforts.

Guide on Content Writing for Small Businesses in 2020

1. Know What You Already Have

Chances are, you already have some content out there by the time you’re reading this article. What kind of content is it? Start by doing a thorough evaluation, so you can take steps towards improvement.

These are the questions to answer:

  • Are your blog posts, social media posts, and all other publications written in the voice of your brand?
  • Are they written for a particular target audience?
  • Are you already getting good results from a particular type of content?
  • How many likes, shares, and comments does an average post get? How many would you want to get?
  • Are your posts unique when you compare them to the content that your competitors publish?
  • Do they offer practical solutions to particular issues that your audience faces?

When you analyze your published content through these questions, you’ll figure out what it misses and what aspects you should keep.

2. Make a Content Marketing Plan

After evaluating your published content, it’s time to plan the new steps.

Remember the main rules of content writing:

  • Your posts must convey the brand’s voice
  • They should be focused towards a target reader
  • They must be unique
  • They must deliver solutions and value

If you analyze a competitor who’s successful with their content marketing, you’ll see how they meet all those standards.

When planning your content calendar, you want to achieve the same goal, but you’ll do it through unique content. You can look through school essay topics ideas to get new ideas. A blog post is not much different from an essay. It needs a thesis statement in the beginning, arguments that prove that thesis, and a conclusion with a solution.

3. Hire Writers

How many blog posts, landing pages, guest posts, and social media posts do you publish per week? If you want to share different types of content, you’ll have to write something every single day.

Can you cope with such a challenge?

Let’s face it: when you run a small business, you can’t afford to spend at least two hours writing every day. Do you know what successful business owners do? They get dissertation help from professional writers. Writing agencies will pair you with a writer educated in the niche of your business. They will take your content marketing calendar, and they will develop content based on it.

You can also consult your writers when developing the content calendar. They can help with audience analysis.

4. Measure the Results

You are not measuring the number of posts you publish on a weekly or monthly basis. You’re not measuring likes, shares and comments for the sake of reaching higher numbers. What you need to measure is the return of investment.

You can evaluate the success of your marketing campaign when you pay attention to the leads, sales, onsite engagement, web traffic, and social media engagement factors.

It’s not easy, so most small business owners hire marketing agencies to help them with this aspect. But hey; you can make an attempt and rest assured that you’ll be getting better with practice.

Deliver What Your Audience Wants

Essentially, that’s the main rule for successful content marketing.

You won’t write content just for the sake of publishing something. You’ll do it because your target audience needs solutions that you can provide.

Everything will seem complicated at first. After the first report, you’ll realize that you know what you’re doing. The experience will teach you.

Outlook Customer Manager will be Discontinued – Here’s an Alternative!

Microsoft has recently announced the end of Outlook Customer Manager, with access to your online data to be ended June 30, 2020.

Outlook Customer Manager was introduced by Microsoft in 2016 as a replacement to Business Contact manager. It sits on top of Outlook and provides key business features. Most notably, it offers Company Records, Shared Contacts, Activity History, Deal tracking, and integrated Document management.

Fortunately there is a good alternative with DejaOffice. DejaOffice PC CRM provides the following essential features:

  • Company Records
  • Shared Contacts
  • Activity History
  • Deal Tracking
  • Integrated Document Management
  • Integrated Mobile Apps
  • Telephone Technical Support

DejaOffice PC CRM provides a number of features that Outlook Customer Manager badly needed, but never had:

  • Category Management with Colors
  • Group Scheduling
  • Integrated Tasks and Notes
  • Private Data, Database Encryption and Security

You can use DejaOffice for Outlook for just $7 per month, or purchase it outright for $99.95. A two-week trial is available.

CompanionLink provides US based Telephone Technical Support for DejaOffice. There are three levels of support available: Free support, for general information and how-to advice, RunStart service for $49 where CompanionLink will help you set up your database and get you launched with the product, and Premium Support which provides a year of “white-glove” service for you DejaOffice CRM for Outlook site.

Why You Need the Best SEO Services to Be Successful in the Online World

SEO practices have a real impact for websites and their importance should not be neglected. Individuals who are new to SEO and who would like to take this huge burden off their shoulders should resort to professional services. What is the point of trying to improve your website’s ranking if you lack the expertise and the tools to do so? There are professionals that can help you with this and that will make a huge difference as far as the success of your website is concerned.

What to Expect from Professional SEO Services?

It is definitely worth it to pay for professional SEO because this delivers a measurable impact and it is successful even in today’s crowded search landscape. You need digital marketing in order to stay ahead of your competition and there are numerous advantages to hiring a SEO reseller:

  • Expertise; you will have access to a team of specialists that are aware of the latest advancements in the SEO field and that know exactly what needs to be done to create a successful digital marketing campaign for your business
  • Boost quality traffic; the purpose of SEO is not to attract just any visitors to your website; it is to attract the right visitors to your website;
  • Save time
  • Save money for you can resell the services you receive under your brand.
  • Offer more services to your customers, including search engine optimization

It is possible to provide a wide range of services to your customers in order to keep them happy and to maintain their loyalty. You can outsource the actual work to a specialized firm that has the skills and the tools to perform professional SEO services. People prefer working with an agency that provides various services such as website design, development, management and SEO. Furthermore, thanks to professional SEO you can be one step ahead of your competitors and thanks to SEO services you add value to your clients. Becoming a SEO reseller is the smartest thing you can do for your business but the most difficult aspect is to find an agency that is trustworthy, one that delivers its services in a timely manner and that is up to date with the latest changes in SEO. Although there are companies that prefer to manage SEO in house, this requires a significant financial investment not to mention that the persons they hire for the task might not be familiar with the latest SEO trends.

How to Keep up with SEO Trends

SEO changes all the time. According to searchenginejournal.comOptimization techniques that worked years ago fall by the wayside, and SEO as a whole evolves into a more intelligent discipline that evolves beyond spamming Google with links and keywords”. It is difficult to master the most efficient strategies in this field and this is why it makes sense to resort to professional services. The most efficient techniques focus on the following aspects: on-page optimization, link building, content and technical SEO. These should be at the core of any search engine optimization campaign. Using the right keywords for your business has proved to be quite efficient as far as SEO is concerned but the problem with keywords is that they can become redundant and repetitive. Although keywords remain the foundation of a SEO strategy, nowadays specialists focus their attention on topics and entities such as people, places, thinks.

Ranking is influenced by content, links and rankbrain, and when you optimize your website you should make sure you do it for keywords, entities and topics. As far as content is concerned, we all know how vital it is for how your site performs and for its ranking. What most people do not know is how to create valuable and original content, content that will attract visitors and that will make a difference in the online environment. This is why you need professional SEO services USA that will deliver the content you need for your website after having performed industry research. It is important to know your competition, to see what it has to offer and you do not so that you can make the necessary modifications.

According to link-building-strategies.comEvery site owner should have an idea about what they want to get out of the web presence, but this is not always the right one. The needs of your business always come first and this is what you should focus on. If you want to boost your sales on a certain segment of the activity, you should focus your SEO process on how you can achieve this goal”. It is impossible to know what changes need to be made to your website if you do not audit it first and this is one of the professional services offered by specialized agencies.

Moving on, if you are determined to pay for SEO services you should know what to expect from them. You should be aware of the fact that changes will not occur over night and this process takes time. Nonetheless, SEO results are measurable and they will be visible provided you hire the right agency for the job. It is not enough to build a website and expect it to be successful. You have to invest in it, to optimize it constantly, to resort to professional SEO that will handle keyword optimization, topic optimization, link building and other services that are essential to the success of your website.

According to semrush.com: ”If you want search engines to offer your content in results, you need to do three things:

  1. Ensure these search engines understand who you are and what you offer.
  2. Convince them that you are the most credible option for their users.
  3. Make your content deliverable.”

This is more complicated than most people imagine and this is why there is an increased demand for professional services among website owners who understand that they need the best SEO in order to build and maintain a powerful presence in the online environment.

Essential Android Apps for Creating Business Video

Without a doubt, video production is getting cheaper these days, which makes it an affordable marketing tool even in the hands of small businesses. According to The State of Video Marketing in 2020 report by HubSpot, 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy.

If you’re not going to broadcast your video ads across national channels, but use social media, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc., to promote your products, it may be quite enough to have an Android smartphone with a decent camera, plus a few video editing apps to produce an engaging and appealing product review, or even a creative ad.    

There are hundreds of amazing apps available for Android that you can download and use to create videos. In this article we’re going to give you an idea of what type of applications you may need when dealing with video files on your smartphone.

In particular, we’ll cover apps needed to edit your video, convert between different video file types (e.g. MP4, MOV, 3GP, etc.), store your recorded footage and repair video files if anything goes wrong.

So, if you’re ready to create some video clips that will help you promote your business, this list of Android applications is a great point to get started.

Video Editing Apps for Android

Most of the modern Android smartphones have in-built cameras which are capable of producing high-quality videos. However, your source footage needs to be edited before going live.

With the video editing software, you can cut out unwanted frames, merge different recordings into a continuous clip, add beautiful transition effects, fine-tune color tones, add texts and a logo over the video, and ultimately give your video enough polish to make it look professional.

Although most of the video editing apps for Android devices lack advanced features that you can find in desktop software, mobile apps have a low learning curve, meaning you can create killer, hassle-free videos on the fly.

Here are a couple of video editing apps we’d recommend you to start with:

1. Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush is a mobile version of the professional video editing software – Adobe Premiere Pro. It has enough features to fine-tune your video clips while you’re on the go, and then instantly share the clips from the app to social channels like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Adobe Premiere Rush allows you to trim your clips and add transitions, automatically color-correct, and then add music from the built-in library. There are also hundreds of video, image and animation templates available right in the app, or from the Adobe Stock. You can use the templates to enrich your footage and make it look professional.

Adobe Premiere Rush is easy to use across all your devices and can be linked with other Adobe software products, such as Premiere Pro, for example.

Overall, with the price tag starting at $9,99/month, we highly recommend Adobe Premiere Rush for editing videos on you Android device when you’re on the go.

2. FilmoreGo

FilmoraGo is a free video editing app designed for mobile devices. This app has a bare minimum of video editing features, yet allows you to produce great-looking and creative clips. 

With FilmoraGo, you can trim, split, rotate, zoom, speed up, or slow down your video. It also allows you to seamlessly add sound effects and audio tracks sourced either from the app’s library, or from your own files. Of course, there are controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature and applying pre-built filters. And with the library of stickers, overlays, preset intros, themes, transitions and animation effects, it’s easy to go creative with this app.

Video Repair Tools

One thing that is often overlooked by beginner videographers is safety and security of their footage. No matter how advanced technologies these days are, there are always chances to lose your precious video due to some glitch, or an accident.

Mistakenly deleted clips, formatted memory cards and corrupted video files are just a few examples of how your recorded video may be lost.

Simple file backups will save your work most of the time. However, there are cases when the video file gets corrupted during the recording process. You may realize this when trying to open or edit the video – the file just won’t play.

If you’re recording video on your Android smartphone, it’s likely that the files are saved in either the MP4, or 3GP format. Now, there are video repair tools that can fix both 3GP and MP4 video files:

Restore.Media

Restore.Media is a video recovery app that works online, meaning you can use it on your Android smartphone via a web-browser. Restore.Media allows you to repair corrupted 3GP, MP4, MOV and MXF files. It also has a video recovery algorithm optimized of Android devices.

We highly recommend that you add this tool to your bookmarks, so that when you get a damaged, unplayable video file, you know how to fix it. Also, there are lots of useful articles on the Restore.Media’s blog on how to prevent your video from being lost. For example, here is a detailed guide on repairing damaged 3GP files.

Video Converter Apps for Android

Generally, Android phones record video in the MP4 or 3GP format. 3GP is a video format that was specifically developed for fast streaming of the video content via 3G networks. MP4 is the most widely spread video format, thanks to its great compression/video quality ratio. If you’re recording video with some 3rd-pary apps, the output files can also be in the MOV or even MXF format.

Now, some of the social networks (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have certain restrictions when it comes to file formats. In particular, the MP4 format is the one that is supported by all of the mentioned platforms, while 3GP and MXF are likely to be rejected. 

This is where you may need a video converter for your Android device.

VidSoftLab – Video Converter

Video Converter by VidSoftLab can convert for free virtually any video file to the MP4 format. It supports AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, FLV, 3GP, and other video file types. What’s more, this tiny app allows you to merge, trim, cut, reverse, stabilize, crop and rotate the converted file and then upload it to a social network – all with just a few simple clicks.

No matter what your source video file format is, with this tiny app, you will be able to quickly re-encode it and upload to any social platform you want.

Cloud Storage for Your Video Files

If you shoot video files on a regular basis, your smartphone will quickly run low on storage. Hence, you will need a place to store tons of your recorded footage. A great solution to this could be uploading your files to a cloud storage account.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a simple answer here. With the personal account you get 15 GB of storage for free. If you need more, there are the following options: 100GB of storage for $1.99, 200GB for $2.99, and 2TB for $9.99 per month.

So, these were the 5 applications we recommend when you record and edit videos for your business on Android. Armed with these apps, you will be able to make your clips stand out of the crowd and get it noticed by your potential customers.

Best iPhone Docker for Easy Charging

A portable charging station with added features of an alarm clock, a radio or a media player is helpful to charge a mobile phone anywhere. It has a comprehensive list of features including no dependency on plugs, compact size, its easy to carry and you can control functionalities without using the device. Its also compatible with all of the latest versions of iPhone devices. Wireless charging devices will free the users from cables, and iPhone docks are one of the cool accessories.

The best iPhone docking station is shared below with features available for easy use:

1. Elevation Dock 4 iPhone Dock:

 It has a compact size and one of the stable and secure iPhone Dock which any user can buy for best use. It is made up of medical-grade silicone with stainless steel borders and available in back and silver color. It is 5-foot-long with a cable and compatible with all the iPhones and iPads and there is only one negative point about it that if the wire is broken then the entire piece needs to be purchased. It is available for S49.95 on major E-commerce platforms.

2. Rerii Bamboo Charge Stand with Aluminum Base:

It has a strong base for iPad and adjustable style to accommodate the device with a thick base. It has a wooden look made up of bamboo and a robust aluminum base. To protect the iOS devices from scratches, it supports with rubber padding. It is available for $25.99.

3. Apple Lightning iPhone Dock: 

It is developed by Apple and it is of the docks on which you can play music while the phone is kept on charging. It is made up of aluminum and comes in various colors including black, gold, silver, rose gold and space grey. It can be connected to the system for synchronization and cable is not given with the unit, which is a shortcoming for this dock. It is available at $40.04.

4. Elevation Lab CordDock V2: 

It has a unique feature that lets your phone charging even if it is docked or undocked. It has a removable lightning port and provides the freedom to keep it horizontally or hold it upright. It is a very fast charger and it is available at $29.95.

5. YoFeW Apple Charging Stand: 

It can be used to put multiple devices on the stand, which can be used for Facetime calls on a 60-degree angle. Charging cables wires or USB chargers are not a part of the package and it is priced at $29.99.

6. Lamicall: 

It comes in modern design and in black color, convenient cable wire and hole at the back help to handle the wire. Its design is suitable for video calls and robust stand with rubber pads to prevent scratches and it is available at the lowest cost of $9.99.

Some of them are easy to use from far and handy operations can be done from the iPhone deck without touching the mobile. The provided control panel helps the user to do the required operations. iPhone docks are available in different sizes, finish and price, users can choose from multiple options.

7 Google Chrome Extensions that Boost Freelancers Productivity

The Google Chrome Webstore houses tons of useful Chrome extensions for various activities like gaming, sports, web design, freelancing and more. These extensions are very useful as they help freelancers, solopreneurs and other small business owners work more efficiently, have fun and stay productive. They help to keep all your productivity tools handy, so you can easily access them when needed.

Unlike other on-premise software, extensions do not require elaborate installation rituals and processes, neither do they take-up sufficient ROM space. They’re like lite versions of your popular software.

So, What are Google Chrome  Extensions?

Google Chrome extensions help to customize user browsing experience. They can be installed on to Chrome to modify browser appearance, functionality, and behavior. They enable users to personalize their browsing experience by tweaking Chrome a little here and a little there.

Google Chrome extensions can perform functions like:

  • ad blocking
  • optimizing memory usage for more efficiency,
  • password management,
  • voice and screen recording, e.t.c.

They are built on frameworks such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS which gives them versatility. They are functional across devices, hence can be run from mobile as well as PC to provide seamless operation.

How to Install Google Chrome Extensions

Whether you’re geeky or not, installing Google Chrome extensions is easy, simple and straightforward.

Following are simple steps to install chrome extensions:

1.   Open Chrome Web Store on your device (either your phone or your PC). You can also search for the Google Chrome Webstore on Google
2.    Search for and select the extension you want.
You can also search by Features like
            -Runs offline
            -By Google
            – Free
            -Available for Android
            -Works with Google Drive

3.    Click on “Add to Chrome.”

Some extensions require certain data or permissions to install or run smoothly. You also have the choice to allow or disallow an extension from making changes to your browser.

To (de)activate the extension, click the menu icon to the right of the address bar as shown below.

Hover over “More tools”, a drop-down menu will appear to your left. Click on “Extensions”. Here you can (de)activate or remove an extension.

7 Top Google Chrome Extensions for Freelancers

1. Noisli Extension

With Noisli, you can block out annoying noises. It works as a kind of active noise reduction/cancellation, which allows you reduce or minimize unwanted sound by the introduction or addition of a second sound, thus allowing you to create the right working environment as a freelancer.

Some monotonous white noises help us stay focused. Noisli has a host of noises to choose from and an option to customize your own. With Noisli you can choose your own noise, time it, and adjust the volume, all from within your web browser.

2. ColorZilla Extension

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, this Chrome extension might just become your bestie. ColorZilla is a well-designed eyedropper tool that reads colors in hexadecimal and RGB formats. With it, you can easily and legally extract color data from any website, and that without having to open another application.

Now available for Chrome, ColorZilla is one of the most popular Firefox developer extensions. You can join over 5 million other people who have downloaded it and are using it to improve their work.

3. Boomerang for Gmail Extension

Being a digital nomad comes with its benefits, but constantly being on the move makes it occasionally difficult to keep pace with emails. The Boomerang extension solves this challenge by allowing users to schedule emails for a future date.

This is very handy for when you are on the move, e-mailing someone in another time zone, or catching up on emails late at night. Boomerang also allows users to schedule emails to self. This can be used as alarms or reminders for important tasks, meetings, deadlines, follow-ups, etc. It also sends prompts that nudge you to respond to emails.

4.  Web Developer Extension

Developers will love the Web Developer Chrome extension. It adds a toolbar button to your Chrome browser which contains or displays various web developer tools you can use, all in one place.

With this Web Developer extension, you can quickly and easily view responsive layouts, disable styles, and outline elements.

5.  Taco Extension

Do not let the name fool you, this beautiful Chrome extension is a powerful hub for productivity. On any given day most of us use up to 20 different apps and tools from Trello to Salesforce, you just name it.

Taco collects and assembles all your incoming tasks and notifications from various apps into a single place, giving you a bird’s eye view of all you need to do at any point in time, so you don’t miss important tasks or notifications.

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6. Save to Pocket Extension

When you create a Pocket account, you can save stuff for later, say an article you love but can’t read immediately. Whatever you save here can be synced and made available across all your devices. This cross-platform extension allows freelancers, nomads or busy persons to keep up with essential information by saving it for later.

This extension is great for freelancers, writers, designers, entrepreneurs and business owners, it reduces multitasking so they can focus on the task at hand.

7. StayFocusd

Being a freelancer requires discipline, and there are gazillion digital distractions when working on the web. We’ve all been there, intend to take a break and spend five minutes on Facebook to catch up, another five minutes to say hi on WhatsApp, but two hours later you’re on Twitter or ranting about politics in some faraway forum.

Fortunately, StayFocusd helps us stay focused by blocking out websites that distract us. Its customized settings allow you to block access to entire sites, specific pages or certain content types such as images and videos.

Conclusion

These extensions are easy to install, easy to use and will help you get more done in your freelance business.

Which (of these) extensions do you use as a freelancer? Let us know in the comments section.