Posts Tagged ‘productivity’
Posted on March 12, 2013 - by Khaled
Few days ago, I read and saw the posts on Linkedin Today about “where I work?“. It is a sort of showcase to share with professionals using Linkedin the 50+ Places Where Big Ideas Are Born. In this collection, some of the most important online influencers share the secrets of their working spaces, offices etc… And what was obvious is that “Sometimes the best work happens while walking, broadcasting, flying and even on the beach”.
For me, the conclusions to draw from these posts is that the “Perfect Workspace” has no clear definition. It is a personal quest. For some it has to be a big office in a large room, for others it is a table in a coffee shop, sometimes it is a standing desk or even a stool and a laptop in your garden. The most important thing is to be at your ease and in the mood to produce great work and to come up with bright innovative ideas. This mainly depends on your habits, the nature of your work and the tools you use to be productive and to be inspired.
Our work space choice can tell much about us. This is interesting to consider especially if this work space makes you feel at the top of your productivity. However, we all continue to fine-tune and evolve our settings and tools in order to become even more inspired, creative and productive.
Since few years now, we are witnessing changes and new trends in how we manage businesses nowadays. This is obvious from the posts in the “Where I work” series from Linkedin. The clearest tendencies show that the traditional work spaces and offices are less and less used and preferred. The displayed work spaces evidently mirror important evolution in our way to conceive modern business and offices. Modern concepts are geared towards increasing flexibility and fluidity and witness of a constant effort to achieve better communication and more openness. This is really enhanced and catalyzed by the technological advances in devices and mobile networks, wireless internet speed and the greater accessibility to productive software everywhere (thanks to the cloud and other advances). Portability is no longer a wild dream! Traditional offices are still used but they are evolving too.
We see more and more outdoors desks, “mobile offices” and standing/walking working options.
Some prefer a basic frugal work space; others can’t perform well unless they customize their work space with photos, souvenirs and personal belongings.
My advice is to find out the best work space set up that allows you perform at your best and be productive, creative and inspired. Then you can try to fine-tune it and bring in a considerable deal of innovation, flexibility and portability. Remember, your work space tells a lot about who you really are! I could even say “Show me where you work and I will tell you how you work!”
Posted on February 12, 2009 - by Khaled
WordPress is the leading blogging platform! And it will probably continue to be so. Among the top 100 bloggers, 32% use WP.
After almost 5 years of blogging using WordPress and after trying, testing, tweaking and running literally hundreds of plug-ins and extensions, I found some really noteworthy WP plugins, that are easy to use, to customize and to install yet they are really useful and they can improve drastically your whole blogging experience. The current trends are taken in consideration while choosing this list!
1. Akismet This one just rocks! Almost perfect when it comes to dealing with comments spam! It checks new comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You can review the spam it catches under Comments/Spam.
2. All in One SEO Pack All your Search Engine Optimization needs for your blog.
3. Bird Feeder A tiny little plug-in that automatically Tweets your published posts to twitter.
4. cforms II For now, no forms are better than cforms! Unless you have some bucks to spend! cformsII offers unparalleled flexibility in deploying contact forms across your blog. Features include: comprehensive SPAM protection, Ajax support, Backup & Restore, Multi-Recipients, Role Manager support, Database tracking and many more.
5. FD Feedburner Plugin Easily redirect your feeds to your feedburner account feed. Just install, set and activate!
6. Flickr Photo Gallery This plugin will retrieve your Flickr photos and allow you to easily add your photos to your posts.
7. Google XML Sitemaps Google sitemaps are, as you know for sure, a must have for blogs and web sites in general. This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO!….
8. Gravatar Gravatar allows you to add a face to your comments! Make yourself recognizable all around the blogosphere. Add the Gravatar plug-in to your blog to generate a gravatar URL complete with rating, size, default, and border options.
9. IntenseDebate Comments A revolution in the comments world! IntenseDebate Comments enhance and encourage conversation on your blog or website. Full comment and account data sync between IntenseDebate and WordPress ensures that you will always have your comments. Custom integration with your WordPress admin panel makes moderation a piece of cake. Comment threading, reply-by-email, user accounts and reputations, comment voting, along with Twitter and friendfeed integrations enrich your readers’ experience and make more of the internet aware of your blog and comments which drives traffic to you!
10. Lightbox 2 The famous well known and really useful JS effect used to overlay images on the current page.
11. Limit Posts Limits the displayed text length on the index page entries and generates a link to a page to read the full content if its bigger than the selected maximum length.
12. moodlight Moodlight allows your visitors to add their mood on posts via comments.
13. Related Posts Returns a list of the related entries based on keyword matches. If this is your first time using this plugin you will need to run the setup script first in order to create the required full text database index.
14. RSS Footer Allows you to add a line of content to the end of your RSS feed articles.
15. Scissors This plugin adds cropping and resizing functionality to WordPress’ image upload and management dialogs. Additionally, images that are resized in the post editor are automatically resampled to the requested size using bilinear filtering when a post is saved.
16. Sociable Get yourself some traffic via enabling your visitors to post/Share your blog posts in lots of Social networks. It automatically adds links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites.
17. StatCounter All the stats you might really need!
18. Subscribe To Comments Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. If you don’t the full powered Intense debate or disqus you could at least use this to engage your visitors in endless discussions.
19. Theme Test Drive If you love experimenting with your themes this is an interesting choice! Instead of having a stand-alone installation for testing sakes just use this plugin. Safely test drive any theme while visitors are using the default one. Includes instant theme preview via thumbnail.
21. WordPress Database Backup Don’t ever loose your blog Database ever again. On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Have it saved on your disk or emailed to you.
22. WP-Polls If you only need a good nice light weight poll plugin here you go! Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and css styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It now supports multiple selection of answers. Use WP-Polls Widget to add the polls to display single or multiple polls from WP-Polls Plugin.
24. WP Security Scan Perform security scan of WordPress installation.
25. WordPress.com Stats The easiest way to monitor rapidly the traffic of your blog.
I hope you will find these plug-ins useful and handy to increase your blogging productivity and to improve your blog. Please do share with me the plug-ins you are already using on your blog. Don’t forget to share using the buttons below and to subscribe via RSS or E-mail. Or just follow me on Twitter!
Posted on February 8, 2009 - by Khaled
In the previous blog post I mentioned 46 Essential FireFox Extensions Every Web Designer Should Have. Among these WebNotes. I really liked this useful FireFox extension (available for IE and for Safari and Google Chrome in a light version) as it turned to be a fast and truly easy to use giving a whole new meaning to the online notes. Whether you are using it for academic sakes, for communicating with your clients or “just” to organize yourself, your business and collaborate with your team, WebNotes is really outstanding.
I had the oppurtunity to have an interview with Alex King, the Director of Marketing at WebNotes, and I didn’t want to miss such a chance. So here are few insights about WebNotes.
– I am really glad to have you answering my questions! First of all can you introduce yourself and WebNotes?
We appreciate you writing about us! My name is Alex King and I’m the Director of Marketing here at WebNotes. I’ve been here about 5 months and I am having a great time working with these guys.
WebNotes is essentially a service for anyone who wishes they had an online highlighter or sticky note tool to markup the web. Aside from being able to highlight/sticky note, annotations can be organized into nested folders (by client, or project, etc), and shared with colleagues via permalink or email. Many of our web design users like to use WebNotes to interact with their clients when iterating through various site proposals.
– What about the team can you quickly introduce them?
Right now there are 4 other full time employees and 1 intern. The 4 full timers (Ryan, Bennett, Peter and Matt) are all brilliant engineers from MIT and Roger, our intern, is a serial entrepreneur who is helping us with marketing.
– What sort of technology lies beneath WebNotes?
– Any specific reason for these choices?
– What inspired you to create such product?
Ryan Damico, our CEO, was doing research for a class at MIT a few years ago and found the available tools for organizing his research woefully inadequate. He soon realized that other people had the same issues and decided to create WebNotes.
– What advantages and features do you think are the most attracting for Graphic/Web Designers and Developers?
As a whole, WebNotes has been designed to be extremely easy to use such that it integrates naturally into a developer/designer workflow. That said, the sharing features are probably the most attractive for designers so that they can keep their team and clients up to date with new revisions of their work. For designers and developers doing research on their own, WebNotes is also a great tool to quickly manage online content and keep track of their thoughts.
– WebNotes is still in public beta, when a final version will be released?
We are looking to release a new and improved version of WebNotes in the next few months.
– What are the main differences between WebNotes toolbar and WebNotes Bookmarklet?
First and foremost, the bookmarklet doesn’t require any sort of installation (it’s just a bookmark that you place in your browser). This allows it to run on a greater variety of browsers such as IE, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. The toolbar works on Firefox and IE and allows the user to access the organizer directly from a side panel. At the end of the day, however, the difference is based on what the user prefers and whether they want the fully featured toolbar or the more lightweight bookmarklet.
– I noticed that your web site and the toolbar itself are nicely designed! Do you think this is a plus?
Yes! I’m sure that you and your readers realize the importance of good UI, and we have spent painstaking hours focusing on this area of our product. In fact, it took us an entire day just to pick out the colors to make available in our highlighter tool!
– In the footer of the WebNotes site one can read: “Go green… make notes online!” is it just a slogan or do you mean what you say?
A substantial number of our customers used to print out websites for the sole purpose of annotating them and distributing them to their team or clients. We firmly believe this wastes paper and printer ink on resources that are easily lost and misplaced. While our number one goal is to improve the productivity of our users, we want to let them know that saving paper is a great ancillary benefit.
– Did this kind of ecological concepts help shaping your initial idea of creating WebNotes?
As per this question, we started off as a productivity tool and quickly realized that there were ecological benefits to be had as well.
– Is there a grand plan for the future of WebNotes?
There are many directions we can take at WebNotes as we move forward, but our goal will always be to offer the highest quality, easiest to use research tool on the Web. Right now we’re focused on building up our core services, listening very carefully to feedback from our users, and scaling up; where we take our service after that will depend on the needs of the market.
– Do you have a business model? how do you make money?
Later this year WebNotes will be releasing a premium version of its service. After that, we plan on continuing to add functionality that will greatly enhance the productivity of our users.
– Anything I didn’t ask about and you want to add?
We’d love to give your readers access to WebNotes. Would you like any Beta invites to distribute?
I hope that thanks to this interview you have a clear idea and a better knowledge of WebNotes. The excellent research, annotation andorganizing tool. For the invitation code (you need one in order to register) just click here. There are 50 invitations available for the moment. But once they are all used we can probably have more offered here.