Tag Archives: Evernote

Making Facebook More Relevant

Facebook groups have become the place for community conversations on Facebook. Unlike Pages, where businesses or brands or small professionals promote their brands, products and services, people actually go to groups to speak to each other about the things they care about.

When people speak more about things they care about the conversations get really interesting and the conversational thread can get very long and involved. As a result, sometimes it’s way too much work to find the point or piece of information that had been shared when you need it.

Chris Smith and Jimmy Macklin have been instrumental in starting some of these conversation magnets in the real estate space, and the problem of the “lost pearls” became evident really quickly in a Facebook group entitled “What Should I spend My Money On?” The group, which has grown to 4200 members, has wonderful conversations by the users of hardware, software, products and services about their specific experiences good and bad. Being a neutral arena, the comments and conversations both pro and con garner a tremendous amount of interest, but with the ever increasing numbers of statements and comments it soon became difficult to find the information about that particular product or service you wanted information about. Only a short while after the group was created, members were looking for conversations from a day or two earlier, and bemoaning the difficulty in finding the information they needed.

And thus was born Curaytor. This social search engine allows you to search Facebook groups by topic, company, person or information source . In addition to the What should I spend my money On? group, the team added the “Raise the Bar” group and ”Tech Support Group for Real Estate Agents” and the conversations generated by roughly  their 6900 members, and an iPad and Evernote group as well. According to Chris Smith, “We can add any Group that is open and plan to quickly”.

Curaytor.com

Now real estate professionals and consumers have a place where they can go to find that interesting position, comment, product or service by topic, company, source or user, with a very simple and easy to use interface. People can , with one click pick topics that are trending, popular, new, or recommended by “staff”  who I assume are Jimmy and Chris who have been trusted sources of recommendations for quite a while now. even popular “curaytors” make their appearance when you search, hand picked by Jimmy as good sources of information in these groups. Their search is a custom search that looks at Tags, posts, and comments, using algorithms to determine the what newcomments and the number of interactions to determine what’s trending,

I’ve played with the site, and it is easy to navigate, simple to get absorbed in as you go from conversation to conversation. Social search has been a topic of interest for a while now, but Curaytor is an intriguing application and will, judging from the buzz about it already, could become a valuable resource for its users.

 

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Antique Locks and Keys

Three Tools to Unlock Business Success

Antique Locks and KeysThe are lots of tech tools that are promoted as being the one thing you need to make your business better, but many of them require you to change the way you do business to employ them effectively, or are aimed at redesigning your entire workflow. Some of them may work for you, and some may not, but I wanted to suggest a few tools that anyone can fit into any existing work flow and will , by using them increase their efficiency and potentially their income through their utilization. I use all of them, so I’m a little bit prejudiced, but I would suggest that at their very simplest level each of these tools could be adopted by anyone of any level of tech skills, and integrated to their current workflow with immense benefit. Without a lot of fuss and bother, let’s take a look at my trio of business helpers.

  1.  CardMunch - is a smart phone app which turns your smart phone into a business card scanner. The best part of it is that after taking the photo of the business card, it is transcribed in to a contact base, and can even be used to establish a LinkedIn connection (since the app is owned by LinkedIn) .
  2. Evernote – If you’re note using Evernote, you’re missing a great opportunity to work more efficiently. Evernote acts as a combination file cabinet and notebook, allowing you to synchronize your data across computers, iPads,   e Pads  and smartphones. The note can be audio, photos, or text, as well as web clipping interesting websites you visit. You can organize your notes through tags and notebooks, and in the paid version can share notebooks with others. Some real estate agents use Evernote for creating and sharing transaction folders with their buyers and sellers, and in combination with electronic signature vendors like Docusign, share documents and obtain electronic signatures through this Swiss knife of an application.
  3. DropBox.  No list of great business apps would be complete without Dropbox. This cloud based file saving and synchronizing platform is worth its weight in gold if you work with a team for your business, or if you want to share photos or date with others in your company. The program is simple. You save files in a folder marked “My Dropbox” and it synchronizes across every platform you have installed the app on. Your iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, android phone or tablet – everywhere you have an internet device you have access to your files. Just this morning I was working on a BPO for a client in Dallas Texas, when I noticed that the photos we had in our Dropbox file were not recent enough for the report. I called my assistant in Philadelphia who ran out to the property and uploaded new photos of the listing into Dropbox. I was able to view them in Honolulu (where I was taking a short vacation) almost simultaneously, I was able to view them on my iPad while I uploaded them to the BPO on my Mac to send to my client in Dallas Texas. By simply having Dropbox installed on each device, I was able to view and upload at the same time using different devices. The possibilities are endless. Share a file of receipts with your accountant to make keeping tax records easier. Create as many folders and sub-folders as you wish and share them with whomever you wish, keeping the other folders completely private.

Next time – I’ll tell you about a couple of great tools for working on that glut of email you deal with everyday. Until then – try these and see how they can help you do what you already do, but do it just a little bit better

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6 Apps to Make Your Smartphone Smarter

With just about every businessperson and teenager sporting a shiny new smartphone, the big question seems to be how useful your apps make your phone. Here are 6 all star apps for the Android and the iPhone to make your smartphone more than just another pretty face.

1. Android users can get over their “Bump” envy at last, Bump, originally an ios app was made to simplify the transfer of addres information between smart phones, With so many ways for us all to connect, just getting a phone number hasn’t been enough for a while. No android users can join their iPhone friends in transferring photos, contacts and apps by simply bumping phones together. Sporting a new design, bump now has the ability to share as many photos as desired, sync devices and find out what mutual friends you have. Working across operating systems, it just makes the distinction between android and iphone users a little less confusing

2. Note taking apps are very useful, and Catch Notes is an android and ios app that lets you capture and share photos, voice memos, maps and reminders, using a cloud based auto-sync approach similar to evernote. You can also creat collections that can be stored or shared for collaboration. You can also email notes and scan product barcodes to capture gift ideas. Provided as a freemium model, like so many other apps, there are aditional features available in the paid version

3. Having mentioned Evernote, I would be remiss if I didn’t add it to the list of must haves. Available for both the Android and ios operating systems, Evernote allows you to keep your phone, your tablet, and your computer synchronized with photos, web clippings, audio notes, and text, allowing you to Geo-Tag as you add data, and organize them into useful notebooks to use and share. I have evernote on every device I own, and I keep finding more and more ways to use it in my business and personal life. A real must have, and I even use the paid version for myself :)

4.Lemon is an ios app that makes it easy to track expanses by using your phones camera to scan an unlimited number of receipts. It provides the ability to assign labels and categories for different types of spending, allows you to create spending summary reports, export receipt scans, store receipts with encryption, and provide you with merchant data as well.

5.Wikitude allows users to find points of interest around them by using Augmented Reality technology. It allows you to simply hold your phone up and use the camera as a viewing device to see restaurants, ATMs, events, and user reviews. With more than 150 million pointd of interest and content prvided by over 2,500 providers, the tool is useful for travelers, or even consumers entering new neighborhoods in their own cities. Search abilities ad coupons just make the app even better

6. Teambox HD is a free ios based collaboration app that allows you to avoid emailing back and forth when you’re working on a project with others. Install the app on all of your team’s ios based smartphones, and you can establish sharing and cloud sync settings using Google docs and calendar as well as other services. Using Google Docs and Calendar will allow your Android toting friends easy access to your data until the Android version comes out

According to eMarketer 44% of all cell phone users carry smartphones today, and by 2014 that number will increase to almost 53%. every phone, no matter what the OS, relies upon the user to determine what apps will increase its functionality. I hope that you have found at least one or two new ones here. What apps work best for you?

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What Are You Juggling? 5 Steps to Manage Social Media

In teaching social media, the question asked of me most frequently (aside from “What’s the ROI?”) is “When will I find time to do this?”. All of us are busy – the demands on our time seem endless, and between our business demands and our family commitments, it seems that we just can’t do one more thing than we are already doing. So engaging in a social media campaign that can please us and still have an effective business purpose looms as a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow these pretty simple steps.

  1. Replace a low return activity - We all have them. Something that we do out of habit that isn’t returning the same benefit we used to receive. The fact that something used to work, doesn’t mean it still works in your business, but with all those balls in the air, it might seem to difficult to stop juggling one of them, but if you’ve ever watched a juggler, as long as they keep the same timing and rhythm, they are able to add and delete items from the stream without losing track of the items they are juggling.
  2. Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan – If you want to be effective, be consistent. Determine when you’re going to work on creating material and/or curating material. If you have an hour each day after the kids go to sleep or before they wake , or just a space on the weekend when you have a little quiet time, use that time to create a core of engagement. Write a blog post, make a video, take a photo or schedule material you are curating for your community. A regular time commitment at an “off-time” in your life schedule can be really useful and help you to focus.
  3.  Schedule Your Activities – This is not a restatement of the last point, but a reminder that technology allows use to engage in an asynchronous manner. HootsuiteTweetDeck and the scheduling tools on most blog platforms allow you to schedule the publication of Tweets, LinkeIn conversations, Facebook page postings well in advance of the time they appear. So if your quiet time is Midnight Tuesday evenings you can schedule a core of material to appear in the future which can act as a backdrop to your spontaneous postings during the week
  4. Multi-Task – All of us read something, and we have many tools that allow use to share while we’re reading. Many of those browser extensions allow us to schedule our sharing. I use a Hootsuite extension on my chrome browser, so if I am reading 5 or 6 items, I can schedule them to appear spaced out over a period of time. Or you can use a tool like Evernote to save web clippings or links and then share them later when you schedule them through Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. The same obviously applies to videos or photos you share.
  5. Use Mobile tools – On my may to a conference two days ago, I saw fireman practicing the use of their ladder truck by extending the ladder and climbing to the top of a nearby building. I was able to take a quick photo with my phone from the base of the ladder tat I thought was interesting. I shared the photo on Google Plus and Facebook, and had a few conversations during the day with people in those two communities that liked the photo (or wanted to know why I was climbing a ladder like that)  Other mobile applications like FourSquare and Gowalla allow you to check-in and post to other social platforms, allowing your community to share your experiences, with a quick comment. This sort of cross platform engagement needs to be thoughtful though- your community might enjoy your check-in at a new restaurant or community business as long as you add a short comment to put it into context. Another easy way to share is taking a mobile photo  to capture the ambiance of a new place or a tasty meal is usually well received -   people value the recommendations of their community members and might find a new place through your sharing. Mobile tools are also great for sharing your opinions on that new film or song that you just enjoyed (or perhaps didn’t enjoy) – and the person who avoids the bad experience or has a great one will appreciate your sharing with them

In the final analysis, adding social media engagement to your schedule will be easier with some thought and planning, and the use of tools, but it won’t require you to add more hours to your day.  Do you have a way you maximize your social media interaction, or a tool you like to make your life easier? Share it with us below!

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