All posts tagged “recommendation”

Live Your Life On Purpose With Help From Michael Hyatt

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Creating Your Personal Life Plan cover

I just signed up for Michael Hyatt‘s email list so that I could download his new e-book, Creating Your Personal Life Plan.  I haven’t even read it in full yet but after just skimming through the topics I can already tell it’s going to be a good one.

There are so many things in life that we plan: vacations, projects, events…but do we ever set out a plan for our life itself? I certainly haven’t and I can’t help but think planning everything else would get that much simpler if I had a set of goals and actionable items for my life as a whole.

Definitely take the time to sign up for Michael’s email list and download this free e-book. Also, his blog is one of my favorites so go ahead and add that to your reader app. Lots of great topics on everything from leadership to technology to lifehacks to book reviews. A goodie-bag of awesomeness.

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77 Seconds with ZooTool.com

Bookmarking stuff in your browser works fine, but I was looking for something a bit more visual and portable. For example, I bookmark a lot of WordPress themes and design ideas. Trying to go back and find a specific design using text-based bookmarking just doesn’t work for me.

ZooTool gives me a fantastic way to bookmark, organize, and browse pages, images, videos, etc that I may want to re-visit at some point in the future. It also has some great social features so you can see what your friends are bookmarking and what bookmarks are popular.

And why 77 seconds? Because it’s not a lot of time and it forces me to show you the main features quickly.

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One of The Many Reasons I Still Love FreshBooks

I have officially been sending clients invoices using FreshBooks since January 1, 2008. Awesome app…awesome company…amazing support.

One of the features that I absolutely love is the “Recent Activity” section on the front page of its interface (see above graphic). It shows you when you sent a specific invoice, and when the client actually got around to opening it.  This is useful because sometimes clients will say they never received an invoice, and in some cases they might be right (because you’d see it in FreshBooks). Sometimes it’s worthwhile to check with them to verify that they’ve received it if you notice it hasn’t been opened after a week or so.

Oh yeah, and I love the auto-reminders it sends to clients after 30, 60, 90 days or whatever intervals you decide upon.

In the time that I’ve been running my own business, it’s been nice to know that my time-tracking and invoicing is in good hands with FreshBooks. Seriously – I’ve never even had to think about it.  And PayPal integration has made it simple for my clients to pay quickly.

If you’re looking for a good…no, the BEST…billing solution, try FreshBooks for FREE for up to 3 clients. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Disclosure: Nothing prompted me to write this post other than the fact that tonight I was reminded of how many great features FreshBooks has and how useful it’s been to my business. If you are somehow able to make a specific aspect of my life as worry-free as FreshBooks does, I’ll rant and rave about you too!

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The Anywhere Workout by FitForTwo

Last August when I attended BizConf down in Jacksonville, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow attendee Brock Picken. There are two things you need about Brock. First, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Second, he’s in phenomenal shape and knows a ton about fitness and nutrition. He even spent a few years doing competitive bodybuilding.

When I met Brock, he told me about a site that was in the works where he and his fiance would share health tips, both in blog and video form. Well just yesterday, Brock and Marta successfully launched their new site, FitForTwo.TV.  It is SO cool to see a creative concept blossom into the final product. It’s a GREAT site!

Last fall I had emailed Brock for some workout tips. What he sent me was so fitting for what I do: The Anywhere Workout. It involves no equipment and obviously you can do this workout anywhere. I really got a kick out of that and made the agreement with Brock that I’d wait to mention it on my site until his was live.

Here are the six pieces of the workout as mentioned by Brock and Marta on their site:

Remember this Acronym:

Some Lucky People Deserve Brock & Marta

Perform the following as a continuous circuit, repeating 3-4 times for a 30 minute intense workout. Do 1 minutefor each station, or to failure, whichever comes first. Try to rest very little between each exercise. The less you rest, the harder it is and the more calories you burn!

S – Squats

L – Lunges

P – Plank/Push-ups

D – Dips

B – Burpees

M – Move! – do anything you can to get your heart rate up! Skipping, running on the spot, jumping jacks, etc. are all good at jacking up your heart rate.

They also put together a video outlining this workout, so be sure to check that out as well.  I need to do this one more myself. Summer is coming, and I need to get in shape for some good canoeing!

Congrats, Brock and Marta, on the launch of the new site!

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Spending Some Time Elsewhere On The Web

Lately, the virtual version of me has been hanging out on a few other sites. AnywhereMan.com is my main blogging/video home, but in the past few weeks some very exciting opportunities have been presented.

First, I am on a month-long trial as a contributor for a popular web app/software website called MakeUseOf.com. The site has lots of tips, tweaks, and reviews and I’ll be writing there a few times as they test me out (i.e. until they realize I’m just a wannabe blogger!). My first article was published this past weekend and was entitled “3 Ways To Use Google Reader As An Online Archive.” It’s been a fun experience thus far. I mean, I’m writing about web apps and even getting paid to do it. Perfect!

Next, you’ll recall that last week I did the first AnywhereMan interview with Lisa Kanarek. It was a blast! Much of the process of setting up the interview and recording it was made known to me through Andrew Warner at Mixergy.comhome of the ambitious upstart. Andrew’s a great and super bright guy, and my wife and I were lucky enough to spend some time with him when we were at BizConf last summer.

Well, Andrew took a look at my interview with Lisa and the next day one of his guests was unavailable at the last minute. He graciously invited me on his live program to discuss my interview experience and use it as an opportunity to emphasize to his audience the importance of doing interviews. He gave some awesome tips and I learned a lot from him describing some of the things he’s observed. You owe it to yourself to follow Andrew and his future interviews. He’s interviewed some amazing guests like Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss…and he’s just getting started.

Thank you, Andrew, for the opportunity! Folks, stay tuned for a future AnywhereMan interview with Andrew as he is definitely a fellow AnywhereMan (He’s currently doing all of his interviews from Argentina). Here’s my appearance with him last week:

Business Tips via Mixergy, home of the ambitious upstart!

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The Benefits of Doing Daily Photos With ShutterCal

For the past month or so, I’ve been using ShutterCal to upload a daily photo. ShutterCal then displays photos in an actual calendar format making it easy to look back over the past month of photos. As a person who works from home, I discovered some really neat advantages to doing this that I hadn’t thought of prior to using it:

  • It forces me to get out of my PJs and into “real” clothes every day as well as comb my hair. Well, maybe not comb my hair. But I can look back and figure out when I last had a haircut. No more going two months between cuts.
  • It acts as a daily journal. I can go back and look at past days and look at the context of the photo for an idea of what I did that day.
  • It gets my creative juices flowing…easily. Most of the time I shoot my daily photo simply using the webcam on my MacBook. Easy, but creatively challenging to make each photo different somehow.
  • It gets me out and about. Looking back over a monthly calendar of photos, it’s easy to spot trends. If too many photos in a row are me sitting in my house, then it’s time to get out.

These are all great things for someone working from home. If you decide to join me on ShutterCal, you’ll find my calendar here. Let’s be friends! :)

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Back Up Your Online Data With Backupify

It’s the end of another year and decade, and many of us are making New Year’s resolutions.  I’m normally not big on resolutions, but this year I do have one thing that I’d like to try to improve: backing up all of my data. So far I’ve established a decent system of backing up to an external hard drive as well as select backups to DVD.

However, this is a process of simply backing up files that are on my local machine. What about data that I have housed online?

As a web developer, I live much of my life online. I have a number of  blogs (mostly WordPress), social media accounts, documents, photos, etc that all reside on the web. I also use the full-arsenal of Google apps with Gmail being my main app for email, both personal and professional. I don’t know what I’d do if there was a crash and all that data was lost. I’ve heard a number of people express this same concern.

Enter Backupify, a new backup web app housed on Amazon’s cloud that connects to several web-based systems such as WordPress, Flickr, Twitter, and more. It can backup your data on a daily or weekly basis and allow you to browse and download any backup you may need.

At this point, I’m especially interested in the fact that it can backup my WordPress data automatically. I have several blogs on the WordPress platform and though I can do manual backups, having something that runs automatic daily backups is a time-saver.

Backupify can also backup your Gmail and Google documents (though at the time of this post the Gmail functionality was down for maintenance).

So far I’ve hooked Backupify up to my Google docs, Twitter account, and a few blogs. It was very easy to set up the account and get it all configured, and I even downloaded a copy of one of my backed-up blogs. It provided me with both the source files and the entire database scripted into SQL. This will really save me time and allow for a quick road-to-recovery in case one of my sites ever gets wiped out.

Right now the service is FREE. I read on the Backupify blog that the site will be going to a freemium model in the near future, so there will still be some sort of free level with a fee to upgrade to premium features.

Take a look at Backupify and let me know what you think. Do you have your own method for backing up your online data?

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Two Handy Apps You Can Use From Anywhere…Even Turkey!

FROM DAVE: This is a guest post from my buddy, Jake Olson, regarding a couple of handy apps that he uses. Jake works from his home in TURKEY! How cool is that? Speaking of Turkey, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And here’s Jake:

Hi there Anywhere People! My name is Jake Olson. I know Dave, the original AnywhereMan, from high school and have greatly enjoyed his website AnywhereMan.com. I also live the AnywhereMan lifestyle and enjoy it quite a bit. I’ve been working full time for a Distribution company called Lukas Media that sells DVDs and Woven Gifts from Turkey since last winter. Although our company is based in Tulsa OK, I am able to run the company from my home in Adana Turkey. Prior to this job, I was working as a freelance English tutor here in Turkey. Although that work was very fun, afforded incredible flexibility and very good pay, I was financially tied to one geographic location in that if I decided to travel to visit family, I was unable to make any money, despite having family in both Turkey and America (my wife is Turkish).

In the midst of that, I read The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris and was inspired by the idea of being able to work from anywhere in the world. I decided to take the part time work I was doing for Lukas Media at the time and craft it into a full time position. Although I’m not exactly working four hours/week, I have managed to create a job that is rewarding and unrestrained geographically. I am truly able to do my work from anywhere in the world that I can get wi-fi, and I love the Anywhereman lifestyle.

Well, that’s my intro and my Anywhereman Testimony. The main reason I offered to do a guest post today is that I have two strong recommendations for products we started using in the past two months.

Check out the video I recorded about the products. Don’t knock the quality, it was recorded on free software that required no download. If you need to record training videos of your screen as a resource for employees or clients, I recommend checking out Screencast-O-Matic.com. If you are in an industry where people still insist on using Faxes, you can’t really just say “I’m from the 21′st century, I don’t do fax” you have to go with it. We finally broke down and found an online fax service; Metrofax.com it’s a pay/per/month service (unfortunately) but for us it’s so worth it. $15/month vs. hassling with a fax machine, fax line, etc is worth it. Check out the video to see how easy it is to use.

I hope these are helpful to you. Please connect with me on Facebook.com/JakeDOlson or Twitter.com/JakeOlson. Happy Thanksgiving and long live the AnywhereMan lifestyle.

DAVE: Thanks Jake!

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How I’m Using Tumblr

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I signed up for a Tumblr account a few months back and I’m happy to say that I’m finally using that account. If you’re not sure what Tumblr is, I can only describe it as Twitter meets WordPress meets FriendFeed. It’s kind of a blogging platform, but it’s also set up well for short bursts of content. You can also follow other Tumblr users.

It’s not that I didn’t like the platform at first, it’s just that I didn’t know how to fit it into my growing assortment of blogs, feeds, blah blah blah. There are so many places for us to put content on the web in a variety of formats, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted one more in the form of a Tumblr account.

That’s the exact thinking that finally gave me the perfect use for Tumblr: Use it as a central location for all the content I’ve got out on the web. Whether it’s a blog post, video content, a photo, or any other RSS-able piece on content, I’m going to funnel it all through my account. It does a great job of importing feeds and allowing you to post content directly. This post itself will automatically show up there within a few hours of publishing.

I’ll also use Tumblr for quick little tidbits and random pieces of information; the type of content that is too large for a Twitter update and maybe too small for a full blog post. Also, this will be a place where I can post things that are both personal and professional…just kind of an “all things Dave Yankowiak” place to go. Sometimes it gets tricky when you combine business with personal life with faith with hobbies and more, but who cares? I always try to keep a level of transparency as part of my personal brand.

Another super cool feature is the ability to record audio for Tumblr from your phone by simply calling a toll-free number. I’ve played around with the iPhone app as well and it’s really easy to use…much easier than the WordPress app for iPhone.

What’s really nice is that Tumblr let’s you point a custom domain to the account, and I have had my personal domain daveyank.com just pointing at my Lift Development site for the past few years. Now I’ve got a place to point it that will be a central hub for both friends and colleagues to find me.

If you’re on Tumblr, give me a follow and I’ll be sure to follow you back.

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What I’ve Learned About YouTube, Vimeo, and Viddler

You may have noticed that recently I started using YouTube to show the videos on AnywhereMan instead of Vimeo.  The reason for this change was a glitch I encountered with Vimeo and its inability to properly encode the .wmv files that I was uploading from my new webcam. The problem was the files’ 15 fps frame rate, and YouTube handled this frame rate much better.  

However, it now looks like Vimeo fixed whatever was wrong and I am able to upload those .wmv files for correct encoding.  I’m at a point where I’m uploading to both YouTube and Vimeo for each video, both for dependability and for having multiple ways for people to find AnywhereMan.  I thought it might be good to give a breakdown of the apps I view as the “top three” video hosting services out there right now, and my opinion of each one.

Vimeo – The Artist’s hideaway

vimeo_logoVimeo is my favorite video hosting service out there, for many reasons.  First of all, it has the best HD handling and overall video quality (watch the videos on the Canon HV20/30/40 channel for proof).  It also has the cleanest interface, the best player, some awesome social media/community features, and it lacks much of the garbage videos cluttering up YouTube.  Vimeo has explicit rules about making sure you are uploading original content, whereas YouTube is completely full of old TV show clips.  Vimeo also doesn’t have the 10 minute limit that YouTube does.  This was appealing to me as I’m considering doing some short documentaries.  The other thing I love about Vimeo is the ability to create groups and channels, such as the AnywhereMan channel.  

The negative aspects of Vimeo service are things such as the occasional problem like I had with the .wmv files and the time it takes to get your videos encoded…if you have the basic free subscription.  I like Vimeo enough to buy a Plus membership which allows for very quick video upload and encoding among other perks like 5 GB of upload per month and HD embedding.  I really like it and the cost has been worth it.  The other negative is that I can’t watch my Vimeo vids on the iPhone or iPod Touch.  However, since I dually upload to YouTube, that takes care of that issue.

Here is a sample of a video on Vimeo:

 

 

YouTube – Where all the kids hang out

YouTube_Logo.svgMy second-favorite video service is YouTube simply because it’s one of the biggest video destinations on the web and it does a great job of getting uploads indexed in search engines.  I don’t love its encoding, but it gets the job done.  Whereas Vimeo is where I see more film-makers, musicians, and photographers hosting their original content, YouTube is where I see a lot of high-schoolers posting videos of their friends getting hit in the crotch with skateboards. It has a lot of legit content too, but there’s a lot of competition.  Again, it’s big and it gets the job done, but whereas I’m willing to pay $60/year for Vimeo, I’d maybe pay $3/year tops for YouTube.  I’m not too loyal to it.

Here is a sample of a video on YouTube:

 

Viddler – Business time

viddlerThe final service of what I view as the Big Three of video apps is Viddler.  I list it here only because I see a lot of others (like Gary Vaynerchuk) using it.  The thing that Viddler really has going for it, especially for businesses, is the branded player option.  You can actually upload a copy of your logo and brand the video player.  You can tweak the colors to match as well.  In a way I view Viddler as the perfect complement to Vimeo: Vimeo is trying to be as non-commercial as possible, while Viddler is probably the best-suited for business content.  I am not sure if I consider AnywhereMan “commercial” or not, so Vimeo wins my love. Of course.

I’ve heard that Viddler can support HD, but I haven’t seen it on the HD videos I’ve tried uploading.  It looks like they are offering paid accounts now, so I’m guessing that’s a feature on those.  

Here is a sample of a video on Viddler:

 

There are plenty of other video services out there and I hope to highlight some more in the future, but I thought I’d give you a quick run-down of the apps I’ve had experience with.  I’m doing more and more video and I’m really enjoying it!

If you are producing video content, what are you using to host your videos?


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