All posts tagged “web app”

Create Online Project Proposals In WordPress Using WPBids

A few weeks back I had fellow web developer Brian Casel on to talk about what he does. One of his projects is a premium WordPress theme called WPBids. In today’s video, I do a walk-through of the WPBids theme which allows users to create online project proposals. It’s pretty slick! Visit www.wpbids.com for more information.

Disclosure: Brian provided a free copy of WPBids for me to try out and customize. And I’m glad he did that because I’m actually going to use this! I’m working on a proposal for a client with it right now actually.

But the savings don’t end there: For the next two weeks you can use the code “ANYWHERE20″ to get 20% off the purchase of WPBids or any of Brian’s other premium themes at ThemeJam.

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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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Seth Godin, The Internet, & Crack Cocaine

A few more thoughts from Seth Godin‘s “Linchpin” and the addicting distractions of the Internet.

What’s the biggest time-zapper for you online?

I’ll come clean that Vimeo is probably the most addicting distraction for me (especially when paired with my HD projector). Endless amazing art and talent. The creativity of others draws me in every time. Twitter comes in at a close second.

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Get Some Face Time With TokBox

Earlier this week I published a new article to MakeUseOf.com about TokBox, a video chatting and messaging app. In the past, I’ve encouraged all of you to do as much video as possible. Since we don’t get a ton of in-person “face time” with clients and co-workers, using an app like Skype or TokBox to have real-time video conversations really help strengthen trust in a relationship where we might otherwise be more heard than seen.

TokBox gives you an additional feature that is SUPER convenient for Work Anywhere folks like me: video messaging. You can record a video using your webcam and instantly send it to a client, prospect, vendor, or anybody else. I’ve taken to sending video messages over emails on many occasions. For me it’s almost quicker than typing out an email.

I go into all the details in my article, but just wanted to let you folks know that it might be an app that really adds a nice benefit to how you communicate from wherever you might be.

Check out TokBox. What video chatting/messaging services do you currently use?

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Getting All Your Stuff Done Using TeuxDeux

It’s been a quiet year so far here on AnywhereMan. Quiet on the blog, not-so-quiet in real life; it’s been downright busy. Hence, no time for blogging but lots of time to put into practice the concept I talked about in my last video: “Today I’m going to ____.”

In fact, it’s become “Today I’m going to ____. Tomorrow I’m going to ____. And the day after that…” It’s been really crazy.

Last month Seth Godin talked about a simple, free, and awesome web-based to-do list application called TeuxDeux.  I’ve been using it a ton, and while I don’t keep my entire life’s tasks on there, it’s been great for making sure I get every little project update and client request taken care of. If I happen to not get everything done today, it pushes overdue tasks to the next day and marks them in red. There’s even a space for “someday”/big picture tasks.

It’s actually been a total lifesaver.

So when you get up each morning and tell yourself what you need to get done, add it to your TeuxDeux list and get it off your mind.

Do you already have a daily task management app that you use? Tell us about it!

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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

tumblr

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 Microsoft Should Have Built Instead of Bing

Have you stopped using Google for search yet?

Me neither.  

While Bing has some nice features, I think it was a huge waste of money.  Today I challenge Microsoft to develop something that is useful to all Anywhere ASP.NET developers, and can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and maybe even mobile devices. 

I’m hoping Bill Gates, or Steve Ballmer, or at least the “I’m a PC”-guy from the commercials sees this video and tells someone at Microsoft to build this functionality.  I think it would be a game-changer. 

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