I ♥ Evernote

Evernote logoThis program is only the greatest note program ever devised. If you keep a thousand paper notes and notebooks and always have ideas you write down in the night, or if you just like to stay organized this program is for you. Evernote allows you to capture text, images, pdfs, voice, photographs, you can even make notes with checkboxes.

I like to use it to compile and organize my ideas and if I don’t have time to type I use the voice note. Then I transcribe it into text later. I use it for my quote bible to record all my favourite quotes, I use it to clip parts of sites and pdfs for research. And best of all it syncs perfectly with my iPhone, my PC and on the web. The web app is just as good as the PC app and the iPhone app is so handy. I hate losing ideas and Evernote prevents me from forgetting.

Best of all it’s completely free. If you see me wearing an Evernote t-shirt I did not sell out, I just want to support these guys. (you can even share notebooks to a specific URL! or edit them between friends or team mates). And they are adding new functionality daily.

Check out the site yourself http://www.evernote.com and get started today.

Systemized: A guide to understanding the world of ERP software

ebookI wrote this white paper (more of a guide I guess) about my perspectives on ERP software from a consultants point of view. I have been working with ERP for seven or so years now and have worked in business all my life. Technology is a powerful lever and if you want to use it effectively you need some sort of business management software.

This is where an ERP system comes in and if you have no exposure to Enterprise Resource Planning systems then you must check this white paper out!
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Mint.com: 3 Reasons to Track your Finances

When it comes to tracking your financial statements I will be honest. It’s BORING (and I love accounting, weird I know). I used to make all my payments on time, double check everything but I didn’t really take too close of a look unless something was way out of whack.

I stumbled across an app on my iPhone called Mint. I had been looking for a way to get a better handle on my expenses and I have determined that this is the service to do that.
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Fix annoying Outlook 2007 quirks

So I figured out a couple of cool tricks that I thought I would share to increase your speed working with Outlook 2007.  (Some tricks might work for 2003 but I did not test them so it’s at your own risk/disappointment)

1. Change Colour of Outlook

By default it is a blue colour.  Some like it, some don’t.  But you can change it to black / silver / blue if you would like and the entire Office Suite 2007 changes with it to match.  Kind of slick.
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Google: The Baddest Outlaw in the West

Be afraid Apple and Microsoft.  Be afraid cable TV providers.  Be very afraid…

The infotainment industry is turning into the wild wild west with Google emerging as the Jesse James of the competitors.

If you are not familiar with Google Chrome, it is a lightning fast new browser which has become my primary.  It still has a few issues, but every patch is bringing them closer.

http://www.google.com/chrome/

Well, now they are taking it one step further, developing an Operating System (OS) based on the coding from Chrome.  This new OS will be in direct competition with Apple and MS and it has some incredible ideas that can’t be ignored.  From this intro video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QRO3gKj3qw) you can see they are doing away with most of the troublesome complexity of the typical Mac or PC.  I think it’s a beautifully simple idea and it can boot up in less than 3 seconds!

Chrome OS will be a huge blow to the OS market allowing Google to get a toehold into this market.  And I think the simplicity combined with the penetration of Gmail will truly change the market.  A typical user that wants to just view email and pictures or do word processing will now have a platform that is FREE, stores all your data remotely and is super fast without all the updates and other BS that comes with MS and Apple.

Here is a more detailed (LONG) demo of Chrome OS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANMrzw7JFzA&feature=channel

The future of data will be what is known as ‘The Cloud’ which very simply means your info is not stored locally, it is stored remotely on secure servers.  And with the ability for Chrome OS to be run on your TV, phone (Android) and computers, it will give you access to all of your data anywhere you go.  Checking email will be done from all access points and this will bring us closer to having one source for everything.  Phone, cable, email, internet info all from ONE cable on one platform.

Not to mention that if somehow you lose your phone or your computer dies, the data isn’t dependent on being in one specific location.  Harddrives will become unnecessary (for most users) and there will be a global shift to a streaming style of data rather than stockpile.  While we will be able to get more data at once, it will actually use less bandwidth.

To facilitate this streaming style of data transfer, Google has actually purchased a new faster streaming format and turned it into what will be called WebM to compete with the utterly horrible Flash format.  More details here on the formats:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052101683.html

They will be releasing this format to coincide with the Google TV initiative that has just been announced.  Google TV will effectively cut out cable providers from the equation leaving the millions of miles of cable tv wire running around the world basically obsolete.  Feeding all data through the internet has been clearly the only way to do it and now it is closer to being a reality.

That only leaves the phone market.  Iphones are nice, well built and entertaining, but they are so damned restrictive.  You mean I can have a 32G flash drive on my phone and I can’t put even a text file on it??  Yup, that is what Steve Jobs is telling us.  Well Google is blowing the doors off the iPhone with their powerful new Android system.  Building steam steadily, they have started to eclipse the iPhone OS by emulating all of the good points and building in their own fresh new ideas.  Flash/flash streaming on your phone anyone?!  Well with a little luck and some well put together handsets they will start to edge out the omnipotent iPhone slowly but surely.  I think they don’t have a significant front runner in this area yet, but admittedly the Android platform is still being honed to perfection.

Article about Android: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052101683.html

With phone, TV and OS domination on the horizon, it is our pleasure to stand back and watch the big companies fight it out for the next best thing.  We have lots to be excited about with all of these new technologies and I for one am happy to see new and fresh things happening.

Click, click bang, Google shot you down.