I’m going to come right out and admit it; my web browser tabs are always a disaster. Between client accounts, Blab stuff, research, tools, software, google drive documents and social platforms, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that I overload my web browser on a daily basis and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect my productivity.
Searching through tabs with multiple windows open, trying to move information from one place to another and keeping it all organized was starting to feel like a full time job. What’s worse is that I rarely shut my computer down so I’ve always got that plethora of tabs and windows staring back at me when I open Google Chrome or Safari or both at the same time. It’s a never ending battle to have everything accessible at all times while still maintaining my productivity (and sanity).
Luckily, I discovered a new tool this week that has made a drastic difference in my productivity level and the clustered disaster that is my web browser. It’s called Station and I think I’m in love! A desktop based software that allows you to choose from a huge app library so you can add all your software, platforms and tools into one easy to navigate window. At first I was skeptics about what it supported and how it would all work but after just one work day, I already felt like I was on the right track.
I’ve been able to add social platforms like twitter and Facebook Ads manager, I’ve got my slack hooked up, Trello, Gmail, my google drive, google calendars and multiple social management softwares. Now when I open my laptop in the morning, everything is organized and I’m kept away from my web browser unless I need to look up some information online so my focus is on the daily tasks that matter most and not elsewhere. The best part? It’s FREE and it works with Windows and iOS.
What’s your personal favourite productivity tool?
Visual content is incredibly important in the digital realm but sometimes tracking down and updating image sizes for each social platform can be time consuming. We found this great infographic from Constant Contact that outlines image sizes for some of the most popular social platforms so the next time you need to create a branded graphic or refresh your current images, you can get it done in no time!
Social Media played a prominent role in 2011 – not only proving its worth from a business and marketing prospective, but also emerging as a driving force in worldwide social and political movements. Social Media promises exciting new changes and even more success in 2012!
5. Social Goes Mobile
Nearly 50% of consumers now equipped with Smartphones, making it impossible to deny that these devices will prove to be the next phase of social networking activities. The power behind the mobile social movement lies in the capacity for smartphones to track where consumers are, who their friends with, and what’s nearby. Social mobile efforts in 2012 will focus on tracking what and where consumers are purchasing.
4. Twitter Supports Brand Marketing
Twitter’s release of business-friendly features will continue to drive this medium as a pivotal tool for brand advertising. Twitter continues to prove its ability to spark viral movements, increase word-of-mouth, and promote link sharing, making it a highly effective platform for spreading brand messages to consumers. Simplicity and effectiveness are the key strengths driving the increased integration of Twitter into traditional advertising campaigns. In 2012, brand advertising methods such as television commercials, will begin to integrate Twitter tags to push consumers to the site.
3. Television Programming Integrates Social Networking
Television viewing has naturally adopted social media activities, with many viewers already tweeting, texting, or calling their friends to discuss the shows they are watching.
In 2012, expect more shows that ask viewers to vote and interactive through their social networks, adding a whole new layer of content to traditional media. The launch of the new network, Get Glue, the TV equivalent of Foursquare, allows users to “Check In” to their favorite shows in order to collect stickers that tell the world what programs they like. Social media integration into our TV viewing habits will continue to gain popularity as the ratings for fully integrated programing becomes available.
2. Social Feedback Sparks Global Change
The Occupy Wall Street movement shed significant light on social media’s capacity for rallying the masses. Consumer reactions to political, social, environmental, and economic challenges are felt in real-time through the social feedback and link-sharing ability of site such as YouTube.
Be prepared for the major political campaigns of 2012 to depend heavily on social networks and the power of social feedback. Political candidates will turn their attention towards building their political platform from their social platforms, meaning we’ll be forced to sit through less annoying television commercials, while our personal opinions will be considered more valuable than ever before.
1. Google+ Gains Clout
Although most people still aren’t sure if Google+ resembles the social structure of Facebook or the idea-driven architecture of Twitter, the New Year promises to see a rise in popularity of this particular form of social media.
More users are already signing up for Google+ and the term is officially the second-fastest rising search term of 2011, proving that the future is bright for this part-social network and part-social search initiative. Get ready to watch Google continue to blend the Plus platform into its other offerings, particularly through Gmail and toolbars, in the effort to help users incorporate Google+ into their daily social networking habit.
As a small business, we’re constantly looking for new gadgets and accessories for the office and at home. As official social media addicts, we’re always looking for objects that scream social. Usually we lean towards the super functional but sometimes it’s ok to break the mold! What follows is a list of some really cool social media related accessories that any addict would be proud to own!
Facebook Like And Dislike Stamps
It seems like there’s always documents to review, copy to edit and decisions to be made. Why not take some pressure off yourself and invest in these like and dislike stamps? There’s no doubt that they’ll change the way you revise just about anything. Be warned though, recipients may not be thrilled with a page that’s filled with dislikes. To Buy: Urban Outfitters $14
Custom Twitter Mug
Have you ever wished your Twitter followers were around 24/7? If so, this customized Twitter mug is your new best friend. Interested buyers can sign in using their Twitter account and then select up to 108 friends whose profile pictures will be plastered across the white china mug. Potential buyers should be aware that the photos on the mug are permanent, unlike most followers on Twitter. To Buy: Crowded Ink $15
You “Tube” Socks
If you love Youtube and you occasionally wear socks, this is your lucky day! Proclaim your passion for the video search engine behemoth by sporting these super nerdy tube socks. Wear them with capris or shorts to receive the best possible reaction. To Buy: Google Store $6
Android Cookie Cutter
Everyone loves cookies, especially when they’re shaped like the adorable Android mascot! Chocolate chip, shortbread, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, the options are endless! There’s no guarantee that they won’t burn, but you can guarantee that your friends and family will appreciate the tasty Androids. If you’re Steve Jobs, you may want to bake the Android shaped cookies and then destroy them violently in a fit of rage. To Buy: Google Store $8.80
Social Media Clock
Being on time can be difficult, especially when you’re super busy catching up with all your friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, blog posts on WordPress and videos on Youtube. With this social media clock, you’ll never miss a meeting or forget to check your social networks again! Stay prompt and keep your walls looking fabulous. To Buy: walldecoration shop on Etsy $30
Just this week we started using Google+ to see what all the hype was about. At first we were unimpressed with the simple profiles and the lack of customization options but soon after we remembered a time when Facebook was the same way. There is no doubt that over time Google+ will grow and develop into a more diversified and detailed social network but in the meantime, it’s a nice reminder that sometimes less is more. Whether you haven’t been able to wrangle up an invite yet, you have no interest in trying it out, you hate Google, love Google or are obsessed with Facebook, this post will give you some insight into Google+ features and help you make that tough decision; to use or not to use?
Google+ places a strong emphasis on privacy features and tends to shy away from universal openness exhibited by other social networks like Twitter. Everything you do and share on Google+ revolves around your circles. These circles represent different acquaintances in your life. They are personalized and organized by you into groups such as friends, family, professional etc. Whenever you upload new content or update your status on Google+, you have the option to specify which circles can see your content.
We all like certain things and it’s no surprise that we want to follow topics online, share information and start a conversation with people who share the same interests. Sparks is a feature offered by Google+ that allows users to do just that. Just enter your interests in the Sparks search bar and Google immediately delivers a feed of content from across the internet on any topic you want in over 40 languages. You can even bookmark topics for quick future access. Sparks is well organized, visually appealing and easy to navigate making it a must-use feature that’s bound to take up a lot of your time!
Everyone loves to socialize so it’s no surprise that Google+ has managed to incorporate Hangouts as a unique feature on it’s network. Hangouts allows up to ten people to participate in a group video chat. The best part about this feature is that anyone can launch it and when you do so, it shows up in your activity stream so any of your circle contacts that are online can join in at any time. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a Google+ favourite!
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days so mobile applications are growing in popularity. Instant Upload is a photo sharing app that lets you add photos directly from your phone into a private album that you can share with anyone in just one click. As of yet, there is no limit on the file size, the number of albums or the number of photos. When it comes to video uploading, Google+ has restrictions that limit each video to 15 minutes but they allow up to 1080p resolution.
Have you ever tried texting four of your friends at once to try and plan a movie date? With Huddle, a group messaging app, you can let all your friends within a certain circle know what’s going on and you can all chat together in one place at the same time. It’s essentially like Blackberry messenger for Android devices.
Unfortunately these mobile apps are geared towards Android devices for the time being and there’s no telling if mobile apps will ever be available for Blackberry or iPhone users. Based on Google’s relationship with Apple, I doubt the apps will ever be compatible with Apple products but only time will tell.
Google+ is definitely a work in progress. There are no doubt bugs that need to be fixed and kinks that need to be worked out but it seems like the foundation has been set and from what we can tell, it’s solid this time. Long gone are the days of Orkut, Wave and Buzz. Hopefully this time Google hits a home run and gives Facebook a run for their money. With a sleek user-interface that makes excellent use of white space, new innovative features and simple functionality, Google+ is positioned to make it’s mark on social networking. Have you tried it yet? Let us know what you think!