Monthly Archives: December 2012

10 Mobile Apps for Business You Can’t Live Without

By Gail Z. Martin

Whether you’re a true road warrior or you just seem to be on the go all the time, mobile apps from your tablet PC or smart phone can make your life much more productive.  Even better: many great apps are free, and others are very inexpensive, so productivity seems sweeter than ever.

What are the basics you need to get work done when you’re not in the office?  At a minimum, you need some good ways to take notes, work on or read documents, store and retrieve files, and access the tools you usually have close at hand in an office or on your laptop.  Fortunately, there are apps for all these needs, and on your smart phone or tablet PC, they’re truly at your fingertips.

Smart phones and tablet PCs are desirable because they’re smaller and lighter than a laptop and easier to carry around.  But that same portability comes with a price: they can’t carry all of the files stored so conveniently on your laptop.  Good news: an ever-increasing array of apps bridge that gap between laptop and mobile device, making it easier than ever to work on the go.

Quick note taking is essential to keep your thoughts organized, especially when you’re constantly in motion.  iPhones and iPads come with a basic Notes app, which while not perfect, is quite suitable for the kinds of things you’d jot on a cocktail napkin.  While it doesn’t sync with other apps and it doesn’t have any security beyond that of your phone’s keypad, Notes is perfect for jotting down something you don’t want to forget and assuring that you won’t lose the scrap of paper you wrote it on.  Not perfect, but it’s free, and there’s a lot of basic function that goes a long way.

Evernote, which I’ve discussed earlier in the book, also has a mobile app.  So if you love it on your other devices, you can bring it along in your pocket with your phone or tablet PC.  A few other note taking apps include Awesome Note, WriteRoom, Simplenote and RememberTheMilk make it easy to jot down what you need to remember, and come with varying additional capabilities, such as being able to sync to other devices or store data in the Cloud.

Pages is very good, basic app for reading and writing documents.  Documents you create in Pages can be emailed in RTF or Word format, and you can email yourself (small) documents in those formats and edit using Pages.  While I find it cumbersome to type documents of any length with the on-screen keyboard or a phone or tablet PC, when you pair Pages with a wireless keyboard, the result is pretty efficient.

For those who want to access their Microsoft Office files from their iPad or iPhone, Quickoffice® Pro HD bridges the gap between Microsoft and Apple.  There’s also a scaled down version, Quickoffice Connect Suite.  With Quickoffice, you can open a Word document, access a PowerPoint presentation, or edit, save and share other types of Office-based files.  Office2 HD is a similar program, offering a few more capabilities for word processing than some of the more basic apps.  Documents To Go® Premium Office Suite not only handles Word and PowerPoint, but it will also access Excel spreadsheets, and it syncs with storage programs including Dropbox, SugarSync and

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin.  Order here:




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Three Things You Should Know About Access-Anywhere Software

By Gail Z. Martin

            Being able to access your software from anywhere on any device can be a real lifesaver when you’re on the road.  Programs that live on web servers that you can access via the Internet are what Cloud Computing is all about, and it’s the key to using your smart phone and tablet PC to get more done when you’re on the go.

But if your programs don’t live on your computer hard drive, how safe are you from hackers and viruses?

If the idea of having your valuable and proprietary data residing in the Cloud worries you, there are steps you can take to set your mind at ease.

First, make sure that you understand the individual service provider’s privacy policies, terms of use, and recommended methods for safeguarding the security and integrity of your data.

Secondly, always back up essential information.  This can mean creating a print-out, saving a Web-based document as a file or a screen shot, or copying essential information to your hard drive or an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) storage site.  An FTP site allows you to store and share documents or files that are too large for regular email.  Yes, FTP sites are also Cloud computing sites—a good example is, but there are many similar sites.

Third, be certain to safeguard your password.  Realize that when you share access to your Cloud computing sites with an administrative assistant or colleague, they may gain access to your billing and credit card information unless the site allows for different levels of access.  Some Cloud computing sites offer a group membership, so that you can provide access to several employees or partners while keeping your own account information private. Other programs make it possible to designate an “administrator” who can access everything except the billing/payment information.  If you must share your password with an assistant, keep track of which passwords have been shared and be sure to change your password if your relationship with the assistant ends.

Cloud computing programs can boost your productivity by giving you access to powerful software without the hassle of downloads and updates.  You save time, reduce the in-house needs for online storage, and reduce your dependence on hired computer professionals.  Just think–no more losing part of a day as your IT consultant tinkers with the settings to make sure a newly downloaded program doesn’t wreck your network!

Small businesses and solo professionals also benefit by gaining access to valuable online services and software which would be prohibitively expensive to license on an individual basis, and which would require significant investment in servers and personnel to install and manage in-house.

For big productivity gains and lower costs, get into the Cloud!

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin.  Order this book at

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Are you Sabotaging Important Contacts From Reaching You With LinkedIn?

by Lisa Mininni

One of the internal systems my Entrepreneurial Edge System Clients learn is to connect their online and offline strategies.  After they attend a face-to-face networking event, they will go online and connect with people they have just met. It’s a great way to bridge offline networking and online connections.  It also gives them a second touch point so they continue cultivating that relationship with someone they just met in person.

It’s at this point, things usually get interesting.  I often hear stories on how they tried to connect on LinkedIn with someone they met in person, only to find that they weren’t sure it was them because their profile had no picture!

If you’re wondering why your network isn’t growing, you might be making it difficult for others to connect with you online.  Here are some of the common roadblocks and tips to remove them:

  1. You include your logo instead of your picture.  People want to connect with people – not logos.  Someone you just met at a networking event wants to make sure they are connecting with the right person. They may not remember your logo.  Make it easy for them to know they are inviting the right person to their network by including your latest professional photograph.
  2. Your Settings Create an Invisible Barrier.  One setting in LinkedIn requires the requestor to type in your email before being able to link with you.  There is one pitfall to this setting:   you may prevent someone who wants to be your client from connecting with you because they don’t have your email yet.  Think through those settings before engaging them. You may be putting up that invisible barrier between you and important contacts.
  3. You Have a Nickname.  If you have a nickname or you’re given name is Michael but you go by Mike, it’s a guessing game on how to find you on social media.  Remember to include your LinkedIn URL on your business cards or website making it a breeze for others to find you.
  4. Your Profile is Incomplete.  If your profile is incomplete, it puts the question in your prospect’s mind (or even a potential referral source) on how serious you might be about your business.  Complete your profile, including the name of your company, your profile picture, testimonials, credibility points (such as certifications, degrees, or awards), essential skills, and groups you belong to.

Remember, your prospects may find you through one of your networking sources. They may not always visit your website and instead look you up on LinkedIn.  When you give your social media profiles a facelift and look at how all of your marketing  strategies fit together, you’ll make it easy for others to connect with you and create a consistent flow of new business.

Lisa Mininni is the best-selling author of Me, Myself, and Why? The Secrets to Navigating Change and President of Excellerate Associates, home of the sought-after Entrepreneurial Edge System, which shows business owners how to automatically bring in pre-qualified prospects and turn them into invested clients 98% of the time.  For her brand new eBook, Get More Clients Now! 3 Steps to More Clients, More Money, and A Business You Love, visit


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4 Easy Ways to Make Sure You Never Forget An Important File Again

By Gail Z. Martin

When you’re on the go, it’s difficult to bring all your files with you.  Carrying a laptop can be difficult when traveling through airports, and taking your computer with you puts you at risk for theft and damage.  Printouts are cumbersome, offer data security risks, and provide only a static snapshot.

To address these problems, Cloud computing programs make it possible for users to access their computers remotely and store files in secure storage sites that can be accessed on the go.  For users who rely on instant, mobile access to stored data but don’t want to lug their laptops everywhere they go, these programs offer portability, security and easy access.

GoToMyPC enables subscribers to securely access their computer back at the office while they’re on the road.  If you’ve ever had an “oops” moment of panic as you realized that you left the folder or the flash drive you needed for your out-of-office presentation back on your desk, you can appreciate the appeal.

GoToMyPC is compatible with both Microsoft and Apple computers, and can also be accessed from an iPad. The service offers access to files, email, applications and network resources via a secure, encrypted connection.

Other virtual access programs include, and

You’ll need to weigh the convenience of remote access against the possibility, however slim, that even the most secure data connections can (at least theoretically), be compromised.  If you travel frequently and have ever had a deal compromised by a missing file, the benefits may be well worth the risk to you.  This is especially true for one-person companies who lack the home office staff to email or overnight a forgotten document.

If you’re in a business where a security breech would be catastrophic, it’s probably worth the price to confer with your Information Technology consultant to explore options.  While the remote access programs themselves may be secure, there are inherent security risks to using public access computers, such as those in hotels, libraries and office supply stores.  Only you can decide whether the risks outweigh the convenience.  If you’re not sure how to assess the risks, talk to your IT consultant.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin.  Order this book at

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11 Important Reasons to Move to The Big Storage Unit In The Sky

By Gail Z. Martin

No, this isn’t about the afterlife.  It’s about how you can store files someplace that never runs out of room, and back up your important data in a safe place outside your home or office.

Corporations store their data backup in salt mines and high security off-site locations.  That’s a little extreme (and expensive) for most small businesses, but the need for secure storage and backup isn’t limited to large corporations.  A flood, fire or natural disaster could wipe out your computer and your locally-stored flash drives and portable hard drives.  Frequent back-ups to a storage location reduce your risk of a catastrophic data loss.

Storage capacity is another challenge for many users.  While storage costs have decreased tremendously, making terabytes of capacity reasonably priced, some users rapidly exceed their on-site storage capability.

Fortunately, Cloud computing offers alternatives for both data security and data storage.

Carbonite, Mozy, MyOtherDrive, iBackup, Dropbox, GoogleDocs, GoDaddy, Sugarsync, ElephantDrive, LiveDrive, MyPCBackup and other sites offer Cloud-based data backup and storage capabilities.  Most sites provide automated back-up, making it less likely that you’ll forget to update files.  In addition, files stored on the Cloud can be accessed from any location, giving you portability.

When looking into Cloud-based data storage, remember that you’re entrusting your sensitive files to a third party.  Here are some questions to consider as you weigh your alternatives.

  • What happens to my data if the provider is sold, merged or goes out of business?
  • How does the provider assure site security?
  • What precautions are taken against hackers?
  • How does the provider do its own back-up to assure my data is safe if the provider has a catastrophic event at their location?
  • What do other users say about the ease of use, security and customer support?

Cloud-based storage and back-up can be valuable and affordable services.  Having your files saved from just one on-site disaster could well be worth the investment in monthly fees.  As always, be sure to check out provider options to find the service that is the best fit for your business.

Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin.  Order this book at

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