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The Only Way to Share Folders on Dropbox

Posted by in How to, Small business

Dropbox is a great way to share documents with co-workers and clients but I’ve recently found that you have to be very careful when you’re sharing folders with other people if you don’t want to them to see personal and confidential information. Now if you’re like me, when you wanted to share a folder with someone else, you just sent them an invitation giving them access to that folder. Simple, right? Yes it is but it can also be downright dangerous. Because if that folder is a sub folder then not only do they have access to the folder that you shared with them, they also have access to everything within the parent folder. Yes, I mean everything! For example you may want to share a project file with one of your clients – call them Client A – so you create a folder for that project called Project ABC within your main client folder which contains the files for all your clients. As soon as you share that project folder with Client A, you’re also giving them access to everything within your main client folder. Not only can Client A see the project files, they can also see all your client files, which could prove not only deeply embarrassing but could also have wider data protection implications. So if you want to be sharing folders with other people on Dropbox, you need to make sure that you’re doing it the right way. And the right way to share a folder on Dropbox is to make sure that the folder is created within your main Dropbox folder, and not within another folder. By doing this, the people you share the folder with will only be able to see what is in that folder; they will not be able to see what is in the other folders on your main Dropbox account. So be careful when you’re sending out invitations to people on Dropbox – make sure that you’re only giving them permission to access the content that you want them to see. It’s important to get it right as it can have serious implications for your business. Get access to other tips and tools to help you work more effectively and get things done by completing the form below to download a copy of our free guide “How to Organise Your Workload So There’s More Time For...

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Gmail tabs: How to ensure you’re seeing your important emails

Posted by in How to, Organisation, videos

As you probably know, Gmail has introduced a new way of organising your inbox by  separating your emails out by category and putting them into separate tabs, eg Primary, Social and Promotions. Now this can be useful in helping you to see the most important emails first but you could also miss out on other emails that come in.` So watch the video below to find out how to use the new Gmail tabs to ensure that you see the emails that are important to you. Alternatively keep reading for a step by step guide. Go to your Gmail inbox and click on the Promotions tab and check for new emails. If there’s a message in there that you don’t want to miss then select it and drag it to the Primary tab. From now on, any messages from that sender will arrive into the Primary inbox. You can do the same for any messages that arrive into your other tabs such as Social. All starred messages will automatically appear in the Primary tab. If you want to revert back to the old inbox just click on the Settings icon and then Configure inbox.  Now deselect all the tabs and you will now see the old inbox view. So that’s how to you set up and manage the new Gmail tab system. If you want to get more tips on how to manage your time and work effectively in your business, then download a copy of our guide “How to organise your workload so there’s more time for you“. This guide is packed full of time management tips as well as 10 online tools to help you work more productively. Click on the link to download the guide >> How to organise your...

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How to earn more money from your clients

Posted by in How to, Small business

If you’re like me and charge for your time by the hour then you need to be keeping a track of how much time you spend working on a project. Jotting down rough times on a piece of paper or using the stopwatch on your phone may be OK if you’re just working on one or two projects a day.  But what happens when you get busy and suddenly find yourself juggling tasks from various clients? By not keeping a proper track of your time, you’re not billing the correct amount to your clients and this could end up costing you hundreds of pounds in lost revenue. To ensure that you’re earning money for all the work that you do each day, you need to have time tracking software. So here’s how to earn more money from your clients and the benefits of using a time tracking system. First of all, I use software called Paymo (free and paid versions) but there are other alternatives such as Hourguard (free) and MinuteDock (paid). Easy to use system:  You set up a separate account for each client then create projects and tasks applicable to them.  This means that whenever you start work on a project, you just select the appropriate task from the client account, and hit the Start button.   Once you’ve finished what you’re doing then you hit the Stop button and the time is recorded in the client’s account. Accurate billing:  You can easily see what you have billed to the client and how much time is outstanding.  In Paymo for example, you can look at the Project Overview and see how much time you’ve worked overall on that project and how much time hasn’t been billed.  Once you’ve invoiced the client, you go into the timesheet for that project and mark the tasks as billed.  This enables you to keep an accurate record of how much work you’ve done overall for a client and how many hours are still waiting to be invoiced. Accurate reports:  By using time tracking software, you will have an accurate and historical record of all the time that you have spent working on projects for a client.  So you can go to each client’s account and create a report of work that you have done for them on a specific project, or work completed over a specific period of time.  This means that you can easily produce a report of time spent working on projects either for your own records or to send to the client if needed. Track company performance:  The Paymo dashboard will tell you how many hours you’ve worked this month vs the previous month.  By keeping a track of...

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How to merge Excel cells without losing data

Posted by in How to, videos

Sometimes you have a spreadsheet where the information such as contact data is split out into separate columns or rows but you want to merge it into one cell. If you try to use the merge tool in Excel, it will only keep the data in the left hand column or row and the data in the other columns or rows will be lost. However, there is one way round this and you can find out how to merge Excel cells without losing data by watching the video below: If you want to get more tips on how to manage your time and work effectively in your business, then download a copy of our guide “How to organise your workload so there’s more time for you“. This guide is packed full of time management tips as well as 10 online tools to help you work more productively. Click on the link to download the guide >> How to organise your...

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3 Ways to Stay Motivated and Focused in Business

Posted by in How to, Time management

I’m sitting here in the sun writing this blog post (one of the benefits of working virtually!) and taking stock of how things have progressed over the last year.  From someone who left the corporate world 5 years ago with very little self-confidence and no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I would never have believed that I was capable of running my own business and getting it to where it is now. It got me thinking that very few people reflect on what they have achieved and celebrate their successes.  It just happens and then you suddenly realise that you’re in that place that you’ve been dreaming about over the last few years. So whether you’re starting out in your business or have lost focus on why you started out in the first place, then schedule some time to take stock of where you’ve come from, where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Here are 3 ways that I stay motivated and focused in my business: Have a plan.  I wrote a business plan before I started up and although it was fairly basic, it gave me some clarity about where I wanted to take the business.  As part of the plan, I did some market research on the VA industry in the UK, thought about the kind of people who may need my services, and put together a basic marketing plan of how I could reach them.  This has obviously changed over the last 3 years but it’s a good place to start so you can at least track your progress. Keep going.  In the early days of starting a business, you can very often find yourself sitting at home wondering what you should be doing next.  One thing that I found helpful was to put down in writing why I started the business and what I wanted to achieve over the next few years.  This was a personal story that captured where I wanted to be in 5 years time and included my personal values and goals.  Having this story has helped me to stay focused on my overall vision for the future.  Another great motivator was knowing what I didn’t want to do – and for me that was going back into the corporate world.  So when I wondered whether I should give it all up, I just thought of myself sitting in a cubicle with a boss standing over me! Build a support network.  This is vital as running your own business can be lonely.  I did this by going to networking meetings and building up a network of contacts.  Networking isn’t just about getting...

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How to edit pictures online for free

Posted by in How to

If you are someone like me who regularly needs to use images for your blog, presentations, reports or website, then it’s highly likely that you will need to edit some of them at some point.  Whether that’s because you want to change the size and shape of the image, or add colour, text or other special effects to it. In fact, one of the things that I was asked to do recently for a client was to put a portrait image into a landscape slider without distorting the picture itself.  Now this can sound complicated but in fact it’s very easy to do if you have image editing software.  But a lot of people are put off buying software such as Photoshop because it’s so expensive. So here’s how to edit pictures online for free. You can use one of the many online photo editing tools and the one that I regularly use is Pixlr.com.  Pixlr has many of the features that you find in Photoshop.  You can either edit existing images or create a new one such as a button or background image.  You can also create formatting effects such as changing brightness and contrast, and adding gradients, colour and text, as well as other advanced effects such as distortion, blur, smudge, sharpen and red eye reduction. Using Pixlr will save you both time and money.  You don’t have to open up software to get started – I know that Photoshop can take several minutes to open  up – and as its free, then it will save you a few pennies too. There’s just one thing to note: because all the editing is done online, you must save your work on your computer as you go along because you will lose it as soon as you close the browser window. Apart from that, using tools such as Pixlr are a great way to edit images online for free quickly and easily. If you want to get more tips on how to manage your time and work effectively in your business, then download a copy of our guide “How to organise your workload so there’s more time for you“. This guide is packed full of time management tips as well as 10 online tools to help you work more productively. Click on the link to download the guide >> How to organise your...

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