Windows 8 debuted nine months ago and advisors are just starting to adopt it. I’ve been using Windows 8 daily for six months and like it a lot. The more I use it, the better it gets. Here are five Windows 8 ideas that can make you more productive.
1.Easier Sharing. If you’re looking at an email, article, video or other content in Windows 8, sharing is much easier. Windows 8 has “charms” that open on the right side of the screen when you move your cursor to the right side of the screen. If you’re using the touch version of Windows, you can expose the charms by swiping your finger from the right edge of the screen to the left. The “Share” charm allows you to share the content you’re looking at by emailing it or saving it to a shared folder in SkyDrive or DropBox, or posting it to Facebook or Twitter. No way yet available toi share on LinkedIn from the Share charm, but that's sure to come soon.
2.Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse. The blue stripe on this mouse is actually a button that pops open the Start screen in Windows 8, where all your most important files and tiles are displayed. So you can be working on a document in Word and, with one click to the blue stripe, be transported to your start screen to get to news, check weather, or anything else. That’s really convenient. The Windows 8 Start screen is a dashboard with live tiles and visually conveys a lot of information. Moving from your work to that screen is like going from work to a fun place. The scroll-wheel on this mouse can be tilted right or left and that moves you across the screen horizontally. If you’re on the Start screen where all your most important apps and files are located, you can scan across them fast by keeping the scroll wheel tilted right or left. This mouse connects to your computer via Bluetooth, so there’s no USB receiver to plug in, which is preferable when using a tablet, ultraportable or convertible. I’ve been using this mouse for two weeks and love it. At $35 on Amazon, this is a better deal than the Logitech Wireless Anywhere Mouse, my favorite mouse for many years. I also tried out the new Microsoft Wedge mouse in recent months, but it's way too small, even for my small, unmanly hands, and it does not have the Windows 8 Start Page button. Stay away from that mouse unless you are specifically looking for a small mouse that fits in your pocket or pocketbook.
3.News Reader. Bing News is actually pretty good now. You can select the sources of news from a good list and access all of those news sources in one place easily. You set it up once and they're there for you to read anytime in an elegant and graphical touch interface.
4.Aggregated File Sharing. Numerous apps have been released for managing multiple file sharing services. By using one of these services, you have one interface for looking at files stored in Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box and other file-sharing services. All of the file-sharing services give you free space and you can maximize the free deals from each of them before deciding on whether you want to choose one file sharing services over another. What I like about FileBrick is that it's simple. It organizes my files in the cloud according to which service I am using. Other file-sharing apps for Windows 8 aggregate all of your file-sharing apps but don't let you easily see which files are being stored in which public cloud service. This app is dead simple and free.
5.Better Search. In addition to the “share” charm described above, there’s a charm for Search. What’s cool here is that the search is context-sensitive. If you are in the Microsoft app Store, for example, when you choose the “Search” charm, you can input a search term and that term will be searched in the Store. However, if you are in Internet Explorer and call up the “Search” charm, your default search engine—Google, Bong, or Yahoo—will be searched, and if you’re in your document library and click on the Search charm, your documents will be search for that term. The picture below shows the results for search of the term “keyboard” in the app store.
As if you don’t have enough distractions, Microsoft by default notifies you whenever an emails arrives in your inbox by playing a sound, briefly changing your mouse-pointer, and popping up an “envelope” in the lower right corner of your screen. By default, the settings for all of these alerts are checked off in Outlook. But it’s a bad idea to leave these settings in place as is because they can be very distracting.
Most financial advisors receive scores of emails daily. If you’re trying to work on an important issue and one of these notification pops up, you can easily click on the notification and start answering your email even though it may not be that important. It's just too enticing.
These settings were put into Outlook years ago, perhaps during a time when people recieved fewer emails.
To rid yourself of this distraction in Outlook 2010 and 2013, in the main menu click on File, then Options and Mail. Below is a screen shot of the check boxes you will want to uncheck to remove these alerts.
Maximize Free SpaceFrom Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, And Other Cloud Storage Solutions With Tablet And Phone Apps That Consolidate Them All In One Interface
Friday, May 31, 2013 04:04
New apps that give you one interface for managing SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box, ShareFile and other cloud storage services are turning up. Knowing how frugal RIAs can be, this will probably be something you’ll want to check out.
All of the major cloud storage services give away free storage space in an effort to get you hooked on their system. Of course, you could pay for an account allowing you to store all your documents, photos, music, and video on one cloud solution. But why pay when you can easily use multiple cloud storage solutions to maximize free storage?
Dropbox nominally gives you 2GB of space but you can up to 16 GBs by recommending Dropbox to friends. Plus, if you enable uploads from your camera, you’ll get another 3GB. SkyDrive gives you 7 GBs of free space. Google recently went from five to 15 GBs of free storage, across Gmail, Google+ and Google Drive. Box, according to Engadget, offers 5GB of space for free, but occasionally has given away 50GB free. Flickr recently started offering a terabyte of free space for photos. Point is, using an app that puts all of these storage silos into one app is a good idea.
All of the app stores from Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Android offer apps that consolidate storage services and this list of above is just a few of the names. I'm seeing more of these apps pop up on for all the different operating systems.
There are also apps for synching files across cloud services, allowing you to automatically back up your back up.
Of course, none of these systems are created for advisors, and they are not document management solutions.On Friday, May 7, one of the big cloud document management solutions will speak at an A4A webinar. If you don’t know the difference between a document storage solution like Dropbox and a document management software system, come to our webinar session. To attend webinars and get 24/7 replays and CE, please join A4A. ($60 annually).
The most popular alternative so far is Feedly, according to ReplaceReader.com, which is letting people vote for their favorite replacement. A favorable article in The New York Times last week gave a big boost to Feedly.
Yesterday, The Verge featured a story about NewsBlur, and says it is better for “power users.”
Please let A4A readers know if you’ve made a switch yet and how it’s going. Also, if you need a tutorial on how to switch, please let me know.
For a couple of years, we've been hearing about computers and devices being controlled by hand gestures. No touching the screen, no using a mouse--you just use the motion of your hands, face, or eyes to execute commands. To understand the impact this will have on the way we control our PCs, TVs and other devices, take a look at this video showing a new software that extends Windows 7 and 8's touch screen to physical gestures.