Tech Tips: Summary from April 21, 2009

We’ve been straying away from our tech focus the past few weeks, so this week we turned our attention back to a few  insider’s tips and tricks for setting up and using small business technologies.  Great suggestions from the group.  You can learn something new at every session – even if you know everything!
First, a few reminders:

sbbuzz: Q1: What are you using for your e-mail management and what add-ons, nifty tricks or integrations are making it better? #sbbuzz

  • deneki: Q1: AWeber for weekly email newsletters, on recommendation of@problogger. Love it. #sbbuzz
  • twdeeter: response to Q1: we use the ever popular Aweber. the only nifty trick we do is use list segmentation. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimpGmail – love how emails are grouped in conversations. #sbbuzz
  • deniseoberry@sbbuzz email management – gmail only way to go. Easily accessible. Great spam blocker. #sbbuzz
  • dbuffaloeQ1: Using gmail via Outlook. Nothing fancy. Keeping it simple. #sbbuzz
  • JeffreySummers: Q1: Aweber/segmentation/autorespobders/email series’ ….#sbbuzz
  • scoblitz@sbbuzz Q1) I use Gmail and best tip I can give is to master your search operators and keyboard shortcuts. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimpUsing Big Response for email campaigns – has triggers that can be set to specific client dates – useful 4 sale related communication #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimpI use labels in Gmail to sort my mail, as well as filters to put things in their proper places. #sbbuzz
  • KmacopySome clients using Constant Contact. Fairly robust in newsletter features. Decent layouts, good reporting. #sbbuzz
  • dbuffaloeQ1: For newsletter and customer newsletters we use Vertical Response. Again, nothing too flashy but simple and efficient. #sbbuzz
  • AbsoluteZen: @sbbuzz I use Chimp Monkey (sic Mail Chimp). It’s easy to use, affordable for what I need and easy to update my designs and newsletter #sbbuzz
  • pmoharaAlso w/Gmail- favorite trick is syncing w/my Blackberry. Mobile e-mailing is so much easier (e-mail addresses now readily available) #sbbuzz
  • denekiBest AWeber tip from @problogger was to use hover forms for signup. Very effective for us. #sbbuzz
  • JeffreySummers: Q1: Best professional email address includes you@your company’s domain…Gmail & Hotmail not professional enough #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimp: My big email inbox problem is when I get stuck on an email I don’t address the ones beneath it – need a good touch it once policy #sbbuzz
  • JeffreySummersQ1: Must: Include Social Media tags in a great signature so people can follow you on SM sites. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 from @dbuffaloe: What good tools are available for a small biz to share calendars and files easily? #sbbuzz
  • deniseoberryQ2 – Use Google Calendar to share calendars. Great tool! #sbbuzz
  • JeffreySummersQ2 : Nothing better for file sharing than a Wiki !! #sbbuzz
  • DIYSiteExpressQ2 Basecamp is really good for organizing and keeping projects going. #sbbuzz
  • stevemillard: Google calendar tools sync nicely with outlook and bberry….permission to view calendars is a simple process that works well #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz@sbbuzz Q2) I swear by dropbox for file share and sync – maintains versioning and everything. #sbbuzz
  • twdeeterbasecamp is great for sharing calendars, files, tasks, etc btw project team & clients #sbbuzz
  • DEPCRepairI agree i use google calendar and it is great even syncs with iphone calendar #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimpMay I suggest you check out MemberHub from our own@mattharrell – great for sharing files and calendar and more in one place.#sbbuzz
  • KathyHerrmannWe use GroupSwim as our collaboration tool, incl for file sharing. We’re also a reseller. #sbbuzz
  • rzazuetaAlso love Thunderbird and Lightening as an Outlook replacement. Moving as many of my clients as I can to Google Apps and TBird. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @bradfordshimp I 2nd the memberhub recommendation – would work well for team based collaboration. Notification options are great. #sbbuzz
  • rzazuetaGoogle syncs with so much – BBerry, Lightning, SugarCRM… And, lots of share control. Wife and I also use it as the fam calendar. #sbbuzz
  • WireYouRT @sbbuzz: Q1: hosted Microsoft Exchange 4 email & shared calenders Sharepoint for Doc share and archiving for compliance. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3: What about your phone? What are you using? What are the best applications, add-ons, syncing tricks, etc.? #sbbuzz
  • deneki: Q3: Struggled with WinMo for years and just switched to Blackberry. It’s a dream! Gmail, calendar, contacts all sync perfectly. #sbbuzz
  • GetAMCQ3: I’ve been a BB advocate forever- but recently I’ve been impressed with iPhone and some of the small business applications. #SBBUZZ
  • dbuffaloeQ3: Using iPhone. Great device with great apps, but disappointed with AT&T coverage in my area. Way too many dropped calls. #sbbuzz
  • itinmindQ3: Using Koodo (Canada), the basic plan (less than 25$ CAD). Enough to keep in touch with my clients #sbbuzz
  • DEPCRepair: I can tell you one application i would not get for the iphone and that mobile me #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz@sbbuzz Q3 I use a BlackJack II w/ WinMobile – syncs easily and does everything I need it to do. #sbbuzz
  • bradfordshimpUsing Ooma for my “land line” – free after you buy the box or you can pay for premium features that make it a great biz phone. #sbbuzz
  • pmoharaI have a BBerry, but admit to iPhone envy. Sometimes swipe my finger across the screen just to see if anything happens. 🙂 #sbbuzz
  • jonfollett#sbbuzz Q3: actually using Skype, Vonage, and a lot. My mobile phone is a pretty old school Samsung.
  • rzazueta: Q3: BBerry 8830. Love it, but need to acquire an iPhone to test sites for clients. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q3 – Flexillis (in beta) does backup of my mobile and offers a kill function if it were to get stolen or lost. #sbbuzz
  • pmoharaUse for Twitter on the Blackberry. Came in very handy at SXSW conference for finding people via Twitter. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz@scoblitz correction – it’s Flexilis for mobile backup and security. #sbbuzz
  • rightantlerQ3 #sbbuzz Have Nokia E71, syncs with gmail, gCal. Like BatchBook from @batchblue. For Twitter, like Gravity but Twibble has improved
  • mskalyn: #sbbuzz I like google voice its good free application that I regularly use
sbbuzz: Q4: What are you using for audio/video conferencing? What works for collaborating? For presenting/pitching? #sbbuzz
  • GetAMC: Q4: I find GoToMeeting to be relatively easy to use and generally it’s reliable. #SBBUZZ
  • mskalyn#sbbuzz I am using dimdim, I love free applications and I like to try them out while they are still in beta
  • bradfordshimp: @sbbuzz For presentations delivered via email (and the web) we have started to use Goldmail. Easy voiceover option. #sbbuzz
  • KmacopyQ4: I like Adobe Presenter #sbbuzz
  • dbuffaloe: Q4: Not currently using anything but have used WebEx and GoToMeeting. GTM was a little easier to implement and use. #sbbuzz
  • pmoharaWe use GoToMeeting/Webinar for press demos and customer presentations. Use skype for all the internal meetings. #sbbuzz
  • jonfollett#sbbuzz Q4: For one-to-many screensharing, I highly recommend Simple to use and allows you to get up and running fast
  • scoblitz: @sufian Great call – Jing is super handy. I also use it for screen grabs for reviews all the time. #sbbuzz
  • chelpixieQ4 I use alot. More useful for troubleshooting or sharing screens, but Skype and my cell otherwise. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5: What are you using to track your site analytics? What’s helping with trend tracking, SEO, campaign monitoring, etc.? #sbbuzz
(Editor’s Note: Check out Crazy Egg too!)
sbbuzz: Q6 from @dbuffaloe: What Content Mgmt systems do you use to manage your website? Any special customizations /tricks? #sbbuzz
  • sufian: CMS of choice for me would be ExpressionEngine #sbbuzz
  • fiberartisan: Q6: Drupal at work, WordPress personal/business sites #SBBUZZ
  • scoblitz@sbbuzz Q6 – I use Serendipity for smaller sites / blogs. Drupal for larger community sites. #sbbuzz
  • jonfollett#sbbuzz Q6: We use ExpressionEngine, Drupal, and Radiant CMS depending on the site requirements. Radiant is very extensible.
  • pmohara: We’re migrating to Radiant CMS now. Coordinating it with a site redesign, since it’s much more fun to change everything at once. 🙂 #sbbuzz
  • itinmindQ6: WordPress with a lot of plugins #sbbuzz
  • twdeeterwe use wordpress exclusively now… is good for analytics #sbbuzz
  • pmohara@scoblitz @lamikey is helping us migrate to Radiant. She’s local designer w/tons CMS experience. You should ask her about Radiant. #sbbuzz
  • linobertrand: drupal #sbbuzz Q6: We use ExpressionEngine, Drupal, and Radiant CMS depending on the site requirements. Ra.. (expand)
sbbuzz: Q7 from @dflygarden: Would love recommendations on tools for sending out email newsletters. #sbbuzz
  • scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q7 Mailchimp is wonderful. Great service w/ great folks behind it. Also integrates w/ my CRM which is nice. #sbbuzz
  • dbuffaloeQ7: We’ve used Vertical Response for ourselves and our clients. Again, nothing real flashy, but easy to use. #sbbuzz
  • pmoharaLove @MailChimp for e-mail marketing. Caveat: I work for them. Oh wait, no I don’t. Just love them that much 🙂 #sbbuzz
  • dbuffaloeFore retail clients that need more robust needs, check out @Bronto.#sbbuzz
  • jonfollett#sbbuzz Q7: another vote for @MailChimp and for basic small biz newsletters Constant Contact
sbbuzz: Q8 from @tvlodge: What type of invoicing software are you using?#sbbuzz

1 Comment

Filed under small business, summary, tools

One response to “Tech Tips: Summary from April 21, 2009

  1. Pamela,
    Your post is a great source of information. Get’s you the feeling of a lively community. Thank you!
    If you’re searching for email management, you could check out It is a project management system that works neatly with your emails and lets you turn your email threads into plans shared on the web. It works with any email client (Outlook, Gmail, ThunderBird, you name it).

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