“[O]ur attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it.” –David Allen, “When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized,” The New York Times, 3/18/12
Well-known business consultant David Allen contributed a fascinating column this past weekend to The New York Times, which addresses the conundrum he describes in the quote above. Basically, Allen is writing about what we all feel: technology has made our lives easier but in doing so has also piled a lot more management headaches on us and added job responsibilities onto our shoulders. So, the challenge is, how do we make technology really work for us?
Allen has a lot of great organizational tips, including a simple one that many people ignore at their peril: if something will only take 2 minutes, do it right away. Also, he notes that we need to make lists not just for the sake of list making but to actually get something accomplished.
There’s where we really think secure online data rooms can help. If we are able to organize our files online in an actual system, then we can achieve a few goals straight away:
We can send people after information found in a clear, centralized place rather than having to create endless email chains trying to get data to people.
We can track what data is actually being used via analytics and then we can avoid wasting time on data that no one is even bothering to look at.
We can invite others to contribute to our data rooms, cutting down on work cycles and making work collaborative again.
As Allen says, “To be successful in the new world of work, we need to create a structure for capturing, clarifying and organizing all the forces that assail us; and to ensure time and space for thinking, reflecting and decision making.”
Now, data rooms are just one small step towards this overall goal, but wouldn’t it be nice to clear your desk and clear your mind by putting everything in one organized place and then seeing what gets used when? Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done—a sense we rarely get in this modern work world—but you can avoid doing work that no one even uses. Now, isn’t that a novel concept.
So, go and get your list started. As Allen says, organize by priority and don’t let the most recent thing become tops just because it is top of mind. And remember to add a bit of free time to that list because once you get your data room up and running, you might even have time to do something for yourself for a change. (Just don’t tell your boss…or your spouse!)
A long time ago, web meetings were created to augment face-to-face meetings. They were yet another tool technology was offering to bring us closer. Then, the economy crashed and web meetings became the only way to get close to anyone, be it your colleagues, partners, customers or prospects. This technology, created to be an aid to interpersonal communications, became the whole shebang. And, frankly, it just doesn’t work.
Think of it. Have you ever had a web meeting that was actually satisfying? Or even actually worked? Traditional web meetings have a horrible track record and a bad reputation, which is unfortunately well deserved. But you know all this. Enough with the problems. What about the solution?
We wish the simple solution was to double that travel budget of yours, but that sure isn’t happening anytime soon. So, instead, here are the top three pitfalls of traditional web meetings and some ways around them:
1) It’s The Download, Stupid: Let’s face it, most of the reasons why web meetings don’t work is that they aren’t really, simple web solutions. They require downloads. In this day and age, no one should have software sitting on their computer. Say no to downloads, say yes to the cloud.
2) Roam Where You Want To: The whole idea of the mobile office is to be mobile. It is ironic that in this time of virtual everything, people would be tied to their desks to have a meeting. Think of it, when you meet people in person, you aren’t always stuck in the board room. So, find a solution that works on any device and get out there.
3) A Little More Conversation: Traditional web meetings are all lecture, little conversation. You don’t actually share anything, unless it’s those awkward glimpses at someone’s mailboxes or an unfortunately timed IM from the presenter’s boyfriend. There is a whole new world of interpersonal relationships out there in cyberspace, people! It’s called co-browsing and it will let you take people with you to find what they need and even to fill out online forms (like purchase orders—you get where we are going with this!). Now, this is what web meetings should be about!
So, long story short, there is hope out there! So clear your hard drive of any of those dinosaur web meeting solutions you might have, and start anew! You’ll be glad you did…although we’ll all kind of miss those awkward glimpses into our co-workers’ email! Hey, we’re only human after all!
2012 is looking to be a great year as we have some exciting news to share! We have been chosen by PCMag.com to be featured in their “25 Best Small Business Apps for 2012”. PCMag.com has chosen their 25 favorite apps ranging from cloud services to financial services and everything in between. What they have in common is the ability to enhance, grow and improve the success of your business. YouDazzle is ecstatic to be apart of such a great list. YouDazzle has been working hard to provide you with the tools you need to grow your business through affordable online file sharing, easy web meetings, seamless integration with Dropbox and a professional way to present your company through custom branding. With 2012 off to a great start we will be continuing to provide you great service and great features to help you succeed! Check out the article at www.pcmag.com Do you use any of the apps on the list? If not, then what are you waiting for? Get started today!
So, you use Dropbox regularly to sync files with your colleagues and peers across all of your devices, right?
But, wouldn’t it be great to be able to extend Dropbox capabilities with features like:
Customized Dropbox folders with your own branding
Instantly share Dropbox files via web meetings without any downloads
Add comments to your Dropbox files
Or view who’s been accessing your files
Well if you’ve answered yes to any of these questions; then we have some exciting news for you, now you can! YouDazzle has integrated with Dropbox to bring a richer experience!
Now it is easier then ever to offer a professional experience that is second to none! Need to upload your files to your YouDazzle account? With the Dropbox integration there are more ways then one now! Hate lengthy downloads to conduct web meetings and share files? That’s a thing of the past now! With YouDazzle you can easily be conducting a web meeting and simply drag and drop a file into your Dropbox for a seamless flow. Need to ensure your files can be accessed from anywhere in a safe and secure manner? Now you can access your files in more ways then one! You can access your files through your mobile browser or through your Dropbox app.
Not so long ago, the idea of working from home was revolutionary. How could people work remotely? Would their systems run? Could they collaborate, let alone stay in touch? Would they actually be productive? The answers have all been resounding yes’s. And now, as more and more businesses become virtual and teams are dispersed, working from your home office and chatting over Facebook is as common as gathering at the water cooler once was.
Now that everyone is finally comfortable with the home office, it is naturally time to take this to the next level. Forget having your office at home, have your office anywhere in the cloud.
The cloud has changed everything. Instead of having to go to work in your office, be it your home or downtown, your office now comes to you. It’s cheaper, secure, and accessible 24×7. And best of all, it allows you to focus on your business and not on the technology needed to run it. Instead of owning computers, you simply need one portable device from which you can access your own personal cloud. Everything you need to digitally work or play is always at your disposal, enabling you to do what you want, as you need. With your office in the cloud, you may not even need any physical office space at all.
So, how do you make the most of your office in the cloud? Here are some simple tips:
Reduce, reuse, recycle…remove: Avoid all paper and use the Cloud’s vast file sharing capabilities to not only store all of your documents but make them more easily accessible and organized than ever before via “data rooms”.
Ditch your phone: That is, unless your phone is your office. Take advantage of online meetings in the cloud, letting you easily connect with colleagues, customers and prospects without any complicated downloads.
Bring your brand online: Your online real estate can carry your brand in ways an office building never could. Create rooms of your own with your company branding and share only relevant data with specific customers.
So, the next time you write a check for rent or stick another file in your desk drawer, remember that there’s an easier way. Move to the cloud, and take your office with you wherever you may roam.