Give your eyes a break with F.lux screen dimmer

Wise Up Wednesday!

If you are like me you spend an extended amount of time on your laptop, smartphone and maybe even your tablet. After all I am a Web Designer – and it’s 2014.  Much of the world revolves around your eyes being stuck to a screen.

You probably feel your eyes straining as the day turns to evening. Take a moment to think about it right now. How do your eyes feel?

Wouldn’t it be great to reduce some of that strain and give your eyes a break?

Just get F.lux   [ free download ]

f.lux screenshot

F.lux adapts the color of your computer’s display to the time of day. Changing from a warm colour at night to a cooler colour during the day.

Right so what’s the big deal about that? You’ve got a screen dimmer already.

Question: How is flux different from changing the brightness on your monitor?

Answer: By changing the colour temperature of your display, not the brightness itself.

Explanation: The backlight on your monitor emits blue light, even when you use the screen dimmer. (Which you can still use while using F.lux) Blue light is a more natural light, but if you”re staring at a screen most of the time – it’s like having afternoon sunlight 24/h a day. Our bodies aren’t really meant to look at that sort of light all day and night. By changing the colour temperature itself at different times of the day you’ll get a slight red tone that is easier on the eyes. By adjusting to the time of day it helps your body adjust too.

Bonus: You might even get a little more sleep!

Extra Features:

  • Disable it for an hour / or until restart when you are doing colour-sensitive work (Graphic Design or Illustration for instance)
  • ‘movie mode’  makes sure you don’t get a sunset-type screen over top your video
  • hot keys to manually change the colour temperature
  • Philips LED Hue lighting  pairing
  • easily change your location if you’re travelling
  • switch lighting settings easily (halogen / florescent / sunlight)

f.lux owl

When I purchased my latest laptop, one of the first things I installed was F.lux. Because I love my eyes. I love my sleep. It’s not only my eyes worth saving – someone else might thank you too. How many of us bring our smartphones or tablets to bed with us – blinding our significant others next to us while browsing Reddit or reading e-books or whatever it is you do to wind down from the day’s work.

[ctt tweet=”LCD screens can hurt. Reduce eye strain + get more #sleep with Flux http://ctt.ec/139n5+ @justgetflux @durhamavgroup #wiseupwednesday” coverup=”139n5″]

It’s a quick installation too. All you need to do is tell F.lux where you live, and what sort of lighting you are using and it will do the rest. For some people will seem a bit odd at first, but you’ll quickly forget that it’s there. If you spend as much time (or just spend a few hours a day looking at a screen) you should check it out.

F.lux is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod – and soon there will be a Android version.

Have you tried out F.lux? Has it made a difference in your sleeping habits? How about your eyes – my eyes are thanking me for installing it. Comment below with your experience!

Check us out again next week for our Wise Up Wednesday posts. Time saving & informative articles to help you run your business, so it doesn’t end up running you. A big thanks for reading!

Remember to share this article with your friends and colleagues, it might make someone’s day go a little better.

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays

Are Your Clients Super Signing Documents Yet?

Wise Up Wednesday!

If you’re still signing your contracts made from trees, I’ve got news for you. There is a faster, more convenient, eco-friendly way. It’s secure and private. It’s legally binding. Best of all, FREE. It’s Docracy.

Docracy provides open source legal documents to the public for free.

Docracy Free Legal Documents and Super Signing

Are you a Freelance Photographer? Designer? Landlord? Small business?

You name it, there is probably a document out there for your needs. You can even request a document. Not comfortable with using open source documents? Upload your own, or ask a lawyer to review the one you’ve chosen for your project. Either way you still save money, and time too.

Where do these open source documents come from? Lawyers, organizations, and people around the world submit their legal agreements to Docracy. From there you can privately edit and electronically sign them for free!

So what can Docracy provide?

  • Common personal legal documents (like splitting rent or giving someone power of attorney)
  • Common small & medium business legal documents (like independent contractor agreements, hiring contracts)
  • Freelancing and Creative Professional Agreements
  • Retainers

Not to mention they have a fabulous blog, too with plenty of helpful tips and advice

By far the best feature is Super Signing. It is the simplest and clearest way for every party to come to an agreement. Everyone is kept up to date with changes to the document. The other party wants their lawyer to take a look? No problem. Once complete, all parties involved will be emailed the signed PDF.

Check out this quick video on Super Signing and how much easier it makes the signing and negotiating:

Quick note: Docracy documents and super-signing are also legally binding in Canada, too. Durham AV Group is a Canadian company. The nice thing about doing business online is that we can meet new clients from all over the world. We like to keep things as streamlined and simple as possible when working on projects. Keep in mind the laws change based on where you live, so it might be a good idea to have a nice lawyer friend to at least check your documents for you if you don’t know the laws pertaining to where you reside.

Legal text can be confusing and hard to interpret, and lawyers are expensive! (Nothing against lawyers – there’s Docracy for Lawyers too!!)

[ctt tweet=”Start using Docracy today to Super Sign your legal papers and save yourself a lot of hassle! http://ctt.ec/b895c+ @durhamavgroup @Docracy #WiseUpWednesday” coverup=”b895c”]

Start using Docracy today to Super Sign your legal papers and save yourself a lot of hassle!

It could be one of the most stress relieving things you can do for your company (and piece of mind!)

[notification type=”alert-warning” close=”false” ]Disclaimer: I am not a Lawyer and I don’t play one on TV.  Nothing on this blog post or website shall be considered legal advice & no attorney-client relationship is established! Please remember to double check with your government regarding local laws. Just because you have a contract signed, it doesn’t mean it’s enforceable.[/notification]

How do you take care of your contacts and legal agreements? We’ve heard good things about Adobe EchoSign for taking care of signatures, and there are a couple of other resources out there. Share your thoughts!

Check us out again every week  on Wise Up Wednesday for another time saving & informative post to help you run your business, so it doesn’t end up running you. A big thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays

Let your client decide when to book meetings with youcanbook.me

Wise Up Wednesday!

Forget emailing back and forth trying to figure out what time is the right time to book a client – or potential client, and let youcanbook.me do all the work!

YouCanBook.me screenshot

By now you’re using Google Calendar – I mean it’s likely on your smart phone or tablet, and it syncs to your desktop or laptop. If you don’t use it, it’s free and really easy to manage. But you don’t want to share your calendar with just anybody, and you don’t want to constantly be checking your calendar wondering where you can squeeze in a meeting, phone call or online chat. You’ve got things to do. Business to run. How much time and energy are you putting into just figuring this out? It’s actually much simpler than that. At least if you’re using youcanbook.me.

YCB connects directly to your Google Calendar to manage and sync your appointments. It is super easy to book appointments, and the system is easy to setup and manage. It’s fast too. You can customize the look. There are plenty of ways to share your calendar online. And it looks good on mobile phones. Their tutorials are incredible easy to follow.

Like you, I have a busy schedule. There are select times each week I can dedicate time to meetings, phone calls, online chats and so on. What great about this system is you can just create an event in Google Calendar, sync that event with YCB, and only those times will be available for the public to see. The client can click on any available time and request a meeting. This means you can leave your desk. Your phone at home, go to dinner. Go on a trip. With the peace of mind knowing you’re always open for business.

Try the demo and check out the ease of use

demo booking youcanbook.me

There are paid upgrades for this service too, like linking to more than one calendar, custom configuration, offering different types of appointments and much more.

How does one find your amazing booking system? It’s easy to share your YCB system. A button on your contact page, a link through your email, post to your LinkedIn, Twitter, or even get a QR code to put on your business cards that links back to your booking page. (This is a great idea for your next set of biz cards by the way!)

youcanbook.me sharing

Why not allow the client to decide on a time?  By doing this not only will you save time & energy – so will the client! Yes it’s great to have a human on the other end of things but people just love convenience. It takes seconds – maybe a minute to book an appointment. Time is money. Either money you’re losing spending time on trying to shuffle your schedule, or paying someone else to do it for you.

[ctt tweet=”@durhamavgroup Let your client decide the best time for meetings with @YouCanBookMe booking system http://ctt.ec/S5bPd+ ‎” coverup=”S5bPd”]

With a click of a button your meeting is set up!

What more do you need?

Relax. Let them book a time and get notified as soon as it happens.

Have you used YCB or another similar service? What are your thoughts? Comment below and let us know!

Check us out again each week on Wise Up Wednesday for another time saving, convenient post to help you run your business, so it doesn’t end up running you. Thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays

Would you leave $22,944 sitting on the table?

cash on the table owl

You have at least 100 clients, right? How many fans do you have on Facebook?

If you’ve got at least 100 clients you are probably doing well. I’m talking about the regulars. The people that keep coming back for more. You might have a hundred, or a few hundred customers or a thousand (maybe even thousands over the life of your biz) – maybe you have over a thousand regulars. Even better.

cash on the table owl

Stop what you’re doing right now & ask yourself this:

What would happen if I could double or triple my revenue while I sleep?

I hear you laughing and saying to me: .….Not likely…. In your dreams…. ”  to that I say:

YES, IN YOUR DREAMS!!!!! Didn’t I say WHILE YOU SLEEP?

All joking aside, I’m giving you a minimal number to work with. If you have 100 people buy a monthly video membership from you, you’re sitting really pretty.

Go on over to Standtomake.com and play with the numbers. I’ll wait here.

I dare you to enter 200 sales each month. Or 500.

Or you can just check out this example:

What do you stand to make?

Now let’s look at this another way:

I am telling you that you are leaving money on the table. 

You are missing out on all this extra revenue.

Seriously, who would leave $22,944.00 sitting on their table?

Not you, right?

So who are you anyway? How do you know that a Video Membership Website is right for your business? There are plenty of businesses out there who can benefit from one. Anyone who accepts payment for their time for insight, guidance, is a mentor, or teaches instructional classes could benefit. Are you on the list?

[list]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Yoga Instructors[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Pilates Instructors[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Martial Arts Instructors[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Lawyers[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Counsellors[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Mentors[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Marketing /Advertising Gurus[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Teachers[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Coaches[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]    Tutors[/li]
[/list]

Really the list goes on. Remember, if you have at least 100 clients – people who come to see YOU for your talent, this is a no-brainer. I mean, how many times did you have to skip a class or going to the gym, or getting some advice from a professional because there just wasn’t enough time in the day. We live in a time where there’s much less……time. Our schedules are full. Either full because of kids or work or travel or maybe your customer has moved or someone has heard about you but lives nowhere near your place of business. Who knows what the reasons are. Here is the solution:

Make it more convenient for your clients and offer complete access to your services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

[ctt tweet=”@durhamavgroup Would you leave $22,944 sitting on the table? Get a #VMS & offer access to your services 24/7 http://ctt.ec/2KSa5+ ” coverup=”2KSa5″]

How will you spread the word? Those 100 clients might enjoy unlimited access to your freshly updated videos for a low low price of $20/month. You could offer a discount to the first 100 or whatever you would like to do) Those people will tell their friends. You also have Facebook fans, right? Another easy way to spread the word to THOUSANDS.

You’ve got high-speed internet too, right? (after all it’s 2014)

What about a smartphone or a video camera?

Can you open a PayPal account?

Check, check & check?

Congratulations! You’ve got the tools you need to make it happen!

Do you think you stand to make an extra $22,944 because you have a fantastic skill set that is too valuable not to share?

Get your branded video membership site from us at Durham AV Group. We’ll help you set it up, show you how easy it is to use, and it will be ready to go in no time.

[button style=”btn-info btn-lg” icon=”glyphicon glyphicon-send” align=”left” iconcolor=”#ffffff” type=”link” target=”false” title=”Talk to us” link=”http://durhamavgroup.com/contact/”]

Posted in Blog, Video Memberships

Create a Spiffy Call to Action with Recitethis

Wise Up Wednesdays

You know those beloved quotes you see everywhere on Pinterest, Facebook, your favorite websites, adverts, and everywhere else on the web? We all seem to collect them, like them and share them… but what if you used them as a call to action?  

What is a call to action? Well, since you asked nicely, a call to action or CTA – is an essential part of your website. Visually it is an image or some text that asks your visitors to take action. You want to entice them to click that image or button. 

Here is a great article on the CTA at HubSpot. CTA’s should catch the visitors eye, and if they click on it that could convert someone who is just browsing to someone who is now buying. So I thought: let’s find a convenient way of making some eye catching call to actions!

Piccsy created a micro-site called Recitethis

Recitethis homepage Just write what you’d like to see on your virtual poster & Recitethis dynamically generates the text.

It takes longer to choose which poster you want to display your message on than to write it, generate it and download it. Really it’s just fun scrolling through each masterpiece. There are over 30 to choose from.

Call to Action
When you’re satisfied, you can post it on whatever social media platform you want, email it to a friend, or download it. Possibly place your logo over it using CANVA or some other application. What’s Canva you ask? I’ll cover Canva in another post because it is unbelievably awesome, so for now we will stick to Recite. (feel free to check it out though!)

You can also look up a quote. Choose from different categories and a list of quotes pop up for you to browse through and customize to the poster of your liking. Great for inspiration!

 

Make your own typographic posters in seconds!

More Wise Up Wednesdays PostsUse Recitethis to:


create a call to action


market your product or service


pretty up your blog posts in a jiffy


make your content shareable by posting your creations to social media

(just be sure to link to your landing page)

Have you used Recitethis before? Comment below and tell us what you think!

What would you use Recitethis for?

Don’t forget to check us out again next week on Wise Up Wednesday for another time saving, convenient post to help you run your business, so it doesn’t end up running you.

Subscribe!

 

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays

Boomerang for gmail is your hero for email

Wise Up Wednesdays

Boomerang for Gmail

Have you ever emailed a potential or existing client and told yourself you need to follow up with them in a week?  Have you ever completely lost track of time, rushed to send that email, and realized you’ve missed an opportunity… or worse, the contact has lost trust in you?

Then I found a solution. When I discovered Boomerang, I thought are you kidding me? How am I just seeing this now?

Boomerang for gmail aims to remind you to follow up.

You can easily set up reminders to have Boomerang tell you to contact that person again if they haven’t replied to you within a certain amount of time. The great thing about it is that you set this up within your email message. You don’t need to use your calendar, another to-do list, or CRM. What a time saver!

That’s not all Boomerang can do, (although it is my favourite option)

It can:

  • email yourself scheduled reminders
  • schedule when an email will be sent to a contact
  • return your emails to your inbox if you need to.
  • include notes in your boomeranged emails
  • track responses to any email you send or receive
  • receive a notification about whether an email is opened or if links in the email are clicked
  • schedule messages on the go on any smart phone or tablet
  • write an email and send it every day, week, month or any interval you choose

And if you change your mind or just want a peek at your boomerangs, you can manage them within gmail.

It’s a super quick and easy install since it’s an app, and you’re taken on a quick tour showing you how it works. Or you can just watch the video.

Some of the features are premium features, but you do get a lot of options with the free plan, along with 10 free message credits. If you use it. want to try it out, it is free for 30 days, and you don’t need to enter in your credit card info until those 30 days are up and you’ve decided it’s right for you.

And last but not least they have a great referral program!

For every friend who installs and schedules a message with Boomerang, you and your friend each get a spin of Wheel of Prizes. You both can win message credits, a free month of Pro subscription or Kindle Fire. So ……. [button style=”btn-link btn-lg” icon=”fa fa-rocket” align=”left” type=”link” target=”true” title=”Here is my shameless referral link” link=”http://www.boomeranggmail.com/referral_download.html?ref=59fdr”]

Have you used Boomerang for gmail or a similar service? Comment below and tell us what you think! Don’t forget to check us out again next week on Wise Up Wednesday for another time saving, convenient post to help you run your business, so it doesn’t end up running you.

[button style=”btn-success btn-lg” icon=”glyphicon glyphicon-bullhorn” align=”left” iconcolor=”#ffffff” type=”link” target=”true” title=”Subscribe to the Durham AV Group Newsletter” link=”http://durhamavgroup.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=f1f493aff8b93b391ca1cc3c2&id=f3a995089c”]

and we will send these posts to you!!

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays

Wise Up Wednesdays

Wise Up Wednesdays

Welcome to our blog!

Durham AV Group is all about the power of convenience.

That’s one of the main reasons we offer video membership websites to busy business owners and freelancers.

Since there are thousands of different ways to make life a little bit more convenient, we’ve decided to introduce Wise Up Wednesdays!

Photo Credit - Ronnie Macdonald Barn Owl Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Wise Up Wednesdays