Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Snov.io: Manual email mining ends with this tool

One of the toughest tasks for an online marketer definitely has to be the activity of email mining and targeting a specific audience group for their campaigns. Apart from this, the last thing you would want to do is ensure that there are no invalid emails. This puts you in risk of account suspension in case of a high-bounce back rate.

Snov.io

If such things have been a pain so far, it is time for you to try out Snov.io which is an email finder tool. Keep scrolling for an in-depth review of this tool and to check how helpful it can be.

Snov.io – Email mining made simpler, faster, and convenient

There are a number of tools available in the market which can do similar tasks but this one definitely stands out. One of the main reasons is its user-friendliness. Just go ahead and install the chrome extension and ta-da, you’re set to go. Take a look at the many excellent features that Snov.io offers:

  • Use the domain search feature to find the email addresses which also provides you with the names and job positions. This feature allows you to target a specific audience.
  • Instantly verify whether the emails found are valid. This action will be a great help in increasing your delivery rate.
  • Use the email tracker functionality for Gmail to find out how your receivers react after they receive your email – How cool!
  • If you are into automation, you can create email drip campaigns with triggers, goals, and auto follow-up messages.
  • You can also use the tool’s technology checker function to find websites using a certain technology that you might be after. This is another hard-to-find feature which this tool provides for free.
  • Last but not the least; send emails with a click of a button to selected lists.

With a feature list as vast as that, snov.io has been helping millions of users manage their emails better and faster.

Snov.io screenshot 1

How to set up Snov.io?

It really is a two-minute process.

  1. Visit “snov.io” and click the “Available in Chrome Web Store” option which should redirect you to the chrome web store.
  2. Click on “Add Extension”
  3. Post installation, it would lead you to the signup page, where you can create your free account. They allow you to integrate with your Gmail ID.
  4. Once done, you are ready to go email hunting.

That was simple. How do I test the tool?

  1. You can search for emails on multiple platforms like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
  2. We chose Google for the purpose of this example.
  3. Just type a keyword in the Google search box for your audience. For example, “website designers”. Let the search results show up.
  4. Click on the “Snov.io” icon located on the upper right side of your Chrome browser window.
  5. You will see a list of domains that are selected by default. You may ignore and uncheck the ones you are not interested in.
  6. Once you have chosen the domains, click on the “Get emails by domains” button.
  7. You can either go ahead by choosing prospects or by selecting a pre-defined number of email addresses. When you choose the email option, you can choose from “Generic”, “Personal”, and/or “All Other”.
  8. The search usually completes in a jiffy. It also shows you how many credits will be utilized in case you want to proceed with the export option.

Snov.io screenshot 2

Does this involve any cost?

Every search with this tool works based on the credits which are purchasable. There are multiple options for you to choose from. We suggest that you try out the trial version initially which gives you 100 credits per month. It is also known as the XS pack.

The plans range from S to XL, where you get between 1,000 and 50,000 credits per month respectively. Paying annually will also save you at least 10% depending on the plan you choose. It gets cooler when your purchase is rewarded with a cash back in terms of their own cryptocurrency called SNOV tokens. They also give 30% off when a plan is purchased through SNOV tokens.

Pros Vs. Cons

There are many advantages to this tool. The main one is the reaction time of the tool. It takes very less time to extract the information which could take hours if done manually.

Unfortunately, the unavailability of the CSV export in the XS plan is a major drawback. They are still working on the user experience and you might find it difficult to understand and use it until you get used to the tool.

  • Email mining made simpler, faster, and convenient with @snov_io snov.io via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

Snov really does stands out when compared with its competitors such as “Hunter” and “Find That Lead”, thanks to its pricing and easy setup features. Snov.io is very affordable and if you decide to go with it, you would be joining hands with companies such as UBER, LEGO, SoundCloud, and UBISOFT who have placed trust in this tool. With many great reviews from the users, this tool is definitely worth a try!

Online Spreadsheets with the power of a Database – FieldBook

Two of the most commonly needed software applications by any organization are spreadsheets and a database. While spreadsheets are used by each and every employee to organize data clearly, the database comes handy to cross-reference and link detailed information related to the data saved within spreadsheets. To better understand the setting, here’s a short scenario.

Imagine you save the names of all employees in the different departments of your organization within a workbook, segregated into different worksheets by departments. Now you can add more information to each of those employees by creating more columns filled with more data like the projects / clients they work for, their phone numbers, their SSN numbers etc. But imagine how complicated that workbook would become if you also needed to stuff in more data pertaining to each employee like their payroll information, their leave information, benefits, bonus computations, time-tracking information, stories assigned to them in different sprints, and so on and so forth. You get the super complex multi-dimensional picture, right?

Fieldbook

Now what does that scenario make you realize? It’s that spreadsheets are great for crunching numbers, but not so great at referencing data from other sheets in order to treat each cell entity as the top of a tree with its own set of branches. Well you can do it, of course, but you won’t be able to do it “simply”. And the same vice versa situation comes into picture when we talk about databases. They’re great at managing heaps of data related to different entities but you can’t exactly ask a database to perform a really complex mathematical computation on a selected data set within a click.

Okay enough with painting pictures. What we want to get you at is the need to find a mid-way, a sort of cross between a spreadsheet application and a database which lets you not just organize large data sets but also cross-reference more data from them to form a web of heaps of data that is so organized it’s like a complete system in itself.

Thankfully, some very creative guys have already developed this convenient and truly useful hybrid system. It’s called Fieldbook and this post is dedicated to finding out its best aspects.

Fieldbook – the simplicity of Spreadsheets combined with the power of a Database

Fieldbook is essentially a database app that has a front-end resembling a spreadsheet application. You can import your existing spreadsheet data into Fieldbook, have it suggest column names as per the content type, and when everything’s filled, put it to work. What that means is that Fieldbook will allow you to link records from the database to specific columns within the spreadsheets so that you can keep detailed info about, say, your products, and easily populate that data into every order automatically, and then use that linked data in your functions.

With an application as sophisticated as Fieldbook, you can quickly fill your database with details (manually, through custom online forms, or through forms shared and filled by others), instantly search for any data through a convenient search bar, create and display information as views, and manage all your data the not-so-difficult way.

Some of the best features of Fieldbook include:

  • Spreadsheet like functions including tables, sorts, filters, data groups, etc.
  • Ability to link data together to automatically update it in multiple places simultaneously
  • Project Management, Task Management, and Time Tracking support
  • Ability to share spreadsheets with your team and work together
  • Facility to view each row in Fieldbook in a full-screen detail view, where you can add as much detail as needed
  • Can be used for scenarios like usability test scheduling, product roadmap planning, managing recruiting pipeline, and much more

There literally is a lot more to Fieldbook which you can find out from the tool’s homepage. Or you could just watch a short video of what the tool is about and how it can help you.

How it works

Now let’s come to the part that interests us the most.

  1. Visit https://fieldbook.com/ and click on the green button that says “Try Fieldbook for free”
  2. Without even asking for a sign-up the tool takes you to a basic dashboard of sorts where you get to choose from one of two options:
    1. Create a new blank book
    2. Import a spreadsheet or CSV
    3. Choose from numerous templates
  3. We wanted to start from scratch so we created a new blank book. This was where we were asked to sign-up. And this action is the same for any other option you choose in step 2
  4. A quick sign-up later, we landed on our actual dashboard where the following options greeted us:
    1. A sample 3×5 spreadsheet with random data in the middle of the screen
    2. Options to view / create Saved Searches or Forms or link the current sheet to another one
    3. Option to create a new sheet
    4. Settings within the left hand panel which expanded by clicking on the more icon in the top left corner
  5. All entries within the worksheet were of course editable and additionally, every column head had a drop-down arrow displayed adjacent to it. Clicking on this arrow opened up a whole lot of other options indicating edits we could do on the data within the sheet.

It was a little tough for us to get around using the tool in first go but we got the hang of it after a little while.

Pros VS Cons

The biggest plus point with Fieldbook is the way it manages all of your data through a single interface. “Database + Spreadsheets” is an ultra-unique idea that is a time and effort saver on a massive scale.

The biggest negative about the tool is the learning curve associated with it. You will need to spend significant amount of time to find out what each option does and how you can use it. Plus, as of now there is no offline version of Fieldbook so you need to be online to use it. Another minus when compared with other desktop spreadsheet applications.

  • Think Spreadsheets combined with the power of a Database. Think Fieldbook! @fieldbookapp fieldbook.com via @supermonitoring

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Verdict

You could call Fieldbook a completely online version of popular spreadsheet software Excel or Open Office, but it has a lot more to it than that. While it works on a very simple concept, it is not every man’s tool, meaning it needs you to learn it first before you can actually make good use of it. But we assure you that once you do, you won’t find any other tool as efficient and organized as Fieldbook.

Facebook algorithm change: How to keep seeing posts from a liked page

On January 12th, Mark Zuckerberg informed about a planned major change to the Facebook algorithm which determines the selection and the order of posts that are displayed in user feed. In short, updates posted by users (friends) will receive a much greater priority, while posts from brands (fan pages) will become even less important than they are now.
Mark explained that the purpose of this action is to maintain – or rather, restore – the personal character of Facebook and to focus on interpersonal relations and bringing people closer together.

The process of reducing the organic reach of brand profiles has been going on for a considerable amount of time. This results in an increasing cost for fan page owners who are forced to invest in advertising in order to reach as many of their fans as possible.
The most recent algorithm update is set to cause another – major – range decrease.

What can you do to make posts from a given page keep appearing in your feed?

From the user’s point of view, not all posts published by brands are unwanted. You click “like” on a given page not only to show your support but often to follow the content that is published there as well. For instance, lunch discounts at a nearby restaurant, posts on an interesting blog, etc.

In order to make sure that Facebook will continue to show you posts from a given page among the updates from your friends – or at least, to increase the possibility of it happening – use the following guide.

What can a fan page administrator do?

A brand profile administrator can only ask the fans to adjust their settings to have the posts from the fan page displayed as a priority. We encourage you to share the following guide.

Share on Facebook

The Guide

How to set priority display on a desktop (Facebook in a web browser)

1. From the list in the top left corner, select “News Feed” and then “Edit preferences”.

desktop - step 1

2. In the window that appears, click “Prioritize who to see first”.

desktop - step 2

3. Find the page on the list, click on it so that a star icon appears, and save by clicking “Done”.

desktop - step 3

 

How to set priority display on a smartphone or tablet (mobile application)

1. Open the menu using the icon in the top right corner.

mobile - step 1

2. Select “News Feed Preferences”.

mobile - step 2

3. Select “Prioritize who to see first”.

mobile - step 3

4. Find the page on the list and click on it so that a star icon appears.

mobile - step 4

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017 Deals for Web Apps

Black Friday is tomorrow and the shopping madness will start in the morning. Then, after a short brake (or even without it), the madness will be back on (Cyber) Monday.

We collected for you some great special deals from popular web applications we had reviewed on our blog. Here they go:

Brand24 – The Perfect Social Media Informant

Reviewed on July 11th, 2014

The offer: 50% off for 3 months on all plans

How to claim it: Sign up here and use the following promo code when purchasing: BFBrand24

Track your work time and more in a few clicks with Harvest

Reviewed on August 4th, 2015

The offer: $10 off first month

How to claim it: use the following coupon code: JUSTSAYINGTHANKS

Highrise – Stay organized, track tasks and take notes at a click

Reviewed on December 29th, 2014

The offer: 25% off for first 3 months

How to claim it: start a 30 day free trial and upgrade before January 1st, 2018 using the following coupon code: HRHOLIDAY17

Depict information easily with Infogram

Reviewed on April 5th, 2016

The offer: 60% discount on the Pro plan

How to claim it: between Friday 24th and Monday 27th November select Pro plan and enter the following promo code: blackfridaypro

Conquer Social Media with NapoleonCat

Reviewed on November 24th, 2016

The offer: 50% off for first 3 months for all plans, limited to first 100 users

How to claim it: use this promo link or enter the following coupon code when cheking out: blacat17 (valid until November 30th)

Build better websites through remote user testing with UsabilityHub

Reviewed on December 7th, 2015

The offer: 20% off all annual plans

How to claim it: sign up for a free account, then open this link to apply the coupon

Ace user experience design with UXPin

Reviewed on January 30th, 2017

The offer: 20% discount for Prototyping or Systems plan (the discount stacks with their regular annual discount, so you’ll get total 30% when taking Annual Prototyping plan)

How to claim it: signup on this page

Yourbrowser.is – The Browser Check Wizard

Reviewed on January 31st, 2014

The offer: PRO Account for a year for $139 instead of $209

How to claim it: simply make your purchase in November 2017

 

Super Monitoring – your humble host of this blog

The offer: 30% off on all orders

How to claim it: buy a subscription before December 1st and use the following coupon code: BFCM2017

 

If you know of any other great Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals, let us know in the comments.

Manage application logs the easy way with Loggly

What does every software engineer dread most? Finding out what the problem with his application is based on logs. Especially when the application is super complicated with hundreds of logs that run into thousands of lines each. Add to that the pressure of doing all of that in real-time, and just picturing the scenario is enough to send a poor engineer’s mind into a tizzy.

loggly

We know what you’re thinking – “have you come up with an easier solution to that?” Indeed, we have! Presenting – Loggly, the genie that makes dealing with logs easier.

Loggly – the most organized way to deal with application logs

If you thought log management was all about searching through loads of lines trying to spot errors, well, you can heave a sigh of relief. A brilliant online tool by the name of ‘Loggly’ promises to handle your application logs better than you. The cloud-based tool summarizes tons of log data in real-time so that you can straightaway come to the part of log files that matter the most to you.

Loggly lets you see what is happening across distributed environments thus keeping your cloud-based applications running at their best. It lets you conveniently spot application errors, performance issues or other technical glitches before they result in big losses. In a real-time cloud-based environment, speed, responsiveness and continuous availability of applications are crucial. Under emergency scenarios, a few milliseconds of delay in spotting the source and impact of issues could be all the edge your competitors need to get ahead. With Loggly’s impressive set of features at your side, you can spend time working on what your core business is rather than sifting through logs.

Here’s how Loggly does its job so well:

Collect: With Loggly you don’t need to install heavy collection agents on your end. Instead it uses existing open standards like syslog and HTTP to let you upload log files into its online portal where they’re sorted to give you the summary. You can send in any text-based logs to the platform from any source (client or server). The tool supports logs sent in by applications built in Ruby, Java, Python, Javascript, PHP, Apache server and many more.

Contextualize: Loggly automatically detects and parses common web logs during ingestion and allows you to specify your own parsing rules to structure logs. You can even insert custom tags based on defined conditions to further enrich your logs. Moreover, the tool lets you dynamically organize your logs by creating groups based on host, application, or custom tag.

Analyze: Loggly lets you follow a simple click-based approach to gain visibility into values and counts on all fields enabling you to spot anomalies, filter out noise, and understand the magnitude of problems. Its rich interface lets you carry out searches and scans on events to spot trends and fix issues quickly.

Monitor: Additionally, the tool lets you monitor your logs in real-time with continuous anomaly detection and alerts. The coolest part of Loggly is that it lets you perform real-time “tail -f” across all your log files from all your distributed systems. That’s a feature hard to find in any other log management tool.

Integrate: As if it wasn’t giving you enough flexibility, Loggly lets you collaborate with your team on problem solving and integrate log analysis into other key DevOps workflows.

Basically, Loggly puts everything you can think of with respect to log management under one easy to understand, clickable interface.

loggly1

How you can use Loggly

To start using Loggly, click on the orange colored button on the top right corner of the screen that says “Try Loggly for free”. A simple sign-up later you’ll be able to access the full features of the tool (available with Enterprise edition) for a limited amount of time. The trial activation doesn’t need credit card information and lasts for 30 days.

Once signup is complete, you’ll be redirected to a page where you get to choose if you want to jump right in and start sending your logs to the tool or if you want to test it out first.

Testing it Out

Click on the orange button that says “File Upload Options”. You’ll then be directed to a page where you can upload you logs from your browser or through a command line. For a browser upload, drag and drop files into the area specified, click on “Verify Now” to confirm if Loggly received all your data and then wait for it to work its magic. For a command line upload, copy the command displayed on the site, follow the instructions specified, click on “Verify Now” to confirm and then let the tool proceed.

Sending in application logs

Click on the orange button that says “Start Sending Logs”. You’ll then be directed to a page where you can specify the source of your logs (OS, Web server, Log file, Mobile App etc), the type of logs you wish to upload (Linux file monitoring, Windows file monitoring, file upload or other) and indicate specific conditions. You can choose to skip this wizard too and get to business but for first time users, using it would be helpful. A few easy setup instructions later, you’re all set to go. You can then start uploading your log files to Loggly and let it analyze them for you.

After a couple of runs, you’ll get the hang of it and once you do, you’ll find how easy managing log files Loggly makes.

Tool Pricing

If you’re hoping there’s a free version of this tool, you’re in luck. You can use Loggly absolutely free forever if you use the ‘Lite’ version of the tool. It lets you upload files up to sizes 200MB per day and files that are at most 7 days old. There are 3 other flavors of the tool – Standard at $49 per month, Pro at $99 per month, and Enterprise at $349 per month.

Wow that’s a lot of money! But then, look at the bright side – no headaches of having to deal with never ending log files and still getting to reach effective conclusions. We’d say the deal would be worth it.

  • Manage application logs the easy way with @loggly loggly.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

Give the tool a try with a free account. It gives you 30 days to play with tool’s Enterprise version (that’s the highest version with all features) for absolutely no cost. What’s to lose? You never know, you might actually end up signing up for it.

Convert files between multiple formats with Cloud Convert

I’ve often found myself getting annoyed when a downloaded movie doesn’t play on my movie player due to format incompatibilities. The same applies to music. Sometimes, format also hinders my work when a document or presentation created on one computer won’t be accessible or viewable on another computer that doesn’t have the software with which I created it. Such minor issues can transform into huge problems when your professional deadlines approach and you can’t successfully transfer your work from one machine to another to discuss or share your team’s opinions. And the worst scenario is when after spending hours into creating a presentation with effects, music and transitions you’re up there trying to play it and it won’t play as expected due to incompatibilities on the target computer.

We often find ourselves in similar situations stuck due to format incompatibilities. The smart way however to deal with such situations is to have the same material ready in multiple formats with you so that even if one doesn’t work, the other can save the day. For that you need to rope in a trusty format converter. However, unfortunately, most format converters available online are either restricted to particular formats or don’t complete the task until you pay a hefty sum for them or worse, are laden with malware.
But, with Cloud Convert, all such problems seem to be resolved at last!

cloudconvert

Cloud Convert – The ultimate format converter!

The purpose of Cloud Convert is instantly clear when you visit the tool’s website. That is, to convert anything to anything. You read that right; it is actually a universal converter that can convert audios, videos, archive files, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images as well as Ebooks from multiple formats into multiple formats. And that’s not all. This brilliant online tool can also convert fonts, vectors, cad files and entire websites (html files). Wow!

The best part of this unique converter is that you don’t need to install anything on your machine. Everything is online, on the cloud. Just select your source and target formats, upload your files and let the tool do its job. We know what you’re thinking. You’re probably worried about the safety of the files you upload right? Well, you don’t need to worry. Cloud Convert doesn’t let anyone else apart from you access your files. Plus, your files are deleted as soon as their conversion is completed.

With powerful API support, you can even use the full functionality of Cloud Convert in your own applications. So basically you can transform the converter into much more if you want to. To read more about it just click on the “API” link on the main menu of the website. Moreover, almost all conversion types support advanced options such as setting the codecs of audio / video files, folder monitoring and batch converting. With over 210 different files formats, Cloud Convert makes sure that once you’ve used it, you’ll never even think about any other format converter.

How it works

On the homepage of the tool, you’ll find a clearly placed line that says, “convert anything to anything” in large letters. On hovering the mouse over the underlined words ‘anything’, you’ll find out they’re actually links. Click on them to open a drop-down listing the type of conversions available. The following types of conversions are available:

  • Anything
  • Archive
  • Audio
  • Cad
  • Document
  • Ebook
  • Font
  • Image
  • Presentation
  • Spreadsheet
  • Vector
  • Video
  • Website

cloudconvert1

Each of these categories has a further categorization into the format that you wish to select as source and target. For example, you can select Presentation -> pptx (MS PowerPoint presentation) as source and Presentation -> odp (Open Office Presentation) as target. That way you can have your MS Office presentation working fine even if the target machine has Open Office installed.
If you let the selection stay at anything to anything, you have all options available to upload your files. These include:

  • Add from URL
  • Choose from Dropbox
  • Choose from Google Drive
  • Choose from OneDrive
  • Choose from Box

Depending upon the formats you choose as source and targets, these choices will become restricted. There’s one small catch here – while all other options for uploading are available straightaway, to upload files through OneDrive, you’ll need to sign up for a free Cloud Convert account first. Signing up is very easy, just a username, password, email and a verification code are required. No mess, no problem!
Once you’ve selected the files to be converted, you can choose to receive a notification once the conversion has finished and also pick where you wish the converted file to be stored – to your Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or box account. After this, just click on the big red button that says “Start Conversion” and experience the magic!

Additional Features

The makers of Cloud Convert have offered easy app adding buttons on the bottom of the screen to add Cloud Convert to Chrome or an iOS app (like iTunes). Just click on these buttons and you’ll be redirected to the respective pages where you can see detailed descriptions about these features. Additionally, to see what all formats can be converted and into which all formats, click on the “Conversion Types” link on the main menu of the website.

Pros VS Cons

Do we really need to repeat the pros? Conversion from anything to anything, literally; that too, accurate, reliable and free. This tool is a clear winner!
Honestly, we couldn’t find a flaw. Even the pricing packages are so affordable that it would be wrong to call this tool expensive. Check out the pricing for Cloud Convert through the “Pricing” link on the main menu.

  • Convert between 200+ file formats with @CloudConvert cloudconvert.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

This was one tool that made us go “Wow!” with its simplicity, usefulness and approach. Use it and experience its worth right now!

Make better Gantt charts with TeamGantt

If your organization uses Gantt charts for project planning, you know they’re horizontal bar charts used to bring about better project management through production planning and control. Such charts provide a graphical illustration of a schedule that helps to plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in a project. When they play such crucial role for organizations, even slight errors in them could lead to huge losses. It thus becomes pivotal to spend quality and ample time into their making and studying. Additionally, since Gantt charts are used in project planning, coworkers within a team or across teams need to share them among themselves and use them for frequent discussions.

With the advent of technology, everything literally, is moving to the online space. Taking the case of Gantt charts for instance, creating such charts to manage projects and sharing them with coworkers has now become an online thing. And this article is focused on an online tool that excels in the task. Presenting – TeamGantt.

teamgantt

TeamGantt – Online Gantt chart software

TeamGantt is an online software that brings a new and easy feel to Gantt charts. The tool boasts of making the entire process so easy that you can create a project plan in minutes. Moreover, it enables inviting coworkers, teammates and friends to view and edit Gantt charts online thus making everything simpler. With a user-friendly approach, this online Gantt chart software helps you better understand your projects by helping you see what everyone is working on, check for tasks that are lagging behind schedule, better organize things and make comparisons between what was planned and what is actually achieved.

Key benefits that TeamGantt offers:

  • Quickly create and edit Gantt charts online through simple drag and drop approach.
  • File sharing becomes easy since the software is online. You can also receive comments on shared files to help you better collect information.
  • Particularly worthy for managers since they can easily see who is working on what on a daily basis
  • Makes tracking progress easier.
  • Eliminates the need to download or update software

 

Additional features that make TeamGantt stand apart from its competition include:

  • See the project taking shape in a step-wise fashion
  • Individual task management becomes a lot more enhanced. For example, Even if you only have one project open, you can still see if they are assigned a task in another project.
  • You can view multiple projects in one Gantt chart
  • A single TeamGantt screen lets you view all conversations, files, tasks, assignments, availability and more right in your Gantt chart.
  • Enables information filtering by person, due date, progress status and more to cut out the clutter.
  • Allows to print Gantt charts in PDF format
  • Allows you to create your own Gantt chart templates and use them within your team.

 

With features as awesome as these (and more), who wouldn’t want to try it out?

How it works

Sign up for free through a convenient link on the homepage. Once that’s done you’ll be asked to login with the credentials you just created. Thereafter you’ll be taken to your account’s homepage. Here you’ll see options to view your Active Projects, Task List, Week View etc. which will be empty initially.

teamgantt1

You can start adding projects by clicking the “+ New Project“ button. On doing so, you’ll be given the option to create a new project from scratch or import an existing one from a CSV. You can even choose to duplicate an earlier project if you have one.

Once you’re through this step, you will be redirected to a page where you can add people or resources to the project. Once done, click on the “Done” button at the bottom of the screen to arrive at the main software screen.

Here you can actually get down to business. Create tasks, assign them to people, drag to mark deadlines; basically do what you need to do to get the ball rolling. If you’re into creating Gantt charts for some time, you’ll know what to do. And if you need help, watch a tutorial video by clicking on the link that says “Watch this quick video to learn how”.

In addition to this video, there are a lot of other tutorial videos that can be found on the TeamGantt “Learning Center”. They’re accompanied by Blog posts and articles on the topic to help newbies out. They also have a live chat option where a helpful assistant answers random queries you have and gives tips and pointers.

Strengths VS Weaknesses

The strengths of this tool are many and are basically evident from the list of features described above. Add to that the immensely powerful advantage of being omni-accessible owing to its web presence, and the tool is a clear winner.

The weakness of this tool lies in its pricing. For an account where you can create unlimited projects with unlimited users and 100 GB of file storage, you’ll need to fish out almost $250 per month. There are other plans too with lesser charges but they have lower storage, user and project numbers allowed. While large organizations may be able to afford a tool so pricy, it might be a little too steep for small teams looking to better manage their short-term projects.

  • Make project planning fun and interactive with online Gantt chart software @teamgantt teamgantt.com/ via @supermonitoring

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To sum it up

Overall, TeamGantt is a great online tool if you have the pocket for it. It anyways comes with a free 30 days trial so if the feature list is tempting you but you’re unsure, try it out first. If you really like it, buy one of their plans. If you decided against it, well, who’s stopping you from backing out?

Show-off your app with Placeit

Planning to launch a new app? Have you covered everything – the look-and-feel, the functions, the utility factor? Great! You’ve probably catered to every angle after all. And since you’ve been so careful, you must have made sure your app is so user friendly that people will instantly know how to use it. If not, well, how would you make sure your intended audience uses your app the way it is meant to be used? Let us boil it down for you with an example.

Suppose you’re launching an iPhone app for a restaurant locator. Since there’s a humungous variety of such apps already available, you’ve gone ahead and made it different in usage to the other apps in the manner in which it asks the user for information. You’ve paid quite some attention to every aspect, but overlooked the usage commercial tutorial. The end result? Your app could fail miserable simply because users couldn’t quickly figure out how to use it.

In the cut-throat app market, small mistakes like not creating quality demos or commercials for your app could be all it takes to turn the tide. So how do you stay with the flow? Just leave it to Placeit.

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Placeit – The Mockup & Demo Video Genie

With Placeit you can create awesome mockups, demo videos and commercials and make your app reach the right audience in the right way. This intuitive online tool contains thousands of crisp-clear high-definition video and picture templates in which you can just “place” your app screens, record your swipe and touch hand movements and create customized advertisements for your app. Just like a dedicated YouTube video infomercial that showcases your app in a few seconds. Cool huh?

In case you’re confused about where we’re leading to, just visit the tool’s website and watch their video commercial. At the end of it, you won’t be able to stop yourself from using the tool, even if it is just for fun.

Placeit has made something unimagined hitherto, very plausible and easy to do. To record a video demo of an app, the methodology followed till now was to procure a screen recording tool, create a proper setting to record everything with quite some hit-and-trials along the way. The backgrounds to use, the light setting etc were aspects you needed to take care of at your own end.

Placeit does it all for you. With this tool, you don’t need to create any setup. Just “place” you app’s screenshots within their photo templates for photo commercials or record your hand movement and app screens and “place” them within video templates for video commercials. Just like placing your phone and in a dock; so fit it and forget it!

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How it works

To create a picture advertisement, on the device tab (default), pick a template you like by clicking on it and you’ll be redirected to an editor page. Upload your app’s screenshot or any image you like and it will appear placed within the template you selected. You’ll then be prompted to download the small version of the image (that’s free). Thereafter you can apply effects to the image if you wish to. Click on the Save button and the edited image will be saved to your machine. To download a bigger, higher resolution version of the picture, you’ll need to purchase it for a nominal amount.

To create a video advertisement select a template and proceed to the editor page as indicated above. Thereafter click on “Record Your Screen”. You’ll need a program called ‘RecordIt’ installed on your machine to proceed. That’s Placeit’s proprietary screen recording software and it is offered for a free download. Record screen movements and download the small version of the video for free or a bigger one for a nominal amount and proceed with effects similarly.

In both video and photo demos, you can change backgrounds from a vertical list on the right hand side. Switching between templates is also made quite easy through a vertical list on the left hand side.

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Additional Feature

In addition to the app advertisement creator, Placeit offers users a platform to create any kinds of commercials through a ‘People’ section. Just click on the ‘People’ tab and you’re able to choose a random face, team it up with a background of your choice and cr2ate a static advertisement for anything. With this feature, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this online tool is not just an app advertisement creator but a complete online advertisement creator. How easier can it get!

What’s more, the ‘People’ feature is completely free for a limited period of time. That is, you can download small, large or extremely large and super high-resolution pictures without watermarks from the Placeit People section for now. So what are you waiting for?

Pros VS Cons

The high points of this tool are many. The huge number of device images (iPhones, Android devices, iPads, PCs), people images (men, women, children), backgrounds (beach, library, office, home, garden) and effects make it almost impossible to believe that so much can be packed into a single online tool. Plus, even with high-definition video templates and loads of crisp-clear picture templates, the loading latency is zero, that is, everything loads almost instantly.

  • Prepare fancy mockups and demo videos for your app in just minutes with @placeitapp placeit.net/ via @supermonitoring

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Though they’re tough to spot, the tool does have a few low points. The first one lies in the ‘People’ tab. While you can upload your app’s image to create demos for it, there’s no way to upload a custom person’s picture (say your own for instance) and team it up with one of the backgrounds. But then with the variety Placeit offers in the section, you would hardly need that. The second con lies in the video commercial of the tool on the homepage. The voiceover they’ve used in the commercial makes the video sound a little tacky and sleazy. With the overall look-feel and utility of the tool being so professional, the kind of pitch and words used in the voiceover seem a little out of place. Then again, this is not so much a low point after all. Thirdly, there a price associated with this tool so if you want a high-definition commercial without a watermark, you’ll have to fish out some funds.

Final Words

There’s so much more that we could write about this tool but we’d run out of words. So go and experience it out for yourself!

Track your work time and more in a few clicks with Harvest

In every organization there are a zillion trivial tasks associated with the core work; work force management, sales, human resources and what not. While most of these tasks are the organization’s headache, there’s one activity that takes up much of the employees’ and employer’s time and is often a boring but necessary chore. We’re talking about none other than work time tracking.

If you’ve ever worked with a time tracking tool you know that creating user stories, assigning them to employees and subsequent filling in of data by the employees is a rather lengthy procedure and often ends up in wastage of crucial working hours. Having an automatic tool that’s easy to understand, use and maintain is the need of the hour. Enter – Harvest!

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Harvest – Time Tracking was never this easy!

Harvest is an online time tracking tool that’s fast gaining momentum. An attractive user interface, easy to use modules and an almost absent learning curve make this tool the optimum choice most corporates are turning to when it comes to work time management.

So what makes it worth all the hype? Here is a short list of its features:

  • Start-Stop Timers
    Harvest gives people the option to enter their work time manually or simply start the timer at the beginning of an activity and stop it at the end – with just a click. Neat, simple and quick!
  • Omni-access
    Since it is an online tool, you can track time using Harvest through Mac, PC, iPhone or any Android device, anywhere, anytime.
  • Automatic Reminders
    Perfect for team management, Harvest lets you set automatic reminders for employees to submit their timesheets. Staff permission adjusting is also possible.
  • Compare time devoted to different projects
    This unique feature lets you comparatively assess the time devoted to different projects, tasks and by employees.
  • Create invoices seamlessly
    Harvest automatically pulls in data for hours and expenses and organizes them to make billing fast, accurate and easy. Plus, it lets you use filters to highlight billable, non-billable, employee or contractor hours.
  • Export reports
    You can even export reports to CSV, Excel, Google Drive and more using this brilliant tool.

With features as impressive as these, Harvest surely seems to be one time tracking tool that is more than just a time tracking tool. It’s a one-stop solution for corporates who wish to simplify the entire timesheet process and make their life easier.

How it works

You can check out how Harvest works through an instant free trial. Just click on the big green button on the homepage that says “Try Harvest Free” to start the 30 day free trial. You could also choose to watch a nice little film directed at marketing the tool.

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Once you’ve completed the sign-up (which is free by the way), you’re shown a pop-up where you need to verify your currency format and let the makers know how you got to know about the tool.

The next thing you see is a Welcome page and a prompt to “Create your first project”. You can get straight to the point or choose to browse through available Webinars (Live online classes), Help Center or Support. If you choose to go ahead with creating a fresh project, you’ll see another form asking you for details about the project you want to create. Fill in details like Client name, Project title, dates, invoice method, budget, tasks etc. You can even choose to add people to this project and send them invites to join the project on Harvest.

Once you’re through, add tasks to the project if you wish to and Save it. That’s actually it! You have a project set up and ready to be tracked with timesheets and all the works. And all it took was 5 minutes, a little information and few clicks. An easy tabbed menu lets you navigate between your timesheets, projects, reports, invoices and management giving the whole thing a very relaxed, even fashionable feel.

Major Advantages of Harvest

The plus point of this tool lies in its professionalism and flexibility. The terminology used in Harvest is very professional and at par with that used in other time tracking tools. You’ll find that this tool has everything you need in a time tracking tool with the additional advantage of a sense of ease. The click-next phenomenon, easy creation of projects and tasks make it a definite winner.

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Add to that the easy accessibility factor. As compared to other tools which restrict you to using them within the company’s intranet or VPN (virtual private network), Harvest lets you access it and track time from any location as well as any device. That gives the employees a sense of freedom when it comes to working from a location other than office. They can take their work home and manage their time as they wish. This factor can play a major role in boosting productivity and creativity.

Another benefit of this tool’s working model can be seen if a company hires freelancers in addition to the regular workforce. With Harvest, the regular employees and the freelancers can work as one team without any technical hindrances. All times can be tracked and maintained as one. That is the actual power Harvest brings with it.

The Bad

The only downside to this tool is the price associated with it. Most organizations today use in-built timesheet tracking tools which are frankly not that difficult to develop and are of course more reasonable to maintain. That said, a tool such as Harvest that comes with a full-fledged set of features, professional feel, far reach, flexibility and user-friendliness is well worth its price.

  • Track your work time with a few clicks with @harvest getharvest.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

Tracking time should surely not be a time taking activity. However, it unfortunately becomes so quite often. If you’re interested in letting go of the headache of maintaining a competent tool that lets you spend less time in tracking and more time in doing, choosing Harvest would be the way to go. So what if it comes for a price? That’s an aspect you’ll happily overlook once you experience it.

Gu.ma – the feature-rich link shortener

Gu.ma is the most simplest and sleek designed link shortening service available on the Internet. Available in 14 different languages this is probably the first link squeezing service available in multiple languages. It offers various options to personalize the short link that you may generate using Gu.ma.

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Why should you use Gu.ma?

There are many reasons for using Gu.ma to shorten your URLs. The long links might appear too unpleasing, difficult to remember and pass-on as a web developer may add different attributes to the link which may be descriptive and may represent various command structures, data hierarchies and session information. As a result, a URL may appear to be a collection of complex patterns which makes it difficult for us to distribute them, thus the most reliable way to pass on a long link is to copy and paste. This is where Gu.ma comes in, It’ll help you shorten the URL to make it easy to distribute and publish on a website or in print.

Though we all know the most popular reason to use this website would be to share the links or URLs on Twitter or various messaging services which have a limit on the word count, sharing a usual long link on these services may result in a violation of this constraint. Also, Gu.ma provides various other services like analytics, link personalization, adding social media bars, and comment frames.

301 Redirect

There are two kinds of redirect available: 301 redirect and 302 redirect. It is the first deciding factor why a person looking for a perfect SEO optimization would use this service. 301 redirect is for a “Permanently Moved Page” and search engines would credit the short link to the long link to which they redirect. On the other hand a 302 redirect is temporary and the search engines won’t credit the visit to the original long link. And also you should be aware that even though a service is using a 301 redirect today it may switch to 302 redirect any time.

Tracking and Analytics

Gu.ma offers analytics and tracking service using which you can track how many times the link has been visited. It allows you to add your own third party tracking code and get the analytics done for your short link. You have the option of adding the code in the page header or in the page body. This helps you know if people are actually clicking on the links you tweet. Tracking and analytics is one of the most important features any URL shortening service can have as you can analyze the traffic you get and personalize or customize your links according to the reports generated.

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Stability

The providers assure that they offer free short URLs which may never expire. But you’ve no guarantee, what if the providers cease to exist. Stability is one of the important factors as no one would like tweet backs from people about the no longer availability of your link as the URL shortening service you used is no longer available.

Link Customization or Personalization

Gu.ma offers a customization of the short URL that you can add specific words which you would like to have in your short link. It may automatically come up with some random names that may look like jumbled alphabets but together for example fsgsf0.gu.ma and these may appear difficult to remember every time you need to write it down. Adding your own word would override the link which is randomly generated and makes your URL easy to remember, type or write for example lemons.gu.ma or lemonsquash.gu.ma. This may also help you popularize your brand name and you’ll share short links which contains name of your brand.

Adding Social Media Bars

Gu.ma allows you to add social media bars to your links for various social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon. These social media bars make it easy for you to share the links on social media websites. You can easily retweet, rate and share to networks using this social media bar.

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Display Frame with Your Comment

Gu.ma allows you to add frame to your link with your comment which can be used to describe about the website or content to which the short link may redirect to. This frame can be very helpful for those who would like to visit your website as it may help them get an idea what the website or link is about. Many people won’t just open the link randomly. This can be your chance to impress them with your comment and attract them to your website increasing the number of hits you get.

Prepare a Perfect Link to Post on Facebook

This is the newest feature added to this website. It helps you prepare a perfect link for you to share on facebook which not only would attract new visitors to your website but also would comply with the facebook spam policy. As facebook sometimes won’t accept or has blocked short links from many other URL shortening services.

Spamming

The URL shortening services are often used by spammers and due to this many services end up getting terminated by the web hosts or are taken off from the online registries. And due to this most of the websites are serious about keeping domains spam free.
Gu.ma has strict rules regarding spamming, It says that if they receive a complaint that you’ve been using the service to create spam advertisements they’ll delete all your redirects permanently and your IP address would be banned from using their website. So just be careful that you don’t spam.

  • The only link shortening service you’ll ever need (feature-rich and multilingual): gu.ma/ via @supermonitoring

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Lastly, I would Gu.ma is a decent link shortening service which has many popular features which may help you a lot in having a better page rank and also in increasing the number of visits you get to your website daily.

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