One and done
Running a business is no easy task, especially if you’re just getting started. The right tools are crucial to ensure things run smoothly. While there are LOTS of apps out there to help you, it’s hard to know where to start and what you need. One platform offers and all-in-one solution for business billing and time tracking without the need to endlessly search for apps and tools to help get your business off the ground.
Time, money, and project management
Cashboard offers freelancers and small businesses a way to track their time, send out quotes and invoices, efficiently manage projects, and generally get paid on time without the hassle of spreadsheets and time tracking apps. It lives in the cloud, so it’s always in sync allowing your employees to access the system and track time, manage tasks, or pay invoices regardless of whether they are at their desk or on-the-go.
Lose the endless spreadsheets
Cashboard runs on the web, iOS, and Android. It’s also encrypted and backed up which they invite you to verify here. If you’re tired of using spreadsheets to track your projects and billable hours, Cashboard may be for you. One of the best parts of Cashboard is the interface extremely user friendly interface. If you’re an advanced user, you will dig the customization and integration options. For example, Cashboard integrates with many popular platforms like Basecamp, Mac Time Tracking, Time Post, QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel and Google Spreadsheets, and PostalMethods.
Guided setup and tracking
If you decide to try it, you can get started immediately, or you can go through the built-in setup guide. If you plan to integrate with Basecamp, the setup guide is a good way to get up and running faster. The guide will walk you through adding your details and default preferences (currency, mode of payment, etc.). Then, you’ll add your clients and you’re ready to create your first project.
When you begin a project, you’ll be able to track the entire process from start to finish. More often than not, you’ll need to create an estimate for the work your client needs; Cashboard has a built-in, flexible estimate creator tool. It allows you to bill by the hour, or by a set price. You can also set flat fees, high/low estimates, and establish two different types of taxes. If you don’t like the default choices, it also supports rich formatting using the Textile markup language and the exporting of payment information and client data.
Invoices in a flash
You can also use the same tool to create invoices. These invoices can be emailed to clients on the fly, or via the Cashboard app. You can also export invoices to PDF. My favorite feature is the “deposit invoice.” You can create these for work that hasn’t been performed yet and any payment will be recorded as outstanding credit. You can link your Cashboard account to PayPal, Stripe, Moolah and Authorize.net, as well as, credit card payments.
If you’re working in a team environment, you can utilize the built-in project management tool to list the tasks you or your team will need to do to complete the project. Then, assign them, add due dates, and once they’re completed, bill your clients. Having an overview of the entire project allows you to track expenses, see what has been paid and what needs to be paid, and which employees are performing best – all without leaving the Cashboard platform.
Two week free trial
While it isn’t the only solution, it’s certainly a good place to get your feet wet with a program that does it all. Cashboard also offers a two week free trial period so you can see if this might be a better alternative to separate project management, billing, and invoicing software.
What is UI/UX? Take a little time to learn for free!
(TECH NEWS) For the all-time low price of—well, free—Invise gives you the option of learning a few basic UI and UX design techniques.
There’s no denying the strong impact UI and UX design has on the success of a website, app, or service—and, thanks to some timely altruism, you can add basic design understanding to your résumé for free.
Invise is a self-described beginner’s guide to the UI/UX field, and while they do not purport to deliver expert knowledge or “paid courses”, the introduction overview alone is pretty hefty.
The best part—aside from the “free” aspect—is how simple it is to get a copy of the guide: You enter your email address on the Invise website, click the appropriate button, and the guide is yours after a quick email verification.
According to Invise, their beginner’s guide to UI and UX covers everything from color theory and typography to layout, research principles, and prototyping. They even include a segment on tools and resources to use for optimal UI/UX work so that you don’t have to take any risks on dicey software.
UI—short for “user interface”—and UX, or “user experience”, are two critical design aspects found in everything from websites to app and video game menus. As anyone who has ever picked up an outdated smartphone knows, a janky presentation of options or—worse yet—a lack of intuitive menus can break a user’s experience far faster than slow hardware.
Similarly, if you’re looking to retain customers who visit your website or blog, presenting their options to them in a jarring or unfamiliar way—or selecting colors that clash for your landing page—can be just as fatal as not having a website to begin with.
The overarching problem, then, becomes one of cost. Hiring a design expert is expensive and can be time-consuming, so Invise is a welcome alternative—and, as a bonus, you don’t have to dictate your company’s vision to a stranger and hope that they “get it” if you’re doing your own design work.
2020 probably isn’t the year to break the bank on design choices, but the importance of UI and UX in your business can’t be overstated. If you have time to read up on some design basics and a small budget for a few of the bare-bones tools, you can take a relatively educated shot at putting together a modern, desirable interface.
Google set to release new AI-operated meeting room kit… and it’s pretty baller
(TECH NEWS) Google’s newest toy is designed to “put people first” by alleviating video and audio issues for conference room meetings.
Remote meetings can be the worst sometimes. The awful video and audio quality are frustrating when you’re trying to hear important details for an upcoming project. Even with the fastest internet connection, this doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to clearly hear or see anyone who’s in the office. But Google is re-imagining conference rooms with their new video conferencing hardware.
Yesterday, the company introduced Google Meet Series One. In partnership with Lenovo, this meeting room kit is made exclusively for Google Meet and is poised to be the hardware that “puts people first.”
The Series One has several components that make it stand out. First is the “Smart Audio Bar,” powered by eight beam-forming microphones. Using Google Edge TPUs, the soundbar can deliver TrueVoice®, the company’s “proprietary, multi-channel noise cancellation technology.” It removes distracting sounds, like annoying finger and foot-tapping noises, so everyone’s voices are crystal clear from anywhere in the room.
The hardware also has 4K smart cameras that allow for high-resolution video and digital PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) effects. Processed with Google AI, the device knows to automatically zoom in and out so all of the meetings’ participants are framed in the camera. With an i7 processor and Google Edge TPUs, the system is built to “handle the taxing demands of video conferencing along with running the latest in Google AI as efficiently and reliably as possible.”
The meeting kit has Google grade security built-in, so the system automatically updates over-the-air. The system also works seamlessly with Google services and apps we already use. Its touch control display is powered by a single ethernet cable. From the admin controls, you can manage meeting lists and control room settings. Powered by assistant voice commands, their touch controller provides a “touchless touchability”; if you want to, you can join a meeting just by saying, “Hey Google, join the meeting.”
These new meeting kits are easy to install and are versatile. They can be configured to fit small, medium, and large-sized rooms. “Expanding kits for larger rooms can be done with just an ethernet cable and the tappable Mic Pod, which expands microphone reach and allows for mute/unmute control.”
According to the Google Meet Series One introductory video, the meeting room kits are “beautifully and thoughtfully designed to make video meetings approachable and immersive so everyone gets a seat at the table.”
Currently, there is no release date set for Google Meet Series One. However, pre-orders will soon be available in the US, Canada, Finland, France, Norway, Spain, Ireland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium.
One creepy way law enforcement might have your private data
(TECH NEWS) Wait, geofences do what? Law enforcement can pull your private data if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
By now, it’s pretty common knowledge that our smartphones are tracking us, but what you might not be aware of is just how much law enforcement is taking advantage of our private data. Now, the good news is that some places have gotten wise to this breach of privacy and are banning certain tactics. The bad news is: If you were ever in the vicinity of a recent crime scene, it’s quite possible your privacy has already been invaded.
How are law enforcement doing this? Well, it starts with a geofence.
At its core, a geofence is a virtual border around a real geographic location. This can serve many purposes, from creating marketing opportunities for targeted ads to tracking shipping packages. In the case of law enforcement, though, geofences are often used in something called a geofence warrant.
Traditionally, warrants identify a subject first, then retrieve their electronic records. A geofence warrant, on the other hand, identifies a time and place and pulls electronic data from that area. If you’re thinking “hey, that sounds sketchy,” you are–forgive the pun–completely warranted.
With a geofence, law enforcement can dig through your private data, not because they have proof you were involved in a crime, but because you happened to be nearby.
This practice, though relatively new, is on the rise: Google reported a 15-fold increase in geofence warrant requests between 2017 and 2018. As well as invading privacy, these warrants have led to false arrests and can be used against peaceful protesters. Not to mention, in many cases, geofence warrants can be extremely easy to acquire. One report in Minnesota found judges signed off on these cases in under 4 minutes.
Thankfully, there have been signs of people pushing back against the use of geofence warrants. In fact, there have been multiple federal court rulings that find the practice in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from “unreasonable searches and seizures,” including your electronic data.
If you’re still worried about your privacy, there are ways to keep your electronic data on lock. For example, turn off your location services when you’re traveling, and avoid connecting to open Wi-Fi networks. You can also work to limit location sharing with apps and websites.
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