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Manage your pipeline more effectively with Cloze

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal assistant to manage your pipeline? Of course it would, but if one isn’t in your budget Cloze can do it for you.

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cloze

A digital personal assistant

Don’t you wish you had a personal assistant who could whisper in your ear every time you meet a colleague and can’t remember their name? Or who could remind you what the heck you talked about at last week’s meeting? How about a secretary who would notify you when you need to get in touch with someone, or who could even alert you when someone hasn’t responded to your email?

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We can all dream of the perfect personal assistant, but in the meantime there are a lot of (increasingly intelligent) tools out there to help you keep track of the seemingly zillions of contacts you must maintain to run your business. Cloze is such a tool; it’s the “no-work” way to consolidate all of the information you have about your contacts into one place. It’s “smarter relationship management” for companies with long lists of prospects, clients, and colleagues to stay in touch with.

Merging info into one place

Cloze is intelligent software that automatically merges a wide array of information into one place. When you review your contacts on Cloze, you’ll see not only their email address and phone number, but also a log of all of your interactions, including emails, documents, and phone calls you’ve exchanged, notes from meetings you’ve attended together, and personal reminders. You’ll even be able to see what your contact is up to on social media sites, as Cloze syncs up with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Besides amalgamating that mess of information you previously had scattered across multiple email accounts, spreadsheets, and sticky notes, Cloze is smart enough to learn to prioritize the contacts are the most important to you, and to remind you when it’s time to reach out.

The search feature allows you to “search for contacts the way you think.” You can look for techs at IBM, customers in Boston, or people who attended the April board meeting. Contacts can be searched and sorted by person, by company, or by meeting. Instead of displaying your contacts alphabetically, Cloze learns to arrange them by importance, and by how frequently you contact them.

Cloze helps you manage and take action

The fact that Cloze keeps track of your meetings is a particularly helpful feature. Cloze creates briefing documents that include notes, action items, documents and emails you’ve exchanged with attendees so that you have context and reminders for next week’s meeting.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, because Cloze syncs them together on its secure, encrypted cloud.

The free account comes with a smart inbox, a contact manager, and a social media manager that optimizes your social feeds by rearranging them in order of importance. The free account also syncs your email, social, computer, and cell phone contacts.

For $13.33 per month you can get a Pro account, which, in addition to everything you get in the free bundle, also gives you a calendar and a call history, syncs with your Evernote, enriches your contacts by finding additional information, and actively reminds you when it’s time to contact someone. Cloze even lets you know when someone hasn’t responded to your email so you can follow up.

So ditch the spreadsheets and save yourself the headache of data entry. Cloze is a smarter way to manage your endless contact list.

#Cloze

Ellen Vessels, Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for her wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when she's not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Tech News

Facebook starts handing out merit badges like we’re Girl Scouts

(TECH NEWS) Facebook offers merit badges to users, and it’s pretty neat, but we’re also rolling our eyes.

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According to some Facebook Group administrators, Facebook has today rolled out merit badges. So far in the wild, we’ve spotted “Conversation Starter” which praises the admin (or user) for starting engaging posts that got the conversation going.

We have asked numerous users if they’ve seen these badges, and so far it appears that only one badge has been rolled out, potentially with more on the way. Upon logging into the group where you have earned a badge, you’ll see a notification at the top of the feed informing you of your new badge (get out your vest, it’s time to start collecting them all)!

The merit badge that you’ve earned shows up in your profile when other group members (where you’ve earned the merit badge) click on your face:

Currently, when an Admin posts in the group, it still only has their Admin badge next to their name, not the “Conversation Starter” or other badges lined up next to it, but if a regular group member has posted something engaging, the badge appears next to their name (it may be a one-badge-limit so far, maybe hold off on buying a Girl Scout vest for your badge collection):

Lastly, users apparently do have control over the display of whichever neato merit badges we eventually earn or collect:

There is no word on what the ultimate plan is or what merit badges will be awarded, and it appears to be limited to Facebook Groups at the present.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update the story as we learn more. For now, if you want a badge, you can at least get a “Conversation Starter” badge in Facebook Groups, so go get ’em – we’ll soon know which other badges we can earn slash collect slash compete for slash game.

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Tech News

Slack video messaging tool for the ultra lazy (or productive) person

(TECHNOLOGY) Courtesy of a company called Standuply, Slack’s notable lack of video-messaging options is finally addressed.

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Slack — the popular chat and workflow app — is still going strong despite its numerous technical shortcomings, one of which is its notable lack of native video or audio chat. If you’re an avid Slack user, you might be interested in Standuply’s solution to this missing feature: video and audio messaging.

While it isn’t quite the Skype-esque experience for which one might hope when booting up Slack, Standuply’s video messages add-on gives you the ability to record and send a video or audio recording to any Slack channel. This makes things like multitasking a breeze; unless you’re a god among mortals, your talking speed is significantly faster than your typing, making video- or audio-messaging a viable productivity move.

The way you’ll record and send the video or audio message is a bit convoluted: using a web browser and a private Slack link, you can record up to five minutes of content, after which point the content is uploaded to YouTube as a private item. You can then use the item’s link to send the video or audio clip to your Skype channel.

While this is a fairly roundabout way of introducing video chat into Slack, the end result is still a visual conversation which is conducive to long-term use.

Sending video and audio messages may feel like an exercise in futility (why use a third-party tool when one could just type?) but the amount of time and energy you can save while simultaneously responding to feedback or beginning your next task adds up.

Similarly, having a video that your team can circle back to instead of requiring them to scroll through until they find your text post on a given topic is better for long-term productivity.

And, if all else falls short, it’s nice to see your remote team’s faces and hear their voices every once in a while—if for no other reason than to reassure yourself that they aren’t figments of your overly caffeinated imagination.

At the time of this writing, the video chat portion of the Slack bot is free; however, subsequent pricing tiers include advanced aspects such as integration with existing services, analytics, and unlimited respondents.

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Tech News

This phishing simulator tests your company’s (lack of) readiness

(TECHNOLOGY) Phishero is a tool which tests your organization’s resistance to phishing attacks. Pro tip: Most companies aren’t ready.

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In the wake of any round of cyberattacks, many organizations question whether they’re prepared to defend themselves against things like hacking or other forms of information theft. In reality, the bulk of workplace data thievery comes from a classic trick: phishing.

Phishing is a catch-all phrase for a specific type of information theft which involves emailing. Typically, a phishing email will include a request for sensitive data, such as a password, a copy of a W-4, or an account’s details (e.g., security questions); the email itself will often appear to come from someone within the organization.

Similar approaches include emailing a link which acts as a login page for a familiar site (e.g., Facebook) but actually stores your account information when you sign in.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to test your business’ phishing readiness.

Phishero, a tool designed to test employee resistance to phishing attacks, is a simple solution for any business looking to find any weak links in their cybersecurity.

The tool itself is designed to do four main things: identify potential targets, find a way to design a convincing phishing scheme, implement the phishing attack, and analyze the results.

Once Phishero has a list of your employees, it is able to create an email based on the same web design used for your company’s internal communications. This email is then sent to your selected recipient pool, from which point you’ll be able to monitor who opens the email.

Once you’ve concluded the test, you can use Phishero’s built-in analytics to give you an at-a-glance overview of your organization’s security.

The test results also include specific information such as which employees gave information, what information was given, and pain points in your current cybersecurity setup.

Phishing attacks are incredibly common, and employees – especially those who may not be as generationally skeptical of emails – are the only things standing between your company and catastrophic losses if they occur in your business. While training your employees on proper email protocol out of the gate is a must, Phishero provides an easy way to see how effective your policies actually are.

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