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

Tech News

Anti-surveillance mask – creepy, ingenious, or potentially illegal?

(TECHNOLOGY) Advances in surveillance tech have impressed the masses, but as our cultures consider the risk and reward, some are preparing to protect themselves from overreaching technologies and governments.

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anti-surveillance prosthetic

How many surveillance cameras do you pass when you walk down the street? Most of us don’t know and prefer not to think about it. We know that public and private entities, from social media sites like Facebook, to law enforcement agencies, are using facial recognition software. In most cases, we haven’t actively consented to this surveillance, and we don’t know what will be done with information – but it also seems like there’s not much we can do about it.

Enter artist Leo Selvaggio, who is interested in “increasing the amount of public discourse about surveillance and how it affects our behavior in public space.” Selvaggio has launched a venture called URME Surveillance, whose focus is “protecting the public from surveillance and creating a safe space to explore our digital identities.”

URME is doing this is in an unusual, and admittedly kind of unnerving way. The site provides masks, in the likeness of Selvaggio’s face, that you can wear in public to protect your own mug from ending up on file. These “Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetics” are sold at cost – Selvaggio isn’t in it for the profits. There’s a $200 resin prosthetic, a set of 2D paper masks for large groups (protestors?), and a downloadable PDF paper mask that fits together like a 3D puzzle, giving the mask more dimension than the flat, 2D version.

paper anti-surveillance

“Our world is becoming increasingly surveilled. For example, Chicago has over 25,000 cameras networked to a single facial recognition hub,” explains the URME website. “We don’t believe you should be tracked just because you want to walk outside and you shouldn’t have to hide either. Instead, use one of our products to present an alternative identity when in public.”

Is this product a genuine solution to non-consensual surveillance? Or is it simply an artist’s attempt to make a statement? The 3D resin mask is fairly realistic, but with the wearer’s eyes peeking out of the mask’s holes, it’s creepy, to say the least.

anti-surveillance face

While the mask may thwart surveillance cameras, it will probably attract attention from other people nearby – so perhaps anonymity isn’t the goal.

It’s more about making sure that your face doesn’t end up in a databank; or at the very least, inspiring conversation about the topic of public surveillance. Potential customers should also be advised that many states and cities have laws against wearing masks in public.

Regardless of the ultimate intention, the fact that Selvaggio is willing to sacrifice his own likeness to Big Brother means that he takes the issue seriously. Cameras linked to facial recognition software will identify and track Selvaggio, regardless of who is under the mask. URME has actually tested the product using Facebook’s “sophisticated” facial recognition software.

Selvaggio even acknowledges that people could use the mask to commit crimes, which could land him in hot water. However, he has “come to the conclusion that it is worth the risk if it creates public discourse around surveillance practices and how it affects us all.”

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Tech News

For meetings that should be an email? There’s an app for that

(TECH NEWS) If you’re tired of having your precious work time taken up by useless meetings, there may be a solution.

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Have you ever attended a meeting that turned out to be a waste of time and set you back on your work? I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that every person reading this article is nodding in agreement.

Meetings, if executed appropriately (and sporadically,) can be effective. However, having weekly (or even daily) meetings that are designed to catch-up or give reports can add up to a ton of wasted time.

Across the board, meetings are generally geared towards productivity, and oftentimes they are counterproductive. So, how can you still get that need for touching-base with employees while still being productive? StandupMeet might just have the answer for that.

StandupMeet is a tool designed to make meetings more productive and agile. According to their statistics, more than $37 billion per year are being spent on unproductive meetings.

The main features include: the digitization of meetings, the instantaneous sharing of minutes, and the ability to assign actions and keep track of progress.

By making the meetings digital, you organize meeting points in one place. Decisions, actions, and key points can be logged in real time and accessed before the meeting.

This makes projects more agile and helps to increase critical success factors.

With instantaneous sharing of minutes, you can collaborate and share minutes of the meeting, key result areas, and action points. This is also done in real time and is shared with colleagues to make sure that each person is on the same page.

Finally, by assigning actions and keeping track of projects helps to ensure data integrity and provides accountability to each team member. Automated reminders are available so that you can spend your time on the more valuable tasks first.

In addition, StandupMeet also offers: project wised meeting, customized meeting types, organized agendas, shareable meeting minutes, accountability, reminders to ensure time is being appropriately applied, recurring meetings, conflict-free meeting scheduling, locations, automated follow ups, automatically tracked action points, and flexibility across time zones.

This can save time and increase productivity for on-site workers and can also be beneficial for teams that are remote.

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Tech News

Drag keeps your email insanely organized

(TECH NEWS) Determining the best way to organize your tasks is a task in-and-of itself. A new app is here to help you organize your emails.

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Finding the best way to keep yourself organized can be trial and error. And, there’s not one correct method for every element that you have to keep organized in your life. How you track your finances may be completely different from how you organize your art supplies.

All of this can vary based on the person at hand, as well. Some people are visual, some are list-makers, some are a combination of a little bit of everything.

With much of our work and communication being done in the virtual world, one of the more crucial organization concepts to determine is how to organize your email. This is something I just recently found a good-method-for-me after years of everything just being scattered in my inbox.

Now, a new application is available to help people be proactive in their email organization.

Made specifically for Gmail users, the Drag app exists to change the way you organize.

According to developers, “Drag lets you transform your inbox into organized task lists. Sort your emails between pipeline stages (To Do, Doing & Complete) with simple drag ‘n drop, and mark as complete. Change the way you manage your emails, right inside your Gmail inbox.”

The platform is designed similar to a site like Trello, where you have columns of cards (in this case, emails) you can customize.

Drag’s example shows a “To-Do List,” “In Progress,” and “Complete.” This way, users can keep track of what emails still need attention as well as seeing exactly where they’re at in the attention stage.

This is great for someone who has many task-oriented emails. However, if you’re someone like me who has many folders/labels for email organization, the visual aspect may become overwhelming quite quickly.

With that being said, there is still the option to keep the folders/labels while introducing the visual aspect. As someone who is very list-oriented, this could be a beneficial way to enhance organization.

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