Friday, May 22, 2009

E-mail Rules for Project Managers

A Post by Stephen Seay

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E-mail rules for Project Managers

1) Ensure your inbox messages are viewable in one screen. This means you should not have to scroll your Inbox window to see all your messages. To clean up your current inbox you may need a few hours (or a few days if you have thousands of e-mails in your inbox), but the effort is worth it in the long run.

2) Scrub your e-mail inbox using some of the same rules that exist for cleaning up the paper on your desk. These rules are simple: Act on It, File It, or Throw it Away.

a.) Act on it - Act on the individual e-mail now or if there is not time then schedule the time on your calendar to review it later. Also, you can create a “Pending” folder for e-mails you can’t act on because you are waiting on more information. Schedule time regularly to review your "Pending" e-mail folder. Lastly, delegate the message and ensure you set a date to follow-up

b.) File It - Decide if you need to keep it. If so, ensure you have setup a logical e-mail folder structure so you can find your e-mails quickly in the future

c.) Throw It Away – If the e-mail is not needed then hit “Delete”. The "delete" key can be very liberating

3.) Decide on a schedule to check your e-mail and stick to it (twice a day, every three hours, et

c.). Be willing to adjust the schedule as you find what works for you. Don’t be one of those dorks that checks their e-mail device every time it vibrates. You probably aren't that important and neither is the e-mail you might be receiving

4.) For all important communications call the person(s), don’t send an e-mail.

5.) Don’t reply to the same e-mail more than twice. Pick up the phone or go talk to person face-to-face

6.) Setup time on your calendar each week to manage your e-mail

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Exercise to Remain Young

A Post by Detox Diet Divas

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There is no doubt about the fact that exercise is one of the best ways to remain young. Not only will it help to improve your health but it will also help to make you look a lot younger. By including some resistance training in your exercise regime it will help to tighten and firm the muscles of your body, including those on your face and this is one of the reasons why you will look younger.

Even 20 minutes of exercise three times a week will do a lot towards helping you look and feel a lot younger. Exercise improves circulation and circulation is an important factor in maintaining good skin. By maintaining a better skin condition you will inherently look a lot younger as poor skin condition is one of the sure signs that you are aging. The increased circulation that is brought about from exercise raises the temperature of the blood and pushes it towards the surface of the skin.

In doing so it carries more oxygen and nutrients to the skin giving you a healthier glowing complexion. The additional blood that the exercise will bring to the surface of the skin reduces the degeneration of the skin cells and the breakdown of collagen. By reducing the degeneration and helping with the production of collagen, exercise slows down the aging of the skin and in particular the 'bagginess' and slackness that comes with age. Doing the correct exercise will also help you to maintain a better posture.

One of the best forms of exercise for helping with your posture is yoga. Yoga not only helps with the suppleness of your body through stretching the muscles but it also improves your strength and posture as well as helping you to achieve a better state of mind and relaxation.

All of these benefit your overall health and help to reduce the aging process.

Secrets For Maintaining Healthy Skin, Hair And Nails

Use Soap on Select Areas of the Body to Avoid Dryness
“Unless you have really oily skin, because you are a teenager or work with oils or gases, you do not need soap to get yourself clean. Pure water does the job to get you clean. However, you do need to use soap on your face, under your arms, and in the groin area. As you get older, the use of soap on the rest of your body can unnecessarily dry your skin.”

Don’t Smoke! It Causes Wrinkles
Wear Sunscreen! It Prevents Wrinkles
Your Skin Reflects What You Eat
Do As Little As Possible to Your Hair
Dermatologists Can Help Turn Back the Hands of Time

5 Tips for Maintaining Luminous Skin

* Drink lots of water – and while you're at it, don't skip the tea.

If you make only one change in 2009, start drinking a few more glasses of water each day. When your body is well-hydrated, it can do the work of repairing free-radical damage and getting rid of toxins sans impediment. Amp up your liquid intake even more by adding a daily cup or two of tea – especially green tea. It's a tasty way to stay hydrated, and it packs a proven antioxidant punch that has had scientists singing its praises for years. Tea - truly a guilt free indulgence.

* Eat colorful foods.

Colorful foods like tomatoes and berries usually make their way into our diets because they taste good. The good news is that they also pack a tremendous antioxidant punch, so much so that the USDA has developed a scale to measure the antioxidant power of various fruits and vegetables. The top winners? Cinnamon, berries, apples and beans. This is good news, because the potent phytochemicals in these foods protect your skin from the damaging influences of cigarette smoke, sun-exposure and free-radicals.

* Load up on foods that contain good fat.

Give your skin a lift by including the right kinds of fat in your diet. Good fats that come from foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, fish and especially flax seeds are the building blocks to healthy skin. As an added bonus, these foods are also high in skin damage-fighting antioxidants.

* Take your vitamins.

It's no coincidence that the best vitamins for your skin are also the best cancer-fighting antioxidants. Look for a formula that includes beta-carotene, Vitamins C, E, B-complex, biotin, lutein and zinc.* But don't put that into your body! Avoiding smoking is a no-brainer for beautiful skin. But what about sugar, red meat and dairy products? A good rule of thumb is to replace animal fats in your diet with the high quality vegetable and fish fats I mentioned earlier. The more natural your diet, the better off your skin will be – that means avoiding preservatives and artificial colorings, and limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 1-2 drinks per day.

Top 10 Web Mistakes

Sites That Suck

How am I supposed to find content on this site?

Some validation errors are okay, others, maybe not so much.

I don't even know where to start, figuratively or literally.

Nice to see consistency on here. :)

Only pop ups? Really?

Think about your work flow.

#Try turning JavaScript off and count the clicks to a 404.

A little too much flash for me.

Hmm, ad too much?

Let's find a creative way of putting ads on a page.

If only there were a group like Doctors Without Boarders, Designers Without Boarders.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Take Your Web Apps Out of the Browser with Mozilla's Prism

A Post by Lisa Hoover
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Fresh out of the Mozilla Labs oven this week is a beta version of Prism, a new incarnation of WebRunner that integrates Web applications with the desktop. The idea behind Prism starts with from the premise that as more people move their computing activities to the cloud, users will become increasingly dependent on Web apps designed to replace locally-based email, calendaring, and word processing.
The problem is, running these types of apps in a Web browser adds clutter and unecessary steps to what should be a straightforward user experience. Mozilla wants to eliminate that particular pain point and streamline the way we use Web-based applications.
Depending on your preference, you can use Prism as a Firefox extension or a standalone application that lives on your computer. Creating an application from a Web site is a simple one- or two-click affair.
So, what's so appealing about running Web apps in a separate window that's accessible from the desktop? Mozilla says there are plenty of advantages:
* New API functionality for allowing Prism-enabled web sites more desktop like power.
* Ability to set fonts, proxy settings and other application-speciļ¬c settings.
* The ability to clear private data on demand.
* Applications are automatically updated when new Prism versions are available.
* Tray icon support, as well as submenus for dock and system tray menus.
* Full OS X 10.4 support, and further OS X specific enhancement.
* Support for SSL exceptions.
I took Prism for a spin and, although I really wanted to like it, I was underwhelmed. There are probably some real-world applications of Prism that I'm overlooking, but aside from having an app reside in my dock instead of a browser tab I don't know of any compelling reason I'd use it. I use Google's offline Gmail option to read my email, and switch off my browser toolbar to reduce clutter while using other online apps.
That said, I encourage readers to download the Prism app or extension and give it a whirl. I'd love to be convinced of why I need it, so come back here and let me know in the comments.

Non Profit Website Design: Examples and Best Practices

A Post by Cameron Chapman
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Non profit websites share many of the same best practices as any website. They need to be user friendly, easily navigable, and use appropriate fonts, colors, and other design elements. But often a non profit website needs to offer more than your typical corporate site.

A non profit’s website needs to make it easy to find out more about their cause, to donate money, and to become more involved. It needs to make it easy for media contacts to find the information they need and the contact information of key personnel. And it needs to do all this in a way that’s inviting to the organization’s targeted donors and/or volunteers.

Below are a list of best practices for designing non profit websites followed by some examples of non profit websites that are getting things right.

1. Make Your Site Donor-Friendly
Donations are a necessary thing for every non profit organization out there. Your website can be a great place to solicit donations, especially from new donors. It can also make it easier for recurring donors to make additional donations. In either case, you want it to be a simple and straight-forward process for people to give you money.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a donor-friendly site. First, make sure your donation page is prominently linked from your home page. Whether you do this with a special banner or button or simply make it prominent in your regular navigation, donors have to see where to donate before they can do so.
Second, make the actual donation process as painless as possible. Don’t require visitors to set up an account to donate. The donation process shouldn’t be any more complicated than any other online transaction. Other than information required to process their credit card or e-check, don’t require any other information. And use a single-page donation form if possible, with just one confirmation page. There’s less chance that there will be browser or connectivity issues if there’s only a single page to deal with.

2. Make Your Site Media-Friendly
Getting media attention can have a huge impact on a non profit organization. Whether the media attention brings in more donations directly or simply raises the profile of the organization, getting attention from journalists, bloggers, and anyone else with an audience is important.
Make it easy for journalists to find information about your organization. Include profiles of your board of directors, founder(s), and other key personnel. Make sure you include contact information (email and phone) for each of these key people. Have a downloadable media kit that includes everything your print media kit does.
Offer downloadable images from your site so journalists and bloggers don’t have to contact your and wait for a response. And include press-ready quotes, both from members and directors as well as outsiders. Make it clear that journalists and other organizations may use these items in news coverage without contacting the organization for prior permission.

3. Make Your Site Volunteer-Friendly
Make it easy for visitors to your site to find information on how they can get involved. There are plenty of people out there who might not have the money to make a donation but are still passionate about what your organization is doing.
Whether you provide detailed information about volunteering directly, steps people can take on their own, or just contact information for your volunteer organizer, make sure you don’t overlook this crucial bit of information.Providing multiple means of contact makes it easier for volunteers to get in touch, so include an email address, phone number, and a web contact form if you can.

4. Make Sure Your Organization’s Purpose is Immediately Apparent
How many times have you gone to a website and not had a clue what the site was about? This happens all too often. Designers and clients often take for granted what visitors to their site will already know about their organization.
But considering how much information is pushed in bite-size pieces on sites like Twitter and Facebook, there’s no telling how much or how little visitors will know. With some organizations it’s easy enough to figure out what the organization is about just by its name, but for others it’s not so easy.

5. Make Sure Your Content Takes Center Stage
Design on any site should be transparent, and especially so on non profit sites. That’s not to say your site can’t have an interesting design, just that the design should revolve around your content and your mission, not the other way around. Take into account the types of information you’ll be providing on the site and the formats that will be used.
Consider up front how much multi-media elements will be used, and whether they’ll be used on every page or just in special gallery sections. If you plan to post videos and photos on multiple pages, you’ll need to make sure your column widths other elements are complimentary to the kinds of media you want to use.
Make sure your columns are wide enough to accommodate YouTube videos, for example. If they’re not, any time you embed a video (or similar element), your site design will look haphazard (and some of your site content might end up covered up).

6. Make Sure Your Website is Consistent with Your Other Promotional Materials
Your logo should use the same logo and colors as your other promotional materials. Maintaining a consistent brand throughout your organization greatly increases your chances of being recognized in passing. Your website doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) match your print promotional materials exactly, but echoing the look and feel of those materials increases brand identity.
Make sure the content is consistent, too. Proofread and copyedit your website content just as you do your print materials. While it’s easier to change content on a website, it still gives a negative impression if your site is riddled with errors and inaccuracies.

7. Know Your Site’s Purpose Up Front
The leaders of your organization (or whoever is in charge of the organization’s website) should make a list of what the goals for the site are before starting the design process. Is the site primarily to allow existing members to stay updated? Is it to solicit donations? Is it to get new volunteers or members? Is it to raise awareness in general?
Whatever your purpose is, knowing it and communicating it to your designer going into the design process will save headaches and delays down the road. Make sure everyone is on board with the same vision, too, so you don’t have to make unnecessary changes down the road, which saves both time and money.

8. Include a News Section or Blog
Including a blog or news section has a couple of big advantages for non profit sites. First, it gives people a reason to come back to your site. If you offer news about your organization and your cause, people who are interested in either will come back on a regular basis (or subscribe via RSS). This keeps your site visible and makes it more likely they’ll become more involved in the future (or stay involved if they are already).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Google Command Line Interface (CLI)

Here is a Cool command line Interface for Google Search


Just type : h for Help

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Silverlight controls from vendors

Silverlight folks, watch out for below vendors.., - Right-click Context menu in Silverlight, cool !!! – Controls for LOB apps - XAF - Data model driven Visualization - close competitor for us !?! - Silverlight Add-on released last week by Dundas

Silverlight Heat map…

Silverlight 3 enables Data driven Apps..

Google Latitude – Useful or Too Early to Tell?

In the future the phrase “Where are you?” may be a thing of the past. Google’s new application called Latitude allows users to update their locations from mobile phones as well as their computers. Yesterday I took my first road trip with Google Latitude enabled and had a friend track my location while I was out.
Instead of me explaining the ins and outs of Latitude. Watch this short video on how the service works.

There are several mobile phones supported currently although the iPhone is listed as “coming soon”.
Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
most color BlackBerry devices
most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)

A Quick Mobile Tour
To install Google Latitude on your phone go to and type in your cell phone number. A text message will arrive almost immediately providing a link where the software can be downloaded. I’m using it on my Blackjack II running Windows Mobile 6.1 currently.
Once installed, launch Google Maps on the phone. Here are a few screen shots that should give you an idea what to expect on a Windows Smartphone.

Useful or Not?
At this point and time only early adopters are using the service it seems. There hasn’t been enough “buzz” around it yet to get massive adoption, at least not within my network.