3Pointer: Top 10 Apps for Small Business Olympians
July 31, 2012
They will dive, swim and shoot arrows. Some will toss up an elegant 3-pointer or inflict the full nelson as they upend their opponents. Others will skim the water at furiously fast speeds, a sail emblazoned with their country’s colors overhead. Hello, summer Olympics.
Extraordinary athletes require extraordinary training. So, in honor of all small business Olympians who leave no effort on the table, no lack of heart in conquering the odds every day, no remnant of agile innovation unexplored, we give you the top 10 apps as recommended by the 3Points team. May these power clicks help you train, compete and win at one of the most thrilling sports of all: business.
Every new hire at 3Points experiences app number one on the list …
JUST DO IT: Ideal for small business Olympians seeking expert advice, plus countless documents to run faster and smarter.
WHAT IT IS: 20+million documents and resources, 100+apps, videos and more. Think virtual board of directors accessed by a click. Learn leadership skills, SEO tips, event planning, branding, start-up strategies, web design, best practices for hiring/firing, taxes and more. Find legal, financial, business and technical documents used in growing and managing a company.
COST: Free viewing access to 20+million documents OR Premium Membership: $9.95/monthly for a 12-month plan that offers access to 30+million premium documents (including legal), plus downloading capabilities.
HOW WE USE IT: Every new hire at 3Points is asked some of the interview questions culled from the HR app. Standardizing interviews improved our recruiting process. We use it on our iPads. Since the app connects to the Internet, we email documents to our inbox. The sales video tips are like high protein shakes for our team - definitely an important part of our intellectual strength training.
JUST DO IT: Access, copy and stream files remotely from your iPad or iPhone like a champion.
WHAT IT IS: Before FileBrowser, most file sharing apps required you to use a Mac or PC to upload files to an iPad or iPhone. Not anymore. Now, access files from remote computers, including Windows, Mac and Network (NAS) drives, over VPN directly from your iPad. FileBrowser works like a Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. View documents, photos or stream movies to the iPad or iPhone, or sync them through iTunes. Transferred files can be stored within FileBrowser for handy traveling.
HOW WE USE IT: One of our 3Points team members was at the airport and needed to edit an operations document before heading on vacation. He didn’t have his laptop. This is typically an issue but with the built-in Cisco VPN and FileBrowser, he remotely tapped into our network, opened the document, made edits, and emailed it to his lead before jumping on the plane. FileBrowser makes it easy to set-up and access your network shared files.
3) Quick Office Pro HD
JUST DO IT: Edit, manage and share documents.
WHAT IT IS: Create, edit and manage Microsoft® Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the iPad. View PDF files on the go or let the file manager oversee local files and access cloud accounts. Small business star that you are, you can even publish your content using email and social media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
HOW WE USE IT: We never have to worry about having a laptop with Microsoft Office on it to edit shared documents or email attachments. Many 3Points staffers edit files on the go, email, or re-upload to Dropbox with a light-weight, portable device. During meetings, we use iPads to take notes for ease and portability.
JUST DO IT: Virtual meetings with video and document sharing.
WHAT IT IS: Make the sale, demo your product, resolve a customer issue, unite your team or catch up on old times. Whatever your meeting purpose and no matter where you are, you can bring people together faster. And don’t hold back: share documents and use drawing tools to highlight key points. Think business momentum on hyper speed.
COST: $49/month or $468/year
HOW WE USE IT: Recently, while sitting in a Starbucks, we beamed up a demo from a software company on our iPad and talked it through with them on the phone. Sweet.
JUST DO IT: Access and share files wherever your feet are planted.
WHAT IT IS: Anywhere? Absolutely. Create Dropbox “folders” to access files, photos and videos on all your computers and devices. No more emailing files to yourself. Dropbox automatically synchronizes your laptop, desktop and phone too so, for example, if you add an appointment on your phone, all devices are updated. Backup benefit: Folders are saved on the Dropbox server so if you’re hiking the Himalayas and your laptop takes a plunge, your files are safe. Whew, close call on that one.
HOW WE USE IT: We use iPads for presentations at 3Points. Using Dropbox, we drop the documents created on the computer and pull them up on iPad while at a client site. Super cool and easy.
JUST DO IT: Subscribe to the world’s first social magazine.
WHAT IT IS: You become your own publisher as you customize content based on your interest. Read articles by people you follow. You can even Tweet, or post to Facebook or Google+ directly. Plus, beautiful photography, news articles and social networks come alive with sound (not available on Android devices). This makes the traditional newsstand look rather ancient.
HOW WE USE IT: Guess who this is: One person at 3Points selects content that includes everything you ever wanted to know about hockey … in addition to technology, sports and small business news. Content is delivered to his iPad based on his preferences. He shares really exceptional stories via Facebook. If you guessed Kevin, you guessed right!
7) Genius Scan
JUST DO IT: Scan documents
WHAT IT IS: … and turn them into PDFs. Like what? Receipts, notes, photos, business cards, recipes, brilliant notes imploding on a white board, and parking spot locations (our personal fav). Export PDFs to email, iBooks, Facebook or Twitter; or services like Dropbox or Evernote. Of course, the user interface is like a personal butler: it keeps everything tidy for easy access. Genius.
HOW WE USE IT: Our 3Points team members in the field use Genius Scan to photograph receipts for expense reports. Instead of making a separate trip to the office to scan them to JPG or PDF, we can do this from home. We like this app because you can crop the image easily and save it as black and white; this makes the file size smaller.
JUST DO IT: Network, network, network
WHAT IT IS: What can we say about LinkedIn that hasn’t already been said? The latest version (5.0.4) of their app integrates with your Outlook calendar and serves up member profiles before a meeting. If you haven’t done so yet, join 135 million people from 200 countries on the most social of business social networks.
HOW WE USE IT: We kicked off conversation with a potential recruit after he had viewed our LinkedIn profile.
9) Idea Flight
JUST DO IT: Share presentations on multiple iPads over the same network
WHAT IT IS: This is where high tech marries practical. With Idea Flight, you gather your people in one room and share ideas and presentations on the iPad. As the Pilot, you remotely control devices from your iPad with features like Pointer, Eraser and Highlighter. Use files from Dropbox, iTunes file sharing or email. And, then, watch your ideas fly …
COST: FREE, optional business upgrade is $9.99
HOW WE USE IT: We use Idea Flight at 3Points for all of our audit recommendation report presentations. We used to bring in multiple copies of 15 to 20 page documents for our presentations -- the amount of paper we used was scandalous. Now we bring in multiple iPads, present the same documents, and everyone gets an iPad experience with a lot of saved paper. Green wins!
10) Printer Pro
JUST DO IT: Print attachments, documents or web page wirelessly from your iPad or iPhone
WHAT IT IS: We know, this sounds too good to be true. You may now print your memoir from your beach cabana on a Wi-Fi printer or, if you’re back in your hotel room, to your Mac or PC via a helper application installed on your computer. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
HOW WE USE IT: We print emails and email attachments while in a meeting without having to use the full laptop. And we’re sure some of us at 3Points will be using it to print while we watch the summer Olympics -- from our front row seat on the couch.
Product Focus: 3Points Launches New Product Recycling Program
July 31, 2012
We’re moving mountains … of old keyboards, monitors, printers and disc drives. 3Points now offers a product recycling program in partnership with Vintage Tech Recyclers, a Romeoville-based company serving schools, businesses and municipalities.
The company is helping 3Points customers follow Illinois Law 027. Dubbed the Electronics Products Recycling and Reuse Act, the new law enacted January 1, 2012 poses stiff fines for those discarding electronics via the garbage. The company has earned the prestigious e-Stewards Certification. This means that each component is responsibly recycled – from mercury switches to MAC circuit boards - and that everything is processed in the United States, not third world countries.
“We’re excited to service 3Points clients. It’s not easy for companies to figure out what to do with all this stuff. Our guys come in, remove the assets and save business owners the trouble of trying to handle this on their own. It’s very cost-effective – our rates are among the best in the industry,” said Seth Smith, Director of Sales for the seven-year-old recycling company.
Why the fuss? In landfills, harmful contaminants from electronics like lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and other precious metals seep into the ground with a little help from rain water. This, Smith says, is dangerous as it contaminates drinking water and compromises the safety of future generations.
For 3Points clients, the process is easy: electronics are inventoried, a pick-up date is set, and Vintage Tech Recyclers visits onsite to load everything on a truck. (Companies are asked to have IT assets near an exit door.) Once all materials are processed, the company receives a Certificate of Recycling; a volume report by asset categories such as printers, computers, monitors, etc.; and the amount of waste diverted. Typically, this number ranges from 600 to a thousand pounds.
So, what is the most surprising find for Vintage Tech Recyclers? Smith says, “Electric toothbrushes, treadmills, and lots of crazy lab equipment when we go into hospitals.”
Learn more from our 3Points Solution Expert on Technology Recycling Kelly Paroubek at 708-546-4940 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.