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News from our Suppliers: From technophobe to tech ninja… Digital Dragonfly launches a new package for independent professionals

Digital Dragonfly recently launched a new monthly package designed to turn any business owner from a technophobe into a tech ninja. Helping you with all of your IT needs, questions and problems Digital Dragonfly offers a simple cash-flow friendly plan allowing you to get your business technology totally sorted, giving you peace of mind, boosting productivity and optimising the way you work. Ask Francesca about the special offer for AWAD members.

Digital Dragonfly’s newsletter is also a must read… Check below for an example of their no-nonsense practical advice and in plain English…

Thinking of buying a new computer? STOP!

Some people think buying hardware will solve all their technology problems. Lets be clear- if your system basics aren’t in place then buying brand new hardware is not going to make a difference. So what should be investing your time and money in first?

1. Back it up

If you think its OK to store everything on one small USB stick that I can assure you it will be lost one day, you won’t have it on you when you need it or you will forget to back up to it the one time it really matters. You need cloud and a decent hard-drive. And if are still not backing up at all – yes, that means you – cancel whatever you were planning on doing next and get it sorted. Right now.

2. Get syncing

If you check your email in more than one place, if your business relies on a calendar and a set of contacts please spend some time getting organizing this data. Your business will thank you.

Most people have their email set up with a POP3 or IMAP inbox that is constantly running out of space and at its worst is accessed through a very low functionality webmail interface. If you are in Outlook you are grappling with pesky .pst files that get corrupted, need archiving and backing up. Often your calendar is just sitting on your phone or in a separate Gmail account and your contacts may well in in iCloud or just saved to your SIM card. So you might have this data in 3 places- that’s 3 logins, 3 sets of data to backup and 3 accounts to configure to any new device you purchase. And that is 3 times too much work!

I am a big fan of bringing all this data together into one location. Your 2 main options are Google Apps for Business and Microsoft Office 365. Both cost roughly the same and allow you to bring all your data in one place and offer a huge amount of storage and 99.9% uptime guarantee as part of this. I have said this before but getting this aspect of your business life sorted will probably make the single biggest improvement to the way you work. I promise.

3. Get to grips with the apps and interfaces you use daily

If you spend a lot of time using Work or Excel, Outlook or Gmail, Windows 8 or Mountain Lion then spend some time understanding features and functionality, learn some shortcuts and get to grips with advanced features so that you can work smarter. There are plenty of free tutorials around.

If you spend a lot of time on the internet, then make sure you:

•  have the latest versions of the browser

•  have your bookmarks to hand

•  integrate your social media with the relevant plugins

•  set your browser to open with default tabs for sites you use often

•  and make the most of syncing features like those offered by Chrome, which will save your tabs to your various devices for seamless surfing.

4. Set up your systems

Spend some time deciding what your workflow looks like:

•  Where do you save your notes and ideas to when on the go? Evernote? Outlook notes? Trello?

•  Which app will you use to read on the go? InstapaperPocket?

•  How can you manage your social media activity efficiently? Buffer AppHootsuite?

•  How will you share data with your clients and associates? DropboxGoogle DriveSky Drive?

It’s OK to spend time on all these things. And once you have done this your technology and business systems will be in good shape and it will not only be much easier to migrate to your new machine but you will also be in a position to make the most of it.

If you found these tips useful and want work better with good tech tools download my free Ultimate Guide to Technology for Independent Professionals which covers everything you need to know about technology when running your own business.

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