Archive for June, 2012


Having an Internal Website

For many of the places that I have worked I noticed that there was a lot of information about where to login and passwords and even resources that the company uses.  Also for myself there is a lot of information about what I teach and what I can do.  Plus there is a lot of personal stuff that I need to keep track of, thus I have created my own internal site that I can use for my entire existence!

First off make sure it is a nice template that you are working from, since you will be staring at this quite a bit.

daspic01

Then you need to have the main things that you focus on life.  I have my home page here and the links above you can see that I have Business Aspects, Reminders, My Projects, Blogging, and Metrics.

Business Aspects:

When you are trying to run the business of you there is a lot to think about.  Your mission statement, how you are marketing yourself, your clients, what you are doing to improve and so on!

daspic02

As you are developing your business you can continue to add to this page.  This is also very helpful if you get lost in what you are doing, or you forget what you are all about.

Reminders:

This is huge!  There are a million little things that we need to be mindful of throughout the day,  I always forget about them, so I made a reminder page with lists.  You will also notice that I added an audio player (this is easy with HTML 5) and this has a podcast that pertains to the list above it.  When I really can’t get into what the list is telling me I can listen to the podcast as a reminder.

daspic03

Blogging:

There will be no picture here because I have not worked on that page yet.  But there is a whole art form and science to blogging that is rather overwhelming to me.  So here I will have those aspects to look at when I am writing a blog post.

Metrics:

I love having this readily available!  The best way to do better at something is to keep track of it.  Here you can see my app ad revenue and my app sales (profit) per month.  This is also very useful when I want to show someone what I am doing and how I am making progress.  I also have how many Facebook and Twitter followers I have and a lot more that I am putting in later!

daspic04

Lesson Plans:

The last 2 pics I will show you have to do with my lesson plans for teaching software programs.  There is simply too much information for me to retain and recall.  Also it is really hard to switch gears from teaching web development to Excel.  So this solves that problem!

daspic05

At the bottom of my site are links to the various lessons that I teach, when I click on one I get this:

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These are not links right now, but when they are they will go to the part of the page with content to teach on these subjects.  Then when I want to go back to the top I will have a link under each subject that will take me back up.

Some Cool Stuff to Remember when Making your Internal Site:

*  You do not have to make it look perfect, this is not for the world, this is for you.  Add things as you think of them and as you need them.

*  Put this on your Android tablet!  I put this on mine and you can only view it correctly with Chrome for Android.  But my tablet is always on and always ready, I wake up in the morning and turn it on to have some direction and clarity about who I am and what I will be doing that day.

If you need some help on creating an internal site please let me know, I would be glad to give any pointer or help with development (as time permits).

How to Use Android App Stores

Google Play

This is a post for a good friend who just got into smartphones, and at my suggestion went with Android.

To use Google Play (Formerly the Android Market) you have to have a gmail account setup on the phone or device.

Then open your app drawer and find the Google Play icon and tap on it.  There will be a magnifying glass icon that you can tap that will let you search for apps.

After you search for something you can select an app and download it.  If it is not free then you will have to enter a credit card of some sort.  But there are million free apps, so play with all those if you want!

Amazon App Store

The cool thing about Android is that other companies can have a market on there as well!

If you are on a phone you can go to this site and give it your phone number and it will send you a text to download their market… https://www.amazon.com/gp/anywhere/sms/android

Then search for apps and download and enjoy!

SlideMe.org

Simply go to this site from your phone and you can download apps!

 

Errata: This is a quick and dirty post to tell how to use this, please post questions or suggestions and I will update accordingly.

A Book about Failure

I was racking my brain trying to write a book about computer programs or any number of things that I am good at, none of them were any good.  I was feeling rather low cause I really want to write and get out there.  Then a thought about writing a book about surviving failure popped into my head, and I could not shake the idea, but when I was in bed the book wrote itself in my mind.

So I typed what I could and saved it as a PDF for you to download, Enjoy and please give me any and all feedback!

http://buff.ly/LzUcqS

When I play Starcraft II, there are two things that usually work me, cranking out marines as fast as I can and rushing (speed of implementation) and then if the game goes longer I build multiple bases to keep my economy strong (multiple streams of income), I figured this out after a lot of experimenting.  I want to apply this to my real life!

Nothing frustrates me more than when I try to work with people and they want to wait, postpone, think about it forever and then eventually forget all about it.  In these cases I would much rather have a straight up “No, I will never ever do this, have a nice day.”

When I was down in Utah I finally voiced that I was so tired of how long everything takes where I am living now…I want to move back to Utah but then all that I have accomplished here will go down the toilet…except the blog, social media and what not…but all the contacts and teaching gigs will for sure be gone and I will have to start all that over again, not to mention that I don’t have the money to move.

So back to the point, the way to do something that works is to experiment!

Sad I Wrote Off Twitter

I checked out Twitter when it first came out, it was fine and all, but the posts seemed too short and I was only following a few people so the content was pretty static.  After reading “Platform” I have more of a sense of what Twitter is all about…and I am really sad that I did not stick with it.

Yeah I still have the account open from when I started, but it does not have many followers since I did not post regularly or almost at all.  I started a new Twitter handle @theHartsOffice and am building my brand from there.  It is crazy how much I love Twitter now!  For a would be entrepreneur Twitter is perfect!  People write short, to the point posts that have to do with things I care about, and it loads quicker than Facebook, as well as it does not have on the annoying reminders that someone is playing Castleville or any number of other silly time wasting games.

Also I can post more than two or three times a day and people are happy about that.  I get intelligent responses and feedback about questions I have or comments that I make. I hope you will follow me on Twitter and I would love to follow you and start a productive conversation about fighting mediocrity!

I went to a meeting that was 4 hours long, catered, and well organized.  We talked about the problems that face continuing education institutions.  After a great meeting of finding, explaining and scrutinizing the problem the meeting was called to a close…although the meeting was already long at that point, I was baffled!  We found and discussed the problem…but no one was interested in the solution at all!

This is so common place that it makes me want to throw up multiple times in a row!  I meet with someone and they say that their business is in a slump, or that they have a great idea, if something would just happen with it.  What are we expecting to happen???  To have a great idea and then a millionaire suddenly smells it from a far off and comes running to us with money waving in his hands?  Initially we all say, “No, of course not, that is absurd.”  But internally I think that is the predominating thought, so that when it does not happen, we can say, “Oh I tried, I gave it my best, and just nothing came of it.”  Pathetic if you ask me, and I have done this process a million times.

It is time to find that conversation that leads to action!

When people talk to me about social media and how they want it for their business, guess what, let’s turn on your computer and implement this right now.

Oh no, we can’t do that, we have to plan and scheme and maybe hire some more people…

Or turn on your computer and make post about your business instead of how bored you are or of cats in funny poses (which I find some here and there pretty funny).

The vast majority of my conversations go like this. I feel like I should just get a tape recorder and record what I have to say and then just walk away, that is about as much good that it does.

So what is the trick?  How can I get a conversation about doing something turned into actually doing something?

Elevator Pitch

“I train and coach how to use office software such as Excel or Powerpoint, this helps people become more valuable to their employers”

“Unlike most software coaches I have follow up content, downloads, and tutorials, so questions can be answered as the situation arises.”

“How does your company train for new software?”

Try Anyway

So I am a professional burn out.  That is all I know, it is either ramp up, amp up and get no sleep OR veg out, eat out and sleep all the time.  The one thing about all of this that is remotely redeemable is that despite the things about me that ruin progress for success, I try anyway.

I was thinking of changing my tagline to “try anyway” because that really is my motto, that is what I keep telling myself when I am mopy and get nothing done.  There is this mystical and super powerful gap between daydreaming something and then actually doing it.  How bizarre it is to me, that I can be sitting in front of the computer, day dreaming about a blog post that I want to write, thinking it over and enjoying how good it sounds in my head…all the while my fingers are doing no typing and that little cursor just keeps blinking and all my thoughts and anything that I can offer the world continues to live in a vacuum!

One way I have combated this is just doing something, and then giving it out to the world, more often than not it is not polished, and really seams cheap or quickly slapped together…many of my android apps can attest to this, and I am in no way saying that it is okay to settle for this kind of quality if I know that I can do better, but for my personal issues of struggling to even do something in the first place this really is better than nothing.  I hope to make improvements in iterations since when I at least do something I have faced that fear and that dread, that overwhelming feeling of incompetence, and did something  I have thousands (somewhere around 20,000) people that have downloaded my android apps.  If you know much about mobile apps you know that is not much, but it is thousands more than if I just in front of the computer daydreaming or just playing video games.

The reason for this post, more than anything, has been the books and the blogs I have been reading on how to blog better, get more followers, engage readers and how to be able to do something like this full time.  There are so many great suggestions and tactics that when I sit down to write I am overwhelmed, I think I cannot even start to write unless I have these big checklists…and hence I have not written for over a week.

I was thinking of writing a post titled “What Am I Doing?” and ask my readers what they expect from my blog, or what do they think I write about, what would you like to see and read?  I am desperate to find like minded peers, I am tormented by the fact that everyone seems to want to live such mediocre lives, that there is little to no drive out there and the really burns out my drive since it cannot find an outlet.

Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think or any suggestions that you have!

Templates are NOT Bad

There is a big misconception out there about webtemplates of any kind.  That they are tacky, or that everyone has access to it so it will not be unique enough for your business.  I almost think that people don’t even have reasons anymore, they just hear the word template and they are done.

Here is a site that I am doing for a school:

This is a template and it looks great, when people go to the site they will be pleasantly surprised as compared to the old site they had…

Nothing could be more erroneous than the concepts we have about templates.  The benefits of web site templates are very numerous:

1.  They are Web and SEO friendly

2.  They look fantastic

3.  It saves you endless hours of design time

4.  It saves you all that money from not having to pay for design time

5.  It increases your ability to have speed of implementation

I feel that I am understating these benefits, but really time and money are becoming so priceless and nothing gets moving without speed of implementation, so take these for what they are worth!

The big thing to consider is that if you want a website, you are using it for marketing purposes.  So instead of having it in the concept phase for weeks, months, or years (basically never doing anything cause you can’t get past concept), you need to get that done quickly and focus on the content, then focus on your social media or other marketing tactics to let people know about your site and then have them purchase or act on what your site is offering.

Use PHP for your Links

I have been working like crazy on my own website, and on a few others, while I love being super busy and making a little extra money, there are some things that I do not want to spend endless hours on because it would make my work earning $2/hr or less!

When you are making a website you usually have navigation links, and if you have about a dozen pages or more, if you change one line then you have to go through all your pages to change that one link.  Just imagine the work if a client wanted a link one way and you change it in a dozen pages, just to have that client change his or her mind a day later!

PHP to the rescue!

Instead of having your links written in HTML on each page

<ul class="left_ul">
 <li><a href="page_learnsoftware.php">Learning About Software </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_absolutebest.php">Being Our Absolute Best </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_writesomuch.php">Why Try to Write So Much?</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_androidappdev.php">Android App Development</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_exhaustiveresume.php">My Exhaustive Resume </a></li>
</ul>

You could have this as a separate file, something like “mainlinklist.php” and then have an include snippet in your content pages


<!-- buttons -->
<div id="buttons">
<ul>
<?php include("mainlinklist.php"); ?>
</ul>
</div>
<!-- content -->
<div id="content">

Your main link list file should have a php echo statement in it, here is my entire file for my link list…


<?php
 echo '
 <li><a href="page_learnsoftware.php">Learning About Software </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_absolutebest.php">Being Our Absolute Best </a></li>
 <li><a href="page_writesomuch.php">Why Try to Write So Much?</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_androidappdev.php">Android App Development</a></li>
 <li><a href="page_exhaustiveresume.php">My Exhaustive Resume </a></li>
 ';
?>

This will insert the code inside the echo statement into your webpage, now when you need to change a link across dozens of pages there will only be one place that you have to change that link!

Errata:

If there is something incorrect about how I did this OR you need or want more information on how this is done or other little gotchas please let me know and I will update this post.