25 super handy apps for project managers

In the old days of project management, paperwork, filing, and note-taking likely ate up hours of a project manager’s work day. But since the dawn of 2.0, those tasks are becoming increasingly less time-consuming and more efficient. A good project management app will take you a long way. Don’t know of any? Don’t fret—there are twenty-five incredibly useful iPad apps for project managers to drool over and incorporate into their daily routines.
See three of them below:
  • Idea Sketch—The simple interface allows users to doodle and send their drawings as links.
  • Dragon Dictation—This app can turn your voice memos into digital text notes. Transcription made easy.
  • Dropbox—Back up (and share) your files in the cloud. It also syncs with your iPhone/computer.
More on all twenty-five at Masters in Project Management.
All the top project management tips and tricks.
READ MORE - 25 super handy apps for project managers

The complete Google+ cheat sheet [infographic]

READ MORE - The complete Google+ cheat sheet [infographic]

A single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half

London: Poor spellings in shopping websites is costing Britain millions of pounds in lost revenue, experts have said.
Charles Duncombe, director of the Just Say Please group that runs travel, mobile phone and clothing websites, said an analysis of website figures shows a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half.
Duncombe said he was "shocked" when recruiting staff at the poor quality of written English, according to BBC. Sales figures suggest wrong spellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website's credibility, he said.
A single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half
"I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online," he said. "This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet 99 per cent of the time it is done by the written word."
Duncombe said it was possible to identify the impact of a spelling mistake on sales. He measured the revenue per visitor to the tightsplease.co.uk website and found that the revenue was twice as high after an error was corrected.
"If you project this across the whole of internet retail then millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes," he said. Spelling is important to the credibility of a website. "You get about six seconds to capture the attention on a website."
William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, said that in some informal parts of the internet, such as Facebook, there is greater tolerance towards spelling and grammar.
"However, there are other aspects, such as a home page or commercial offering that are not among friends and which raise concerns over trust and credibility," said Dutton. "In these instances, when a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelt word could be a killer issue."
READ MORE - A single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half

Should there be an app for that?

By Patrick Gray


According to Patrick Gray, there are several opportunities in the mobile space for a CIO to increase his or her visibility within the organization.

As the cheeky advertisements on television indicate, there seems to be a mobile application for just about everything. From calorie counters to witticisms from your favorite Jersey Shore characters, no stone appears to have been left unturned.

Despite this seeming glut, there are several opportunities in the mobile space, and mobile provides a great opportunity for a CIO to increase his or her visibility within the organization.

When most people in corporate IT start thinking about mobile applications, they tend to think about internal applications first. Perhaps there are CRM or order entry systems that would be great in the hands of field sales representatives, or internal collaboration sites that would be compelling on an iPad. These are all great ideas, and worthy of some experimentation with the caveat that building platform-specific mobile capabilities may not be the best investment as the mobile space is still very much in a state of flux. Rather than focusing primarily on internal mobile apps, the true "gold in the hills" for most B2C companies is the consumer space.

Mobile applications present a unique marketing opportunity that we haven't seen since the early days of the Web. Marketers still haven't quite figured out how to fully leverage the mobile format, and consumers are far more forgiving than the jaded bunch that seems immune to banner ads, and adept at ignoring anything that smacks of online advertising. Mobile is also one of the few areas where you can get intimate with your customer, traveling in his or her pocket and, if you can build enough trust, even knowing his or her location down to a few meters.

This relationship of trust requires applications that provide some form of value to the customer, through some combination of entertainment, information, or financial benefit; perhaps in the form of discounts or coupons. While this is usually the domain of marketing, the CIO who can provide expert guidance to their colleagues in marketing takes on the guise of trusted advisor and business leader, rather than tech gatekeeper to be avoided until absolutely necessary.

As CIO, you bring several critical experiences to the table that can help your company get the most of its mobile advertising dollar. While marketing tends to be quite capable of working with third parties, CIOs have often spent entire careers outsourcing technical development. You can provide valuable guidance on the application development process, suggest ways to use existing mobile technology that are quick and cheap, or even capabilities your colleagues in marketing never knew existed.

In addition, you bring knowledge of the company's existing systems and data. Getting a compelling mobile application in the hands of your target customer is great, but if you never garner and analyze any information about that customer, the effort does little other than build mercurial "goodwill". By bringing your expertise to bear early in the application design process, you can ensure marketing's creative brings hard, measurable data into the company. A cute game that excites your customers is nice, but a cute game that integrates that customer into your existing promotions builds a relationship and "converts" them to your brand is far more exciting regardless of which corporate function you hold.

If you find customer-facing mobile applications might be valuable to your organization, spend a few hours brushing up on some of the technologies, and get a couple people within your IT shop to do the same. In all probability, there are already developers moonlighting on their own mobile apps, who would be extremely excited to brief you on what is going on in the space. Reach out to your colleagues in marketing. If they're worth their paychecks they are probably already making a move in the mobile space, and your expertise will be welcomed early rather than grudgingly engaged at the last possible moment.

Patrick Gray is the founder and president of Prevoyance Group, and author of "Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology". Prevoyance Group provides strategic IT consulting services to Fortune 500 and 1000 companies.
READ MORE - Should there be an app for that?