• 05 Jan 2018

    Goodbye forms. Hello typeforms.

    When I saw their motto, “Ask Awesomely”, I had to dig deeper and learn more about Typeforms. From surveys and polls to questionnaires, quizzes, and even taking payments, Typeforms is an innovative, FUN tool for gathering all sorts of information. Their website, Typeform.com is abundant with clever examples of how the tool can be used. Check it out. You can start for FREE!

  • 01 Dec 2017

    Bulk Rename Files – Windows 10

    My good friend, Tara, over at Your Own Virtual Assistant was working for a client recently and was tasked with changing the file base name on a large number of files. They were image files, and there were hundreds of them. The current names were just numbers and had no apparent significance. Tara was asked to rename all of the images that pertained to a certain subject. For example, all of the images that had to do with nature would be renamed as follows:

    nature(1).jpg

    nature(2).jpg

    nature(3).jpg

    You get the picture. And doing this one-by-one was not going to happen. Not in this lifetime. My interest piqued. In my previous life, on a UNIX platform, I had conquered such a request using a set of SED and AWK commands within a script. It wasn’t overly complicated, but I kept a tight squeeze on that script. Turns out that with one small typo or mistake in syntax, your entire file was wiped out and now appeared to be zero (0) bytes in length!

    I Googled rename multiple files windows 10 and low and behold, there was Tara’s way of renaming hundreds of files in just three easy steps:

    1. Select multiple files in a folder. To do so, press and hold down the CTRL key while you are clicking files. Or, to select all of the files in a folder, hold down the CTRL key then type “A”.
    2. After you select the files, right-click one of the files and choose ‘Rename’ from the context menu.
    3. Type the new name, and then press ENTER.

    When you rename multiple files, all of the renamed files have the same name with a number in parentheses appended to the name to make the new file name unique. For example, if you type BUDGET as the new name, the first file is named BUDGET. All of the remaining selected files are named BUDGET(x), where x is a unique number, starting with (1).

    And there you go! I learn something new everyday! Thank you Tara!

  • 10 Nov 2017

    Don't Pay For Your CRM

    My first experience with a CRM involved a franchise that I had bought into (huge mistake) insisting that the Less Annoying CRM was the absolute best and most affordable tool of its kind (do I hear kickbacks?). Not only was Less Annoying an extremely annoying tool, very confusing and not user friendly, it costs, at a minimum, $10/month. I eventually smartened up a bit, and through word of mouth discovered Pipedrive.

    “IT’S SIMPLE UNTIL YOU MAKE IT COMPLICATED”JASON FRIED, CEO of Basecamp

    Amazing how a simple tool can have a significant impact on your life!  Pipedrive is intuitive and feature rich, and the company has some of the best customer service I have ever experienced. It costs, at a minimum, $12/mth ($10/mth if you pay annually).  I used Pipedrive for several months and enjoyed doing so. I finally dumped the franchise and temporarily stopped using the majority of my business tools. I regrouped, started a new business, and began researching CRMs again. After many, many price and feature comparisons I signed up for a free account at HubSpot.

    I LOVE this tool!

    Pipedrive was great, but HubSpot is phenomenal! And for a small business owner like myself, you just can’t beat the price. It’s FREE! FOREVER!  In addition, if you really want to get serious about inbound Marketing, they offer several pay packages including Marketing Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. Check it out at HubSpot.com. With the countless CRMs in the sea, I think I’ve finally found my catch!

  • 26 Dec 2017

    Free Images

    The photos on the Judy J site are from Pexels. Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover.

    According to Pexels:

    • The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use.
    • You can modify, copy and distribute the photos.
    • All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.

    Support the Pexels community by UPLOADING your own photos!

  • 08 Dec 2017

    Flora!! Creative WordPress Theme

    Flora creative WordPress theme is a beautiful and powerful template offered by our friends over at ThemeForest. The Judy J website is a living example of how ThemeForest, a member of Envato Market, can turn your presence on the web into a beautiful one.

    In addition to Smart WordPress Theme Options with a User-Friendly interface, the Flora theme offers:

    • Smart Theme Options with  A User Friendly Interface
    • Unlimited Title Area Layouts
    • 4 Primary Navigation Layouts
    • Creative Portfolio and Blog Layout
    • Parallax Section
    • Powerful Page and Post Options
    • Bundled with WordPress plugins, WPBakery Page Builder, and Slider Revolution

    And if the features weren’t enough enticement to send you straight to Envato Market, let’s talk support.  Being a newbie WPBakery Page Builder user, I inevitably needed support.  The Flora theme comes with 6 months of support, and you can purchase an additional 6 months.  Support includes:

    • Availability of the author to answer questions about the WordPress Theme
    • Answering technical questions about item’s features
    • Assistance with reported bugs and issues
    • Help with included 3rd party assets

    I read that the author provides support through the comments section of the site.  I clicked on the Contact Author button and submitted a description of my issue.  It was very near the holiday weekend so I didn’t expect any quick responses.  But, to my great surprise, I received an email the very next day!  And I continued to get exceptional support and quick responses as I worked my way through the WPBakery learning curve.  Once I’d mastered WPBakery, I found myself updating posts and pages with incredible speed.  It’s an incredibly handy tool.  If you haven’t purchased a theme that includes WPBakery from Themepost, you can purchase WPBakery on its own.

    Flora WordPress Theme

  • 17 Nov 2017

    GoDaddy. Go Me.

    My intimate relationship with GoDaddy began, what seems like, a lifetime ago. I was young and innocent, and although I enjoyed learning new technologies at my corporate job, I was dreaming and itching to break free from that hostile, political environment. I thought to myself, “I’m creative”. “I’m smart”. “And I’m certainly a techie”.

    I’ll build websites!

    I began snatching up every clever domain name that I could think of, no matter what the topic. Flash forward 2017: search GoDaddy for your great domain name today and you’ll find it’s not available. You then go directly to the URL to check out the site, but there isn’t one.

    Just a page saying that some schmuck wants to sell it to you for $5 grand.

    As I began my quest for freedom, GoDaddy became my GoTo source for domain name purchases. My first hosting experience wasn’t with GoDaddy but with a company called HostGator. It was here that I discovered the wonderful world of cPanel and the vast number of tools within.

    STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH.STEVE JOBS

    I was mesmerized. The possibilities were endless in this utopia called cPanel. I began to experiment with Mambo, Drupal, and Joomla. There were countless add-ons to enhance my sites which lead to my teaching myself a bit of PHP. I soon discovered istock.com where I found beautiful, royalty-free images to make my sites pretty. And there was affiliate marketing. A way to monetize my fabulous creations!

    This was no small feat.

    I had absolutely zero experience with CMS applications and even less knowledge about PHP. So I Googled and Googled and devoured every bit of knowledge I could obtain. Hours of study and work turned to days which turned to weeks and then months. I was proud of my work and enjoyed every minute that I spent doing it.

    But in the end, my brief attempts at affiliate marketing, not surprisingly, failed and I eventually abandoned all of the wonderful Drupal and Joomla sites that I had proudly built.

    And then, after 24 years of dedicated service to Corporate America, I was abruptly, and rudely, LET GO.

    “We no longer need your services”.

    Shock lead to anger, then sadness and depression, which eventually transformed to joy, relief, and extreme euphoria.

    I was free.

    Today, as a Virtual Assistant, I work toward helping small businesses thrive and grow. GoDaddy is, once again, a big part of my business (and personal) life. I continue to use their domain services and have returned to the world of cPanel, which has only continued to grow rich with features with each new update. You may save a dollar or two with another hosting service. But GoDaddy’s suite of tools, customer service, and dedication to their customers is, in my opinion, irreplaceable.

  • 12 Oct 2017

    Blog Post Title

    What goes into a blog post? Helpful, industry-specific content that: 1) gives readers a useful takeaway, and 2) shows you’re an industry expert.

    Use your company’s blog posts to opine on current industry topics, humanize your company, and show how your products and services can help people.