Six Google+ Tips for Businesses

Launched in June 2011 to a limited audience, Google+ (also referred to as Google Plus or G+ in some circles) has grown to a large size in just a short amount of time. In its first two weeks, Google+ boasted 10 million users.

While the platform is still in its infancy, this new social networking tool is useful for individuals wanting to network. But businesses should also get on board with the G+ revolution. Here are six tips that can help your business maximize its reach through using Google+.

1. Develop a solid “About” Page

An empty “About” page can spell disaster for your networking needs. As a business, creating a clear “About” page on Google+ will help others find you and determine in which of their Circles to place your profile.

Perhaps you have one for your business that can also function for Google+. If not, read some of these tips for creating a solid “About” page from marketing writer and consultant Tiffany Silverberg.

2. Utilize Photo Albums

People are visual creatures, and this is especially true on the Internet. Images capture emotions, feelings and actions better than words.

Businesses can use the power of Google+ to display photos of projects, staff and general office life. Assign someone to take a photo each week to be posted on the Google+ page. Using your albums is just one way you can grow your network and show the world your business is more than a corporation; it is ran by people, for the clients they serve.

3. Create and Join Industry-Related Circles

Circles are one of the best interactive tools available on Google+. You can add and create your own circles, delete ones you do not use, and search for public circles to follow. Search Google+ for professionals working in your industry to add to your Circles. You never know when that new contact will become an asset to your business!

Not sure how to use Circles? Check out Mashable’s Complete Guide to Google+ for tips.

4. Interact Regularly

A concern for anyone using a new social media platform is its staying power. Google+ is no exception. When Michael DeGusta released this chart showing that many of the management staff at Google do not use Google+, it raised many concerns.

As a business using Google+, interaction on the platform is key. This means not only passing along helpful content to your network, but interacting with it as well. Make it a goal for someone in the office to comment weekly with others in Google+.

You may want to alternate who comments, or ask someone that manages social media to do it. Pretty soon, you will find your business engaged in rich discussions and sharing your knowledge with others needing it most.

5. Share Creative Content

In order to have a solid network with other professionals in your industry, businesses must share content of value. Whether you pass along a link to your blog or share other business news, find creative ways to do it. Perhaps a video talking about an upcoming project will be a better approach than a long report.

6. Experiment with Hangouts

Business owners work hard and do not always have time for networking events. With Google+, you can take part in and host your own networking event through Hangouts. Share a presentation with colleagues or have a brief meeting with someone in another state working in your industry using Hangouts.

Need inspiration for your Google+ Hangout? Check out these ten creative ways to using Google+ Hangouts.

No matter the size of your business, Google+ is a networking platform you can utilize to meet with other professionals and get your message out into the world.

Written by M.L. Harris

How to Craft a Winning Proposal

You have many deadlines to meet at work, and a major project for your company is due soon. You have some ideas, but need more direction and help with your proposal, and are quickly running out of time. This can happen to anyone, but rather than despair at the work ahead, you can still create a great presentation and proposal that will satisfy your supervisors. Here are some strategies you can use to help craft your proposal.

Review Your Research

Before you begin working on your proposal, you must review whatever research you have done on the topic at hand. While this may require some work outside of the usual work hours, it will pay off in the end if you have your research correct and, if you need to investigate further, allows you to pinpoint what information is missing and, thus, needs more research.

If you are still working on the research when your proposal is due, use what you have in your proposal and be honest with your supervisors that you need more time or do not have answers to some of their questions. This shows them you are hard-working and want what is best for the company, even if it means you need more time to look at the proposal.

Talk to Colleagues

An asset often left untapped in the workplace, your colleagues may give you a huge advantage as you work on the proposal. They may offer advice and suggestions you may not have considered when looking at your work. Their perspective and expertise is invaluable when it comes to making a proposal that can improve the effectiveness and productivity of your company.

If you are unsure how to converse with your colleagues in the workplace, this article may help. It might feel daunting at first, but getting ideas from your coworkers can improve your proposal and may bring up solutions to problems not considered previously.

Seek Writing Help

If you have the time, get professional help with your proposal writing. Taking a course through websites such as Corporate Training Materials or consulting with a professional in your area may help you use the right terminology and structure when you make your proposal and its accompanying presentation. You can learn to craft your proposal specifically to your industry and, if the consultant is able, they may review your presentation design for any errors or visual imperfections.

Written by M.L. Harris

Business Etiquette in the 21st Century

At some point, we have all come across people with poor manners or etiquette – you know the ones that say the inappropriate things or make jokes at inappropriate times. Whatever the particular circumstances, such distasteful behavior receives a rather universal response from those who witness it, and people consequently try to avoid exhibiting such behaviors while in public.

The realm of business etiquette, however, is not quite as simple. Certainly, it does not take a genius to understand that making a crude joke or speaking at an inappropriate time are all unacceptable in a professional environment, but the finer nuances of professional etiquette remain far more complicated, and far less absolute. While crude jokes will always be considered improper, the acceptable modes of communication (and consequent formality of language) are constantly changing, and the guidelines of professional etiquette are consequently evolving.

In the following, we will look at some of the most important factors in exhibiting proper etiquette around the office in the 21st century.

i.) Be respectful and courteous – while some things have changed, others haven’t, and it remains extremely important to always be respectful and courteous to coworkers. When you have a meeting, be considerate of the attendees, and make good use of the scheduled time. That means having a previously set agenda, and providing each of the participants’ with ample notice of the meeting’s objectives, the topics being discussed, and the meeting’s duration. This allows them to adequately prepare, and assure that nobody’s time is being wasted.

In addition, always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and make an effort to acknowledge the contribution of others; few things are more frustrating than the feeling of being unnoticed, and taken for granted.

ii.) Avoid ambiguity in e-mails – this follows from the above rule, and the fact that you should always be considerate of the time of others. In the subject line of your e-mail, avoid ambiguous phrases like “Hello” or “Just one thing,” and be as specific as possible. If your e-mail is simply asking your coworker if they would like to play squash after work, the subject should be “Squash after work.”

In addition, do not use the term “urgent” unless it truly is urgent, and never type in all capital letters.

iii.) Avoid the overuse of acronyms – while some might feel they’re building a rapport with coworkers by using casual, informal language, the fact is that using acronyms such as “lol” (laughing out loud) or “ttyl” (talk to you later) makes you appear unprofessional and slightly immature. Certainly, there are many who would not be bothered by the use of abbreviations like “lol,” but for the sake of those who would be, be consistent and simply avoid the “lol’s” altogether.

There are, of course, exceptions – “asap,” for example, is a perfectly acceptable acronym for the workplace.

iv.) Avoid sending incessant text-messages – as has already been discussed, you should always respect the time of others, and sending incessant text messages can be a terrible distraction. Keep text messaging in the workplace to a minimum, and always keep messages brief, and to-the-point. (And the acronym rules do apply to text messaging as well.)

v.) Do not use social networking sites to vent about your job or your coworkers – while this should be an obvious rule, stories of employees getting fired because of their actions on Facebook and Twitter remain quite common. Just remember that once put on the internet, your words are forever in the public domain. If you need to vent, talk with your partner, or pick up the telephone and call someone. No good ever comes out of online venting.

Written By Andrea Gressman

How to Foster a Safe Work Environment

Safety at work is not usually a concern for those employed at an office. Hazards like paper cuts are usually the closest employees come to physical harm. However, it is always a good idea to review safety standards at your job and encourage others to practice safety. Following safety procedures at work can:

  • Prevents accidents that could have been avoided in the first place
  • Ensure quality communication in a time of crisis
  • Develop integrated policies in regards to company safety

Here are some ways you can promote a safer work environment in your office.

Avert Office Accidents

An easy way to promote office safety is to take measures to avoid accidents in the first place. Make sure walkways are clear of debris and wet floors are labeled so your colleagues are cautious when walking on slippery surfaces. Help someone struggling with a heavy box to prevent a fall or back injury. Read this eHow article to learn more about how to avoid accidents at work.

Discuss Emergency Situations

Not only should you consider where exits are in your building, but what is office plan if the worst happens. Review standards with your colleagues for natural disasters and emergencies like fires. The meeting does not have to be long or occur frequently, but having occasional discussions on safety is essential. Preparing for the worst can help you take any precautions and help you to better anticipate the difficulties that can occur in an emergency.

Review Procedures for Injuries at Work

Not only do employees need to be aware of disaster situations, but they should also be prepared about procedures if they are hurt on the job. Worker’s compensation can help employees who are hurt at work get back on their feet. Usually, a company’s human resource department coordinates with the injured employee on compensation and any time they need off to recuperate from injuries.

Companies in many countries like the U.S. are required by law to tell employees their policies and procedures for worker’s compensation situations. Talk to your supervisor or consult your employee manual if you have questions about their policies. A great online resource for safety at work can be found at

Written by M.L. Harris

Adding Contacts in Taskwise

In order to be able to use some of the features and functions of Taskwise like sharing lists & assigning tasks; it is necessary to have somebody to be able to share, email or assign these tasks and lists with.

One way to connect with people that are already on Taskwise is to use the search tool located in the Contact Manager. To find somebody here simply type a name in the search toolbar and a list of names will appear.

If they are not already using Taskwise another way to add contacts it to simply invite friends & co-workers to use Taskwise by email in the Social Feed, under the “invite your friends” title highlighted in blue shown below.

Now once your family, friends & co-workers have accepted your invitation(s) to become part of your contacts on Taskwise you can begin to share & email lists and assign tasks.

Published By: M. Lostracco

Email tasks to your Taskwise account

When working on your Outlook or any other email client, no matter the device, and you just think of a task you want to include in your lists. You can write it in an email and send it to your Taskwise account. It as easy as that! And both FREE & PRO users of Taskwise can use it.

Now in order to do this use the following steps:

1. Every time you send a task through your email, sent it to

2. All tasks sent via email, will be saved in your Taskwise account and will automatically create a new folder called Inbox, which will contain the list of Received Tasks.

Please notice that these steps will be based on the fact of using the same email account that was used to sign up with Taskwise. If you want to use different email accounts all you need to do is follow one simple step in order to validate these other accounts:

Go to your Profile and type the email addresses from which you wish to send the tasks to, located in the section that reads Emails for task sending. Then click on Save profile and your done.

Published by J.Ruiz

5 Practices that Boost Creativity

It is easy to feel bored or uninspired at work. Perhaps you feel burned out from the amount or type of work you have to do, or long for that upcoming vacation. If you are having trouble coming up with fresh ideas for projects or presentations, try some of these ideas to improve your outlook and get your creative juices flowing!

1. Take Breaks

Sitting at your desk for hours at a time can drain your energy and inspiration. Taking a break away from your desk can help you recharge and come up with ideas. If the weather is nice, take a walk outside. The sunshine and fresh air may inspire you to come up with ideas you had not considered.

2. Change Routines

Tedium can set in if your routine becomes too familiar, making workdays feel endless and projects difficult. Director of Client Services for Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina Camille Stell writes in her article for Carolina Paralegal News recommends changing your routine to shake things up. Whether that means changing where you park or taking a different route to your desk, changing up your routine from the usual.

3. Try a Mind Map

While a fairly traditional way to come up with ideas, creating a mind map can help you brainstorm ideas effectively. One way to make a mind map is to put the problem you are dealing with in the center of a page of paper, and write out ideas from it that extend outwards like branches on a tree. Fast Company’s Work Smart videos, like this one, can help you come up with other ways to use mind mapping in your work.

4. Use Mental Priming

Finding inspiration from hard-working mentors or colleagues can help you begin to develop your own ideas. But did you know you can increase your creativity thinking about people like Lady Gaga?’s article, “How to Enhance Creativity,” discusses mental priming, which is the idea that thinking of someone who inspires you in some way can help you develop creative expression.

5. Discuss Ideas with Others

Sometimes it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. In other words, an innovative idea may emerge, but you have trouble finding it among other thoughts. Talking out your ideas with colleagues may help you uncover some gems and better define what you struggled with assignments previously.

Written by M.L. Harris

How to attach a Map to a Task

Imagine you are a Taskwise user and you are working on a list shared with a colleague of yours. You have arranged a meeting to complete a specific task. But you do not have time or just don’t know how to explain to him or her the best way to get to the business meeting point.

What can you do? Well, since Taskwise Online v.3.5 was released, it has an amazing new feature that allows you to attach maps to your tasks!

In case you have never tried this functionality before, follow the simple steps below.

Step 1:

  • Right-click on the task you wish to attach the map to
  • From the drop-down menu chose ATTACHMENTS
  • Click on ADD.

You will now have the Attachments Manager open. This window shows other types of attachments that you can add to a task.

Step 2:

  • Click on MAP. This will open the Google Map search
  • Type in the address of the location
  • Click the Search button

Step 3:

  • Once the location is found, you can add the Title and Description of the Attachment
  • Click SAVE attachment to save it

Done! Now you have a map attached to your task and both you and your colleague can view it! To do that, simply click on the icon. In the case of multiple map attachments, they will be stacked under the maps icon and you will be presented with a drop down menu so that you can choose the map you wish to access.

Published by the Taskwise Team has been Reborn

LONDON, England – August 24, 2011 – Taskwise Ltd. an industry leader in online task management software, is thrilled to announce the new and improved release of its website.

The new website has been designed with a clean look and feel for easy navigation, and has an emphasis on delivering precise information so that our customers can get a better idea of what Taskwise is all about, before using it. The layout gives users a simple way to understand what Taskwise can do for them and allows them to sign up for a free account with just one click.

Existing users now have easy access to Taskwise on popular social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and have direct access to the Taskwise help center, forums and blog where they can tap into a massive resource of productivity information and tutorials. We have also added a simple sign on to the header that takes existing users straight to their Taskwise online account.

“The new Taskwise website is a great opportunity for users to get a better understanding of what Taskwise can do in a simple and informative format with enhanced graphics and detailed text,” said Andrius Raila, chief product manager at Taskwise.

About Taskwise

Taskwise is a world leader in task management software. Taskwise is used by thousands of companies around the globe to streamline their workflow, gain better insight and visibility into key processes and help employees and employers to accomplish critical tasks.

Taskwise Ltd.
Matt Lostracco – Marketing Manager
(44) 207 203 8400

The Importance of Mid-Year Reviews

Companies and their employees set goals at the beginning of each year with the hope they are met or exceeded as time progresses. Many companies do a self-assessment near the midway point and ask that employees reflect upon their goals. Mid-year reviews can…

  • Affect current and future hiring practices
  • Allow companies to assess what is working – and what needs to be changed
  • Give employees a chance to ask questions, bring up any issues, etc.


How to Manage Mid-Year Reviews

Employees are evaluated closer than ever as this tough economy continues to force companies to compete with each other for consumers.

A 2009 Business Week article reported that “faced with the prospect of further layoffs as profits fall, some bosses are using the interim review to warn of tougher grading policies.” Gone are the days that employees can squeak by with minimal results – your mid-year review has a larger impact on your future at your company!

Employees can prepare for mid-year reviews in a number of ways:

1. Plan Ahead – As the year progresses, self-evaluate your work each month to determine if you are helping fulfill company and personal goals or if you need to change your habits.

Maintaining good work habits will help you when it comes time to meet with your supervisor in the middle of the year.

2. Practice the Review – If you are nervous about the meeting, practice the review with a coworker, friend or family member. Speaking aloud what you have accomplished, what is left for the year and what needs improving will help you feel less anxious during the actual review.

Practice with these mid-year review questions from to get a good idea of what your supervisor may ask you during the review.

3. Evaluate the Company – It is likely after your review is complete your supervisor will ask if you have any questions or comments about the company’s goals. This gives you the opportunity to provide any feedback about projects or patterns you have noticed, which might help your supervisor and his/her associates see an aspect of their work they had not previously.

Giving your opinion or asking questions also shows you are an observant, valuable employee to the company.

While mid-year reviews can be daunting, take them in stride and plan ahead so your review shines! You never know if your assessment will help you land that next big promotion!

Written by M. L. Harris

All About Productivity