New Settings And Features For Brosix

New Settings And Features For Brosix
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There are a few new reasons why you need to use Brosix for your in-house messaging system, especially when you run a company that has several departments: Local Groups, Multiple Administrators, User data security levels, as well as the ability to Restrict Access To User Data. These are new features integrated into Brosix, and you can access them via your Control Panel.

Local Groups. If your company is stratified and organized into different departments, there are conversations that are specific only to certain departments. Not everyone needs to know about the new hires that the Human Resources department is onboarding. Neither does Engineering need to know the new stats for the Social Media efforts that the Marketing department is achieving. While there are news and communications that will affect the company on a system-wide basis, most of the time, there is no need for a department to know what the other departments are doing. Stratifying the communications, even through IM, helps minimize the noise and helps your organization’s units do what they do best.

Brosix dark colors

The Human Resources department would be best put to task at recruiting, hiring, and managing the rest of the company and the individuals that are part of it, the Engineering department is best at designing and creating the company’s products (applicable only for car, computer hardware, appliance, and similar companies), while the Marketing team takes care of the promotional campaigns that get the word out on your company’s products. As you can see, each function is unique, and does not necessarily depend on input from the other department. While these different departments can converge in other Groups, namely, the Global Groups, these teams definitely need an arena where they can communicate amongst themselves.

While regular face to face meetings are still very helpful in allowing the company culture to thrive, while bringing everyone up to speed on company news, communicating via Instant Messenger is convenient and documented. For those discussions that are set on IM via Brosix, now you can create chatrooms, Groups, for each department in your organization.

While all users can create new Local Groups by default, and organize their contacts themselves, Administrators can block access to this feature.

For more information, visit the Brosix Help Library entry for Local Groups.

***

Multiple Administrators. Now, Brosix allows your employees access to the app’s features on different levels:

brosix-instant-messaging-network-smaller-254x300

Administrator. The Administrator can access all the settings in Brosix, as well as view and manage all the users’ data.

Billing. This user level can access the invoices and payments, as well as set, manage, and edit the payment details. Ideally for the Accounting department, so that they can be on top of the monthly billing for Brosix.

Users. Some of your administrators have no need for access to settings or billing. They just need to access Brosix users records. So set them at the Users level; no need for them to be able to view, access, and manage data that wouldn’t be pertinent to their function in your organization.

For more information, visit the Brosix Help Library entry for Multiple Administrators.

***

Restrict Access To User Data. This function allows the Admin to set users in 3 different security levels: Normal, Restricted, and High.

MainWindow

Normal. Users set to this level can see fellow Users, but not Restricted users.

Restricted. Restricted users are, in essence, “stealth” users. Only fellow Restricted users and High-level users, such as Administrators with full access can see these accounts.

High. This account security level has access to all functions and can view users across all security levels, which are applicable to Administrators.

This function will come in handy when you need to create users that will be able to “listen in” unobtrusively to team conversations. The rest of the team members in the Local Groups will not be able to see the Restricted users, but the Restricted users and the Administrators can see them. This user level access can be good for HR personnel and senior management employees, so that they can monitor conversations among the teams. This would be crucial for maintaining the company’s data security, as well as monitor for abuse between employees. This may also come in handy for checking for adherence to company policies, rules and regulations.

For more information, visit the Brosix Help Library entry for Restrict Access To User Data.

brosix_started

Brosix is expanding to let you use it better. Make the most out of its new features today!

Photo Credits: PRLog.org, tag/business-instant-mesaging, Windows Download, Business

 

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Setting Up A Browser “Dashboard” So You Can Hit The Ground Running

Setting Up A Browser “Dashboard” So You Can Hit The Ground Running
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When you open your computer or your browser, you most likely want to hit the ground running. So it’d be great if you set up a “dashboard” for yourself. We show you how:

Create your own startup dashboard via your browser.

Most browsers nowadays allow you to set it to open specific pages when you fire it up. On Chrome, go to Settings > On Startup > Open a specific page or set of pages. > Set pages. There, you can add your favorite websites, such as your favorite mail provider, your favorite social networks, or your favorite online portals.

Dashboard Collage

A typical setup can include the following pages:

An email service. You’d want to keep an eye out for your work mail or your deadlines, so this is probably mandatory.

A GTD app. Trello is a great app to use to keep your projects on track, but another, excellent app is Google Keep. It’s like a corkboard of sticky notes, and the great part is that it’s all on the Cloud. It’s even on your smartphone, via Android and iOS apps.

A messaging service. While Yahoo! Messenger has lost its relevance, Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, is all the rage, and it’s all on your browser, too. You don’t need to fire up a separate app for it, so it’d be great if it gets opened when you start up your browser, as well.

A social network. Or all the social networks you prefer to keep an eye out on. This is

very useful during breaks, so if your IT department has not blocked off the access to the standard social networks that you like, this would be great to keep on your browser startup list.

An online news portal. If you like being kept updated on current events, you could add a tab to open to your favorite news source.

Let a website be your dashboard. There are hundreds of apps and websites that let you have that one-glance look into your day. You can set this as your Home page, and see your day from that view. While iGoogle has been retired, you can still use other apps as your dashboard:

iGoogle Portal

igHome Personal Dashboard

NetVibes

Wibki

Google Now

As they might suggest, iGoogle Portal and igHome Personal Dashboard are actually replacements for iGoogle. If you were happy and comfortable with iGoogle as it was, these are what could replace iGoogle for you.

  • NetVibes is really a personal dashboard where you could view most of your accounts at a glance, with a design that you can customize to your preference. You can syndicate your email to be read from your NetVibes dashboard. The Agency or Enterprise accounts give you access to advanced metrics and analytics that you may be interested in monitoring, such as your website’s traffic and social media presence.
  • Wibki, according to its About page, “Is a visual bookmarking and discovery service that will change the way you browse the web.” When you add your favorite websites to Wibki, you practically have a dashboard that’s personalized, and you’ll only need to bookmark Wibki.
  • Google Now aggregates data and gives you a glance at the things you need to know for your day: The weather, the traffic situation, and even the stats to your favorite game. It’s also on your smartphone of choice.

***

The possibilities are endless, in what you could choose to add to your browser startup dashboard, but one great way to figure out what to add there is to figure out which websites you usually open throughout the day, and list those as your startup dashboard of sorts. Keep the tabs to a maximum of 5, to keep your PC running efficiently. And if you need more suggestions for dashboard pages and apps, here are great articles to read:

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Productivity Hacks: Of Standing Desks, Steppers And Seinfeld Calendars

Productivity Hacks: Of Standing Desks, Steppers And Seinfeld Calendars
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We’re always in search of ways on how to work better and to be more productive, so we’re discussing two uncanny but possibly effective ways to improve your productivity.

Add More Activity Into Your Workday. Much has been said about the sedentary lifestyle that modern working paradigms have created.

According to Prevention.com:

Prevention

Thus, it’d be better for one’s overall health if, throughout an 8-hour shift, movement and activity would be worked into one’s schedule.

This is why Standing Desks have become all the rage, for those who can bring it to their workplaces. Freelancers, people who telecommute, or people who work from home can also incorporate it into their paradigm, since they have the freedom to choose what furniture to work from.

If ordering a Standing Desk or getting one custom-made for you isn’t a financial priority at the moment, you can also convert furniture to serve as a Standing Desk. Book cases and shelves that are at the perfect height to mount a computer from and type comfortably could be your more affordable option.

You could also add a Stepper to add more movement to your lifestyle. Have one in front of your Standing Desk, and this is a great way to incorporate more activity into your day.

According to LiveStrong:

LiveStrong

 If these modifications are not doable, then try doing a 5-minute walk around your office every hour. This takes you away from the drudgery of work, gives you an opportunity to breathe, and lets you incorporate more activity into your lifestyle.

Don’t Break The Chain: Using A Seinfeld Calendar. The Seinfeld Calendar was invented by, yes, comedian Jerry Seinfeld. When software programmer and blogger Brad Isaac got a moment to talk to Jerry Seinfeld and pick his brain about how to be a comedic genius, Seinfeld shared this life-changing motivational secret to Brad Isaac:

Don't Break The Chain

It’s a simple rule to help keep oneself on track, whatever your goal may be.

Whether you’re using a paper calendar like Seinfeld recommended, a browser-based app like Don’t Break The Chain, or even an Android app like the Seinfeld Calendar, there’s one simple rule: DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN.

***

To sum up our productivity hacks for the day, it’s:

  • Get healthy, incorporate movement into your lifestyle.
  • To get brilliant, or to hit the goal whatever it is, Don’t Break The Chain.

Hope you find these productivity tips useful, and here’s to a more productive, even healthier, lifestyle!

Photo Credits: Spacekat.Me, MyFitBasics.com, Dvice.com

 

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The iPhone Faces Another “[…]gate”: HAIRgate

The iPhone Faces Another “[…]gate”: HAIRgate
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On the heels of the iPhone 6’s “Bendgate,” there’s a new defect that is adding to the controversies surrounding Apple’s new phones: the “Hairgate.”

Bearded Guy With iPhone

Users have tweeted that their hair, or even their facial hair, such as beards, get caught in a seam on the phone described as that spot “where aluminum meets the glass,” and some hairs even get pulled out. So much so, that the “victims” have tweeted about it:

Tweet Collage

 The controversy has created such a stir, that it was easy for parody accounts to poke fun at the issue:

HairGate Parody

On a serious note, the #hairgate brouhaha caused tech pundits to reminisce and take a hindsight look at the past controversies that have plagued iPhone launches. One was “Antennagate,” the iPhone 4 flaw that causes it to lose network signal when the phone is held by the lower-left corner. Steve Jobs reportedly responded by advising:

Steve Jobs, Antennagate

In any case, it is an astute assessment when Gordon Kelley, via Forbes.com, points out:

Gordon Kelly

Indeed, JV Chamary, also from Forbes.com, might have a rather accurate point, as well:

JV Chamary

And here is another quip worth noting:

Dr John Wooten

So, like Dr. John Wooten tweeted, the average tech observer should be wondering, indeed: Who is drumming up all this hype? Is it really the haters? Is it the competitors? Or maybe, if you have a thing for conspiracy theories, is it possible that these controversies are actually straight from the heart of Cupertino, in the spirit of “Any publicity is good publicity”?

At the end of the day:

Christina Warren

So, let’s wait for tomorrow.

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The iPhone 6 Makes Massive Waves

The iPhone 6 Makes Massive Waves
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The most resonant of news that splashed across the World Wide Web this September was the launching of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the announcement of the iWatch. Apple certainly made September their month, and even though the news is starting to cool down, the tech blogs are still talking about the issues that cropped up immediately after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released.

The “Bendgate” Controversy. Rumors of the bendability of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus surfaced after users reported seeing their iPhones bent after keeping their units in their pants’ pockets. The issue has sparked mockery from comedians and experiments from curious users. In fact, it has spawned so much talk, that tech blogs and magazines cashed in on the issue and created their own iPhone bending experiments. One video even took the iPhone and drove a BMW over it. While opinion is still largely divided on the Bendgate controversy, one thing is for sure: the truth is, only 9 users have complained of the bending issue. With the fact that millions of units have been sold so far, and only 9 users have complained, this is a statistical testament to how the issue is actually negligible.

The iPhone 6 Plus’ Camera Makes Gorgeous Photos. A professional photographer, Austin Mann, was able to show gorgeous snaps of Iceland using his iPhone 6 Plus. This is tangible proof of the remarkable engineering that went into the iPhone 6 series of phones. Even if a good number of tech kibitzers are still discussing the Bendgate controversy, with photography output like Austin Mann’s, the full truth and the reality of the gorgeous care and design that went into the iPhone 6 is more or less put on the table.

iPhone 6 Collage

The iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Are Too Huge For Comfort. One of the things that people pointed out when the iPhone 6 came out was that the phone is just too huge for comfort. A petite lady spoke out about her experience on TechCrunch, while a self-confessed “Android nut” tells the story of how he fell in love with the iPhone 6 – as a tablet. Business Insider editor Jay Yarow talked about how he initially felt apprehensive about the size of his iPhone 6 Plus, but eventually grew to love the size after 8 days of use. In fact, he so loved the way his iPhone 6 Plus works, that when he used his iPhone 5s again for comparison, he commented, “Now that I am used to it, there’s no way I can go back. […] How did I ever live like that? What a dark era.” “What a dark era.” Well, that pretty much sums up how perfect the iPhone 6 Plus’ size is, once the user gets used to it.

The Chinese Smuggle iPhone Units For Sale On The Black Market In China. The Loop compiled different reports about how the iPhone is being smuggled into Mainland China, because it has not been approved for sale within the country, just yet. It’s a little ironic, considering that the OEM factories for Apple are all within China. Well, for the love of sizzling hot consumer electronics.

There is no denying that the iPhone and Apple have made September their month. Even though the iPhone 6 fever is already cooling down, with the Apple Watch’s launch looming up within the first few months of 2015, it won’t be a surprise if the hype rises to a fever pitch yet again. Meanwhile, iPod fans might be saddened to know that the iPod Classic has disappeared from the Apple Store’s online shelves, while iOS device users who are running the brand spanking new iOS 8 might be pleased and relieved to know that the Activation Lock function has rather effectively deterred iPhone theft, and the function is now turned on by default on iOS 8. In iOS 7, it was an optional function.

Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Pixabay.com via CC Search

 

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Keep Your Body Healthy With These Tips

Keep Your Body Healthy With These Tips
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Whether you work at a desk job, you telecommute, or even if you work from home as a freelancer, let’s face it: You need to incorporate efforts to get healthy in your lifestyle.

Working in front of a computer will cause you to spend more hours sitting and being sedentary. As a result, your body loses the benefits that exercise and a better diet can give it.

Healthy Meal v2

Getting regular exercise and having healthy food choices keep your body running in tip-top shape. As we grow older, our bodies no longer process food as efficiently as it used to, so making the right food choices and getting enough exercise are key to keeping a body healthy. Incorporating the right kinds of supplements will also keep your body in tip-top shape. Here are a few quick tips on how you could keep your body healthy:

Standing Desk

Improve the way you work. You could consider working at a standing desk, so that you get to burn calories while working. Standing desks are also gaining popularity, as they reportedly improve posture.

Pack a greener, meatier, grainier lunch. According to studies, the worst cardiovascular system killers are processed carbohydrates. So swap your breads for whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, or quinoa, add more vegetables to your meals, and bring on the chicken, fish and lean meat. If you must have your sweets, have a couple of “cheat days” where you can indulge in your favorite sinful things.

Eat more fruits. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s time to switch your choices from the usual candy and baked goods and onto fruits. Peaches and mangoes are succulent and creamy, while berries are fresh, light and sweet. There’s a plethora of fruits that you can enjoy, and all of them are delicious.

Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also a great source of antioxidants. Choose bars that have 70% cacao/cocoa in them, and enjoy them with a glass of red wine, also proven to have high levels of antioxidants.

Add a daily exercise routine. Whether it’s 30 minutes or an hour’s worth of walking, adding walking to your daily routine will help your body’s metabolism speed up, helping you burn the calories you consume. It also helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy, keeping you in tip-top shape for a longer life. If you’re not a big fan of walking, adding 30 minutes to an hour of any form of exercise you enjoy will also help your body stay in shape.

It would do you good in the long run when you make adjustments to your lifestyle. Take care of your body, and you will squeeze out more productive years out of it.

Photo Credits: Juhan Sonin/Flickr, Repository/Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay via CC Search

 

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Get Organized, Panic Less: A Quick Lifehack List

Get Organized, Panic Less: A Quick Lifehack List
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One of the things that keeps a person disorganized and scatterbrained is the lack of control over these three areas of one’s workflow: email, to-do’s, and schedule. Sometimes, it takes about as much energy to stay on top of these items as it takes to do the work that one actually needs to do. So, how do you manage all of these, with less time and energy spent on them?

Calendar 1Use labels and filters for your email

Labels or folders will help you organize your emails by subject, sender, or any other category you need and can think of. If your company uses Google Apps to manage the company mail, better. Set up filters to send your mail automatically to the folders or labels they belong to. So that you can easily filter out the noise and get to the emails you really need to address.

Use a GTD app to help you keep on top of your workflow

With the many options out there, find one that fits your style perfectly.

Work your calendar app

Calendar apps are now integrated into your smartphone, so it’s easier to punch in your schedules and appointments. Use this feature to the hilt!

Technology is here to help you deal with everything that you need to. Don’t hesitate to use them maximally. If even that is a chore, maybe it’s time to get a personal assistant.

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4 Essential Skills You Need: No Matter The Profession

4 Essential Skills You Need: No Matter The Profession
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In this world where careers are specialized, there are still some universal skills that would come in handy, whatever career track you’ll find yourself pursuing. We have identified 4 skills, both technical and interpersonal, to give you an idea of what to arm yourself with, as you slog through the corporate jungle.

Humility

What a shocking soft skill to list, and foremost at that. However, let’s face the fact that one of the biggest pains in the office is a pompous, overbearing, egotistical boss. How about we admit that, for most of us, we’d really love and admire a boss who cares? A man or woman who is humble enough to admit their mistakes, apologize to workers they’ve wronged or offended, and be willing to backtrack on major plans, once they recognize they were going the wrong way? Steve Jobs may have been an unbearable boss, as hearsay and anecdotes attest, but most of us would rather have a Michael Scott from The Office, than Dr. Bob Kelso from Scrubs. Worse, nobody wants Dilbert’s boss. So if you head a team, or if you’re a CEO of a company, think about adding “Humility” to your soft skills. Your people will love you for it.

Capacity to Communicate ClearlyDilbert's Boss 1

Add this to humility, and you’ll be loved as a boss for years to come. Most misunderstandings between human beings come from not being able to clearly communicate things, especially instructions, and more so, opinions and responses to workplace crises. Once you have the capacity to communicate clearly down pat, your people won’t need to second-guess what you’re trying to say, and none of the work needs to get lost in translation. If you need to take classes to enhance this, or if you need to see a therapist to get at the roots of your communication style, go ahead and do so. It may help your career in unexpected ways.

Writing Skills

This is definitely a level-up to the “capacity to communicate clearly.” While a lot of people can handle daily speech and written communications such as email really well, writing is a skill that a lot of people struggle with. However, when one has mastered the art of busting out an essay, it’ll be easier to handle those moments when the copywriter is down with the flu, or if the department doesn’t have the budget to hire a PR agency. These days, it’s even more crucial, as most companies now need to maintain a company blog. With writing skills on hand, you could expand your contributions to the company, making you a more valuable asset.

The Ability to Understand Code

You may not be able to code an app or a website from the ground up, but it’ll help if you understand the syntax of HTML, CSS, and even PHP code. If your company is looking to expand online, or if you’re part of a process that entails maintaining a website or an app, it would help for you to know the basics of how code works. It’s a very helpful skill to have. It may come in handy, if, say, you’re outsourcing the creation and launch of a website, and you’re one of the people trusted to check if the site is good to go. If you understand a bit of code, you’ll be able to spot if your company is getting your money’s worth or not.

 

All of these skills are essential to surviving the modern workplace, even navigating it with flying colors. The last two skills are highly crucial in this changing world that is now relying heavily on technology. The latter two are also going to be useful if you want to earn more, and you want to moonlight, even as you work the 9 to 5. Most of the jobs available online are centered on three things: Graphic Design, Programming/Coding, and Writing. So have these 4 skills under your belt, and you’ll be enjoying your career immensely.

 

Photo Credits: BazaarVoice/Blog, BusinessInsider AU, Globoforce, Sodahead

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Hot News From Apple and Amazon This September

Hot News From Apple and Amazon This September
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September seems to have marked a major month in the tech world, thanks to the launch of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. These phones, also dubbed by Dave Pogue of Yahoo! Technostorm Reviews as, “the Bigger iPhone and the Much Bigger iPhone,” were possibly the biggest newsmakers of the season. There were also other tech news to be excited with, and so, we compiled the best and most exciting of the tech news that came out this month.

Apple News

Apple News

  • The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Like we mentioned, this is probably the biggest newsmaker of the season. Apple apparently knows how to make a splash, and with the
  • The release of iOS 8. Apple fanboys and fangirls have scrambled to update their existing iPhones to the iOS 8, which promises to have a closer integration to the Mac’s OS X. Apple is working on creating a seamless desktop-to-mobile experience, and the iOS 8 is one major step closer toward the realization of that goal.
  • The Apple Watch. While Apple will release the Apple Watch in 2015 just yet, the reality of its existence is no longer mere speculation. How it looks, and how it will be sold is also no longer just another MacRumor. It is now a reality, and Apple has succeeded in drumming up the buzz surrounding its most talked-about accessory.

And because Apple has successfully made waves this September, some other tech companies weren’t content to sit back and watch Apple sit back and steal all the thunder. Amazon, for one, had some updates of their own.

Amazon News

Amazon already attempted to make a major splash in July, when it launched the new Amazon Fire phone. It also made major improvements to its Kindle lineup, such as introduced a zero-backlight, but super-affordable Kindle, at a mere $79 per unit. There’s also a premium eReader-only Kindle Voyage, which has a higher resolution for the reading connoisseur.

Amazon News

Aside from these, Amazon also announced a major improvement to how the Kindle is used by readers everywhere: A Kindle device, and the Kindle app will soon be able to access at least 6 accounts: 2 Adults, and 4 kids. This is a concept that Apple introduced with the Family Sharing function for the iOS, and Amazon is thankfully, finally adopting into its ecosystem. It’s news that will come as a relief for couples and families who have wanted to share accounts, but have been unable to, until this announcement.

Amazon’s latest (and possibly best feature to date) is going to roll out over the coming months.

 

 

Photo Credits: Apple.com, Amazon.com, The Express Tribune Blogs, Turner Duckworth

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