Canva: Design made easy.

Canva: Design made easy.

If your brain freaks out at the thought of creating graphics in complicated programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, then Canva may be your answer.
It enables you to create beautiful posters, invitations, infographics, cards, website graphics, facebook ads or cover photos & even multiple-page presentations.

Canva is an Australian-made graphic design service that takes the headaches out of designing. All you have to do is choose one of the available templates or start from a custom-sized blank canvas. You then use the Layouts and Background tabs to get a rough idea of what you want to design. These tabs are chock-full of options to choose from, whether you want a complete template or just a nice background to build on.

Canva revolves entirely around intuitive controls such as drag-and-drop – so adding, removing, and editing elements on your canvas is simple and straightforward.. and actually fun!

While many Canva elements are completely free to use, some images you’ll see on search results are Premium, and will cost you $1 per image once you download your design. You can, however, easily upload you own photos or graphics, so while Canva’s Premium options are certainly tempting, they’re not a must.

After signing up to the Canva Newsletter, you’ll also get access to some great tutorials to help you master certain techniques, and learn new skills. If you’d prefer not to sign up, you can just check out their blog which is regularly updated with tricks and tips to help you on your way. They are consistently updating to add more templates and functions. It’s really not as daunting as you think!

Check out some introductory videos here:

The Canva Blog:

And if you’re still a bit confused about how to get started, get in touch – we’re more than happy to help.

ROBOFORM!! no more forgotten passwords.. PERIOD!

ROBOFORM!! no more forgotten passwords.. PERIOD!

IMG_20140804_150800Roboform is without a doubt the most time saving useful tool for your day to day computing life!

RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don’t have to! Just remember your one Master Password and RoboForm remembers the rest- it’s that easy! Our bookmark-style Logins automatically log you in to your favorite websites with one click.

Price: $10.00 USD the first year, then $20 every year after. Its the best value period! But please, don’t take our word for it, try for yourself! Download Now

We recently recommended Roboform to Allan from Careers Migration Australia. Here’s what he had to say a week later..

Matt, oh by the way that tool you recommended. You’ve changed my life, cannot believe it. Seriously though, you have. i was drowning in passwords, you have taken years off my life. Thank you! 

Allan Pitman, CEO Australian Educators

The best value period! But please, don’t take our word for it, try for yourself! Download Now

Feedbackify – private real-time feedback from your website visitors

When you run a web-based business, customer satisfaction is key. Users who have an unpleasant experience on your website are unlikely to return or recommend the site to their friends, which is why a web-app called Feedbackify has come up with a system that lets online entrepreneurs get feedback on their websites in real-time. Visitor feedback that’s delivered through Feedbackify is private and quick, just the way it should be.

Sign up for Feedbackify and get started creating your very own feedback form using the web-app’s form editor tool. In addition to adding written questions, you can also add ratings-based questions that encourage visitors to rate certain elements of your website on a numeric scale. Create question categories, reorder those categories until you’re satisfied, and then upload your company logo to give your Feedbackify form a custom look. When you’re ready to deploy your new form, you can use Feedbackify’s feedback tab configurator to make a custom tab to appear on your existing site. When visitors click the tab, they’ll be transported to your Feedbackify form, where they can let you know how your site is functioning and whether there’s any room for improvement.

When the time comes and you’re ready to take a peek at what people have been saying, head to your Feedbackify dashboard page. In addition to being able to see the answers and ratings that your visitors put in, Feedbackify will also add context to the feedback by supplying you with your visitors’ geographic locations, operating systems, and browsers. Based on this information, you can begin to sort through feedback based on category and subcategory until you’ve really dug down into the opinions of your most valued online visitors.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out immediately if there is a problem with the way your site is functioning
  • Keep track of common complaints made by your online visitors
  • Make it easier for customers to purchase the products they want onlineUse the ideas you’ve gathered from visitors to improve your customer experience
  • Find out immediately if there is a problem with the way your site is functioning
  • Keep track of common complaints made by your online visitors
  • Make it easier for customers to purchase the products they want onlineUse the ideas you’ve gathered from visitors to improve your customer experience

Insider Tips:

  • See the IP address and geographic location of any user who leaves feedback
  • Feedback can be filtered by category and subcategory
  • Use the feedback tab configurator to create a custom web tab in any color
  • Copy and paste the generated code to add a Feedbackify tab to your website

What we liked:

  • Feedbackify delivers feedback in real time, so problems can be addressed immediately
  • Adding a tab to your existing website is a great way to bring people to your Feedbackify page without interrupting your site’s flowFeedback forms can be set up with as many, or as few, questions as you want
  • Users can create their own custom feedback categories
Twitter founders releases new payment system

Twitter founders releases new payment system

Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey, has his new payments system called Square which is now out in the public domain. It looks great but begs the question when will we be able to drop the credit cards all together for payments? We have devices and they can be set to pin access only. We have apps on those devices which also can be secured so in essence the Credit Card is superfluous in the next decade in my opinion. I think what he has done is brilliant. The no credit card approach will win in the end, and hopefully it’s a good guy like Jack.

Sneak peek at Microsoft’s Secret Tablet PC

Microsoft is working on their own edition of the Tablet PC.

Unlike the much talked about Apple Tablet PC, this product is pretty much confirmed and in late stages of development.

The Microsoft Courier would feature a dual 7 inch multi-touch screens which would make it feel like a book.One thing is pretty clear… It does not seem to be using Windows 7 OS but a very customized platform which suits this device.

Watch the video. One word – wow!

Removing Backgrounds from Product Images

Look, we aren’t all great photographers, and even those out there that do manage to take spectacular photos still need to clean up their images a bit before putting them online. Product images can be one of the most important factors influencing whether or not potential customers make a purchase from an online store. In an ideal world, we would all have access to a small photo studio with backdrops, lighting, and everthing else needed to take great photos.But this is the real world, and the reality is that product images often need to be cleaned up in Photoshop before they can be used online.

Running and online store is not terribly conducive to mastering Photoshop and other image editing software, particularly since these are immensely powerful applications that have a steep learning curve. In this tutorial, we will be looking at some techniques for removing unwanted backgrounds from a product photo, and also a few quick tricks for making your images stand out. As anyone that manages an online store can tell you, image manipulation can be a daunting and overwhelming task, and hopefully this tutorial will make the job seem a little easier, if not more fun.

See video here

Backup your computer online, before you wish you had.

Backing up your computer is like brushing and flossing. It looks funny in the pocket, so most people just don’t floss every day or brush after every meal.

But don’t backup, and someday, inevitably, you will lose your files, music, and lose your photos! And that hurts worse than a cavity.

Online backup software makes it easy — continuously backing up your whole computer automatically. Set it up once and go about your life.

Backblaze is the best online backup tool we’ve ever used.

Why we love it:

  • No DVDs, no hard drives to mess with
  • Backups happen invisibly as soon as files are added
  • USD$5/month, no matter how big your hard drive
  • Won’t slow down your computer. Really.
  • Your online backup can’t be lost or stolen
  • Download your backed up files anytime (of course) or have them overnighted to you on DVDs or a hard drive (spiffy!)

Backup Utilities: Create a disk image of your hard drive on-the-fly!

Now this is a handy tool. Windows only, XP & Vista, best of all its completely free!

Freeware application Macrium Reflect Free creates disk image snapshots of any hard drive on your computer that you can restore on any other drive to bring your computer back to the same state. Disk imaging is a great solution for going from zero to a completely setup system if something goes wrong.. So next time you re-install windows and all your favourite applications. Simply create an image of your ‘C’ drive and you’ll never have to worry about reinstalling all those apps again…


Are we heading for Greener Vista’s?

By now you have no doubt heard of Microsoft’s newest incarnation of computer Operating System software. Windows Vista has hit retail stores and is forcing users to upgrade their computers to meet its new strict baseline requirements.

This is the same process every 4 or 5 years with almost all computer systems since we have been using them.

The difference this time is that the impact is larger than it has ever been.

While Microsoft boasts the highest installation base of any Operating System in the world, of a user base which is rapidly growing daily; change brings a darker view out the window.

I read an article this morning on the Green Party UK website where Siân Berry, Green Party Female Principal is quoted saying:

“There will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista – except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use. That’s an offensive cost to the environment.”

“Future archaeologists will be able to identify a ‘Vista Upgrade Layer’ when they go through our landfill sites.”

Computer systems have been advancing according to Moore’s Law for quite some time now but their computing power has started to plateau, forcing chip makers to radically alter their designs and switch to new architectures such as multi-core computing.

Meanwhile we have hundreds of millions of perfectly good computers, which still do what they did when they cost $5000 from Dell or Apple, but will be unable of running Vista due to bells and whistles added to drag the consumer’s wallet down.

The DRM issue is an issue none-the-less, but either way, it looks like if you own a PC, you’re up for another new one with a license for Vista, or switching to Apple; both the entire cost of a new computer system and both requiring more time and energy re-learning how to use your computer for the same old tasks.

Somewhere in the darkness stirs another computing force. Some liken it to communism, with its free ideologies and group contribution model. It is Linux. It’s free as in beer. It runs on that computer you gave to grandma that lies flat on the desk; instead of upwards like today’s mighty Capitalist computer towers. It’s more user friendly than you think.

I don’t think changing operating system environments at this time, is for everyone. However when the cost to consumer, business and environment outweighs the improved productivity of tomorrows slightly better, but just as expensive as last time, endless consumer driven computer re-cycle; something’s not quite right.

A grim Outlook on Vista’s dark shadow.

Pun most certainly intended!

Windows Vista is officially here

Well after five years of waiting Microsoft’s new operating system Vista will be hitting the streets with much fan fare and excitement. Though I doubt many people will be camping out like they did when Windows 95 was released, I am sure that some die-hards will be standing at the doors of retail outlets when they open today.

Now thats its officially here, I’m hearing mixed reviews from pundits and newbies alike. Me? I both love and hate Microsoft’s latest OS. Vista looks slightly better than XP does (and still not half as clean as OS X). The more I use it, however, the more I think the world should likely wait for Service Pack 1 to be released – which is set to hit the digital streets by year’s end, according to reports.

For more info see Microsofts Vista homepage