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- George Costanza
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The Monthly Download for March 2023

The Monthly Download—March 2023

Make your Chrome browser work harder for you

Do you use Google Chrome? You can be more productive by using Extensions.

There are thousands of these small, free, add-on programs available for the world’s most-used web browser.

Some just turn your cursor into a pizza slice – because why not? But some have more practical uses that can help you get the most out of your day.

Here are our top picks…

  • Dualless—If you work on a laptop and miss the benefits of a big desk with dual monitors, this extension could be for you. Dualless allows you to split your browser window in two, so you can view two windows or applications at the same time. You can adjust the respective sizes to suit your needs.
  • RescueTime—Ever look at the clock and wonder where the day went? RescueTime can tell you. It tracks the time you spend in tabs and windows, and even categorizes them from ‘very productive’ to ‘very distracting’. Are you brave enough for this one?
  • BlockSite—This is especially helpful if you’re trying to stay productive away from the office. BlockSite allows you to create a list of websites you’d like to avoid, either all the time, or just in working hours. And it has a neat insight tool that shows you how you’ve been using your time.
  • Unhook—Sometimes you need to watch a YouTube video for research. But how often do its recommendations lead you down a rabbit hole? Unhook removes the recommended sidebar, and stops screen suggestions, comments and the trending tab, so that you only watch what you intended – and no more. You’re welcome!

There’s more to productivity than Chrome extensions – but small wins all add up. If you need more help and advice with your software choices, get in touch today.

Did you know…

about Busy on Busy?

Microsoft Teams keeps rolling out new features.

Now it’s allowing you to decide how calls are handled when you’re already on a call or in a meeting.

‘Busy on busy’ lets you choose to either use a busy signal, redirect calls, or let them come through anyway. It was previously available only to admins, but now everyone can use it.

Business gadget of the month

Loop Earplugs: Whether you work from a busy office, in a coffee shop, or from the comfort of your home, it’s likely that your environment can be distracting at times. These Loop earplugs can help. There are options that allow you to reduce most of the noise around you, or filter sounds across all frequencies and reduce the volume. And they look stylish – for earplugs.

See us.loopearplugs.com

Technology Update

As Denmark moves towards being a cashless society, it reported no bank robberies at all in 2022. That’s the first time ever.

Instead, criminals are turning to online banking fraud and other cyber crimes. There has been a surge in APP (bank transfer) fraud around the world.

Criminals are tricking businesses and consumers into authorizing payments using fake websites and emails.

This affects businesses everywhere. Warn your teams to be cautious of payment requests, and don’t forget to keep your cyber security training up to date.

Tech facts

  • The number of smart devices collecting, analyzing, and sharing data should hit 50 billion by 2030
  • There were 5.32 billion cell phones in use worldwide in 2022 (that's up 1.8% since 2021)
  • Every single second, Google gets 100,000 searches. That’s 1.2 trillion searches in 2022 alone

Inspirational quote of the month

“Work takes on new meaning when you feel you are pointed in the right
direction. Otherwise, it’s just a job, and life is too short for that.”

—Tim Cook, CEO of APPle

A New Month, A New Tech Quiz

1) What was the name of the first internet search engine?
2) Which programming language shares its name with a snake?
3) 1024 bits is equal to how many bytes?
4) Which company introduced the hard disk in 1956?
5) Which two numbers form the basis of the Binary system?

The answers are below.

  1. Archie
  2. Python
  3. 128
  4. IBM
  5. One and Zero

New to Microsoft 365

Automate tasks in Excel

Excel lovers have been waiting for this one. The Automate tab was previously only available in the web version, but now it’s arrived in the desktop app for Windows and Mac.

The tool allows you to create and modify scripts to automate repetitive tasks.

What do your people think?

Business owners spend a lot of time thinking about what the future of their business looks like. Perhaps now – post Covid – more than ever.

But if you really want to get an accurate answer, you should be speaking to your people. They’re the ones spearheading change over the coming years, throughout most sectors and industries.

Is getting their feedback something you do regularly?

Look at how your business has changed over the past few years. You may have hybrid workers, fully remote workers, people working flexible hours to help them balance their work and home commitments. You may even be one of the businesses pioneering the four-day working week.

Your people are at the heart of all of this.

Employees are pushing for more flexibility and greater autonomy. And if you’re not providing that, they’ll have little hesitation in going somewhere that will.

Not only will talking to your staff help you understand how your business will change and develop over the coming years, but it will help you to attract and retain the best people.

Your tech choices play a huge role in all of this

  • The collaboration tools that help everyone stay connected
  • The devices that make jobs easier and keep people engaged
  • And the systems you use to automate tasks and boost productivity

If you haven’t got that balance right, it can be a constant annoyance for employees – one they’d be more than happy to tell you about, given the chance.

If you don’t already, arrange some time to speak to your people, both as a group and individually. Find out what’s on their mind. What could make their lives easier, your systems better, and your customers happier?

But do it in an organized way. One of the biggest complaints from employees is…too many meetings!

Need help choosing the right tools and systems? It’s what we do.

Get in touch.

Rivercity Tech
Article Written by Rivercity Tech

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