Login | Sign up | Toll-Free: 1-800-752-0455
 
 

Home

 

Issue 113 - Dec 19, 2011



1. $50 CMS Builder discount code and free plugin
$50 CMS Builder discount code and free plugin

Our team at interactivetools.com would like to wish you Happy Holidays! In the spirit of the season, we want to take a moment to thank you for being a subscriber. We are giving a $50 discount on a CMS Builder licenseto everyone who subscribes to this newsletter (limit one per customer). And to spread a little extra cheer, you can also choose one of the following plugins for free:

To make use of this special holiday offer, simply enter CHEER2011 into the promo code field when you place your order. Make sure to enter the free Add On you've chosen in the order form notes. You can use this code any time between December 20th and January 3, 2012.

We hope you have a fabulous and festive holiday, filled with Christmas lights, hot chocolate, snowmen and snowshoes (or surfing, if you're one of our southern hemisphere friends!) Enjoy this special time of year with your friends, family, and community.
Happy Holidays,
Your friends at interactivetools.com

2. Office hours over the holidays
Office hours over the holidays

Over the holidays our office will be closed on:
- Monday - Dec. 26th, 2011

3. CMS Builder 2.14 beta 2 version - Date picker popup calendar
CMS Builder 2.14 beta 2 version - Date picker popup calendar

We have just released the second beta version of CMS Builder 2.14. This version is a maintenance release with some cool new features, including:

  • Datepicker calendar - You can now automatically add a popup datepicker calendar beside all date fields. This feature can be enabled under: Admin > General Settings > Advanced Settings.
  • WYSIWYG "Paste as Text" - We've now defaulted this button to on (and it can be clicked to turn it off). When end-users copy content from Microsoft Word it often includes unintended formatting that doesn't match the website and is hard to remove in the WYSIWYG. Copying content as text only creates a more natural work-flow where users can apply proper formatting in the WYSIWYG. Hopefully reducing support questions for both you and us!
  • WYSIWYG (New Buttons) - In response to end-user requests we've also added default buttons for superscript, subscript, charmap (for copyright and other common symbols), and "visual aid" (to hide/show hidden table borders).

You can review the changelog here: http://www.interactivetools.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=91340

4. 12 Tips for 2012
12 Tips for 2012

December is a busy month for clients, but not always for developers. While clients are celebrating the season, projects may slow down, leading to quiet on the development front. This creates a perfect opportunity to catch up on all the things you are too busy to read, practice, or accomplish during the rest of the year, when business is booming.

Here's some tips to get ahead of the game for 2012!

1. Inbox best practice: Take control of your inbox. Stop feeling overwhelmed when you open your email to find reams of messages waiting for you. Learn some new techniques that make your email work for you - any item left in your mail should require some sort of action, archive everything else. These tips focus on Gmail (or Google Apps) but many are applicable regardless of your email provider).
http://zenhabits.net/email-zen-clear-out-your-inbox/
http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en//mail/help/gmail_tips.pdf
http://www.filiwiese.com/keeping-your-inbox-empty-with-gmail-part-1/

2.Say hello: Find new work by checking in with past clients.The holidays are a natural time to say hello, share seasons greetings, and remind clients of the successful work you've done together previously. Ask what they have on the go and fill them in on your current work. This is a great way to build your client relationships and source new projects.

3. Optimize your computer: Update your software, free up space on your hard drive. These are the small steps that you rarely think about until you are in the middle of a project with a deadline looming and suddenly a program crashes, or your computer slows to a snail's speed. Optimize now, and get your computer in prime condition for when the work starts rolling in. Taking care of your computer will save you time and money in the long run.
http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Give_Your_Computer_a_Long,_Healthy_Life

4. Write a Proposal Template: Impress your clients with a well-written, professional proposal. Have a proposal template ready to go so you can respond quickly and competently to new clients and projects. Your proposal or quote is a great opportunity to highlight your expertise and show potential clients that you have listened to and understood their vision or concept. Use your proposal to show that you are the best possible person for the job.
http://speckyboy.com/2010/01/18/useful-web-design-proposal-resources-tools-and-apps/

5. Learn how to run a remote meeting: Working for yourself doesn't mean you have to work by yourself. If you have clients in one region, programmers in another, and you, the developer, in a third, it is a huge benefit to know how to run effective remote meetings.
http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Run_a_Remote_Meeting
http://www.facilitate.com/support/facilitator-toolkit/docs/MassHighTechreprint.pdf

6. Archive and Backup: Computers crash, files are lost, and panic ensues - don't let it happen to you. An effective backup strategy protects your data, and archiving creates snapshots of your work in progress, which can be really useful when you are looking to locate and use past projects or information. Here are some tips for developing an archival and backup strategy that works for you:
http://www.wikihow.com/Back-up-a-Computer
http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20026801-285/future-proof-your-data-archive/

7. Practice your elevator pitch: This is the speech that you would give to prospective clients if you had the length of an elevator ride to pitch your project or business. Promoting yourself can be one of the most challenging aspects of working as a freelancer, and perfecting this speech can help you make your point succinctly, and to great effect. Use it in elevators, in written proposals, or as a video on your website.
http://www.businessweek.com/careers/content/jun2007/ca20070618_134959.htm
http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/10/02/design-elevator-speeches/

8. Organize your office space: Seriously, it helps! Sort out the stacks of papers surrounding your workspace, serving only as resting places for your coffee mug collection. Shred that mountain of year-old notes and ancient project specs- you will feel better. Clear your space and clear your mind, create a fresh start for the new year. Throw away the leaky pens and candy wrappers, sort the general clutter, and locate the receipts you are going to need for the approaching tax season - get your house in order.

9. Research Industry Trends: It doesn't take long to become outdated in the ever-evolving world of web design and development. Researching trends and staying on top of new ideas, concepts, and best practices will help you put your best foot forward. And you want to go forward! Besides, this type of research (aka surfing) is fun!
http://webdesignledger.com/tips/web-design-trends-in-2012
http://www.webdesigntoolslist.com/

10. Brush up your skills, or learn some new ones: Get up to date with CSS, improve your HTML5, or read up on jQuery. Watch some tutorials, read some articles, or take an online course. The more skills you have up your sleeve, the better!
http://www.lynda.com/

11. Learn some new keyboard shortcuts: A few seconds here and a few seconds there adds up to increased productivity. Pretty soon you'll wonder how you ever managed without them!.

Some our staff favourites include:

  • Ross: "CTRL+SHIFT+T" to re-open recently closed tabs. This is super useful when you accidentally close a tab. (In FireFox, Google, and Komodo).
  • Robin: "WINDOWS+M" to minimize all and "WINDOWS+SHIFT+M" to undo minimize all.
  • Jason: Map your own shortcuts! Jason has setup: "CTRL+SHIFT+W" to launch the WAMP server (in firefox), and "CTRL+SHIFT+C" to launch the calculator.
  • Erin: Likes the classic "CTRL+Z" to undo, and "CTRL+Y" to redo.
  • Collin: Uses "ALT+F4" to close the current window.
  • Tom: Aside from the "bash all the keys at once" stress-relieving shortcut, Tom likes "CTRL+TAB" / "CTRL+SHIFT+TAB" to move between programs, and "ALT+TAB" / "ALT+SHIFT+TAB" to move between windows.
  • Denise: Likes "F5" for reload.
  • Damon: With Windows 7, Damon likes "WINDOW KEY+ARROW KEYS" to move the current window around the screen or to the 2nd monitor. Great for quickly fitting two windows side by side. Damon also likes "F2" for renaming files; "CTRL+C" to copy, and "CTRL + V" to paste.
  • Dave: "CTRL + N" to open a new window, and "CTRL+SHIFT+N" to open a new incognito browsing window (in Chrome), which is great when you need to login as two users simultaneously. Dave also likes the "MIDDLE MOUSE CLICK" to close the tab under the cursor (in Chrome & many apps)
  • Theo: Creates his own shortcuts! With Komodo Edit, he uses a Zencoding add-on, so he can type code shorthand and expand it with the shortcut he has set as "CTRL+SHIFT+Z". For example:

    <ul>li*3>div>

    Turns into:

    <ul>
    <li>
    <div></div>
    </li>
    <li>
    <div></div>
    </li>
    <li>
    <div></div>
    </li>
    </ul>

    http://code.google.com/p/zen-coding/

12.Check in with our Consulting department: Is there a project that's been lingering in the back of your mind, something you would love to see come to life, but have never had time to tackle? Talk to our consulting department about your idea and find out how we can help. We love to build - you bring the design and we will help you create the structure!

Share your favourite tips and tricks with us! Send them to erin@interactivetools.com and we'll pass them on in future newsletters.

4. Plugin essentials
Plugin essentials

Using plugins will save you time, allow you to easily add new features, and improve the functionality of any site project. We frequently use plugins to increase our efficiency - why program the same basic features more than once, when that time can be better spent on customizing the specifics and creating unique sites? We use plugins as building blocks, and create on top of them.

Some of the plugins that we repeatedly use together have become known as the 'essentials'. They include:

Startup Essentials: Website Membership, Auto Backup, CSV Export, Spambot Email Protector
Membership Essentials: Website Membership, Website Favorites, Website Saved Searches, Website Comments, Spambot Email Protector
Social Essentials: Website Membership, Website Comments, Twitter Post, Spambot Email Protector

View the details of each plugin on our Add Ons page, here: http://www.interactivetools.com/add-ons/.

5. News from the Forum
News from the Forum

Damon shows how to hide user submitted content, email admin, and then publish the content:
http://www.interactivetools.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=90952#90952

Damon shares a code snippet that simplifies event grouping:
http://www.interactivetools.com/iforum/gforum.cgi?post=72493;t=search_engine#72493

6. Developers Resources & Useful Links
Developers Resources & Useful Links

Holiday Google search easter egg:
http://www.google.com/search?q=let+it+snow

What is my IP? Here is a quick link to find out:
http://www.google.ca/search?q=what+is+my+ip

Eight advent calendars for web design and developers
http://www.netmagazine.com/features/eight-advent-calendars-web-designers-and-developers

Hand-Drawn Icons:
http://www.webdesigntoolslist.com/2009/10/webmastertools/free-hand-draw-sketched-website-blog-icons-collection/

Still have some Christmas shopping to do? Don't panic - check out these gift guides from boingboing and wired:
http://boingboing.net/2011/11/28/gift-guide-2011.html
http://www.wired.com/reviews/2011/11/wishlist2011/

Stay up to date with this great tech blog in the New York Times:
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/

19 Of the Biggest Social Media Moments of 2011:
http://mashable.com/2011/12/15/social-media-moments-2011/#3816319-FOX-News-Twitter-Hack

Facebook lists 2011's most popular status trends:
http://mashable.com/2011/12/07/facebook-reveals-2011s-most-popular-status-trends/

A cool way to stay warm this winter:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/10/nest_thermostat/all/1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCJ1PnVlzIE

IBM's tech trend report for 2011:
https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/techtrends/entry/home?lang=en


Newsletter Archives


Click here to subscribe

Issue 133 - Aug 29, 2018 (latest)
Issue 132 - Nov 24, 2017
Issue 131 - May 24, 2017
Issue 130 - May 1, 2017
Issue 129 - Jan 11, 2017
Issue 128- Sept 22, 2016
Issue 127 - Apr 20, 2016
Issue 126- Dec 21, 2015
Issue 125 - Apr 7, 2015
Issue124 - Oct 2, 2014
Issue 123 - Dec 5, 2013
Issue 122 - Sep 17, 2013
Issue 121 - May 6, 2013
Issue 120 - Feb 20, 2013
Issue 119 - Dec 19, 2012
Issue 118 - Oct 31, 2012
Issue 117 - Sep 7, 2012
Issue 116 - Aug 28, 2012
Issue 115 - Jun 7, 2012
Issue 114 - Feb 1, 2012
Issue 113 - Dec 19, 2011
Issue 112 - Nov 9, 2011
Issue 111 - Sep 8, 2011
Issue 110 - Jun 8, 2011
Issue 109 - Apr 20, 2011
Issue 108 - Mar 16, 2011
Issue 107 - Feb 16, 2011
Issue 106 - Jan 19, 2011
Issue 105 - Dec 20, 2010
Issue 104 - Nov 23, 2010
Issue 103 - Sep 28, 2010
Issue 102 - Sep 14, 2010
Issue 101 - Jul 28, 2010
Issue 100 - Jun 9, 2010
Issue 099 - Apr 29, 2010
Issue 098 - Mar 4, 2010
Issue 097 - Jan 15, 2010
Issue 096 - Dec 15, 2009
Issue 095 - Nov 11, 2009
Issue 094 - Oct 20, 2009
Issue 093 - Sep 30, 2009
Issue 092 - Sep 9, 2009
Issue 091 - Aug 12, 2009
Issue 090 - Jul 20, 2009
Issue 089 - Jun 2, 2009
Issue 088 - Apr 28, 2009
Issue 087 - Mar 19, 2009
Issue 086 - Jan 21, 2009
Issue 085 - Dec 9, 2008
Issue 084 - Oct 9, 2008
Issue 083 - Sep 4, 2008
Issue 082 - Jul 17, 2008
Issue 081 - Jun 19, 2008
Issue 080 - May 29, 2008
Issue 079 - May 13, 2008
Issue 078 - May 1, 2008
Issue 077 - Apr 8, 2008
Issue 076 - Mar 25, 2008
Issue 075 - Mar 11, 2008
Issue 074 - Feb 26, 2008
Issue 073 - Feb 12, 2008
Issue 072 - Jan 21, 2008
Issue 071 - Jan 9, 2008
Issue 070 - Dec 20, 2007
Issue 069 - Dec 11, 2007
Issue 068 - Nov 27, 2007
Issue 067 - Nov 13, 2007
Issue 066 - Oct 24, 2007
Issue 065 - Oct 10, 2007
Issue 064 - Sep 19, 2007
Issue 063 - Aug 23, 2007
Issue 062 - Jul 31, 2007
Issue 061 - Jul 9, 2007
Issue 060 - Jun 13, 2007
Issue 059 - May 30, 2007
Issue 058 - May 14, 2007
Issue 057 - Apr 26, 2007
Issue 056 - Apr 10, 2007
Issue 055 - Mar 21, 2007
Issue 054 - Mar 7, 2007
Issue 053 - Feb 21, 2007
Issue 052 - Feb 7, 2007
Issue 051 - Jan 17, 2007
Issue 050 - Dec 19, 2006
Issue 049 - Nov 29, 2006
Issue 048 - Nov 9, 2006
Issue 047 - Oct 19, 2006
Issue 046 - Oct 3, 2006
Issue 045 - Aug 30, 2006
Issue 044 - Jul 26, 2006
Issue 043 - Jun 27, 2006
Issue 042 - May 31, 2006
Issue 041 - May 8, 2006
Issue 040 - Apr 12, 2006
Issue 039 - Mar 15, 2006
Issue 038 - Feb 13, 2006
Issue 037 - Jan 17, 2006
Issue 036 - Dec 21, 2005
Issue 035 - Dec 7, 2005
Issue 034 - Nov 8, 2005
Issue 033 - Oct 11, 2005
Issue 032 - Aug 22, 2005
Issue 031 - Jul 19, 2005
Issue 030 - May 16, 2005
Issue 029 - Apr 18, 2005
Issue 028 - Mar 15, 2005
Issue 027 - Feb 8, 2005
Issue 026 - Jan 7, 2005
Issue 025 - Nov 9, 2004
Issue 024 - Jun 28, 2004
Issue 023 - Apr 26, 2004
Issue 022 - Feb 17, 2004
Issue 021 - Dec 14, 2003
Issue 020 - Nov 4, 2003
Issue 019 - Jun 28, 2003
Issue 018 - Apr 4, 2003
Issue 017 - Mar 6, 2003
Issue 016 - Feb 12, 2003
Issue 015 - Jan 9, 2003
Issue 014 - Dec 4, 2002
Issue 013 - Nov 7, 2002
Issue 012 - Oct 7, 2002
Issue 011 - Sep 28, 2002
Issue 010 - Aug 7, 2002
Issue 009 - Jul 5, 2002
Issue 008 - Jun 6, 2002
Issue 007 - May 2, 2002
Issue 006 - Apr 30, 2002
Issue 005 - Dec 10, 2001
Issue 004 - Sep 5, 2001
Issue 002 - Apr 6, 2001
Issue 001 - Feb 23, 2001