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Monthly Archives: August 2013

It seems like most online businesses are intent on getting your email address so that they can bombard your inbox with tempting offers and fascinating announcements — which you have no interest in whatsoever. They enticed you with some attractive come-on offer, but your relationship with them lost your interest long ago. Now you just want out. You want to close your account. But how do you do it and how easy (or hard) is it going to be?

There’s an app for that! Well, not really an app, but a website called JustDelete.Me. Just Delete Me is a single-page site that has the names of dozens upon dozens of websites that you may have an account with. The sites are listed in alphabetical order for ease of searching, and color-coded to indicate how simple or difficult the process of deleting your account is going to be.

For example, do you want to close your Dropbox  or eBay account? That’s easy. Ready to say goodbye to etsy or iTunes? That’s harder. (Not just the concept, but the process.) How about closing your account with Netflix or Evernote or Pinterest or Starbucks? It ain’t gonna happen. Impossible.

So check out JustDelete.Me to see the list and click on any website name to go to a page on that site that gives information about cancelling your account with them.

Warning! This may backfire on you. Looking at the list of all the interesting sites on JustDelete.Me might lure you into starting accounts with new sites that you had never known about before. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

One of the most critical areas of document creation and management is version control. Even when only one person is working on a document, it can be easy to lose control. Without a system in place that is used consistently, you will experience unnecessary and annoying mistakes. When more than one person is working on a document, the potential for errors multiplies exponentially.

What is version control? Version control is managing the document and all its pieces and parts so that changes are always made to the most current file. When version control is lost, changes are made to an old version of a document, causing all changes that occurred in the interim to be lost or wasted. It’s difficult for errors like this to be found because when proofing changes to a document, project managers typically only check the changes (which is totally appropriate). It is the desktop publisher’s responsibility to maintain version control of the files in their possession — but that responsibility extends to the client once they have received a draft or copies of the files and make changes to those files without communicating them to the desktop publisher.

There are many legitimate reasons why multiple versions of a document may exist. Here are some of them, and a discussion of good desktop publishing practices:.

The document may have crashed the software while doing a particularly complex task. (Don’t be scared. This happens. It’s nearly always recoverable with little loss of data.)

  • After opening the file that caused the crash, the good desktop publisher will immediately do a “Save-As” to save the file with a different name (or version number). Of course, they may not want to immediately delete the previous file until they have confirmed that the new file hasn’t been corrupted by the crash. For a period of time, multiple versions of the file may exist, but a good desktop publisher will have a file naming system that makes it obvious which file is the most current.

It is sometimes best to work on desktop publishing files on a local drive rather than over a network. This means that copies of files may exist both on a commonly accessed network drive and on a local drive.

  • The good desktop publisher implements practices that are consistently followed to ensure that the most current files are in a specific location. When changes are made to the file on a local drive, the files must immediately be copied to the network drive, updating the master files. Even if it’s the end of the day and the desktop publisher plans to work on the files first thing in the morning. Things happen, priorities change, assignments change and the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Provisional changes have been made to a document that the desktop publisher or project manager is not confident will ultimately be kept. In other words, she is just as likely to go back to the previous version as keep the updated version. Hence, both files are kept until a decision is made.

  • The good desktop publisher names the files in such a way as to make it clear what’s happening.
  • For extra security, she puts notes on a non-printable layer in the files that help her understand the file names and serve as a reminder to all who open the file.

Files are maintained in multiple physical locations. This is especially an issue when a project has been completed and files are delivered to the client. Both the desktop publisher and the client now have copies of the final printed document.

  • The good desktop publisher provides copies of all files associated with project to their clients, but maintains an archived file copy.
  • The good project manager knows that if changes are made to the files by the client, he must provide new files to the desktop publisher when additional changes are requested.

Changes are made by the printer after the project manager reviews the printer’s proof.

  • The best policy is to have all changes made by your desktop publisher and have them provide new print files to the printer. Otherwise, changes made by your printer will not be rolled into the desktop publisher’s archived copy of the file or be reflected in the next update to the document.

Changes are requested to printed documents, either for printing an updated version or simply to maintain current information for whenever it is next printed.

  • The good desktop publisher has procedures in place that allow for such changes to be made while backing up the data regularly and keeping track of which version of the file is the most current.

Good desktop publishing procedures provide a methodology that protects users from making changes to an obsolete version of a file. Consistently using those procedures ensures good version control. Good procedures + consistent implementation = quality documents, less confusion, fewer errors, and lower costs.

Many people are seriously interested in moving to Adobe®’s Creative Cloud but have some nagging issues. This purpose of this post is to address those issues. Here are the questions we hear most often:

Does the software run on the Cloud? Do I need Internet access to use the programs?

No. When you purchase a subscription, you download all the software that you want to use to your local computer.You obviously need internet access for this. Your software is then stored and run from your computer. You will also need Internet access to validate your license periodically. If you have an annual subscription, you are required to validate your software license at least every 99 days. If you are a monthly subscriber, you must validate your software every 30 days. Validation is automatic if you start any Creative Cloud program while you have an Internet connection. You’ll never have to do anything.

Am I required to download all the Creative Suite programs? Am I required to download all the programs I want to use when I first subscribe?

No. You can download only the programs you want to use. You can download additional programs at any point during your subscription. This is a great opportunity to play with all the great Adobe stuff that your budget would never allow before.

Am I required to store my files in the Creative Cloud space?

No. While subscription to the Creative Could includes cloud storage, you can (and in our opinion should) maintain your files on your local drive. Use CC storage for collaboration and/or backup — or not at all. The choice is yours.

If I cancel my subscription to the Creative Cloud, do I lose access to my files?

No. If you maintain your files on your local computer, you will have access to all your files. If you maintain your files in the Creative Cloud storage space, you will be downgraded to a free storage membership which includes 2GB of storage.  If you’re using more than 2GB of storage, you will not be able to sync files until the amount of online disk space used in your account drops below 2GB. You have 90 days to reduce your online usage, after which you may lose access to some or all files.

What you do lose if you cancel your subscription is access to the software, so unless you have a traditional CS6 license, you’ll have access to your files, but be unable to use the software that reads them. If you are an occasional user of Adobe programs, you can opt for a month-by-month subscription and cancel it during months when you don’t need it. Anytime your subscription is active you can use your files.

Am I required to install upgrades and new  CC programs as they are released?

No. You choose when and which upgrades or new software to download to your computer and install.

If I have a perpetual license Adobe program, can I have both it and the Creative Suite version installed on the same computer at the same time?

Yes. You can have both installed at the same time. We maintain copies of CS 3, 5, 5.5, and 6 applications on our systems so that we’re able to access old files from our archives or that are provided by clients. We also have the Creative Cloud version installed. If you keep multiple versions of Adobe products on the same computer you just have to be careful to not use Windows’ File Explorer to open you files. It will always want to open the file in the most current version of the software associated with a file type. That means that if you open an InDesign CS5 file by double-clicking on it in File Explorer while you also have a newer version of InDesign on your computer, it will convert the file to the newer file format so that it can open in the newer version. If you wanted it to open in CS5 and stay a CS5 file, you need to open it from within InDesign CS5.

Can I install the Creative Suite programs that I download on multiple computers?

Yes – but only on two computers that are used by the same person. The program may not be used on both computers at the same time. So if you need it on your desktop computer at work and also on your laptop, no problem. And here’s a beautiful thing – you can split your two installations between two different operating systems. In the past, you were required to purchase a PC version of the software or a Mac version. Now you can share a single subscription between both a PC and a Mac. Again, it is limited to a total of two installations and they may not be used at the same time. Check out Adobe’s licensing agreement for more information. (Scroll down the page to the “Adobe Creative Cloud Products” subhead.) Warning: Download the file, don’t view it online. It is a 511-page PDF done in 29 different languages. It seriously freaked out my browser when I viewed it online. No damage was done, but I had to shut down the browser. It caused all my open tabs to convert to various foreign languages.

More questions? Give us a call (419-660-0500) or check out Adobe’s FAQ page.

Remember, Adobe®’s incentive pricing for the Creative Cloud ends August 31. Check out this blog for more info.

Adobe Creative Cloud Just a reminder, folks…

Adobe® has announced that their incentive pricing to join the Creative Cloud ends August 31. This pricing is available to users with previously registered product serial numbers of Creative Suite 3.0 and above and requires a one-year subscription commitment. The incentive pricing represents a significant discount from their standard pricing structure. Standard pricing is $49.99/month; their incentive pricing ranges from $9.99/month to $29.99/month, depending on the option that you choose. See the image at the end of the blog for more pricing details, or click here to go to Adobe’s site.

That may seem pricey to some of you, but consider three things:

  • Annualized, you’ll pay between $120 and $360 at the discounted rate. This approach simply breaks the cost into monthly payments. Yes, when the incentive price expires, the price increases (presumably) to an annualized price of $600. That’s about the same that we’ve been paying for a Creative Suite software upgrade. If you upgraded Creative Suite every other year, it’s a wash. The price may seem a bit hefty, but perhaps not so much when you consider the second point.
  • Logos of Programs Included in Adobe's Creative Cloud SubscriptionWith the exception of the lowest subscription plan, you are gaining access to many, many quality Adobe products. The full Creative Cloud subscription gives you full access to more software than was included in the Creative Suite Master Collection (the biggest conglomeration of Adobe software under the old system), which sold for $2,600 per copy. How many of these logos do you recognize? They’re all included in the CC subscription fee. In case logos aren’t your thing, here’s just some of the programs included in a Creative Cloud standard subscription:
    • InDesign® – desktop publishing
    • Photoshop® and Lightroom® – image manipulation
    • Acrobat® Pro – portable document creation
    • Illustrator® – drawing
    • Dreamweaver® and Muse™ – website development
    • Edge Animate – creates interactive web content
    • Typekit® – website font management
    • Premier® Pro – video production and editing
    • Audition® – audio editing
    • After Effects® – cinematic visual effects and motion graphics
    • Bridge – image management and more
    • And more…click here to learn more about these programs and others included in the CC subscription
  • Programs are updated and enhanced on a regular basis. You will no longer have to wait a year or two to receive the latest updates. As Adobe rolls them out upgrades and new features for each program, they are available to Cloud subscribers. With the pace of changing technology today, this is a great benefit, but if that makes you nervous, you can relax because you choose whether or not to update your copy of the software.

This article doesn’t begin to address other benefits of CC membership, the most prominent of which is cloud storage. Check out Adobe’s site for details.

Adobe’s incentive pricing for individual users is summarized in their graphic below. They also have team subscriptions available. If you have two or more users in your office, check out their team subscription pricing here. Click here to purchase Creative Cloud. Still have some concerns? Check out our blog, Adobe’s Creative Cloud – Addressing Top Concerns About Going to Subscription Service.

Creative Cloud Discount Pricing

Toodledo Task Management
It seems that I am forever looking for a great To-Do List tool. For years I was a dedicated Day-Timer user. Unfortunately their transition from being a paper product to a digital one wasn’t very successful. Enter Franklin Planners. They were good, but still too cumbersome to be fully useful. Digital planning was in its infancy and none of the available products seemed to help. So eventually I gave up on digital organizers and for about the past ten years, I’ve simply used Excel spreadsheets to manage my tasks. Over the past year that’s been overwhelming – not working effectively and taking too much time. Not to mention that no one else could understand my spreadsheets so task delegation wasn’t efficient. This year I set about looking for a new system. I was looking for something that is less than a full-blown project management system (because they tend to be too complicated) but much more than a simple to-do list.

After creating and recreating my to-do lists in several different programs and living with each for about a week, I’ve found one that I’m nearly completely satisfied with. (Are we ever fully satisfied with anything? There’s always tweeks we’d like to make, enhancements we’d like to add…but that’s the tradeoff between simple and complicated or off-the-shelf and custom-built.)

Let me introduce you to my friend Toodledo. Yes, it’s a cutesy little name, but it’s a powerful organizational tool. Toodledo is a web-based solution that you can get on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, integrated directly into your web browser, and more. I’ve found some of the integration a little clunky, but as a desktop/laptop/mobile app it’s doing a great job helping me organize and manage my life.

Toodledo Screen
Entering tasks is simple – click on “Add Task”  and type a short title or description. You can then provide as much (or as little) additional information about it as you’d like. The more info you identify, the more capability you have for sorting and viewing. You can provide only a due date or identify a start and end date. You can set priorities and identify a task as being a repeating task. Tasks can be set to repeat at just about any interval (using preset criteria or identifying your own in plain English) and to repeat from the scheduled due date or from the completion date. I love the latter option. There are things I want to do weekly but they’re not so critical that they must be done on a certain day. So perhaps I have a task that I schedule for Tuesday, but Tuesday gets overcrowded, and then Wednesday falls apart, and it doesn’t get completed until Thursday. Toodledo reschedules it for the following Thursday.

You can assign tasks to folders, contexts, locations and tags. Each of these terms can mean whatever you want it to. We use folders to identify customers and tags to identify the person responsible for the task. If you assign locations, a mapping feature in Toodledo allows you to sort by distance from a specific location, making it easier to be efficient with sales calls or errands. Assigning contexts allows you to identify tasks based on similarity of effort. You can sort and filter by contexts so you can focus on similar efforts and efficiently complete them. Here are just a few of my contexts:

  • Writing – I write for four different blogs, as well as books and training material. When I’m in a writing mode, I want to easily see all the things on my writing to-do list without being distracted by everything else that screams for my attention.
  • Web Effort – It’s not something I do regularly, so it always requires taking my brain to a “website management” place. Once my brain is there, I want to do all the website management tasks at once.
  • Client Support – I want these tasks to stand out prominently and I want to be able to filter out all other tasks when I’m focusing on client effort.
  • Accounting – Like web effort, once I start on accounting, I want to get in the groove and do all of it at once.

You can also identify length of time it takes to complete a task. Have twenty minutes before your next meeting and wondering how to be effective during that time? Sort your tasks by length and you will easily be able to identify what can be accomplished in those twenty minutes. I love this feature.

Additional features include an ability to define and track goals, identify tasks to goals, collaborate with other Toodledo users, import and export tasks, and customize what task information appears on your screen as well as how it displays.

Toodledo has created a helpful and well-done set of videos training users in the basics of the system. They’re available on Toodledo’s YouTube channel.  Each video is less than five minutes, so they can be watched and implemented quickly and easily.

Toodledo is available at four different subscription levels: free, Silver ($14.99/year), Gold ($29.99/year) and Platinum ($9.99/year). I tried the free version for a couple of weeks before upgrading to the Silver version. The silver version allows you add the collaboration feature and allows you to create subtasks. It also allows for customizable alarms and longer retention of history. The Gold and Platinum versions include features I don’t need but are worth the cost if you need them – cloud storage and file attachments are the most significant. We have all the cloud storage we need from other sources and we maintain our files in a very specific manner – adding them as attachments to our to-do list isn’t it.

View panel of Toodledo


The power in Toodledo is its ability to view, sort and filter based on any of the fields or task characteristics that you’ve assigned. Toodledo’s flexibility allows you to mold it into whatever type of to-do list or time management app you need it to be. You can re-sort tasks with one click, or use the top menu to sort by multiple criteria. When you add in the filtering and viewing capabilities you can create custom lists that drill down to the level of task management you need at any given time of the day. Be careful, though — it’s easy to get lost in the number of levels of filtering and lose tasks. It takes a bit of practice to learn these features, making them work for you.

Despite my warnings, the real usefulness of Toodledo is in its ease of use and simplicity. Check it out if you’re in the market for an easy but robust task manager.