Our Readers Top Ten Business Tips
Getting things done
If you are snowed under with emails and meetings and cannot get anything done then we recommend you read David Allen's "Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress Free Productivity." It is full of great tips on how to organise yourself better and gives a simple system to make it all work.
The Fortune 500 4-Hour Workweek: Multiplying output in groups
This is from Tim Ferriss' Blog. He is the author of The Four Hour Working Week and we highly recommend you look at his stuff. Not all of it will apply to you but the principles are great, especially around email and interactions and its effect on productivity.
Mastering Google desktop
Those of you that have followed our newsletter for a while will know that we are big fans of Google Desktop. It is free and can be downloaded from http://desktop.google.com/. It indexes your computer in a similar way that Google indexes the web for its search function. Therefore searches for stuff take just seconds. For those of you that have been using it for a while LifeHacker has some tips on how to improve its power.
We are big fans of Skype. We use it all the time to talk within the company for free and also to conduct teleconferences, including international ones.
Anti jetlag diet
The anti-jet lag diet was developed with research on military personnel changing time zones. It involves manipulation of the diet before you travel, manipulation of caffeine intake to shorten sleep cycles at the right time, and altering your diet when you arrive to suit the right time of the day.
Research has shown that using two computer screens instead of one can improve productivity of some workers by up to 25%. We are big fans. It is great if you are writing and want reference material on one screen while you write on the other. You can get the same effect with a much larger screen but two smaller screens are much cheaper than a large one and many of us have a spare screen sitting around already. It is very easy to set up and use.
Xobni (Inbox backwards) is a plug in for Outlook that helps you search and organise your email. It is only in Beta form at the moment but it looks promising and Microsoft is trying to buy it. We have tried it and love it.
How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)
Jason Calacanis has written a really good post on saving costs and maximising people's time in a startup business. We do not all have startup businesses in the internet world but some of these tips resonate for all businesses. One of our old favourites is there - getting everyone a double screen. I feel far less productive on the road than in the office now because I use a double screen all the time at home and in the office. The research on time saved also backs it up - Jason claims twenty minutes per person per day or nearly 2 hours per week - if that is correct then work out the payback time on a $300 screen!!!!
10 Firefox extensions you can't live without
Here are some great add ons for Firefox if you use that as a browser (and we recommend you do). Time Tracker is a great one for people who spend a lot of time browsing and Morning Coffee is a good one if there are a set of web pages you look at every morning (you can open them all with one click rather than opening all of them individually). On top of these we downloaded Read It Later and PDF Download from the comments list as well as No Squint which is great for those of us with less than perfect vision – you can set it so the text is larger while the images stay the same size.
Venture capitalist blog
If you are interested in new business models and comment then this blog by venture capitalist Fred Wilson is clever and a little offbeat. You can subscribe on the site and you will automatically receive emails of the new posts on a daily basis.