It’s a nice thought that “we’re never done learning”. One quick look around you at the world and it’s hard to come to any other conclusion than “yup, most of us do actually stop learning very soon on in life”. It’s a shame too, because if we didn’t, we’d have teleportation, time travel and hover cars by now.

Whether bad experiences of formal education or simply not seeing the point is to blame, the majority will rarely read to enrich, nor study to better ourselves.

And yet the Internet provides us with, what is in my opinion at least, the most open and user friendly learning environment known to man. Largely for free too. Textbooks, journals, notes, essays and presentations which were largely restricted to those attending ‘regular’ universities just a few years ago are accessible to people all over the world regardless of age, location or income. But is online learning on par with traditional ‘college education’?

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Cross-checking credit card statements with your receipts is like checking a lottery ticket: you feel like you should do it, but it rarely bears fruit in the end. I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever been able to find a fraudulent transaction on any of my credit card statements. Likewise, I’ve never won the lottery.

And yet, you can bet your last dollar that once the end of the month rolls around I’ll be hunched over my desk, brow furrowed, crosschecking crumpled receipts with crisp bank statements, almost daring some fraudster to have scammed me. I’m already plotting my revenge in anticipation.

BillGuard, a startup having just recieved their second round of funding, aims to stop the loose-cannon cop in all of us by doing the legwork. Think anti-virus for your credit card – only bigger.

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Accountancy is a very respectable profession. There’s millions of the guys, all diligently working away like beaver to ensure every penny is accounted for. They keep business moving day-to-day, advise the board of directors and help us with our taxes. We love you guys. So all accountants, you can look away now.

Here’s the problem with accountants: They bore me. Imagine being visited by your child-self and having to explain why you spend all day staring at spreadsheets and not fighting fires, flying jet fighters, arresting bad guys, breaking world records or anything remotely cool. They also charge a killing.

Luckily for small and medium sized businesses, software has taken a large proportion of work from accountants and bookmakers. We still need them to have a look over accounts from time to time, but these days, the process can be largely automated. Wave Accounting is one such application that helps users keep track of their business transactions. But does it match up to what we should expect of accounting software? Better yet, can it help you get by without relying on your accountant so much?

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These days, the first interaction a company will have with a customer will most likely be via its website. I know any time I’m about to make an important purchase or consider a new service it’s straight to the Internet I go. It’s quick and easy; no wonder major companies spend thousands ensuring their websites are up to date and looking sharp. And for big companies, that’s all well and good. They can afford designers and developers to handle the customer experience. For small start-ups and businesses this isn’t the case.

The ‘Contact Us’ page is where you customers go if they have a problem with your products, have a question or want to head down to your premises. It’s a ‘call to action’ page; something which web copy writers stress has to be done right.

Formsly take the pain out of creating and managing your contact page and include some awesome features to boot. Every channel imaginable for your customers to reach you is accounted for, but is it right for everyone?

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The biggest problem that faces anyone trying to make a name for themselves, their band, book or company is gaining quality exposure. You could have the best idea in the world, but without a great marketing department capable of generating word of mouth discussion, it’s likely to stagnate and die.

What’s more, most digital products (software, books, music, etc.) are available for free online. This takes the wind out of the sails of most would-be musicians, artists and authors. What’s needed is a new payment model that works with this trend, instead of the conventional ‘pay and receive’.

Pay with a Tweet have solved both of these problems. It does pretty much what it says on the can and on the face of things it seems like a cop-out for artists. But frankly, for the clever entrepreneur it’s anything but. It’s finally a way to make paying forward a real part of business.

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Anyone who is self-employed or works a job that involves dealing with numerous clients and projects will tell you that one of the most annoying parts of the job is the administration. Planning, keeping track of your work, invoicing and analysing the project can be a pain in the neck. Of course this serves to distract us from the important work; actually getting the job done and satisfying the client.

In a previous life I had complicated Excel files, PDFs and saved emails scattered around my desktop. These were complimented by bits of paper, to-do lists and reminders tacked up on a memo board over my desk. They all had but one purpose in life; to keep me on track. At times it became a nightmare when a reminder would go missing or a bill accidentally went unpaid.

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