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Justin Stravarius

I am an Internet Junkie who loves technology and computers more than anything. In whatever little time I can squeeze between my movie and TV show marathons, I write. You can follow me at @stravarius for nerdy outbursts and rants.

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There are so many project management apps available online. Actually, it’s one vertical where web apps rule, and native apps have been relegated to an afterthought. The competition is intense and customers have so many choices in front them. Yet, trust me when I say this, there is still room in the market for new players who focus on clean layouts and simpler workflows.

In my experience, we are stuck between horrible bloat and ridiculously featureless project management and team collaboration apps. So, I’m always in search of the one app that has the right set of features. With a catchy name, Siasto pitches that it’s the perfect way to collaborate with your teammates. Let’s go check it out, shall we?

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QuoteRobot: Create and Send Beautiful Quotes

A freelancer’s life is nothing short of amazing. The freedom to choose what you love to do and the absolute control over your life are two major perks of being a freelancer. The flow of money is bound to be uneven, though. You might be flush some months and outright broke at times.

The key is to get a lot of paying customers at regular intervals and to do that you need to sell yourself better. Even after making a name for yourself in your niche, it’s essential that you put significant efforts to win the projects you bid for. A concise and clear cut proposal is the first vital step to achieve that.

QuoteRobot claims to help you create beautiful, winning proposals. They have a gorgeous user interface, so let us check out if the app is as good as it looks! (more…)

PublikDemand: The Social Better Business Bureau

These days, businesses are just so competitive. They are driven by the motivation to match their competition feature by feature. So, there aren’t many distinguishing traits or USPs for products and services to stand apart. That is, except when it comes offering their customers exceptional support.

We are better off forking a bit more money for a brand that promises to treat us with respect when knocking their doors for help. Such decisions end up saving a lot of time and frustration of dealing with indifferent and rude support people. Sadly, this doesn’t work all the time and you might have to fight hard with a brand to get your issue resolved.

Fighting alone against a brand to get heard is an uphill task. But, the same is going to be a whole lot different if you fight alongside hundreds or thousands of people facing the same problem. That’s where PublikDemand comes in.
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There are countless project management apps out there in the cloud. They all range from being minimal to unnecessarily bloated. Picking the right one that suits your workflow is a painstaking process. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to pick a project management app for co-ordinating my online marketing efforts.

I was saddened by the high prices, lack of features and the usability of the stalwarts. Like every other over crowded market, new entrants have started to focus on niche verticals to get noticed. Online marketing is booming and has a workflow that’s changing at every turn. Swydo is a task management and easy reporting app for online marketers, professional digital agencies and online marketing departments.

Let’s see how it stacks up against the other front-runners in project management.

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Sprout Social: Comprehensive Social Media Management

Social networks are precious data mines that are available for free. Accessing them isn’t a problem as all popular social network APIs are open and free. Making sense of the billions of existing messages and the millions that are generated everyday is where the problem arises. From customer feedback to competition analysis, social networks have opened a whole a new frontier for businesses.

Web apps of varying sizes and formats are available to track, monitor and consume the social data in a meaningful way. Sprout Social is one among them and it emphasizes on the four components of social media effectiveness: Monitoring, Engagement, Measurement and Growth. Let’s take a closer look!

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It’s so good to see how web apps are simplifying bloated, enterprise grade software with simpler solutions and flexible pricing. They don’t charge for a ton of hardly used features and make sure there is flatter learning curve. After tackling the cumbersome project management vertical, web apps have started breaking down CRM and ERP functionality with single purpose apps.

Quote generation, help desk and sales management are important modules in a conventional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) app. Companies pay a boatload of money to deploy them and to train their employees. But, things are changing fast. I’ve been hearing good things about Stride lately and it looks like a capable sales tracking app. Let’s take it for a spin! (more…)

Bidsketch: Professional Client Proposals in Minutes

A quote is the first vital step in a sales process. A competent quote doesn’t just have the right price, but also is a business document with all the details relevant to your bid. Professional formatting, highlighting important sections prominently and visual appeal are important factors that grab the attention of the clients.

Bidsketch is an application that lets you create, track, customize, and design beautiful proposals. The developers claim that with this app you can create proposals in half the time. After the break, let’s put their claim to test.

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GroupDocs: Be a Document Wizard

Irrespective of your career, there is hardly a chance that you could escape writing documentation. Creating, editing, collaborating, or organizing info – at least one of these tasks is part of the regular workflow these days. Office 365 and Google Docs are the biggest players in the online collaboration and productivity suites, and odds are you already use one of them in your daily workflow.

From time to time, a new web app rears its head to tackle the inefficiencies in the documentation process. GroupDocs is a next generation document management solution that makes it easier for businesses to collaborate, share, and work with documents online. After the break, let us see in detail how to make the most out of it.

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There are so many invoicing apps floating around. It would be absolutely fabulous if people only have to create invoices and get paid all the time. But things are more complicated than that. To start with, you will need to find a viable lead and convince him/her that your prices are actually quite affordable.

Ideally, the process of closing a deal starts with a well documented quote. Pricetag is a web app for creating, quotes, RFP, proposals and bid pricing documents. It’s easy to use, with an intuitive interface and a healthy dose of customizability. Let’s check it out and see if it’s the quotes and proposals app you need.

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ClassConnect: Find, Build and Share Lessons

I come from a long line of teachers, both on my father’s and mother’s side. But, I strongly believe that you can’t learn everything from a classroom. There always will be a gap when it comes to understanding a classroom lecture. The gap is often bridged by materials from the library, group study sessions, private tutors and, of late, the Internet.

The volume of learning resources available online is staggering and you aren’t limited by geography to gain access to it. Like every other aspect of online content, the problem isn’t the lack of resources, but discovering, storing and sharing them is. ClassConnect is focussed towards helping you with the above mentioned issues all the while assisting teachers to create and distribute content too!

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