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3 tips to do away with the business of manual typing

3 tips to do away with the business of manual typing

How quick are you at typing information?  What about texting or composing emails on your mobile device?  We have a few tips to eliminate the business of typing?

 

  1. Convert a scanned document or image to digital, editable text – licketysplit

If you have a scanned document or a photo of text and want to avoid typing it up there is a FREE online tool called OCR that can help. It converts scanned PDF documents (including multipage files), photographs or digital camera captured images into editable and searchable electronic documents. The formats it converts to include Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Rtf, Html and Txt. Here is a link to the tool https://www.onlineocr.net/

 

  1. Send text messages and emails on your mobile device using the power of your voice – easy pezzy

Need to send a text or compose an email? Select the microphone when you are in text or email mode, start talking and your device will capture what you say. You can even add punctuation! You do this by asking a question and saying “question mark” at the end of your question. Or saying “full stop” at the end of your sentence. You will find the microphone located on the keypad. Make sure you proof what it has converted to text as it’s not always accurate.

 

  1. Scan documents, meeting notes and more using your smart device – No more typing for you.

There are free apps available like Evernote Scannable (https://evernote.com/products/scannable) to scan documents, receipts, business cards, forms and more by using your smartphone’s camera. You can also use the document scanning feature in Dropbox for scanning as well as capturing whiteboard meeting notes on sticky notes form a brainstorming session. Here is a link to instructions https://www.dropbox.com/help/mobile/document-scanning

For the love and taste of your own veges…

For the love and taste of your own veges…

Not to sound like an “Old Fart”. It doesn’t matter where you live or what your circumstance – you can grow vegetables.

My Mother worked full time, brought up three kids on her own and still had a beautiful garden. The most important part of this was the veggie garden. As youngsters we were encouraged to plant and look after a few of our own small vegetable varieties. To suffer the failure of plants that have died because I have not watered them, or to enjoy the literal “fruits of my labour” and eat fresh ripe tomatoes or bean and peas directly from the vine.

Today, some 50 plus years on I still look forward to spring and to the excitement of planting out my veggies for the coming season. In every place that I have lived over the years, I‘ve had a garden. Sometimes it’s just been just a couple of tomatoes in pots, others it’s been a few bags of garden mulch split open with seeds just scattered within.

Whatever space you have big or small, give it a go. You will not believe how delicious your own home grown veggies taste and how much pleasure they will give you.

If you are really serious, I would be more than happy to share some knowledge and encouragement to do you own.

You also get the added bonus or fresh air and sunshine, which always makes for a great frame of mind.

Submitted by Denise Gundry | Design/Production Manager, PDC Mt Eden

Simple Living: With these 5 Minimalist Tips

Simple Living: With these 5 Minimalist Tips

If you have ever travelled to a third world country you will have realised that there is a vast array of people living in our world, quite happily, without very much. Our Western Culture of the past 20 years has become more and more about “having stuff”. I have recently been thinking about having less of it and realising that the more stuff we have, the more decisions we have to make on a daily basis. So here follows a few things we are trying to do in our household:

1. Don’t buy it – don’t go shopping out of boredom or because you have nothing else to do. You always end up purchasing things you don’t really need. It’s amazing what you can talk yourself into on the spur of the moment.
2. If you purchase a new item, throw the old one it’s replacing out. You’re buying because you needed to replace, so replace it.
3. Have a clean up. In the back of the wardrobe, cupboards, garage etc. If you forgot you had it or don’t use it anymore, give it to the Hospice Shop – there will be one in your area and they do great work in the community.
4. De-clutter your house and make at least one relaxing space.
5. Write a list of all of the things you are grateful for in your life

Do I really need it, do I already have something like it, will I use it often, where will I store it, does it match things I already own, do I love it, will I still love it later?

Sumbitted by Denise Gundry | Design & Production Manager, PDC Mt Eden

USE A PASSWORD MANAGER

USE A PASSWORD MANAGER

The average person is signed up to about 27 accounts online (or if you’re like me, over 60).

Each of these accounts requires a password, and many services require you to follow their own specific set of rules for password creation. This can include a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, special characters, spaces and specific lengths (e.g. 8–16 characters).

The problem is that the majority of us use the same password or slightly different variations of the same password for everything we sign up to.

The biggest concern of all is that if one of the services you’re signed up to has their security breached, this could potentially give hackers access to all your other accounts using the same variation of password that was stolen. The best solution to this problem is to have a completely different password for every account you use, so if one account is breached, the rest of your accounts remain perfectly secure.

Not only is it incredibly unsafe to use the same or similar passwords across all your accounts, it can also be extremely confusing.

Isn’t it frustrating when you go to sign in to an account you haven’t visited in a while and realise you’ve completely forgotten which password variation you originally used.
Not only that, you’ve likely run in to the next problem of being locked out of your account after attempting to login more than three times.
After the 20 minutes you’re told to wait before your next login attempt, instead of making another attempt, you click the ‘Forgot Password’ link and start thinking up a complex new password that you’ll likely forget again in the next few days (or in my case, hours).
Before you know it, you’re following this exact same process every time you want to quickly log in to something.

If only there were a tool we could use to easily create completely different and extremely strong passwords for each of our accounts, store them securely and remember them all for us.

Oh wait, there already is! They’re called password managers and they’ve been around for quite some time now.
Password managers are great, and once you start using one, you won’t want to go back.

The basic concept of a password manager is that you have one, yes… one ‘Master Password’ that gives you access to all your other encrypted passwords. They’re really easy to use, and updating all your pre-existing accounts with new passwords is a breeze. Once you have all your accounts setup in the password manager, you can then use your password manager to automatically navigate and login to websites at the click of a button.

Here is a great little introduction video for anyone new to Password Managers.

I was sceptical at first when I heard about these apps, and it pays to be in this day and age, however after doing my research on them, and realising how beneficial they are, I made the switch and will never look back.

I highly recommend you also use a password manager. It will keep your accounts secure, speed up your productivity and free up some space in your brain for other important things in life.

I use a service called 1Password (I highly recommend it), however there are many different options (LastPass, Dashlane etc.) and it’s just a case of which one works best for you.

Submitted by Ben Harris | Graphic Designer, PDC Mt Eden

Beating the Winter Blues

Beating the Winter Blues

We are almost approaching the mid-point of Winter which means we’re near half-way there!
With the icy cold temperatures sweeping the country, and the seemingly never-ending days (or weeks, in some cases) of rain, we’re bound to have a few rough days ahead.

Here are a list of 10 things that could help you in your battle with this sodden season.

1. GET YOUR BODY MOVING And your blood flowing
– Allow yourself the time to keep active throughout the week.
– Go for a brisk morning walk (You will be warm and alert by the time you arrive at work)
– Force yourself to get up out of your office chair every hour, even if it’s just for a quick stretch.
– Walk on the spot for 10 minutes while watching the News or Netflix.
– Visit the Gym (or if you’re not using your membership, cancel immediately, save your money, and follow the above steps)

2. KEEP WARM Layer up
– Prepare yourself for cold days by wearing the appropriate winter clothing.
– Have a cosy jacket that you can easily put on/take off when the temperature fluctuates.
– Have multiple layers of bed sheets and blankets.

3. GET SOME VITAMIN D Sunlight is your friend
– Make the most of the sunlight when its out. The vitamin D it provides will vastly improve your mood.
– Take a supplement with Vitamin D if you don’t get the time to catch the sun.

4. EAT DELICIOUS AND WARMING FOODS
– Learn how to cook a nice hearty meal that will warm you up and give you the fuel you need to get through the day.
Here is the link to a delicious Thai Massaman Curry
– Cook enough to factor in leftovers for lunch at work the following day (This will help you save lots of money!)
– Don’t worry about putting on a few extra pounds! It’s our bodies natural way of keeping warm through the cold months!

5. MAKE THE MOST OF BEING INDOORS ON RAINY DAYS
– Read that book that you left off on chapter 2 last Summer.
– Take up a creative online class (lynda and udemy are great places to start)
– Clean your house. This will definitely warm you up, and then you won’t have to worry about it over Summer.
– Store or give away items you no longer use. Being in a tidy environment is a great way to keep on top of everything else.

6. TAKE UP A HOBBY OR INTEREST YOU WANTED TO PURSUE
Photography – This is a great way to get outside and take awesome moody Winter shots while getting exercise at the same time. And don’t forget, we can print these for you on a canvas (check them out here!)
Painting – A perfect activity for a cold, rainy day. There is a great series you can follow along with on Netflix by Bob Ross called “Chill with Bob Ross”.

7. PLAN A HOLIDAY AWAY
– Having a holiday to look forward to is a great way of getting through those rough Winter days.

8. HOST A WINTER POT-LUCK DINNER WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY
– Have each of your guests bring something delicious and hearty that you can all share.
– Follow this by having a night of games or watching the Rugby (or both!)

9. PUT TOGETHER A WINTER PLAYLIST
Discover new music on YouTube or Spotify to motivate you throughout your day.

10. MAKE A TO-DO LIST FOR YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAY BREAK
This is a great time to start planning what you want to do over the Summer Holiday Break.

Submitted by Ben Harris | Graphic Designer, PDC Mt Eden

The value of print in an online world

The value of print in an online world

The digital space is forever growing, generating fresh new ideas every single day. But with all of the online development does that mean print becomes obsolete? Here at printing.com we think there will always be a place for print as the world turns to screen and print becomes niche once again.
Here’s the top 6 reasons why print isn’t dead yet:

1. Print is memorable
Part of what makes print so memorable is its tactile nature. When a product is on screen it’s hard to get a feel for it, the weight, the texture and functionality. By being able to pick something up, an instant, memorable connection is made. This means any marketing material you’ve created in print is more likely to stick in the minds of your audience.

2. Print stays with you
From the Sunday Times to Women’s Day and your favourite takeaway menu, print is often seen as valuable, a keepsake, and something that is always considered – even for just a few seconds. People cherish print, collecting magazines, posters or flyers like artwork. Whereas a simple click on the ‘x’ at the top left hand corner will close down anything you were looking at online. Print takes up what’s called ‘marketing real estate’ in your home, even if that’s just bathroom reading material, there’s always a space for print somewhere in your home.

3. Drives to other platforms
Print is also a powerful platform for driving people to your main source of information such as a website, social media or your physical address. Flyers, posters, or signage can be great ways to capture your audience’s attention and lead them to check out your business in real life or on other platforms.

4. Targeted to key audiences
As people turn to marketing online, sending out e-newsletter after e-newsletter, the once mass medium of print has turned somewhat niche again. With the help of statistical and demographic data, print can also be more targeted ensuring more of your audience is seeing your brand in the right space.

5. Print can be playful
Advanced technology has stretched the limitations of online spaces. But one limitation technology can’t overcome is the intangibility of a screen. Print can be created with a number of amazing graphics, textures, cutouts and shapes, all ready to be enjoyed, touched and played with.

6. It’s not just a piece of paper
Print isn’t just a piece of paper or a flyer, it’s the pen you picked up from that business meeting, the magnet on your fridge you see every time you midnight snack, it’s a business card you’ve not thrown out of your wallet. Print comes in so many forms it’s easy to get creative and produce a piece of print marketing that connects with your audience and stays with them.

We’ve been print experts for a long time now and we still see the possibilities for print to grow in the future. There are so many benefits of print, from billboards to business cards, print takes up a huge part of our everyday space and we don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, print technology will continue to develop into an increasingly niche market, with more opportunities to reach out and speak to audiences than ever before.
If you’re interested in creating print materials for your business, get in touch with printing.com today.