Managing Your Daily Tasks

Let me ask you a question. How often has any of the following thoughts occurred to you?

“I seriously don’t have enough time!”

“Oh no, how could I forget that task?”

“How am I expected to manage SO many things at once?”

Roughly, atleast once a day huh? It used to happen to me, too. Being a part of a small business means that you will naturally have a hundred things on your mind. And when you can’t manage all your tasks and responsibilities, it’s guaranteed chaos.

So it was only recently that I discovered the value of a little something called ‘To-Do lists.’ It’s a simple enough concept, (and quite an obvious one, if you think about it) but so often, most of us fail to do it.

All you need to do is spend some time, as soon as you come to work/school (that’s right –  do not check email the first thing in the morning!) to think

about your day/week ahead. Trust me, you will realize soon enough that those 15 minutes are not a waste of time!

Use some  trusted system to jot down your notes and lists – something that you will keep looking at an ongoing basis. This way, you do not need to bother about losing out on doing any important tasks, because you will keep going back to that system regularly. A pencil and scratchpad would do just fine, as long as you’re comfortable with it. (P.S: I recently started using Microsoft’s One Note and I’ve become a huge fan ever since). This way you can also link it to your calendar to mark tasks that need to be delivered by a particular time. Tip: Use that system to also jot down ideas that occur to you while you are working.

Always write down ‘actionable items’ in your list. For instance lets say your task for the day is to “Finish project X”. What would be the first thing you would do to finish Project X that day? Call Bob? Go to Google? Run down to the library for a reference book? Whatever it is, write that Step 1 down. Makes your job a whole lot organized.

Do you have any special tips to manage your daily

routine? Do let us know!

A Useful Fix for Duplicate Content Issues

I recently came across the concept of canonical URLs. It’s a useful fix for duplicate content issues within your site.

Say you have two different versions of the same web page, with very similar content. Maybe you use one of them is actually present in the navigation links in your website and the other is a landing page for your PPC ads. But obviously you wouldn’t want your page rankings and other metrics to be split between those two. An easy solution for this is to mark the “more important” page as a “canonical page” . According to the definition in Google Webmaster Tools Help , “a canonical page is the preferred version of a set of pages with highly similar content.”

So how do you mark a page as canonical?

It’s very simple, very similar to the concept of nofollow blogs. Lets consider the example I viagra for sale gave before. You have two similar pages in your website, one is an actual page in the website and another is a duplicate you use for PPC ads.

In this case, the more important page of the two is obviously “website_page.php”. So within the HTML code of “landing_ads.php”, all you have to do is add the following code in the <head> section:

<link rel="canonical" href="" />

When the search engine spider is crawling “landing_ads.php”, the canonical tag will instruct the spider that this page is simply a copy of  “website_page.php”and that whatever backlinks or traffic metrics this page has should point back to the “preferred page”, or in our case, “website_page.php”.

Technically, this seems similar to a 301 redirect, though there are subtle differences in the way both work. A canonical tag is mainly for the benefit

of a search engine, as opposed to a redirect which is intended for end users. There’s a good SEOmoz article in that explains this concept very well.

Are there some more useful other on-page optimization practices that you follow for your site? Do let us know in the comments section!

WiseStamp: A Cool Way to Customize Your Email Signature

For emails, most of us use a preset automatic signature which you can customize in the email client’s settings. Suppose you use Gmail client for sending out mails, you might have noticed that though Gmail allows hyperlinks in the form of, it doesn’t make the links ‘clickable.’ Just take a moment

and imagine the sheer number of emails you send out in a day – making the links ‘clickable’ is definitely a good way to get traffic. However, converting website addresses to clickable URLs manually every time you send a mail is quite a buy viagra hassle.

We recently found this cool add-on for Firefox which provides a solution for this issue. WiseStamp is a great way to add hyperlinks to your signature. It just doesn’t provide you with an option of having clickable URLs – it supports HTML hyperlinks. This means that you can customize your hypertext to suit your URL.

WiseStamp supports various email clients like Gmail (as well as Google Apps), Yahoomail, Hotmail, AOL, etc. You can use WiseStamp to add a logo or an image to your signature. There are also options to add your personal IM profiles (Gtalk, Yahoo messenger, Skype) and your social networking profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Flickr. You can even add an RSS feed, which you can link with your blog, bookmarks,etc. How cool is that!

The only hitch, if any, is that though the Help section mentions that you can personalize your Personal and Business signature for different email IDs, I didn’t find any such Setting to do so. However, it is a very minor issue, and is nothing at all compared to the amazing functionality it otherwise provides.

In case you thought you are restricted by choice of browser, think again. WiseStamp has a version that works with Chrome as well! Here’s the link to add WiseStamp.

We are already using WiseStamp and we love it 🙂 Do let us know if this benefits you!

Essential Tips for Starting a Small Business Blog

Blogging is serious business. Almost every small business owner realizes the significance of maintaining a regular, updated blog on his/her website. Not only does it help in search marketing, it is also a great way of connecting with your customers.

Lee Odden recently wrote a good post on about tips for starting a small business blog. The article explains what thought processes must take place before you start a blog for your website.

The article talks about how much important it is to identify your goals and target audience. Odden also gives useful tips about technicalities such as design, choice of blog hosting software, analytics, RSS Feeds etc. We also get to know various ways of linking your blog posts’ feed to status updates in Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social bookmarking and networking sites.

Odden mentions that it is a good idea to have specific ‘categories’ to segregate your blog posts, as this will help in managing your content better. He also suggests keyword research before deciding the categories, which I think is an excellent idea to

get relevant traffic as well as links.

You can read the entire article here. Please share your own tips about blogging in the comments section!

A good podcast on Effective Teleconferencing

We generic viagra price recently listened to this really cool podcast on Manager Tools which is

about holding an effective teleconference. Teleconferences have become increasingly common these days, and it is as important to follow a basic degree of etiquette in teleconferences, as much as it is in a real face-to-face meeting. The cast lists 20 important points to be kept in mind while you’re in a teleconference. Here’s a gist of the podcast:

1. Treat a teleconference as you would treat a real meeting

2. Be on time – this is especially important for the leader of the meeting

3. Switch off your mobiles/PDAs/emails/IM during the conference call

4. Do not put your phone on Speaker Mode. On a similar note, never use the Mute button.

5. Stick to the agenda

6. Introduce yourself the first time you speak

7. Use technologies(such as Web Huddle, for instance) for file sharing and related tasks

8. Interrupting once in a while is okay

9. Have someone take notes during the call

… And more. By the way, watch out for Point #20 – it is a surprise, and is revealed only at the end of Part 2 of the cast 🙂

Here are the links to the two parts of the podcast:

Effective Teleconferencing – Part 1

Effective Teleconferencing – Part2

Enjoy the casts and let us know your thoughts!

Just as an additional note, we at p2w2, have  weekly tradition called the POP(Pizza Over Podcast) Show, where we listen to/watch a good podcast/video over lunch. We listened to this podcast last week, and found it pretty useful. Oh by the way, we got bored of having pizzas every time – so now though the food varies every week, the name POP Show still remains!!!