Buffer – sharing on social networks done right

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, when you come across things you deem worthy of being shared to your friends and followers, but then realise you don’t really want to bombard them by heaps of links to cat videos and bunny gifs?

There’s a way to schedule your tweets and status updates, and Buffer is your trusty helper in the endeavour of planned social communication. There are many reasons to love Buffer. Here are the first three things that come to mind:

  1. Wide range of extensions and app integrations.
  2. Their communication is marked by remarkable customer orientation.
  3. Transparency. (Have you seen another company/startup who would for example announce your salary range, should you get hired by them?)

Check out Buffer now! And while we’re at it, what are your tips on ways to share your content?

Production and progress plan for my #blogg100

Media makes it possible for people to share meaningful moments with others. The moments documented and lessons learned that would otherwise only be meaningful to one are suddenly at the disposal of many, only a couple of clicks away. And sometimes, they even have life-changing effects.

One of the things that is changing my life these days is writing, which was what I’ve been trying to do more regularly several years ago. A little over two weeks ago, I started on a journey of a 100 blog posts within a period of 100 days. The pool of ideas has not yet run dry. To ensure that the creativity still flows even by the end of the challenge, I’ve set up a production and progress plan, as per @axbom’s suggestion.

The plan has been helpful to me for a number of reasons. It gives me the freedom to explore different topics I care about, and do so in different styles. As though the challenge itself were not enough, it presses me into thinking, but within certain constraints.

You might find my production and progress plan valuable, too. Please, share your tips on the process of this kind of intense blogging.

The history of two words

There are many words that we use daily, but have no clue if, say a thousand years ago, they meant what they mean today. Is there a way to know which origin different words have? Yes, there is. The study of the origin and evolution of words is called etymology and, in fact, there are more words of foreign origin in many European languages than we can imagine.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2010 and published on celareartem.com, which was an experiment in art directing my writings back then. In it, I discuss the importance of the study of the origin of words. I also look into two words we use daily, but do not necessarily stop to think of the original meaning of the words.

Read my article The History of Words here.

Communicate with your customers using the channels they prefer

Do you pay attention to the behaviour of your customers? Have you ever thought of what their preferred choice of communication channel can tell you? If you have, are you listening?

There’s a danger that how you treat your customers is directly guided by what your management deems important. Eliminate obstacles to efficient modus operandi and you can focus on providing sensational customer service, right? Wrong! Backing the wrong horse will not help you win the race.

If your customer tweets to ask you something, make sure they get the service they deserve (and more) on Twitter. If your customer contacts you via the phone, make sure you are ready to take care of them via the phone. You get the idea. Do you get 500 @-mentions and 100 phone calls a day? Time to set your customer service priorities straight! Your customers are showing you how they want to be served, which is a great source of insight. Don’t clog it!

What if the medium limits you in what information you can disclose openly? Do not just refer your customer to other channels, but explain why you can’t (and not “won’t”) answer their question, too. Be on their side. Don’t just serve them. Attend to them. Nurture them. Nurse them. Give them love. Your customers reaching out to you do not need an answer to the question. They crave a relationship.

A well nurtured relationship with your customer makes them come back for more dragging a couple of friends with them. A neglected relationship makes sure you lose ten to twenty other customers, whom you haven’t met. You don’t want to let that happen, do you?

Three important things

Ric Elias:

“I no longer want to postpone anything in life. That urgency, that purpose, has really changed my life.”

“Carpe diem” has suddenly got a special zing to it, hasn’t it? As a human, I am limited by time and space. Consequently, how I manage both – my present moment and location – has a significance. Both for me and the ones whose presence I have the privilege to experience in my life, i.e. my family and friends.

I’m throwing my bad wines out. What about you?

“Look, papa, I’m running!”

The phrase caught me off guard. With its ingenuousness and perfect satisfaction with the moment.

The world is new to my daughter and she’s learning to put the puzzle pieces together. She is naïve. She believes what I tell her. My daughter is honest, loving and caring. She is eager to share her joy with the world.

My daughter knows what being a good father is more than I can comprehend. She can’t articulate her insight, but she knows. And she teaches me. Daily.

Finding joy in the little things is one of the lessons. Why is it so hard to learn it?

Short story: Whisper

Tense, Michèle Fleischer was gazing at the shabby briefcase, where Klemens had just stuck the passports. He raised his head swiftly and looked at his wife anxiously through the strands of greasy uncombed hair.

“What now?” her coarse whisper hurt his ears.

“Wipe the blood off your hands,” his lips were barely moving. “I’ll bury the bodies.”

Asana – a tool to help you stay productive

Humans are a very smart and generally productive species. But then there are many things craving for our attention. When we succumb to the distractions, our productivity curve bends down. Trying to stay focused becomes a fight you daily start anew.

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Enter Asana. Designed to simplify your own and your team’s workflow, it will help you focus on working, not on the administration of your activities. There are four main hierarchical levels: workspace, project, task and subtask. (The last two can also be categorised under different “priority headings”.)

You can assign tasks to group members and you can navigate easily to your own and members’ tasks. The very smart shortcuts that let you forget you have a mouse or trackpad, as well as bulk editing of tasks are probably my favourite features. But there are many more. Comments, attachments (and image previews), due dates, notes and tags – it’s all there with no clutter.

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Not without shortcomings(and please mind that this week’s stability issuesdo not count), Asana is a tool I’ve found great to use as a one place to store everything: my to-do lists, project documentation, meeting notes, etc.

Asana is an app that you can access both via your web browser (best experience, in my opinion) and on a range of mobile devices.

Visit their website to learn more.