The Grovo Blog

Happy 4th From Grovo!

stress-management-banner-playbtnTomorrow is the 4th of July! Time for beaches, barbecuing, friends, and fireworks.

Here at Grovo, we’re taking a nice long weekend to enjoy the festivities and summer weather.  If you’re like us and you love your job so much that you can’t bear the thought of not being able to work for four days – you’re in luck!

The How to Make the Best of a Long Weekend track will show you how to use some common apps in offline mode.

Check out this learning track so you can be working even when your internet isn’t.

1. Evernote

  • If you are an Evernote Premium user, you have the ability to set your notebooks up for offline access.  If you have notebooks you think you might need to access over the weekend, take a few minutes to download them while you’re still in the office.
  • Pro Tip: Use an offline note to keep track of how many hot dogs you’ve eaten.

2. Gmail

  • You can install Gmail Offline to your computer so you always have access to emails.
  • Pro Tip: Offline access to your email means you can find the addresses of all those parties people have been inviting you to, even if you lose internet access.

3. Google Drive

  • Google Drive gives you the ability to download your files in a range of formats for offline use.  One of the most helpful features is the ability to save a Google spreadsheet as an Excel file.
  • Pro Tip: Leave your spreadsheets online and enjoy the weekend!  I promise they’ll still be there on Monday.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized, Video Tutorials

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Grovo for Marketers

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The proliferation of the Internet has changed many industries, but it’s completely revolutionized marketing.  Gone are the days of successful marketing campaigns built exclusively around witty commercials and billboards.  Creativity is as important as ever, but that creativity is more about how you leverage the tools at your disposal and less about how you create campaigns.

As a successful digital marketer, you understand that good campaigns are built on quantitative analysis, and that you need tools to collect and analyze data.  You also know that social media and mobile devices offer you unprecedented access to consumers.

What you may not always understand is the technical side of your campaigns. In a digitized world, executing on ideas is not always as intuitive as we might like.  Luckily, Grovo is here to help with courses on social media, analytics, and mobile marketing.

1. Social Media Marketing

  • The explosion of social media has set the stage for an entirely new form of marketing.  If used effectively, a social media presence can allow companies to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

  • To start using your social media accounts more effectively, check out these learning tracks: Social Media Fundamentals and Create Social Media Content Around the Web.

2. Analytics

3. Mobile Marketing

  • According to the Pew Research Center, over 58% of adults in the US own a smartphone – and based on personal observation, some spend upwards of 75% of their free time staring at theirs. Mobile marketing is an opportunity you cannot ignore.

  • Introduce yourself to the world of mobile marketing with the Fundamentals of Mobile Advertising.

Hopefully this post taught you a little something about the tools that are available to digital marketers.  Check out Grovo’s library to find more advanced marketing tips.

 

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials

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Is the Digital Skills Gap Hurting Your Company?

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Throughout the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, the first wave of the digital revolution brought huge gains in productivity.

Unfortunately, despite the promises of cloud-based and mobile technologies, the second wave has so far failed to deliver. Productivity growth rates have declined to the 1-1.5% level, and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get more from their workforce.

Grovo’s new whitepaper explains how the productivity crisis has been brought about by a growing digital skills gap, as training has failed to keep pace with the rapid advance in technology.

This is no joke – this skills gap comes at an estimated cost of $1.3 trillion to the US economy.

By laying out the eight core competencies of digital skills, we provide a framework you can use to develop an action plan that addresses the digital skills gap in your business.

Check out the whitepaper today and let us know what you think @Grovo!

Posted in Internet Trends, Pro Tip

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Get the Most Out of Your Hardware

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Here at Grovo, we cover all the most important cloud software, but today we want to bring you some tips on how you can maximize your hardware’s speed and performance so you can stay productive.

You can drastically increase your computer’s processing speed by developing some good habits and employing the techniques you’ll find below.

1. Diagnose Common Computer Issues

  • There are few things more annoying than a computer that’s taking too long to respond, but repeatedly clicking the refresh button on your web browser is not the solution.
  • To maintain computer speed, try to close extraneous apps and windows.
  • If it’s unclear what’s slowing you down, open your Mac’s Activity Monitor (or the Task Manager in Windows) to see if one application is using a particularly large amount of RAM or CPU.  Also check if any applications are labeled “not responding.”  Closing these applications could solve your issue.
  • Also never hesitate to restart your computer; it’s an incredibly effective troubleshooting method.

2.  Tools to Maximize Computer Speed

  • While the techniques above will increase your computer speed, they’re short-term fixes rather than long-term solutions.  Computers inevitably become slower over time, but you can postpone the decline by developing good maintenance habits.
  • Keeping your applications up-to-date will go a long way in helping your computer maintain peak performance.  Updating your applications seems like a chore, but the more often you do it, the less time it will take each time around.
  • Another excellent way to keep your computer running like the day you bought it is to maximize free space; this can be accomplished by deleting applications and files you no longer need.
  • As a last resort, you can always upgrade your hardware to increase speed.  Common upgrades include adding more RAM and replacing your hard drive.

3. Wi-Fi Tips and Tricks

  • If your computer is slow to load websites but otherwise fine, there’s a good chance you have a bad Wi-Fi connection.
  • One of the most common issues, and the easiest fixes, is that your router is simply too far from your computer.  This can be easily solved by moving your router closer to your computer or installing a Wi-Fi repeater into isolated parts of your home.
  • If your Wi-Fi isn’t password-protected your internet speed could be adversely affected by strangers tapping into your network.  Keep your network to yourself by adding a password.

We all have issues with our computers every now and then, hopefully these techniques will help you alleviate them.  Try making these changes and see how much faster you can zoom around!

Posted in Expert Series, How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials, What Momma Don't Know

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Stay Focused on What’s Important

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We all know staying on task is hard, and as new technology continues to make life more complex, staying focused and productive becomes even more difficult.  Each new device in your pocket increases the number of possible distractions.

In the flurry of texts, tweets, snaps, news stories, company emails, and cute animal pics we often lose sight of the fact that the technology we have at our disposal is intended not just to entertain us but also to make us more efficient workers.  To help you navigate the information overload, Grovo is bringing you a few basic techniques that will help you stay focused longer and live a healthier, more productive life.

1. Build Good Work Habits

  • One of the keys to working effectively despite information overload is to attack it at the source, by controlling when and where you interact with certain information.
  • Building good work habits like only checking your company email every two hours, staying off social media sites during business hours, and only using your personal phone during breaks can help you stay laser-focused.

2.  Strike a Heathy Work-Life Balance

  • The proliferation of technology does more than allow your personal life to distract you during the work day, it also allows work to follow you home.
  • Being constantly connected to the office effectively destroys your leisure time.
  • In order to leave your work in the office and be able to truly relax during your time off, it is important that you put some barriers in place.

3.  Tools to Help You Make These Changes

  • One tool you can use is the SelfControl app, which allows you to add URLs to a blacklist, blocking your computer’s access to them for a predetermined amount of time.
  • Things like running apps in full-screen mode and drowning out background noise with headphones can also help you eliminate clutter and focus on the task at hand.

These tips should have set you up to have a more productive day. Let us know what tools you use to stay focused @Grovo!

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials

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New on Grovo: Jira Project Management

jira-banner-playbtnIf you manage a team of software developers and feel like your current project management tool doesn’t really meet your needs, Jira may be for you.  Jira is a project management tool that is specifically designed to meet the needs of teams that are working on coding projects.

Jira has a simple, intuitive interface and a good deal of critical acclaim from software developers.  Here are a few key actions you’ll need to know to start using Jira today:

1.  Create a Project

  • Jira projects allow you to keep track of related features, problems, and bugs in a single place.
  • Each project is required to have a designated lead. You can choose between being the project lead yourself or assigning the role to someone else.

2. Add a User

  •  Jira can’t begin to help you tackle project management if it isn’t integrated with your team. By adding users you can quickly get your entire team logged on and ready to work.
  • Once you have added your team members to a project, you can assign them specific issues to handle and keep the entire team updated on the progress of the project.

3.  Search for an Issue

  • One of the most valuable features of Jira, and the reason it is so popular with software developers, is the “Issue,” or bug, feature. This feature allows you to identify issues and then track and make sure a team member resolves them.
  • You can track down issues by clicking the “Issues” button in the header.  Jira allows users to apply a variety of filters to their list of issues.

Jira has already made its mark on the software development industry, but this project management tool has a wide variety of potential applications.  Let us know what you think @Grovo!

Posted in How To, New Content on Grovo, Online Training, Pro Tip, Product, Release, Video Tutorials

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Securing Your Information Online

comp-security-banner-playbtnOnline security is such a drag.  Sure, the experts say it’s important, but no one ever thinks a breach will happen to them – until it does. By then, it’s already too late.

Luckily, Grovo’s newest video series will teach you some simple techniques to make working online more secure.

Here are a few highlights:

1. What Makes Passwords Vulnerable

  • Passwords should strike a balance between being easy for you to remember and hard for a person or computer to guess.
  • Strengthen your passwords by adding different types of characters, like numbers and uppercase letters, and by making them longer.  Pass-phrases or strings of multiple seemingly random words make for strong passwords.

2. How Working in Public Exposes You to a Security Breach

  • Open WiFi networks, like those found in airports and coffee shops, make it easier for thieves to track your activity and steal your information.
  • This risk can be mitigated by sticking to encrypted “https://” sites, or turning your WiFi off when you’re in public and you don’t need it.

3. How to Manage Multiple Passwords

  • If you practice good online security and have multiple, strong passwords, password management applications are invaluable.
  • Tools like LastPass and Password Genie let you store all your passwords and other sensitive information in one securely-encrypted location.  These apps can also auto-generate strong passwords and automatically log you in to online accounts.

Online security may not be the first thing on your mind, but it is something you need to consider. Learn how to quickly revamp your security protocols so you can get back to work, secure in the knowledge that your information is safe.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Video Tutorials

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Building Your Business With Grovo: Promote Your Brand on Google+

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Google+ is quickly becoming a big name in the world of social media, and if your online marketing strategy only involves Twitter and Facebook, it’s time for a change.

This new video series from Grovo will help you become familiar with Google+ and integrate it into your social media portfolio.

Heres what you need to know:

1. How to Create a Google+ Page

  • Google+ pages let products, brands, and public figures have a presence on Google+ and help them interact with customers, fans, and clients.
  • To create a page, choose “Pages” from the navigation menu and click “Create a Page.” If you’re making a page for a local business or place, you’ll have to confirm its location on a map.

2. How to Add a Google+ Badge to Your Site 

  • A Google+ badge is a convenient and aesthetically pleasing way to link directly to your Google+ page from your website.
  • You can choose between a full badge or a smaller icon.
  • The badge will include a link to your page, a button to add it to circles, and a +1 button.  The icon will just include a link to your page.

3.  How to Make a New Community in a Few Clicks

  • There are many communities on Google+, but there is always room for newcomers. A community page is a useful tool for reaching an audience with a common interest.
  • One important consideration for your community is whether it will be public or private. Keep in mind that once you decide, you will not be able to change your decision.

Now that you know the basics of Google+, go make a page and see what it can do for your business.  Let us know how it goes @Grovo!

Posted in How To, Internet Trends, Online Training, Pro Tip, Social Media Play of the Week, Uncategorized

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The Best Online Presentation You Can Give

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Even though the software you use to present online has gotten better and better, that doesn’t mean you can just wing it. Here are a few strategies for planning, structuring, and creating a meaningful, memorable presentation.

1. Plan Your Presentation

  • First, you should map out when everything will happen, from planning to execution.

  • Having a realistic schedule will reduce the occurrence of unexpected events, convey professionalism and help calm your nerves.

  • Know exactly how long your actual presentation will take, so you don’t run over your allotted time or end early and have dead air.

2. Structure the Presentation

  • Structuring your presentation well is critical to its success. The right structure is the best way to keep your audience engaged and make your information more digestible.

  • Think about your presentation like you’re telling a story: story structures help hold the audience’s attention from start to finish, and the audience will make a deeper, more meaningful connection with your presentation.

3. Create Memorable Slides

  • Use contrast to make the key idea of a slide pop. Because our eyes are drawn to things that stand out, like bigger shapes and contrasting colors, audiences will naturally be drawn to the main idea of the slide. While leaving white space may seem counterintuitive, it can be an effective tool to show contrast.

  • Continuity is incredibly important in a presentation: every individual slide should feel it fits in with all others.

  • You can use mixed media, like charts, photographs and video, to spice up a presentation. However, make sure everything you add reinforces what you’re saying and that it’s not a distraction for the audience.

4. Keep Yourself Focused While Presenting

  • It’s crucial to fully prepare and rehearse your presentation. If you have to stop for even a second to look up a number, or think about what you want to say next, you might lose your audience just like that.

  • Take extra steps to eliminate any potential distractions. Remove jewelry and physical objects that might make noise, get caught, or that you might knock over. Microphones amplify any noise they pick up, not just the ones you intend for others to hear.

  • Disable any kind of distraction or notifier on your computer that could make noise and disrupt you or your attendees. Turn your cell phone completely off, or leave it in another room entirely. The odds of it accidentally distracting you are very high, and any information or notes you have on it can be saved more accessibly elsewhere.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized

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How to Translate Anything Online

foreign-text-banner-playbtnThe world gets more interconnected every day, and it’s becoming more and more important to be able to communicate in multiple languages. For those of us who aren’t fluent in four languages, there’s Google Translate. We’ve put together some videos to make it easy to learn how to translate your own voice or a piece of text, on your computer or on the go. Find out what you’re capable of with Google Translate.

1. Have Google Translate Your Voice

  • You can speak into your computer’s microphone and have Google translate whatever you’ve said into almost any language you can think of.
  • Translate from Arabic to Zulu, from Afrikaans to Punjabi, or anything in between.

2. Google Translate on Your iPhone

  • The Google Translate iPhone app lets you quickly translate text or a spoken recording into almost any language.

  • You can see recent searches you’ve made, or even save one to access it quickly anytime.

3. Create a Phrase Book

  • Creating a phrase book allows you to keep track of translations of useful words or phrases you’d like to remember, and access them later.

  • You can search or filter your saved terms to find them more easily.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Video Tutorials

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Building Your Business with Grovo: Rack Up Views on Your YouTube Videos

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Do you ever feel sad when you realize that the latest funny cats video has 1,000 times more views than your meticulously crafted product review?  Grovo is here to help you increase your YouTube video’s views – and yes, our advice does consist of more than suggesting featuring adorable animals in your productions (though it really couldn’t hurt).

Here’s what you need to know to put your YouTube account on the map.

1. The Basics of Video SEO

  • Just like regular search engine optimization, right? Wrong. Search engines can’t understand video on their own, so you’ll have to employ other techniques, like optimizing the code that surrounds your video.

2. How to Create Video Meta and Microdata 

  • Metadata includes the title of your video, a description, and any associated keywords.
  • Microdata includes things like a thumbnail image and video duration.
  • By creating your meta and microdata, you’re able to better control what searches your videos will show up for.

3. YouTube-Specific SEO Techniques

  • On YouTube, your video’s title and description are the primary ways people get information about your video, and picking the right ones is absolutely essential.
  • Check keywords using the YouTube Keyword Tool, and try to incorporate them into the beginning of your video title.

Don’t be satisfied with those 38 views on your video (we all know you watched it 15 times yourself).  With just a few easy modifications, your videos can start ranking higher in results and raking in views.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized, Video Tutorials

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Building Your Business With Grovo: Leverage Social Media to Increase Your Brand Presence

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Grovo wants to help you sell, sell, sell – and we’re going to help you get to that point with this video series on building your brand via social media.  Check out the videos and start leveraging the full power of your social media accounts to create a massive online presence for your brand. Here are some techniques you’ll learn:

1.  How to test and optimize your posts

  • Learn how you can use tools like Facebook’s Dark Posts feature to split test your posts and determine which style is more effective at generating your desired outcome.

2. What’s in a savvy social content creator’s toolbox

  • Introduce yourself to powerful third-party applications like HootSuite, which will give you new capabilities like auto-posting, advanced photo and video editing, and the ability to track the performance of specific posts.

3. What formatting techniques are the most appealing to viewers

  • A picture says a thousand words, and we promise if you post a thousand words on Facebook, no one will read it. Use pictures.
  • Utilize link shorteners like bit.ly to make your posts more attractive.

Social networks are deceptively simple! Use these videos to learn the hidden intricacies and obtain an advantage over your competition.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized, Video Tutorials

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New: Replicon TimeCost

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Need to track hours worked and how long tasks take? Try Replicon TimeCost.  Grovo’s newest learning track Timesheets, Simplified will show you how to use Replicon to organize the hours billed by your employees and better estimate the labor costs of projects.

Here are three key features of Replicon TimeCost and how to use them.

1. Fill Out a Timesheet

  • Fill out your time card so your supervisors know how much you worked, and how much you need to be paid.
  • Your supervisor won’t be able to “Approve” your timesheet until after you’ve submitted it, so don’t forget!

2. Approve a Timesheet

  • Approving a timesheet one of your employees has sent to you lets you verify that their timesheet is correct.
  • To verify a timesheet, click “Team” in the header of any Replicon page. You’ll see a summary of all timesheets waiting for your approval.

3. Create an Office Schedule

  • Creating an Office Schedule lets you define a typical work pattern for your employees, including the days of the week they work and how many hours they work each day.

Follow the links above to get a deeper look at Replicon TimeCost and let us know what you think @Grovo!

Posted in How To, New Content on Grovo, Tip of the Week, Video Tutorials

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Updated: Use Prezi Offline

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Did you think Prezi was just an online tool? Think again.  Check out these new videos by Grovo and you’ll be making Prezis offline in no time.

Here are the top three things you need to know to start making Prezis on your Mac Desktop.

1. Download Prezi for Mac

  • To download Prezi for Mac, head to Prezi.com, scroll down to the “Product” heading, and click “Mac.” On the next page, click “Download.” Open the file once it’s finished downloading, and drag the Prezi icon into your hard drive.
  • Now, you can open Prezi from your applications folder at any time.

2. Create an Offline Prezi

  • To create an offline prezi, click “All local prezis” in the app menu, then click “New local prezi.” From there you can choose either a pre-made template or start from scratch.
  • Once you’re connected to the Internet, click the menu icon to sync with Prezi.com.

3. Create an Offline Folder

  • Offline Prezi folders let you group your Prezi files into categories for quicker navigation and account organization.
  • To create a new folder, click “New folder,” and give your folder a name.  This folder will sync to Prezi.com automatically.

Log on to Grovo today and access your Prezis even when you can’t connect to the Internet.

Posted in How To, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized

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New on Grovo: Excel 2010 for PC

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If you’ve worked on a computer in the last 25 years, chances are you know about Microsoft Excel. It’s one of the most ubiquitous business tools of the modern era, but it’s fairly complicated if you’ve never checked it out before. Get back to basics and learn how to format Excel worksheets in no time.

Here are a few tips on how to polish the appearance of your spreadsheets.

1. Format a Cell’s Text

  • Once you input some information into a cell, you can format it to make it easier to read and understand on a computer screen, or highlight specific text with distinctive headings.
  • Select a font and font size in the toolbar, and remember that all highlighted cells will change. You can get a preview of a new font or font size by simply rolling over a new selection in the dropdown menu.

2. Adjust Page Margins and Orientation

  • You can select predefined margins, or choose “Custom Margins” to manually adjust the size.
  • Viewing your page in landscape view or portrait view is an easy change to make.

3. Show or Hide Print Titles and Gridlines

  • Print titles are the column letters and row numbers that appear along the top and the left of the worksheet, and the gridlines are the many lines that divide all of the data in the cells.
  • You can control whether or not they appear in the printed spreadsheet by clicking the “Print Titles” button to the left in the toolbar to open a pop up window where you can adjust what appears in the printed document.

Log on to Grovo and start making more reader friendly spreadsheets today!

Posted in How To, New Content on Grovo, Online Training, Pro Tip, Uncategorized

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