Oct 22

Get repairs for free

A broken light bulb, a bent nib and faulty liver.

I was watching Mad Men recently, and aside from lamenting the fact that we don’t wear hats anymore (I even tried a trilby some years back – briefly.) I also looked at how different their desks were. I’m not referring to the bottle of scotch that seems to be in everyone’s draw. Specifically I wondered how anyone got anything done without a host of technology taking up all that real estate on their desks! For many of us, our reliance on tech starts before we even reach the office. Before nine, I’ve already checked all my emails on my phone, updated my itinerary and started catching up on my tailored …

Continue reading »

Oct 18

6 Simple ways to reduce sickness rates

Simple ways to reduce sickness rates

It’s that time of year again when we shut the windows, crank up the heating and provide the perfect breeding ground for germs. The charity sector loses between 6 and 9.4 days per worker per year and when you add them up its clear that your organisation is going to be losing out both in terms of efficiency and efficacy. While it’s simply not possible to eradicate all sick days, there is a lot we can do to try and minimize how comfortable germs feel hanging around your office, and decide to call it home. Make the best use of the good weather. Even in the depths of a British …

Continue reading »

Oct 09

The sunk cost fallacy – lessons from poker

Poker isn't the only place we chase 'sunk costs'

Poker might not seem like the obvious place to start when it comes to learning about saving money. But it is a great showcase of human behaviour.  The best poker players know two things; statistics, and not to chase sunk costs. So you’re playing Texas hold ‘em. You have your two cards in the hole, and the dealer lays out the flop, the first three communal cards. It’s looking good, a potential full house. So you start to bet, feeling reasonably confident. However, as the next card come down, with its own round of betting, it looks like someone could get four of a kind or a straight flush. A …

Continue reading »

Oct 04

Get more life out of your laptop – hardware edition. Pt 2

  In the third and final edition of this series we are looking at upgrading your hard drive. As we mentioned earlier  you can now buy hard drives with 3TB of storage, that’s 3072GB. Give it ten years and we’ll probably have that on our phones (if we’re still using ‘phones’) but at the moment, that’s an awful lot of data. You’ve likely got somewhere between 300 – 600GB on your machine, and 750GB should be more than enough for your work as well as a couple of HD videos and a decent music collection. For when you’re travelling, of course. But there are two reasons you’ll want to upgrade. …

Continue reading »

Sep 24

Get more life out of your laptop – hardware edition. Pt 1

Cheap ways to improve your PC

So, if you’ve followed the first steps and your PC is running a bit better. But you still need a bit more ‘oomph’.  To continue with the race car analogy, we are now tinkering with the engine. So what is the cheapest way to get better hardware performance? We’re going to look at RAM here, and your hard drive in the next part. Preparation. Do a full back up! Including the OS. Essential for a hard drive replacement, but also important for a RAM replacement, as there is a small chance, very small, that something will go wrong. It’s never happened to me, but better safe than sorry. Switch off, unplug from the …

Continue reading »

Sep 21

Get more life out of your laptop – software edition

Run a slicker, faster machine

This is the start of a series about extending the life of your PC, be it laptop or desktop. The idea is to show you how to breathe new life into a machine that you are on the verge of replacing, with the intention of saving you money. To that end, all of the program and tips here are free to use or implement. So why is your computer running slow? A good analogy is to consider the difference between normal cars and racing cars. Essentially the same machine, it’s just that the latter has had everything unnecessary stripped from it to reduce weight. Certainly, they tweak the engines and …

Continue reading »

Sep 17

Free mobile broadband … sort of …

samba mobile - earn 3G roaming by watching adds

Yeah, no such thing as a free lunch, but this is certainly worth considering. It’s a new model for paying for mobile broadband based on watching adverts, called Samba Mobile. Yup, sit down for a few adverts from the likes of Dell, Pot Noodle or British Airways and get some free broadband in return. You actually get to choose the ads you watch, and apparently it learns your preferences and starts to tailor them accordingly. So what’s the deal? It works on the 3 network. For tablets, £5 gets you a SIM (standard or Micro), and for £25 you get a dongle and SIM for a laptop. After that, you …

Continue reading »

Sep 13

My free Android tools

Given the relentless rise of smartphones (33.3 million since April 2005 and no signs of slowing!) I thought I’d show you the inside of my phone, as it were, and show you the FREE tools I use to get the most out of mine. Just in case you’re interested, it’s a Samsung Galaxy S2, updated to run the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. I’ll show you three folders, named Connect, IT and Office. Once again all the apps shown here are free, and most require you to be connected to either the internet or your dataplan.   Connect   This folder is full of the tools I use for comms. WhatsApp. …

Continue reading »

Sep 07

Why charities need to act now against the threat of hacking

Are the hackers winning

Are we fighting a losing battle against hackers? Hardly a week goes by without news of some corporation or internet giant being electronically infiltrated. The result? Credit card details, account passwords, and personal data either stolen, sold or published online, not to mention the painful inconvenience of what a targeted attack can mean. In the brief time this blog has been running, the list includes: AAPT (an Australian internet provider) Amazon Apple (apparently including President Obama’s iPad details!) BitCoin Blackberry (in India) Blizzard (gaming) Dropbox eHarmony KY (a mobile phone operator in South Korea) Last.fm LinkedIn Numerous oil and power companies Reuters (well, they had fake stories posted on their …

Continue reading »

Sep 03

Reducing the cost of invoices

The costs of processing invoices

One of the factors that are rarely considered in procurement is the processing costs of invoices. Even when people do bother to take into account TCO (total cost of ownership) it’s a step that often not considered. So what are the costs? Obviously, much, though not all, of it is time. Purchase order (PO) Sign off Submitting Receiving invoice Processing Payment Receipt Correlation Supplies Errors One expert has told me that it can take as much as £80 to process a single invoice, and I’ve heard for larger corporations it can be as much as £140. What can we do to reduce these costs? The first step is to do …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts