App Spotlight: Speek brings hassle-free conference calls to iOS

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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The days of rushing back to your desk just so you can set up or join a conference call are over.

Back in October, I told you about Speek, a hassle-free conferencing service that was browser-based. Today, the company unveiled Speek for iOS, an app version of the service that leaves the browser--and your PC--out of it.

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How to edit PDFs in Word 2013

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Word 2013 brings a fair number of new features to the word-processing table, but one of the most welcome (and business-friendly) by far is the capability to edit PDFs.

Previously, that would require Adobe Acrobat X Pro or some other pricey utility. That's because a PDF is technically an image file, and converting that image back to text (especially if has graphics mixed in) requires some fairly sophisticated OCR.

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App Spotlight: Insightly for iOS makes CRM mobile

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Insightly for iOS

You might have the best sales, marketing, and support teams on the planet, but without a solid customer relationship management (CRM) system, your business isn't going to get very far.

Thankfully, there are loads of affordable, small-biz-friendly CRM services out there, and one of them, Insightly, is hoping its new mobile CRM app will help tip the scales in its favor.

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The five best business freebies of 2012

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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The best things in life are free: hugs, moonlit nights, belly laughs.

But the best things in business always cost, right? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Turns out there are plenty of great business freebies, and I'm not just talking about the swag bags you get for attending a $3,000 conference. I mean actual, honest-to-goodness free stuff, like apps and services built to help small-biz folks boost their productivity—and hopefully their bottom lines.

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My five favorite business tips of 2012

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Hey, has anyone seen 2012? It was here a second ago. Man, did that year just fly by or what?

It's exactly because time flies so quickly—as do valuable Simply Business posts—I thought I'd recap some of my favorite productivity tips from 2012.

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The five best productivity apps of 2012

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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It's been a big year for smartphones—the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S III, the debut of Windows Phone 8—but as always, it's the apps that matter.

Thankfully, 2012 witnessed the arrival of many killer apps for business users, tools that can save time, lower costs, and turbocharrge your overall productivity. Best of all, those that aren't free cost only a few bucks.

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Bust time-wasting employees with DeskTime

Rick Broida , PCWorld

For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.
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Bad news for employees: Your slacking days are over.

Good news for employers: Now you can tell who's earning their paycheck and who's spending their days updating Facebook. That's courtesy of DeskTime, a time-tracking service designed for SMBs.

DeskTime employs automated software that tracks and analyzes employees' productivity in real-time. It does this by sorting your company's various applications into categories -- "productive," "unproductive," and "neutral" -- and monitoring who's using what and for how long.

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