Category Archives: Technology

Add CAPTCHA to Insightly Forms

My team and I recently came up with a way to add a CAPTCHA to Insightly Web to Lead and Web to Contact forms.  We were genuinely surprised there wasn’t a solution from Insightly, or others out there already.


Tired of SPAM invading your CRM?  Give us a shout and let’s talk about adding CAPTCHA (ReCAPTCHA) to your forms.   Just drop me an email: 

Oh, and, of course, “Insightly” is a registered trademark Insightly, Inc., which is made in California (hats off to them – nice touch) and not associated with this offering.  

Use Chrome to Create a Windows 10 App from Any Website

Here is a quick “Technology You Should Be Using” hit for you.

I was getting tired of opening Chrome, waiting for it to load, then, go to the bookmark to open things I use every day like Google Drive, Google Inbox, etc.  So, I wanted to see what the “modern” way of adding bookmarks is and ran across this.

Personally; I’m not a “clutter my desktop” kind of guy (goes towards GTD Mind Like Water); but I’m sure parts of this will let you do that too if you are the “cluttered” type. 😉

Use Chrome to Create a Windows 10 App from Any Website

Clipmate – Technology You Need To Be Using

Let me set the scene….

You are a Windows user.  You need to copy someone’s name, company, street address, city, state, zip from one app to another (say your contact list to an order form).  You open one app, copy, switch to the other, and paste, and back to copy, and forth to paste, and back and forth.  🙁

Or, here’s another fun one – you are working on a proposal.  You cut a paragraph to your Windows clipboard with the intention to paste it elsewhere.  You then get distracted by another “shiny object;” you see something else you want to move and you cut that.  D’oh!  You lost that first clip.

Enter Clipmate….

I have been using Clipmate FOREVER – like since I think 1998?  It’s one of those pieces of technology I live in everyday.  Clipmate captures everything you copy or cut to your Windows Clipboard.  So, now, that “D’oh” moment?  You just pop open Clipmate (either from the task bar or a hotkey shortcut),  arrow down to that clip, and wah-lah; it’s now on your clipboard ready for paste – just flip back to your app.

That address?

Go into your contact list and just copy, copy, copy the name, company, street address, etc.  Go into Clipmate and set it in “Power Paste!” mode.  Now go into the Order Form and just Paste, Paste, Paste – the clips will go on to the Window’s clipboard in sequence, ready for pasting after you click in your next field and paste.  It’s awesome.

Are you a coder?  Want that piece of code or SQL Statement from yesterday?  It will be there in Clipmate, which is fully searchable.

Passwords?  You can set up collections in Clipmate.  I keep one for such so I can quickly get to my most critical ones.  I have another collection called “Templates” that have my return address, Spanish phrases I like to use, but can never get that “~” in the right place – whatever you need to frequently put into a document / code / query.

It does a ton more also.  Chris Thorton has done an amazing job with the software.

Get rid of the “D’oh!” moments; get Clipmate at

Clarity Keyboard – Technology You Need To Be Using

I love Android.  The biggest reason?  Because you can make it work the way you work, or want to work.  Don’t like the background color, you change it?  Critical you see the weather in Laguna Beach?  Add it to your desktop.  You type differently than others?  Pick the keyboard that works for you.

When I was in middle school, I took typing.  Probably the best class I ever took in Middle School (next to Ms. Edwards 8th Grade English) because it gave me a skill that has carried me forward over the years.  Anyway, this class truly taught me to touch type; never look at the keys; always at the “paper.”   So, then came along the Smartphone.  I so want to “look at the paper,” but that’s not the way it works.  You really have to look at the keys.  So finding the right keyboard is critical.

I’ve used Swiftkey for years now.  Its prediction technology is amazing.  It really knows what word you need next most of the time.  I was intrigued by their new neural network keyboard.  It takes prediction technology to a whole new level.  The original Swiftkey’s predictions where always good.  But now they are great.  Alas, it’s beta, so it’s missing the Swiftkey features of “learn from your Evernote account, Gmail and text.”  I hope they can add that.  (Also, for what it’s worth, I guess because it is beta, it’s a hair fuzzy, graphically, and only has two themes.)  If they bring it to market, I’d consider switching for sure.  But, with this keyboard, you are still having to look around – at the Keyboard; at the Predictions.  So, then I saw their other beta, Clarity.

No “predictions” here.  Well, that’s not 100% true. Their goal with this keyboard is to let you “just write.”  So, that’s what you do.  You keep your eyes on the keyboard and just type.  It does its predictions in line with your typing; multi word – auto-magically (thanks Blake) correcting as you go along. When you do look up, your writing is pretty darn accurate.  It lets you focus, and focusing is important to productivity.

Looking to “just write” on your Android and have focus.  Give Clarity a try.

Epilogue: In my introduction post to this series, I said “no iOS.”  Well, I somewhat fibbed.  Swiftkey is available for iOS also.  Give it a whirl.

Technology You Need To Be Using


Vintage IBM Technology

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks

I’ve wanted to write something like this for a long time.

Today is the day I’ve decided to stop procrastenating.

I’m going to write about some pieces of technology , mainly software for Windows or Android, that I find really help with productivity.  (Sorry, no iOS here – except Evernote.  And, hey, I’m open to guest posts.)

I use some tools every day that just make me fly on these devices and I want to share the magic with you.

Have any requests or suggestions, let me know.

Job Wanted


After six years with Improve Group, I’ve decided it is time to start a new chapter in my life and I will be leaving Improve Group at the end of the month.


I’m working on a potential new software venture.  But, in the meantime, I have to make a living.  If you know of, or know of anyone who knows of any opportunities, please let me know.


My goal is to find something part time-ish or flexible where I can do what I love and get excited about; Helping people with obstacles getting in their way of their business or organization by using technology.


My related goal is to put all of my focus on one project and make it really take off for you.


I’m available to work anywhere geographically.


Give me a shout with any questions or ideas.  (


Thanks and a big thanks to Improve Group.  It has been a great run!


(Photo Credit: neetalparekh via Flickr)

S Voice

I love my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I’ve had Notes from 2 till now.  On all of them, I’ve used S Voice (or S-Voice for search purposes) off and on.  Sometimes to get the goat of my daughters when I try to claim that it is better than Siri.  (Try is the key word. Once in a blue moon it wins our little competitions, but it is that rare.)  Sometimes to hear the same joke once again.  Most of the time to read text messages.  That last feature as ceased working in the version on my Note 4.

I even wondered if I was asking the wrong thing, so I looked at the help and used the “Read my messages” command.  S Voice would say:

You have a new message.

I would say:

Blankity Blank! Read my messages!

S Voice would say:

It doesn’t look like you have any new messages.  Please try again when you have received a new message. “

I would say:

Why you little…..!!!!!

I’ve cleared all data on S Voice to reset it to no avail.  I tried S Voice on another Note 4 and my friends does the same thing. (His also does not have the S Cover like mine. Sometimes S Voice gets testy and says, ” Use S Voice with the cover open {you idiot! }”

Has anyone else had the same problem?

Does anyone use another program to receive and send text messages that they recommend?

Samsung, can you please fix S Voice so I can have texting back? Improving it so I can win against my daughters would be a bonus also!  🙂

S Voice Help on Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Why I Uninstalled Foursquare and Why They Are Dead

I have been fuming since I updated my Foursquare the other day, tried to check in, and lone and behold it said….

“Hey, we moved check in’s to Swarm, go install that.”

My daughter, so quick with the ‘net, said “huh, yup, they did, and, the whole ‘mayor thing’ is gone.”

WTF? Are you kidding me?

NPR has a good overview of it all here:

Some Loyal Foursquare Users Are Checking Out After Swarm Spinoff : All Tech Considered : NPR.

… and hit the nail on the head with this statement:

“Foursquare … {has} gutted the very reason people used it (check-ins and competing with friends) and moved it on to something else … leaving behind a completely different experience on the main Foursquare app.”

Foursquare has said (admittedly – this is from my limited reading) that they want to focus on becoming the “real” local site.  This KILLS me – I love the check in’s – but – I’ve always wanted them to give me suggestions on where I should go based on where I am and my check-in’s (what I like).  They’ve been promising that in update descriptions for a long time.  Noooowwww, they are saying, “gee, that’s the way we really want to go, but, sorry, we are killing off the thing that is our core; the glue that brings you here so maybe we’ll finally get our ducks in a row.  Bye.”

So, I close yet another chapter in my life, uninstall Foursquare, and move on.  Good luck, Foursquare.  If you need a business consultant, give me a shout!  You are going to need it.

Evernote for Tasks

As many know, I wrote an add in for Microsoft Outlook to help with task management for business users.  Alas, that’s water under the bridge.  So, now I use Evernote for this task.

I love Evernote.   I love that I can:

  •  Capture everything.
    • Mobile – if I’m out and around, the Evernote for Android client let’s me get things into my Inbox quickly and off my mind, especially:
      • Receipts using the Page Camera.
      • Quick notes to remember to do something.
      • Sometimes an audio note if I’m driving.
    • Email – I use Outlook for work and Gmail for personal.  Both have Evernote add-in’s that let me quickly throw an email into the InBox.
    • Web – If I’m browsing the web in Google Chrome and see something I want to keep, Evernote Web Clipper let’s me capture it in a form that will work for future reference.  Sometimes I send these to my InBox, or sometimes I send it straight to my Reading notebook for future reading.
      • I like to cook.  I will look up or find recipes and throw these right into my Recipes notebook.

You may have picked up on “InBox.”  Yup; I use David Allen’s GTD.  And, if you want a step by step “getting started” guide, go buy David’s “Evernote for Windows Setup Guide.”  It’s worth the $10.  I had things fairly figured out, but I picked up some tips and tricks from this, as well as simple motivation.

Prior to this, I had started with (okay, don’t laugh at the title), The Secret Weapon.  It brings in lot of good GTD concepts and is a great jump-starter as they did everything in videos.  (Make sure to check out their About Page for an overview.)  I ended up not staying with this system.  The issue – everything is more “priority” based, but as David says, and as we know, priorities shift on an hourly basis.  I was finding that keeping priorities set was a struggle.  Everything always went to urgent.  Other stuff never surfaced.  So, I’m pretty much on David’s guide’s method now.

Struggle is a good word to wrap up with here.  I again love (just no better word for it) Evernote as I can search (anywhere, on my phone, jump on a web browser in a hotel), organize, have everything protected up in the cloud, share.  Once you really start putting everything in Evernote, it’s very powerful.  But, overload and priorities are where I’m currently struggling with task management (not Evernote the tool).  I have things coming at me every minute of every day in my day job (home too).  I don’t feel 100% in control and that’s very stressful.  Alas, as I write this, I remember a couple of things:

  • If you are a person of Faith, well, then you are not supposed to be in control – He is.  Let Him control it and he will guide your way.  If you try to control it, you will just screw it up. 🙂
  • I had the opportunity once to attend a GTD class David ran.  After words, I asked him about the over load and he said something to me that was profound (and, sadly, I forget from time to time until moments like this) – “You have to get comfortable with the fact that you have a lot of things on your lists.”  You have to just let it go and trust that the system will bring you back around to these things at the right time and place.

“Mind like water.” That’s where we have to get to.  Evernote has proven to be a great tool to let me “cast things off” and work on getting to that state.

A Great Chromebook Alternative

Related to my other posts about liking then having problems with the Chromebook, I wanted to post about my new favorite Ultrabook.

Walmart sells the Acer Aspire S3 for $395.

This hits all the things I said about the Chromebook that I love.  Light.  Instant on. Great keyboard.

It seems a hair more solid than the Samsung Chromebook.

It comes, of course, with Windows 8.  That’s been a bit of a paradigm shift – something for another post.

All in all, if you are looking for an inexpensive yet fairly powerful and comfortable notebook, this is what I would recommend.