Every month BH Associates Director Nigel Heaps publishes a roundup of interesting articles, features and bits of kit he encounters.

Nigel Heaps MBE BH Associates Director

October 2017 – This is my first Monthly Roundup.  I spend a lot of time on the internet, working with clients, researching solutions to their technical and organisational needs and, like Alice,  just ‘dropping down the rabbit hole’ and seeing where it leads.

On my travels, I come across a wide range of information, very often at a complete tangent to what I was looking for in the first instance.  Not wanting to fall for the brain zapping ‘hour devour’ of FaceBook I use a great piece of kit from Google called ‘Keep’ 

Applications & Software to Watch

Google Keep is not just another note-taking device, it’s a multifunctional repository where you can drop notes, copy articles, deposit web pages, scrawl menu choices on your mobile when out with friends and family, keep useful information, collect food recipes and a whole host of other things.  On mobile, you can add finger-written notes or make quick sketch drawings and even record voice notes!

Adding the Keep extension to your Chrome Browser sets this application on fire! Browsing away you come across something that catches your eye one quick click on the extension button and it gets saved to your Google Keep page, even better you get the option to add your own notes and a label before it is saved.

Labels are great, you can set your own up, I use ‘Recipies’ for any food or drink items, Client names as I often find articles different clients may find useful, ‘Personal’ for anything I want to come back to later and ‘BlogBits’ for the items I’m looking to write about in these reports.

The Official Google Keep Introduction is a good place to start and Alan Henry wrote a good blog piece titled Not Just Another Notes App: Why You Should Use Google Keep.   Sign up get it on your browser and your mobile, before long I guarantee you will find Keep is an integral part of your web experience.

On The Political Front

Fiercest of rivals, best of friends: cross-party pals in parliament was the title of a great piece in the Guardian this month. All too often people seem to have the impression that politicians are automatons for their particular brand of ideology, refusing to acknowledge let alone work with politicians of alternative views.  PMQ’s does nothing to dispell this belief.

I held this thought for many years until I began working with politicians during the time I was the Chairman of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association.  Once you start working with an MP you realise their environment shares more similarities with the typical workplace than you may have first thought, not surprising really as they are human beings after all and as they say ‘there is nothing new under the sun’.

Just like in the office you will have people who hold very different perspectives on politics who work closely and comfortably with each other.  The perception and route to solve a problem may be influenced by your political ideas however very often you can find yourself arriving at the same solution or interpretation as a politically opposed colleague.

A very good friend of mine holds political views diametrically opposed to mine and yet we share so many other similarities that we ‘get on’ and actually agree on most things.

When Gaby Hinsliff wrote the Guardian article she introduced us to a number of MP’s from opposing parties who surprisingly had very close friendships with each other, indeed their friendships feed into their working relationships in the select committees where the real work of parliament is done.

The most important lesson from this article?  ‘ISM’, just like racism, ageism, sexism are all wrong skewed perspectives that distort our ability to engender and benefit from successful, enjoyable relationships so is ‘Politicism’.  Judging a person on their political position is just as damaging as judging them by their race, age, sex or any other discriminatory feature you can trip over.

New Toys – Gadgets Galore!

Steve Bexon, my business partner often comments on how ‘up to the minute’ I am with tech stuff.  I admit I do like gadgets, Those amazing bits of kit that rapidly become part of our everyday array of indispensable things.  I think my number one go to gadget is my Fisher Space Pen I have carried one of these bullet pens around in my trouser pocket for over 12 years now and have lost track of the number of times the ability to ‘produce a pen from nowhere’ has helped me out.

So this month…. We have the Asus Chromebit CS10 Looking a little like an Amazon Fire Stick the Chromebit is your gateway to the internet.

Simply pop it into the HDMI slot of a TV, plug in the mains adaptor and connect a Bluetooth keyboard or add a wireless board like the Logitech K400 Plus and boom, you are on the internet!

The Google Chrome system is ideal for accessing your Gmail, G Drive, in fact, all things Google!

A Very simple initial set up, you can access your on-line systems in minutes.  But it doesn’t end there, the next time you turn it on you can begin to appreciate the speed of Google Chrome, almost before the TV set has properly warmed up your Chromebit has booted and is waiting to take you on your journey through the internet.

This gem of a device is just the job to get your elderly relatives ‘on the net’; No worries about updates or virus issues, it’s virtually ‘plug and play’.  Set their Gmail account and add favourites like Iplayer, News and Weather to their bookmarks and away they go.

The Chromebit is like an office in your pocket.  Out visiting a client or sat in a hotel just pop it into any HDMI slot and you can get on with your work.  Connect to a projector or venues TV system and you can run your Google Slide presentations.  Save them on the Chromebit if the venue does not have wifi.

Andy Wolber wrote a good piece on TechRepublic on getting the most from your Chromebit.

Become a Google Drive Search Guru

With 100gb of data storage in your Google Drive developing a good folder system is a great way to make sure your pictures, documents, slides and spreadsheets are logically filed so you can get back to them when you need to.

Oops where did I put that?” yes it happens to the best of us, we were working on something and can’t remember where on our GDrive we left it.  Not to worry Amit Agarwal has written a great piece “How to Search Google Drive Like a Pro

OK that’s me done for this month.  Please check back for new articles and features from around the net

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