Google started sending out invites to the new Google Voice service. If you don’t know yet what Google Voice is, you can watch this video.
But being a freelancer, it is always better to grab an extra no. that will stay put with your business and another number for personal life. At first I got one for myself, got my name in it and felt really happy about it, and later got one for business, got the name in it and is all set for rocking.
Separating the numbers will make things easier for me as I swtich bettween personal and business calls. I can also assign just one phone connection to both the numbers and have full control over the priority of call I take.
If you are traveling a lot internationally, don’t forget to bind your Google Voice number with Gizmo5 and start using the service whereever you go at a fractional cost. You can read more about it here. If you have any more ideas that could help freelancers with Google Voice, please do let me know!
I spent some time preparing this flow chart on how I manage projects. Thought it would help a new freelancer understand one of the ways of how software gets done in freelancing world. Most of the stuff in this flow chart is pretty much self explanatory but feel free to comment if you have any questions. Chao…
Since the day I built my new cool desktop with awesome ati graphics I’ve been a victim of “guys who spend 4+ hours a day playing stupid games” disease. Well at least not stupid.
I’ve been trying couple of things to get my head straight and concentrate more on working rather than watching stupid old uk shows like Green Wing or playing games like Fallout 3 and [PROTOTYPE] or reading crap at Engadget/TechCrunch. My latest motivation generator is a simple print out text that tells me what I should be doing… but it’s not working!!! Yet again I spent more than 4 hours playing stupid Prototype. Somebody haalp me 🙁
Well its official guys, iPhone 3.0 has the push notification service. 3rd party applications can now utilize this service to alter/notify the end user on updates/changes in real time without launching the actual application. I’ve been looking for this for a long time and I cant wait to get my hands on it. I’ve posted my cry out here almost a year ago. I’ve also requested it here.
Notification service will allow me to stay connected with my site visitors and clients. So instead of having to check my IM account now and then when I am mobile, I could just rely on this service to alert me whenever someones trying to talk. This also means now iPhone doesnt have to ping to gmail (I use google apps) servers ever 15 mins to get emails, saves a lot of battery.
Apple says there is an app for almost everything in life and that means there are cool apps for freelancers too. Especially to increase freelance or business on the go productivity. Here’s a list of top 10 must have iPhone apps (paid or free) for any freelancer ( designer, developer, writer) from vaked.com. These ratings are taken based on the usefulness to a freelancer and its overall app store ratings.
10. Creative Whack Pack $2.99
What is it? Bunch of creative cards to get you out of that stupid standard thinking pattern. Basically and iPhone version of the infamous Whack Pack.
App store rating: 4/5
Vaked.com rating: 4.5/5 iTunes Link
9. Recorder $0.99
What is it? Use the built in mic in iPhone to record discussions, interviews, and ideas on your iPhone. I sometimes use it to record my podcasts adn then use it with audacity to increase the sound clarity. The app is pretty neat and does a very good job for 99 cents.
App store rating: 3/5
Vaked.com rating: 4/5 iTunes Link
8. Paypal (Free)
What is it? A nice and clean iPhone app for Paypal. Although you cant do much with it, its stil useful to quickly send and recieve money.
App store rating: 3/5
Vaked.com rating: 3/5 iTunes Link
Unless you are really looking for a cheap, down to earth slow computer, you should consider building your own pc. It used to be a difficult gig, but things have changed quite a lot. You have well written articles, self help videos and a huge community of builders to help you. All for free. I’ve seen a lot of people shying away from building their own computer. Common reasons:
What about the warranty?
I don’t have time to assemble.
I don’t have time to research and order the right parts.
I think I lack the knowledge.
Now here’s why I think we (you, me, and other freaks) should build our own computer:
Each part has its own manufacturer warranty
Branded computers come with cheap parts
Branded computers come with unnecessary hardware and software that will make the slow system run even slower.
Save hundreds of dollars
If you are too busy to do research, visit anandtech.com and grab some of their already put together configurations.
No time to assemble? Ask your kid to do it, or spouse.
After building your own computer, you get to brag about it in front of friends, colleagues, and blondes
So, assuming you are willing to give a try, here are the steps you can follow:
Check out anandtech.com for some pre configured machine specs. This will give you clear idea
If you decided to do your own config, start by posting in anandtech forums about your ideal comp. Heres a good place to start
Take people’s advice on forums for right brands and specs under your budget
It’s painful when you have multiple computers, multiple development environment and shitty synchronization softwares. I’ve used Mozy (backup and sync) for a while now and I have to say, I DON’T LIKE IT! I know a lot of people who do but it never worked for me. Anyways I am not writing this to slander Mozy but rather to talk about a very cool and free svn service out there that really rocks! Earlier I was hosting my own svn service and backing it up with Mozy and after Mozy started giving me nightmares, I decided to use a paid svn service and put all the code on a secure location. I researched a lot on available sub version hosts and turns out that most of them dont really care about your code but your money and stupid service.
Come in xp-dev.com. A free and premium subversion (svn) host from a true developer who is genuinely interested in helping other developers. xp-dev.com provides both free and premium accounts and both are exceptionally good. I tried its free account for few months before shifting to premium account and I couldnt wait but to write about it in the nitty bitty section.
If you are a freelancer or just a developer working on projects at home, go give a shot at xp-dev.com’s free version. They also provide Project management, issue tracking and role based security too.
I know Google alongside a lot other big companies provide free svn to developers with great tools. But they are all for open source and public projects. If you want use svn on private projects make sure to protect it from public access. And for that you need a private svn host and they are not cheap or at least interested in helping you.
Also, If you see any similar svn hosts like xp-dev, do let me know.
I’ve been using this one chair since years until last week when it started making this weird noise whenever I move. I started to wonder if I became too fat or its just the chair. I made up my mind to think its the chair and decided to get a new one. So I went to office depot and got a nice not so expensive and not so cheap office chair.
Although I loved using the new chair I always felt something incomplete about it. I thought may be I got used to the old one little too much or I am really becoming fat. I used it for a week and I noticed few things. I wasn’t spending as much time as I use to earlier on the desk. I was coming up with reasons to go to starbucks to work. I was less productive. It’s then I realize that my freaken economical chair isn’t working for me. I took the pain of disassembling the chair and returned it to get a new one. This time I had to up my budget and get a little expensive one out there. Its been just a day since I started using this one, but I really like it.
So, the moral of the story is: Get the right chair if you are serious about working from home. This is the reason why most companies spend millions of dollars on getting best in quality products for their offices. If are on the right chair, you will get the job done!
Since most of us are quite familiar with SCRUM (the agile software development methodology), I thought I’ll post a quick video that my manager put up on our sharepoint site for the team. I liked it so much that I wanted to share with my blog readers. You may have already seen this video, but it never hurt to watch it again.
I wonder if we can apply SCRUM in freelance projects?
I fired a client today. It was difficult. This was my first client I had to let go since years. But I think I took a right decision. Things weren’t so good with us and the project was going beyond what I’ve expected. I did work with the client previously on other projects and I never really enjoyed that experience. I tried hard to look for a win-win situation, bent a lot of rules, but never could find it. It was always loose-win.
Today I feel I have taken the most important step in re-structuring the way I do business and like I said, I feel good about it. I am trying to get rid of some client if:
The client doesn’t enjoy working with me but sticks around because either I am skillful or affordable
I don’t enjoy working with the client but I am sticking to him because I dont have anything else to do
When it comes to freelancing I think it all comes down to enjoying the work and not stressing yourself out. Stress is ok if you are a new comer to freelancing world. But for an established freelancer, one must always work with clients you enjoy working with.