Conference season started out strong with SXSW edu + interactive right in my backyard and I’m looking forward to numerous other conferences and events this year.
Over the years I’ve pared down my “conference mobile office” to include only the most necessary tech essentials to keep myself streamlined and unencumbered, yet productive during these nerdfests/geekathons.
Today on the Skillcrush blog, I’m detailing the 5 gadgets I can’t live without lately. These will make you pwn any conference, I promise. # 5 is an absolute new OBSESSION.
There are few things I love as much as a blazer. Many women build their outfits around a great pair of shoes but for me, the focal piece of any successful outfit is the blazer. Its many variations can take it and you anywhere – from a weekend horseback riding in front of a classic English castle with riding boots and jeans to a fabulous gala with a gorgeous full skirt. None of which I’ve ever actually done and probably never will but who cares.
The perfect blazer transcends events, lifestyles and yes, budgets. It turns a mundane day into something slightly less yawn-worthy. I always feel more powerful and put together in a blazer. And you can too.
In this post on the Skillcrush blog, I’ve paired the hard-working tech gal with a chic blazer worthy of her intelligence and work ethic. All for under $50. If you haven’t tried one of these styles and have a little extra cash to spare, why not refresh your wardrobe and give one of these current styles a whirl? I promise you’ll keep reaching for these pieces over and over again.
And…..we’re back! I’ve never been much of a TV binge watcher until this past Christmas break when I took a much-needed staycation and took care of several demanding projects from from the comfort of my own couch. Projects that included catching up with several TV shows I’d been hearing about from my friends, but never made the time to check out. Much to my excitement, I can now report that there seems to be a fundamental shift beginning in the complexity of female roles on even the most frivolous networks.
Today on the Skillcrush blog, I’m talking about what three tech-savvy TV ladies I think you need to be watching this Spring.
(via No girls allowed | Polygon)
This is a must-read:
No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys.
Arro is now my new fave Austin restaurant. Delicious food & cocktails, excellent service and vibe.
Note: I say Wishlist but I mean my Kindle queue I guess because I’ve already bought all these and have started #1.
1. I Am Malala
I can barely hear Malala’s name without bursting into tears. This young woman is a true hero. Malala was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about her right to an education. Since recovering she’s been working to empower girls to speak up about their right to an education through her organization - Malala Fund. Did I mention she’s 16? Did I mention she’s up for a Nobel Peace Prize?
2. Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey
This is a thing I had NO idea about. I haven’t even cracked this one open yet but all I know is that I can’t wait to.
3. The XX Factor: How the Rise of Working Women Has Created a Far Less Equal World
I heard about this book from my buddy Ashley Milne Tyte - who runs a fabulous podcast about Women and the workplace called the Broad Experience. From an interview the author, Alison Wolf gave on the Broad Experience - “One of the things that has made [professional women’s lives] possible is the growing inequality in society…there are large numbers of women who are doing very, very poorly paid jobs which make the lives of better paid women possible.”
I’m going to be really whiny here. This book is NEVER going to come out. It was supposed to be out already, then they moved the publication date to November, then December, and now it’s sitting on January 2014. UGH! Stop it already, I want! Duckett’s first of the series, on HTML and CSS, has kind of become the unofficial textbook of my Skillcrush Get Started in Tech class (so I am allowed to whine).
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman’s first novel for adults since forever! What more do you people want?
(via funsize | iPhone iOS7 Wireframe Kit)
Some wicked cool (yes i’m bringing back wicked from the 90s) goodies from my friends at Funzise Corp. A fully editable iOS7 wireframe kit. Slick!
(via Wordpress for fun & profit, part deux | Skillcrush)
Our latest post on the Skillcrush blog teaches you 4 essential tips to take you from Wordpress zero to total hero. I wish I’d known these when I first started developing in Wordpress. I hope they are helpful to those of you just getting started.
This week on the Skillcrush blog, I took at look at some of the best project management apps out there.
I like to think of Project Managers in the same way I do the spies in my favorite fiction novels. Like spies, the best project managers always have a number of slick tools they use to accomplish tricky tasks and fulfill their missions.
Project Management is chock-full of complex tasks and a slew of smaller missions that MUST be successful to complete an overall mission. The amount of details a PM needs to manage on any given day are dizzying at best, amirite?
Bond, schmond. The following tools can help any project manager, entrepreneur, business owner, working wonder-mom complete her mission, no matter what (or who!) she’s up against.
Here are the top Project Management apps we can’t live without.
I adore Trello. I know its not the standard Project Management tool of choice, but it’s a great, modern way to approach managing teams, tasks and all kinds of documentation and communication. I manage all my various projects on Trello by creating organizations for each of my clients and then boards for a variety of categories within a project that I need to track. Even the big guys we’re required to use, ie. MS Project, Teamwork PM etc etc, don’t provide as user friendly an app as Trello. I use it for everything except budgets, gant charts and the like and it cuts down on the time spent on the boring administrative-type tasks that are a part of project management.
If you need a checklist to help with your day to day, Wunderlist is the one. Share lists with your staff, set custom notifications for completed tasks, clip websites, articles etc into your to-do list, set alarms and much more. I use Wunderlist for my personal and professional life because of its various integrations and quick and easy app. Many sites will have an add to Wunderlist icon as well, plus you can add on Wunderlist extensions for your browsers.
While when it comes to files I am a devoted Dropbox girl, I have to admit, when it comes to team and project productivity - I adore Box. The mobile app focuses on essential functionality but the web app is quite something. You can collaborate on docs (and yes Google Docs are integrated) from right inside Box - and even launch web meetings from within collaborative docs, assign tasks and due dates, tag & search the text of all of your content and much more. Box has a huge suite of add-on apps that can extend it to be a pretty powerful tool for large and small teams alike. As long as your organization doesn’t limit Box’s functionality or require organization-specific authentications, Box is a smooth, productive experience.
Adda Birnir, Skillcrush’s CEO uses Harvest to track clients and manage invoices, timesheets and payments. She can take care of all these time sensitive tasks from anywhere via Harvest’s straightforward app. Want to be more productive? Harvest even has features to help you cut down on distraction and time your tasks. Great to get a more accurate assessment and manage scope creep.
Pivotal Tracker and Hipchat
We’ve mentioned these before but Skillcrush CCO Kate McGee and Developer Emily Davis swear by their ease of use and integration. Pivotal Tracker stories can be automatically updated each time by say, a git commit message and all the activity can be fed into a HipChat room, keeping teams updated without time consuming extra communication steps.
To see what apps our friends recommended, read the rest of the post here.