How to use @evernote, @IFTTT & @dropbox to never lose a receipt & make your Accountant love you

In a recent productivity drive I have been looking for ways to improve how I track and record ‘stuff’ and also eliminate as much clutter (especially paper notes) from my life.

In doing this I have created a process where photos of receipts are instantly upload to the web where my accountant can access them and they are also backed up. This system can be created, used and maintained for free.

The tools needed are:

 The process:

  1. Create accounts with all the above services.
  2. Within Evernote create a notebook (Please note: an Evernote notebook is essentially a folder) called ‘Expenses’.
  3. Tell you accountant to create a Evernote account.
  4. Share your ‘Expenses’ notebook with your accountant. This will allow him/her to view all entries into it (i.e. your receipts).
  5. Login in to your IFTTT account.
  6. Via the dashboard within IFTTT link your Evernote and Dropbox accounts so all evertries into your ‘Expenses’ folder are automatically uploaded (and in turn backed up) to your Dropbox account.
  7. Every time you get a receipt take a photo of it and upload it your ‘Expenses’ Evernote notebook via your phone. This will then allow your accountant to see it and in addition to this it will also be backed securely to your Dropbox account.

 (Optional advanced extras:

Add extra sub folders or tagging to your Evernote folder e.g. year, month, personal, business etc )

Please note that the free Dropbox account does have a limit of 2GB space, but Box and Google Drive can also be used if required.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions – I can shoot a screen cast to make this easier to follow if required.

Cheers

Enzo

How awesome would it be to add songs to @Spotify via @Shazam?

Quick idea for some clever programmer type person.

I have just started using Spotify and have found myself trying to write down music I hear so I can add it to a Spotify play list when I get home.

So I had an idea.

How cool would it be to be if:

  1. You heard a song you like
  2. Used Shazam to find out what it is
  3. AND then direct from Shazam add it to a Spotfiy play list?

Totally awesome!

I hope someone can make this happen.

How @Twitter is preparing to trap you and monitise it’s mobile service

After  a 6 months absence from Twitter I have noticed some small but significant changes.

The biggest change is that links within tweets on the mobile app opens within the app. This is the reason there is a blue bar across the top of the screen. You are now viewing the video/photo/content via Twitter.

This blue bar may seem insignificant, and does not really effect the user, but this space provides an opportunity to potentially show adds relevant to what ever content is being viewed. The sheer scale and traffic volume generated by Twitter means if they decide to put ads that are charged to advertisers per thousand views (which is standard), it could make millions per month (or maybe week or even maybe per day ?).

Twitter is creating processes to keep user trapped in the app . So far this seems to work as it actually improves the user experience.

There is more going on behind the scenes on the technical side of things. Twitter’s  has changed the rules relating to it’s API. The API is the way third party companies can use Twitter to build applications (e.g. the Twitpic photo sharing app). In addition to this, Twitter has previously purchased Tweetdeck and Posterous. This means Twitter now has it’s own in house desktop and auto posting services. If Twitter decides to remove access to other, non Twitter apps, this would remove all of the competition; increasing Twitter’s opportunity to advertise across the web, desktop and mobile.

The bottom line is that as long as users want to use Twitter, then services that have been created in protest to it’s changes, will have trouble competing.

Why @foursquare is the most useful social media app on your phone

In a recent productivity drive, I reviewed how I use social media  and decided that if I only could use one app on a daily basis it would be foursquare.

Using foursquare to explore an area provides me with up to date (sometimes almost real time) tips, reviews and also special offers from one simple interface.

I use foursquare privately. Checkins provide the app with important data to provide recommendations for when I explore new areas. The radar feature currently being developed means that soon, your phone will alert you every time you are close to somewhere that (based on your checkin history and favourites) you will like. To improve the future accuracy of this function, I only checkin to places of interest (restuarants, tourist attractions, sporting venue, book stores etc) and not generic regular places such as train stations, super markets, hostipals etc.

foursquare also interegrates with Amercian Express, providing cash back on purchases that are accompanied by a checkin. This has value for both the user and also vendors, this is why I and others believe that foursquare is the easiest social network to seemless monitize its services without effecting the user experience.

The pictures, tips and reviews within foursquare also means that foursquare has a growing pool of verrified local and venue related user genrated content.

Moving forward, I would like to see foursquare integrate Tripadvisor to provide more in app reviews. In addition to this I would also like to see the option to make in app purchases for local business products and services via the integration of a payment system (Paypal, Square, Amex, Visa etc).

And what about Twitter and Facebook?

For me, Twitter is the ideal tool for broadcasting information. I use it to share content I have created. This is normally done automatically via WordPress.  For me, consumming content through Twitter is just too overwhealming. Although for real time news, Twitter search is unbeatable.

The dark sie of Twitter is that it is too easy to get lose yourself in tweets, and ultimately waste time. Trying to have a discussion on Twitter using just 140 characters is at best frustrating, and at worst impossible. I currently do not have the twitter app on my phone.

Facebook has become my social address book. It is where I can log and record all the people I meet, and use it to reach out to them. The number of friends I have now means that using Facebook to monitor news from close friends is difficult. The list function recently introduced does start to address this issue. I only access Facebook from my tablet whilst at home  to see personal news and updates from friends.

For general news and updates relating to my interests and hobbies I use Google Reader. This RSS feed reader easily allows me to segment and monitir news from one interface.

Despite all the developments in social media I still find the best way to keep in contact with close friends and family is telephone calls and email, and of course personal meetups….

But if you haven’t tried foursquare, give it a go, I really believe it is the future and super useful. It is available on all smart phones.

Adding Google Authorship to WordPress.com (with a little help from iftt.com)

UPDATE – SOMETHING HAS FALLEN OVER & THIS METHOD IS NOT WORKING, I WILL POST A SOLUTION SHORTLY

 

Currently there is no supported way to automate the addition of your Google Authorship to WordPress.com, so using iftt.com I found a hack to achieve this.

First you need to make sure you have added the website you are posting to to your contributors list in your Google + profile.

Then, you need to set up your ifft.com account and recipe making sure that you add the following code in the post decription box:

Connect with me on

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/106692973924660857810?rel=author“>+Enzo Vullo</a>

Making sure you replace my details (in blue) with yours. Don’t worry it is absolutely fine to add some html into the iftt.com box.

Here is an example of the finish result on my Enzography blog

Hope this helps

Connect with me on +Enzo Vullo

Genius use of Facebook by Tickmaster – Find where your friends are sitting

This just popped up while I was on tickmaster:

Very good use of Facebook by Ticketmaster – BUT also a lesson in accepting friends requests from people you don’t really know, or forgetting to audit your Facebook friends as someone you don’t want to see may just pop up sitting next to you at the next concert you go to….

Winner by association – Google Reader is the easy way to pump info and commentary into Google Plus

Although Twitter is awesome for real time news breaks, if you are tracking a market or industry, only super black belt power users can use Twitter lists to track stuff. To avoid death by info overload I use Google Reader, to organize and archive information from new sources and websites.

Today I noticed how slick the Google Reader and Google Plus integration is:

Google Reader Google Plus Integration Pic 1 – do you see the share button in the top roght hand of the picture? When you click it this happens…..

…the share to Google Plus post is pre populated with a link to the story and you can also write your commentary.

Add this to the effect of G+ on (personal) search results, means that Google Reader seems to be an important part of an SEO / publishing work flow.

This will be even more more when you can post direct to pages from inside of Google Reader.