Adobe alternatives (and other useful tools for freelancers)

So having gone freelance a few months back, there are already a few apps / services I couldn’t do without.  Some of which I used whilst working in agency but others have become an invaluable tool in running my business.

Anything you’d recommend for comms people as a go-to good value service?

Dropbox – for ease, for size, for price and for familiarity

Harvest – makes timesheet/project management and invoicing an absolute breeze.  Simple to add partners, other service providers, multiple day rates and multiple projects for the same client.  Good UX and great web app.

WordPress – specifically the profile template – a good light template for freelancers or consultants who don’t need a full site

Affinity Designer – because illustrator is to damn expensive and I just don’t use it enough to warrant it

Publisher Lite – as above but for InDesign  – this does the job as well as I need it to

PR Stack – a really useful resource looking at hundreds of tools PR use with input from across the community

Measurement metrics – not an app but a post from Stephen Waddington and friends on alternatives to the lousy AVE that fails to measure anything at all. .

What others should I take a look at?

Hey, wanna share a job?

Licensed under creative COmmons from LydiaShiningBrightly

Why not? I am sure you’d want a bit more time off, no? Part time hours / three days a week but a role that is still senior, meaningful and client facing? Someone with complimentary skills to bounce ideas off? A team, even though you’re the boss?

Sounds pretty idyllic I think….

Why don’t more people work as jobshares in PR? I mean you see the co-CEO model every now and again but why not other pairings? Have you ever applied for a job as a pair? Have you ever received a pair of CVs for one job?

Part time jobs are so few and far between and flexible part time jobs (i.e. home working) even more so. Surely the best all round is if two people share the job, providing full time cover but allowing flexibility in their timings and their homeworking status.

As a client, I get two brains instead of one (pref a left and a right!). As a junior member, I learn two lots of skills, instead of one. As an agency owner, I have doubled my ideas, my perspectives and my skills whilst keeping my costs the same. As the jobsharer, I get to keep my job, have time with my family, be office based 50% of the time, have cover when I am on holiday and have a partner with skills different to mine to ensure the clients and teams get a kickass service.

Am I missing something?

reading : Why Social Networks Inside Businesses Have Failed

Editor’s note: Software companies talk to their customers about collaboration, but do they deliver it in their own operations? Historically, most have focused heavily on the concept of small teams and everybody getting into a room and solving issues. Collaboration was real time, face-to-face and ad hoc. But the exigencies of today’s market, the market opportunity, and how software has matured creates interesting scenarios. asked Ram Menon, EVP at TIBCO to share his opinion on social sprawl and what companies need to evaluate to block out the noise and start getting down to business.

The Sunday night we all learned Osama bin Laden had been killed, I was playing a quiet game of chess with my 10-year-old son. My phone vibrated in my pocket. I picked it up to see a Facebook message from my neighbor, who first informed me of the news. As I waited for my son to make his next move, I watched a flood of information wash over me via Facebook and Twitter messages shared by friends.

For me, this served as another quintessential example of how social technologies have transformed the way we communicate and consume information. Not too many years ago, I would have had to be watching television or listening to the radio to learn news of a similar magnitude in real time. Now, I simply let the information flow to my fingertips.

So, when you come to work, you probably hear some say, “You should replicate Facebook inside of your company. It’s the new wave! It’s the revolution that will automatically transform your business!”

It all sounds nice. The problem is it’s a farce.

The truth is, early attempts to bring social networking inside companies as a work tool have failed. They have failed because they lack a pragmatic focus on the business process, systems, and culture that actually makes companies operate (and make money). Free social computing tools – which almost gleefully don’t understand the needs of businesses – fall on their face after a few months of use because people don’t actually get their work done in them. They’re the proverbial “extra thing I gotta check.” And if they’re not working in them, why log in anymore?

via | Opinion : Why Social Networks Inside Businesses Have Failed (And What We Can Do About Fixing It).

Seasalt clothing: a case study in being helpful

Whilst over on the Isle of Scillies this weekend, I saw a very simple but very effective execution of the “be helpful” mantra.  Seasalt Clothing is a Cornish business that prides itself on beautiful design, ethical processes and high quality fabrics.  Its branch on St Mary’s (on the Isle of Scillies) stocks the majority of its range and is in a prime position on the largest island.  There are a number of clothing stores located nearby, all offering beach/surf/outdoors wear.  When the bus or taxi drops you from the boat or the helicopter in town, the first thing they say is “before you leave for the heliport or harbour, check your return flight/boat is on time by popping into Seasalt and they’ll let you know of any delays.”

“Hmmm…that’s really helpful,” I thought…..

…….whilst simultaneously buying £40 of organic cotton kidswear.


Not rocket science is it?