Monday, January 31, 2011

Rather Geeky Gets Fit: Starting Out

One Sentence Summary

I’m going to use the geeky tools I have at my disposal to document my journey to getting in shape.

The Details

I’m almost 26. Right about now, I should be at my peak of physical fitness.

And I’m not.

I’m tired of lacking confidence and feeling out of shape and totally overwhelmed at the prospect of changing my habits.

But, today is a start.

Picture 1569

I just finished my second attempt (at least this one was a success) at day one of the Couch to 5k program. After a 5 minute warmup, I alternated walking for 90 seconds with jogging for 60 seconds for a total of 20 minutes and then cooled down. It doesn’t sound hard… and it really isn’t. But, when you are starting from square one, even a mole hill can seem… well… mountainous.

The second smart choice I made was going to the grocery store earlier in the day and buying healthier foods. I often shop in the health food section but I consistently buy the wrong things; I choose organic treats and snacks instead of what I should really be eating. Today, I purchased lettuce (and not the already-put-in-a-convenient-bag kind. I went for the get-out-a-knife-and-tackle-this-thing kind). I chose applesauce as a treat (since I have a major sweet tooth) and some kombucha tea.

Other items in my cart:

  • Egg whites
  • Pomegranate seeds (I splurged)
  • Brown rice cakes (great with some peanut butter)
  • Ground turkey breast
  • Agave nectar (for sweetening my tea)
  • Yams (my favorite veggie)
  • Reduced fat Feta cheese (for salads. I know I can’t buy a brick of cheese anymore, because I’ll eat slice after slice.)

I’ve decided that if the only options I allow myself are healthy, than I will be less inclined to get off track.

Back to the exercise. I chose the Couch to 5k program because it doesn’t overwhelm me. I know some of you out there are P90X success stories, but that freaks me out a little. I needed something that I felt I was capable of now.

I know that it helps to have goals. I’m coming up with a weight loss reward program for myself. I’ve also committed to the Survivor Mud Run on June 18th.

Why am I documenting my attempts here? Because I’ll be getting in shape in a rather geeky way, of course.

Here’s what I’m using:

So be warned, this blog may get a little sweaty in the coming weeks.

Additional Resources

  • Read more about the Couch to 5k Program here.
Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just for kicks: Gmail Conversation View

I’ve heard from some Outlook holdouts that they just can’t give up Conversation View and switch to Gmail.

I decided to turn off Conversation View in Gmail.

My inbox normally looks like this:

2011-01-28_020958

When I turned Conversation View off, it looked like this:

2011-01-28_020939

Really? People prefer this? Ick. I had to turn it back.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Admin Journal: Taking Advantage of Free Force.com Licenses to Replace a Microsoft Access Database

dear_admin_journal

I was recently asked to provide some thoughts on the following scenario:

A small business with employees in different geographic locations (who each have their own PC and internet access at home) uses a Microsoft Access database. They transfer one laptop from person to person in order to input their information. Could they use SaaS instead?

My head exploded… Okay, I’m back.

The answer: Yes.

Many people don’t realize that Salesforce offers something pretty cool: 100 free licenses for your first force.com app. That means that you can create your own application and deploy it to up to 100 users in your company. (Yeah, it’s cool!) The drawback is that it will not include the standard objects and tools to manage Accounts, Contacts, Leads, etc. However, all of the other great things about building with the platform are still there, such as:

  • Custom reports
  • Visual dashboards
  • Build objects with clicks, not code
  • Workflow rules to update fields, send emails, etc.
  • Validation rules
  • and more!

And other tools, such as the Data Loader, make it easy to upload and maintain your data.

This all comes at no cost.

Additionally, I think there’s a way to export your data model to Excel from Access and then use that (depending on the number of objects) to create those same objects in Salesforce. (I’ve never tried this, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be very difficult.)

Side note: I don’t work for Salesforce. I just love their platform. I have tested this offer of building an app on the platform and I had a custom application that would’ve taken hours if not days in Access up and running in about half an hour.

Find out More

You can see what is included in the Force.com Free edition here. There are just a few limitations.

  • Up to 100 users
  • 1 free application
  • Up 10 10 objects
  • 1 GB of storage

At some point, you may realize that you want to include more than 10 objects or need more storage. At that point, you could contact Salesforce for pricing information.

Update: It appears that the Contact Manager edition of Salesforce (which includes Accounts and Contacts and custom objects as well apparently and costs $5/user/month) could be an option if you realized that you needed more storage or additional features. Don’t quote me on that though. Check with Salesforce first. – Thanks to @shobyabdi for finding that reference.

dear_admin_journal_end

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Spring ‘11 Salesforce Features I’m Most Excited About

User-added image
There are some neat features coming with the Spring ‘11 Salesforce.com release. Here are the ones at the top of my list:

  1. Official Google Chrome support
    Finally! I’ve been waiting for this since… I started using Salesforce.com. Yay!
    (link to idea)
  2. In-line editing on Visualforce pages
    This is a great way to improve the consistency of the UI.
  3. (link to idea)
  4. Report Builder – type to search filter fields
    This is one thing that I missed about the old report builder. It really speeds up filter creation when you can start typing to find a field. No more unnecessary scrolling!
    (link to idea)
  5. Notification icon for Chatter
    This means you no longer have to check your Chatter Profile each time someone responds to you.
    (link to idea)
  6. Dashboard alerts in Chatter
    Though we aren’t using Chatter much yet, this feature is a great idea, especially for monitoring gauges. (ie: ‘We just reached our national sales goal’)
    (page 53 in release notes)
  7. Profile photos on dashboards
    While this might not serve a practical purpose, I think it really draws attention to the dashboard.
    (page 54 in release notes)

I look forward to testing them soon in my developer sandbox.

Above image from Salesforce IdeaExchange post.

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips
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