Friday, July 29, 2011

Clarify: I’m Drooling Over Here. Good Stuff from @ScreenSteps @clarifyapp

Rarely does software make me salivate.

But, Blue Mango Learning Systems has a knack for making things that are awesome. I already use ScreenSteps, a software to quickly and easily create and export documentation.

They are now offering a new tool that is in beta for Mac: Clarify.

They posted an article today that highlights how Clarify will help you communicate. It’s a good, quick read.

Here are a few quotes that made me nod in agreement:

The only thing worse than being a disorganized thinker is having to read an email from a disorganized thinker.

Yes! Sometimes I find myself muttering “What is this even saying?!” as I read an email from a coworker. And frankly, the longer the email, the less likely I am to respond promptly.

Nobody has time to read lengthy emails.

I try to keep this in mind when drafting emails: Would I groan if this showed up in my inbox? I try to stick with the 5 Sentences (or less) concept. I certainly don’t want my emails to give this impression: “I have made this longer, because I have not had time to make it shorter.” (Blaise Pascal)

I can’t wait to start testing Clarify when I’m back home in WA next week (and using my Mac).

Have you signed up for the beta? If so, make sure to share your experience with the guys over at @ScreenSteps.

Side note: I’m not affiliated with ScreenSteps or Blue Mango Learning Systems. I just really love their software. I even made them cookies once.

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, 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

#JavaScript Hack: Compose a New #Gmail Message with a Link to a #Salesforce Record

Today, I made tracks in putting an end to something that has irritated me for 3+ years. It’s a good day.

The Problem

Daily, I get emails like this: “Can you look at Opportunity 123? Something is wrong with it.”

After banging my head against my desk, I kindly reply “Would you mind sending me a link to the specific record you are viewing? Just copy and paste the url/webpage from your browser window. That way, I can make sure I’m viewing the exact same record that you are, since some have the same name.”

I’ve gotten a handful of my users trained to include the url in their initial email. But, the majority don’t. And I’m sure some of them aren’t quite sure how to copy/paste the url in the first place.

I needed an easy button.

The Idea

I’ve tweeted rants on this topic a few times. In the recent past, @SFDC_SteveMo sent me a link to a button he created that executed some JavaScript to compose a new email that automatically contained a link to the record.

It was a great idea, but unfortunately since it uses the standard mailto links, it opens the email in Outlook.

Bleh.

We use Google Apps for the Enterprise and I wanted the button to compose a new message to a specific email address (that we use for requests like this) in Gmail and fill in the Record Id. I also wanted to populate the subject line.

I don’t really know much about JavaScript, but after a bit of research, I found an example that I could hack. I tweaked it a bit and tested… and tweaked and tested… and sighed … and tweaked and tested…

To get my parameters right, I referred to this example. (eg: I discovered that “&SUBJECT” wasn’t passing correctly. The example showed me that I had to use “&su”.)

Finally, I had a working button.

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Here’s what happens when I click on it:

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Passing the Parameters

In order to pass the recipient address, subject line and default body text, I had to do the following:

Recipient address: ‘&to=myemailaddress@mydomain.com’
Subject Line: ‘&su=My Subject Line’
Body Text: ‘&body=My text.’

To include the link the Salesforce record, I added (location.href), which was noted in @SFDC_SteveMo’s example.

Here’s the code in full:

javascript:popw='';Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) {Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) {Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('https://mail.google.com/mail?view=cm&tf=0' + escape(document.title) + '&su=Question re: Opportunity' + '&to=myemailaddress@mydomain.com' + '&body= I have a question about this Opportunity: ' + escape(location.href) + escape('\n') + escape('\n')  + 'My question is: ' ,'gmailForm','scrollbars=yes,width=680,height=510,top=175,left=75,status=no,resizable=yes');if (!document.all) T = setTimeout('popw.focus()',50);void(0);

I currently have the button as a Detail Page Link. I may change it to a Detail Page Button in the future.

image

Can you think of another way to use JavaScript with a custom button? Do share! (leave a comment below).

 

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

5 Ways to Make Your Blogger Blog Not Look Like, uh, a Blogger Blog

Blogger is a great (and free!) tool. I love it.

The problem is this: a lot of people use it. So, how do you make your blog unique?

Here are five quick and easy tricks to customize the appearance and standard content of your blog to put your own stamp on it.

1. Remove the Blogger Banner

The Blogger banner, by default located at the top of your blog, is ugly. I don’t care what color you change it to.

image

Especially if you have purchased your own domain (like rathergeeky.com), remove the blogger banner. It makes it look a tad more professional.

All you have to do is paste a little bit of code into the custom CSS area of your Blogger template design.

Here’s how:

  • Log in to Blogger.
  • Click on the Design tab of your blog –> Template Designer –> Advanced –> Add CSS

Paste this code in there:

#navbar-iframe {
display: none !important;
}



image



(source)



2. Create a Custom Header





The standard blog header is painfully obvious. Title and description. No thank you!



It’s easy to create your own header if you know how to use Photoshop, Paint.net, GIMP or even Paint. Just open up your editing software of choice and add some text to a rectangular canvas. It’s that easy.



Then, replace the standard header with your image.



Here’s how:




  • Log in to Blogger.


  • Click on the Design tab of your blog.


  • Click on Page Elements.


  • Click on the ‘Edit’ link next to your header in the layout design area.



image



image



Which do you prefer? The standard header or the custom graphic? (If you choose the former, we can’t be friends anymore.)



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3. Tweak Your Post Layout



You can add an area for comments or a starred rating system and quite a few other nifty items to each individual post.



Here’s how: 




  • Log in to Blogger.


  • Click on the Design tab of your blog.


  • Click on Page Elements.


  • Under the Blog Posts template component, click “Edit.”


  • Customize as you wish.



image



image



4. Customize the Colors and Styling of Your Template



Unless you’re using the old version of the template designer or hand modifying your html (which is an awesome exercise by the way!), you are probably using the Template Designer.



Don’t just pick a template and stop there. Choose the layout you want. Change up the color scheme. Pick a font that fits the style of your blog.



Here’s how: 




  • Log in to Blogger.


  • Click on the Design tab of your blog –> Template Designer


  • After choosing a template, modify the background (nothing too crazy please!), layout, width and text/link font and colors.



image



5. Enhance Your Sidebar with Extra Gadgets



I prefer a simplified layout myself, but you can add all sorts of widgets to your sidebar: photos, text, links, tweets, slideshows, etc.



Here’s how: 




  • Log in to Blogger.


  • Click on the Design tab of your blog.


  • Click on Page Elements.


  • Click on the “Add a Gadget” link.


  • Pick one.


  • Customize the options (if applicable).



image

















Those are a few tips to get you started.



Go forth and customize!







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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Latest Love: Amazon Cloud Player

I have a Zune… and an iPhone and spread my computing time between 3 different machines. Occasionally I like to listen to my person music collection that is stored on one computer when I’m using another one. In the past, this has caused some frustration. Okay, quite a bit of frustration.

Enter the Amazon Cloud Player.

It allows me to upload MP3s I’ve already purchased and automatically imports music that I purchase from Amazon (which is my preferred method as I can transfer those files to either my Zune or iPhone).

I can also select the option to automatically download my music purchases onto one or more computers (and different devices).

When I want to play the music I have already downloaded or uploaded from my collection, I can use my preferred browser and launch the Cloud Player.

image

Consider yourself privileged. My musical choices are rather personal. I don’t show my collection to just anyone.

I’ve also heard some good things about Google Music but I haven’t tested it myself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who Wants a ‘Geeky Girl’ Pin for #DF11? #Salesforce

I’m ordering these for Dreamforce 2011:

image

I’ll have a limited number handy. All you’ll have to do is find me at the conference and ask for one!

I’m also considering creating a few “I support Geeky_Girls__c” for the guys. Thoughts?

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Simple @FogBugz Trick That Keeps My Coworkers In The Loop (Yay for New Functionality!)

I must not have read FogBugz’ latest release notes because somehow I missed out on something #awesome.

They’ve added a ‘Notify More Users’ field that lets you input a comma separated list of users. When you save the case, they receive an email notification with the details.

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In my mind, this fits right between the Email and ‘Assign to’ functionality. There are some instances where I don’t want to compose a new email related to the case just to say ‘heads up’ and I don’t want to change the case assignment either.

Are there any other non-FogBugz employees out there blogging tips and tricks? I’d love to see what you are sharing! Please leave a comment with your blog url.

 

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, 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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