5 Ways Investintech Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year 2014

Image Source: Agbeat.com

New Year’s resolutions are perhaps the hardest promises to keep. It’s not uncommon to give up half way through the year on them whether it’s due to lack of energy, determination or support. For whatever reason, it happens to the best of us.

With that in mind, we thought the first post of the year should be one to get you started on the right track with your 2014 resolution. Though we can’t always be there to give you a small push of encouragement whenever you fall astray, we can offer a few ideas on how you can use our tools to help with some of the most common New Year’s resolutions being made.

Resolution: To Live A Healthier Lifestyle

It’s always proven that the best way to achieve a goal is to track your progress and keep milestones in view.  If you look for tracking sheets online to help you stay on top of your fitness and health goals, you’ll find that most of these are in the PDF format.

fitness tracking sheet

Use Able2Doc or Able2Extract to convert those PDF to Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. After all, in order to track your daily progress, you’ll need to work consistently with those sheets.

Resolution: To Be More Efficient With Your Workload

Being an efficient worker means finding smarter, even faster ways of getting your work done. And one of the first things you’ll try is working on your mobile device to help you get tasks done while you’re away from the desk. If you do, keep in mind that simplicity is key.

For this we have Able2Extract Mobile that can keep your workflow going no matter where you are. Upload your documents right from your phone and tap twice to create or convert PDF files to other formats you can edit in other apps and then instantly share. Simple.

Resolution: To Learn Something New

When it comes to learning something new, it’s always helpful to generate yourself a good reference or master file you can always turn to. You can create such a resource on any topic you’re learning about using Sonic PDF Creator.

Merging PDFs With Sonic

For instance, one resolution I made this year was to actively keep up with learning to play the violin, which includes developing dexterity in my fingers with scales and arpeggios. Fortunately, I found PDF music sheets of them in every key. Once I downloaded them, I used Sonic to merge PDF files into a single file with other violin sheet music and resources.  I then added bookmarks to keep it organized for easy access.

Resolution:  To Be More Environmentally Aware

Going green doesn’t have to be too hard to keep up. Given that cloud drives, scanners and apps are now pretty much the norm, the way you work needs to adapt anyway. This also applies to anything you’re keeping digital—photo albums, tax records, resumes, essays, research. The list goes on.

Able2Extract Professional can help you start keeping things digital.  Once you can scan in your documents, you never have to print them out again. Able2Extract Professional will give you access to the scanned PDF content instantly, allowing you to reuse the information you need within other applications.

Resolution: To Practice Better Security Habits

This resolution can cover a wide range of more specific resolutions like regularly changing up your passwords to tightening up your Facebook privacy settings.  Sonic PDF Creator offers features that can help get you into security mode with your digital assets, starting with your PDF files.

Securing PDFs With Sonic

With Sonic, you can create a password protected file you can customize with permissions and access.  You can also add encryption, watermarks and stamps to brand the content, preventing it from being copied.

Anyone would agree that creating a resolution is one thing, but realistically and methodically keeping it up is another. So instead of focusing on creating a resolution, focus on ways you can keep the resolution itself with everyday tools you already have. All it takes is a bit of creativity.

Happy Holidays From Investintech.com!

Merry Christmas Decoration

Image Source: jessowey

We want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with family, friends and loved ones.

Thank you to all our Able2Extract users, blogger friends, and Investintech fans, both old and new, as well. Your support and enthusiasm for our products and services has been absolutely amazing this year.  We couldn’t have accomplished everything we did in 2013 without you.

We hope you all have a great holiday season!

 

4 Mobile Tips To Stay On Budget During Christmas

Budgeting Christmas Money

Image Source: Creditsesame.com

We all know that Christmas can be an expensive holiday.  From last minute Christmas shopping to vacation plans, you’re always spending a bit more around this time of year than any other. And not only that, but traveling and visiting family and friends makes it even harder to keep a budget in check.

If you’re going to be extra busy this year, try getting your finances in order from your smartphone or tablet device.  You may be thinking that personal financial apps like Mint are all you really need. Yet, such tools can sometimes offer a poor fit with unneeded features or may not even have the tracking verticals you need.

However, there are other ways to keep on top of things that involve nothing but tools you already use on a daily basis. Here are four.

1. Work With Excel Spreadsheets On Your Device

A lot of people turn to Microsoft Excel for analyzing numbers. So it’s a natural choice for staying on top of your holiday budget. With a spreadsheet you get to decide exactly what you want to track and how to track it. The best part is that you can access that spreadsheet on your mobile device through virtually any app that supports document viewing or editing.

Spreadsheets will offer you a good alternative you can customize as much as you want. You can set up different columns for tracking Christmas shopping, traveling budgets or co-coordinating bill payments over the holidays.

Holiday Excel spreadsheet template

As a bonus, there are basic budget spreadsheet templates you can download for free or through the Microsoft Excel program. These are already formatted and some are even set up with formulas baked right in. Once the template is downloaded and your numbers are in, you can handle your data from anywhere without having to start from scratch.

2. Edit and Update Your Budget While On The Go

One of the hardest things about budgeting is making sure that you constantly check in with it. Needless to say, your mobile device can be the best financial tool in your arsenal this Christmas.  This will ensure that you aren’t left with an excuse for impulse purchases you made because you thought your budget could spare them!

Updating your budget right on the spot is key.  Log in your expenses while you’re at the cash register or check in on your account status before you make a big purchase. Making quick, smart choices is all about being informed and what better way to get your information than right there when you need it.

3. Convert PDF Data From Financial Statements

Another aspect of working with any money matter is the difficult to edit PDF format. It’s often used for sending, receiving and storing your financial information. Yet because your banking statements contain hard numbers of your monthly debits, deposits and transfers, you should work them directly into your financial budget spreadsheet.

Convert PDF to Excel

For this, you’ll want a mobile converter that’s quick and simple to use.  Though full fledged PDF to Excel tools are found mostly for the desktop, free PDF to Excel mobile apps  exist that will let you convert your PDF content to Excel simply by tapping. Remember that your budget is only as accurate as the data you use. So use the information from your digital statements.

4. Sync Edited Spreadsheet Budgets

The best part about mobile devices is that you can connect it to any compatible cloud service. Cloud drives are great because you can update the numbers in your spreadsheet on your device and then sync those changes to your desktop. Services like Box.com and Dropbox  make it so that you don’t have to manually update each spreadsheet version. One copy can be edited from anywhere.

Another great advantage of using cloud services for your budget spreadsheets is that you can share the file with anyone from anywhere. Family members can easily gain access to those spreadsheets while they shop in different stores. It’s an efficient, yet simple way to make sure everyone is on the same page and no overspending happens.

Maintaining a budget is about working smart and efficiently.  More importantly, it’s about putting it into practice and making it into a habit. What do you do to stay on budget during Christmas each year?

New Google Tips Site Helps You Use Google Products Better

Google Tips Launch

When you need help, what is the first thing you do? Answer? “Google it.” And for the most part, that answer never fails to point you in the right direction. With billions of pages indexed on the web, there’s a good chance you’ll find a solution after a bit of digging.

For finding help on Google’s numerous tools, services and products though, you don’t have to look very far or for very long. If you’re an avid user of Google products, you’ll be happy to know that Google has just launched a new site called, Google Tips.

The new site is a user-friendly database of information where you can find handy tips in one single place on your favourite Google tools:  Chrome, Gmail, Android, YouTube, Docs, Google+ and Drive, just to name a few.

Installing Android Apps

These tips are presented and set up in the form of digital index cards which you can flip over for a step by step tutorial.  So if you want to know how to install apps on your Android phone without touching it, just click on the card, go through the slideshow, and you’ll be guided through the process to get Android apps on your phone remotely.

Google Tips Tutorial Slideshow

You’ll find a number of convenient, time saving tips. For instance, Google offers a basic tutorial on how to get family together even when you can’t be together for Google+ users, and can even show you how the family can share a computer without fighting just by using Chrome.

As a brand new release, you can safely assume that there aren’t a lot of super power user tips just yet. Google is accepting user suggestions though which they can further populate the database with.  So check it out and see if there’s something missing that you’d like to know about your favourite Google service or tool.

Happy flipping!

Putting The Paperless Office Into Perspective

Creating Paperless Office

Image Source:  Ajaxunion.com

You’re all familiar with the concept of the “paperless office.”  Who isn’t? It’s the ideal workplace where everything is done digitally. No recycling boxes, no shredders. Although we’re a lot closer to that efficient digital office than we were 10 years ago, it’s no surprise that getting to “paper zero” is tough.

True, our technologically oriented world makes it easy to go paperless wherever we can. Free online tools, integrated cloud services and accessible networks make digitizing workflows simple. Even basic things like drafting documents and communicating with colleagues are already being done digitally with MS Word and email.

And we know that the widely used PDF format makes the transition to a paperless office simple. Lawyers, accountants, and business professionals use the format on a daily basis for legal briefs, bank statements, and official contracts, respectively. The format is secured, credible, robust and accessible.  Anyone can easily reuse and edit PDF content by converting it, if needed.

Moreover, paperless offices are appealing because it cuts down on costs.  Fees and budgets associated with printing cartridges, file storage, and shredding services can be eliminated. Our mobile driven world is essentially about being paperless, too. Everything can be done on the go without pen or paper with free or low cost apps.

…But We Still Need Paper!

Yet, there are still some things that will always require paper. As one marketing ad reminds us, there are no substitutes for toilet paper!

In fact, Domtar, a manufacturer of uncoated free sheet paper in North America, launched an advertizing campaign against the growing trend of digital offices known as PaperBecause. And just as the phrase implies, they provide reasons for using paper. Their ironic PaperBecause videos on their YouTube channel are just a few examples.

PaperBecause Video Office

Their videos point out one obvious fact: we still need paper. It’s true. We’re still attached to it. We still write up phone messages on a sticky note, we still read printed pages, we still use photocopiers.

Finding Common Ground: The Paper-efficient Office

Yet, the humorous videos also make another thing clear. The digital switch is still a work in progress and, fortunately, isn’t about keeping paper around permanently or about abolishing paper altogether. Rather, it’s all about developing a paper-efficient office first.

So before you start getting withdrawal symptoms from going cold turkey on trying to cut your paper usage completely, take your lead from a few of the following tips to make an effective transition:

  • Use tools that can bridge the gap between paper and digital workflows. This includes tools like computer scanners, mobile converter apps, e-faxing services, and document managers.
  • Combine old paper habits with digital ones.  A tip like this is geared towards the small paper habits—taking phone messages and jotting down spontaneous notes. Smartphones these days come with voice recorders and quick note apps. So for every flyleaf you use to note something down, use a digital note the next time. This way you can cut down on half the paper you’re using for notes.
  • Only print up documents when absolutely needed. Ask yourself if your task can be done digitally first.  For example, PDF forms can just as easily be signed and filled in on a computer or converted to editable Word forms. There’s no need to print them up.
  • Work seamlessly with scanned PDF files. As everyone turns paper files into digital ones, you won’t be able to avoid scanned PDF files. For such cases, use a tool like Able2Extract Professional that can make scanned PDF content reusable. To boot, using scanned PDF converter can eliminate the need to manually retype PDF content to edit it.
  • Share documents and ideas with groups digitally.  Many collaboration, white board, document sharing and web clipping tools exist to help you work on content with others. If you can share your ideas and notes without having to make 10 photocopies, go for it!

Taking the first steps by getting some parts of your routine digitized is a great start, but don’t forget to monitor how much paper you’re still using.

Keeping an eye on those levels will help you realize how much paper you can slowly save on without cutting it out completely and all at once.

Any other suggestions you can think of?