Happy Holidays From Investintech.com!

Merry Christmas Decoration

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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?


4 Digitally Creative Ways To Share Your Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is coming up fast and you probably have a long to-do list to get your dinner menu just right. In addition, you probably also have to oversee other important things like the guest list,  seating chart,  table setting, and making sure that your guests are well accommodated, among other things. It’s no wonder that holidays are always the most stressful.

However, this holiday in particular is all about slowing things down and taking the time to appreciate the people and things around you.  And no Thanksgiving is complete without being able to share it with family and friends.

Social networks and online tools have made it easy to instantly post photos online and make updates statuses on the spot. But everyone does that. A quick post here and there won’t do your precious memories—and all the hard work and preparation, justice at all.

To help put some life into your Thanksgiving posts and shares, here are four simple ideas that can make your Thanksgiving memories stand out forever.

Create A Thanksgiving PDF Album

Although the first place you’ll post your pictures up is on Facebook, consider creating a PDF album. It will offer you a lot more options, and with Sonic PDF Creator you can easily customize it with all of your digitized photos and mementos.

Sonic Thanksgiving PDF Album

For instance, on top of converting your images to PDF, you can merge other pages to it with text that has been put into PDF format. This means you can add a list of what family members were grateful for, extra pages of family quotes or scanned files of the Thanksgiving dinner speech. You even attach files like digitized recipes you used for the dinner. Polish it off afterwards with things like bookmarks and customized headers.  If you collaborate with other members, you can get a scrapbook album full of great Thanksgiving memories.

Generate A GIF Movie Of Your Snapshots

We covered GIF tools last time on our blog and as you saw, GIFs can be a fun way of getting all your photos and video together.  Well, a new trend spotted on popular social network, Reddit, is all about getting full length movies into GIFs.  Why not use that same creative approach and generate a mini GIF movie of your Thanksgiving celebration?

Take play-by-play family snapshots throughout the evening and after selecting the most memorable, upload them to a GIF generator. Then customize and create your GIF to showcase them in one long sequence.  Depending on the images you have, you can come up with some awesome GIFs capturing the entire evening in less than a minute!

Use A Twitter Account & Hashtag

As much as everyone loves getting together for Thanksgiving, it might not always be possible.  But you can still share the holiday with absentee family members on Twitter, the perfect tool for keeping them updated.  For this, consider creating a dedicated account. With a long string of short updates, you’ll have an accurate time capsule of what happened specifically during your Thanksgiving event.

Twitter Thanksgiving  Hashtags

Furthermore, you’ll want to use a hashtag. This will allow your family members to zero in on the stream and easily start up a twitter chat. However, be sure to use hashtags that are short and unique like your family’s last name. If not, your stream could get lost among other Thanksgiving tweets.  And don’t forget to be visual! Tweeting back and forth with snapshots and videos will add a personal, warm touch to your stream.

Get Creative With Thanksgiving Videos

Sometimes all you ever want to do during a holiday get together is film the special moments in a meaningful way. Even though you can always find some handy tips on shooting the perfect Vine and Instagram video, take the editing process up a notch before you post and share.

PicPlayPost Video Collage

Instead of using standard filters, try mobile apps that can do something fun with your recordings. Try apps like PicPlayPost, which creates a video collage out of your movie clips (see demo example above), or Timelapseit that lets you create a time lapse video out of your movie.  If you film things like the dinner prepping process, the turkey carving ceremony, or family members having fun, these apps can turn them into quick shareable videos for the entire family to enjoy.


The best part of these tips is that you can use these ideas for any holiday occasion. So get creative and make the most out of your Thanksgiving posts.  Try these out and send in your posts to let us know how they turned out!