Category: Front Page

Transform The Way Your PC Works For You

We see tons of cool stuff in the productivity space. Because it’s our passion, we find ourselves checking out other products that help you get back the only thing you can’t buy: Time.

One of the coolest products out there in that space is ActiveWords. With a modest investment on your part, it will change forever how you use your Windows computer. Sound like a tall order? Read on…

Back in the day, IBM had teams of people with the title “Systems Analyst”. These folks would look hard at systems, processes, and workflows to see how to improve and streamline them. Today, that title seems to have gone away, yet at the same time there are hugely successful blogs like Lifehacker, where the goal is to literally “hack,” or analyze the processes in your life… to think about what you do, how you live, and how to do it all better.

If you stop for a moment and think about it, no matter what you do there are countless things in your daily routine that you do over and over again. Writing the same stock email, logging into the same sites, opening the same folders, contacting the same people. We live in a digital age, yet still work in a pre-computer mentality. It’s like buying a top of the line iPhone and only using it to make calls.

You already know how much time Copy2Contact can save you by cutting down on the amount of time and keystrokes it takes to copy contact and appointment info. ActiveWords was created with a similar concept in mind. When you add it into your daily work life, you’ll immediately begin to save time as well as reduce the tediousness of repetitive tasks. No additional applications to go through, no “system” for keeping organized, but your PC will be working for you, instead of the other way around.

How It Works:

ActiveWords is based on the 80/20 principle. In this case, the idea is that 80% of what we do is repetitive and predictable. It isn’t just another productivity tool: ActiveWords provides the tools to make your behavior more productive, in a way that you can readily customize to your needs. It allows you to “name” or create shortcuts in a way computers should have been able to do for years but haven’t because, let’s face it, they’re still busy working out the bugs in Internet Explorer.

Here are some of the ways ActiveWords can turn your PC into much more than just a fancy typewriter:

Launch Applications: If you’re always using Microsoft Word or Evernote, you can add a shortcut like “mw” or “en” in ActiveWords. Now, typing “mw” and pressing the spacebar anywhere on your computer will tell ActiveWords to launch Microsoft Word. At that moment, the penny will drop and you’ll realize that you can do this for every application you regularly use and never click through your start menu again. And ActiveWords works great in the Windows 8 desktop, too, where there is no stat menu at all.

Open Folders and Documents: But it gets better… If I want to open my Google Drive folder or a specific document in any of my folders, I can easily create ActiveWord for that as well. As soon as you get ActiveWords, you’ll become obsessed with creating as many shortcuts for your day-to-day life as possible. 

Replace Text and Typos: This feature is similar to what you can do in Microsoft Word but allows you to take that experience to any application on your computer or on the Web. ActiveWords comes with its own spellcheck that works in any text form but you can add your own if you frequently misspell certain words. I always struggle with “tomorrow”.

But the best part of this and likely most-used feature is the “replace text” function. We all have names, addresses, emails, and messages that we type over and over again. How many times have you sent your email address to someone and mistyped it? If I want to type Nicholas Maddix, all I have to do is type “nm” and press the spacebar twice. My personal email address is “ep”, for business, I type “eb.” Small things, but they make a big difference. On a larger scale, if I get an email from someone that wants information on learning to use Copy2Contact, I can type “gs” and a full stock response about how to get started will appear in the reply box.

Launch Sites: You can also launch your internet browser and a specific site all at once. If I want to open Gmail, all I have to do is type in “gm” anywhere and I have instant access to my inbox.

These are just the basic functions that you can use as soon as you purchase ActiveWords. The real draw is the custom shortcuts you can create to do anything you can do with a keyboard. For example, not only can you open Gmail immediately, you can create a shortcut that automatically logs you in and opens a specific message thread. You can create a shortcut that will open up several windows or documents at once. You can create a shortcut that will instantly track a selected package you bought from Amazon. There is nothing you can do with your keyboard that you can’t automate with ActiveWords, unless you do some pretty weird stuff with your keyboard!

ActiveWords was built to answer the basic question of “why don’t computers understand us?”

We all know how well voice commands work on computers, i.e., “not at all”. But if, say, you have to open that same department shared folder about a zillion times a day, typing “df” and hitting the spacebar will make it something you don’t think twice about. That’s the magic of ActiveWords.

Here’s where you can try out or buy ActiveWords.

Author’s note: The guys at ActiveWords aren’t giving us any compensation for this article whatsoever, except maybe some good karma. They’re great guys and I just love the program!

Understanding The Value of Copy2Contact

I interact with a lot of potential customers who inquire about Copy2Contact. If they haven’t been referred by a friend who uses it, often times they wonder if it’s worth buying. They’re right to be skeptical… everyone’s trying to make a buck these days.

Usually the free trial seals the deal. Many customers have told me over the years that once they tried it, they were hooked.

But other people need to understand the value from a different perspective. We’ve created what I think is a pretty cool sales tool, and we’d love to get some feedback on it.

It’s called the “Savings Calculator”, and it allows you to estimate the amount of time and money you’d save by using Copy2Contact.

Now, we know that time doesn’t always directly correlate to money, but we also know that there’s value in the way Copy2Contact reduces tedium and makes using your contact manager easier that just can’t be quantified. This calculator is just an attempt at seeing its value from one side of things.

Try it out here and please post your feedback in the comments. Questions, too… I’ll be watching closely and responding.

  • Does one of the user profiles match you?
  • Do the numbers provided seem reasonable?
  • Does the value proposition “speak” to you?
  • Have any anecdotes from talking with friends about Copy2Contact?

After all, you know best how you use Copy2Contact in your job, so the feedback is great for us. And as a bonus, we’ll get to understand our users better and see where we can improve in the future.

Copy2Contact For Android… So Close, Yet So Far

Please skip to the bottom if you’re interested in helping out with a quick little test, but aren’t interested in all the history.

The History of Copy2Contact for Android

Despite my recent not-so-pro-Android post about Android vs. iPhone, we have been working in the background to get Copy2Contact ready for the Android platform. It may seem like an easy task, and it may seem like we started this a long time ago, but there’s more below the surface.

When we started this project, we were gung-ho to get it done, and invested a ton of time and money into building the user interface and porting the Copy2Contact engine over. All went smoothly until we tried actually using the app, and found that most Android phones just didn’t have copy and paste from email at all. This is a big problem given that Copy2Contact works on data that you’ve grabbed from another app (usually email) and onto the clipboard.

I couldn’t believe that a modern smartphone and supposed iPhone competitor didn’t have such a fundamental feature, so I looked more closely. It turns out, some of the later versions of the OS had copy and paste, but it was implemented in a very awkward way, and it wasn’t clear how many users out there even had this feature since the Android market is so fragmented. So we surveyed some users who had expressed interest in Copy2Contact for Android and lo and behold, only two of them were able to copy and paste.

The project was shelved. Not only would it be unusable by most Android users, but the cost of supporting each potential customer to help them decide if they can even use it in the first place would be astronomical.

Fast forward to now, many inquiries later from customers wondering what could possibly be taking us so long. Since keeping watch on the fragmentation issue and the evolution of the Android OS, it was starting to look more likely that it might be time to get the project going again. Having been burned in the first go-around, we started with research. We hired an outside consulting firm to do a market analysis of the different phone models out there, their native email clients, and their copy/paste functionalities. Results were positive… copy/paste is now ubiquitous on Android devices!

So we started development again full swing. Dev tools had improved since the early days, and new capabilities had arisen. Still nothing like the Apple/iOS development environment, but pretty good stuff. I’m leaving out a lot of hard work and dealing with bugs in the tools, OS, or different phones, but that’s nothing new since we’re used to developing with Microsoft Windows, the gold standard for difficult platforms. You can usually get around everything that comes up, it’s just painful.

But guess what… we’re back to square one! The first trial of the new build of Copy2Contact on a real device failed miserably. Not because of any programming failure, but because copy/paste on the device doesn’t work properly! When you copy a signature from an email, the email client puts everything on one line, completely removing the key formatting needed to separate the data into its individual fields. Copy2Contact is smart, but it’s not expecting a zip code to run right into a phone number, for example. Even a human would have to look carefully to realize the jumble of numbers isn’t one big international phone number, or a big typo.

Talk about frustrating, it’s back to research time. The question now is, how many Android devices out in the real world have this bug in their email application? The Android ecosystem is still very fragmented, with about half of Android users out there using a positively ancient version of the OS. But it’s clear this bug isn’t necessarily OS version specific. There are a multitude of different email clients, carrier customizations, and user interfaces out in the real world as well.

How Can You Help?

So that’s where we’re at with Copy2Contact for Android, and we could really use your help! To find out how prevalent this bug is, we’re asking people to complete a little test. Please click here to enter your Android device’s email address, and we’ll send you a little email with test instructions. It’s a snap to do, and is a BIG help to us. Thanks!

Copy2Contact for Salesforce now supports the Chrome browser

Many people have inquired with us in the past about using the Chrome browser with Copy2Contact for Often times they’ve been confused as to why Copy2Contact seems to keep opening the dreaded Internet Explorer (gasp!) to work with Salesforce.

Fortunately, our latest release now includes the ability to select Chrome as your browser of choice for use with Salesforce.

Why didn’t we have this before? Chrome has seen a big surge in popularity in recent years, but the fact remains it’s still relatively new and, until recently, lacked the specific means of integration that Copy2Contact needed. Fortunately, the folks responsible for the FireBreath project have built a framework for this kind of thing.

How to get it: There are now two versions of Copy2Contact available, both of which have Chrome support. If you do not use Copy2Contact to create contacts inside Microsoft Outlook or Palm Desktop, go for version 3. It’s the latest and greatest.

If you are a paid user of Copy2Contact Personal or PRO for Outlook or Palm Desktop, you may use either version 2 or upgrade to version 3. Please note that Version 3 is a paid upgrade for Outlook and Palm Desktop users. Full details and discounts for existing users can be found here.

To download either version of Copy2Contact and get started now, go to our download page. Note that you’ll be asked to install the Copy2Contact browser extension in order to use it with Salesforce. Installation should be a matter of just one click from the Chrome App Store.

Please feel free to contact us for support if you have any questions.

How Nate Silver Can Save Your Business

On election eve, every media outlet was talking about how close the Obama-Romney race would be. Not Nate Silver. He had been steadily raising Obama's probability to win every day leading up to the election. Even as Fox News was covering the election, Karl Rove was claiming that Romney will pull close or even win, the numbers he was looking at told him so. At that point Silver had Obama as a 90+% lock to win. When it was all said and done, Obama won by 126 electoral votes and the guy with the numbers, not the ideology, looked like a genius.

Why had the rest of the media gotten it so wrong? For the same reason so many business owners get it so wrong – we only want to listen to the numbers we want to listen to. Nate Silver is a numbers guy, he processes all the numbers he gets. The media sees a left leaning poll and a right leaning poll and they will give more credence to whichever one supports their ideology. That's why Nate Silver gets it right and Karl Rove is flabbergasted that the numbers he wanted to believe in didn't match reality.

The election was certainly a wake up call for the media but it should ring true with business owners as well. No, not because of taxes. Because we all look at analytics, social media followers, sales, budgets, expenses, and tons of other numbers and try to fit those into the narrative we've built for ourselves. Instead, we need to resign ourselves to the fact that numbers don't lie, only people do – often to themselves.

Most businesses have only one goal – more money. Everything you do has to somehow bring in more money. If it isn't, you're doing it wrong and you are lying to yourself about how much value all that effort you put in is worth.


First, if you're simply looking at analytics, not analyzing them, you may as well not use them at all. What you call "good traffic numbers" could easily be untargeted hits that won't turn a profit for your business. You have to consider what the numbers mean to your business – where is the traffic coming from, where are they landing, how long are they staying, etc. Traffic is not the goal, sales conversions are. Mitt Romney led in many national polls but his massive lead in places like Oklahoma didn't matter, only the ones in states like Ohio and Florida did. Don't fool yourself into being married to the traffic numbers if that traffic isn't doing anything for your bottom line.

Social Media

What you call a "good social media following" could easily be a bunch of people that simply skim over your content daily or followed/liked your page only to get an offer. The number of followers can give your ego a good boost but, as with analytics, if you aren't engaging the right people, the number of followers simply doesn't matter.


What you call "good sales numbers" could easily be wasted opportunities to upsell customers, sell them more, or at least get them to refer their friends. For all the effort you spend on marketing, content, and everything else, consider how much return they bring back versus a simple thank you email to an existing customer or a discount offer for referring a friend. Stop acting like a big multinational with a huge marketing department, focus on the basics and stick with what works for you – not others.

Figuring Out Your Business Formula

You hear business numbers guys talk a lot about return on investment. Probably because it's the only real number that matters. If your investment of time and/or money isn't paying off, why keep throwing money at a losing hand?

As a small business owner, you're also strapped for time and cash which means you have to be very selective about where you spend both. This is where most business owners shoot themselves in the foot. We tend to build our strategies based on what works for others. Just like CNN and Fox News, though, all the case studies you read are simply there to support an existing viewpoint. Your own numbers never lie and never lead you down the wrong (and expensive) path. Stop trying to make things fit into "how you want things to be" and realize that the numbers are truly all that there is.

Go Fire Yourself

You have your own business, you're in control of everything, and you answer to no one. You're living the American Dream. But you want to be more successful. Your business simply isn't growing like you wanted. Odds are, you have fallen into the trap that countless small business owners are already in – you are doing too much and not doing it well enough.

If I had an employee who wasn't producing the results I wanted, I would replace him with a new contractor. If you're not producing the results you want for your business, logically the only solution would be to fire yourself.

Step back for a second and truly consider what you bring to the table. No one, literally, no one, can do everything that goes into building a growing business. At least not as well as it could be done. You need to figure out where your strongest assets are and stop doing all of the things that you aren't good at and eat up your time. So what are you good at?

I'm a Good Manager

Most good business owners fall under this category. As the boss, you need to manage your team just like a football coach manages his. You never see Rex Ryan throw on some pads and throw a football. That's not his job. Good managers should manage and delegate well, not do the work of the people they manage. Certainly many small business budgets are prohibitive but with the wealth of contractors available, there are truly very few businesses that can't afford to invest in assistance in any field.

I'm a Good Developer

Many online business owners are developers who created their very own application or service. But just because you made your own product with your own sweat and tears doesn't mean you are the best person to run the business end. Developers don't always make good managers and rarely make good marketers or sales people. Developers need a partner even more than they need employees or contractors. You should work on the technical side of things and let someone else worry about the sales, management, and marketing.

I'm a Good Marketer

Marketers don't tend to make good CEOs. Maybe because so many people think they are good marketers. Marketing is both a crucial piece of the puzzle but also a very small one. It takes up a lot of time but is useless without the right business or product in place. Marketing is a skill, not the basis of your business, which means you need someone to take care of the really important stuff while you spread the word.

I Just Want to Have My Own Business

Too many small business owners fall into this category. They just want their own business for the sake of having their own business. That's a fine aspiration but if you don't have the skills or the drive to run your own business, you don't want to be a CEO, you just want to be an investor. Look at the TV show "Shark Tank", the sharks don't run all of those businesses, they just buy a chunk of the company and count the profits. They may even own the majority of the company and have someone else run everything. If you fall into this category, then it's definitely time to fire yourself.

Best Productivity Apps to Track Your Time

Where does the time go? With too much going on, it's impossible to keep track of where those hours there doesn't seem to be enough of went. A great way to get on top of your schedule is to log your hours and visualize your time. You'll be able to see which tasks take the most time to do, which tasks take longer than they need to, which tasks may require more attention, and what your biggest time wasters are.

Toggl is a great free, simple, and intuitive application that allows you to track your time on your desktop or with any mobile device. Its simplicity is key and easily its best feature, but for a free app it offers a ton for your business. The tool integrates with a ton of other tools you might use like BaseCamp, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, or ActiveCollab. You can see clear reports and graphs to see where your day went and forward those reports in Excel or PDF formats. You can also track a team's hours and even allot hours for specific projects. The app is free for up to 5 users but larger businesses will need to upgrade to the Pro edition at $5 per user.

Harvest is another popular time tracking and invoicing tool that offers a few more features than Toggl but costs more as well. Harvest allows you to track your time on a desktop or mobile device, provides extensive reports and graphs to help you visualize where your time went, manages your team's hours and budget, sends invoices right from the app, and offers timesheet approval features. There's also Google Apps integration, and other 3rd party add-ons. If you are a single user, you can get a free version that supports 2 projects and 4 clients but others will have to pay. A solo account for 1-3 users costs $12 per month, a basic account for 5-10 users costs $40 per month, and a business account for 10+ users costs $90 per month.

RescueTime is a different kind of time tracking tool but one that is very effective and helpful. RescueTime lets you see exactly where you spend time on your phone, tablet, and computer. You simply download the app and let it run in the background. The app will record exactly what applications and websites you are using. You can check in as often as you like to see how much time you spent on work and how much time you spent on Facebook. The app is great for spotting trouble times and zones in your day and doesn't let you get away with spending an hour playing Words With Friends.

Holiday Specials On Copy2Contact

The holidays are upon us and in the spirit of the season, we've slashed prices across the board on all Copy2Contact products. Take advantage of this yourself or spread the holiday lovin' to one of your friends by sharing this post!

Click any of the products to see complete details and purchase:

Copy2Contact PRO/BlackBerry Bundle: 30% off – $59.45 (regular $84.95)

Copy2Contact PRO for Outlook or Palm: 30% off – $55.95 (regular $79.95)

Copy2Contact Personal/BlackBerry Bundle: 20% off – $35.95 (regular $44.95)

Copy2Contact Personal for Outlook or Palm: 20% off – $31.95 (regular $39.95)

Copy2Contact for BlackBerry: 20% off the 1st year – $7.95 (regular $9.95)
Copy2Contact CRM for (monthly billing): 50% off the 1st month – $4.45 (regular $8.95)
Copy2Contact CRM for (yearly billing): 20% off the 1st year – $79.95 (regular $99.95)
Copy2Contact CRM for NetSuite (monthly billing): 50% off the 1st month – $4.45 (regular $8.95)
Copy2Contact CRM for NetSuite (yearly billing): 20% off the 1st year – $79.95 (regular $99.95)
Special pricing ends December 31. Happy holidays!!