From Our Blog

Project Management Software Guide for Startups

Crop person making notes in notepadProject management is a critical component of success for startups. In this article, we will discuss how project management tools help the startup teams concentrate on their core competencies and free them up from mundane tasks. We will highlight different software platforms that are suitable for managing projects in a startup and offer an insight into selecting the most appropriate project management tool for your business.

Managing Projects – A Necessity For Startups

A startup is always under pressure to deliver fast results & avoid costly mistakes at every juncture of operations while moving steadily towards achieving its end goal. Project Management helps with planning, monitoring progress against expected outcomes and controlling costs throughout stages of development or execution of various activities crucial to business goals and objectives. It can be used to manage every aspect of the business including marketing campaigns, IT infrastructure development & audit planning. It can also be used to oversee cash flow by managing finance activities such as project costing and revenue generation forecasting. Being a significant asset in successful startups, Project Management is always a priority for the teams involved in making a startup idea become reality.

Project management tools have advanced features that add immense value to organizations looking to enhance project efficiency at all levels and help them achieve their set goals faster and cost-effectively. Here are some of the features which make these software packages so popular:

  • A single console overview of your projects gives you a bird’s eye view of everything going on within your organization;
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously thus reducing time wastage and complex project dependency;
  • Overcome the challenges of resource management by letting you assign tasks to specific team members based on available skill sets;
  • Automate the business processes with built-in workflow templates;
  • Access essential information from a centralized dashboard for faster decision-making.

Project Management software also helps in evolving an effective method of communication between project teams & stakeholders, which is vital for both successful delivery & customer satisfaction. With Project Management tools, projects are visible at all times by different individuals who need access for their operations or due to managerial requirements. This accountability & transparency keep them updated about ongoing activities and enable them to make appropriate decisions related to changes that require immediate action. It allows everyone involved in a project to collaborate in a single meaningful workspace that is essential for inter-dependencies to achieve timely and effective delivery.

Doing the Selections – What to Look For?

When your startup is looking into Project Management tools, you will come across numerous options available in the market today. Some of them are cheap & offer limited functionalities while some cost a bomb but have every feature under the sun with extensive add-on packs available as an extra charge. Faced with so many choices, where do you start? Well, there are certain factors that need to be considered before making your final decision:

  • Functionality & features offered by different project management platforms;
  • Yearly costs of using different software solutions;
  • Customer feedback about the ease of use of various options;
  • Available project management templates to make your work easier.

Serious colleagues in stylish outfits sitting at table and using laptop while discussing new project in officeCost is a major factor while selecting PM software as it will have an impact on the way you use the solution and how satisfied your team members are with it. What might suit one company’s need might not necessarily match up to others’ requirements due to the varying nature of businesses & their projects, which makes it difficult for any single platform to be affordable enough for everyone in every sector of operation. Some solutions offer extensive functionality but they come at above-average costs because they provide feature-rich products that solve real-world problems.

How To Choose A Decking Contractor

You may think you can fix up your deck by yourself but the process and the materials that are required for it might be beyond what you have access to. Thus, calling a professional Decking contractor would be necessary. Before hiring any decking contractor, here are some things to consider:

The main benefit of hiring an experienced deck expert is the fact that they will save you time and money in the long run. A good contractor will find solutions to problems instead of covering them up or ignoring them as a DIY enthusiast might do. While inexperienced contractors should not necessarily be avoided because they can also provide cheap services, just make sure that they keep their promises. If he fails to abide by his promise, don’t bother contracting him again as this might be an indication of his untrustworthiness.

When choosing a contractor, you must make sure that he is eager to discuss the project and always listens attentively to your specifications instead of just going through the process mechanically. This can tell if he really cares about the quality of his work or not. It also means that he will deliver on his promise and will advise you with regards to different options so that you can pick what suits your best. Make sure that the contractor has a license for his business in order to shut down those who are just capitalizing on their clients’ lack of knowledge in order to have them pay more than they should be paying by using contractors without proper licenses. You must ask how long he has been doing this kind of business so you can gauge how much experience he has.

The contractor should have a large number of satisfied customers to back up his credibility and honesty. You should also check with your local authorities if they are registered or not, the same goes for insurance providers. Make sure that the contractor is insured just in case something happens during construction. If there are previous cases on file involving the wrong materials used, fire damage, faulty workmanship and shoddy building, then find another one as you do not want to be paying money for poor services. Check whether his employees are trained professionals who will stick around during the project to make it run smoothly instead of leaving halfway through. You must also make sure that they have liability insurance for their own protection in case something happens.

The contractor must be able to show you a portfolio of his previous work so that you can see his style and quality. If he has no portfolio, he may not have enough experience or might not have completed any projects before so choose him with caution. You should also check the kind of materials used by the contractor because some are better than others in terms of durability and maintenance. He should also be able to give you an estimate that comes from his own calculations rather than just relying on general averages for your specific area as this will enable him to come up with a more accurate budget for your project.

You need to make sure that there are no obstacles like trees, power lines, gates, fences and mailboxes in the proposed site for the deck because choosing a contractor who already knows all of these may mean that he will be able to come up with a better design.

Make sure that the contractor can provide you with an insurance which covers injuries during construction, fire and accidents related to his work. Review your agreement thoroughly so that you are certain on what they have written in it about any possible additional charges aside from the cost of materials/labor. It might also include additions like lighting, gazebo and other add-ons which need to be signed off by both parties before proceeding with the main project.

The important thing is to choose a professional who has a lot of experience and good reviews on his previous projects instead of one who has undercut prices but will greatly affect the overall quality of the result. If you are still not sure, ask friends or family members for recommendations as they have already been there themselves and have encountered contractors before. Always take a look at the tools that he brings with him because if it is poor quality then he might be using the same materials during the actual construction as well.

Crucial Features for the Ideal Project Management Tool

Keeping track of the resources, phases, responsibilities, and members involved in each project can be tricky, and if you’re working on more than one project at a time, really overwhelming. Fortunately, there is help available, great help. Today, there are tons of management tools trying to get your attention. But what features should the right one have for you?

A good project management tool will help you to centralize all the information and, at the same time, to allow all the workers to know what are the tasks that they must carry out at all times. It offers a view of the workflow distribution and allows you to adjust them without de-centring you or your team. Here are some of the features that a complete solution should have:

Planning

The planning tool is the true essence of your project management software. At the very least, it helps you keep track of all your scheduled tasks and deadlines. A shared team calendar can also be a great advantage, as can automatic notifications when the end of the term is approaching.

More sophisticated project planners allow you to distribute jobs and responsibilities to specific team members, giving you an even clearer picture of workflow and time allocation.

Work management

Work management is another basic feature of most project management tools. Good work management allows you to divide each project into phases and small tasks to which you can add deadlines and budgets. Newer tools also integrate ‘the critical path’ – the precise order in which tasks should be completed for the project to go through.

Collaboration and communication

Fluent communication is the key to the success of any project, so it should also be part of your project management tool. The best ones function as centers where you can enter basic data and detailed information. This is very positive, for example, for those who work from home.

Some tools also help share project information with clients. This can be a good way to keep your client informed about the progress of the work without having to hold briefings with him every few days.

Reports

Reports and statistics are useful for getting an overview of how your current project is going and learning from previous projects. Why did a project go over budget? Why couldn’t another be delivered on time? All of this will be here.

Budget management and control of resources

Some tools offer a specific management feature. This gives you an overview of the meeting rooms booked, planned and the resources used and everything that will cost. It is also useful to avoid duplication of reservations or lack of resources.

Time tracking and profitability control

Time tracking features help you define which tasks took the longest to complete on a previous project to better estimate costs and time in the future. Most tools offer basic time tracking, but the option to set different hourly rates and automatically add billable hours to your receipts can save you many hours of work and greater control of the profitability of your projects. #WorkSmarter

3 POPULAR BATHROOM FINISHES

Bath, Bathroom, Bright, Chrome, CleanEvery home needs periodic renovation. Renovation of an apartment is an event that requires significant financial investment, time, and effort. Therefore, it is worth carefully preparing for this process, highlighting all the unfavorable sides of the room in which the renovation will be carried out and choosing finishing materials.

The bathroom differs from other rooms in its microclimate. It is dominated by high humidity and temperature extremes. Therefore, it is necessary to make repairs, and in particular, choose the finish, with utmost care so that the coating turns out to be durable, practical, and lasts a long time without losing its original qualities. There are tons of materials that are used in the bathroom, but only three of them are in high demand.

Wallpaper in bathroom interior design

When buying wallpaper, you need to pay attention to the labeling. It indicates the level of moisture resistance if any. The presence of a wave indicates that the material has a special impregnation, and the more there are, the higher the level of moisture resistance. There can be from one to three waves.

Stone in the decoration of the walls in the bathroom

They began to use stone for interior decoration a long time ago. Initially, they were intended for finishing baths since such material had the best performance:

You can fill the room with comfort and life by complementing the space with indoor plants that love moisture. Alternatively, live plants can be replaced with artificial ones.

Glossy surfaces of cabinets, mirrors, shelves, sinks, shower stalls, etc., will help to complement the image. Moreover, all these elements must be combined with each other. Otherwise, it will lose its charm and visually decrease.

When choosing a material, you need to inspect its appearance. There should be no chips or other damage on it. Since the cost of this material is quite high, it is worth asking the seller for a quality certificate for this material so as not to face unpleasant consequences in the future, for example, the non-practicality and durability of the material.

Bathroom tiles

The most common option for finishing bathroom tiles. He, like other materials,Shower, Water, Wet, Bathroom, Stream has its advantages and disadvantages. The pluses include:

  • Durability. On average, tiles can last 90 years or more with proper care. But in most cases, this is too much since the mod does not stand still, and this material will have to be replaced periodically. Nobody wants to live their whole life with the same renovation. 
  • The tight fit of the material to the wall. 
  • Resistant to scratches, cuts, and chemicals.

Choosing a material for bathroom remodeling in Austin TX is not so easy. You need to proceed from the size of the room, wealth, and individual preferences. One thing can be said with certainty that with the right choice, all of them will last a long time and will not lose their original appearance.

Tips For Using Decks In Various Ways

Do you know what a deck is? In simple words, a decorative platform made with board inserts, you know? The most common is to see one of these around swimming pools or on garden lawns. But you can use it in other ways, see? Come with deck builders in San Antonio, and we’ll show you!

A nice tip to give a new look to the TV room is to put a deck on the wall. Didn’t understand how? So, if you have a Led TV, you can place a wooden deck behind it. It is a simple idea, easy to do, and will give a big highlight to your home decor! The bigger the TV, the more prominence the device and the deck wall gain, see?

Oh, and you can choose any color for the deck, okay? It doesn’t have to be just the natural color of the wood. Even the colors are beautiful!

Still thinking about this idea, another nice place to put the deck is on the bedroom wall, especially if you have a box bed with no headboard. Just decorate the back wall of your bed with the boards you find most beautiful. You can put the deck on the entire wall or turn it into the headboard for your box bed. Cool huh?

Deck and gardens

It is common to use the deck in the gardens to make a platform to place chairs, tables, poufs, and potted plants. But, if you don’t have a lot of space or live in an apartment, most deck builders in San Antonio place a small deck in the space you have. You can put some plant pots to make the environment more beautiful.

And, if you don’t have space, there is also a solution, see? Just place the deck on the wall and hang the pots with your favorite plants. It looks beautiful!

In the bathroom

Now, in the bathroom, you can place a deck around the hot tub or hot tub. It further highlights the beauty of these pieces and also prevents the floor near them from becoming slippery, since it is impossible to leave without leaving a little water on the way, right? Ah, that’s why the deck is used a lot around swimming pools.

And if you don’t have a bathtub, but you want to use the deck in the bathroom, just choose a corner, set it up and put a vase on top. In the bathroom, the deck can be used as a floor, okay? That same idea applies if you have a sauna at home!

Outdoors

Do you know another place that is nice to build your deck platform? In the barbecue area, just install it on the floor, put one or more tables, and that’s it! The place is already perfect!

And to finish, of course, deck builders in San Antonio will indicate the deck around the pools. After all, it is one of the places where they are most used, right? It is cool, beautiful and it is worth investing in this type of decoration.

 

Scuba Diving & amp; Diving Centre in Aqaba

From the hotel, it took us just four minutes to get to Yamnaya. This public beach has free parking where there is no problem in leaving the car. The beach itself is nothing special, in fact, it was a bit dirty from people’s garbage. When we got to the sand we felt a bit watched, we were the only foreigners and I suppose we caught their attention.

Anyway, the people were friendly. For example, at a time when I was left alone, a group of girls came up to me and gave me a flower. We left the towels on the beach, in an area where there were fewer people, and we went into the sea. The water temperature was very pleasant, however, it has a reputation for never falling below 20 degrees. And, almost from the first step, the coral begins. If you have ever scuba dived through areas of coral, you will know that its surface is very sharp and the cuts heal very slowly, therefore, I would say that it is highly recommended to wear some booties to protect your feet at the entrance. At least in the area through which we entered. We have had them for years and we have used them a lot, much more than we thought.

You don’t have to walk too long to start scuba diving. Just a few steps away there is enough depth to lie down and enjoy the marine richness of the Red Sea. Different types of corals, sponges, clownfish, amoebas, parrotfish, pufferfish, angelfish, lionfish, butterflyfish, and thousands of small colorful fish are what we could see during our dive near the Japanese Garden. The visibility was perfect and the calm of the sea allowed us to enjoy a beautiful experience.

We were floating in the sea fascinated for almost two hours! There were areas where you were surrounded by hundreds of small fish. In others you found small schools of larger fish or solitary pufferfish. But if there was a fish that was everywhere, it was the Red Sea clownfish (or Nemos, as the smallest of the house know them). Maybe there weren’t that many, but they made themselves known as they are very territorial. Although they are tiny (about 10 centimeters) when you passed near their anemone they would come out to defend it,
swimming towards us quickly in a threatening way. Even when we brought the GoPro closer than necessary to take a photo, they even hit it.

We left the sea wrinkled as you pass after two hours without stopping and very hungry. In the car we had some food that we had bought the previous days, so we ate and went to visit the diving center where we had two dives reserved for the next day. The Camel Dive Center is located on First Bay Beach. We wanted to visit them to schedule the next day’s dives and see how to get there.

The staff is very friendly and, since we were there, we asked them where we could do some more diving before we went to dinner. They recommended us to go to the beach that is right in front but we could not enjoy the reef since in the last minutes the wind and waves had risen and the seabed was very rough.

What Color To Choose For Your Bathroom?

Even if it is not a living room, the bathroom deserves beautiful colors. It is one of the places of a dwelling that we visit daily. You might as well feel at ease there. If you have trouble choosing the paint for your bathroom, in this article we offer some possible solutions.

Wet room paint for bathroom

Before you start looking for the perfect color for your bathroom, be aware that not all paints you find in specialist departments are suitable for your bathroom wall covering. The paint you need to choose should be specially designed for wet rooms. In addition, it may be necessary, in order for this paint to adhere perfectly to the wall, to provide first an undercoat. Now let’s move on to trendy bathroom colors .

The color to choose for your bathroom

Your bathroom color will depend mainly on the mood or the effect you are looking for. And, sometimes also from its surface. A small bathroom color will make it bigger. Here we are mainly talking about white or pastel colors such as pale yellow, sky blue … pink.

Choose warm colors

If the idea for you is to give a real punch to your water feature, the advice will be to opt for warm colors which will have the effect of waking up and brightening up your bathroom. That’s why you can choose between yellow, red, orange, etc.

Choose cool colors

But if you want to have a bathroom that relaxes you, calms you, you feel at peace at all times, a bathroom color is what you need. This is mainly green or blue. But, you can always go for a lighter shade like lime green, water green or sky blue. These colors have the effect of filling you with energy every time, to rejuvenate you.

Match the colors of the bathroom

To make your bathroom more aesthetic, it is not enough only to choose the right wall paint. You must associate these colors with those of the furniture. Another thing to know is that you must, even before choosing your bathroom paint , take into account aspects such as the brightness, the area of the room, or the opening of the rooms. In addition to the color palettes that exist, you must take all of these elements into account when choosing the right color for a bathroom .

Choose natural colors

You don’t want to explode with energy or relax, you want to have something typically neutral, which does not arouse a particular emotion, but which remains beautiful. So, choose natural colors like taupe, linen or pearl gray for your bathroom paint .

How To Create A Relaxation Area At Home

In the 21st century, increased awareness of wellness has led renovators and entrepreneurs to look for ways to turn homes into spaces of healing and relaxation. Knowledge of lighting, light, paint, non-toxic materials, soundproofing and heated floors have helped transform homes into calming sanctuaries.

Your homes must reflect your inner peace and vice versa, living in a harmonious and peaceful place will allow you to better manage daily stress and have a better life.

An ancient Chinese practice called ” FENG SHUI “, this can be used to decide the location, construction and architectural features of buildings, the location and style of furniture, colors and decoration schemes , as well as the location of plantings, paths and other outdoor features. By creating a more pleasant atmosphere, “Fengshui” has been recognized for improving family communication, restoring employee cooperation, and increasing a store’s sales.

The principles can be applied to any style of building or decoration, not just Chinese or Asian fashions.

Bring the light

Lighting is perhaps the most affordable way to make your home a healing space. We recommend installing dimmers on each luminaire. You might get a headache from a day at the office with bright lights, but dimmers allow you to adjust the lighting to your liking in each space.

If your windows are small and you can’t make them bigger, there are some creative fixes. We can use white epoxy paint and mirrors as reflective surfaces to amplify natural light, repaint everything white and have a very light floor.

Install a radiant heated floor

Even the most motivated person might find it difficult to jump out of bed after winter arrives, especially when your feet hit cold ground. Radiant underfloor heating is one of our areas of expertise. This economical way of heating your home provides heat through electrical wires or hot water tubes hidden under the floor. You can still add radiators if you want but you don’t have to.

An even heat blanket rises under your feet, which means you can turn down the thermostat and lower heating bills .

Sound and thermal insulation

The latest standards now require soundproofing for floors and walls, there are different types of systems to apply: foams, glass wool, mineral wool, undercoat between the floor covering and the screed, for the walls we can also inject foam and glass wool in rolls 45 mm thick.

The lower end of the soundproof walls could increase renovation costs by 5 to 10 percent while the upper end could double costs. Nevertheless, you will be amazed at how healing it can be to keep unnecessary sounds out of your home.

The color chart

Walls could be the next place to consider when transforming your home. We recommend soft earth tones with paints that are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds, carbon atoms that can be considered pollutants) or lower in volatile organic compounds that they contain.

In some cases, wallpaper with images of nature is also used . We can put a birch or cypress garden in a home that can be breathtaking.

We have studied Japanese design strategies and recommend minimalism to create an environment that avoids feeling overwhelmed. We like to focus on one to three colors and point out that white can be a smart choice for maintaining simplicity and enhancing mindfulness.

Bad Habits That Keep Us From Earning More

Each of us dreams of living a pleasant and dignified life without having to count a penny, wants to earn good money and do the job that he likes and deserves. But it turns out that we can be our own enemies when we distract ourselves from the work process, scatter our attention and waste our energy. As a result, it turns out that our life is not so cloudless and pleasant as we would like. While everything is in our hands, and we can make our existence better, moreover, the main thing is to simply organize ourselves .

Social media is a very popular way to communicate and express yourself these days. Much has already been said about the fact that they can not only entertain, but literally steal a lot of our time. And okay, if the time is free, and not intended for work. That is, if you are on popular social networks during working hours, this needs to be corrected, and urgently. Just forbid yourself from visiting the relevant sites until you have completed at least the bulk of the planned work.

The same goes for web surfing in general. Surely each of you has a set of favorite sites – informational, entertainment, thematic – that are so interesting to look at before starting your working day. Again, limit viewing the pages you are interested in for half an hour if there is no way to put off surfing the Web until your lunch break or return home.

You shouldn’t listen to music while working . Especially if you’re working on an important assignment or project that needs your full attention. After all, listening to music, and especially your favorite tracks, will not allow you to concentrate 100% on your work. It is better to plunge into the world of melodies on the way home, or at least when doing simple monotonous tasks, but not while working on a serious task.

Long lunch breaks are a nice little thing for a long day at work. But in many cases, even an hour is too long – in large part due to the fact that a long meal and afternoon relaxation can take away from you the time that you would have spent making money. 15–20 minutes is enough to distract yourself, relax and refresh yourself in the interval between brainstorming and the implementation of all brilliant ideas.

If you are not yet employed and are waiting for an ideal vacancy for you , my advice to you is to do something that will help you not only get temporary income, but also some experience in the necessary and interesting area for you. Let it not be your dream job, but at least a step towards it, because gaining experience and the opportunity to feel confident in a future interview with a new employer is already a lot. Plus, you will not sit without money, in the form of an unrecognized genius.

The inability to communicate with people can prevent you not only from getting a promotion (and a corresponding increase in salary), but also from getting along with colleagues. Or miss that very vacancy of your dreams – just because you do not know how to present yourself, how to conduct “salon” conversations and how to charm the interlocutor.

You can earn more … by simply asking for a pay raise . The main thing is not to wait for the perfect moment, because this will never come by itself. Take the bull by the horns, start a conversation with your boss today, now. However, I do not advise those unprepared for such negotiations; think about how you will present your advantages and benefits to the employer. Describe your merits and in this way argue that you earned a promotion. Another option is to ask your boss directly what you need to do for the company to earn a promotion.

This point is especially relevant for freelancers and those whose working hours are determined by themselves. Don’t sleep long! An extra hour and a half in the morning will help you do more and, accordingly, get more in the end in monetary terms. If you are an owl, and you cannot physically get up earlier, then spend the same hour and a half at work in the evening. The principle is the same, and the result is worth the effort, if getting more is both the desire and the need.

Financially Problematic People Who Can’t Avoid Debt

Friend has a fancy gadget? Be sure to buy yourself one, or even cooler, so that he is already jealous. Did a colleague take an unusual vacation? You just need to surpass him now. Such a merry-go-round can last a lifetime, but who needs such a race? Perhaps the match problem is only in your imagination? The most important thing is to live your own life, not someone else’s. If you think about it and assess the situation sensibly, you can understand that absolutely no one needs this leapfrog with the “who – whom” competition. And do not be her, your personal finances will only benefit.

The second class of financially problematic people are those who want everything and more , and preferably as soon as possible, right now . That is, saving up cash for the desired acquisition is not as exciting as going right there and buying it – albeit for credit funds. And let it be necessary to give them away, already using the purchased thing, and it is not scary that the thing may lose its relevance, break down, cease to interest you even before you pay off the loan. The main thing is to buy now, it’s not scary that overpaying and with the prospect of working for interest.

The third category of careless squandering people are those who still dream of living like people in American TV shows (or just ordinary people abroad – who have what ideals). Namely, to own a home and a car, and preferably not the most inferior or modest ones. You can also add to this list a passion for travel abroad and other delights of a well-fed life. It’s great if you can afford all this without getting into debt. But are the benefits worth it to work hard to pay for them (and payments on all loans)? According to statistics, it is American citizens who suffer most from debt on loans.