SignMyPad – the PDF Document and Signature Solution

SignMyPad is a great app that is perfect for those in the sales industry, or those practicing law or real estate transactions. It allows users to fill in information in fields on a document as well as gain viable signatures from clients on-the-fly.

The Test

Running a test on an iPad shows that this is a very user-friendly and quick application for filling in text fields, dates, check boxes and more on documents. While other applications such as Smartnote may have a couple of more alternatives for the insertion of special characters, Smartnote is nowhere near as fast as SignMyPad. Since those in the real estate, law and sales industries are frequently only n need of check boxes, signatures, and text fields, this app fits perfectly.  If you are using the newest iPad OS, you should also have a bit more flexibility and functionality. Using it is s easy as selecting the type of items to enter.

  • Date
  • Radio Button
  • Signature
  • Check Box
  • Text

Using the date option auto-enters the current date and a sales person should be able to create a full purchase agreement without spending too much time or putting clients on hold for too long.

Pros of SignMyPad

  • Fast
  • User-friendly
  • Flexible
  • Functional
  • Opens documents from email attachments or Dropbox

Cons of SignMyPad

  • No landscape option
  • In some instances copy and paste does not work across documents

About SignMyPad

This app was created by Autriv Software Developement and is available for $3.99. The newest version allows for saved signatures and a clean folder interface for users.  Even if signing documents isn’t an everyday thing for you in your industry, the convienience versus the price makes this a must-have app. A Pro version for $19.99 includes geo-tagging options for saved PDF’s.

This app is available on iPad and Android.

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

Sources:

Freelancing in the Digital Age

A few weeks ago, I read the blog post of one of my colleagues at digitalbrandmarketing.com, Megan Campbell. Her post was titled, Why Twitter is Better Than Facebook for Marketing Yourself as a Freelancer.

It started off like this, “Working as a freelance writer means a lot of self-promotion. Really, working as a freelance anything means a lot of self-promotion. It is up to yourself to get your name and work out there for the world to see. You are, in a sense, a business. Fortunately, in this day, social media gives you the perfect platform for all the free self-promoting you could ask for. I can’t imagine how hard it was to begin a freelance career before the Internet existed.”

Drafting table with graphic design tools

Drafting table with graphic design tools used pre-computer design. © Alison Gilbert

I chuckled to myself not only able to imagine what it would have been like to be a freelancer before the Internet existed but also remembering what it was like. Although I was in the graphic design end of the communications industry, the characteristics of being a freelance writer are similar enough to merit my comparison.

I could not resist sharing my memories. I am slightly paraphrasing my comment about her post. ‘I think your article is excellent. In today’s economy and technology, you are right on the mark.

‘I do want to share with you and your readers what it was like in the 1980′s and early 1990′s to be a freelancer. It was easy! Social media did NOT exist and it was NOT a problem. It fact it was easier then than it is now to have to keep up on every platform where my name, username and password have taken up residence and will likely continue to do so on an almost daily basis as more new platforms pop up.

‘My first year, I had 25 clients. Most of them came to me as warm leads from a women’s group that I belonged to. Quite a few of the women worked at ad agencies. I hardly had to look for work. Granted it was a very different economy from today’s. But perhaps social media has evolved in response to these times and a much more challenging economy. Therefore given the chance for it to still be pre-digital and pre-social media, I would go back to the analog days in a heartbeat.

Designer's desktop© http://www.123rf.com/

‘Don’t get me wrong. I love social media. In fact, I am what we call an addict. Do I also qualify as an evangelist? I never stop talking and preaching about its many merits.

‘But on the other side of the coin is the fact that I now have to think about everything globally rather than just locally. It is a MUCH bigger job. I have met so many people in the two or three years since I joined facebook. I can hardly remember anyone’s name. It may be a part of maturing to feel that life was easier then than it is now. I think it is called reminiscing. But it WAS easier, definitely slower and simpler.

‘I easily made $15 to $20/hour, worked a 5 hour day, took an express bus to and from the client’s office, had my bag of tricks, a tool box the size of a book, not an iPad, my paste-up skills, and my lunch if I was working in an area where I did not know of places to eat. I often got paid very quickly. I could easily make $500/week and in those days that covered my rent. It was mostly a manageable life.

‘If you or anyone else are interested, I am the NY Graphic Design examiner.com. I wrote a series of posts about being a graphic designer before the computer age, through the transition from analog to digital and since the computer. I would love to hear what others think both about what you wrote about today and what I have indicated about how it used to be like compared to what it is like now.’

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET

SOURCES
From the NY Graphic Design Examiner


OTHER RESOURCES

The Discovery Mode of Mobile – Elliot Nix Speaks at #SMWsmac

Elliot Nix, Senior Account Executive, for Mobile Google started out his set with a distinct reach into the depths of where mobile is really taking us. He shares in a couple of different examples about how it is effecting not only those of us who are amazed and appreciative of today’s technologies in relation to the more traditional formats we grew up with, but even how it is affecting those who have never known some of the more traditional media forms that many of us grew up with.

Kids Know the Darnedest Things

One instance was where his daughter  announced that she wanted to visit her Grandma that day. He explained to her that a visit to Grandma’s just wasn’t on the schedule for that day. Everyone has things to do, he just couldn’t get her there that day. Asserting her independence, she told him that she could get there herself. She asked him for his phone. She brought Google Maps up on his phone, clicked the bike path directive button, and showed him exactly how she could get there. A bit shocked by the fact that he didn’t know that option existed, even though he works for Google, showed him a pretty cool lesson about how are kids are learning to get around in this digital age, that for them, has never been anything but.

There is a discovery mode and a different level of interaction that is expected when it comes to mobile for the future of everyone’s business.

To A Child, a Magazine is an iPad that Doesn’t Work

The other story Nix shared was the one about a viral video that shows a baby playing with an iPad, and then playing with a magazine. Although she is very little, it is clear to see when faced with the traditional magazine, she is perplexed as to why it isn’t functioning. She can even be seen making sure her swipe finger is working properly.


Smartphone Usage is Skyrocketing

Nix shares that with the number of Smartphone sales and usage continuing to rapidly climb, not having mobile interaction on site for your business could be fatal. With roughly over 1 million new Smartphone devices activated daily, we are swiftly turning into an entire generation of folks into full-time mobile interactivity consumers. Nix relates that every time a new mobile device such as an iPad or long awaited Android release occurs, there is a clear spike in mobile sales and interactivity.

Mobile search is about saving time and interactive efficiency. Having any created apps optimized for quick search and discovery is imperative. Nix highlights the importance of analysing and recognizing customer behavior on mobile devices and then subsequently turning that information into actions.

To watch Elliot’s entire set including a highly informative question and answers section as well as a checklist of great practices for mobile search marketing, please check out the video from the #SMWsmac event.

Author:

Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the Content Manager and Editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy regularly works in SMM via freelance consulting  private clients with their social media campaigns.

Sources:

Apple Aims to Change the Face of Education

We were all asking ourselves what will be Apple’s next big thing. What new device did Steve Jobs nurture before his untimely demise?

Is it going to be Apple TV which Jobs was talking about in the past few years? A new sleek and shiny gadget we couldn’t do without?

About 10 days ago, and without the usual fanfare reserved for a new gadget, Apple revealed their new big project.

Changing education by making text books and knowledge easily accessible to all.

At the event, which was held at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, Apple executives said: “We try to bring the same energy and passion we’ve put into every product we make into our education business as well.” They start by reinventing the k-12 school textbooks.

Armed with the fact that there already are over 1 ½ million iPads used for education and over 200,000 learning apps, they are expending their reach by introducing 3 new components:

iBooks 2

This is a reinvention of the iBooks store and is geared toward textbooks. And what textbooks do they offer? One example is the excellent E .O Wilson’s book “Life on Earth”.

This kind of Interactive book is similar to the interactive wonder the guys from Push Pop Press did with Al Gore’s book “Our Choice”. The book was presented in a TED conference in Sept. 2009 and in many minds showed the possibilities of future education. Pop Push Press was consequently bought by Facebook in August 2011. I believed at the time Facebook is aiming to change the textbook, but Apple seems to beat them to it.

The new interactive books, with text, images and videos offer everything in such an elegant and seamless way. You tap on the picture, it becomes full screen, you pinch it small and it goes back to where it was before. Slides of microscopic looks and vast vistas are a simple click away.

To get the feel of this new book you can download “Life on Earth” free of charge. It might take some time because the file is heavy but it is well worth it.

Apple hopes that many more educators will put time (and money) into creating new books which will be presented at the iBooks 2 stores and will be accessible without charge.

The other kind of interactive books are the traditional textbooks, used by students all over the United State grades k-12. You can see a sample of the book on Chemistry from McGraw Hill. It not only looks more appealing than the traditional book, with more graphics and charts, it is interactive because you can do things with the book. You can tap and drag to highlight text you think is important, you can type note relevant to the page and you can collect all of them in one place, replacing notes and  cue cards.

Those textbooks will cost no more than $14.99. Major publishers such as Houghton Miffilin Harcourt, McGraw Hill and Pearson are already working with Apple to produce more books.

iBook Author

To facilitate the creation on new books, Apple released a free OS X program. Those who’ve tried it say it is every bit as promised.  It makes life very simple by dragging and dropping media in the places you want it to be. (http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/19/apples-ibooks-author-hands-on/)

Teachers can create their own books and share them with their students on iPads. They can expend to areas beyond the curriculum and design a lively course that can be easily updated as new research becomes public. They can post assignments and class schedules.

Why would a teacher do that instead of telling the students to find it by themselves? There is too much information on the web, apple executives say. Sorting it out, knowing what is important and putting it all in one place is the future of education.  Pending Apple’s approval, the books will be published for free, in the iBooks store.

There’s another model of selling the books, in partnership with Apple (70/30). The books have a price limit of $14.99.

iTunes U

iTunes U has been around for almost 4 years, with very little attention outside the academic world. Regardless of this fact, more than 700 million downloads have already been made. Now the service is getting its own app.

iTunes U has a collection of thousands of courses from different universities. Some look like a spiral notebook and when you open them you can find the course description, the syllabus and the teacher’s bio. You can find out ahead of time what you are getting yourself into. The integration with iBooks is complete. If it says in the course you need to read an article from a certain book, no need to look it up in the store. A click will link you directly to the correct book and the right page. One click will get you back to the course and your homework. Some of the courses have live lectures as well. Teachers post assignments, homework and can leave notes. The Open University has some wonderful books on various subjects, for courses to be taken online.

The iPad can be now the only learning tool you will need. You can highlight sections, you can type notes, and you can have it all in one easy place for review.

No more excuses. Now you can learn anything, anywhere, anytime.

 Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

 Sources:

VACATION: Escape from Digital World

Although my recent vacation to Colorado was not intended to be for this reason, it did turn out to be something of an escape from the digital world. I actually wondered if I would be able to go two weeks without the tremors of withdrawal from daily facebook contacts, exchange of e-mails, online bookkeeping, blogging, etc.

Escape

Escape from the Digital World © Beso.com

I am delighted to report that I did abstain without incident or discomfort. But I do have a confession to make. I had at my disposal both an iPad and an iPhone. They proved themselves to be essential traveling companions. In addition, the situation necessitated my learning how to use them. I now can text, download apps, do banking and enjoy their benefits.

There were many incidents when both proved themselves to be not only indispensable but also assets to our enjoyment. Let me elaborate. We spent a week in Denver, a lovely cosmopolitan area that has a downtown that has married the best of old and new architecture, is culturally rich and diverse, and because of my knowledge of Google searches, we were able to partake in quite a few of Denver’s offerings.

iPhone

iPhone, named 'Minnie Me' photo © Apple

We had met an Ethiopian gentleman at a 7-11 where we made our daily morning walk coffee stop. We got to talking and I inquired about Ethiopian food. Since I have an adventurous and curious palette, I was excited about experiencing Ethiopian food.

A simple Google search for ‘Ethiopian restaurant in Denver, Colorado’ took me to a list of places in Denver. After reading the reviews on several listings, it was easy to decide where to go. The food was fantastic. The service was excellent. The price was very reasonable.

Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant

Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant

They make bread that is like nothing I have ever tasted before in my life. It is in the shape of a pancake but has a spongy consistency with the taste of sour dough. One of these ‘pancakes’ is placed beneath the platter of food and several others are served on the side rolled up like cigars.

Reviews of Habesha Restaurant

Reviews of Habesha Restaurant

The food is eaten by hand in the same tradition of Indian food. One rips a piece of the bread from the platter benefiting from the contents atop it, vegetables and or meat as ordered. It is as delicious as it sounds.

Habesha Restaurant found on Google Places

Habesha Restaurant found on Google Places

Also in Denver, I needed to find some Asian foodstuffs as I had run out of seaweed and other treats. Once again a Google search did the trick. I found the largest Asian foods store in Denver. I could rival many in the NY area.

Pacific Merchantile Company

Pacific Merchantile Company

Pacific Merchantile Company's Google Place page

Pacific Merchantile Company's Google Place page

One minor but crucial search was for a Bank of America. That was a bit more challenging since the Google search did not reveal one essential factor. There are no actual branches. There are only kiosks within shopping centers or office buildings and much harder to locate.

The most significant use of our digital companions involved our fly fishing trip to Basalt in the mountains near Aspen. No search for where to go was necessary since we had found fly fish heaven the year before on the introduction to my beloved sport.

Fly Fishing in Basalt, Colorado

Frying Pan Angler is the best place to go for all your fly fishing needs.

But when I went online to review the place I go to for guides and equipment, I noticed only two reviews. One of them was less than glowing. It was listed first even though it was from 2009. That was easy enough to resolve. I added my own review(s) and made the owner of the Frying Pan Angler aware of the situation and suggested how they could easily overcome that outdated and unflattering review.

Frying Pan Angler reviewed as it should be.

Frying Pan Angler reviewed as it should be.

All told, I did manage not to read any e-mail. I had left an auto responder message saying that I had gone fishing. I did not check to see if there had been phone calls on my business number. I had given the same ‘gone fishing message’ there as well.

In conclusion, not only did I escape from my daily addiction to hours on the computer but also for a change, the digital world served me. I was not its slave.

Sources:
Google Searches
Google Maps
Google Places
Local Online Business Directories

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