TUESDAY TIP: How to communicate effectively with Slack

Brandon Schroth, a Digital Analyst for RAMS Home Loans says his tool of choice for communicating effectively is Slack: 

“I’m always trying to figure out ways to become more productive in order to meet tight deadlines. Communicating effectively with my team plays a large role in that and I’ve found that the most efficient way to keep in touch with everyone is through an app called Slack. Instead of trying to communicate through phone calls, texting, email, and Skype, everything runs smoothly as it’s integrated through the app. 

It’s really cool because I can talk about various subjects in different channels so that everyone on the team is able to see any updates, pictures, files and more. I can’t tell you how many times I struggled to maintain email threads that were a mile long. This tool has really helped condense all of that. It’s really easy to find content as well. Everything is searchable from one main search box.”

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My Top Gift Tips: Sarah Phillips, Oh So Coco

This week Sarah Phillips from Oh So Coco shares why tickets to the cricket were the greatest gift she has given, as well as her other gift giving and receiving experiences…

1. The best gift I ever received was… 
A day spa gift voucher. What a wonderful experience, a little pampering was just what I needed after working hard all year.”

2. The top gift on my wish list is…
An air fryer. I’ve been wanting one for so long as my husband & I are trying to eat a healthier diet to set a good example for our kids.”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
Tickets to the cricket. I gave these to my husband a few years ago and also happened to book his accommodation at the same place that the Australian team were staying in. He was over the moon, got to meet his sporting heroes.”

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…
My step-father, he always says he just wants a hug on Xmas day. Aaaggh!”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
Wine, well in my family it is the perfect last-minute gift!”

6. My hot gift buying tip is…
“For a stress-free experience, avoid the shops and the crowds and shop online.”

Oh So Coco specialise in luxury Coconut Bath & Body Products that are 100% Australian-made. Check out their product range at www.ohsococo.com.au.  

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My Favourite Quote: Stacey O’Keeffe, Fashion Weekly

What is your favourite quote? Most people have a quote or saying that really resonates with them. It’s usually something you read at just the right time when you need it the most. It remains with you forever, and is often recalled in challenging times. 

My Favourite Quote is our latest blog post series that explores some of our Guest Blogger’s favourite quotes that inspire and motive them. We hope you enjoy our first post from Fashion Weekly Director, Stacey O’Keeffe…

“Not reaching your potential is like dying with the music still inside of you.” 
– John C. Maxwell

“I found this quote about 4 years ago when I was reading John C. Maxell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. It was one of those moments where the quote jumped right off the page and struck a chord within me. I’ve never forgotten it and often refer to it when I feel like giving up or things seem too hard. I simply reflect on these powerful words as it encourages me to push through and keep moving forward. It’s also made me determined not to waste precious time or energy. Could you imagine not letting people hear your music?”

Stacey O’Keeffe has a goal and desire to positively influence and empower men and women worldwide. She is currently the Director of Fashion Weekly, a personal stylist and media influencer. 

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TUESDAY TIP: The benefits of EverNote

There are now so many helpful apps available when it comes to organising your To Do list and projects, but choosing one that suits your needs can be confusing. This week Marisa South from Vet & Pet Jobs shares why she is a fan of EverNote:

“I think the best organization app is EverNote. I really like it because I can create to-do lists for projects, write down reminders, take pictures, brainstorm ideas, create timelines, and so much more. I can save things from the Internet, and everything gets synced to all of my devices. It’s really cool because I can draw, write, type, record audio, take videos and create PDFs. Then everything is organized into notebooks. I’ve found it really useful when collaborating with team members, especially when feedback is needed on projects.”

Marisa South is the General Manager of Vet & Pet Jobs, a career website for employers and job seekers in the veterinary field.

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My Top Gift Tips: Natasha Dickins, Little Red Industries

DIY specialist and professional renovator Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries says the perfect gift is a handy one! Tash shares her other tips below…

1. The best gift I ever received was…
“My very first tool, a drill. When I was 17 and about to move out of home, my Dad said I had to be able to look after myself.”

2. The top gift on my wish list is…
“A year’s worth of manicures. Building furniture is tough on your hands!”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
“A set of screwdrivers in an office Kris Kringle. It was the most unattractive but wanted gift in the pile and resulted in lots of bartering.”

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for is…
“My beautiful hubby. Since I’m the practical one in the family I tend to give him handy gifts that are a bit underwhelming.”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
“A book. It’s easy to match a book to a friend, a personality type or a particular interest. And it’s easy to wrap!”

6. My hot gift buying tip is…
“It’s all in the wrapping! A beautifully packaged gift shows you’ve taken extra care and thought.”

Natasha Dickins of Little Red Industries www.littleredindustries.com makes bespoke furniture. Get in touch with her to design your own dining table or other pieces of furniture to suit your home and lifestyle. 

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New summer reading: 6 books to add to your reading list

New books for summer reading
What are you reading? 
6 new books to add to your reading list

Grab a glass of something cold, find a sunny (or shady spot) to soak up our latest books. These interesting reads also make great gifts. 

FOR YOU: Here’s a $20 Discount Voucher. To redeem your $20 voucher, simply enter Discount Code READ in the Discount Code field when you place your order (product total must amount to $20 for voucher to work). You’re welcome to use this yourself, or pass onto someone else you know who might enjoy using it. Voucher is valid until midnight Sunday 15/1/2017.

Metal Detector
1. Intuition: Unlock the power! $24.95 
Intuition is something most of us would have experienced at one time or another; it’s that gut-feeling or inner voice or ‘sixth sense’. It’s instinctive by nature, independent of rational analysis or deductive thinking. But can we actively develop our intuition and learn how to better utilise it? Author Dr Cate Howell believes we can, and shows us how in ‘Intuition’.
Love me Tender
2. Love me tender : the stories behind the world’s favourite songs $36.95
In a book full of surprises and curiosities, Max Cryer reveals the fascinating stories behind 40 songs from around the globe featuring artists as diverse as Mario Lanza, Judy Garland, Elton John and Marlene Dietrich.
How to Fake your Way through a Wine List
3. How to Fake Your Way through a Wine List: Tips and Tricks to Sound Like an Expert $19.95
The world of wine can be overwhelming – so many varieties and rules on what wine to pair with what dish. Fortunately help is at hand with Katherine Cole’s handy book, How to Fake Your Way through a Wine List: Tips and Tricks to Sound Like an Expert. 
Paired: Champagne and Sparking Wines
4. Paired: Champagne and Sparking Wines $34.95
This beautifully presented full colour hardback recipe book will encourage and support you to discover the pleasure of matching food and wine for yourself. This first volume showcases sparkling wines of all styles, and challenges usual perceptions by offering tantalising home-cooked recipes for every course of a meal.

5.Philosophy $19.95
Philosophy is to question everything. More than a lifestyle, larger than any single idea, broader than a conviction, philosophy is the love of exploration, of knowledge, of uncertainty, and of that cornerstone of free thinking: doubt. Kevin Perry’s “Philosophy” takes the reader on a grand tour of life’s biggest questions, examining all that the world’s greatest philosophers have said about life and death, love and loss, language, art and God, to name a few.
Fifty Ships That Changed the Course of History: A Nautical History of the World
6. Fifty Ships That Changed the Course of History: A Nautical History of the World $29.95
From the Stone Age to the present day, no technology has had a more profound impact on mankind than watercraft. Boats and ships made possible the settlement and conquest of new worlds. They determined the victors of history-changing wars and aided the spread of new philosophies, technologies, and religions. Even today, virtually everything we purchase and consume—from petroleum and consumer electronics to the clothes we wear and much of the food we eat—depends upon seaborne trade.

Thursday thought…

“All men dream: but not equally. 
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” 
– T.E Lawrence

Cake of the week: House-warming cake

A few weeks ago we moved house. If I’m honest, it was a pretty stressful event with two young children added to the mix! And I’m still unpacking boxes…

However, the whole ordeal was made more bearable when a gorgeous friend presented this beautiful homemade rainbow layer cake (inspired by this post) as a housewarming gift. 

It was absolutely delicious, and sustained me for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the first couple of days;-)

Why I love it:

  • I’m a huge fan of the tonal rainbow look – it’s a beautiful surprise when you cut the cake open. 
  • I adore the handwritten message. 
  • It was made with love and cheered me up after a stressful moving experience. 
  • It was delicious (and it fed me for two days!) 

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TUESDAY TIP: What’s the best app for staying organised?

After a short break over Christmas, our Tuesday Tips are back. This week we caught up Brian Gill from Gillware Data Recovery, who explained way OneNote is his favourite app:

“My favorite app for staying organized is OneNote, from Microsoft. I’m able to document everything relating to all of my projects, including typed notes, audio recordings, pictures, and much more. 

I like it because when I save my notes, everything is synced to all of my devices. There’s a variety of formats included as well. So you can make checklists, conduct research, attend meetings, and record lectures while taking notes. 

Another great feature is that it’s built for collaboration. Multiple users can be connected to the same notebook to either view the information that’s stored there, or make edits. Everything that gets edited is highlighted so everyone involved can easily see the recent changes. It’s really proven to be useful in my day to day business interactions.”

Brian Gill is the founder and CEO of Gillware Data Recovery, an industry leader and world class data recovery company. Learn more about Gillware Data Recovery at www.gillware.com

My Top Gift Tips: Jason Debel, Urban Strength

Jason is a big believer in listening to other people during the year to pick up clues for the best gifts to buy them. Here are some of his other Top Gift Tips…

1. The best gift I ever received was…
“A book called Caves of Steel by Issac Asimov. It was second hand too, but what made it really special was receiving it as an anniversary gift from someone I loved who knew me enough to give it. I had not read fiction for 10 years and this got my hooked into sci-fi.”

2. The top gift on my wish list is…
“This year I’m craving a good swag. I look forward to doing more camping.”

3. The best gift I have ever given was…
“It is hard to tell the best gift I’ve given as it requires me to know what others think. But one I’m most proud of that the person seemed to enjoy the most was donating my time to sit side-by-side for a day to help someone start a business.”

4. The hardest person I have ever had to buy a gift for was/is…
“The first gift for my partner. Not knowing her deeply like I do now made it harder and there’s expectations I set for myself :-)”

5. The best last-minute gift is…
“The best last minute gift I got was a massage from my partner. While it was good for the muscles to relax, it shows great love.”

6. My hot gift buying tip is…
Listen to people throughout the year and show interest in what they want. People give so many clues you can record for when it is time to give.”

Jason Debel is co-founder of Australian bodyweight training store Urban Strength. Learn more about Jason and his business at www.urbanstrength.com.au.