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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Conceptual image of a man with crumpled paper around his head

 

This is going to be a bit of a meta post. As I was struggling to come up with some good ideas for blog posts this month (it can get a little dry constantly posting about how to change your web content and what to do when it comes to web security etc.) – I realized I had the perfect topic sitting right in front of me – writer’s block.

 

Change It Up for a New Perspective

Getting the inspiration to write about something fresh or new can be tough! Sometimes if I find myself staring at a blank page without even a topic idea, the best thing you can possibly do is just do something different for a little bit. It is a pretty quick and apparent thing if you do not have something obvious to write that there are not going to be words randomly materializing on the page – you need to get your ideas from somewhere!

 

Chat Up a Colleague

For inspiration, the first place I will usually look is to others, but in an indirect manner. Strike up a conversation with a friend or co-worker about the day or something unrelated to what you are doing. The unexpected elements of conversation can often act as a catalyst to ideas and new sources of writing. The same can be said for taking a walk somewhere or going out to take care of an errand (something of that nature) if you are stuck writing. It can simply break up the day a bit and when you return, you may just have the inspiration that you did not have previously.

 

New ideas can be tricky as sometimes this can require extensive research on the topic you’ll be writing about, but take this as further sources of inspiration! You may find something else you want to write about next time too while hunting for information.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Business woman looking at stickie notes

 

There is no doubt that human beings are creatures of habit and routine for the most part. Yes, we do need a certain amount of diversity in our day to break things up and make things slightly interesting, but for the most part we crave routine and it makes us happy, really without us realizing it for the most part.

 

Routine is Key to a Good Workflow

For the majority of us, we do have our individual routines and these can be very distinct and different at work than at home. I think as long as both routines are consistent, they can be different, this is fine. At work, the routine becomes very important as the lack of routine or the shake-up of the norm can really throw a wrench into workflow. Using tools such as scheduling platforms and calendars can help you organize your day, but if it lacks structure from the beginning this will do you little good other than to show you how busy you are.

 

Categorize and Organize Your Tasks

There are generally certain types of tasks a person is generally responsible for on a daily basis, even if the specifics for the task changes. A common strategy is to set blocks of time in your day to deal with certain categories of tasks, and once your time has elapsed to finish what you are doing and move onto the next block. This can not only help keep your day moving, but if you are noticing one particular task is remaining unfinished every day it points to either more time needed for that category, or the fact that those tasks could be being done quicker.

 

Little Things Make a Big Difference

Simple parts of the routine are important too. Didn’t get your morning coffee? Well this could drastically affect your ability to properly function in your day if it is part of your routine. Road delay caused you to be 10 minutes late? If this affects your routine, it is going to cause a lot more than 10 minutes of delay for you in the day. Make sure to take care of your needs every day as well, as it can be hard to stay at 100% in your routine (easier to cheat or deviate from it) if you lack sleep, proper nutrition, hydration etc.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Woman listening to music with headphones

 

Listening to music is a deeply personal thing, and everyone has different attachments to different music. Some people cannot get through their day without a constant soundtrack, while others can only handle 1 song or even dislike music altogether while they are trying to focus on tasks. For myself, there are certain genres I go to depending on the nature of the task at hand.

 

Calming Classical Tunes

If I need to answer a large number of customer emails or deal with any sort of situation which requires assisting a person/diffusing a situation, there is something about Classical Music that really helps with this. Whether it is the calming peaceful nature mixed with the brain-stimulating orchestration I do not know, but it allows you to pleasantly deal with just about any situation while still thinking clearly. I highly recommend this for the “Email” phase of your day.

 

Rock Out!

If there is tedious or grunt work to be done, the rock music comes out. This could be anything from data input to assisting a customer with a technical issue (doing the work, not the email reply). It helps to just put your nose to the grindstone and power through, and it does help with your energy levels I find.

 

Stimulating Lofi Electronic Music

When I need to do research, I will often put on a very low-key electronic music of some kind to stimulate thought, as if I am exploring new ideas, I want place myself in a mental state where I will be more receptive to these ideas.

 

These are examples, but find what works for you as it is again deeply personal when it comes to music selection. There is great power in music though, and it can help with your day!

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Person using a laptop and notebook

 

Something I often see from websites as they go through the process of creation and then maintenance is that content often ends up stagnant or untouched for a long time after initial release.

 

Often there isn’t a reason seen by the owner to go back and make updates to certain pages as maybe the information never changes or the content is buried fairly deep in the website. Even for constant or more hidden pages such as these, not only do individuals notice when nothing changes after a while but so do the search engines such as Google.

 

Check Your Content Regularly

It can instead be a good idea to regularly go through your pages and make updates, even just for the sake of bringing an update to the page visually. People will take notice, and arguably more importantly, so will the search engines. It sends an indicator to them that your business is active, and this gives you a sort of priority over businesses deemed to be inactive due to either lack of updates or poor availability of information.

 

Update Some Visuals

There are easy ways to look at this – for example if you decide to make a striking visual change to a webpage, it will be considerably easier and less time consuming for you it mimic these updates on the rest of your pages, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel on a page by page basis. Consistency between your pages in terms of content design also helps give the website a much more professional appearance.

 

You can get creative with this too!

Make many different versions of a page and see what you might like best. You can even have special versions you put up for holidays or special sales to draw a little more attention and to really give the appearance of having an active web presence.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Centric Dynamix's website on a computer monitor

 

About

At Centric Dynamix Inc., managers and leaders learn practical behavioural-based  communication and leadership skills – we don’t simply tell leaders what to need to say or do, we show them, step them through the process, and help them hone their new skills.

 

Centric Dynamix's Main Contact Person: Valerie Harrison, President

 

No. of Employees: 3

Established: 2003

Location: 128 Piper St. Ayr, ON

 

Visit Centric Dynamix's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

I was looking for an organization that could update my very old website and give it a new look and feel.  REM took me through the process step by step and explained how they would develop my website with me.  I realized that this company wasn’t just about the website – it was about developing strong working relationships with their clients to deliver exactly what they want.

 

REM also developed WebWiz@rd so that their clients can easily manage their websites on their own - it’s amazing and exactly what I was looking for!

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

Working with REM is fantastic, and this is coming from someone who is definitely NOT tech savvy.  From designing the concepts straight through to tweaking the finishing touches, I felt completely in control and listened to.  I threw a bit of a curve ball at them at the last minute and they didn’t miss a beat. They dealt with the situation in such a calm, professional manner that I wasn’t worried in the slightest. 

 

The staff are so talented at what they do and work well at continuously strengthening a solid working rapport.   Truly – I can’t say enough great things about REM Web Solutions!

 

 

The staff are so talented at what they do and work well at continuously strengthening a solid working rapport.   Truly – I can’t say enough great things about REM Web Solutions!

 

-- Valerie Harrison, President

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Woman on her laptop video chatting with another woman

 

Over the last few years, I have noticed a large shift away from telephone use for almost any purpose – whether that be contacting loved ones personally or any type of business transaction, not only are more and more moving to online-only, but several also now include video chat or video calling for certain purposes. This has proven to be far more effective than the phone from my experience, and here is why.

 

A Face to Go with the Voice

With the telephone, there is only one mode of communication – your voice. Your tone, inflection, volume, and other factors which influence your voice are the only tools you have at your disposal to communicate with the person on the other end of the line. Whether as a sales person trying to make a meaningful connection to the potential client, or a support person trying to assist the person with an issue, being able to make use of body language, facial expression, and even the background environment of the video itself to help you in your purpose, the only question would be why would you not do this?

 

Give Your Customers Options

There is also a large aversion to the telephone with under-30’s in general, so you are missing out on a very large market share by focusing on telephone only sales or support. It is very important that you still allow telephone access for those older users whom may not be comfortable using video conferencing, video chatting, screensharing or other more modern means of communication – you don’t want to cut out the other half of the market either, depending on your product or service that is.

 

Communication for the Modern World

The technology on video calling has come to the point where connection speed and hardware are no longer a problem for the average user, so we are at a tipping point, and I expect the next 5 years we will see the complete death of the phone in business, similar to what we saw with the fax 10 years ago – replaced by email.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Illustration that depicts a bull's eye target and digital business strategy

 

When you have a lot to say, it can be a challenge how to portray that information on your website sometimes in a way that is both informative and not overwhelming. The last thing you want is to have the information that the user is looking for available on your website, however not have them able to access/find the information.

 

There are a few key factors when it comes to targeting your readers to their purposes, and I am going to talk about those here.

 

Categorize and Organize

If you sell any product at all on your website, there are many ways you can target your readers. You can sort your products by category to allow users to browse at their leisure, or you can attach specific attributes to items and allow users to find them based on these. This is especially handy when paired with a search function – and don’t be shy when it comes to adding keywords and attributes! It takes time, but it really pays off in how much more flexible and usable the online store becomes with the correct connections made.

 

Make Information Easy to Access

Speaking of searchability, it is very important for your regular informational content to be easily accessible as well. This usually comes down to naming your pages in an informative way without going overboard with the description, as well as making sure your regular pages also come up in a search for information on the subject.

 

Be Short and Sweet

Lastly of course, making sure you are concise is important. Readers do not want to have to sift down through several layers of links to find something they are looking for, it needs to be as “Shallow” in the link tree as possible in order to maintain visibility to the average reader. It might be a different story if you were running a Wiki page, but for the average website you need to keep it concise.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Clipboards with check list with the words "Importance of Testing Your Work" on top

 

It is probably said fairly often, but especially in a world where your work is going to be visible to the public and probably instantly – it is very important to check your work!

 

Always Back Up Your Work

In my role here at REM, I often see projects at many different stages of iteration including the ones that have long since left our nest here and with clients whom are maintaining their websites 100% themselves. With changes that are typically made within any CMS, there is almost always a “sandbox” type environment where a version or copy of the page can be created and moved there to be worked on, completely safe from the eyes of the public until it is ready to go. Within WebWiz@rd, this is called “cloning”. Always utilize this when possible, as it saves a mistake being released right away to clients of the website.

 

Preview the Page Before Going Live

Of course, once you have changes made to a page in the cloning environment, you are always going to want to preview the page to see how it will actually end up looking to the user. Remember, when testing the preview of the page it is important to test it in multiple screen sizes to ensure good user experience for all. You can always drag the corners of your browser window to replicate the effect of the responsiveness of the content.

 

Ask for Help and a Second Eye

Lastly, it is always a good idea to have someone else look over your work in a serious fashion for quality control. This is beyond asking a co-worker or friend for a quick once-over as you will most likely be greeted with “it’s just fine!” or “seems good to me!” Instead, if you have access to a professional editor or copywriter of some kind this can be a much more effective option.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

Woman working from home using her laptop

 

With many of us having to adapt to new work environments with the recent pandemic, many of us have also had to adapt to new workflows and new processes for the familiar tasks we may be used to doing. I know for myself, I had initially thought how easy it would be work at home – I had another computer, bigger desk, I was in my own environment, it seemed like it could only be an improvement. In reality it doesn’t start out this way, but you can push yourself to get there!

 

Self Discipline from Distractions

First off, at home you are faced with all of your familiar distractions, as well as all the things you need to still get done around the house looking right at you. You need to have a much higher level of discipline and even be fairly well practiced at mental gymnastics to attempt to avoid thinking about the fact you are even in your own home until the evening. The temptation to get up and go empty that dishwasher might be high, but you must resist if it’s during an hour you normally wouldn’t even have access to your dishwasher. Getting absolutely everything in good shape the night before is the best tip for this, as there just won’t be anything to think about, but I recognize this can be impossible for many.

 

Decluttered and Organized Desk

At your desk, you need to clear away distractions and focus on what would improve the workflow – so you have a work laptop and now have the ability to hook up two more monitors at home? Great! Do this instead of using both your work and home computer simultaneously, as the disconnect between the two machines can actually end up causing fairly significant delays if you are attempting to use them to multitask or improve your workflow. I have personally been tempted to try and set up a VR workstation at home so that I would have access to unlimited screens, however I haven’t taken this on just yet!

 

Work Environment is Important

Now that you are home, you have full reign over your domain and can change your working environment however it would better suit you. Don’t be satisfied with that fluorescent kitchen light for your “office” – spruce up your working environment, the lighting, the ambience, everything you can think of is now at your control – manipulate it to psychologically put you in the best possible mood without relaxing you too much, and you will have a great productive day.

 

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This is a headshot of Brad Anderson.

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce website on a computer monitor

 

About

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization representing 1800+ local business professionals. The chamber reflects a diverse network of small, medium and large businesses from almost every industry sector and business profession.

 

Cambridge Chamber's Main Contact Person: Lisa Durocher

 

No. of Employees: 12 staff

Established: 1973

Location: Cambridge, ON

 

Visit Cambridge Chamber's website

 

 

 

Q:

Why did you choose REM?

 

A:

I continue to choose REM Web Solutions for all my website developments, because their communication, follow-through and development knowledge is unbeatable, and they are very responsive to any needs that you have.

 


Q:

What was it like working with REM?

 

A:

We recently went through a redesign of our website and couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The site is amazing and user friendly. Their ability to make the transition painless was so much appreciated and it saved me a tremendous amount of time. With REM Web Solutions you get what you want, you get something that’s very effective, and it’s going to be for a great price.

 

 

With REM Web Solutions you get what you want, you get something that’s very effective, and it’s going to be for a great price.

 

-- Lisa Durocher

 


 

Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!

 

Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

Sales: sales@remwebsolutions.com

Support: support@remwebsolutions.com

 

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