Don’t read the manual!

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There are a few hidden features in the Glasnost interface that make it easier to view information, especially if you have limited screen space.

We use them day in day out but you may not know they exist.

So, instead of boring you with dull text explaining do this, do that…. here is a very quick video (now in HD).

You can also watch the movie on Vimeo.

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What would Einstein do?

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ONE OF Einstein’s colleagues asked him for his telephone number one day. Einstein reached for a telephone directory and looked it up. “You don’t remember your own number?” the man asked, startled.

“No,” Einstein answered. “Why should I memorize something I can so easily get from a book?”

Yesterday I read a tweet asking how to remember someone’s Twitter handle, saying they usually looked up their LinkedIn profile and tried to get it through that. Well, bringing Einstein’s thinking up to date I think, not entirely humbly, that he’d have used something like Glasnost21. For with Glasnost it’s like ‘write once, read anywhere’ – simply ensure you log the full details of your contacts and then, as if by magic, you’ll never ‘forget’ anything again.

Take a look at this:

Glasnost iPhone CRM

This is a screenshot from the Glasnost21 iPhone App. Telephone numbers, email addresses, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog profiles are all there. In fact, whatever contact method you use or might need can all be found in one place. Click on a telephone number and the call is placed, click on twitter and it’ll load their stream, tap on LinkedIn and their profile comes up immediately.

So, as I am sure Einstein would appreciate, you just need to write these details down once. After that, forget about them and free up some space in your brain for something more important.

Maybe though, ignore this other piece of advice: ‘”WHEN I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock,” Einstein once recalled. “So I stopped wearing socks.”‘

Antony Slumbers

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Simple solutions to tricky problems: No1

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In the Telegraph today is an article entitled ‘Commuters face worse overcrowding’. It describes how:

“Overcrowding on Britain’s railways is going to get “substantially worse”, an influential committee of MPs has said.” And goes on to say “In a highly critical report, the Public Accounts Committee warned that the Government and rail industry would fail to provide the extra seats needed to keep up with soaring demand for rail travel.

The plight of commuters in major provincial cities is particularly bad, with the rail industry on course to deliver only 25,500 of the extra 38,000 seats that are needed to prevent overcrowding deteriorating further by March 2014 – a shortfall of around a third.

In London only 99,000 of the 117,000 extra seats will be provided, leaving the capital’s commuters 15 per cent short of the what the Department for Transport had identified as necessary.”

The full piece can be read in full here

Now the detail that is really frightening is that all this will occur despite £9 billion (yes BILLION) being spent on the railways in the next 5 years.

So £9 billion and still, in London, there will be 15% more commuters than available seats.

How then can we, as a country, ensure that everyone gets a seat? Well really the solution is simple. Use the technology that is available, simple and CHEAP to work just one day a week from home. Or from some other place that does not involve getting on a commuter train.

How hard can that be to organise? Really, can you not imagine organising your working week enough to ensure that for just one day you do not need to spend large amounts transporting yourself to a very expensive office to sit and work?

Personally I do it the other way around and commute one day a week to London. The rest of the time I work from my (admittedly abnormally lovely) home office at the end of my garden. The day I’m in town is for reviewing progress, defining new goals and sorting out issues that need to be sorted out in person. It is an intense but enormously productive day. 5 days worth of water cooler moments, brain storming and analysis in one day. We’ve worked like this for ten years and it is mighty effective.

And on the days at home I use Skype for phone calls, screen sharing and video chats. Powwownow when we need to conference call with people away from their net connection. And of course Glasnost for getting things done. I have ALL my information on Glasnost, every comment, document, task or image I need to deal with. and when I’m not at my own desk I have the same access to everything through the Glasnost iPhone App.

It’s really that simple – use the right tools, save yourself a lot of money, and solve the tricky problem of too many bums for seats!

Try it – it works

Antony Slumbers

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Our new strapline

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Glasnost21 - Bringing people together

Glasnost21 - Bringing people together

In the spirit of ‘it does what it says on the tin’ we’ve tried to encapsulate the ‘point’ of Glasnost.

Have we succeeded? What do you think?

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Glasnost21 iPhone App V2

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Glasnost21 iPhone App V2

Glasnost21 iPhone App V2

We are delighted to announce that Version 2 of the Glasnost21 iPhone App is now available for download.

What’s new in this version?
Full Project details – Comments, Tasks and Documents. Access to all Image Galleries

In short, this is a major upgrade and gives you access to pretty much all you need from Glasnost – on the go.

It works on an iPhone, iTouch and iPad.

There is something enormously comforting knowing that wherever you are you can access whatever you need. We’re addicted! Hope you will be to.

For more information, take a look at this.

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The Glasnost21 iPhone App is now available

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We are delighted to announce that Version 1 of the Glasnost21 iPhone App is now available for free in the Apple AppStore.

The Glasnost21 iPhone App provides a tightly focused subset of features to subscribers of the web-based system, concentrating on contacts data, and tailored to the requirements of Glasnost21 users on the move.

The App requires a subscription to the web-based Glasnost21 system, but you can of course try it out in conjunction with our free 30 trial offer.

Get it on the iTunes App Store!

Glasnost iPhone App

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Create Calendar bookings straight from Project Tasks

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Following user requests we’ve added a really useful new feature that allows you to add an iCal notification to a project task. When you add a task you have the option of attaching an iCal file to the email that Glasnost sends out to all those assigned to the task. With this all the recipients can easily add the task date details into their calendars, pretty much irrespective of what software they use.

By doing this you can make better use of the tasks feature as it now makes sense to add meetings, appointments or reminders into Glasnost. Or indeed, you can block out a team members diary for a set time to work on a particular task.

To make use of this, just add a start and end date and time to a project task, check the new box ‘Send to Calendar’ and that’s it. The recipient will receive an email with a .ics file attached. They click on this and add to the calendar of their choice.

Easy to use and very useful. Hope you like it.

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Glasnost and Powwownow

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As well as making full use of Skype we are also great fans of Powwownow. This service allows you to easily set up landline conference phone calls. And the real beauty is that it costs you no more than making a normal call.

Using the free version you first give Powwownow your email address and they send you a telephone number and a pin code. Distribute these details to whoever you want to conference with, and ask them to phone the number and follow the instructions. It’s really so easy and efficient.

There are paid for versions which offer other features that may or may not be of use to you but we just use the standard version.

Typically what we do is:

1. Start a Skype Conference Call
2. Enable screen sharing
3. Dial in to Powwownow
4. Get on with business !

Working this way, Skype provides free screen sharing and powwownow ensures high quality phone calls.

Combine both of these with Glasnost and you’ve pretty well got all you need to operate anytime, anywhere and with whoever you like.

And of course if you want to see each other then simply turn on video mode in Skype.

Glasnost, Skype and Powwownow – what more do you need?

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Glasnost and Skype

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We’ve taken to using Skype a lot recently. In particular the screen sharing facility. For those not familiar with this one can simply allow people you are having a Skype session with to view your computer screen or indeed they can allow you to share their screen.

Whether you are giving a product demonstration, or working together on a document, or simply letting people know what you are working on, this works brilliantly.

Combine Glasnost with Skype and your productivity will rocket !

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Glasnost 21 and Virtual Assistants – The perfect match ?

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If you are a Virtual Assistant then Glasnost has a lot to offer you and could really turbo charge your productivity.

For a start the whole service is available online, so wherever you or your colleagues, clients or suppliers are, everyone can access the same information.

Also the service was specifically designed for working with people outside of your own company or network. Our subscription plans are based on external users who can access projects and image galleries and internal users who also get the CRM / contact management module.

And the functionality we’ve built into the service covers much of what one needs to do on a day to day basis. We originally built this software to help us run our own web software business and we think the things we required are pretty commonplace amongst ‘knowledge workers’. Below is what we needed and what we built into Glasnost. If your requirements are similar it WILL work brilliantly for you as well.

We needed:

Contact Management to:
1. Manage many companies details
2. Manage and interact with many contacts
3. Track all comments, assign tasks and store documents relating to the above
4. Create Task reports for sales meetings
5. Be able to create good looking email newsletters
6. Be able to send these newsletters to unlimited custom mailing lists
7. Link companies to relevant projects
8. Distribute contact details by vCards
9. Keep abreast of what our clients were doing by enabling real-time searching across Twitter, Google News and Google Blogs.

Project Management to:
1. Create unlimited projects and link users to them
2. Track and share comments
3. Track and share tasks
4. Track and share documents
5. Have advanced search facilities across tasks and documents
6. Have good quality reporting on project activity
7. Keep everyone updated by email whenever any activity occurs
8. Have all the above outputted to bespoke RSS feeds
9. Link projects to companies and image galleries

Image Management to:
1. Store and share any number of image galleries for marketing, presentations, websites etc
2. Add comments to images
3. View metadata and licensing information of images
4. Batch upload and edit images
5. Create custom lightboxes
6. View as slideshows
7. Link galleries to projects and companies

Instant Messaging to:
Text chat and share documents in real time with a fellow user

1. Be able to view and keep track of all the above really easily
2. Do it all with a system which is attractive and a pleasure to use.
3. Be able to easily collaborate on all of this with our colleagues, clients and suppliers

Please take a free trial of Glasnost and let us know how you get on.


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Glasnost is a cloud-based Project, Contact and Image Management tool for desktop and iPhone. This is the developer blog with Glasnost news & views.

For more general information, please see the main Glasnost website