Microsoft Courier vs Apple iPad

So rumours of the Microsoft Courier Tablet are out and the iPad is coming in a month or two. Lot's of people saying the iPad is a luxury that no-one needs to have. A giant iPhone and nothing more. Well, Apple are still going to sell boat loads and these illustrations of the Microsoft Courier tablet and the Apple iPad show you why.

Courier leak:

iPad Padnotes

The Courier appeals more (if it indeed looks like this when launched) because it has two workable screens. I work on two screens at work and it increases my productivity. Likewise with the Courier you can do things on one screen whilst working on another. It also has stylus input which if you really want to write legibly you will need.

The iPad Padnotes app is equally as cool but I can't imagine trying to write accurately with my finger. If it allows a pen then I am sold. It is an early release which I am sure will be better on each release until it rivals the Courier software.

Paymo Online Billing integrates with Kashflow Online Accounting

My review on Paymo is coming but in the meanwhile I noticed that Paymo integrate with Kashflow. For those of you who are using basecamp, xero or similar this paymo and kashflow integration is brilliantly executed.

For those of you who don't know kashflow is easy to use online accounting and finance management software. Made for people who don't want the accounting jargon but want to manage their business finances, income and expenditure easily online from anywhere in the world.

Paymo is online time management and online billing software that helps you rock your freelance or small business work with ease.

A match made in heaven.

Visit Paymo website here

Visit Kashflow website here (and save £1 off per month with the signup discount code GIVEME1OFF)

iPad increases Christmas Gift returns

I recently returned a wifi router to Futureshop as it was useless and I needed to upgrade. In front of me in the line up was a nervous looking young man with a Sony eBook reader in his hand. As his turn came to approach the returns counter he asked for a refund and as the lady inspected the item he continually stuttered there was nothing wrong with it. This is a familiar sight to me and I recognise it as 'upgrade fever'. The hope that an item you recently purchased or were given can be returned in the hope you can buy the latest thing that got launched which makes your old 'cool gadget', uncool.

Immediately after as I walked to the Wifi Router section to find a worthy replacement I passed the young man again in the 'Apple' section of the store frantically pouring over the Apple website showing the iPad (released only that morning). He looked relaxed now as he had returned his Sony eBook reader and probably had sufficient funds to purchase the iPad when it launches in Canada.

What the West Coast of Canada needs to make e-Commerce Successful

I recently joined up with to supplement my TV watching and entertainment needs. After much research I found that Zip listed that they had a dispatch warehouse in Vancouver. This was good news and I expected that I would receive my DVD's within 2-3 days at least. Or so I thought. After adding a plethora of DVD's to my zip list, or zipping DVD's to my list as they call it, I was excited when my first dispatched email was sent within 3 hours of signing up. A great start; From start up to dispatch in 3 hours. The fall came when it listed Ontario as the dispatch nearly a week later I finally received my first DVD.

This experience with echoes all the online ordering I have done from within Vancouver. The main issue seems to be there are insufficient warehousing options on the west coast or it is not financially viable for these companies to hold stock on the West Coast.

Freshbooks adds multi-currency support to online invoicing

Freshbooks has long been a favourite time tracking and online invoicing/billing system for me. It makes it easy to track time, get paid and get reports on my productivity. The OS X widget makes it super easy to start and stop the clock as I work on projects which means I can be confident I am billing accurately.

The only thing freshbooks didn't have that was extremely limiting was multi-currency support. Now they do and in freshbooks style they have implement it well. I can now compile an invoice from my timesheets in 2 clicks flat, then select what currency I want to bill in. With one more button click I can convert the amounts into any currency with current exchange rates.

A truly useful addition to an already super online invoicing tool. Freelancers and small business can't go wrong with freshbooks.

Read more on the Freshbooks

The Karate Kid is back...(2010)

Who would have thought that the name alone would make it to the big screen again let alone using the same story. This time it is Jackie Chan, a personal favourite for light hearted Karate Movies and Will Smiths son, Jaden Smith. The trailer is online now and the movie is going into cinemas June 11. As a young man I was often likened to Ralph M from the original 3 Karate Kids. Can't say I liked it. Hopefully this movie gives some credit to the name.


New Years Resolutions

I don't have any New Years resolutions. I guess I am always New Year resolutioning even when it isn't New Years. Always a good time to consider the bigger picture I suppose and with each year the slider moves closer to the middle of my life spectrum so if I haven't achieved all I want yet then I should hurry up before retirement Golfing beckons.


eCommerce Shopping Cart abandonment statistics

Paypal and comScore have released their 8th Annual merchant survey which includes some extremely useful statistics regarding shopping cart abandonment rates. Canada needs to overcome two main hurdles before it can make eCommerce a more viable option to it's residents. The first is to reduce shipping charges and the second is to create more warehousing options on the West Coast to increase delivery speeds (and therefore reduce delivery charges to West Coast residents).

The overall abandonment rates were around 45% with these constituting a micro view.

High shipping charges: 46%
Wanted to comparison shop: 37%
Lack of money: 36%
Wanted to look for a coupon: 27%
Wanted to shop offline: 26%
Couldn’t find preferred pay option: 24%
Item unavailable at checkout: 23%
Couldn’t find customer support: 22%
Security concerns: 21%

Gandalf's single tip to effective an e-Commerce Checkout

This post will be short and to the point, just like your e-Commerce checkout funnel should be. In the first Movie of Lord of the Rings there is a scene in Frodo's house where Gandalf says to him 'Keep it secret. Keep it safe". He was of course referring to the Ring but the same could be a succinct way of summarising your check out process.

To help people make it through your checkout try to achieve that. Make them feel it is safe.

Here ends todays e-Commerce tip on behalf of Gandalf. Isn't he wise...

It's Christmas - a great time for singing....silently...

My mother-in-law sent me this and I have to say it made me laugh and look forward to Christmas this week.

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