Monday 30 September 2013

4 things I'm lovin' about OSX Mavericks

Mavericks is the soon-to-be released OSX 10.9. Apple have run out of cat names and want to promote their 'designed in California' aspect.

I have it running on a new Air and have been working through my own apps making sure that they're ready for Mavericks. I'm gradually using that machine for more and more tasks.

Some background: there are many things I disliked about Lion and have considered Snow Leopard to be the height of their powers. I felt that they'd lost their way - coincidentally at the time that Steve Jobs went off sick.

This year's Developer Conference was a turning point. I saw some well overdue features in OSX (I've been waiting for messages in OSX, for example). They turned back on some of the things that I hated (skeuomorphic design - I think the graphic designers ran amok while the usability guys were on holiday). And I saw them innovating once more.

Here are the new Mavericks features that really make it rock for me.

1. Tabbed finder

A small enhancement but really nice. They're already familiar and natural to use. You can tear off a tab into a new window or combine Finder windows.

 2. iOS App bonanza

We've had Notes and Reminders for a while but now they're alongside Messages, iBooks (your books from iTunes will now appear here) and Maps (Not quite as useful when on the move as a 3G-enabled device but still welcome)

3. Tagging files

Again, long awaited and really useful. We now escape from the concept of one file being in one folder. Assign a tag to files that are related, and click the tag in Finder's sidebar to see them all together as if they're in a virtual folder.

 4. Clean minimalist look

No more cows or trees will be harmed and they've run out of green baize. I refused to even open iCal post Lion - the torn-off pages looked silly and unnecessary. Thank you Apple for a lovely clean and consistent look to iCal, Address Book, Notes and others.

Some of the things that I don't like are still there. For example, mono icons in the sidebars and toolbars make it more difficult to find the item you're looking for.

I wish 'Save As..' would come back and I don't like my folders being hidden from me, but we haven't gone any further down this road and my fears about the filing system disappearing completely are allayed for now.

I'm using the new machine for more and more tasks and looking forward to using it as my main machine. I'm well and truly back on board with Apple.

Friday 20 September 2013

Importing sales from Squarespace or Paypal into Organise

This tutorial requires Organise version 7.2.2 or higher.

(At time of writing this version is currently available from Organise's home page, soon from other download websites and from the Mac App Store after Apple's approval.)

First you'll need to obtain your data in csv format from your provider.

You'll find a new menu item - File > Import > Special.
Choose squarespace or paypal as appropriate.

There are two paypal imports because for reasons unknown I've seen two different formats from Paypal. Either try each menu item in turn and see which works best, or preview your csv and check whether the customer address is in one field with commas separating (paypal) or the parts of the address are in separate columns (paypal2)

Organise will attempt to import the information; for each line in the csv it will create:

  • an Order
  • Billing and Delivery Contacts if the information is in the csv. If a Contact with the same name and postcode exists already, Organise will not duplicate it but link to the existing one.
  • an Item in your inventory if an Item with the same item number doesn't exist already
  • a payment on the Order for the amount paid
Although the Orders list will be behind the Open file dialog, you may be able to see whether the expected information is in the columns. If something looks wrong or you know you've made a mistake, you'll be able to click 'Doesn't look right' to abandon the import. Otherwise press OK to continue. (You can of course later select the imported information and delete it if you need to).

Note that the new Orders will bear a transaction ID (known in Squarespace as the Payment Reference) displayed opposite Organise's own reference number. This isn't editable (but you can select and copy it) so you have a permanent reference to the original Squarespace / Paypal transaction. It also allows Organise to avoid importing the same record again if you try to import the same file again or import another file containing overlapping information.

Friday 6 September 2013

An FAQs or Knowledge Base system

Clipassist has some powerful new features; a search box and the ability to meta-tag clips. These enable Clipassist to be used as an FAQs or Knowledge Base system.

To categorise your clips, switch to the folder view (the two buttons to switch between flat and folder views are at the bottom-right of the sidebar). Create folders with the [+Folder] button and name them. You can drag and drop your clips to move them to another folder.

From version 3.3, you can add tags, comments, search terms or misspellings to each clip. To show the tags field, use the little disclosure button at the bottom-left of the main text pane, or View > Show Meta Data or cmd-D.

To search by keyword you can simply type a keyword(s) into the search field.

As ever, you can copy the displayed clip using Edit > Copy, cmd-Alt-C or the toolbar button. Depending on your Preferences you can single-click or double-click the clip's name to copy the clip. 

Thursday 5 September 2013

Screensleeves absolutely free for today only are launching a new site and to celebrate are giving away freebies all week. I've teamed up with them to give away Screensleeves absolutely free for today only. (usually 4.95 to remove the 'please support' message). Tell your Maccy friends!

[edit - link taken out as out of date]

Update your XML sitemap by FTP on your server using Scrutiny

1. Crawl your site and switch to the Sitemap tab. Make sure that the information is correct. You can use rules to change the priorities and update frequency of your pages or edit those manually. You can use the canonical href to avoid duplicate urls in your sitemap.

2. In Preferences > Sitemap you can choose whether the exported file is saved locally, saved and then ftp'd or just ftp'd.
3. If you've chosen to save locally you'll see a save dialog. Enter a suitable name and location (for saving on your computer) and OK that.

4. If you've chosen to ftp then you'll see the ftp dialog. These details should be saved for future use with the site's settings (if you've already saved a set of settings for this site.)
The server name should be the full name of the server, without the ftp:// scheme. Check whether the root of your website has a directory on your server such as docs or htdocs. These should be the same details as you enter in an ftp application.

5. If the ftp doesn't appear to work, if you open Console (in your Applications > Utilities folder) and try the export again you can see a trace in the Console window.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Getting started with Organise - Creating an order, generating the invoice / delivery note

Here's how to enter the details of an order into Organise and generate paperwork in just a few clicks.

The process is very similar if using the 'checkout' (point of sale) interface.

1. Click the 'New Order' button or use File > New > Order or cmd-N
2. Add a title and select a status

3. Click the 'Billing' tab.  For an existing customer (or if you're not sure whether it's an existing customer) click 'Select Contact' and search for their name, postcode, whatever.  For a new customer, click 'New Contact' and paste in their details.  You can use the 'Paste' button to paste the whole name and address into the separate fields.

4. If the delivery address is the same as the billing one, skip to 5.  Otherwise repeat 3 in the Delivery tab.

5. If the items ordered are already in your inventory ('Items') then select them using the 'Select from Items' button.  Otherwise you can add an item 'Adhoc'. (which will not add the item to your Items list).
6. Click through to the 'Financial details' tab. Press the 'Calculate' button to add up the total of the order.   Enter a shipping amount if applicable. If the full amount has been paid, click 'Tender full amount'.  You can enter a part-payment using 'Add payment'
7. Choose a template (you may like to customise the templates first - use 'Edit Templates'). Click 'Generate' to put the Order details into the chosen Template.  You can print this or save as pdf for emailing or to keep a copy. If you press the 'Save PDF' button, the pdf will be attached to the order, find it by clicking back to the 'Details' tab.

8. Use other templates (you can create your own) to generate other paperwork - delivery note for example.