New Year’s Resolutions – Tech Style

Today is my last day in the office until 2011. So here I am, making my out-of-office message when I realize – I’m going to a place where my iPhone won’t work. Or my iPad. Or my MacBook. I will LITERALLY not have any access to the devices that I use for about 15 hours a day – straight. Is it my triple-shot venti latte or the thought of not being connected making my heart race?

It seems like I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to “unplug” – now and as we move into 2011. A survey conducted by Intermedia found that workers are not interested in being out of touch in 2011. (Thanks, GigaOM.) It seems like American workers are focused on getting more done in 2011, which would mean more use of technology. I don’t know that I can fathom the thought of using more technology – but, as I have the next few days to make some changes, I guess I better start thinking about how I want to use the technology at my disposal to make me work better, smarter, harder.

So as I think about my tech resolutions for 2011, I want to know: What are yours? How much time do you vow to devote to email and tech – as much as necessary, or are you setting limits? Let me know in the comments.

         

Snowpocalypse 2010 – Boston Edition

Ah, the Monday after Christmas. Back to work after a wonderful weekend with family and friends. I get home around noon yesterday, not quite sure if the weathermen are really “up to speed” on what’s supposed to happen since there was no snow to be found in Boston, except for what was already on the ground. Then, I wake up to this:


Okay, so I was wrong. I like to think it doesn’t happen very often (trying to keep the dream alive.) The point is, it’s the beginning of the week – a short one, nonetheless – and there is still work to be done. Luckily, I’ve worked from home often enough to know my routine and how to maximize my time in order to get what needs to be done done – even though my workspace, unlike most other days, includes Netflix, regular cable, and my bed.

Seems like most people in the Northeast are dealing with Snowpocalypse 2010. If you’re snowed in too, how are you managing your workload today? Is working from home today a first for you? How are your collaborating with colleagues, getting end-of-the-year projects done? Are you using join.me, or are you using an entirely different method? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be here, mentally excavating my car.

         

Jingle: 12 Days of Meetings

In case you missed the online brainstorm with MeetingBoy, he posted the lyrics to his new song “12 days of Meetings.” Be one of the first to sing this song on YouTube and MeetingBoy will gladly send you one of this 2011 calendars (they are hilarious, by the way.)

Here’s his original post:

On the first day of meetings, my office gave to me: a status call in Conference room B!

On the twelfth day of meetings, my office gave to me

12 salesman lying
11 angry clients
10 stupid buzzwords
9 bad ideas
8 urgent emails
7 copiers jamming
6 bosses yelling
5 conference calls
4 budget cuts
3 Reply Alls
2 PowerPoints
And a status call in Conference room B
contributors: @mr_anthropist@discoverpiano, and @leo_g_ash

And between now and Christmas Eve, I will give away up to 5 @MeetingBoy calendars to anyone who records themselves singing it and posts to YouTube. If I get more than 5 people singing, I’ll pick my favorites. So start caroling!

– MeetingBoy

         

12 Days of Meetings – a brainstorm with @MeetingBoy

It’s that time of year again. You know, that certain atmosphere your office gets around the holidays. Maybe it’s all the chocolates floating around your office from various vendors, or the vacation days people are trying to use up before they lose them… anyway, you get the idea.

We wanted to celebrate this special time in the office with @MeetingBoy by creating a special song to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas” – but office-style. Here’s what he’s got so far, but he needs your help at 2 pm EST on Friday at https://join.me/meetingboy to come up with a great tune. Bonus: He’ll post the final lyrics on Saturday, and do a giveaway for up to 5 people who post themselves singing the lyrics on YouTube before Christmas. What’s he giving away? You’ll have to ask him on Thursday.

On the twelfth day of meetings, my office gave to me:

12 salesman lying

11 workers blaming

10 bosses yelling…

He wants your help to finish it, so start brainstorming and join him at 2 pm EST on Friday at https://join.me/meetingboy.

         

join.me office hours

Since I constantly troll the Web, especially our Facebook and Twitter, I know that some of you still have unanswered questions about join.me. Hey, we’re a new product – we expect it. That’s why we’re implementing a new program called “join.me office hours.”

I’ll be “in the office” (office meaning https://join.me/officehours) on Mondays from 11am-2pm EST to answer any and all of your questions. I actually got this idea from Genevieve at VA Simple Services – I ended up giving her a personal demo, and it worked out really well for the both of us.

So join me on Monday if you want to talk all things join.me. Below, I’ve included a Vanna White pose so you can really picture the “office” I am working from. Oh, you’ll take a vowel? Big surprise.

Talk to you soon.

         

Would You Take a Pay Cut For Work Flexibility?

As I’m getting ready to go to Washington, D.C. next week for our next round of Coffee Carts, I am packing up everything I need to take with me as I remotely work next week. Want to see a picture of what I am bringing with me?


Yes, that’s just my computer (and yes, the join.me website was a conscious choice of background. Obviously.) because I am lucky enough to work for a company that creates products that allow people to work anytime, anywhere. I can use join.me for quick collaboration and LogMeIn to remotely support anyone I need to. Because of this, I have the choice to work from our Boston office, my apartment, or wherever I happen to be – for work or for pleasure. w00t!

Flexibility is a huge perk to my job, and sometimes I forget that everyone doesn’t have it. I was reading an article on GigaOM yesterday that two-thirds of workers would take a pay cut for flexbility in their job. So I wanted to ping our join.me audience – would you? How important is flexibility in your job? Is it even possible? Has your company put any precedence in place to allow flexibility in your job?

Let me know in the comments.

         

Get your hands on a 2011 @MeetingBoy calendar

Last week when I got to the office I had a package waiting for me (isn’t snail mail so much more fun now that all you get is emails?). MeetingBoy sent me some of his 2011 calendars. Pretty cool, right? So cool we thought we’d do a little something for our join.me and @MeetingBoy fans. Here’s MeetingBoy, breaking it down:

As part of my ongoing relationship with join.me, I’ll be asking people a question on Monday each week on their Facebook page, and then at the end of the week, Maggie (the person from join.me) will choose a winner and send them a 2011 MeetingBoy Calendar. I will also pick out my favorite answers and post them on my blog at meetingboy.com, so that the best (i.e., funniest and cleverest) get seen by all. The first question is up on join.me’s Facebook page.

Some nitty gritties: The calendar giveaway will be every Monday until February 28th, so there’ll be plenty of chances to win. Don’t forget to check out Facebook every Monday and Friday to see the questions, answers and winners. And hey – if you impress MeetingBoy with an answer, who knows what will happen. Good luck.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” our join.me Facebook page as well!

         

Meetings: When, where and how.

One of the big components of working with a product like join.me is understanding how the masses do work and how they want to do work. Bottom line: Work has to get done. But as technology advances, it’s interesting to see how the way people do work is changing.

Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals, makers of Basecamp and other web-based collaboration tools, recently gave a lecture at TED on why work doesn’t happen at work. The biggest culprit? Meetings.

Meetings have to happen: They allow people to check in with each other, collaborate, and toss around ideas. However, as Jason points out, it’s rare that seven people are ready to meet without interrupting their work in one way or another. So how can companies move forward in the meeting space without it being detrimental to the workday of their employees?

One way is virtual meetings. Having virtual meetings allows meetings to happen anytime, anywhere – it’s like getting your people together without getting your people together (sound familiar?) Are there two people who like do work late at night? They can still collaborate without being in the office. Someone working at home for the day that’s an integral part of the meeting? They can still join in from home. All of this is possible, of course, using join.me.

Let me ask you: When do you like the have meetings? How do you like to work? Where do you get your best work done?

Let me know in the comments.