3roofs.com and Google Apps

This past week I used Google Apps to create a web space for my family. We desperately needed an online calendar and everyone told me that Google's is the best of breed. Using Google Apps for the calendar, instead of Google Calendar, also gave the family a great web-based email and rich document editing tools. The only thing missing is web site editing tools but for most families a blog would be sufficient and this can be done easily with blogger.

The only thing you need to get started is a domain name and, ideally, the ability to create sub-domain names. If you are local and need help doing the same call me.

Customers & BNI

I attended a BNI meeting this morning as a guest of Charlie Westcott. BNI is a business networking franchise with many chapters across the country. Each chapter has one member per business area -- bookkeeping, accounting, landscaping, construction, architecture, etc -- and the primary purpose of the meetings is generating referrals but there is clearly a comradery and other support happening. If you run a business with regional customers this is a great group. If your customers are national or international perhaps the business support aspects of the organization would be useful but perhaps not useful enough to warrant the fees. I had a good time.

Effective and low cost mouse trap

Great idea for a low cost and effective mouse trap. Having extracted two mice from the studio garbage bin this week I can attest that they can't get out. Actually, it wasn't two mice, it was the same mouse. The first time he escaped my hand and returned to the garbage can. The second time he also escaped my hand but did not return to the garbage can. The take-away here is not to let me hold mice.

Origami and project completion

I was talking with Jeffrey Hyland this weekend about Basecamp and it got me thinking again about visualizing project progress. Checking off milestones does not inspire me. Milestones are emotionally flat. Projects have heft and we grapple with them. My first thought was folding a box from a sheet of cardboard: As the project progresses the box has more and more shape until it is a solid object when the project is done. Then it struck me that we should pick an piece of origami with the same number of folds as the project has milestones. As the milestones are completed the next fold is made. When the project is complete the so is the origami piece. Team members would have the completed piece on their desks as a reminder of the project. The project's kick start is the picking of the origami piece and folding it.