I'd like to thank you for attending the Kitchen & Bath Design News "Art & Science" seminar. Ellen Cheever and I have had a great time putting this together for you.
For those of you that want to learn a little more about all of the apps and technology I've talked about, I've provided links below for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by email here or click on my picture to contact me by way of various social networks.
Below are "Cliff Notes" to my session today. You'll find links and information about many of the apps I've talked about.
Houzz is a fantastic "social" network for remodelers. You can create a profile with your business on there, and include pictures of completed projects. You can "tag" your photos with additional information. Customers are encouraged to find you on Houzz when they are looking for a remodeler. Customers can scrapbook your pictures, and ask you questions on projects you've done. This can be a great way to elevate your Google search rankings. Houzz also has a fantastic iPad app that can make a great portable portfolio.
Formica's eChip application is great for browsing all the colors of Formica. Inside there are specs, colors sorted many different ways, and best of all, you can order free samples and have then sent to yourself, or your customer right from the app!
Blanco Silgranit: (Android) (iPhone iPad)
Blanco's Silgranit app is a great way to browse through sink colors and styles without having to get out your spec book. You can see sinks in different countertops, and even email pictures of those sinks to customers.
Goodreader is an absolutely fantastic PDF and document reading app for iPad. Use this in your showroom to transfer all of your PDF spec books to your iPad. Most spec books are available in PDF, sometimes you have to ask for them. Once you have them you can easily transfer them to your iPad. If you want to make sure all designers are up to date, you can synchronize PDF's from a network drive to multiple iPads, that way everyone has the latest spec books.
Penultimate is a fantastic note taking app for the iPad. It most closely mimics writing on real paper. As an added bonus you can take pictures with your iPads camera and write on them, great for walking around the showroom with a customer noting their choices. For Evernote users, this app can sync all your notes to Evernote. (Which We'll talk about later)
If I had to name my most favorite app ever, it would be Evernote. There are tons of apps out on many platforms that can organize your notes, but none pulls this off as good as Evernote. Evernote can take notes from just about any device you can imagine and help you organize them. One of the basic things I use it for is collecting my receipts. I have a smartphone, iPad, multiple computers, and some shared computers that I work on. Whenever I get a receipt, if I am out with my phone I simply take a picture of the receipt and send it to Evernote. Not only does Evernote save the picture, but it also scans the picture for words. Evernote KNOWS that I am scanning a receipt. It also remembers when and where I scanned the receipt, and can also suggest what notebook I should put it in. This is just the beginning of what you can do with it. You can collaborate on group projects, clip websites, blogs, videos, pictures, the possibilities are endless.
NKBA Guidelines App (Android, iPhone iPad)
You know those ringed books that you have that show all of the NKBA guidelines in them? They are fantastic. I always carried one around with me until I discovered this app. Now you can have it in your pocket! Best of all, it's always up to date!
Google Docs is a fantastic way to collaborate on documents together. While it doesn't make the prettiest documents around, it's great when you need to share. Imagine this: You've got a pricing spreadsheet that you need to go over with someone who isn't in the office, you can create a spreadsheet right in Google Docs, send them the link, and instantly both parties can be moving about and editing cells together while you're talking on the phone.
Docs also works great for inter-office documents. These are great for multiplier spreadsheets, and freight costs. One person can be in charge of editing the document, and when it's changed, all users get it instantly, no more emailing documents around!
Sketchup is a fantastic 3D modeling program for kitchen and bath designers. Rather than summarize it here, just click around this site and you'll find out all kinds of stuff about Sketchup!
Google Voice is a service that give you a free virtual phone number. With this number, people can call you, and you can have the calls set to forward to as many other numbers as you'd like. For example, you could give all your contractors out this number and have it forward to your office and your cell phone. That way no matter where you are, you get the call. There are some great voicemail options as well that let you receive your messages as texts, and it attaches the recordings to emails so you can save them, or forward them. Best of all, there is a feature that lets you send all of your calls to voicemail after hours. This can be great for those that user their personal phones for work. Also, employers can hand out phone numbers to employees, and when they leave, simply remove the app from the old employees phone and put it on the new phone.
Skype is a great video chat service. It works on Mac's, PC's, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones (and even more). Video chatting is becoming very mainstream now. It can be great for virtually walking a client around a jobsite or showroom to answer a question, or it can be even used to share your screen to someone else, great for design questions.
JoinMe is a screen sharing app for the computer. Now there are lots of apps that can do this, but the brilliance in JoinMe is it's simplicity. Imagine you're on the phone with someone, and you just need to show them what's on your screen. With other services, you have to setup a meeting, send invites, have people register, etc... With JoinMe, this is what you do: To to Join.Me, click share, and send the link to the person who you want to share with. They click the link, and they're seeing your screen in seconds. That's literally all you have to do. This can be such a fantastic app to use when you're on the phone with someone to go over a document or a design. (best of all it's free!)
Voxer is an app that can turn your phone in to a walkie talkie. Open the app and press "talk" and you can send a short message to someone one else. If they have their phone out, they'll hear you right away. If they don't, they can play the message back later. You can also send messages to groups of people, so if you have a bunch of designers or workers out in the field, you can with one button send a message to all of them. This is a great quick messaging app to keep everyone connected, and avoid texting and driving.
MyMeasures (Android, iPhone iPad)
MyMeasures will allow you take field measurements right on a photo, rather than scratching down notes in a notepad. This video will explain it best.
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