First look! 20+ elegant themes to jazz up your presentations

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Presentations are the inevitable part of any business. Needless to say, they are the most compelling and successful way of sharing information. Ever since we launched Zoho Show, we’ve always been looking into ways to make it easy for you to create and share presentations online. Today, we are extremely happy to roll out the new presentation themes with other notable enhancements.

All new gallery of themes

Themes are merely not a design for presentation template; this is where first impressions are formed. Be it a casual presentation or a very formal business meet, the new themes are just perfect for all the occasions. Each theme looks unique; with a clean and recognizable layout, fresh color scheme, and minimal design that gives a lot of scope for your content.

New themes for your presentations

Stepping into widescreen world

Big screen presentations are now possible with Zoho Show. Yes, you read that right! The new set of themes are specifically built for the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. Your slides will be less cluttered, as there is more room for the content. Make the whole experience memorable for your audience with widescreen presentations.

Typography-The new visual language

We seldom realize that fonts can actually make or break the overall effectiveness of a presentation. Wise choice of fonts can help you create powerful visual content that is highly engaging. This release, we have added around 20 new web fonts (flip through the presentation to watch some of them in action). Sure, there is lot more to come.

 

 

Hassle-free picture addition

Adding images to your presentation just got easy with the new picture placeholder support. You can now fit images into one of the pre-designed shapes, while maintaining a consistent style and position. Image re-sizing and cropping is made simple and painless.

easy image cropping

Make sure your next presentation is fresh, unique and simply awesome. Try out the enhancements and do share your experience with us.

 

Save Paper With Online Document Management

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Here are some startling facts I came across online, about paper and its consumption in the US:

  • Every year the U.S. uses nearly 3.7 million tons of paper – that is more than 700 billion sheets
  • A Xerox survey reveals that U.S. office workers print more than 1,000 pages a
    month; the national annual average is 10,000 – 12,000 sheets per worker
  • Other studies by Xerox  reveal that office workers throw away 45 percent of their documents within 24 hours of printing them
  • With all the office paper businesses waste every year a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California could be built.
  • It takes one 15-year old tree to produce half a box of paper.
  • 10,000 sheets of paper per year are used by a single US office worker. If a box of paper contains 5,000 sheets and costs $32, that’s $64 and 4 trees per employee. For an office of 100 employees, that’s a whopping $6400 and 400 trees!


From the 
the facts mentioned above you can see that offices use vast quantities of paper, which mostly end up as waste. This is where online document management services such as Zoho Docs can help businesses reduce their usage of paper.

By using document management services such as Zoho Docs, you no longer have to create documents on paper. Instead, you can create, store and share your documents online. This not only leads to reduced paper consumption but increases the efficiency at work, saves time, money, and resources.

So, how would your business benefit going the paperless route, by using online document management ?

Save time: Reduce time spent on searching for a document from hours to minutes

Save Office Space: Reduce file cabinet and storage space in your office, making your work environment clutter-free.

Access anytime anywhere: 
Store all your files online and access them from anywhere

Get Quicker access to information: Get all your documents organized in one place and retrieve the required document with ease

Safety and Security: Set access privileges for documents so only the people you want to share the document with get to access it. You no longer have to worry about a document getting lost or misplaced. And lastly…

Go Green:  Reduce the amount of paper you use. The less paper we use, the less trees are cut down, which would be a step in saving our fast diminishing natural environment.

Zoho Docs is helping businesses save paper and go green by offering online document management. We would like to know if there is anything that you’ve done or you would suggest to “save paper”?

Cops Save Paper With Zoho Docs

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A small police department of the Delaware County in Pennsylvania, USA, are not only saving lives but paper too. They have decided to go paperless by storing all their documents online and Zoho Docs has been chosen for their online document management.?

According to officers at the police department, this move would enhance communications between the public and the police. With this system in place the public would be able to get forms online, saving both the public and police personnel a lot of time and effort. 

Officers also noted that with the tremendous volumes of documents stored, some documents are stuck into a file and never seen again. They felt it’s a waste of paper and more importantly time, as it sometimes takes an hour for a secretary to retrieve a document. But with Zoho Docs, the police department is able to store their files online securely, organize them neatly into multi-level folders and with the full-text search feature, it’s easier to find and access them. Also, with its affordable pricing, it was within the budget of the department. 

Read the full article by Linda Reilly in The Delaware County Daily Times – ‘East Lansdowne cops going paperless

Announcing Zoho Docs – Google Chromebook integration

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When Google launched the Cr-48 Chrome notebooks, they invited Zoho to be a part of its pilot program. We even gave away Cr-48 notebooks to some of you. We do hope that you have been putting your Cr-48s to good use and have been getting the most out of cloud computing :)

Today, the first commercial Chromebooks have started shipping in the U.S. Those of you who missed out on the pilot program can get your own Chromebook now.

Here’s how Zoho is a part of this launch. If you had followed the Day 2 Keynote at Google I/O you might have noticed that Google’s Chrome operating system now includes some major updates and newer features. The most notable among them is the addition of a file manager. The file manager is a very simple one and looks a lot like the file manager systems in Windows or Mac.

We’ve come up with a Chrome extension, that allows users to upload and view their documents in Zoho Docs. This applies not only to the downloaded files, but users can also upload files from their pen drives to Zoho Docs. As you know, we do let users login to Zoho with your Google credentials which means you try this extension with your Google credentials.

You can learn more about this extension from this page. As always we’d love to hear your feedback. If you’ve any questions please post it here. We’re all ears!

Thanks to Google team for their wonderful API and documentation which has made this extension possible!!

Zoho Docs Gets A Fresh New Look And Feel

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You probably must have noticed the changes in the Zoho Docs UI by now. In an update done yesterday, we’ve completely redesigned our user interface with a fresh new look to improve navigation and to easily manage your documents in the cloud. The new Zoho Docs UI has a cleaner, sleeker interface that will make it easier for you to navigate through your Folders, Workspaces etc.


 


Let us look in detail at what is new in this update

Easy-to-use Navigation
The new navigation system is simple and intuitive. It focuses on things that users do most often like say, going to a specific folder, workspace or group.


Drag-and-Drop Files
Uploading files to Zoho Docs just got easier. You can now upload files by just dragging and dropping them from your desktop on to the desired folders in the “Personal Folders” section. You can also drag multiple files at once. There are no plugins needed for this feature to work. This new feature uses HTML5 and so will work in browsers that support HTML5, like Firefox 3.6+ and Chrome 6+.


Attach From Zoho Docs
We love listening to our customers and quite a number of you had told us that finding documents when using Zoho Mail’s

Attach from Zoho Docs
was not flexible enough. We have now provided more options to easily find and attach the documents from Zoho Docs.

 

Other Enhancements

  1. If you have documents shared to you, which are not relevant to you anymore, you can use the new Remove Share option to remove the sharing. An email notification will be sent to the author of the shared document.
  2. Using the Unsubscribe option, you now have control on what Workspaces you would want to view in your Workspace section.
  3. You can now email documents present in Workspaces using the Send Mail option.

Like Mark Ford who tweeted the below, we hope you too like the new look and feel of

Zoho Docs
 :)

 

Please do share your views and suggestions by dropping us a comment here.

How To Clean Up Your Business – With Zoho

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Entrepreneur.com recently featured an article titled ‘How To Clean Up Your Business‘. The article talks about Spring Cleaning, a time to ‘get rid of the tasks, people and situations that drain time, money and energy from your Business’. Every Business encounters its share of such tasks, people and situations that it must successfully overcome in order to increase and optimize productivity.

I’d like to share some ‘Productivity Pitfalls’ quoted from the original articleAt Zoho, we offer several applications which can help eliminate 7 out of these 8 Pitfalls. These Zoho Apps can be used together, in conjunction with one another, to achieve the purpose of maximizing productivity while saving you time, money and energy.

Productivity Pitfall #1 Scattered day plans

 “Failure to plan their days is the No. 1 reason business owners waste time, energy and money, says New York City-based time-management expert Julie Morgenstern By not planning their days, they tend to become reactive and distracted, diminishing their productivity and the revenue they can generate.”

Our SolutionZoho Mail for Business comes with Calendar, Tasks and Notes apps integrated for improved productivity and efficiency. With Zoho Mail, Business-Owners can plan and organize their days better. The Calendar app within Zoho Mail helps easily schedule, manage and track important events and meetings from within the email interface. The Tasks app lets you assign, plan and track important tasks, ensuring that you never miss any task-related deadlines. The Notes app lets you add quick, color-coded notes to gather all useful information in one place, so you can later refer to it, edit or import it. Zoho Mail also supports multi-level folders that make it easier for Business-Owners to track, organize and prioritize incoming email thereby saving time and energy. Read the complete list of powerful features offered by Zoho Mail for Business.

Productivity Pitfall #2 DIY syndrome 

Morgenstern estimates that 75 to 80 percent of the small and midsize businesses she consults with waste employee salaries, including their own, by not focusing each person’s time on the optimal task for that person.”

Our SolutionZoho Creator helps many Business-Owners build custom apps for their Busi
ness requirements. Instead of hiring a developer who may or may not understand their exact requirements, Business-Owners can easily build their own custom app all by themselves, using the Zoho Creator platform. Building their own apps saves these Businesses considerable time and money that may have otherwise been wasted hiring unnecesary developer resources Also, using Zoho Creator ensures that there is no compromise on the quality of the applications built.

One such Zoho Creator customer, Wayne “Kila” Watts, Chief Pilot at  PilotSpeak.net reports:

“It was a godsend for the applications I needed for my website, saving me thousands of dollars to have someone else make the databases and design the pages.”

Read experiences of other Business-Owners who have saved time and money by building their own apps with Zoho Creator.

Productivity Pitfall #3 Disorganized direction  

To make the delegation process more effective and less time-consuming, Bakersfield, Calif.-based business growth consultant Russell S. Allred, co-author of Best Practices of High Performance Entrepreneurs, recommends creating task-related systems and processes. Write a list of steps for each task you perform regularly in your workplace and the best practices for completing those steps.

Our SolutionZoho Wiki helps create a secure, collaborative environment for Businesses to document and share such task-related systems and processes online over their Intranet. Wikis serve as a knowledge-base where employees can maintain and update information and steps related to these tasks.

Stu Press, CEO of Grand Assistance, is the owner of one such Business and has successfully achieved this purpose using Zoho Wiki. Here’s what he had to say about our Wiki solution:

“Zoho Wiki has been a valuable communication tool that we were able to integrate into our business. We have been able to eliminate printed procedure manuals and employee handbooks resulting in a more nimble and environmentally friendly process for keeping our all of organization’s people in alignment with our goals. We enjoy being able to quickly implement modifications and updates to our Wiki.”

Learn more about Zoho Wiki features that can help you create process-oriented knowledge-bases for your Business.

Productivity Pitfall #4Untamed distractions

“Many people have no idea how to manage the overwhelming amount of communication that comes their way on paper and electronically, says productivity consultant Kimberly Medlock, founder of Productive Matters in Olive Branch, Miss. To cut down on distractions and time-sucks, clean up your act, she says. Develop hard-copy and electronic filing systems to help locate important papers and information more quickly.”

Our SolutionZoho Docs can serve as the electronic filing system helping your Business store, manage and collaboratively work on documents online. Not only does Zoho Docs allow secure file sharing via an online workspace, it also includes an admin console so that user rights and access to files can easily be controlled. Read more about these features available on Zoho Docs.

Productivity Pitfall #5Leaky expenditures 

>By checking his monthly expenses closely, Eli Mechlovitz, co-founder of GlassTileStore.com, an online glass tile retailer, found a variety of unwanted subscriptions, warranty programs, fee-based website analytics programs, utility bill errors and other incorrect or unwanted charges. Eliminating these budgetary leaks has saved his Brooklyn, N.Y., company approximately $4,000 per month.  Every quarter, be sure to review where the money is going, he advises, and discontinue or fight unnecessary or incorrect charges.

Our SolutionZoho Books is a comprehensive accounting solution that helps Business-Owners manage their finances and stay on top of their Business. With Zoho Books, you can keep your Business expenses in check and manage the money flowing in and out of your Business. Learn more about how Zoho Books can help your business stay financially healthy.

Productivity Pitfall #6:  Collecting (all) customers

Maria Marsala, a business coach in Poulsbo, Wash., finds that many of her clients waste time and energy serving the wrong customers. She encourages them to define their “ideal” customer–the person or entity that will pay a fair price for their product or service, value their business, return and buy from them again and generate referrals. The greatest marketing investment and effort should be devoted to finding and courting those ideals, she says.

Our Solution: Zoho CRM can help your Business build, maintain and strengthen customer relationships. With Zoho CRM, you can organize your customer database so that you can identify and tag the right customers, prioritize and track business opportunities and plan focused marketing activity. Read about some of the Business-Owners who have benefited from adopting Zoho CRM for their Business.

Productivity Piftall #7: Energy-sucking employees

 When Mechlovitz has trouble with unproductive or negative employees, he tries to move them into positions that better suit their skills. But if an employee isn’t a good fit or is miserable, he says, you have to end the relationship–quickly. 

Productivity Pitfall #8: Persistent procrastination

 If you constantly avoid tasks or put off work until the last minute, you need to figure out why, Morgenstern says. Burnout could be from being overworked, but she often finds that procrastination is rooted in uncertainty or intimidation. If a project seems too big, procrastination can be a coping mechanism. She suggests breaking the task down into manageable steps you can do in shorter chunks of time.

Our Solution Zoho Projects is helping many Businesses effectively manage their Business Projects online. With features such as task-management, time-tracking, project calendar, chat and meetings, Zoho Projects can help you plan and optimize the time spent on tasks. 

Business-Owners can use Zoho Projects with their teams ensuring that team members collaboratively manage their tasks within optimal time. Tasks can be easily broken down into manageable chunks and completed over a defined, measurable period of time. Not only that, Business-Owners can also save and plan their own time that they would otherwise spend micro-managing different tasks across multiple projects within their Business. Read about some of these Businesses and how they have benefited from Zoho Projects.

So, that’s the complete list of Productivity Pitfalls and how they can be avoided by using the right Zoho Apps. Thanks to Gwen Moran of Entrepreneur.com for the original article that inspired this post. Besides this list, are there any other Productivity Pitfalls that affect your Business? Tell us about them, and we can help you figure out the best ways to tackle them.

If you liked this post, drop us a comment here or give us a shout on twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

Introducing Zoho Docs for iPad

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Zoho Docs, our Online Document Management application is now available on iPad (

iTunes link
). The 2.0 version of the application is now a universal app that works on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. Similar to the iPhone version, the iPad app lets you view your documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc within the app.
We have also made a few enhancements to the iPhone version. The look is crisp with added support for Retina display. We have also added options to share files with different permissions within the app.
We do have several more enhancements planned. Keep watching this space!