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We're Streamtime, makers of project management software for the creative industry. We love design as much as you do and know that productivity and creativity aren't mutually exclusive.

Friday Inspiration: ImageBrief

Every day when I open a new browser I am greeted with a fantastic, unexpected image from a professional photographer I have never heard of.

Photographer: Allison Achauer

It’s become a little ritual that I look forward to each morning, as the images are varying, quite beautiful and inspire me to view life in a more creative manner.

Photographer: Michelly Rall

The Google Chrome extension I use is called ImageBrief Daily, from ImageBrief.

Photographer: A K Dayton

ImageBrief do not provide your standard stock photography service. Instead those seeking a professional image for a project will submit a brief and budget.

Photographer: Mat Rick

Photographers from around the world in ImageBrief’s network compete for the work. It’s an interesting, fair, simple and sometimes very generous process.

Photographer: Erika Szostak

The by-product of this system is the Google Chrome extension. If you’re looking for a burst of creativity each day, I highly encourage you to look into it.

New in Streamtime Web: Save a quote as a PDF

We’ve just released an update to Streamtime Web, adding more features and improvements to online quoting.

Through Streamtime Web you can now create a PDF of a quote and send that directly to your client.

A full review of this feature can be found in the video below.

If you are not already a customer of ours why not try Streamtime Web for yourself.

If you are already a Streamtime subscriber and don’t have Streamtime Web, our Streamtime knowledge base has all the information you need to set this up, or alternatively give our support team a call for assistance, we’d love to help get this in your hands.

Friday Inspiration: Chie Mihara

Breathtaking – that’s how I would describe a pair of Chie Mihara shoes. Yes shoes are subject to personal taste, but Chie Mihara doesn’t just create shoes, she creates works of art.

Inspired by her Portuguese upbringing and her Japanese culture, Chie has created shoes that are feminine, fun and most importantly comfortable. A combination that can be difficult to get right.

She is also involved in every aspect of the design process. It starts with a sketch, then she hand picks the fabrics and materials making sure everything is the best quality. Every detail is carefully considered.

This video shows Chie and her team in action and gives you a real feel for how much love goes into a pair of Chie’s shoes.

Chie Mihara shows that no matter what you do, as long as you show commitment and passion, the results are bound to be amazing. For me, that is inspiring.

If you want to get your hands on a pair of these beauties, or even just admire them from afar they are available from the Chie Mihara online store. If you’re lucky enough to be in Sydney, check out the spectacular The Cook, His Wife and Her Shoes. Their Chie Mihara range is exclusive to them as they choose the colour combinations and designs personally for their store.

 

Friday Inspiration: Sons & Co.

Sons & Co. produce stunning work, there’s no question about that. In 2014 they picked up one gold, one silver and five bronze at New Zealand’s Best Awards and three out of four distinctions in the AGDA Design Awards Digital Design category.

But it’s not just their designs that inspire, it is also their philosophy. Speaking at AGDA NSW’s Small Talk in Sydney this week, Tim Kelleher and Matt Arnold delighted the audience with their no BS approach to business and web design.

While website design is what they do, Sons & Co. have chosen not to have a company website. They don’t have a logo, they don’t have stationery and they don’t do social media. Instead they’re all about doing great work for their clients. Matt says, “we may appear amateurish and goofy from the outside, but we put it all in behind the scenes.” As a result, they get most of their clients through word of mouth and that is just the way they like it.

When they get a brief they don’t look at it as website designers and developers, they look at it from a graphic design point of view. Tim says when they design a website they “take stuff out of the browser and ask does it work as a poster etc.”

They also have quite an unusual business philosophy. In a nutshell they:

Only work with clients that are interested in what they do.
This makes for a more harmonious relationship.

Want to be approachable and affordable
Tim and Matt believe that they can do fast, cheap and good work for clients by eliminating unnecessary workshops and meetings.

Say yes to everything that doesn’t matter
By doing this, they believe that when they say no to a client, the client knows they are serious.

Try to be social
Despite being out of their comfort zone, they realise the importance of being social. Matt says, “if you want to work with people you need to start hanging out with them.” They also believe that “if you really want to work with someone, you should just ask them.”

Don’t take themselves too seriously
If you meet Tim and Matt in person it is evident that while they take their work and commitment to clients seriously, they are down to earth, relaxed and unpretentious guys.

When they started Sons & Co. back in 2008, Tim and Matt wanted to create the kind of company that they knew they’d still be running when they were old. With this philosophy towards business and design, it looks like they’ll be in business for a long time indeed.

Money & Clients: Jacky Winter Gives You The Business

Last year we wrote a piece on talking money with clients and why it can be a difficult conversation to have.

If this is something you struggle with then get yourself down to Jacky Winter Gives You The Business this weekend in Melbourne. There you’ll get some great advice from the likes of  Katie Wellbelove, Producer from Grey Melbourne and Sharon McNamara, General Manager at SouthSouthWest who will be discussing the topic How and when do I talk about money with a client? Linda Jukic from Hulsbosch talks about How to determine your hourly rate and if that’s not enough incentive to get you there Maria Amato from Results Management will talk about that all important topic How to get paid on time.

It’s all happening this Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February and tickets can be purchased here. The added bonus is that it runs from 11am to 4pm each day, which leaves you plenty of time to check out Supergraph (located just across the street), while you’re there.

Remember while you’re in the business of being creative, you also need to eat. This event by the team at Jacky Winter will show you how both is possible.

Photo by Michi Dixon and used under Creative Commons license.

Friday Inspiration: Factory Records

When Factory Records opened it’s doors in 1978, the music industry had never seen anything like it. Not only did the label’s artists enjoy creative freedom but so did the graphic designers that produced the album artwork. Album covers were suddenly stimulating, they had vision, they were beautiful.

Factory famously didn’t worry about budgets or deadlines. Artwork created by Peter SavilleCentral Station Design8vo and the other designers at Factory often used expensive stocks, metallic inks and die cuts in their designs. 7 inch and 12 inch formats had different artwork, even Factory’s numbering system became part of the creative process. Other record labels would never dream of doing this because of the cost involved. Working there was a designers dream.

“Why was packaging important to us? Because the job was a sacred one. Music had transformed our young lives, children of the sixties all. And now we were in the privileged position of putting out records ourselves.” – Tony Wilson, Co Founder, Factory Records (taken from Factory Records The Complete Graphic Album).

Blue Monday” (Fac 73) was probably the most famous product of this design first, profitability second policy. Designed by Peter Saville, the packaging for New Order‘s 12 inch single was more expensive than the single itself. Designed to resemble a floppy disk, it included expensive die cutting and a silver inner sleeve. There was no mention of the band’s name or even the name of the song anywhere on the cover. Instead Saville created a code using a series of colour blocks. The key to decipher this code would be found on the back sleeve of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies album (Fact 75), a secret code for the initiated. “Blue Monday” became the biggest selling 12 inch single of all time in the UK.

Blue Monday 12" cover

The designers at Factory Records didn’t just create album artwork, they also designed flyers, posters, stationery, Factory Records HQ, a bar, and even a nightclub. If you have the slightest interest in design (which we assume you do if you’re reading our blog) or even just want to see the artwork synonymous with the Manchester music scene of the late 70′s, 80′s and early 90′s then I recommend Matthew Robertson’s book Factory Records The Complete Graphic Album (Fac 461).

Peter Saville would later say that “Factory misled a generation into believing all designers have unlimited freedom” and that may be so. Designers may never enjoy the same creative freedom bestowed upon the Factory Records employees, but that freedom started a legacy of great, cutting edge design in the music industry and beyond.

Success is an ugly word

James Winter in action at CreativeMornings Sydney

I can’t help but feel like I was meant to be at James Winter‘s talk at CreativeMornings Sydney last Friday. James is co-founder of Brand X, a not for profit arts organisation that repurposes under-utilised space for Sydney’s performing, recording, and visual art communities to practice their craft. The topic was “Ugly” and James was gorgeous - but that’s not my point.

A bit of background: before James started I was chatting to my colleague Cam about some of the frustrations I’ve been experiencing with my band lately, especially with our songwriting process. I’ve been feeling a little constrained: we know what works with an audience and within the industry, so that’s what we write. But we haven’t tried anything new or different in ages. I didn’t join a band so I could play it safe – that’s just the antithesis of rock n’ roll! And I didn’t come here to do the same thing over and over again. I’m an artist, man! Where are my guts?

Don’t get me wrong – I know that there is a game, and I know that one’s success depends on how well you play the game. That’s business. So when James proposed at the very beginning of his talk that “success is the ugly word”, I immediately hopped on board. Then the clincher, he said we’re “obsessed with success to the point that the audience dictates what is acceptable and unacceptable.” Cam elbowed me in the arm. That’s what I’m talkin’ about, James Winter!

James argues that success is ugly because it’s the endpoint, and an endpoint is ugly because it’s daunting. First of all you have to try really hard to get there, and then when you arrive, you have to make another endpoint that’s further than where you’ve landed, and try even harder to get to that one.

An endpoint is also controlling and consuming, because you must arrive – failure is not an option. And, you must arrive within a given timeframe, because business opportunities are perishable. The danger of failing gives us a great excuse to turn to the tried and tested, fail-proof, conservative, old, lazy, boring formulas that we know will get the job done.

But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the ‘success’ in doing the same thing over and over again? James proposes that rather than chasing success, we should not just embrace, but commit to the opportunity of failing. (Hands up if you’re a Seth Godin fan).

James Winter’s investor told him that his business idea was bound to fail. But independent artists had no space to practice or perform, and James believed he should rectify that. 10 years later, Brand X is still going strong and making important contributions to the arts community.

23 major record labels refused to give Joan Jett a deal. So she founded Blackheart Records, and “I Love Rock n’ Roll” became the number 1 song on the Billboard charts for two months.

27 publishers rejected Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss’s first book. His books have now sold over 600 million copies.

Obsessing over success only solidifies our relationship with the mediocre. “When failure is allowed”, James says, “a real sense of freedom and adventure arises. That’s when great work occurs.”

All I can think of now is how fun it would be if my band walked into the studio with minds open to horrible ideas. No doubt we’d come up with a lot of crap, but who knows what gems we might develop from having journeyed through the pits of failure. Thanks for the encouragement, James Winter. Now to try and convince my people to make some mistakes like real rock n’ rollers.

Shot Composition: The Quadrant System

One for the film fans today: A really nice breakdown of shot composition in the film Drive, put together by Every Frame a Painting’s Tony Zhou.

Watch some of Tony’s other breakdowns too – fascinating and insightful.

Super Bowl XLIX advertising, not so super

I’m going to come right out and say it, I found this year’s Super Bowl ads disappointing.

Companies pay an estimated US $4 million per 30 second TVC to get air time during the Super Bowl, so you’d think they’d go all out to produce the best for their brands. However despite the plethora of celebrities and one very cute puppy, they all left me feeling a bit meh! Even the return of Walter White didn’t do it for me.

With the increasing trend for advertisers to air their wares online prior to Super Bowl Sunday, maybe the Super Bowl has lost some of it’s charm.

OK it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The Snickers “Brady Bunch” ad, gets some points for their excellent use of Steve Buscemi, he can do no wrong in my eyes; and the use of Liam Neeson‘s Taken persona in the Clash of Cans “Revenge” commercial did show some creativity. However for me, the standard of past years just wasn’t there.

But don’t let my opinions sway you. You can make up your own mind by watching all the Super Bowl ads yourselves. For me though, it was a not so Super Bowl.

 

Entering The Fashion World: Jean Paul Gaultier at NGV


Photo: Danielle Wilson

It’s not very often that you can play tourist in your own city, which is just what I got to do when I visited The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, at the National Gallery of Victoria.

The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition showcased 140 haute couture pieces, each outlining the materials used, including python skin and wheat, as well as the hours it took to create each beautiful creation, some in excess of 2400 hours. It was utterly amazing to see the dedication, effort and imaginativeness presented by Gaultier over the past 40 years.

The term Haute Couture is protected by French Law, as is the making of the French baguette, which our team learned in Paris last year. Haute Couture garments are handmade and the fashion house itself needs to meet a number of criteria and be approved by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris yearly. This highly appealing art form is a splendid and longstanding part of the fashion world and fashion will always be one of the most expressive art forms.


Photo: Danielle Wilson

Alongside the magnificent garments, the exhibition included fashion sketches and stunning photographs of celebrities including Streamtime favourite, Cate Blanchett and my personal favourite, Nicole Kidman.

The exhibition is closing February 8th, so be sure you get down there this week.

New in Streamtime Web

Today we released an update to Streamtime Web, adding more features and improvements to online quoting.

These include:
• Improved load time
• New filter and refine feature for searching
• Responsive design to view quotes on any device
• Improved online access and collaboration for your clients

A full review of new features and improvements can be found in the video below.

If you’re already a Streamtime subscriber and don’t have Streamtime Web, our Streamtime knowledge base has all the information you need to set this up, or alternatively give our support team a call for assistance, we’d love to help get this in your hands.

Jeff Lloyd’s Vinyl Frontiers

Ever since I was a kid I loved music and in particular, vinyl. I remember my first bit of plastic, the smell, the look, the feel and of course the tracks. But who actually listens to an album in it’s purest form from beginning to end anymore? With the arrival of digital, MP3′s, WAVS, AAC etc. everything is so disposable and instant.

I met Jeff Lloyd sometime last year after being dragged along to the Vinyl Frontier’s Singles Challenge by my brother in law and my mate James. What is Vinyl Frontier’s Singles Challenge? Basically it’s an evening where you sit in a room with a 100+, forty-somethings listening to vinyl records on a hi-fi, while watching slides on PowerPoint, all presented by a bloke called Jeff . I thought it sounded rather dull! How wrong I was.

Here was a sold out evening, with normal people getting very excited about records, topped and tailed by probably the coolest, most knowledgeable person I have met, the amazingly patient and wonderful Jeff Lloyd. At last a place for me to chat with like minded folk about my vinyl and music addiction. After my first experience I was totally hooked. It’s a joy to know there are actually people like me who completely love and appreciate the snap, crackle and pop of sticking a needle on a record and getting lost in the whole experience. I thought it was just the DJ in me that loved vinyl, again I was wrong.

But I’m not here to talk about my vinyl obsession or discuss the difference between digital and vinyl. I want to talk about Saturday night as I was invited to be a challenger in the line up for ‘The Vinyl Frontier’s Album Challenge’. My choice was Primal Scream’s 1991 album Screamadelica. It’s the perfect fusion of indie, dance, rock & roll and electronica which oozes the “Summer of Love” vibe which was prevalent in clubs in 1988, 1989 and 1990 which was when I got seriously hooked onto dance music.

Beautifully remixed by Windsor’s Andrew Weatherall, a brilliant DJ and ambassador for the strange and wonderful. Being a Windsor lad myself, I may be somewhat biased. I had to choose a track and then give a bit of background. “Loaded” was my choice, the fabulous remix of “I’m Losing More Than I Ever Have“, an older Primals track, which Weatherall stripped right back and the use of a sample from the film Easy Rider where Henry Fonda says “We want to be free, we want to be free to do what we wanna do, and we wanna get loaded, and we wanna have a good time, and that’s what we are gonna do”. It was the sentiment and the album that defined a generation, my generation.
So the line up on the night was:
1. The Police, Outlandos d’Amour – “Next to you” (selected by Paul Maynard)
2. The Teardrop Explodes, Kilamanjaro – “Reward” (selected by Steve Carman)
3. The Zombies, Odessey & Oracle – “Time of the Season” (selected by Richard Butler)
4. Primal Scream, Screamadelica – “Loaded” (selected by Mark Cooper)
5. The Clash, Sandinista! – “Junco Partner” (selected by Adam Gurr)
6. Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life – “Love’s in Need of Love Today” (selected by Sir Cumference)
7. Junior Walker and the All-Stars, Greatest Hits – “Road Runner” (selected by Adrian Lloyd)
8. Yes, 90125 – “Owner of a Lonely Heart (selected by Tristan Batory)
9. The Cure, Disintegration – “Pictures of You” (selected by Richard Parsons)
10. U2, Under a Blood Red Sky – “New Year’s Day” (selected by Oz Osbourne)
11. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses – “Made of Stone” (selected by Maria Ashby-Giles)
12. Aztec Camera, High Land, Hard Rain – “Oblivious” (selected by Jon Rosten)
13. Rainbow, Down to Earth – “Since You Been Gone” (selected by Jo Carman)

Each of us had to vote for three albums, first choice was worth three points, second choice was two points and third was one point. My points went to The Cure, U2 and The Clash. I chose The Cure as my colleague Kye is a huge fan. I kind of missed them in the day as I was into other bands at the time, but I found myself completely transported and wanting more. I chose U2 because they were just so raw back then when Under a Blood Red Sky came out and The Edge’s piano and guitar work on this live album are just sublime. The Clash got my last vote because I dearly love them and respected the fact someone chose a non-commercial record and a slightly obscure track, which is somewhat difficult to do when you could probably chose something else from them like “Should I Stay or Should I Go” which everyone knows. Total respect!

The winner on the night was Oz Osbourne with U2′s New Year’s Day. Although I didn’t win, it was great to be able to chat about my favourite, wonderful Screamadelica and finish with a few votes. I also learnt so much about these wonderful albums and interesting people. I now keen to listen to the rest of the albums from the night.

If you’d like to enjoy some of the tunes, here is the playlist from the night, compiled by one of the challengers.

Thought for the day – “Vinyl will never die and everyone is a DJ”.

The agency is dead. Long live the agency.

Tobias van Schneider, Product Design Lead at Spotify, chips in nicely with this addition to the ‘agency model is dead’ conversation.

Top 10 title sequences of 2014

Art of the Title have chosen their top 10 title sequences of 2014.

They not only celebrate title design but also give some insight into the designers and studios behind the work.

As fans of True Detective, we’re delighted to see it made it into the top 10.

 

Streamtime keep cup give away

We’re big coffee lovers at Streamtime, so it was only a matter of time before we got our own keep cups. To celebrate we’re giving some away.

To get your hands on one simply go to our Facebook page and tell us why you should be one of the lucky recipients. It’s that easy.

Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures

Maths is awesome! These Fibonacci zoetrope sculptures make beautiful life-like movements when spun under a strobe light.

In their own words:

These are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. If you count the number of spirals on any of these sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.
For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.

Tips & Tricks: Creating a timeline

When beginning a project it’s often helpful to distribute a timeline, so all parties involved are on the same page.

In Streamtime, a timeline can be created using tasks. You can create a timeline for internal purposes, or send one to your client.

See the Streamtime knowledge base for more information on creating Timelines.

Tips & Tricks: A quick way for account managers to view their jobs

If you’re an account manager and you want to see a list of your jobs, then go to Jobs > Job List and choose the FileMaker menu and select ‘Show My Active Jobs (as Account Manager)’.

 

Tips & Tricks: Create quotes from anywhere

Need to create a client quote on the go? Streamtime Web now gives you the ability to create, edit, and send quotes quickly and easily, all securely in a web browser.

So if you’re on your way back from a meeting you can start the quoting process right there in the back of the cab, it’s that easy.

If you’re new to Streamtime, check out the demo of Streamtime on the web here. If you’re already a Streamtime subscriber and don’t have Streamtime Web, our Streamtime knowledge base has all the information you need to set this up, or alternatively give our support team a call for assistance.

The films we loved in 2014

Last year we brought you the music that inspired us, this year it’s the films we loved. Without further ado, here are the movies Team Streamtime enjoyed in 2014.

Mark
“We saw The Amazing Spiderman 2 back in April and it was amazing! We treated the kids to our own personal VIP trip which meant we had our own personal ‘box’ with drinks service, our own personal volume and surround sound experience and no-one was able to see inside! We had the best time. As for the movie – awesome apart from a very sad ending which leaves the franchise wide open for lots of sequels. Cant wait!”

Kye
“Special mention must go to The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood, both excellent films, but the stand out movie of the year for me was John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary. McDonagh tells the story of an embattled Priest, asked to pay for the sins of others with so much heart, and Brendan Gleeson‘s performance is sublime. This movie stayed with me for weeks.”

Cam
“This year, mainly due to a small and needy but rather cute little bundle of joy I only saw a handful of movies at the cinema, and only one with my wife and that was just last week! We went to see Interstellar while my parents baby sat our little girl. I enjoyed the movie more for the fact that my wife and I were able to get out of the house rather than for it being a great movie, but none the less it was pretty good. Matthew McConaughey‘s performance was great, and I enjoyed the movie for its concepts of worm holes, black holes and space time travel.”

Nate
“My choice is A Most Wanted Man. The plot keeps you guessing as it unveils unexpected twists. It’s not your run of the mill political thriller movie. It’s a pity that Phillip Seymour Hoffman won’t be able to delight us with any more of his great performances.”

Kevin
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - I am a fan of science / tech stuff, and a film with genetically modified super apes, how cool is that? The most charming thing that caught my eye were not only the ape’s super powers and human-like thoughts but also the bonds between them. Caesar amazed me with his leadership and commitment to his family through all the difficulties. Last but not least, I want to live in these super apes’ gorgeous mountain nests!”

Susan
Guardians of the Galaxy, I know it’s another Marvel Comic Super Hero film, but it was really funny. A fun ride with loveable characters and an amazing soundtrack. I’d say it was right up there with The Avengers movie Joss Whedon directed, which is a huge compliment since Mr Whedon is on my worship list. Special mention to the hotness of Chris Pratt. Bravo for the topless scene with the wet orange shower. Yummy scrummy. Can’t wait for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and 3.”

Danielle
“The director of two of my favourite ever films—Boy and Eagle Vs Shark—brought out a new film this year called What We Do In The ShadowsTaika Waititi, alongside Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, wrote, directed and starred in this hilarious mockumentary following a group of vampires living in a share house in Wellington, New Zealand. After an influx of vampire films since 2008′s Twilight, this is a refreshing angle to take and is, in my eyes, one of the more believable vampire films due to the mockumentary style in which it is shot and the awkward reality of Waititi’s work. Never short on laughs, it’s well worth your attention, funniest movie of the year for me.”

Pius
“My favourite movie for the year was Bad Neighbours. This movie caught me by surprise, it is just hilarious. It’s packed with jokes and best of all, it has Rose Byrne talking in her natural aussie accent.”

Derek
“I haven’t been to the movies this year but I did watch The Intouchables on blue ray a few months ago. It is based on the true events of Philppe Pozzo di Borgo played by Francois Cluzet and his French Algerian caregiver Abdel Sellou.  They changed his name in the film to Driss played by Omar Sy.

The story follows Driss & Phillipe and how two people from very different paths can build a honest relationship and help each other out in life. Phillipe likes the way Driss doesn’t take pity on him and tries to add a bit of fun back into his life after his accident and death of his wife. Driss has someone who trusts him despite his criminal past and they build a close relationship and Phillippe helps Driss discover other interests that he would never have done in his past life. It is well written and has plenty of humour and is a feel good movie. It is good to see how two people from completely different walks of life and have a big impact on each others life and to this date they still keep in contact with each other.”

Jason
“My favourite movie of 2014 was Her a film written, directed, and produced by Spike Jonze. The film is set around Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who develops a relationship with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), his operating system. Yes, it’s a film for nerds, but more than that it’s a film for romantics… set in a not-too-far fetched future where technology has become a low-risk substitute for human connection, people have ACTUALLY fallen in love with technology! The future is a mixture of utopian technological perfection and dystopic isolation, where hipsters wear high waisted pants and dress in pastel.

To me, it raised really interesting questions about what a relationship fundamentally is, and whether it’s possible that artificial intelligence could ever become a substitute for our basic human needs, and the double edged nature of technology. Ironically, having this cathartic “relationship” with his operating system, Theodore finds himself more in touch with himself, the people around him and the real world. The best bit for me was when a hyper-intelligent OS version of Alan Watts, my favourite philosopher, is introduced.”

Phillip
“Technically this came out a week or so before the start of 2014. But for me, it was the most memorable film of the year. 2014 wasn’t a good year for amazing films really, there were a few good ones, but slim pickings – some of the best reviewed ones I haven’t managed to see yet. The Wolf of Wall Street is my choice, not for how good it was, but for the way it stood out. It was Christmas time. We were in the holiday mood and a movie seemed like a great idea on a rainy day. My father in law was keen to join us, and because he had been involved with the Stock Market for most of his career, visiting Wall Street several times, the movie title was a natural choice.

We should have read the reviews. We should have noticed the rating. Instead, my wife and I sat painfully through each graphic sex and drug scene wondering whether we should walk out – and wondering what my father in law may think of that. I found the movie despicable. It glorified greed and excess and never showed the true victims the main character had deceived, robbed from and financially destroyed. It even ended in a way that showed he really got away with it all. No lessons there. Just crass bias. The only funny scene was Leonardo DiCaprio trying to walk to the car and drive home after taking too many mind altering substances. For some reason my wife found this hilarious.  Here’s to another Christmas break, more movies and more careful selection.”

Josh
“My choice is Nightcrawlera gut-wrenching tale of our hero’s descent into the darkness of underground crime journalism. Jake Gyllenhaal is perfectly cast for the role, with his intense focus and wily smile. It had me on the edge of my seat through the twists and turns and grimacing at some of the imagery surrounding his work. Believable delivery by Gyllenhaal only made better by his partnership with Rene Russo‘s character. Together, they weave the story that might have happened in our backyards. History is written by the survivors.”

Some great choices there, but if this were a competition there’d be only one winner. The stand out film of the year for Team Streamtime is…

Miel
“My favourite movie this year was, without a doubt – The Grand Budapest Hotel. Ralph Fiennes’ performance playing Monsieur Gustave was magnificent. And as always, Wes Anderson managed to create a story that is just genius and incredibly funny. So many fun little references to locations and other stories. Anderson brings together the most amazing cast, as most of them have either won an Oscar or have been nominated for one. In the end, all I needed to know is that Bill Murray was in it. Say no more.”

David
“I loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson excelled himself in a beautiful, funny, moving and crazy film about passion, friendship and loyalty.  A brilliant cast led by Ralph Fiennes, this was a sumptuous visual feast prepared by a master filmmaker at the top of his game.”

Neil
The Grand Budapest Hotel - This brilliant and enchanting film has the Wes Anderson meter cranked up to the max and makes this movie a celebration of everything the filmmaker stands for.”

Adam
“The film of the year for me has to be The Grand Budapest Hotel. I love anything Wes Anderson does and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. His trademark quirky storyline, cast selection, set design and production values were out in full force. It’s a little darker and more cartoonesque in places than other offerings and this added to its richness and enjoyment for me. The casting of Ralph Fiennes in the main role was a stroke of genius too. I had my doubts but Fiennes is excellent. Can’t recommend highly enough.”

Michael
“I’m going to go with The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s been a quiet year for me in regards to movies but this one was one that we had to see. Wes Anderson and Bill Murray…say no more. As expected, it delivered in quirkiness with the crazy storyline that in any other situation would have you walking out of the cinema turned into such an enjoyable movie by the awesome set and amazing performances by the big name cast. Explaining a movie by Wes Anderson in words is difficult, the best thing to do is simply watch it, try not to make sense of it and enjoy it for what it is. Society of the crossed keys to the rescue.”

Ryan
There have been some pretty bad movies I think think year, but some have stood out. Anchorman 2 was hilarious and Guardians of the Galaxy was surprisingly good. Transcendence was very strange but I could never decide if I liked it or not. My movie choice though is The Grand Budapest Hotel. Very clever movie and seemed like it finished very quickly which is a good sign.”

Kat
“I’m gonna go with The Grand Budapest Hotel. I’m a sucker for Wes Anderson films, and it was exactly what I expected: a beautiful story, told beautifully. It had all the joy, sadness, humour – so brilliantly understated and perfectly executed. Too cool, Wes, too cool.”

High praise indeed.

Thanks for reading and have a great Christmas.

Tips & Tricks: Surviving Christmas

It’s that time of year again, there’s parties to attend, food to enjoy and drinks to be had. After all the hard work of the last 12 months, it’s time to relax a little and enjoy ourselves.

With all that enjoyment sometimes comes over indulgence, so here’s our tips on surviving the Christmas period.

• If your office is closing over the Christmas break, ensure you run a backup of your computer and servers before you go on holidays. We recommend taking a backup of your Streamtime database too. If your server restarts at some point while no one’s around, it could potentially corrupt your database files.

• Planning to have a few beverages at the office Christmas party? It might be a good idea to refresh your memory of any passwords you might need the next day. True story: we had a client call us after their Christmas party and they couldn’t remember their Streamtime password.

• As you start to wind down for the year it’s a good time to do some office housekeeping. File any old paperwork away and give your desk a quick clean. If you’re heading away for holidays it’s always nice to come back to a tidy desk. And in Streamtime, close any tasks or jobs that have been completed, that way you can start the new year with a nice, tidy database.

• Finally remember to have a great time. You’ve worked hard this year, so relax and take a little time for yourself.

Photo by Corey Seeman and used under Creative Commons license.

Tips & Tricks: Creating a creative brief template

In Streamtime you can transfer notes associated with a client automatically onto a job. You can also use this feature to automatically setup a creative brief template.

To do this go to System Setup > Jobs and set the ‘Add Client Notes to New Jobs’ setting to yes.

Now go to Contacts and select the client you wish to create the brief template for, and click on the Notes tab. This where you can setup your creative brief template.

When you create a job for that client the brief template will automatically pull through from the client notes onto the job.

Of course you don’t just have to have a creative brief in this field, this setting will allow you to transfer any notes you create in the Contacts tab onto the job.

Mobile handsets as Russian nesting dolls

Came across this fun post on mobile nesting dolls from Khoi Vinh’s Subtraction.com blog. They’re by illustrator, art director and maker Kyle Bean.

 

Sci-fi typography

I love the detail and thought that goes into some movies. The elaborate back-stories, the time taken to research period-accurate details and get things just right. Someone once said to me “Nearly every detail you see in a movie is there for a reason”, and so it was great to come across this post recently on the type details in Ridley Scott’s Alien. It’s from a blog called Typeset in the Future. Be sure to check out the other posts on the site too.

Tips & Tricks: Moving time from one job to another

To move time between jobs, go to the job that has the incorrect time entry and click on the Costs tab, here you will find all the time entries on that job.

Once you’ve found the incorrect time entry click the edit icon next to the time entry.

When the edit time entry window is open there will be an edit button next to the job number.

Click the edit button and then type in the correct job number and click OK, this will update the time entry with the new job number.

Once that’s done click Save and your time entry will move to that job.

See our knowledge base for more information on editing time.

New in Streamtime Web: Collaboration, Create & Send Quotes Online, and Job Timers

Our latest Streamtime Web release includes some great new features that you’re going to love – most notably the ability to create and send quotes to your clients online and collaborate on quotes with your clients and your team.

Create and Send quotes online

Streamtime Web now gives you the ability to create, edit, and send quotes quickly and easily, and give your clients the power to click and accept your quotes instantly, all securely in a web browser.

When you send a quote in Streamtime Web, your client will receive an email with a link to view their quote online. They can add comments, and accept or decline the quote. When they do, you’ll get an instant email notification and can action the quote.

We’ve also added a small detail that we think will make your life easier: When you’re creating a quote for a new client or prospect, you can add that client when creating the quote – no need to create the client first.

Collaborate with your clients and your team

Today we release the first of a series of features that will be web only: collaboration on quotes – the ability to comment both privately within your own team and if you choose to, with your clients. These two-way comments will be visible inside Streamtime Web and client managers will also receive email notifications of comments as they are added by clients. For now, notifications only occur between the Client Manager and the client. Your team can comment on the quote, and we’ll be building in team notifications in the next release.

Start timers on tasks

Also new today is an update to our already successful online time entry tool: the ability to start a timer on tasks. So now in addition to seeing your assigned tasks and adding time against them, you can start a timer on those tasks, or on any new task you choose.

If they aren’t already, these new features will be winging their way to your browser very soon.

If you’re already a Streamtime subscriber and don’t have Streamtime Web, our Streamtime knowledge base has all the information you need to set this up, or alternatively give our support team a call for assistance, we’d love to help get this in your hands.

Highlights of the Australian Design Biennale Creative Forum 2014

Streamtime loves creatives and their work. In line with that statement, we try to show the love to the talented individuals within the creative industry and the little island at the bottom of Australia was packed to the brim with very special talent for the 2014 Australian Design Biennale in Hobart on November 13 – 16.

Streamtime partnered with AGDA, the Australian Graphic Design Association, as a sponsor of this biannual event, sponsoring the Design Crafts category at the AGDA Awards. Streamtime Community Manager, Kye Hush and I attended the three day event which included an exclusive after dark visit to MONA, the D20 Creative Forum and the AGDA Awards themselves.

Danielle (left) & Kye on their way to MONA

The highlight for me was the D20 Creative Forum, the theme of which was ‘Crossing the Line’. Curated by MONA and hosted by Emily Sexton, previously of Next Wave Festival, this forum really resonated with me.

When deciding who to work with, the possible confrontational nature of your work, when to back down and apologise or when to stand up for your beliefs because they align with your values, are questions that every creative must face.

Some highlights from the forum included:

• A panel on Change and Resistance where MONA’s Leigh Carmichael asked “are you a lone nut or a first follower?” To illustrate his point he showed an entertaining video of a guy dancing on his own at a music festival. His belief was that while it’s risky to be the lone nut, it’s riskier to be the first follower.

• Former Greens Leader and Senator Bob Brown, gave an inspiring keynote where he said ”we’ve got to be risk takers, this planet is at stake and it requires thoughtful people to take risks.”

Bob Brown photograph by Remi Chauvin, MONA

• The Activism Incorporated panel was particularly interesting as it posed the question ’When does aligning your brand with a cause ask you to cross the line?’

L-R Juliana Engberg, Marcus Westbury, Casey Jenkins, Elizabeth Pearce and Emily Sexton.

Speaker Elizabeth Pearce, Senior Writer for MONA, is fortunate to work for the incredible, yet elusive David Walsh who encourages crossing the line daily. Yet there was a time when David removed a piece of art at MONA that controversially invited DNA testing for Aboriginality. After consulting Aboriginal Elders he felt the line had been crossed and that it was disrespecting Tasmanian Aboriginals and their heritage.

Casey Jenkins, founder of Craft Cartel and best known for her artwork Casting Off My Womb, saw her artwork and intent questioned by the masses when SBS’s The Feed did an online segment called Vaginal Knitting. Viewed by over five million people, many of whom reacted and commented with disgust, Casey asked herself whether she crossed the line. Her conclusion was no she didn’t as she’d created the piece with the intent on casting off the social taboo about menstruation and the word vagina.

Marcus Westbury, Founder of Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia, still questions whether they are crossing the line in their work of taking unused properties in Australia and working with the owners to negotiate making the space available to creatives.  Working with good intentions and working with those who may not always have the best of intentions is something that they still struggle with.

Working as the Artistic Director at ACCA, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Juliana Engberg, is always encouraging others to cross the line, but only for the right reasons, not for ‘shock value’. When artist Mikala Dwyer, wanted to lift the social shame behind defecating by doing it in public at the opening of her Goldene Bend’er exhibition at ACCA earlier this year, the ACCA agreed.

Juliana Engberg photograph by Remi Chauvin, MONA

At this year’s Biennale of Sydney, Ms. Engberg as Artistic Director and the exhibiting artists were at the forefront of controversy as Founding Partner, Transfield Holdings were discovered to have links to offshore detention centres through its parent company. The outcome, after ten artists withdrew from the event, was to cut ties with Transfield.

Rarely is there an industry where you can push the boundaries of society, normality and human and consumer perception on a daily basis in your work. Being creative, whether it’s working in a conventional agency, working for yourself, as an artist, for a museum, (the list goes on), you are given this chance. I’m sure this is one of the reasons people pursue a life in the creative industry.

We left the Creative Forum with minds churning, wanting more.

Bring on 2016.

AGDA DESIGN AWARDS 2014

It was big night in Hobart on Saturday 15th November as the winners of the 2014 AGDA awards were announced at a dinner in Peppermint Bay. The awards were the perfect end to the three day extravaganza that was the Australian Design Biennale.

This year we were sponsors of the Design Crafts category and we were delighted to hand out Distinctions to Studio Round, Alt Group, Re, Klim Type Foundry and M&C Saatchi. We were also lucky enough to hand out Pinnacles to Hoyne Design and Christopher Doyle & Co.

In total 67 Distinctions and five Pinnacles were awarded with Alt Group taking out eight Distinctions across five categories. Pinnacle winners were Garbett in the category Graphic Design: Posters for their Mandela PosterChristopher Doyle & Co in Design Crafts: Writing for Design for their Natasha Cantwell IdentityHoyne Design in Design Crafts: Photography for Design for Dinosaur DesignsRe in Graphic Design: Stationery for Steve Li Acupuncture and Reactive, Sydney in Digital Design: Technological Innovation for The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented.

These awards showcase an immense amount of creative talent and we were proud to support that talent and be part of this great event.

To see a full list of winners and finalists check out the ADB website.

Photograph courtesy of Foundry.

Tips & Tricks: How to search by a date range

To search by a date range you can use the following formats in Streamtime:

• */MM

Will search for all records created in a month.

e.g */11 will search for all records created in November.

• */*

Will search for all records created this year.

• DD/MM/YYYY..DD/MM/YYYY

Will search for records created within that date range.

e.g 01/01/2014..31/03/2014 will search for all records created between the 1st January, 2014 and 31st March, 2014.

Note: searching by a date range will only work in date fields. These can be found in Contacts, Correspondence, Quotes, Order, Jobs, Time & Materials and Invoicing.

Last Streamtime webinars of the year

We are sneaking in three short webinars between now and the Christmas break.

Join us to learn new skills, top up your current knowledge or confirm your current processes are best practice.

These sessions will run for 30 minutes each Wednesday afternoon from our London office (GMT) and best of all they’re free!

Contacts & CRM
In this webinar we’ll cover the contacts area in Streamtime. We will show you how to create new companies and people, manage contacts and track business opportunities.

Wednesday 26 November 3pm (GMT). 30 minutes

Quoting
In this webinar we’ll show you how to create client quotes.

Wednesday 3 December 3pm (GMT). 30 minutes

Jobs and Tasks
In this webinar we’ll cover creating and managing jobs, creating tasks and tracking time and materials.

Wednesday 10 December 3pm (GMT). 30 minutes

We hope you can join us at one of these sessions but if you can’t, remember you can always book some training. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to schedule a time.

If you missed our webinars from earlier this year you can catch up on our website.

Tips & Tricks: Quickly find overdue invoices

When in a list of invoices clicking on the Invoicing tab in the FileMaker menu will allow you to easily filter the invoice list.

The options include: show last export batch, show overdue invoices and show partly paid invoices.

This menu is a great way to quickly filter your invoice list so you can easily see who you need to chase for payment.

 

 

Tips & Tricks: Analysing client manager performance

A great way for analysing client manager performance, is to run the Client Manager Performance report.

The report shows the value of time captured on a job and how much of that time has been invoiced.


See our knowledge base for more details on the Client Manager Performance report.

Tips & Tricks: Invoicing in instalments

In Streamtime you can create multiple invoices on one job, allowing you to part bill or send instalment invoices to your clients.

All invoices for the job are listed in the Related Invoices tab, and selecting View displays the details of each invoice.

See our knowledge base for more information on how to part bill or invoice in instalments.

Netflix outdoor ad campaign using animated gifs

 

Ogilvy Paris take it old school by using animated gifs for Netflix’s launch into France.

Tips & Tricks: Accessing Streamtime remotely

Following on from this week’s webinar topic we thought this week’s tip should also be about remote access.

If you want to add time, manage tasks and manage contacts from anywhere you can use Streamtime Web. If you’re new to Streamtime, check out the demo of Streamtime Web here. If you’re already a Streamtime subscriber, our Streamtime knowledge base has all the information you need to set this up.

If you wish to have access to your full Streamtime database we have a comprehensive knowledge base article that covers options for accessing Streamtime remotely.

Finally one of our favourite ways of accessing Streamtime from an iPad is using Parallels Access. Our Training Ace, David Hemming loves it so much, he felt compelled to write a post about it on our blog earlier this year. See our blog for more information about how Parallels Access can work for you.

If you have any questions at all about any of the above, then please contact our support team for assistance.

Photo by woodleywonderworks and used under Creative Commons license.

Tips & Tricks: Inactive contacts

Do you have a list of old contacts in your database that you don’t want to delete ‘just in case’?

For these contacts change the contact type to inactive, that way when you create quotes and jobs, the drop down list will only return active contacts, making selecting a contact easier and faster.

Is Streamtime compatible with OSX 10.10 Yosemite?

If you’re a Streamtime user and thinking about updating to Mac OSX Yosemite operating system, we recommend the following:

• Server Machine – do not update. FileMaker specifically advise that at this stage FileMaker Server is not compatible with this operating system.

• Client Machines – our testing to date shows that Streamtime will indeed run as expected in the Yosemite environment. We will update our knowledge base if any issues become clear.

Remember: early adopters of any software, particularly operating systems must be prepared to face unforeseen issues. We will do our best to help with those issues, however resolution times may be reliant on updates to be released from Apple or FileMaker themselves.

Please contact our support team should you have further questions.

Tips & Tricks: Save and add another

Save & Add Another

When you’re creating a company contact in Streamtime Web you can select ‘Save & Add Another’ to quickly add more than one person to a company. Great if you’re out meeting a bunch of new clients and need a quick way to get all their details into Streamtime in one go.

5 reasons why entering awards is good for business

Streamtime developer Pius Jeon accepting an award for our Streamtime Web app.

As a company, we’ve had the pleasure of winning many industry awards over the years. Yes the entry process is often time consuming and at times costly, however we’ve found there are also many benefits to entering awards.

1. Great marketing opportunity
Being shortlisted for an award is great PR. Even if you don’t win, it’s an opportunity to promote yourself to new customers, find new supply channels and break into untapped markets.

2. Up your credibility
Winning, being shortlisted or even just being nominated for a business award is a sure sign you’re doing something right, and since it’s a third party that is endorsing you, that also ups your credibility. If you’re lucky enough to win, it is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and it can become that all important advantage in a pitch.

3. Differentiating your offer
When filling in the application form, you’re presented with an opportunity to reflect on your business offer. It can raise questions like:  What do you do well? What could you be doing better? How do you talk about yourself? What evidence is there for your selling propositions? Focusing on these questions (and others) can help you better articulate your offer and differentiate yourself from the competition.

4. Better client relations
There are few better ways to show that you believe in the work that you do, than entering work on behalf of a client. Clients love to boast about award nominations and if you get to the finals, it’s also a great chance to show them some extra love and take them along for the ride. It’s also a great reminder on how well you work together.

5. Motivating your employees
Awards are a great way of recognising your employee’s hard work and achievements, which can really boost morale. Increased employee moral can also help you attract the right sort of talent to your business. Taking staff to these events is not only a great team night out, but it is also a great chance for them to network, which in itself is promoting your business’ greatest asset.

In fact, all of these and more are reasons why we believe in award ceremonies, and why we’re sponsoring the Wirehive100awards on October 16th and the AGDA Design Awards on November 15th.

Tips & Tricks: Creating a quote with subtotals

Want to create a quote with subtotals? Streamtime allows you to do this really easily.

For full details on how to create a quote with subtotals check out see our knowledge base article.

The drinks are on us

Recently we asked our clients to take part in a survey. As an incentive, we said we’d send out some beers to one lucky client.

We had so many responses with fantastic feedback, we couldn’t pick just one winner. So Big River Creative, Red Dog and Volta you’ll be receiving some drinks on us.

We’d like to thank all our clients who took part in the survey, your feedback helps us to continually improve our product.

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski and used under Creative Commons license.

We’re back with a new webinar series


We’re back with another series of webinars aimed to help you get the most out of Streamtime.

These sessions will run for 20-30 minutes each Tuesday morning from our Sydney office (AEDT), and will be repeated on Wednesday afternoons to allow for busy work schedules and different time zones.

Best of all, these sessions are free! So what are you waiting for? Register today!

Managing Contacts with Streamtime Web
We’ll show you how to create and manage your Streamtime contacts in a web browser.

Tuesday 7 October 11am (AEDT). 20 minutes
Repeated: Wednesday 8 October (AEDT). 20 minutes

Time Entry with Streamtime Web
We’ll show you how to enter time and manage your tasks in a web browser.

Tuesday 14 October 11am (AEDT). 20 minutes
Repeated: Wednesday 15 October (AEDT). 20 minutes

Optimising your Streamtime system
We’ll show you some tips on how to improve the performance of your Streamtime system.

Tuesday 21 October 11am (AEDT). 20 minutes
Repeated: Wednesday 22 October (AEDT). 20 minutes

Accessing your Streamtime system remotely
We’ll show you the different ways you can access your Streamtime system including direct connection, hosted and third party remote access options.

Tuesday 28 October 11am (AEDT). 30 minutes
Repeated: Wednesday 29 October (AEDT). 30 minutes

We hope you can join us.

Tips & Tricks: Managing your client quotes

When a quote is accepted by a client it is best practice to change the status of that quote to indicate that it has been accepted. This will differentiate it from the quotes that are still with the client, or in progress.

When you change the quote status, at the same time you can either uncheck the active status box or lock the quote, this will keep the status of the quote, but it will remove it from your active quote list.

So when you click the My Active or All Active buttons within the quote list you can easily go about managing the quotes that still need to be worked on or chased up.

 

3 reasons why you should embrace co-design and collaboration

The London Design Festival held last week had lots of interesting talks and exhibitions going on all around the city. One of the panels I attended was Co-Design and Collaboration, the panelists brought great insight on the subject, and its influence, all from very different perspectives.

But what is co-design and collaboration? While there’s no official definition in the dictionary, it is essentially the concept of sharing the design idea, creation and process and collaborating with others to obtain greater results.

If you’ve always wondered about the impact a co-designed environment can have then these interesting findings may interest you:

1. Speed

Unilever did some great research into Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor and initially spent nine months trying to find ways to solve this issue. When they joined forces with a collaborative consultancy they hit the ground running and found a solution in less than a month! The power of an inspired community in this case, allowed for great concepts to be brought to the table and a much faster resolution.

2. Deeper consumer engagement

Understanding your audience will always allow you to build a better product. The “affinity pyramid” described by Cecilia Weckström from Lego is a useful technique to better understand your user base and draw deeper consumer engagement.

Cecilia said that the user level at the top of the pyramid is the most engaged of all users. These are the ones that would share their thoughts with the community and are extremely knowlegable about the product.

However looking at the base level users they found great insights too. As an example, they would ask kids to draw something. Instead of analysing the drawing itself, they would ask them why they came up with their ideas, thereby drilling further into the core insights of the product. Smart huh?

3. Increased Profitability

Another great example of a co-designed environment resulting in a greater product experience was provided by Nathan Waterhouse at OpenIDEO when he spoke about the Global Airline app.

This app was designed to understand passengers needs, improve service onboard and get quick feedback from staff about new initiatives being tested.

A total of 6000 staff members were engaged in the app and the results were surprising at times. For example, they asked cabin crew for input on meal selection. The results increased customer satisfaction with meal choices by 7%. Other benefits were an increase in staff satisfaction, as a result of working in an environment where they felt their voices were being heard. There was also an overall increase in profitability due to the reduced waste of food.

There is a lot of food for thought (no pun intended) on how to make changes to your business to enable a co-designed and collaborative space and even to change attitudes. I hope this inspiring way of working has sparked ideas that you might be able to apply and benefit from in your own companies.

Tips & Tricks: My active jobs

To easily see the list of jobs you are working on, go to the job list view and click the ‘My Active’ button.

The ‘My Active’ button will look at all jobs with an active status, where you are the owner.

 

Tips & Tricks: Best practice for closing a job

Once you’ve sent the final invoice for a job, it is best practice to close the job so it no longer appears in your active or work in progress list.

The easiest way to do this is to lock the job once you have sent the last invoice.

When you print, save a PDF or email a PDF of an invoice, Streamtime asks you if you want to lock the invoice or the job.

Selecting Lock Job has several benefits. First, Streamtime will check the job to see if there are any uncompleted tasks and give you the option to complete them.

Second, by locking the job, Streamtime will change the job status to invoiced and remove it from your active jobs list.

Finally, by locking the job you’re ensuring no one can make changes to the job unless they have administration rights.

Tips & Tricks: Using projects in Streamtime

A project in Streamtime is essentially a grouping function that allows you to group a series of jobs and/or quotes together for reporting purposes. This is done via a project number, and this number gets assigned to any jobs or quotes that you wish to be part of the overall project.

A project number is commonly used to group a series of jobs that might be part of a bigger project, or even a series of jobs that might be part of a monthly retainer.

See our knowledge base for more information on creating projects in Streamtime.

More profit for creatives

To be a profitable creative business you need to have systems in place that will help you gain more control over your projects.

Streamtime, Xero and The Wow Company will solve all your project management, invoicing and accounting needs. Together we’re the perfect combination to make your creative business more profitable.

But don’t take our word for it, see what Beyond Design had to say:

As a bonus, if you are already a Streamtime customer in the UK, The Wow Company will pay for your Xero subscription for 12 months. For more information on this great deal call Wow on 0845 201 1580.

Streamtime, Xero and The Wow Company are the ultimate team for your creative business.

Font Men – Hoefler & Frere-Jones before the split

A lovely little short film featuring Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones before the big split.

Talking money with clients, why is it so hard?

At CreativeMornings Sydney last week, Jason Little gave an inspiring talk on Failure. One of his key points was our failure to talk money. He said, “designers, we’re terrible with money, we undersell ourselves, we work for free”. Unfortunately, that statement is often all too true.

In order to be competitive and get the job, we lower our prices and sometimes even work for free. By doing this, we are basically telling the world that our time isn’t worth much, when in fact, time is our most valuable asset.

To avoid this, it’s important we understand just how much time it takes to complete a job. It’s very easy to dismiss an hour of our time in order to win a job, but what happens when that hour turns into 10 hours? That’s a lot of effort for no more money. The easy way to track time is by doing timesheets. Yes they’re tedious and boring, but they also show us just how much effort we put into completing a job. So when a similar job pops up again we have a very good idea of just how much of our time it will take to complete it and can quote accordingly.

When talking money with a client, it is also important to agree to get some form of payment up front. There’s nothing worse than delivering the goods and not getting paid for our time and effort. In other industries this is standard business practice and we shouldn’t be afraid to follow suit. Send an invoice before the job starts asking for a percentage up front and don’t start the work until payment has been received.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out the talk below by Mike Monteiro for CreativeMornings San Francisco. It’s titled F*ck You, Pay Me and it’s enlightening.

Of course there are times when working at reduced rates or for free is potentially mutually beneficial. If we’re working for a not for profit, then the work itself might be rewarding enough. Similarly, working for a particular client might allow us total creative freedom and could possibly score us an award or two. But these circumstances should be the exception to the rule.

Remember: don’t be afraid to charge for your time or request payment up front, and most importantly, don’t undersell yourself and the work that you do.

Photo by Ken Teegardin and used under Creative Commons license.

 

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