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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.

Nike launch 2014 World Cup Campaign

It’s a big year for football with the 2014 World Cup just around the corner. As the world’s most popular sport, advertisers know this is a marketing opportunity not to be missed.

Although not an official sponsor of the World Cup, Nike always have a presence when it comes to big sporting events, particularly those that are football related. At last count, they sponsor 90 football clubs, 28 national teams and 11 football associations, so it’s no surprise they want to be part of the action.

Over the years, they’ve produced some outstanding work with their agency Wieden + Kennedy. This week saw the release of their ‘Risk Everything’ campaign. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the ad illustrates the current pressure on footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr and Wayne Rooney to perform.

While this ad is beautifully executed, it is by no means my favourite Nike/Wieden + Kennedy offering. The ‘Write the Future’ campaign for the 2010 World Cup has that honour. A slick, 3 minute ad showing football stars Cannavaro, Drogba, Fabregas, Ribéry, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rooney, alongside tennis champion Roger Federer, basketball star Kobe Bryant and Homer Simpson. This campaign was not only very successful for Nike, it earned Wieden + Kennedy (Amsterdam), the Film Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes Lions festival.

An honourable mention must also go to the ‘Olé‘ campaign that was run in conjunction with Euro 2004. The ad featured the host nation Portugal taking on footballing giants Brazil in a showboating contest. It also featured big name football stars of the day, including a cameo by Eric Cantona and had a very catchy soundtrack in the form of Perry Como’s ‘Papa Loves Mambo’.

Nike and Wieden + Kennedy produce some great work together. I’m already looking forward to what Euro 2016 will bring.

Tips & Tricks: A faster way to create quote descriptions

In Streamtime, you can create quote descriptions in your cost matrix so they automatically pull through onto your quote, saving you time.

Use the details field in each cost matrix item to create your descriptions.

And when you pull those cost matrix items onto your quote, the description field will automatically populate.

Click here for more information on how to create quotes in Streamtime.

Tips & Tricks: Using invoice notes

The invoice notes tab in Streamtime is a handy place to record any internal memos, comments or changes to your invoicing procedure.

These notes aren’t shown anywhere on the actual invoice, so it’s a good place to make a note if a client asks for an invoice to be broken down into several invoices, or split and sent out to different organisations.

Recording this kind of information in the invoice notes means you never have to rely on your memory when going through your accounts.

Tips & Tricks: Saving your Streamtime login name

When you log into Streamtime, FileMaker uses the name on your computer for the default account login name.

If you’d like to change this so the default account login name is your Streamtime login name go to:

FileMaker Pro > Preferences on a Mac

Or FileMaker Pro > Edit > Preferences on a PC

Change the user name to your Streamtime login name and click OK

Next time you login, Streamtime will use the new login name you have created.

An extra tip for Mac users:
When you login you can save your login details in your keychain, therefore eliminating the need to login each time you use Streamtime.

Tips & Tricks: How to format quotes and estimates in Streamtime

In Streamtime simple text formatting can be done on any line item in your quote or estimate (or invoices and purchase orders for that matter) by selecting your description text, right-clicking and choosing a font/size/style/colour.

To indent (tab) quote description line items, use ‘Option+tab’ (Mac) or ‘Control+tab’ (PC).

You can also make master headings by applying text styles to items in your Cost Matrix. Those items will then always have your custom text styles applied to them.

Use one or all of these methods to create a more stylised quote to send to your client.

 

For more detailed information on how to format text in Streamtime have a read of our knowledge base article: Using Headings and Indents on Quote line items.

Tips & Tricks: Quick financial reporting in Streamtime

If you want to run a quick and easy financial report in Streamtime, simply go to Jobs > Jobs List and search for the jobs you’d like to see in your report.

Once you have a list of jobs you’d like to report on, simply click on the financial view, located to the right of the screen.

This will return all the financial data for the jobs in your list including:

• Total of active quotes on each job

• Total costs on each job – this is made up of time, materials and active orders

• The potential sell value of time, materials and active orders for each job

• Total amount invoiced on each job

• Gross Margin for each job – invoiced less job costs

• Gross Profit for each job – invoiced less active orders

This list can also be printed or exported to excel for further manipulation.

If you like this report then check out our knowledge base for some more tips on how to achieve some quick reports in Streamtime.

How creativity can change the world

[Illustration by Adam R Garcia]

At today’s CreativeMornings Sydney the guest speaker was Jess Scully, who was talking about this month’s topic, Rebel.

Jess gave a very inspiring talk and showed us some great examples of how creatives: artists, illustrators, designers, marketers etc can use their creativity to create change.

For example, in Yekaterinburg, Russia local blog URA.RU hired ad agency Voskhod to do something about the pothole situation in their town. Voskhod came up with a brilliant campaign where they painted the faces of local politicians around the potholes. Not only did this embarrass politicians into action, which made the people of Yekaterinburg very happy, but the campaign also won four Golden Lions at Cannes.

As recently as last week, one of my colleagues shared with us A Guard’s Story, a collaboration between The Global Mail, and illustrators Sam Wallman and Pat Grant.

[Illustration by Sam Wallman]

This story really moved us and while the words themselves were indeed powerful, it was Wallman’s illustrations that drove the point home.

More information on this truly moving story can be found at Behind the Global Mail Serco Detention Centre Cartoon.

Finally, probably the most famous example of the power of creatives was in Chile, 1988. The Pinochet goverment launched a referendum to effectively keep Pinochet in power indefinitely. Those who opposed this, hired a creative to help them with their No campaign. The result, against the odds they won the vote.

A film about this campaign, called No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. If you’re wondering how you can use your creative skills to change the world, watch this film.

There are so many stories like these that show how creative executions are inspiring change. So think about what makes you angry, what you’re passionate about and go out there and start creating. As Jess pointed out today, “creative people can change the world and they should .”

 

Tips & Tricks: A keyboard shortcut for searching

Here’s a handy but often overlooked keyboard shortcut to use when searching for things within Streamtime.

If you want to search for a particular client, quote, job or invoice you can simply click Cmd+F on a Mac or Ctrl+F on a PC and this will bring up the search function (not applicable for the reports area).

If you use this shortcut while in a list view, it will activate the advanced search option.

Happy Searching!

Tips & Tricks: How to complete tasks in Streamtime

Does your task list look a little bit like this? Lots of old tasks that you’ve actually finished and they now say overdue?

By simply clicking the tick [√] button next to each task when you’re done,

those tasks will be marked as completed.

By doing this you’ll have a manageable task list, with only relevant tasks showing, and when your studio manager views the tasks on the job they’ll see that they’re complete.

For more information please refer to our Knowledge Base article on completing tasks.

Remote access on your iPad

We’ve used many remote desktop software solutions, but recently we discovered Parallels Access and it works great with your iPad.

You can leave your desktop or laptop at your desk, and control it remotely using your iPad and internet connection. Up to 10 computers (Mac and PC) can be linked to your account, and it’s very easy to setup and use. They offer a 2 week free trial and then a paid subscription.

I’ve been particularly impressed with Parallel’s ability to easily control the applications on my Mac from my iPad, and was amazed when I opened Final Cut and was editing and playing audio.. all in sync.. on my iPad. The quality was great, and it was fast. It supports copy and paste, drag and drop and all the other creature comforts of your Mac or PC.

As a Streamtime user, this means you can get quick and easy access to your entire Streamtime system. You can create quotes, track your jobs and send invoices right on your iPad.

If you have your dropbox and email account setup on your iPad and computer, you can just about get everything done from anywhere.

Download the free trial from the App Store, install the utility on your computers and give it a go.

A special thanks to our friend Sam at Ocean Design for the tip.

 

Creating beautiful designs for Valentine’s Day

 

It’s that time of year again when couples around the world are all loved up and florists, restaurants and the greeting card industry are all happy to take their money.

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t just bring out the romantic or the money hungry, it also brings out the creative side of people. The team at Creative Bloq have found 15 creative Valentine’s Day designs for your viewing pleasure.

So why spend money on over priced flowers or an average meal in a crowded restaurant? This Valentine’s Day unleash your creative side and create something beautiful for the person you love.

Photo by xavalox and used under Creative Commons license.

Tips & Tricks: How to create reminders in Streamtime

Streamtime reminders are a quick and easy way of creating follow up actions for individual quotes, correspondence, jobs and invoices.

Each reminder can be assigned to you or any of your team, and you can assign multiple people by holding the ‘option’ key and choosing another person from the list. You can set a date, time, and also set an alert for the reminder too.

Once the reminder appears at the scheduled time, clicking the ‘view’ button takes you directly to the related quote, correspondence, job or invoice.

The reminders show in your Streamtime calendar, and you can see reminders for other team members here too.

For more information see our Knowledge Base article on using reminders.

Tips & Tricks: A faster way to do timesheets in Streamtime

If you only use Streamtime for timesheets then use Streamtimer, our desktop app, or sign in to Streamtime on the web.

They’re really fast and they work from anywhere with an internet connection.

Set them up today, or give us a call and we’ll help you set them up.

Download Streamtimer here.

Getting your brand noticed on Super Bowl Sunday

At an estimated US $4 million per 30 second TVC, it’s no wonder that companies advertising during the Super Bowl go all out to create something that’s going to be memorable.

Some brands have already released their offerings online: Jaguar has released British Villains Rendezvous with Tom Hiddleston and Ben Kingsley, Budweiser have gone for cute with Puppy Love and Dannon have reunited some of the Full House cast for The Spill.

While brands like H&M have opted to go for a teaser campaign in an ad starring David Beckham where they call on the audience to vote for a #covered David or an #uncovered David for the actual Super Bowl Sunday ad.

But it’s sodastream that has everyone talking. Their “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi” ad was banned and then graciously reinstated after some editing. An oversight by the agency involved or a very clever marketing ploy to get more bang for their buck?

Tips and Tricks: Formatting Text in Streamtime

Sometimes you may wish to copy information from an email or another source and paste that information into Streamtime.

For example you may be creating a new contact and you need to copy and paste the phone number into Streamtime. But when you do, it keeps the same formatting from where you copied it:

If you wish to format the text so it uses the same formatting as Streamtime, once you paste the item into Streamtime (command v), if you click command 9 when the cursor is in the field, this will format the copy to Streamtime’s default font.

Game of Thrones Propaganda Posters

The trailer has been released, an air date has been announced (April 6 in case you missed it), but it’s still 73 days until we see what happens in Westeros.

In the meantime, Olivia Desianti of Bruce Loves You has been busy creating some seriously cool propaganda posters based on the hit show.

My personal favourite, the Arya Stark poster.

 

Iconic Winter Olympics Photography

With the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi just around the corner, Mashable have sourced some truly amazing images from past Winter Olympics. Their selection includes iconic photos from the first games in Chamonix 1924, to the last games in Vancouver 2012.

Check out 30 Historic Winter Olympics Photos We’ll Never Forget.

Image: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Put down your phone & enjoy your beer

I love Guinness. Not only the taste of their delicious stout but also Guinness as a brand. For years they’ve had some seriously great advertising.

Whether it’s their Surfer TVC from 1998 or last year’s Basketball TVC, they just seem to get it right every time.

But it’s not just their TVC’s that are great. Their POS and Outdoor campaigns are also brilliantly executed.

This latest offering encourages pub goers to put down their phones and enjoy their beer. Very sound advice.

Image: Paul Ellis/Getty

Guide dogs for veterans

A great piece of work by Selmore Creative Agency for The Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation.

While most people associate guide dogs with the visually impaired, this ad shows how trained dogs can help people, like veterans, suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Their message: “we not only help people who cannot see, but also those who have seen too much”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D typography by Lex Wilson

London based illustrator Lex Wilson has done it again with this fascinating 3D typography. The self confessed “obsessive compulsive illustrator” gives us these amazing optical illusions. Is there no end to his talents?

[via designtaxi.com]

Creating awareness through design

The folks at Living With: have designed some t-shirts, to “encourage, engage, and support new conversations about mental health”.

Each t-shirt has a geometric design that represents a behavioural pattern of certain mental disorders, the one above represents ADHD.

Living With: donates $2 from every t-shirt to Active Minds.

[via design-milk.com]

 

 

 

 

 

The music that inspired us in 2013

At Streamtime we’re a passionate lot. We’re passionate about our product, we’re passionate about design, we’re passionate about food, we’re passionate about travel, and we’re passionate about music. Music in particular is a big part of our culture. It seemed fitting to end the year with the team’s top picks for 2013.


Pius

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
“This album sells sex and alcohol better than twerking, naked women or wrecking balls ever could”

 

Phillip

Ginny Blackmore – Bones

“I suppose my reason is that I love the brutal honesty of the lyrics – but it makes me sad to think that a woman in a relationship still has to question whether she is valued/loved… Men are idiots… it inspires me to ensure I capture my wife’s heart, so she never has to doubt me… too sentimental? Sorry…”

 

Az

Max Cooper – Synesthetes Museum

“Because it’s emotive without words, expressive without themes. It’s an intellectual feast for the ears without a philosophy. It’s beautiful and discordant and syncopated and rhythmic and harmonious. It’s music which takes you places and brings you back changed. It’s music which almost shows you the secret thing, the trick to life, the underlying beauty of everything – that which is sitting just out of mental reach, on the corner of your brain, like the forgotten word on the tip of your tongue. If Dali ever listened to electronic music, this would have been on his iPod. Also an honourable mention to a clown who made me like Lorde.”

 

David

Arctic Monkeys – AM
“Sounds like a good band playing together, brilliantly recorded and mixed, and the songs are great (except for maybe 1 or 2)”

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
“I like the (not quite as angry Trent) songs, and it sounds like a man who knows what he’s doing in the studio”

Ludovico Einaudi – In a Time Lapse
“The wife and I saw him perform at the Sydney Opera House in November and it was just beautiful. Perfect combination of venue, musicians and music”

 

Dani

“I didn’t have to think, without a doubt my favourite 2013 album is Arctic Monkeys – AM. What a genius album, produced incredibly, it sounds soooo sexy. It’s an evolved sound for them but still such a unique sound. Standout track – Arabella. LOUD.

Runners Up for 2013 album: Lorde –  Pure Heroine. 10/10 debut. It’s actually unreal. Courtney Barnett – How to Carve a Carrot Rose. I used to work with Courtney and she’s amazing! Taking the US and Australia by storm.

2013 favourite song: Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener. The accent, the lyrical genius, the guitar and the video.

Runner Up: London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years. Damn those vocals, the heartbreaking ‘reality’ of the lyrics and situation…makes you think you’re living it even when living in pure bliss…? How can music do that?!”

 

Mo

London Grammar – If You Wait
“Fantastic album, unbelievable voice”

Haim – Days Are Gone
Forever, such a fun song”

Foals – Holy Fire
“Loved Antidotes, this is a bit different, but liking it”

 

Cam

“It’s a tough one to pin down for me: if I look back through my Rdio listening history, there’s a bunch of great music in there that’s not released in 2013, but has been my “favourite” to listen to this year like Ryan Adam’s Gold or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Damn The Torpedos or The Foo Fighters Colour and the Shape. Then there’s albums that have been released this year that are pretty decent and I’ve liked listening to often like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Bastille’s Bad Blood, or the soundtrack to the Dave Grohl directed Sound City.

But the one album that’s really been my favourite for 2013, also just happened to be released this year, and it’s my favourite not necessarily because of the music on it (though it’s bloody good), but for what other music it’s opened up to me. It’s called Made Up Mind by the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Since listening to them by way of a recommendation from a friend, I’ve started listening to all sorts of stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise listen to. Country and folksy inspired sort of stuff, but it’s also got me right back listening to solid, hard, balls out rock.

Bring on some more great music in 2014!”

 

Aaron

“Mid 2012 but it’s high on my play list this year – Regina Spektor, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, especially Don’t Leave Me. Also Imagine Dragons Radioactive and On Top Of The World. Albums, of course Lorde, Pure Heroine has been on high rotation, as one would expect, along with Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and Imagine Dragon’s Night Visions. But the best/most played song by far has to be GM Presents and What Does The Fox Say. Oh and for some strange reason Lily Allen’s LDN has surfaced again in my play list this year – can’t get it out of my head and I can make a flat white perfectly in the 3:11 it takes to play. ”

 

Coops

“That’s a tough one!! Top 3 albums:

1. Biffy Clyro – Opposites

Double album from Biffy – I definitely ‘Monned the Biff’ in 2013 – best live band ever! Saw them in 2011 supporting the Foos at the Milton Keynes Bowl and fell in love with them. Me and the kids love this album. Every track is an anthem!

2. Goldfrapp – Tales of Us

Alison Goldfrapp’s voice is extraordinary and I found myself wanting to listen to the whole album again and again. Very emotional and very beautiful. Melancholy and yet uplifting.

3. Hey Rube – Can You Hear Me Mutha?

“I am sent shed loads of music from independent labels and lots of it is piffle. One track which my mate Steve Cobby sent me, was from his Hey Rube Project and the album Can You Hear Me Mutha? A track called Mengi Dem Disco Leggy particulary stands out. The whole album is really unusual and very listenable.”

 

Adam

“My favourite album of the year has to be Overgrown by James Blake. This guy’s voice is absolutely mesmerising. Solid song writing, lyrics and beautiful production make for an absolutely epic record. Retrograde is the standout track for me.

Song – Laura Mvula’s Green Garden is a beautiful song. Sparkling production, fantastic vibe and again a truly amazing voice. Great album too (Sing to the Moon).

Honourable mentions also go to Days are Gone by Haim and If You Wait by London Grammar.”

 

Miel

“Hmm. I can’t answer that yet. I generally don’t listen to music unless it can stand through the test of time. So I usually listen to older stuff. Mostly jazz, blues, good old rock… So ask me again in 2023 and I’ll tell you what’s good this year.

Now… some great albums from back in 2003 are:

Admiral Freebee - Admiral Freebee

Carla Bruni –  Quelqu ‘un m’a dit

Sioen – See You Naked

I don’t think I’ve purchased any music released in 2013. The most recent is Calexico’s Algiers. It’s a damn good album, so I’m sure I’ll still love that in 2022.”

 

Neil

“My favourite song of the year is Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz ft. Will Heard

It reminds me of the amazing holiday I had in Barcelona this summer.

Favourite album: Lorde - Pure Heroin. It’s just different, I like it.”

 

Nate

“That was really hard but some of the music that has moved me, inspired me and in general kept me sane this year has been (in order of preference):

Young the Giant – My Body

Florence and the Machine – Shake it Out

The Courteeners – Cross my Heart and Hope to Fly

Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know

The Black Keys – Lonely Boy or Howlin

And the list goes on…”

 

Kat

“I ignored this question for so long because I thought it would be hard. But I was wrong there was no competition whatsoever for me. Hands down, my favourite album of the year is:

Mechanical Bull – Kings of Leon

It has four of my favourite songs of the year:

Rock City

Beautiful War

Temple

Wait for Me

Incredible songwriting, tone, production, and playing. Absolutely love it.

Oh and I feel I must add: Common Courtesy by A Day To Remember.

It is my second favourite album of the year, for sheer enjoyment, and the way it makes me feel insanely powerful”

 

Dave

“Without doubt Biffy Clyro – Opposites for album of the year.It’s epic. I still remember the first listen and my jaw spent the entire time of the floor! The songs are fantastic, I think there is only one song on the double record I would skip. Production is top notch. Just a perfect rock album.

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories is also amazing, totally accessible and listenable, you don’t need to be at a club to enjoy. Again production is top notch, recorded in one of my favourite studios with old school production. Favourite track – Doin’ it Right.

Songs of the year:

How Long – How to Destroy Angels – great song with a pretty heavy video clip.

Resolution – Matt Corby takes his track Brother to the next level. A wonderful track.”

 

Kye

“My choice is probably somewhat predictable, but I can’t go past Push the Sky Away – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Nick Cave is an immense talent, whatever project he’s working on, but he’s never more complete than when he’s with the Bad Seeds. This album is spectacular and a standout track for me is Water’s Edge, Warren Ellis’ haunting violin, the percussion, those lyrics, that voice!

I’m also going to mention Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero. A friend introduced me to this Dublin five piece and I’m loving them. The album is infectious and has me tapping my feet whenever I listen to it. ”

 

Derek

“I don’t really have a favourite album or song for 2013. I like some older styles, like Dean Martin and some jazz etc. One album I did buy this year was Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved .”

 

Susan

Kodaline – In a Perfect World

Young the Giant – Young the Giant

San Cisco – San Cisco

“Sweet, simple, fun and heartbreaking, and all with great melodies that stick with you for days. These are the only albums I could listen to this year while I was pregnant. I don’t know why but everything else just sounded like noise.”

What music has inspired you in 2013?

Want a quick financial overview of your jobs?

If you’re after a financial overview of your jobs in Streamtime, here’s a few tips on how to achieve some quick reports

 

*Santa* brandbook

Some very funny stuff here from the folks at the quiet room: The *Santa* brandbook.

Coming soon: Streamtime’s new web experience

Today we’re excited to share with you a very small part of a much bigger future for Streamtime when it comes to fast, reliable access to your information from anywhere. But first, some history.

A while back we introduced you to a web version of Streamtime for viewing your Quotes, Jobs, Contacts and entering time – optimised for your smartphone and all through the speedy medium of the web. We also released an updated version of Streamtime for FileMaker back in April which helped set the foundation for moving onto the web. For us, this was just the beginning.

Since then we’ve been out and interviewed our customers, sorted through our feature requests, feedback from customers and our support aces and conducted surveys with many of our users. What came out of all this was not just that Streamtime needs to be reliably accessible from anywhere – we know it does, we get that – it was that for many of our clients, work tends to not happen only at work, and only on the laptop or iMac anymore. To quote our contemporaries at MailChimp,

Though mobile devices are outselling PCs these days, they’re not replacing the desktop experience—they’re extending it. People start a task on one device and pick it back up on another. This new behaviour pattern requires a different kind of design thinking that’s focused on consistency, optimisation for different contexts, and clear continuation of workflows.

At Streamtime we believe you should be able to do pretty much everything you can do with the current Streamtime desktop app from your iPad, smartphone, desktop web browser or your Samsung Galactic Whatever™.

We learnt that Account Managers are starting quotes during the day, perhaps while at a client briefing, and then fleshing out the details in the evening after putting the kids to bed. Business owners are checking the progress of jobs and seeing how budgets are tracking over the weekend. Studio Managers are checking the schedule on Sunday night to see what’s coming up for the week. They’re having an impromptu meeting with an Account Manager at their desk and needing to immediately see what’s on the schedule.

All that to say, up until now, the web version of Streamtime has been designed for “smartphone-ish-sized” screens only. That will change with the imminent re-launch of the familiar Me screen which has been optimised for tablets and desktop web browsers, and given the responsive treatment. It’s the first small step towards a ubiquitous future of Streamtime and we think you’ll love it.

Get in touch if you don’t already have access to the current version of Streamtime on the web and we’ll help you get set up.

Some highlights of the new Me screen

Firstly, the ‘Me’ screen will be labelled with your name. Part of the reason for this is that ‘collaboration’ will be a significant part of Streamtime in future and we’re laying some of the groundwork here. The Me screen will eventually morph into your ‘Profile’ screen, so labelling it with your name rather than the generic ‘Me’ makes sense for the future.

Theres many ways to enter time in Streamtime and we’re acutely aware we’re adding another one, so it has to be good. The majority of people that enter time are creatives – Designers and Production staff that would rather be getting on with real work than filling out a timesheet. That said, they’re a necessary evil if a company wants to be profitable so we’ve tried to cut down on the time it takes and the pain that’s felt when you add time and materials.

If you’re adding multiple entries to a particular task over the course of a day, the entries will now nest together in the list view rather than being individual lines, and you’ll have the ability to add a new entry directly to an existing task. Also finding the right Job and Task to add time to will be much faster with a filtered search inside the dropdown chooser.

If you’re like me and many others, you note down on paper what you worked on for the day (or maybe the entire week if you’re really slack) and then have a big timesheet binge session late friday afternoon with beer in hand. This is an area that we’ll be adding much more functionality to over the coming months, but for starters we’ve added a ‘Save & Add Another’ button to the entry window so that you can get back to that cold beverage a little sooner. Like I said though, there’s much more to come in this area so watch this space.

 

The Tasks list and Timesheet are going to be on the same page, meaning adding time to a scheduled task is as simple as finding or searching for your assigned task in the tasks list and adding your time. If you navigate to another day and add time to a scheduled task, it’ll default to the selected date. And if you’ve worked on that task all week long, just use the ‘Save & Add Another’ button mentioned above to continue adding multiple entries.

Along with the new Profile screen we’re tweaked the main navigation. It will allow you to create a new item from anywhere you happen to be within the app. You’ll no longer have to go to a particular section to add that particular content. Also in the main navigation bar will be a single, site-wide search. Search for a Quote from your Profile screen, or a Job from the Quotes screen. That’s how Searching should be!

Where to from here?

We’re working hard to get this new Me screen into your hands asap, but it’s important to do this right, and do it well. We can’t give a timeframe sorry – it’ll be ready when it’s ready.

Following the launch of the updated Me screen, in the short term, we’ll release tablet and desktop browser optimised versions of the Quotes screens (where you can create new quotes, and edit existing ones), followed up in the long term by support for all the other major areas of the Streamtime service. All this will be done while your Streamtime database is hosted on a FileMaker server that’s typically based in your studio.

We think you’ll love what we’ve got in store for you coming soon, and what’s in the future pipeline. What’s here just a small part of where we’re headed – there’s lots more to come.

Answers to some questions you might have

Why are you moving away from FileMaker?
We’re not. We’ll continue to use, support and sell FileMaker as the main backend database for storing your information. It provides the best of both worlds (web access from anywhere and a stable, installed app) and doesn’t isolate any of our customers, which is important.

And it means that new and existing customers who want additional functionality get a growing set of web-based features, and those who want the benefits of Streamtime on FileMaker will keep using Filemaker.

It’s important to note that all of our current and upcoming efforts in terms of new functionality will be going into web access from any device. We will support Streamtime on FileMaker for any issues that need fixing, and add features to it when they need to be there to compliment what we’re doing on the web. Developing new functionality on the web side, rather than in FileMaker, means we can release new features faster and can do some things that in FileMaker we couldn’t do.

Will you ever move away from FileMaker completely?
Our ultimate strategy is to reliably and speedily bring you most of the functionality you currently have with Streamtime on FileMaker to your web browser, from anywhere you happen to be, on pretty much any device you happen to have with you.

Many of our current, and almost all of our potential customers are asking about ‘web’ and ‘cloud’ access. They don’t want an in-house server, and don’t want to install updates.

The last thing we want to do is force you off a platform and service that you might love to a new one that we’ve developed and give you no choice in the matter. Streamtime on FileMaker will continue to exist and we’ll continue to sell it in future. Ultimately, we will have the option of ‘turning off’ FileMaker and moving to a fully ‘cloud hosted’ version of Streamtime. We think that this cautious approach will benefit our existing customers, and give new and existing Streamtime customers that are requesting a ‘cloud’ solution a choice.

That’s the future though—it’s some time off yet—but we have a plan and we’re marching confidently towards it.

CreativeMornings: Make

Once again we’re proud to be sponsoring CreativeMornings Sydney, which is happening this Friday, 13th December, 8:30am at Hub Sydney.

CreativeMornings have announced the theme for December is “Make”, and the speaker in Sydney will be Andy Kelly.

To get your tickets head to the CreativeMornings Sydney website.

It’s the last one of the year, so don’t miss out.

The power of art

Something born out of the grieving process, turned into something unexpected for Candy Chang and her Before I Die project

Photo from theuntappedsource.com

Streamtime and FileMaker 13 Compatibility

FileMaker have today announced the release of FileMaker 13. At the moment FileMaker 13 is not compatible with Streamtime, so we will not be shipping FileMaker 13 until we have made the two compatible.

Once we’re sure that there are no issues, we will start shipping FileMaker 13, so stay tuned to our blog posts, twitter feed and Facebook Page for announcements.

Are you capturing all of your expenses on a Job?

It’s just as important to add expenses to a job as it is to record time spent on a job. Expenses can be anything from purchases from a supplier, to colour print outs for your client. Capturing these expenses ensures you know the true cost of a job.

Most companies capture big expenses like printing, photography, talent – pretty much anything purchased from a supplier – by creating a Purchase Order against a job. However it’s the small items like couriers, taxis, CDs, DVDs, colour print outs etc, that people forget to included on a job.  The odd colour print out here or there might not seem like much but if you think about the expense of maintaining your printer, buying toner etc, the costs soon add up. Couriers are another expense that is part of day to day business, and they’re also easy to capture. If you use your job number as a reference when ordering the courier, when the courier bill comes in you can then add those couriers onto the job.

Even if you feel you can’t pass these expenses onto your client, it’s good practice to record the expenses anyway. By recording all expenses on a job you’ll get a clearer picture of your job’s true profitability.

For more information on how to capture expenses in Streamtime please refer to the article on capturing expenses in our Knowledge Base.

Cropped photo from original by mwanasimba and used under Creative Commons license.

We’re sponsoring CreativeMornings Sydney

CreativeMornings is a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community with 60 chapters worldwide and we’re absolutely delighted to be sponsoring the Sydney chapter.

This month’s topic is Bravery and the speaker is Christiaan Van Vuuren. So if you’re not doing anything on Friday morning, 22nd November, get down to Hub Sydney for what’s sure to be a great CreativeMornings.

Tickets available here: CreativeMornings

 

 

Make things people want

“It’s easier to make things people want, than it is to make people want things.” Nice post from the folks over at Intercom.

 

 

New FF Mark typeface

Printed type specimen books are great, but you can’t really put the typeface through its paces. FontFont have made a great microsite for their new typeface family, ffmark.com which lets you really get to grips with the different weights and allows you edit leading, spacing, colour, size and more. Nice work.

We’re sponsoring AIGA DESIGN:BIGWEEK

The AIGA Dallas/Fort-Worth Design: BigWeek (or for those that prefer more acronyms, AIGA: DFW D:BW) kicks off this weekend, and we’re super proud to be a gold partner.

It’s a week full of education and inspiration from some of the best in the business. If you’re in town, head along.

Artisan globemaking. Beautiful

It makes me smile that this sort of work still goes on. Peter Bellerby opens up his London studio to share the the little-known world of artisan globemaking.

How to run a profitable agency

Pleasure and Pain. Love the Pain. Get the Pleasure.

Let’s start with some honesty. Not all creative people are good with detail.

There I said it.

We try and suggest we could be, if we had the time, but really we have never prioritised detail above the creative process. It doesn’t rate as important – or at least, not important enough for us to devote any serious time towards.

We are trying to run a creative business. Our clients are demanding creative thinking. We can’t be thinking about whether the timesheets are being filled in. Well, not just yet… surely…

This presents us with a dilemma. All companies, creative or not, need detail to make them run smoothly & profitably.
They also need to run on schedule, because all companies have deadlines to meet – none more so, than a creative business – who have newspaper and magazine deadlines, campaigns to roll out and printing deadlines to meet. And that is often all in a day in the life of a busy creative business.

We want to spend the time on the things we love. But we also need to ensure all the other parts of the process are not overlooked. We need to accurately bill the client, we need to liaise with the myriad of printers & suppliers, photographers & media people before, during and after the project – firstly to quote, secondly to project manage the supply chain, thirdly to receive, pay and invoice all orders and finally report on that project, both for external reasons (client need) and internal reasons (our own need for greater business understanding).

To put it simply – a company needs to focus on their creative product, but also their service and the delivery of that product. Obvious? Of course…

You may be the best creative in the city. But if you are late, your invoicing confusing or your scheduling inefficient, you are losing money.

Do you care?

Do you mind losing a few hours a day? A few hours a day in a busy studio can be the difference between treading water and a good profit.

Here’s a quick example:
A studio management product like Streamtime can save an hour a day per person – proven.
Let’s say your agency’s rate is $100 an hour
(most are usually far higher).
Let’s also say your agency has 10 staff.
But for this example, let’s just count 8 of them, and let’s only count 30 minutes of time lost per person:
• In this example – a day equates to $400 lost billings
(8 x 30 mins = 4 hours x $100 per hour = $400)
• Per week, this equates to $2000 (5 x $400 a day = $2000)
• Allowing for one month worth of holidays (4 weeks)
gives you $2000 per week x 48 weeks = $96,000

If you are fine with losing $96,000 straight off your bottom line, then you probably aren’t reading this anyway. From eight staff members saving 30 mins a day, you have $96,000 at the end of the year. This all sounds exciting, but we know that the pleasure of extra profit and more efficiency seems too far off – people often stay with the pain of old or bad habits.

In my case, my agency was losing approximately $240,000 a year – which I didn’t even know about. We were profitable, but sloppy. We were creative, but that was about all we had to offer. Our clients loved our work – but put up with our service. They never said anything at the time, but many clients left. Too many surprises at invoice time, too many deadlines only “just” made and no ability to report on any major project – were just some of their complaints when asked.

Because we were successful, and constantly won new business, we had a big front door – but we also had a big back door. We just assumed this was par for the course. We assumed that clients were always destined to come and go – until we got Streamtime.

It sounds cliché – but Streamtime saved us. It added another string to our bow. We started getting known for our service and attention to detail – not just our creative. We were also able to work out who the profitable clients were, and who the real stars of the company were.

All the slippage that we had never calculated showed up in Streamtime and the results were staggering. They were all small amounts, but their collective amount was in the thousands per month. Embarrassing.

The pain of change and all that initial input was worth it. We finally had the pleasure of real time reports and monthly stats showing us some surprising facts. We learnt how we really made our money and the clients that were the most profitable – many of which were a surprise to us. It also highlighted which staff were actually coasting versus which staff deserved an immediate pay increase.

Every creative business knows they need a good system – in the same way that everyone knows they should attend a fitness club to keep fit. And just like getting fit, there is some initial pain to go through before you see the real results. All I can do is encourage you to get your company financially fit and push through the pain until you start to see real results – because they do come and they are often quite profound.

Nothing like the pleasure of profit to ease a weary mind…

Phillip Sunderland
Former founder of Q.
Director of Streamtime.

Sky art

French artist Thomas Lamadieu creates these amazing “sky art” pictures by combining his illustrations with photographs of sky peeking through buildings.

Meet the ipsums

Need some subject specific lorem ipsum? Meet the ipsums has you covered with placeholder copy with personality. There’s Cat ipsum, Zombie ipsum and Cheese ipsum just to name a few.

 

 

Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Which world do you exist in?

Every business can be divided into 3 main worlds.  The yesterday, the today and the tomorrow.   And while each world deserves differing amounts of your time, ignoring any one of them can limit your business.  But the truth is – most of us will favour one over the other two – or simply never prioritize enough time to spend in the other worlds – partly because we feel we don’t really belong there.  To be honest, there are a myriad of excuses I could list that would all seem valid as to why the other worlds often get neglected.  Let’s first take a look at each world… 

The world of yesterday.
The easiest way to say what the world of yesterday is – is to say that it’s the world that deals with all the things in a business that have already happened. In a creative business, it’s essentially the things that can’t be altered, but can be viewed and monitored through good reporting software like Streamtime.

What did we invoice last month?
Who has paid? Who hasn’t? These are the usual questions that get asked from this world. The people in your creative business that work in this world are your finance and accounts people. Often the Managing Director of a creative business runs a mile from this world. It makes them queasy. And yet this world can offer very strong insight to help you navigate the world of tomorrow.

This world helps you answer the following
(among others);
How profitable is my company?
How profitable is that client?
How profitable was that job?
How many billable hours did that staff member bill last year? How many hours were written off?
What is that client actually costing us?
The translation book for this world is your reporting software – like Streamtime. You will understand yesterday more when you can see how each day, week, month and year track. You will understand it more when you have real time ability to see exactly what a month is looking like, how many creditors are left to pay or how long you have been waiting for payment.

The world of today.
This is the world that the majority of your staff are living in. This is where you bill your time, get your to-do-list done, and where each job, project or campaign is worked on and delivered.
This world needs good resource management. This world needs good supply chain management for all the other companies you deal with.
This world needs accurate capture of all internal and external costs.
Your Production Manager lives and breathes this world, your creative staff members have usually only ever lived in this world and your client service team know that this is the world that your clients care the most about.
This is the world where you ‘think’ you get most of your reputation. But you’ll only get your reputation from this world if that’s what you think!

Let me put it another way. This world is vitally important. But if this is the only world you currently live in as a business owner (with the occasional begrudged long weekend in the world of yesterday) then you are missing out and you will, slowly but surely, be losing your desire to live in the creative industry.

The world of tomorrow.
This is the world that many creative people forget to live in, or at least, don’t make time for.

They get trapped by the world of today – with all its deadlines, client requests and staff issues. They have an understanding that the world of yesterday is important, but often they never quite commit the time to spend in the important world of tomorrow.

The world of tomorrow is all about where you are headed. What clients you want to work with and what type of projects you want to work on. The world of tomorrow helps you decide what awards you want to enter, what new products you want to work on or what businesses you may want to start. This world helps you aim towards the size you want your company to be and how it may look in the future.

This world exists mostly for the business owner. It’s also appropriate for your General Manager and Accountant to spend some time in this world, so they understand the direction you are heading in and what part of yesterday can help you make better decisions – as well as what part of today needs to start a change of direction.
The world of tomorrow is exciting to think about. It helps raise you out of the sometimes monotonous feeling of being trapped by the ‘today’. It also enables you to dream – and dreaming has never been a bad thing…

One of your keys to the world of tomorrow.

Streamtime was created specifically to help you manage the chaotic world of today and give insight into the seemingly unexciting world of yesterday. It was designed to free you up, to give business owners a real chance of being able to live in the world of tomorrow.

It helps create really important business rules and practices that will streamline your company while making it more profitable and more respected.

It will give you solid insight into the ‘yesterday’ to give you clues to where your ‘tomorrow’ should be heading.

If you are serious about what you are doing and where you want to head, then get serious about the tools available to you for the world of yesterday and today. Use them. Properly.

And with the free time these tools will help you to have – spend some serious time in the world of tomorrow.

 

Phillip Sunderland
Former founder of Q.
Director of Streamtime.

Points

As far as signs go, this one’s pretty cool.

 

How to build a £1m creative agency

Last week, a few of us attended a very informative evening learning from Spencer Gallagher what makes a super-profitable creative agency. Here’s a few tips we picked up on the night…

EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Tax)

The most important number I was ever taught. This is a figure worth paying attention to because one day, if you want to sell your business, this is the most likely way it will be valued.

What’s your billing capacity?

Here’s a little calculation to get you started: Take your day rate and multiply it by the number of people in your team and the number of days in the month. This is your billing capacity. Now compare this figure to what you actually billed. How much is missing and how can you close this gap?

Here’s 21 reasons why this gap exists in agencies – I certainly spent the first 8 years of my agency life making most of these mistakes!

1. poor processes = over delivery / over servicing / scope creep

2. inefficiency / not micro-managing schedule & resource

3. not charging out all of your billable resource

4. discounting day rates to win business

5. over-promise what you can deliver for the client’s budget or incorrect forecasting

6. not selling SLA’s and retainers pre project

7. missing systems to record and report where time is spent

8. the wrong team doing the wrong work

9. failing to hit 58-63% wage cost to GP (what is this figure in your agency?)

10. each billable resource should be pushing through between £5k-10K per month

11. top agencies will bill £100K per person on average, across the whole business. For us at Bluhalo, we were £91K on average. We see good agencies at £65-75K – do you know your revenue per head?

12. using freelancers for project work *in the majority of cases* doesn’t work – at £4m run rate our freelance budget was only £2.5K per month

13. directors drawings / too many directors!

14. spaghetti & sales consistency

15. killer pipeline and strict qualification, taking on the right deals at the right time

16. not pitching to win

17. demotivated team

18. lack of confidence in selling higher day rates

19. too much pitch time not recovered / too much in-house work not budgeted for / pro-bono or speculative work

20. poor cash flow management

21. office space too big for your requirements

And the most important thing I’ve learned about building a super-profitable creative agency is……… LEARN TO SELL VALUE NOT TIME.

In just one day in 2007 we moved from £800 to £1,200 per day …and our clients could not have been happier. When was the last time you reviewed your pricing?

So, how much profit (EBIT) should you be making?

9-14% – agencies in the early stages

15-20% – where the majority of agencies will be performing

20-30% – top agencies will be making these sorts of margins

30-50% – this is where you need to be to consider yourself elite

The next WOW event is on in July – go on, head along.

The art of early New Zealand advertising

From the site: “Promoting Prosperity is a book about the art of early New Zealand advertising, before colour photography and TV changed the media landscape forever.”

New Zealand has a long tradition of stellar advertising creative so it’s great to see people getting together to tell a few of the tales about its history. The book looks due to hit the shelves in September this year, but you can pre-oder now.

An event for CEOs, directors & shareholders of creative agencies

If you’re an agency owner looking to get the inside track on how to build a £1m turnover agency, you’re invited to join The Agency Collective in London, a group of ambitious agency owners that meet quarterly for dinner, insight & support – all focused on helping you build a £1m agency.

The programme has been designed by Spencer Gallagher & Pete Hoole, who built a digital agency from scratch, grew it & sold it. Spencer & Pete now advise other digital agencies on how they can achieve similar super-fast growth.

The group will be lead by Steve Radjen from CDD. Steve has already built his own £1m turnover agency and will guide you through his personal journey and what he learned along the way.

Shooting for Apple

Three iPhone 5's in a row

An insightful interview with Peter Belanger, the “man behind some of Apple’s most iconic product images”, on the tools and lighting he uses to get those ultra-simple Apple images we all recognise.

Mapping the typographic landscape of London

This is rather lovely. londontypographica.com is mapping the typographic landscape of London. Its aim is to photographically record publicly available lettering and type throughout the capital. Developed by OPX. Very cool.

Via @flyntracy

The Drum Design Awards results

Detail from the Blackpool Comedy Carpet by Gordon Young and Why Not Associates

A massive well done to all the contestants and congratulations to the winners from last nights Drum Design Awards – great to be part of it.

Making of John Mayer’s ‘Born & Raised’ artwork

Craftsman is an understatement. What a talent. The artist for the latest John Mayer album. via @Jules_Robinson

Become a maker

In my day we had Cubs and Scouts. Kids today have sites like DIY. Work is shared with the DIY community and kids get patches for the Skills they earn. So damn cool. Site’s not bad either.

Mission Control for fonts

Super Handy: Preview all WebINK and Google Web Fonts directly inside Photoshop with Suitcase Fusion 4.
via @hellografik

The Drum Design Awards

We love to sponsor organisations that celebrate creativity.  And we love to help highlight the amazing work that many of our clients are doing every day. So we’re stoked to be involved as a sponsor of this year’s Drum Design Awards. Many creative companies excel in the work they produce, but struggle to keep track of all the time & costs for every project they undertake – that’s where Streamtime comes in. Streamtime specialises in making your company more profitable & more organised. Everything we promise, we deliver. Call one of our Streamtime Ace’s to get a personal demo or download a trial today.

MyFonts tumblr site

MyFonts is now on Tumblr. And a nice wee inspirational resource it is too.

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