Tips And Trips! #1

Tips & Trips! A collection of tips to share and stuff  I have tripped over, not exclusively design related.

 

Use Google Webmaster tools to view the obfuscated search terms in Google Analytics.

If you manage your own  website and use Google Analytics. You are just as frustrated as me when the Acquisition > Keywords > Organic Search report provides a large percentage of sessions as “(not provided)”. The “not provided” users are people who Googled keywords, finding your site logged into their Google account.

Screenshot 2014-08-20 17.21.15

Google states the statistic cloak provides privacy for their users. I’m sure we can imagine what a cash cow it is to retain complete control over undisclosed data from people with Google accounts. Ehh, what do you want? Google Analytics is a free service folks.

Anyhow, I discovered (by “discovered” I refer to probably everyone that is not me probably already knew.) If you use Google Webmaster tools you can access to these search terms.

Simple process

  1. Go here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
  2. Register your url
  3. Place the file provided on the root of your site.
  4. Once you are up and running:  Search Traffic > Search Queries

Screenshot 2014-08-20 17.18.38

 

Wave Accounting as a free, FreshBooks alternative for small businesses and freelancers

wave-media-logo

I used FreshBooks for quite a while to manage my billing and invoices. FreshBooks is a great product, but I succumbed to the challenge of running an open source web based accounting solution on my own web space. After a while, I began to miss the features that FreshBooks offered.

A couple of months ago I tripped across Wave Accounting. Wave’s so impressive, the fact that it was free, I initially was skeptical! A majority of the bells and whistles FreshBooks offers are there.

Wave is targeted towards businesses with 9 employees or less and they keep this in mind as they continue to roll out features.The paid add-ons are for things you would expect like Accepting Credit Cards, Administering Payroll. I use their free phone app often for snapping receipts and uploading them when I’m out and about. It has fulfilled my needs as a freelancer thus far.

 

It’s free, set up an account, play around, see if you like it!

If you want to check out a more detailed, balanced and informed review of the app; I felt this review was on point.

wave transactions

 

Logo & Screenshot via waveapps.com

 

Discover where your website posts were tweeted!

You can easily check where and when your posts were tweeted by typing in the post or page URL to www.topsy.com

Screenshot 2014-08-20 17.40.59

Day One Journal

As inspirational (both in work and attitude) Graphic Designer, Frank Chimero says:

Writing is a great way to identify the bullshit in yourself and others, because it forces you to sort your thoughts and be specific

 

 

 

I’ve started keeping a daily personal journal again and found this process both therapeutic and clarifying. I tried out a number of journaling apps and Day One fit the bill for me (Mac Only).

  • Looks great, simple and intuitive.
  • The ability to add pictures and location.
  • Backup to the iCloud or Dropbox.
  • An iPhone app so you can journal on the go

Other great stuff I don’t have time to include

The one caveat is their file security, still a bit archaic for a journalling app. Yes your account is password protected, however, you can read the files if you’ve decided to back them up locally, with a text editor.

 

Day One Journal

http://dayoneapp.com/

$9.99 for the Mac App

$4.99 for it’s little iPhone Buddy

Screenshot via dayoneapp.com

 

On the typography front:

Screenshot 2014-08-22 22.49.12

 

Creative Bloq’s running a typography countdown of the 100 top fonts.
As of today you can jump in here.

*Note the results reflect “historical relevance, sales at FontShop.com, and aesthetic quality” . I raised an eyebrow as well, but appreciate the fact that historical relevance was a factor. From what I’ve seen so far (and we’re at the bottom of the list)no duds.

Graphic via creativebloq.com

Noted Typography Trend (August, 2014):

I have no idea how to refer to this typography style: “pin-stripes in fill”?, “racing strokes?” Whatever you want to call it, just think of Lance Wyman’s Mexico ‘68 Olympic Logo.

Lance-Wyman-Olympics-1

Expect to see more of this in the coming months, editorial and identity design.

stripey-as-hell

 

If you want to play around here’s two fonts to get you started for zero coin:

Mexcellent, based on Wyman’s Design by Ray Larabie (2 weights are free)
Ostrich Sans Bold (Free)
As you might imagine, these type styles do not fare well at smaller point sizes

Photo via designersjournal.net | Design credit Lance Wyman

Fun Typography Fact:

The “descender line” is also known as the “beard line”

 

Well I hope you found at least one of those useful!

-Chris Sagert

 

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