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  1. With a new year comes a new start, and with 2019 fast approaching, many of you entrepreneurs out there might be thinking that it’s the perfect time to kick-start your own business. Well, you aren’t wrong. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 25 best tech tools to get you started! One of the most significant challenges you face as an entrepreneur is staying on top of the many tasks and priorities it takes to run a business. Whether it’s responding to emails, organizing projects, or networking to get your name out there, there are so many things that can distract you and make you less productive. Here’s a list of tools and resources that are relied on by many entrepreneurs in today’s market. Plus, many of these tools are free! Take a read through our list and find the perfect tool for you! 1. Trello Trello is a tool that will help you organize projects. It’s a free management tool that gives you a board on which you can create a list with cards. 2. Google Docs Google Docs is a vital tool if you are working on a document with multiple different contributors. With this tool, everyone on your team can add or remove text, add comments for others to see, proofread content, and more. 3. Dropbox This tool is amazing for storage and backups. It is also accessible on almost every device; letting you access your files from anywhere you want. 4. Asana This tool helps with project management and is a popular group collaboration tool. You can easily make changes and get notified on task updates, which is especially helpful if you are working as a team. It is very easy to use, and quite visually appealing as well. 5. Slack This instant messaging app is used by businesses as a communication tool for teams and entrepreneurs. You can start a new project, initiate the hiring process, review a sale contract and even finalize your budget for next year using this tool. 6. Boomerang Boomerang helps you archive your emails and get them back in your inbox whenever you want. It also allows you to save a draft for later use and lets you set email reminders as well. 7. Voila Norbert This tool helps you find an email address even when it is not mentioned on a website or document. This app even allows you to search in bulk using your CSV file. 8. Sidekick Sidekick is another brilliant tool that is crucial for your business. It helps in letting you know whether the email you’ve sent has been opened or not. 9. 99 designs This tool is perfect for starting your business as it helps you to find the perfect logo or landing page for your company. Since design is the secret to great business, 99 designs is a very worthwhile resource. 10. Canva This is an online graphic design platform that helps you create anything from book covers to infographics. 11. Fiverr Fiverr is an effective marketplace where you can access anything you need for your business at a cheap rate starting from content writers, translators, graphic designers, business cards and anything else that you may need for business. 12. Clarity.FM This tool helps you seek advice from experts. You can choose by name or by expertise, depending on what type of advice you need. 13. Typeform This service helps you to create awesome surveys. You can even use online forms to get feedback from listeners, customers and readers. 14. Due.com Due.com helps in providing seamless payment solutions for your business. With this website you can keep track of all your payments in one place. 15. Evernote Evernote is the easy way to help keep your business ideas and notes together. This app is designed for taking notes, creating lists, and organizing or archiving your ideas. 16. Pic Monkey Pic Monkey is an ideal photo editing and graphic designing tool through which you can edit your pictures and design your own templates as well. 17. LastPass This is a password managing app. It helps you store passwords for easy access and share your passwords with team members conveniently as well. 18. MailChimp MailChimp is a marketing platform for small businesses and also serves as an email marketing service. It helps you create and send out free corporate newsletters to up to 2000 subscribers. 19. Teachable This tool is the perfect platform to host your webinars and digital training seminars. It helps in creating and selling your online courses to over 4 million students all over the world. 20. Screencast O-Matic This is a free software that helps to capture screens for online courses. It also records videos. You can use this software to record on-screen activities for short tutorials, presentations, and more. 21. Zapier This tool lets you manage all your apps in one single integrated space. 22. Stripe This is an online payment processing tool for online businesses. It provides easy automation for web pages so you can focus on the work that’s most important. 23. PayPal for Business If you are looking for a complete payment solution for your business, PayPal for business is a great solution. It allows you to accept payments through your website, in person and also with online invoicing. 24. Confluence This is another very popular project management tool that helps you combine all your resources and work in one convenient location. It acts as aone stop shop for team brainstorming and collaboration. 25. Wave Accounting Wave Accounting is a cloud-based accounting, invoicing, and payment system for freelancers and people running their own businesses. It is a great resource for managing your accounting needs. And there you have it – our top 25! Of course, it goes without saying that PDFelement is also a great tool for entrepreneurs. The all-in-one PDF solution allows you to create, edit, and secure PDF’s quickly and easily, as well as convert them into other formats, or vice versa, making dealing with your documents a breeze. Have any other useful tools that you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
  2. PDFelement

    5 Online Document Management Tips

    Sometimes it’s a challenge to stay on top of emails, tasks, and documents. But with an effective online document management system, and the help of programs like PDFelement, you can make sure they don’t get on top of you! Since the introduction of document management systems, technology has drastically evolved. Company intranets today allow you to upload documents without a problem while also providing you a platform for project management and conversation. As a result, the intranet is the ideal place for online document management. Plus, with programs like PDFelement to help you edit and organize your documents, as well as convert them into a universal format like PDF, your life is made even easier! When using an online document management system, make sure to keep the following tips in mind: 1. Plan how to implement it Each time a new software is introduced to your team, you should carefully plan the implementation process. Keep in mind that some people will learn the system more slowly than others. There is also a high chance that you will face resistance to the change in technology from certain members of staff. It’s recommended to come up with a strategy that accounts for challenges you might face, provides enough training, and encourages user adoption too. With the help of a social intranet software for managing documents, the implementation process can be streamlined. 2. Encourage Collaboration Many professionals prefer to work solo, and this won’t change until someone actively encourages them to collaborate. So, while your team might consist of extremely talented and creative staff, the team won’t be able to reach its complete potential without collaboration. Collaboration is only possible when you encourage it through an easy-to-use online system that everyone feels comfortable using. Once this happens, work will flow a lot more smoothly. 3. Use it for communication Communication is a crucial part of any project. In most cases, issues come up due to a lack of communication among the stakeholders of the project. Businesses today provide access to multi-channel communication platforms to all employees. So, team communication, as well as document management, must be integrated to get the best results. When you start using an online document management system as a central hub, users will automatically start to communicate without emails or external applications. 4. Assign someone as an administrator An effective online document management system is one in which documents and files are uploaded regularly. However, with this constant influx of files, there can be confusion and duplication. It’s easy to lose track of things. However, with a dedicated administrator, it’s a lot easier to manage the flow of traffic in the system. By hiring an expert, you can administer the social community and keep track of your document management system as well. The administrator can also answer questions that staff may have. 5. Define access rights Not everyone needs complete access to all the files and documents in your online document management system. So, with proper access levels, you can avoid confusion while also safeguarding certain documents. While some documents might need editing, others will be complete when they are ready for upload. So, these must be listed as read-only. Plus, setting permissions can make sure that there are no changes made to documents that you think are complete. Through the help of programs like PDFelement and other Online Document Management systems, you work can be made much more enjoyable! Have any other Online Document Management tips? Let us know in the comments below!
  3. In this week’s tutorial post, we’ll discuss how to add stamps to PDFs using PDFelement for easier reviewing, collaboration, and teamwork. Stamps are a great collaboration tool, no matter how you use them. Whether you want to let your team know when their drafts have been approved, or show them where to sign on a document, you can clear up a lot of miscommunication through the use of stamps as an annotation tool. PDFelement offers a wide range of default stamps for users. You can access these by navigating to the “Comment” tab and selecting “Stamps.” This will display a drop-down menu of different stamp options. Once you click on the stamp you would like to use, you will be able to place it anywhere on your document. You will also be able to change the sizing to suit your needs. However, it’s important to note that there are some properties you can can’t change, such as color. But what about custom stamps? In some circumstances, you might want to create your own stamp, whether it’s a fancy seal of approval or just a stamp that doesn’t come with default settings. To do this, head over to the “Comment” tab and click on “Create Stamp > Create Custom Stamp.” Your custom stamp will need to be an image file. You can’t directly type text to create a stamp. Once you create your stamp, it will show up under “custom” for easy access in the future. You can also later manage your stamps to edit or delete previous custom stamps you created. Here is an example of a custom stamp I created, which I named “Approved.” Here, I’m able to Create a new stamp, edit the current one, or delete it. In this scenario, “Edit” just means swapping out the photo. The name remains the same. There you have it! This is how you work with stamps in PDFelement for Windows. Any questions or tutorial requests? Let me know in the comments below! We also have an online forum where you can get your PDFelement questions answered. Hope to see you there!
  4. Digital banking methods are now used by millions of people globally, due to its convenience and saved time. E-signatures are a big part of why digital banking works so well. Read on to discover why! E-signature, as defined by the US Federal ESIGN Act, is an "electronic signature, which can be an electronic sound, symbol, or even process, associated with a contract or any other record and adopted or executed by a person with the intention of signing the record.” Digital banking plays a vital role in today’s fast-paced world because it offers easy and convenient access to all of your banking needs. E-signature technology provides a secure yet convenient way for clients to sign legally-binding documents and send them back in seconds without wasting time, paper, or money. E-signature can increase the efficiency of online banking in the following ways: • Saves Costs It has been reported by Bank Systems & Technology magazine that banks spend millions annually to correct, retype, rework, and authenticate signatures on their business documents. With e-signatures, financial institutions have eliminated almost every type of error related to client signatures. Also, e-signatures accelerate the workflow as they can be incorporated easily in the automated document process, thus saving time, cost, and manpower. E-signatures have also cut down the costs of large manual processing, data typing, and paper storage by getting rid of heavy paper documentation. All data is now digitally stored in e-signature cards, occupying minimum space on the bank server. This makes data retrieval secure and efficient. All overheads associated with creating, managing, storing, and retrieving the paper signed documents are eliminated. • Saves Time E-signatures increase banking efficiency by cutting down the document workflow from weeks to minutes. Using web and mobile browsers that are specially encrypted by the bank or financial institution, you can process documents very quickly without compromising their security or compliance standards. Documentation and forms that used to take up to 10 days to be processed, can now be processed within 24 to 48 hours with e-signatures. That’s quite a difference. • Expands Reach E-signature technology offers multiple ways of gathering signatures, like click-to-sign or scripted signatures drawn on mobile screens, without the cost of opening and staffing new branches globally, or spending money on extra resources. • Improves Customer Experience with Speed and Mobility These days, very few clients choose to print, sign, and scan their documents to send them back to the bank. It is a tedious job. That’s why speed and efficiency can make or break a client relationship. Using e-signatures, which lets you sign a document with just a click to complete a documentation process, from any place, any time without compromising data security and maintaining compliance with the law speaks volumes about a bank’s working efficiency. • Improves Sales Adopting e-signatures eliminates the need to print and send documents to clients via post, thus saving selling time. A client, without coming to the bank, can process different documents within minutes instead of days. E-signatures are a huge benefit to the online banking industry, since it brings with it cost savings, security, global standardization, and the incorporation of mobile technology. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
  5. PDFelement

    What GDPR Means to HR Teams

    At PDFelement, we believe data security is of the utmost importance. With the recent introduction of GDPR regulations, certain departments are finding the right tools and methods for familiarizing themselves with data security. In today’s post, we’ll discuss what GDPR means to HR professionals, and how PDFelement can help. One primary challenge that HR departments face is the issue of keeping sensitive personal information completely secure and confidential. This need for data security is what has lead to the introduction of a law like GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation. The Idea behind GDPR Legislation has failed to keep up with the tremendous speed at which big data and technology has advanced, specifically when it comes to gathering, storing, and protecting data. Therefore, GDPR has been designed for enhancing data protection as well as the right to privacy for EU citizens, thus giving them more control over personal data and the way it is used. Meaning of GDPR for HR GDPR is a summarization of those legal requirements that need to be met by a company handling the personal data of EU citizens, including the personal data of employees. Companies that fail to fulfill these regulations and are found misusing the personal information will have to pay some very hefty fines. HR teams require consent Consent is an important part of the foundation of the new legislation, and GDPR explicitly states that companies can make use of the personal data only for the purpose it was given for. So, for HR teams, employees must opt-in to allow the employer to use personal data and they should be informed, in detail, how their data will be used. This can be done as an option the candidate checks off on a PDF form and digitally signs using a program like PDFelement, to make their consent explicit and legally binding. This means HR teams must be transparent regarding the data being collected, the purpose for which it is being collected, and the way it will be used. One simple way to clarify this is by handing out a privacy statement that all employees sign. Again, using programs like PDFelement, you can easily create and share privacy statements in PDF format. After that, as part of the HR team, you can only use the data for the given purpose outlined in the statement. If you want to make use of the data for a different purpose, then you need to get written permission separately. Data rights for employees GDPR also extends the rights of those individuals whose data is being used or processed. Such individuals are referred to as data subjects, and the extension of rights has enhanced their entitlement to have their data corrected. In fact, they also have the right to restrict or object to data processing although such rights are commonly not raised in an employment context. Right to be forgotten GDPR also states that employees have the right to be forgotten and they can withdraw their content which means that HR teams must think about what withdrawal of consent means for the system. For instance, are their procedures put in place for deleting employee data? Or, how can you ensure that you are getting rid of every last trace of information stored in your system? Is your entire team completely aware of the importance of complying with GDPR? All these things must be taken into consideration when devising your data-driven HR strategy. Conclusion Data privacy is becoming an increasingly important issue, and failure to comply with the GDPR requirements will only lead to trouble which is why it is important to ensure that HR teams fully understand GDPR. What PDFelement Can Do PDFelement has many features available that help in the process of protecting sensitive and confidential information of employees and candidates. Permission restrictions, redaction tools, watermarks, and digital signatures ensure that the data you are collecting or sharing is fully protected against any sort of unauthorized breach. What are your thoughts on GDPR for HR teams? Let us know in the comments!
  6. Imagine this: You have a long report. We’re talking hundreds of pages long. Do you want to have to scroll all the way down to chapter 30 manually? Or would you prefer an interactive table of contents that links you directly to different sections of the document in just one click? In this week’s PDFelement tutorial, we’ll go over how to create a table of contents for your PDF files, whether it be a portfolio or e-book! First, you’ll need a table of contents page. If you don’t already have one, you can create one in PDFelement under File -> New -> Blank. You can type up your content and adjust the formatting. Make sure to include page numbers that correspond to the pages in your document. Personally, I find it easier and quicker to create my table of contents in Microsoft Word and then export the file as a PDF. I find that Word has a wide variety of formatting tools more suited to creating a nicely aligned table of contents. There are also templates available to make the whole process go by even more quickly! Once you are finished with your table of contents, open the PDF file in which you would like to include your table of contents. Head over to the “page” menu. Add the table of contents page that you just created by selecting “Insert." Choose the option “From PDF” from the drop-down menu. Next, you’ll need to link the page numbers to their target pages. Under the “edit” menu, select the “link” tool. Draw a box around the page number. A pop-up should appear once you finish your box. Make sure to choose “go to a page view.” Hit “set link”. Then, scroll to the page that the link should lead to and click “confirm”. Use the same method to link the rest of the page numbers. And that’s it. This is how you set up your interactive table of contents in PDFelement! Note that this tutorial was shown through the Mac version of the software, but the Windows version has the same steps for creating a table of contents. Any questions or tutorial requests? Comment below! We also have an online forum where you can get your PDFelement questions answered. See you there!
  7. Due to the increasing advancements made in technology and software, devices have become more and more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Sectors including finance, private businesses, and even education are no longer safe from cybercriminals. Bank records are of particular interest and importance to cybercriminals. These bank records provide you with the entire financial history of an individual, and both the amounts and descriptions can be changed for electronic payments by these hackers. Deposits and balances can be altered and manipulated. This is one of the reasons that credit card and bank statements are often downloaded through the bank's website in PDF format instead of getting hard copies through the mail. This practice has now become increasingly common as banks across the globe are encouraged to go paperless. The reason why the finance sector and banks are adamant on adopting PDF as their main format is because of the benefits it brings. Some advantages of PDF include: • Document formatting is maintained Many bankers face a common problem when sharing documents. When they send a document made in Microsoft Word or any other word processor, the formatting can change once it reaches the other person who is viewing it on a different device. This can cause confusion, and also can make you look unprofessional to a client. However, with PDF format you can relax because this format presents your document exactly as you’ve originally formatted them. So, even if the receiver makes changes or additions to the document, the format will stay the same. PDF format is also great for sending documents that need to be printed out. • PDF is universal across all operating systems The PDF format is commonly used around the world, and due to this, it can be viewed and shared very easily, regardless of the device or operating system used. Whether you are sharing this format with someone in the same city as you or on the other side of the globe, PDF is the safest choice to use. Banks have many international clients, which is why the PDF format can prove to be very useful for them when sharing bank statements with their clients on the other side of the world. Some formats require a specific program or have particular requirements in order for it to work properly. However, this is not the case with PDFs. These PDF files can work with any operating system whether it’s a PC or a Mac and it works even on newer mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android. • Password protection When you are working in the finance sector, you are bound to handle sensitive information belonging to customers and clients, such as their credit card number, social security number, address, name, etc. When sharing such sensitive information, the risk of being hacked by cybercriminals can be very strong, however, there is no need to worry when working with PDF files as they can be protected with a password. You can also redact sensitive information, blacking it out so that the data is kept safe. As a result, these files can be kept away from prying eyes and help keep your clients' bank information and credit card statement well protected, which also improves your company reputation. • Form Processing and Data Extraction With programs like PDFelement, you can pull important data from PDF forms for easy analysis, risk assessment, and more. Use rules-based data extraction to analyze key points within each PDF document, or create a master template with classified form fields. This is great for creating client-facing application forms. Plus, you can easily manage credit risk with the data gathered from the PDF forms you have on file. With one-click form creation, you can build forms easily from Microsoft office file types like Word. By using PDFs, you no longer have to worry about your client not being able to view bank statements, or that the formatting of your PDF will not show up correctly. You also have less to worry about in terms of sensitive data being leaked or being unable to extract and analyze data. To find out more about how PDFelement can help when it comes to working in Finance and Banking, visit our Finance and Banking page. Have any other tips for how the PDF format is useful within the finance field? Let us know in the comments below!
  8. At PDFelement, we like to stay on top of the trends. See how the latest digital technology is shaping the world of business! Digital technology is the future. Fancy mobile apps and digital platforms are no longer reserved for big high-tech enterprises. Digital is going mainstream among businesses big and small. The internet has become a playground for anyone with a sense of creativity and entrepreneurship. CEOs, media managers, and business analysts alike have taken notice of the massive opportunities online. We’ve found some of the most exciting digital transformation trends that are impacting business in a big way. Blockchain Technology This could very well be the future of the internet. Blockchain is an extremely reliable method of collecting, transmitting, and recording data. The idea can be hard to wrap your head around at first, but in principle, it is simple and easy to manage. It works by using a decentralization method of consensus between multiple servers. Essentially, what that means is individual “blocks” of information — consisting of data, a timestamp, and a transaction record — are linked together in a chain. This constantly updating chain is structurally designed to be resistant to modification, making it one of the most secure ways to transfer information. This digital trend is making its way into business. Its ability to authenticate data makes it extremely difficult to hack, which is valuable for records management, digital transactions, identity verification, and more. Location Services Since the global positioning system (or GPS) was invented, we’ve been able to pinpoint our exact location on a map to within 5 meters or less. Companies like Uber and other ride share programs have sprung up to take advantage of location services. The option of sharing your location helps businesses to improve customer care and better assist people with what they’re looking for. From interactive transit maps to delivery service, location services unlock the potential of digital mobility. Contactless Payment With Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other mobile banking apps, contactless payment has never been easier. With the growing trend in contactless payment, wallets are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Ease of payment promotes more spending among consumers, which is great for business. Another benefit to cashless and card-less forms of payment is the ability to reach more customers online. Businesses that convert to a digital platform consistently report boosts in sales, higher volumes of search traffic, and increased productivity among employees. Overall, this means faster growth for your company. Digital transactions are much easier to record and manage which saves tons of time. The contactless payment trend is expected to continue as businesses and banks capitalize on the increased consumer spending and untapped cash flow. Voice Recognition A.I. Talking to a computer used to be science fiction. Remember in Star Trek when characters could simply say “computer” into the open air and give voice commands? Just a few short decades later, instead of giving commands to a computer, we’re asking Siri for directions, Google for recipes, and Alexa to play music. Artificial intelligence has become increasingly intuitive at recognizing speech. So what does this mean for business? As voice recognition has become more accurate, it opens up the possibility for automated transcription, A.I. customer service, and much more. Alongside these new digital tools, PDFelement is always available to assist with your documentation, form creation, and archiving needs. Have any thoughts on these new digital trends? Let us know in the comments section!
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