Category Archives: Technology

Posts related to technology in general.

Make your SEO Blog Content Planning easy

If you’re a business owner or a freelance content writer, it’s important to have a content strategy. Without a solid content strategy, you end up wasting a lot of time managing your content.

By having a solid plan and sticking to it, you won’t have to spend time coming up with new ideas or scrambling to meet deadlines. One of the best ways to build a content strategy is to use a content planner.

Whether you’re working alone or with a team, a good content planner can really boost your productivity. So, let’s see how this company uses a content planner to plan and publish its SEO content.

Click to view this live Template

1. Gathering resources

If you’re a serious content writer, then you already know the importance of gathering resources before you start writing. After all, you need to have something to write about!

One of the best ways to manage your gathered resources is to use a content planner. A content planner can help you organize your thoughts and ideas, and it can also help you find new and relevant information to write about.

2. Research Content Ideas

Before you start writing, you need to have an idea of what you want to write about. Make a list of content ideas that you think would be popular with your audience.

You can get content ideas by checking out your competitors, looking for news stories, looking for guest post ideas, and brainstorming ideas with your team.

3. SEO optimization

Without SEO-optimized content, your articles and blog posts will never be seen by search engines, and you will never get the traffic you desire. Therefore, you need a solid SEO strategy.

4. Drafting

Now it’s time to start writing your content. Keep your keywords in mind as you write and try to include them naturally in your text.

5. Designing graphics content

Graphics in blogs capture your reader’s attention, communicate your message more clearly, and overall make your blog more visually appealing.

Once the article is ready, the next step is to add graphics to it. Graphics are important to capture your reader’s attention and make your blog more visually appealing.

6. Integration/Schedule Content

Once you’re finished writing, you need to integrate your content into your website. You can do this by adding a blog to your website or by scheduling your content to be published on your website later on.

7. Promote Content

Finally, you need to promote your content. You can do this by sharing it on social media, writing guest posts on other blogs, or by paying for advertising.

If you want to set up a board like this, we have a free Template ready for you.

Best practices for On-boarding New Employees

From the moment a new hire walks in the door, they start forming opinions about your company culture, their role within the organization, and what it will be like to work for you. That’s why when it comes to hiring new employees, first impressions matter.

When done correctly, on-boarding can help new hires feel welcome, valued, and prepared to do their best work. But when done poorly, there are a lot of things that could go wrong. Here are a few tips to help make your on-boarding process as smooth as possible:

1. Start with the background check

Before you bring a new employee on board, it’s important to run a background check. This will help you verify that the person is who they say they are and that they don’t have any red flags in their past that could negatively impact your business.

A background check can also give you peace of mind that you’re making the best hiring decision possible. To know about a candidate, you need a process that ensures the new employee is the right fit for the job. Check out how this company conducts a background check for its new employees.

Start with the background check
Click to view this live board

Check one business reference

When it comes to bringing on new employees, it’s important to do your due diligence and check their business references. This will help you get a better sense of their work ethic and what they’re capable of.

Screenshot showing card on Kerika board
Check one business reference

Check one personal reference

Personal references can give you valuable insights into an applicant’s character, work ethic and overall suitability for the job. They can also alert you to any red flags that might not be apparent from their resume or cover letter.

Asking for personal references is a simple but effective way to screen applicants and make sure you’re making the best possible hiring decision.

Screenshot showing details of a Kerika card
Check one personal reference

Check applicant’s resume/CV for completeness & accuracy

While on-boarding a new employee, it’s important to check their resume or CV for completeness and accuracy. This will help you ensure that there are no discrepancies in their work history.

If you find any inaccuracies, be sure to follow up with the employee to get clarification. It’s also a good idea to run a background check to verify the information on the resume. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure a successful on-boarding process for your new employee.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Check applicant’s CV for completeness & accuracy

Confirm that applicant has all claimed academic & professional qualifications

It’s always a good idea to confirm that an applicant has all of the claimed academic and professional qualifications before onboarding a new employee. This can help ensure that the individual is qualified for the role and can help avoid any potential issues down the road.

There are a few ways to go about doing this, such as contacting references or requesting transcripts. Take the time to do your due diligence and it will pay off in the long run.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Confirm that applicant has all claimed academic & professional qualifications

Credit Checks

Credit checks are an important part of the onboarding process for new employees. They help employers to verify an applicant’s identity and to ensure that the person is who they say they are. Credit checks also help to determine an applicant’s financial stability and to assess their risk of defaulting on their financial obligations.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
(Optional) Credit Checks

2. Get the necessary paperwork

Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order before the new employee starts. Here is a good example of how a US-based company collects all the necessary paperwork upfront from a new employee. The paperwork includes the W-4 form to calculate taxes, the I-9: form to verify the employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the US, the direct deposit form, and the employee handbook acknowledgment.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Complete the necessary paperwork

3. Set clear expectations from the start.

New employees should know what is expected of them in their new role, and the best way to do this is to set up an Orientation Program and Schedule mandatory training sessions.

Orientation Program

The Orientation Program is a great opportunity for employees to learn more about their role, and ask questions and get to know their colleagues.

For the Orientation Program to go smoothly, choose a date and time that work for both you and the employee. You’ll want to make sure the program is informative and engaging. If your new employee feels welcomed and comfortable, they’ll be more likely to hit the ground running and be productive from day one.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Schedule Orientation Program

Schedule mandatory training sessions

Training sessions for compliance and regulation are important for several reasons. First, they ensure that new employees understand the company’s policies and procedures from the day one.

Second, they help to ensure that employees are up-to-date on any changes in the law that may affect their job.

Finally, training sessions provide an opportunity for employees to ask questions and get clarification on any points that are unclear.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Schedule mandatory training sessions

4. Make sure they have all the information about their team and department.

New employees should feel informed about their role, the company, and the team they’ll be working with. In the following example, the HR has organized a team lunch. This is a great to way to introduce a new employee, this gives a employees get to know each other well.

The department is also getting introduced to the new employee, and this is just as important. So a formal announcement about the new employee, helps existing employee know them better.

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Prepare departmental announcement

And last, but not least, don’t forget a Team Lunch on Day One!

Screenshot showing details of Kerika card
Organize team lunch for Day One

If you want to set up a Task Board for this, we have a free template ready for you.

Security Awareness for Distributed Teams

(Guest post from Cybernews)

According to researchers at Ladders, 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. Remote jobs skyrocketed from under 4% in 2019 to 9% in 2020 alone. This means that working from home is here to stay.

With this change in the job market demand, distributed teams have become more common and will continue to be adopted by small and big businesses alike. The need to secure company and employee data is important given the rise of internet scams. It is advisable to have all team members engage in security awareness training to have them prepared against malicious hackers and phishing sites.

Here are measures distributed teams can take to protect themselves and the company from a security breach.

Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public Wi-Fi, especially from unknown service providers. If you must connect to a public server ensure you have a VPN installed on your computer to prevent hackers from monitoring your internet activity.

Social engineering

Social engineering uses manipulative techniques to gain confidential information that can put an individual or company at risk of cyber-attacks. Hackers have gotten smarter over time creating the need to be cautious mainly when workers use their own devices for office duties. Here are tips to save you from falling victim to such scams.

  • Be suspicious if an unknown person asks you for information, they shouldn’t have access to it. All workers have team leaders they report to or team members that handle specific company data. If someone aside from the usual team member is asking for such data, be alarmed and report it to your team leader.
  • Pay attention to emails. It can be daunting to always have to check an email sender to be sure you’re not under a phishing attack, but it can save you from putting your company at risk. Look out for grammatical errors and the sender’s email address to be sure they aren’t impersonating your company’s or an employee’s email.
  • Beware of heightened urgency. Resist the rush to perform an action if you are feeling pressured to perform a certain action. Creating urgency is a common tool phishing scammers use to make their victims act fast. You should be more suspicious if the person is trying to make you ignore a mandatory security protocol.
  • Always hover over links to see where they lead. Don’t be quick to click links and open attachments sent to you from new contacts. Offerings of things that are too good to be true are not true. An example is an email congratulating you on an iPhone in a competition you never attended.
  • Never download unauthorised software or plug in an unauthorised drive or USB to your device.

Setting passwords

Most websites will tell you to create an 8-character password that contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols that should be changed every 90 days. However, cybercriminals now use technology that allows them to crack an 8-character password in 4 hours. That’s why you should be using strong password management.

Instead, use a 12–16-character password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You can create a passphrase using multiple small words like “tiNyTombSPoon.” Combining your passphrase with numbers and special characters is advisable for added difficulty. Complex passwords like this should be changed every two years.

Never save passwords to browsers. Never share your passwords with anyone or log in to your work accounts with public computers. Ensure you use a unique password for each account, you can use a password keeper if necessary.

Always use two-factor authentication for all your accounts. Never use the same passwords for your personal and work accounts. Make sure to separate your personal and work life.

Security awareness at home

In a world of distributed teams, it is normal for workers to spend more time at home than in an office. Here are measures that can be taken to stay safe when working from home.

  • Never grant anyone access to your desktop unless you sort the remote connection. Always be careful of remote desktop inquiries. Never give out your login details to anyone over email or phone without consulting your supervisor.
  • Don’t respond to non-company numbers or messages regarding an issue when you didn’t open a ticket.
  • If you will be filling your data into any websites while working, ensure they begin with https://
  • Ensure your Wi-Fi router is secured with a strong password. Always restart your router frequently.
  • Keep your working devices out of the reach of family and guests. Use a different internet network for work and family or guests.
  • Only use company-approved USB sticks. Never use unencrypted USB sticks to connect or charge your work device in public places.
  • Never leave your work device unattended. If you aren’t actively using your device ensure you exit your work screen and lock or close your device.

Security awareness in videoconferencing

All virtual meetings should be cyber-safe and not open to the public. Links to video meetings must not be shared on public sites. Ensure all meetings require passwords to join. Avoid starting a meeting without the host – rather create a meeting room.

Enable host-only sharing, accept one user at a time, and lock the meeting after all the participants are in.

Other security measures

  • Avoid using your personal computer or smart devices for work. Ensure your operating system, antivirus and apps are updated frequently.
  • Beware of phishing links sent to your email. Alert your family members on using your devices without your supervision.
  • Beware of pop-ups on free movie sites and apps asking you to install software from unverified sources.

Conclusion

Although it is impossible to be 100% secure, raising awareness of the cybersecurity risks and taking all security measures stated above is key to preventing a security breach that can lead to catastrophic events. Ensure each team member is properly oriented on security measures to employ and things to look out for to prevent getting hacked.

How to import boards from Trello

We have added an exciting new feature: if you were previously using Trello, you can import that data, completely, into Kerika!

We have been testing this as a convenience feature and based upon positive feedback we have expanded this for everyone.

New users will be offered this as an option when they set up their Kerika accounts:

Screenshot showing how new Kerika users can import boards from Trello
How new Kerika users can import boards from Trello

All users will have this option whenever they want to create a new Kerika board:

Screenshot showing how all users can import from Trello when creating a new Kerika board
All users can import from Trello when creating a new Kerika board

We built this feature because we have heard from many people switched over from Trello and really liked Kerika’s user experience, features, and support. In the past they had to manually recreate their work inside Trello; now that’s all automated!

Everything is handled nicely: your Trello cards, lists, people, task details, etc. come over. Once you are done, a single click can then send out invitations to all your old Trello colleagues to join you in Kerika.

Enjoy.

 

How to Plan a Virtual Marketing Event

Marketing events are all virtual these days, everywehere, as we all wait out the pandemic and try to figure out the shape of the “new normal”. To help our users who need to plan Virtual Marketing Events, we have a new template for you:

Screenshot of template for planning a virtual marketing event
Click to view this template

This is a very comprehensive template: it contains all the tasks you need to handle to make your virtual marketing event a success. Here’s an example of a task:

Screenshot showing an example task
Example Task

This template is rich in detail: tasks like this one also come with a checklist of subtasks to make sure you don’t overlook anything.

Screenshot showing an example checklist
Example Checklist

And links to useful online resources:

Screenshot showing example attachments
Example Attachments

The workflow is straightforward: Pre-PlanningLaunch PreparationPromotionsOperations.

We are making a big push to increase the quantity and quality of templates so our users can get started faster on their boards, because at Kerika it’s all about “getting more done”.

Check out this template and let us know if you think we can improve it!

Kerika’s New Search Capabilities

We have completely rebuilt Kerika’s search capabilities, both on the back end and on the user interface, to make it much easier to find tasks (cards) and documents across all your Kerika boards.

Screenshot showing Task results from Search
Search Task Results

Search results are organized into two tabs at the top: Tasks and Documents.

Within each tab, results are further segmented into two tabs: This Board, and Other Boards.  This makes the most common use of Search even easier: most people want to find something that’s on a large board that they are viewing.

For each search result Kerika shows you what part of the task/card matched the query; in the example above, the search term showed up in 8 Board Chat messages.

Clicking on a search result gives you two action buttons: Open the task/card, or get a link to that task.

The search results are ranked by relevance; we spent weeks fine-tuning the algorithm based upon real-world usage and we think we have got it right now! But we know there will be times when you really need to narrow your search very specifically, and that’s handled by the Filter Results button which gives you so many options:

Screenshot showing Task Filter options for Search
Task Filter

The Documents tab shows you all the content that matches your search results: we get this from Google, if you signed up using your Google ID or email, or from Box, if you signed up using your Box ID.

Screenshot showing Document Results from Search
Search Results for Documents

Selecting a document result gives you two buttons: OPEN, which will open the document for you in a new browser tab (or in Google Apps or Box on a mobile device), and DOWNLOAD.

As with Tasks, there are numerous options to filter and narrow your search for documents:

Screenshot showing Documents Filter options for Search
Documents Filter

 

How Kerika became zippy

With the new version you will notice that Kerika has become much faster on the desktop than previously: now any board, regardless of size, should load in under 3 seconds if you have a fast Internet connection.

With the old version this wasn’t true: the time to load a board was proportional to the number of cards (tasks) that were on the board, and while most users didn’t notice any lag, people who were using Kerika at a large scale, e.g. with boards of a thousand cards, would have to wait a while for the largest board to full open.

With our old code, every board was loaded sequentially column by column, starting with the leftmost column, and within each column every card was loaded before another column’s loading started.  This approach didn’t scale well, and the flaw of this approach became all to obvious when we built our mobile apps, which used a “lazy loading” approach.

To fix this, we rewrote the desktop app from scratch, an effort that took nearly nine months for our small team to complete, from design, implementation, testing and endless refinement.

With lazy loading the system prioritizes which cards to load, rather than trying to load all of them one by one.  If your board has 15 columns, for example, not all of these can be viewed at the same time: most displays will show just 5-6 columns at a time.  Kerika keeps track of which part of the board you were last viewing, and then intelligently loads the board from that point of view.

All the other columns are loaded only as the system senses you are going to need them: as you scroll to the left or right, for example, the system automatically (and quickly) fetches more columns into view. If the system does this fast enough, the user never realizes that her entire board wasn’t loaded at the very beginning, because no matter where she is looking, everything she needs is always in view.

We took a similar approach to loading columns with a lot of cards (tasks). Instead of loading all the cards that exist within a column — and these can number hundreds, for large boards — the system considers how many can be displayed at a time given the user’s particular device: laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone.

Having calculated how much of a column can be actually viewed by a user, the system loads just those many — and a few more in anticipation of the user scrolling her view of a column. As the user continues scrolling down a column, the system races to fetch more cards from the server so there’s never a gap in the user’s view.

But lazy loading alone wasn’t enough, we also had to deal with the speed at which a browser can display a bunch of cards. This speed varies by browser type, as well as device.  A low-powered computer, perhaps running an older browser, can’t render cards as fast as we need for the user to have a true real-time experience.