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A Review of 3 Essential Business Tools

In the past year, making our working life easier has become more important than ever. This has meant automating a lot of different processes and leaning more heavily on technology.

There are some business tools that have become essential to how we run our companies. If you are new to running a business, or just adapting to more automated processes, it can be difficult to know which are right for you.

Here, we are looking at the top three essential business tools that your company needs.

Task management tools

For both big and small tasks, project management tools are incredibly helpful. They can work to provide a pipeline for individual workers, or as a task board for groups who share workflow.

This means that workers can get a great overview of what they need to do and help them to prioritise tasks. Meanwhile, if you have a team working on a single project, it can keep them on target and communicate effectively about their workflow.

Tools such as Trello and Salesforce can help with this, and can also allow managers to get a good idea of the amount of work that staff are doing in a single day. Not only that, but if you have to do work across multiple teams, you can track each part of a process.

Accounting tools

Getting your accounts in order is of vital importance, whether you are a small or larger enterprise. From running payroll to invoicing customers and tracking your expenditures, the right kind of software can help you to manage the accounting elements of your business, even if you have a smaller accounts team – or you are doing it yourself.

Doing your tax return might be one of the more challenging parts of your year but with the corporation tax return from BTCSoftware, it can be that much easier to manage. After all, you have more important things to think about when running a business!

Connecting tools

In 2021, connecting with your colleagues is more important than ever. Whether you need to converse on a project or even just to speak on a personal level, it is vital to have the appropriate tools in place for this.

In the past year, you have probably used Zoom a whole lot more than ever before, but text-based chats are equally useful. Slack is a great way for teams to communicate about projects, and it is fantastic because you can reflect back on conversations. While it is less formal than an email trail, it allows quick communication and updates on projects.

At any size, running a business is not without its challenges, especially in the current climate. With these tools, your business can run more smoothly and effectively than ever before.

Six Reasons For Small Businesses Failure

close up shot of a digital stock market tracking graph follwing a recent crash in prices. Bear market 3D illustration

Let’s face it: almost every neighbourhood has that one storefront that turns into a new business every few months. Maybe it started as a nail salon, then there was a karaoke bar or cafe, and now there is a CBD shop. These new small businesses open and close their doors almost before anyone notices.

Starting your own business is definitely not for the faint of heart. Entrepreneurship is not only extremely time-consuming, but it is also inherently risky. Successful business owners must have the ability to mitigate company-specific risks while bringing a perfect product or service to market at a price that matches consumer demand.

Even though there are a number of small businesses in a wide range of industries that perform well and are consistently profitable, most of them fail within their first three years of operation. To safeguard your new or established company, it is essential to understand why businesses fail. Here are some common reasons why small businesses shut down.

A Poor Pricing Strategy

To beat the competition in very saturated industries and attract new customers, companies can set dramatically lower prices than similar offerings. Although such a strategy is successful in some cases, organisations that ultimately close their doors are those that charge too little for their products or services for far too long. 

Some business owners can miss the mark on pricing their products or services. But when production costs, marketing and delivery outweigh the income received from new sales, the company haы a small choice.

Trying To Do It All Or Hiring Too Many People

It is easy for business owners to be so engaged with their work that it can become obsessive, even if all the evidence indicates it not being a success. Running a company all by yourself may be a recipe for disaster. There will be a lot of ups and downs, many things happen that you don’t expect, and when there is no one else to turn to, you can get into a quandary, which in turn might lead to missed deadlines and unsatisfied customers.

Therefore, delegation is your friend. Whether that means investing in software that reduces workload or hiring some employees, your business will only start making money when you shift some of your responsibilities to other skilled shoulders. At the very least, you should have a professional on-call accountant and/or general assistant to help you maintain your financial records and routine duties, so you can focus on your business. At the same time, hiring too many workers prematurely can drain your cash flow and prevent your company’s ability to invest and grow.

Ineffective Management

In some cases, the business owner is the only senior-level person in the company, particularly when the business is in its first or second year of operation. Therefore, another common reason why small companies fail is the lack of business acumen on the part of a business owner.

While an entrepreneur may have the skills required to create and sell a viable product or service, they usually lack the qualities of a strong manager and the time to successfully supervise your staff. Whether it is hiring or marketing, without a dedicated management team, a business owner is likely to mismanage particular aspects of the company, which can also negatively impact future operations.

Rapid Growth

In business, most of the time, the slow and steady wins the race. Growing too quickly often entails financing on credit, such as a small business loan, which can backfire if your company faces tough times or the market changes.

With the rapid expansion and extension of the brand, business owners tend to take on more business than they can do, leading to depletion of their working capital and lower quality. You and your team are overwhelmed while your product or service is suffering. Instead, think about the ways on how to keep your clients and make them fall in love with your business, as well as how you will repay each business loan. 

Cash Flow Shortages

You have probably known that it is actually hard to make money in a business without spending some money. If you want to take your company to the next level and grow your business successfully, you must be able to invest in growth costs such as advertising, equipment and inventory, to name a few.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government gave help to small businesses affected by the coronavirus through various financial options. Whether you need to cover wages on a temporary leave of your workers, access finance more quickly to adapt to this ‘new normal’ or kick off a new project, you can apply for financial support, such as Bounce Back Loan System (BBLS), Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS lenders). In fact, the CBILS scheme can provide you with two fast solutions like a hassle-free loan and a flexible revolving credit facility to help you find necessary aid and suitable variant for your business that can help to cope with the crisis.

Borrowing Too Much Money

Sometimes you need to go into debt to ensure you have enough capital to meet the needs of your organisation. Some business owners have the cash to pay out-of-pocket, so loans are considered a smart choice to fund your company.

Most entrepreneurs are a bit overzealous and therefore tend to overestimate their funding needs. The prospect of getting a large sum of money through a business loan definitely sounds tempting. Still, if you don’t prioritise your debt repayments and on-time payments, it becomes more and more difficult to grow operations.

Since many small business owners across all industries report that lack of capital or low cash flow is their biggest obstacle, adding the weight of too much debt makes it even more challenging to make a profit. Consider borrowing only what you need to stay afloat, and never borrow more than you can pay back if the business goes bankrupt.

Tackling the issue of light fastness in our favourite works of art

Light fastness is a common issue that many artists encounter regardless of their medium.

It is a term that refers to how resistant the property of a colourant, such as dye or pigment, is to fading when it is exposed to light.

While all paint mediums suffer from poor light fastness, watercolour paint in particularly is seen as one of the most susceptible to fading because of light exposure.

As a result, when displaying watercolour works of art, light fastness must actively be considered and usually requires pieces to be hung under controlled and reduced light conditions.

In most cases, museums and art galleries will implement a policy which only permits watercolours considered ‘light fast’ to be displayed for no more than three months within a three-year period.

One of the most famous watercolour works of art, Albrecht Durer’s ‘Hare’, dates back to 1502 and lives at the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

This piece is noted for not only its true-to-life nature in detail, but also in colour.

For that reason, the Albertina does not have it on permanent display.

The most recent occasion to view it was in the 2019/2020 Durer exhibition, and it will now not reappear for many years to protect its integrity.

Many more historical watercolours in the hands of collectors, museums and galleries around the globe are generally not displayed at all, instead being preserved and protected in dark archive cabinets.

Light fastness is an issue that most historical works of art will inevitably encounter, which is why organisations such as Watercolour World in the UK have committed themselves to digitising works as a way of preserving not just art, but more importantly, our history.

The fragility of watercolours is in part caused by the issue of light fastness and, as we move into an increasingly digital world, it is important to secure the position of historical artworks in it.

Each brush stroke, colour and detail tell a unique and irreplaceable story that we must protect.

While in the past, light fastness would be tackled with keeping artwork locked away, digitising these pieces provides a more permanent solution.

Watercolour World is one of the first charities that have made it their mission to tackle and overcome these challenges.

By working with PFU, a Fujitsu company, they are now working to record and digitise works in collections from around the world. 

The scanning process used to do so is extremely simple, but effective.

Designed so that they do not come directly into contact with the watercolour at any time, LED technology is used to create clear and detailed digital images.

This can be done even through glass, and is especially useful when dealing with artworks that have poor light fastness because it does not emit potentially harmful heat or ultraviolet rays of light.

If we are truly to view and enjoy works of art, particularly watercolour works which are more susceptible to damage over time, it is important that we make copies which are as accurate and detailed as the original.

There are so many incredible works of art that only a handful of people will have seen, usually only for brief moments and while accompanied by a curator.

By digitising these works, we are not only tackling the issues of light fastness, but we are also retaining some of the best works of art for generations to follow.

Many of the greatest works of art from history are destined to decay, and many already are.

We can work to restore and protect our favourite ones, but it is inevitable that an original will not last forever.

Watercolours are among the most fragile, as well as some of the most difficult, pieces to restore and preserve.

It has never been clearer to see that as we move into a world that is increasingly digital, so too must our greatest art works.

Five holiday park hacks to bag a bargain UK summer staycation

Hopping onto a plane for a week of guaranteed sun in August is looking less and less likely for UK holidaymakers. As a result, lots of people are staying nearer to home and visiting a caravan holiday park or a lodge park. Demand and prices have certainly gone up but there are still some simple tricks to help you afford a holiday this summer.

1. Book the last week of the summer holidays.

Demand for holidays drops considerably in the last week before children head back to school in early September. The nights aren’t quite as warm and there are back to school jobs that need doing, such as ironing labels into every jumper and pair of socks. However, busy resorts aren’t quite so crowded in late August and you can save yourself a hefty sum if you holiday during the final week compared to the third or fourth week of the summer break.

For example, we looked for a lodge at a posh seaside resort on the Isle of Wight in late August/early September and found that a family of four would pay about half the price of a holiday in early August. In that instance the saving was more than £1200. 

2. Arrive on a weekday.

Some of the bigger holiday park companies, such as Haven, will give you a discount of as much as £100 if you arrive on a Monday or a Friday instead of a Saturday. Most families stick to the traditional Saturday to Saturday holiday, but it’s a simple way to save some money if you have the flexibility.

3. Book a privately owned caravan or lodge.

Most of the bigger caravan holiday parks sell some of their caravans to private owners who then use them for their own holidays or rent them out. You won’t find these hidden caravans and lodges on the official websites for companies such as Parkdean Resorts. Instead, you need to look on accommodation websites such Airbnb or HolidayLettings. Owners set their own prices and upload their own photos so you might be able to bag a bargain. If you want the cheapest accommodation search for caravans or if you want proper sized beds, ensuite toilets and full size kitchens then you’ll want to search for lodges.

4. Fill up the largest caravan you can find.

Assuming that government restrictions allow it, you can save yourself a considerable sum by sharing with friends or family. We’ve seen occasions where two four berth caravans will cost you £1000 more than one caravan for eight people. Admittedly you will need to get on pretty well, as two people will be sleeping in the lounge but the savings are appealing. Personally, I would agree to eat out more often rather than trying to cater for eight in a small kitchen.

5. Try Scotland.

As a very general rule, holiday parks in the North of England and Scotland are cheaper than those in Devon and Cornwall. Obviously there are exceptions, but there are definitely some real deals to be had if you head north of the border. We searched for the cheapest caravans at big sites run by Haven in Cornwall and Scotland in early August and found that the Scottish resorts were sometimes half the price for the cheapest available caravan. Of course, the resorts may have different facilities and you might not see as much sunshine but it’s worth doing a comparison.

A Plumber’s Guide to Connecting Plastic Pipes and Fittings

Over the years, studies have shown the limitations of the old metal pipes used in plumbing. That has paved the way for plastic manufacturing which is said to be the future of plumbing.

Yet while plastic pipes are mainstream, the major problem that most people have with them is how to connect them to fittings.

In this article, you will learn how to connect plastic pipes and fittings as well as some basic plumbing tips.

How To Connect Plastic Pipes and Fittings

The process by which you join PVC, CPVC or even HDPE pipes and fittings is called “solvent welding”.

The procedure is quite simple. Here are a few steps on how to do it:

  • Step 1: Before you start applying the primer and adhesive, always make sure your cuts are square and burr-free, even if you are using a pipe cutter. The catch is that uneven cuts and misplaced pieces of plastic weaken welds and lead to joint problems. Therefore, pipes should be dry and free of dirt and debris.
  • Step 2: Now check that the primer and adhesive have not expired. Most primers and glues have a shelf life of three years. Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) glue, on the other hand, has a shelf life of two years.
  • Step 3: This applies to PVC and CPVC pipes only because no primer is used in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) pipes. Apply the primer to the inside of the fitting and outside of the pipe, starting with the fitting. You should apply a primer to each fitting to the depth of the socket. Apply the primer moderately to avoid puddles or excessive dripping. Hold the fitting or pipe so that if the primer drips, it will have to drip down and out of the fitting, not in.
  • Step 4: Once you are finished with Step 3, quickly apply cement to the fitting and pipe while the primer is still wet. Do this often within 5 minutes of using the primer, as the primer will evaporate if you dawdle.
  • Step 5: Here, the pipe will be inserted into the fitting by slowly turning it a quarter turn. That will spread the cement and create a stronger weld. You will notice a bead of glue has formed around the whole of the new joint and that the excess has been pushed outwards.
  • Step 6: To keep everything in place while the solvent does its job, you must hold the new joint firmly for 30 seconds. At the end of this time frame, the two plastic pieces will have “melted” enough to be left in place and harden completely. Next, gently wipe off any excess cement and primer; otherwise, it could damage the pipe.
  • Step 7: Refer to cement manufacturer’s instructions for curing times. In most cases, it will take at least two hours before the fitting can be put into service.

7 Plastic Plumbing Tips for a Better Plumbing System

Now that you know how to connect plastic pipes and fittings, it’s time to learn a few tips to improve your plumbing experience.

Take precautions when gluing in corners.

In many cases, as you try to make connections, you will find that there are pipes that move and pipes that don’t. If you start gluing fittings arbitrarily, you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t fix the last fitting.

Keep in mind that the last fitting to be glued should be that of a pipe with a small amount of leeway. This is usually where a vertical pipe meets a horizontal one so that you can lean on an elbow or tee from two directions.

Reuse landlocked fitting

If you need to replace pipes, but it is difficult to change the fitting, the old fitting can be reamed and reused.

Picture this: A tee comes out of the back of a cupboard, and a broken pipe leads to it. Or the tee is so deep in the floor joists that you can’t reach it. In these cases, the golden rule is to cut the pipe near the joint, then use a Socket Saver to ream the pipe to expose the inside of the fitting. Thereafter, cement a new pipe into the old fitting and reuse it.

Deburr for leak-free connections.

Burr remnants at the end of a pipe create channels in the wall when you push the fitting onto the pipe. This gives way to small holes that will result in leaks or an inability to withstand the pressure. It is therefore advisable to always scrape off any burrs with a utility knife before assembling the pipes.

Avoid callbacks – use straps.

Temperature changes often lead to changes in the length of plastic pipes. When you hang a pipe from a plastic J-hook, you will hear a ticking sound when the pipe slips past the hook.

When this happens, don’t panic because these are not ticks of water drops from a leaking pipe. So instead of J-hooks, use plastic straps instead.

Apply the elbow rule.

For pipes less than 3 inches, there are three types of 90-degree elbows: short sweep, vented, and long sweep. You can quickly identify the vent elbows by paying more attention to their significant curvature. Remember that these curves can only be used on a venting path that carries air, not water.

The basic rules when you want to use the other two types of bends are as follows:

  • If the water accelerates by turning the corner, usually from horizontal to vertical, use a short sweep.
  • If the water slows down, usually from vertical to horizontal, use a long sweep.

Support hot drain lines

Generally, pipes that regularly drain water under high temperatures need continuous support. Often these are the pipes under sinks that are connected to dishwashers that collapse between the ordinary supports. In this case, experts recommend that you slide a larger pipe over the drain line before attaching fittings and then secure the supports.

Use tubing cutters for small pipes.

For pipes up to 2 inches, use a pipe cutter that is a larger version of the type used for copper pipe. It allows a perfectly straight cut, with no burrs or chips to clean. Most importantly, it does not take up much space in the tool bucket.

Using plastic pipes for plumbing takes real expertise. Sometimes you may cut the fittings disproportionately, and other times you may not glue them properly. Either way, by sticking to the tips given above, you will get there–ensuring safe and efficient access to water for the house’s inhabitants.

Beautify Your Outdoor Space: 3 Tips and 6 Yard Additions to Consider

Landscaping is a huge part of making your property your own. Your curb appeal will show off your personality and style. A great-looking yard will also boost your home’s value instantly and may even inspire your neighbors to improve their outdoor space as well. Best of all, a well-designed landscape offers a relaxing, safe outdoor living space that you and your family can enjoy.

But achieving a healthy lawn and landscape is not easy. It entails several considerations, including hiring a reliable landscaping company in Dubai and determining the features you want to install in it.

Here are tips and outdoor features to help you out with your outdoor home improvement project.

3 Landscaping Tips

A yard makeover is something that you should not take lightly. You will be investing time, effort, and money in it, so you must ensure that all your investments won’t go to waste. Here are tips to ensure that you are making the right move.

1. Develop a plan

You need to plan for how your outdoor space will look and how you will use it. Will you use it for entertaining guests? Do you have children or pets who need space to play? Are you planning to indulge in a little solitude? What color combination do you prefer? What outdoor features would you like installed? Your answers to these questions can help you determine your landscape design’s parameters. Regardless of who will be drawing up the plan, you must consider your needs and preferences.

2. Set a budget

Not setting a budget is among the most overlooked yet significant steps involved in outdoor landscaping. Before the work begins, determine how much you are willing to spend. Compare this with the projected cost of the plan you developed earlier. If your budget is not enough, you can modify the landscape design or your financial plan. Either way, make sure that everything is well accounted for so you won’t end up getting disappointed with the outcome or spending far beyond your financial capacity.

3. Hire a construction company

Nothing beats the work of landscaping experts. Unless you have the right skill and tools, hiring a construction company is vital to achieving the outdoor living space that suits your needs and budget.

Landscaping pros know what they are doing. From determining the best plants for your climate to understanding your yard’s soil composition, professional landscapers know the ins and outs of landscaping installation and maintenance. Also, they can get creative. They can transform your ideas into reality or tweak some of it to achieve a more favorable outdoor living space.

Moreover, landscaping companies can save you time. You don’t have to allocate free time after work or your entire weekend doing landscaping tasks. Let the experts do it all while you spend quality time with your loved ones.

Most importantly, hiring professional landscapers will save you money because you can avoid costly mistakes. For instance, you will spend on the right products the first time. They know the required parameters to allow your plants and yard to flourish.

6 Yard Additions to Consider

Transform your yard with these fun, comfortable, and functional structures.

1. Shed

A shed is an attractive, sturdy structure that provides workspaces, shelter, seating, and even storage. It can be used all the time, regardless of the weather. You can even customize it to meet your specific needs by getting flooring solutions from your preferred carpet suppliers.

Whether you want a comfy shed, a well-equipped work environment, an adjunct to your outdoor grill, or a playhouse for your children, choose one that is built of high-quality materials and with a solid foundation.

2. Deck

A deck can serve as an outdoor gathering place for your family to have fun and create special memories together in. It provides a functional place to throw parties and barbecues. Whether you choose to install it outside your shed or house, the deck helps integrate the house with the entire yard. 

3. Swimming pool

Besides increasing your property’s appeal and value, a swimming pool can motivate you to become healthier. By taking a dip or doing a few laps in your pool after an exhausting day or week at work, you can get stress relief and exercise at the same time.

Swimming is not just a fun activity, but it also offers several health benefits, such as:

  • Speeds up recovery
  • Improves flexibility
  • Alleviates anxiety and depression
  • Calms and regulates breathing
  • Boosts heart health
  • Improves your mood

But to secure these benefits, you need to make sure that your pool is always clean and safe. This means investing in essential pool accessories, such as pool skimmers, a barrier or cover, alarms, LED lighting, and rescue or first aid equipment.

4. Pavers

Versatile pavers can help you create pathways from your house to your shed and to the pool. They are strong, attractive, and able to withstand heavy traffic. They also require minimal maintenance.

5. Container garden

Container gardens are simple yet effective ways to spread color around your landscape. Planter boxes and pots can work well, but you can also use buckets, old sinks, crates, and wash tubs.

Colorful blooms scattered throughout your outdoor living space can bring a smile to everyone’s faces and encourage you to spend more time outdoors. These can also help yard features like sheds and decks blend well with your landscaping.

6. Landscape lighting

Once the shed, deck, pavers, pool, and plants are laid down in your yard, highlight them at night with landscape lighting. Outdoor lights are available in different designs and shapes, making it easier to find one that suits the other yard features.

Adding outdoor lighting can also keep everyone safe. You can use it to illuminate walkways, paths, the driveway, and even your swimming pool. It will guide you at night, thus preventing injuries from falling or slipping.

Most importantly, outdoor lighting can help deter crimes. It will surprise anyone who tries to trespass on your property, especially if you use lights with motion sensors. You can also use one with timers so you can turn it on when it gets dark outside or if you are away from home.

Beautifying your outdoor living space can be a daunting endeavor. But with the right tips and guidance from reputable landscapers, you can achieve a yard that includes all the features you want,and at a reasonable price. A great landscaping company can also help with pool and landscape maintenance to ensure that you enjoy a safe and healthy outdoor space for many years to come.

6 iMessage Tips Every Apple User Should Know

Are you a brand-new Apple user who has just invested in your first device? Are you anxious to learn all you can about Apple, and take advantage of the many benefits it offers? One of the more exciting and frankly more-used features on Apple devices is iMessage. This is of course Apple’s own instant messaging platform that allows other Apple users to connect with you in real-time. You can use the app for chatting, video calls, sending pictures, and more. But as a new user, it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit intimidated and confused as to how to use iMessage.

Here we’ll take a look at six iMessage tips that every Apple user should know. While these tips are geared towards new users, even veteran Apple users may find some of these tips useful and informative.

Make Sure You Have Activated It Properly

First things first, in order for iMessage to work, you’ll need to be sure it has been activated properly. This refers to those with a new device that will require some set-up. If you see a message that reads “waiting for activation”, then it’s important you take the right steps to ensure you activate it properly.

It’s also not unheard of to receive an iMessage activation error, which again, requires immediate attention. Rather than take guesses about what steps to use to fix the situation, you can refer to the handy guide that Setapp has put together for Apple users. It goes through all the reasons the problem is occurring, as well as the steps to take that will fix it and ensure activation occurs. Setapp gives users more than 210 Mac apps all available in one handy spot, allowing you to be more productive than ever before.

Other error messages that may appear include “could not sign in, please check your network connection”, “activation unsuccessful”, or “unable to contact the iMessage server. Try again”, among others. Until you remedy the situation, you won’t be able to use iMessage or any of its features.

Learn to Pin Messages to the Top of the Screen

As you get into the habit of using iMessage, it won’t take long for the messages in your library to build up. This can make it difficult and time-consuming to go back to specific responses or messages that have important details you need. A great solution is to pin important messages/responses to the top. This makes information quick and easy to find.

In order to pin a message, simply tap on the pin button, which is yellow, while on the message thread. It pins the full message thread to the top. Keep in mind you can pin up to six message threads at a time.

Once you no longer need that thread pinned, just tap and hold down on the circle of that contact and press unpin.

This is the kind of feature that people may not think is that useful until they actually give it a try. It can make your iMessage library much more organized and therefore efficient.

Need to Let Someone Know Where You Are? Share Location

How many times have you tried to meet up with a friend or family member only to get confused with directions? The iMessage app offers the perfect solution which is the ability to share your location with someone. Your location will be shared via a map that you can instantly send to any contact. Just tap on the “Details” menu which is in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and select “Send My Current Location”.

Turn On/Off the Read Feature

Here’s a feature that you can use to your advantage, but it may be a different for each person. There is a feature that you can turn on or off that shows people you have read their message. This can be good or bad. For example, maybe you read a message but don’t respond for a couple of hours, or days even. You may not necessarily want the recipient to know when exactly you read their message. This particular feature can be found in the Settings app under “Messages”. You can either check or uncheck the “Send Read Receipts” option.

Block Pesky Numbers and Contacts

If you happen to have some pesky numbers, contacts, or even telesales people that keep trying to reach you on your Apple device, be sure to use the “Blocked” feature to prevent them from trying again. In order to use this feature, simply go to the Settings app, then the Messages menu and select “Blocked”. Once you add a number/contact to the blocked list they won’t be able to FaceTime, call, message, or text you.

Have a Group Message? Give It a Name

Another way iMessage is used is for group messages. This allows several people to be chatting at once, whether that is a work-related group or just a group of friends or family. If you have more than one group message going at once, with some of the people overlapping, it can get a bit confusing. A perfect solution is to give the group message a name or title that quickly lets you know what that group is about.

In order to give the group a name you can tap on the “Details” button that appears in the top right-hand corner of the group message. Perhaps that message is about an upcoming boys/girls night out, or maybe it’s from the sports team you are on, or a chat with your family. Just give it a name that relates to the message topic. The more group chats you have going on at once, the handier this tip will become.

By using all of these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to become an iMessage pro in no time and wonder what you ever did without it. Chatting with contacts will become a breeze and, because it syncs over all your Apple devices, it is the ultimate in efficiency.

How to Avoid Burnout

There are always going to be times in our lives that are more difficult than others. There are too many different pressures and circumstances in our lives for us to simply move through things at ease. You need to make sure that you are avoiding burnout as much as you can so you are able to navigate these tougher periods.

Speak to a Professional

If you feel like you often become overly stressed and unable to deal with certain parts of your life in the manner that you would like, you should definitely think about reaching out to a professional. A counsellor will be able to sit you down and talk through some of your worries and anxieties, while giving you the tools you need to potentially overcome them.

There are many places that you can find such a professional to help you out. Many people are turning to online therapy UK solutions as these can be easy to schedule and convenient to slot into what might be a very busy life. There is always going to be someone to help you out when you need it the most, and they could give you the knowledge and confidence to move forward.

Keep Your Evenings to Yourself

You need to make sure that you are leaving your work behind you at the end of the day – especially during high-stress periods. You need to make sure that you are leaving some time in which you can focus on you and only you.

Get in the habit of not answering any messages or emails when you have finished work for the day. The more you can distance yourself from the causes of stress you might experience in these moments, the better and freer you can feel overall. The work will still be waiting for you when you get back, you just need to make sure that you are not stressing about it when you should be relaxing.

Take a Holiday After

Once the busy period is past, think about taking some form of holiday to properly unload and unwind. Even a long weekend might do you the world of good as it means that you will be able to relax just a little and take some time away from the office if needs be.

If you can’t take any holidays for whatever reason, at least think about treating yourself in some way. A nice meal out with loved ones, a trip to a spa, or even just a walk on the beach could all be fantastic ways for you to relax and feel a little better following a stressful period.

Burnout can happen to anyone. You need to make sure that you are able to destress and continue to work after high-intensity periods, but it is also important to recognise when you might need to relax and try something else. If you feel like you are going to experience burnout soon, take some steps now so you can avoid it or manage this period more effectively.

How to Avoid Splurging on Home Renovations

During home renovations, the budget may skyrocket if you cannot manage it well. Some unexpected expenses may occur or there could be a problem with the supplier that forces you to improvise and deviate to your original plan. Don’t worry, here are some tips that will help reduce or completely avoid going over budget on your home renovations.

1. Lighting fixtures

Use lighting fixtures in the house variedly to reduce the cost of renovation. Install top-quality fixtures only in the places where they receive maximum exposure. For instance, you can use decorative lighting in a dining room. 

However, in the rest of the rooms, especially where they are rarely used, such as hallways, you had better use more affordable and standard options of lighting. 

2. Siding materials 

There are several good-quality materials for siding that are available at more affordable prices. For example, engineered wood can be a great alternative for real wood to build a siding. Engineered wood adopts the looks of real wood and has good durability. 

It also requires less maintenance and when it comes to the cost, the price of engineered wood is half of the real wood. Thus, when you build siding using engineered wood you not only save the renovation cost but also the maintenance cost. 

3. Architecture details

To make the renovation budget remain safe, you should use decorative details on narrow spaces in the house. Meanwhile, in big spaces in the house, it is better to use wide and plain skirting boards. 

For alternative options, you can use either timber or painted panels on the wall.  These can make the rooms more interesting without sacrificing the budget. 

4. Flooring 

Flooring is another spot to work with if you want to have a renovation budget without the splurge. There are many great flooring options with more reasonable prices that also provide good durability. You can substitute luxury vinyl flooring for those types of flooring. You can replace vinyl flooring with tile flooring if you want to avoid increased renovation costs. Tiles flooring works well for the bathroom as long as you choose the slip-resistant ones. Avoid the splurge on the flooring will give you more leftover money since flooring covers huge space in the home.

5. Kitchen layout

Not all parts of the kitchen layout should be fitted with luxurious materials. Plan the layout carefully and determine which parts that need to receive lux treatments and which parts that can go with standard ones. Benchtops as an example, become the part that you can be upgraded later.

6. Storage 

All storages should not go with built-in furniture. It is fine to use some for the most important storage. However, if you want to cut down the renovation cost you need to use more affordable furniture bought from hardware stores. As long as they have a similar function, using lower-price furniture 

Renovating the home without the splurge on your budget is possible if you know how to save the costs. So, if you plan to renovate the home, consider those six spots to avoid the splurge. 

British Brands look to Be Behind when it Comes to the Affordable Electric Car Race

When it comes to making popular electric cars, it would see that the Jaguar Land Rover needs to step things up a notch. Electric vehicles have been through a very revolutionary decade but the public are still cautious. The positives from the situation would include the fact that a lot of electric cars are way more fun to drive when compared to their combustion-based engine. The EV-inspired cars are able to reduce the amount of pollution in the air and they are also ideal for helping the planet too. As if that wasn’t enough, they are also ideal for those who live in urban areas.

That being said, it’s important to know that there are some negatives. The retail price for electric cars is still very high and when you look at the mileage and range, you will see that this is also disappointing. It’s safe to say that the flawed infrastructure in the UK for charging electric vehicles is to blame and that something needs to be done about this sooner rather than later. Another huge issue for the motor industry is that people need to find the sweet spot. They need to make sure that they are abiding by consumer demands and they also need to make sure that insurance is affordable too.

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The Rise of Tech

When you look at sites such as casino.netbet.co.uk – you will soon see that they have made waves in the tech industry as they have been able to make online games that can be placed from just about anywhere in the world. The online casino industry has rocketed, and it would also seem that it has increased in popularity too. If electric cars want to advance this much and if they want to experience this much drive on the market, then it would seem that convenience is key. The UK has to make sure that enough digital charging stations are provided so that it can be widely adopted. 

The EV Game

The EV game is now more complicated than ever, not to mention that it is also continually changing as well. It’s not enough for VW to put an electric motor in a Golf, as a pure afterthought. The ID.3 is tasked with trying to make a car for the people and it would seem that it lacks the class as well as the premium feel of the older school brother. When you look at the real-world range, you will also see that it can be disappointing. If you are committed and if you want to become an electric car owner in Britain, then it would seem that the ID.3 is much more desirable. It’s one of the better electric vehicles out there and it is still competing in the league table. The ID.3 is still behind some of the other cars out there but it is clear that small or even medium electric vehicles are the ones that are going to be representing a lot of the customers throughout Europe. 

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