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Time Management and Communication Hack: Trello

Posted on April 28 2017 | Author: Sophie Wotten

In any organization, it is critical to optimize employee's time and skills. Organizations are continually looking for a way to streamline processes and improving communication within a team.

Trello is a solution that can simplify the way your team communicates. Whether you are working from home, another province or in the office, you are able to collaborate and organize projects from anywhere, anytime! Trello is a free project management tool that is easy to sign up for on your web browser. It provides a simple and sophisticated way to organize projects. As a visual learner myself, the project plans it creates are easy to follow and fun at the same time.

Trello makes it very easy to collaborate on various projects. The user is able to create a "board" which is known as the specific project. Once the board is created, the user can invite team members that are also working on the project. As an organization, you are able to create several boards for your staff, depending on the tasks at hand, and there is no limit!

Completing projects is more than just checking an item off your "to-do" list. Each project involves planning, development, revision and communication. It takes an entire team’s devotion to making a single project successful. Trello provides a platform to consolidate ideas and assist the best outcomes possible. It is a great tool that moves projects forward and can assist with keeping your staff on track.

Since using the Trello system, it has become a great system to use not only at work but also at home as well. Here are some of the features that make this system function for me.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Just like using your laptop, there are specific shortcuts designed to save you time and frustration. These functions are as easy as moving a board, creating a new list and pasting items.

Copy and Paste Multiple Items: Trello has the capability to copy and paste items from Excel and Word. It also can separate each line item into its own checklist – re-typing information no more!

Turn Emails into Action Items: Trello makes organizing your time and work tasks easy by transforming emails into board items – saving time from having to look for that "one" email.

Export to Excel: Exporting to Excel can generate a snapshot of a project or provide a status update.  is a fantastic way to take a snapshot of a specific project or the status of your workload. Before a meeting, you can easily download the information and a workflow chart.

Trello is a very user-friendly system with multiple capabilities. Once learning of this organizational tool, I have not used any other system. These few features have made using Trello stand out from its competitors. So why do I like using Trello more than any other project organizer?

 

  1. It is simple and very user-friendly.
  2. It's free! Once you sign up using your email address, you can start using Trello immediately. The system provides great tutorial videos making the learning process very simple.
  3. Trello can be used on any size of screen. It does not matter if you are using your cell phone, tablet or computer; the Trello site actually looks like an app!
  4. If you are working on a project in a team, you do not want to wait to review updates a day later. With Trello, it provides real time updates!
  5. Trello is compatible with other programs such as Excel and Word. Instead of typing in lists individually, you are able to import the list into Trello and it creates a new chart or checklist for you.

Trello is a great organizational tool that can assist with team communication and project management. Its user-friendly capabilities can allow for staff to learn the system easily. With numerous features that can assist with time management, Trello could benefit your team with their next project. If you are looking for an easy to use tool to help organize your workload, maybe Trello could work for you too!

 

Click below to Get Started:

https://trello.com

Sources:

https://trello.com

https://screen.cloud/app-store/trello

 

Sophie Wotten
Events & Marketing Coordinator






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Amendments to the Ontario Business Corporations Act

Posted on April 24 2017 | Author: Admin

The new record-keeping rules

The new section 140.1 of the OBCA sets forth this requirement:

140.1 (1) A corporation shall prepare and maintain at its registered office a register of its ownership interests in land in Ontario.

Although the term “ownership interests” is not defined, the prudent view is this term includes both registered and beneficial freehold interests. It will also be advisable to include interests in a partnership or limited partnership that owns land in Ontario. There is currently no judicial guidance on whether other interests, such as mortgages and leases, are captured; our view is these types of interests will not need to be included on the register.

Pursuant to subsection 140.1(2) of the OBCA, the register shall (i) identify each property to which the corporation has an ownership interest, and (ii) include the date the corporation acquired the property and, if applicable, the date the corporation disposed of it. Additionally, as supporting documentation, the corporation must keep copies of any deeds, transfers, or similar documents for each property listed in the register, which contains the following information:

  • the municipal address, if any;

  • the registry or land title division and the property identifier number;

  • the legal description; and

  • the assessment roll number, if any.

The register and supporting documentation may be maintained in either paper or electronic format, so long as they are maintained at the corporation’s registered office.

These record-keeping obligations extend only to ownership interests in land situated in Ontario.

Application

The application of the new real property register requirements varies according to a corporation’s date of incorporation. If a corporation was incorporated or continued under the OBCA on or after December 10, 2016, it is immediately subject to the new record-keeping obligations. Corporations incorporated or continued before December 10, 2016, enjoy the benefit of a two-year transition period and must come into full compliance by December 10, 2018.

While existing corporations with ownership interests in real property have two years to comply with the new requirements, it would be prudent for them to begin preparing their registers as soon as possible as compilation of the required documents may prove to be quite time-consuming. It is important to note that non-compliance of the recording requirements constitutes an offence under the OBCA, which may be punishable by fine.

The FCPA will eventually enact similar amendments to the Not-for-profit Corporations Act, 2010 (the NFPCA), but the coming-into-force date for the NFPCA is unknown at this time.

 

Alexandra Aversa
Associate, Norton Rose Fullbright

Oliver Moore
Associate, Norton Rose Fullbright

Article provided by Norton Rose Fulbright

About Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice that provides the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers share food and agribusiness sector knowledge and experience across provincial and national borders, enabling them to support their clients anywhere in the world. To learn more about Norton Rose Fulbright, please visit www.nortonrosefulbright.com

Click here to view the original article.






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Productivity Hack: Boomerang for Gmail and Outlook

Posted on April 04 2017 | Author: Kelly Laidlaw

In March, the Bioenterprise team launched our productivity hacks blog series. We are always on the lookout for innovative tips and tricks that we can share with our entrepreneurial network. In my blog, I will share one of my favourite productivity tools called Boomerang. Boomerang is a free email add-on that helps me manage emails and increase productivity. Not only can it assist in replying and following-up on messages, but it also helps to ensure that every email is perfectly crafted. Here are the main reasons why I use Boomerang:

Get reminders to follow up. Boomerang, which works with Gmail and Outlook, will send reminders if you have not received a reply to your email after a certain amount of time. You can then react by sending another email to follow-up. This can help ensure important conversations do not fall off your radar.

Another useful feature of Boomerang is the ability to write and schedule a follow-up email concurrently as you compose the original email. If the recipient does not reply to your email, Boomerang will send the second pre-written email to follow-up for you. If you do receive a response, Boomerang will not send the follow-up email.

Schedule outgoing emails. Boomerang allows you to schedule messages to be sent at any time you choose. This means you are able to send emails when they are most likely to be opened. This is important since a well-timed email is 30% more likely to be read than a poorly timed email. For example, Boomerang generally recommends sending emails on Tuesday mornings since that is when emails tend to have the highest open rate. This feature is also handy for communicating with people in different time zones. Boomerang even understands language that is contained in the text such as “tomorrow morning” to suggest times to send your message, or you can select it yourself.

Pause incoming messages. There are times when we need to focus on the task at hand without being distracted by the constant flow of incoming emails. Boomerang offers a productivity solution that allows you to temporarily pause the flow of emails. You can even schedule emails to be delivered to you at certain times of the day. Attending to emails in blocks of time is more effective than constantly checking your inbox – it takes about 64 seconds to recover from each message that interrupts you and return to productive work.

Craft highly effective emails. Boomerang’s new Respondable feature uses artificial intelligence to help you write more actionable emails. Respondable sits in the lower corner of your browser and rates your message. This feature lets you know how likely you are to receive a response based on factors such as subject length, word count, politeness, and more.

This add-on has made my workday more efficient because I spend less time searching for messages to follow-up on and has significantly decreased the likelihood of important things falling through the cracks. If you are looking for a way to manage your emails more effectively, give Boomerang a try. It simplifies and improves my workday and it may help you, too!

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to download:

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Outlook

 

Sources:

http://www.boomeranggmail.com/

http://www.boomerangoutlook.com/

https://techcrunch.com/2014/03/06/newly-updated-inbox-pause-utility-lets-you-check-email-on-your-schedule-not-theirs/

http://www.inc.com/janine-popick/3-free-gmail-plug-ins-im-using-right-now.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/502106/inbox-zero-enlightenment/

 

Kelly Laidlaw

Program Manager, Corporate Relations






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Food Fax

Posted on April 01 2017 | Author: Admin

Read the lasted Food Fax newsletter from International Food Focus Ltd.’s President, Carol Culhane.  

 

©2016 International Food Focus Ltd., 211 Carlton Street, East Office, Toronto, ON M5A 2K9 E: focus@foodfocus.on.ca
Food Fax is archived at www.foodfocus.on.ca 






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Health Canada Proposes New Food Labelling and Marketing Regulations for Children

Posted on March 23 2017 | Author: Admin

Healthy eating can be challenging due to several factors, some beyond the control of the consumer. This is why the Government of Canada is taking actions to make the healthier choice the easier choice for all Canadians. Health Canada is currently overhauling Canada’s healthy eating guidelines with a comprehensive strategy that will include new rules for marketing and labelling certain foods aimed at children. Health Minister Jane Philpott said the “iconic” Canada Food Guide has not kept up with the country’s changing demographics and lifestyle.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released recommendations on the marketing of food and beverages to children in 2010. WHO called on governments worldwide to reduce the exposure of children to advertising and to reduce the use of powerful marketing techniques employed by the food manufacturers and beverages high in saturated fats, trans-fats, added sugars or sodium.

Health Canada's last food guide was criticized because it was based on much input from industry. Today, Canada is acting on those WHO recommendations, which already restricts marketing to children under the age of thirteen. It will take anywhere from five to ten years to implement these changes, after consultations with industry, stakeholders and the public. Although, this is an unprecedented amount of change that will require an unprecedented level of investment in an unprecedented time frame, this will change what's in our products, what's on our product packaging and how these products will be marketed. On the other hand, the food and beverage industries continues to face challenges with timely regulatory approvals and costs for reformulation and innovation.

The food industry in Canada is already taking steps to encourage Canadians to make more informed, healthy food choices, and said it is "keen" to ensure further steps are taken. Health Canada just completed the scientific review of the Canada Food Guide. It found that most of the science behind its recommendations was sound. However, the department found there were not enough distinctions between age groups, sex, activity levels, or height. Hopefully, this new guide remains the most requested document at Health Canada.

In summary, Health Canada will engage the public and stakeholders to seek feedback and input on a proposed front of package labelling approach aimed at helping Canadians make healthier and more informed choices, particularly on added sugars, sodium and trans-fats.

dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand.

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article






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Finding the Right App for Your Business

Posted on March 14 2017 | Author: Jessica Taylor

Time is money. Money sustains our businesses. So it is no surprise that, as business leaders, we are constantly trying to fit more into less time. We strive to be as productive as possible in both our personal and professional lives, and as our organizations grow, we quickly realize how important productivity is to team success as well.

Many tech companies, some new like Slack and Trello, and some household names, such as Google and Apple, have capitalized on our desire to be as efficient as possible by creating apps. A quick Google search of “productivity apps” lands you 41,700,000 results in a mere 0.60 seconds. I’m stating the obvious here, but that’s a LOT of options. So where do you start? How to you begin to narrow down your options and determine what is best for your organization’s specific needs? Start with these considerations:

1. Analyze your workflows.

Reflect on your current workflows and processes. Where are bottlenecks occurring? What issues have arisen? Don’t do this alone, talk to your team. Each of your team members has a different role than yours and, in turn, a different perspective.

2. Identify your needs.

Following your analysis create a list of your needs and prioritize them. Have your team do this too. An anonymous survey through a free site like Survey Monkey is a quick and effective way to capture honest feedback.

3. Research

With these prioritized needs front of mind – research! Do simple Google searches to identify apps. Read reviews – good and bad, from multiple sources. Research companies similar to yours and determine what apps (if any) they are using. Do primary research. Call people. Use the power of your network to get candid feedback – seek out differing opinions so that you end up with a well-rounded overview. This is particularly important for apps that you have short-listed.

4. Decide in haste repent at your leisure.

Just because a new app is trendy and “everyone” is using it doesn’t mean it’s right for your organization. Implementing new apps takes time and effort and it is much harder to get the support of your team to support a switch to a new app three months down the road when you realize your first choice wasn’t a good fit. 

5. Do NOT be cheap.

When used properly, many applications can have a significant impact on the productivity and culture of your company. While there are a number of free apps that can be incredibly effective, don’t automatically pass up options that have a price tag. If it is the right option you will make your money back in spades.

6. Ask for help.

You will quickly find that your network is happy to spread the word about their experience with apps they have tried – the good, the bad, the ugly. As well, don’t hesitate to reach out to the creators of the apps you are considering. They are often happy to provide insights including customization options – you don’t have to settle for the default settings!

Choosing what tools to work with on a daily basis is a process. Enjoy it. Work with your team, listen to their opinions – they are working at the front lines and can often identify needs and issues you hadn’t considered yet. While there is an upfront investment to get a new application up and running in your organization you will reap the benefits quickly.

Work smarter, not harder. 

 

Jessica Taylor

Senior Analyst, Bioenterprise BC






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The Healthy Eating Strategy: Health Canada Issues Changes to Food Label Regulations

Posted on March 09 2017 | Author: Admin

On December 14, 2016 Health Canada announced amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations in reference to the labelling provisions for packaged foods. These changes stem from Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, an effort to empower consumers to make healthier food choices by making food labels easier to read and understand. The final objective being the elimination of industrially produced trans-fat, reduction of sodium and additional information pertaining to sugars and food colours.

As a result of these amendments, Health Canada has updated food labelling as it concerns the Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients.

Nutrition Facts Table

Increasing the font size of the Calories and Serving Size

Adding a bold line under Calories

Adding the footnotes “5% or less is a little” and “15% or more is a lot”

Assigning new % daily values based on modern nutrition science

Adding a new % daily value for total sugars

Adding potassium

Removing Vitamin A and Vitamin C

Adding the milligram amounts for potassium, calcium and iron

Creation of a regulated reference Serving Size, based on single serve versus multi-serving packages

List of Ingredients

Following ‘sugar’ group sugars-based ingredients in brackets

Listing food colours by their individual common names

Using black font on a white or neutral background

Separating ingredients using bullets or commas

Listing ingredients using both upper and lower case letters

Using Minimum type height requirements for ingredients

Following the same formatting requirements for the ‘Contains’ statement (indicating the presence/potential presence of priority food allergens, gluten sources and/or added sulphites)

The food industry has been given a five year transition period, as of December 14, 2016 to implement the new food label requirements under these revised regulations. During this interim period, companies may choose to label food products under the former regulations or the new regulations. Over this period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will maintain its current guidance and tools while simultaneously updating them to reflect these new requirements. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have prepared a guide to develop accurate nutrient values, as well as a number of laboratory methods for nutrient content analysis. Health Canada will respond to questions related to the new requirements and their intent, whereas inquiries dealing with compliance and enforcement will be handled by local Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices.

dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand.

 

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article






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#BCTECH Summit – Counting down the weeks!

Posted on February 27 2017 | Author: Sophie Wotten

The #BCTECH Summit is only weeks away and Bioenterprise is excited to be part of BC’s largest tech conference. On March 14th and 15th, the #BCTECH Summit will take over the Vancouver Convention Centre! There are over 200 speakers anticipated at this year’s Summit covering a cross-sector of industries including ag-tech, health,-tech, clean-tech, digital media and more, to discuss important topics impacting business technology decisions today.

The #BCTECH Summit is an opportunity not only to bring together BC’s vibrant and innovative tech community but also the convergence of traditional industries, business leaders, government and academia that are now adopting tech in all facets of their businesses and programs.

Bioenterprise’s President and CEO, Dave Smardon will provide an informative talk about bringing ag-tech innovation to market. Smardon’s presentation, “Why Ag-Tech” will focus on the importance of agri-technologies, as well as, how agriculture must adapt and diversify in order to meet the needs of to the growing population and strains on our natural resources.

Food is at the core of our social fabric, requiring our food systems to be efficient, productive, sustainable and safe from seed to market.  BC’s agri-food sector is one of the most diverse in North America with more than 20,000 farms and 1,800 food processing firms in the province. Our innovative technology sector is developing new methods to increase diversity, sustainability, productivity and market growth in the face of climate change and population growth.

The session, “Technology and the Social Fabric of our Food Systems: Transforming and Diversifying Agricultural Models” will dive deep into the innovation, the challenges and the opportunities in agriculture. Bioenterprise is excited to be a part of this jam-packed session that will bring together leaders in the industry with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Terramera and Defyrus Inc. A sample of the insightful and thought-provoking discussions will include trends and demands driving agri-technology innovation, the expectations of today’s consumer on sustainable agriculture, and the role of genomics in the industry.  

Don’t forget to say hi to some of our Bioenterprise team at our exhibit booth, #205, where you will also meet some of the innovative companies we are working with!!  Delegates interested in this stream should also check out the Biosphere and Greenhouse featuring #BCTECH in action.

Learn more about the #BCTECH Summit at www.bctechsummit.ca.  With your special promo code, join Bioenterprise at the #BCTECH Summit! Use Speaker599 to purchase your tickets for the two-day conference for just $599!  






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Front-of-Package Requirements for Food Labels in Canada: Simplifying or Confusing Consumers?

Posted on February 23 2017 | Author: Admin

On November 14, 2016, Health Canada released the consultation document “Toward Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels for Canadians” outlining their proposal to introduce mandatory requirements for labels that appear on “Front of Package” foods (FOP) that are high in nutrients of public health concern. These nutrients of public health concerns when at high levels are sodium (associated with hypertension), sugar (associated with diabetes) and saturated fatty acids (associated with obesity). Health Canada has requested input from consumers, stakeholders, industry members, researchers in academia and health professionals on the proposed FOP requirements.

Health Canada proposes applying FOP labelling through the use of a symbol (currently being determined by Health Canada with properties of being simple and intuitive) that is mandatory on the principal display panel when the prepackaged food exceeds the predetermined “high-in” threshold value for sodium, sugars, or saturated fats. Through this mandatory and simple approach, Health Canada feels that consumers can rely on quick information on key nutrients of concern that would allow them to easily compare products and help make healthier choices easier. Health Canada feels that consumers can be limited by time, motivation and other factors, so FOP symbols grants them an additional tool to help them with informed choices; being a simple visual cue. Health Canada also states that FOP labelling is transparent as consumers can verify which nutrient is being flagged in the FOP symbol and can verify its actual quantity on the Nutrition Fact Table on another panel.

The proposed threshold value for when a “high-in” FOP symbol would be required for sodium, sugar and saturated fats is suggested to be 15% of the dietary value for prepackaged food and 30% of the dietary values for prepackaged meals and combination dishes – though different threshold values are being proposed for foods with small reference amounts (condiments, butter, margarine, cookies etc.).

Health Canada is also permitting or considering permitting exemptions to FOP labelling for products with very small packages, small individual packages served in restaurants, food produced and prepackaged by retailers, alcoholic packages and packages of sugar and salt.

There has already been feedback from the industry that FOP labeling may actually increase, rather than decrease consumer confusion as intended as the consultation documents outlines many exemptions which could confuse consumers when encountering an exempted food versus a healthier food alternative that carries FOP labelling. Industry also has concerns that FOP labelling on the three nutrients of public health concern will cause consumers to focus on these three nutrients and not the other beneficial nutrients in the food (running contrary to a promotion of a balanced diet) and be frightened away from these products despite their other nutritional benefits. Some of the proposed FOP symbols are reminiscent of street signs (stop & yield) which may confuse consumers to be a “not-consume” warning rather than an indicator of a higher value of a certain nutrient that it actually is.

In addition to FOP labelling, the consultation documents also discusses update to nutrient content claims to make them consistent to the proposed FOP labelling and revising the current high-intensity sweetener regulations to align with those seen in international regulatory agencies around the world.

The current consultation has just recently closed on January 13th, 2017, though further consultations are planned again in June 2017.

dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand.

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article






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Census of Agriculture – What will the data tell us?

Posted on February 08 2017 | Author: Emily Hartwig

In order to develop effective and successful polices, regulators require extensive and highly detailed data. In the case of the Canadian agricultural policy, federal and provincial regulators rely on the statistical portrait created by the Census of Agriculture every 5 years. The goal of the census is to collect a comprehensive data set of Canadian farms and agricultural operators, including information covering major commodities, livestock, finances and new technologies.

Why the Census?

The Census of Agriculture data is collected on an individual basis and allows for a comprehensive view into the attributes and nuances that are unique to each farm community across Canada. The importance of the census cannot be overstated. The data is collected directly from those who will be most impacted by any resulting regulatory changes and thus enables industry to influence change and help shape the future of Canadian agriculture. As a result, all members of the agriculture community have the potential to benefit: farm operators will be able to formulate production, marketing and investment decisions; producer groups will be made aware of new industry trends and developments, and governments will be able to develop efficient and effective policies concerning agriculture.  

                             

 

New industries, new questions.

While every census includes certain basic questions, the most recent Census of Agriculture included questions pertaining to several new interest areas: the adoption of technology, direct marketing, on-farm practices and land features, land inputs, and renewable energy systems. These new sections of the census were added to reflect the ever-evolving nature of the agricultural industry as well as how farmers and agricultural operators are adapting. One can safely assume that any new policy introduced as a result of the census may include information pertaining to these new interest areas in Canadian agriculture.

With the rise of agri-technology, such as drones and precision agriculture, those affiliated with the agriculture industry will have a better insight into the long awaited structured and well-defined regulations.

The areas of conservation and sustainability efforts will likely begin to see these practices incorporated into regulation. Sustainable practices are not novel across the Canadian agricultural landscape but have become a hot topic as of late, and with its inclusion in the census, federal and provincial governments are starting to take note.

Questions regarding renewable energy systems also appeared in the census, and industry players may benefit from the data, encouraging the growth of sustainable business models and development of efficient market strategies.

The 2016 Census of Agriculture will begin to be released to the public May 10, 2017. 

 

Emily Hartwig
Analyst

Source: Statistics Canada – Census of Agriculture

Photo Credit: Static Pexels






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