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Time Efficiency Hack: Feedly

Posted on June 29 2017 | Author: Johanna Simco

A key component of successfully growing a business is conducting market research. However, keeping up-to-date with industry news, developing social media strategies, investigating competitor activities, and any other kind of research often involves countless Google searches. If only there was a tool to keep all of your favourite sources in one location… Readers, meet Feedly.com!

Feedly is a free RSS tool, meaning that it provides users with headlines from the websites they choose to follow. It allows you to gather, sort, share, and save content, keeping it all in one space. You can follow various sources, such as blogs, news sites, and even podcasts and YouTube accounts. The platform keeps track of the content you have read and saved, maximizing your knowledge gathering efforts. Feedly provides a clean and easy-to-read feed, and offers different layouts to fit your preference (e.g., magazine style, titles only, etc.). Feedly is one of my favourite productivity tools since it saves valuable time when searching for specific content online. Instead of bookmarking numerous websites and opening an overwhelming amount of tabs and windows, I can keep track of the web pages I have visited on one platform. I no longer spend time realizing that I’ve read a certain article already or open a website that doesn’t relate to my interest. Feedly has several useful applications. Here are a few that have made my research process more pleasant:. 

Follow sources: When searching for content, you can either search for specific sources (e.g., The Entrepreneur, Forbes, CBC) or enter keywords in the search bar. If you are interested in a particular subject, such as agriculture, you can perform a search and a list of sources will appear related to the topic. Clicking ‘follow’ next to the source will result in the latest headlines from that source appearing on your feed, giving you easy access to its content. For example, instead of going to the Forbes website and having to actively search for articles of interest, their headlines will be shown in one place, easily recognized.

Organize your content into categories: Now that you have multiple headlines from various sources in your news feed, you may want to organize them into categories. Feedly allows you to label your followed sources so that you can browse specific topics. For example, a user working at an agri-tech start-up may label their website with “Industry News,” “Business Tips,” etc. – customize the content into relevant categories, there are no restrictions! This feature allows you to view articles within a single category, thus making your browsing activity more efficient. However, you still have the option to view all websites if you prefer. By clicking ‘Today’ at the top of the sidebar, you will be provided with current content. These options will appear on the left sidebar (shown to the left).

Save your favourite items: See a headline that caught your eye but want to read later? Tag the article as ‘Read Later’ and enjoy reading it anytime. No more having to make note of the URL or keeping it open in a window, it’ll be kept safe in your Feedly account available on any device. Articles that you have read can be ‘Marked as Read,’ allowing you to track articles you have already seen. You can choose to keep these items in your feed or have them disappear.

With the abundance of information on the Internet, it can be time-consuming to navigate through search results. Feedly has the ability to optimize efficiency during your search activities. It is a true time-saver and makes research—whether for business or everyday purposes—a little more enjoyable.

Happy researching!

Sources:
http://ow.ly/Fg1T30d7urL
http://ow.ly/TDsP30d7unH 

Johanna Simco
Strategic Partnership Assistant






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Task Management Hack: Todoist

Posted on June 16 2017 | Author: Alexandra Coccari

If your job is anything like mine, no two days are the same. Tasks are constantly changing and priorities adjust to accommodate new responsibilities in order to meet deadlines. In this type of environment, it can be very easy to lose track of your timelines and become overwhelmed. In order to maintain my productivity, I use an essential project management tool that often gets overlooked – a simple, but effective, to-do list.

Todoist is my favourite task management app. The layout of the app is simple, clean, and extremely user-friendly. It’s available on all devices including: smartphone, desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. It allows me to visualize assignments, prioritize tasks accordingly, and most importantly meet deadlines. Don’t be fooled – this app has many more capabilities than the traditional to-do list. Here are some tips and tricks on how to navigate Todoist and optimize your productivity:

Break it down: One of the great features of Todoist is the ability to create a task and break it down further into sub-tasks. When completing larger projects, this feature is extremely helpful. For example, the task “complete market research report” may stay on your to-do list for weeks and seem quite daunting. By breaking this project down into sub-tasks such as “gather market reports”, “create template”, or “edit introduction”, it will make the large project seem less intimidating.

Assign due dates: Todoist allows you to assign due dates to certain tasks. Once you assign a deadline for a task, the app will send you a notification the day the task is due to remind you to complete it. This can be extremely useful if you have numerous deadlines and need assistance managing your time effectively. Additionally, you can modify when Todoist sends you notifications. For example, if you want to be reminded to complete the market report due on Friday at the beginning of the week, just adjust the notification settings in the app.

Create recurring tasks: If you have tasks that you have to complete weekly, Todoist allows you to create recurring tasks. For myself, updating our database is a task that I should complete bi-weekly, however it often slips my mind. Thus, I created a recurring task to “update the database” in the Todoist app. Simply type in “Update the database every other Friday” and Todoist will remind me to complete the task bi-weekly.

Prioritize: This is my favourite feature on the Todoist app. This allows you to manage your time effectively according to due dates and level of importance. You can drag and drop each task in the order in which you’d like to complete them; categorize the tasks by colour, and group high, moderate, and low priority tasks together. This feature has helped me visualize what responsibilities need to be addressed immediately and complete them before their deadlines.  

Visualize your productivity: I find this last feature very unique. It allows you to review your previous tasks and visualize how many assignments you’ve completed on any given day. Looking back at my productivity motivates me to complete more tasks than the day before and also allows me to stay focused.

In my professional opinion, having an ongoing to-do list is essential. It helps me remember all aspects of a project that needs to be completed and most importantly, it keeps me focused. Whether you use to-do lists in your everyday life, at work, or both, I would suggest checking “Download Todoist” off your list.

Sources:
http://ow.ly/asYv30cEHXU
http://ow.ly/QRxn30cEI3J

Alexandra Coccari
Analyst, Food & Food Systems






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A last-minute reprieve for email marketers: government suspends private right of action for breach of anti-spam laws

Posted on June 09 2017 | Author: Admin

Privacy and access to information

Since 2014, we have followed the development of Canada's anti-spam legislation (the Act or CASL)1, often described as the most stringent of its kind in the world. On July 1, 2017, the final set of CASL articles was to come into force, most notably providing for a private right of action (the PRA) to remedy contraventions of the Act.2 On June 7, 2017, citing mounting pressure from businesses and charities, the Government of Canada suspended the implementation of the PRA pending a further parliamentary review.

The private right of action

At present, contraventions of CASL are only actionable by the relevant regulators. On July 1, however, the new PRA remedy would have allowed any individual (or class of individuals) to bring a claim alleging contraventions relating to sending commercial electronic messages and installing computer programs under CASL, as well as contraventions of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act dealing with consent or authorization for collecting information and of Section 74.011 of the Competition Act (deceptive marketing practices for electronic messages).

Significant potential civil exposure

The PRA provided for two heads of damages for contravention of any of the above provisions, either or both of which may be claimed:

• damages for actual loss or;
• up to $200 per contravention, up to a maximum of $1 million per day regardless of whether any loss has been suffered.

In addition to the corporate entity or individual directly responsible for the contravention, the PRA would have allowed actions to be brought against officers, directors and agents if they were somehow complicit – even where the corporate entity itself is not named. Given that few individuals would have suffered actual damages, the expectation was that breaches would give rise to class actions claiming the maximum $200 statutory penalty for each individual consumer who received a non-compliant email. The potential exposure to businesses under the PRA was very significant.

A welcome reprieve … for now

Many commentators and businesses had expressed concern about the PRA, arguing the lack of any need to prove actual damages could result in liability entirely disproportionate to the harm suffered (if any). The government has announced it supports a “balanced approach” in the review and reconsideration of the PRA by Parliament. It remains to be seen whether that review will result in a solution that assuages the current concerns of industry. 

 

By: D. Michael Brown

 

Article Provided By: Norton Rose Full Bright

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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Tips for staffing a start-up in agri-tech

Posted on June 01 2017 | Author: Jessica Bowes

Hiring the first few employees is a big step for early stage businesses. Expanding the team could mean that the founder recognizes they can’t do everything by themselves or that they don’t have the necessary skills or experience for a specific aspect of the business. Or, maybe a new perspective is needed in order to grow.

Whatever the reason, fundamentally it will ultimately change the business by increasing bandwidth. If you can find the right person, suddenly you will be able to do more, faster.

So, how do ensure that you’re hiring the right person?

Know what you want and where you are willing to compromise. Keeping the stage of the company in mind, conduct thorough research on what the role will look like. Also, think about what kind of talent is needed today, 1 year out, 3 years out, and even 5 years out. It might be helpful to benchmark other companies in key areas.  Are you looking for someone with specific skills? Knowledge? Experience? What are critical skills for success: domain experience or behavioural/personal attributes? The reality is, having it all is usually not an option.

Cast a wide net. Recruit far and wide, searching in adjacent sectors or even geographical locations. Narrow the list through successive assessments. And, if you can afford it, work with sector-specific job sites, new-graduate programs, and talent acquisition firms. And, don’t forget to use your network!

Hire for potential, not just past experiences. Look for someone who has a strong interest or passion for causes that are similar to yours and the company vision. Whether it be a technical doer, an impact player with a unique set of skills (e.g. R&D manager), or a star performer who will achieve greatness no matter the task, try and find someone with a combination of skills and passion.

If possible, have everyone on the team interview the strongest candidates. Typically, an entrepreneurial team is made up of passionate people with very different personalities and work styles; so take the time for everyone to meet the star candidates. And don’t be afraid to have multiple interviews to ensure the new person will fit in well with the existing team. Establishing a productive working dynamic right from the get-go is crucial!

What you want won’t likely come cheap. Do your research to find out what the market is currently paying. If you hold out for your salary max, you may have to lower expectations. And remember, candidates are always looking for a step-up in compensation from their current situation.

For start-ups in the agri-technology sectors, there are some valuable recruiting resources and talent partners for consideration when it’s time to grow your team.

 

Kincannon & Reed

Kincannon & Reed, one of Bioenterprise’s corporate partners, is a retained executive search firm engaged by organizations around the world to recruit impact players in the food, agribusiness, and life sciences sectors. Unlike many “international” search firms, the company operates as a single office with multiple locations. Ideas, contacts, insights are freely exchanged among the principals and researchers globally. This enterprise-wide collaborative approach translates into a competitive edge for clients.

BioTalent Canada

As the HR partner of Canada’s bio-economy, BioTalent Canada focuses on building partnerships and skills to ensure the industry has access to job-ready people. Through projects, research and product development, BioTalent Canada connects employers with job seekers, delivers human resource information and skills development tools so the industry can focus on strengthening Canada’s biotech business.  For employers, there is The PetriDish job board for posting opportunities and a few different wage subsidy programs to support hiring new graduates or employees with disabilities.

AgCareers.com

The AgCareers.com mission is to provide global talent solutions in agriculture and food by offering employers talent attraction solutions, a high-calibre human resources conference, compensation benchmarking, talent pipeline development, and much more.

If you would like more information or to make contact with any of the organizations listed above, and/or some assistance developing your staffing strategy please contact Jessica Bowes, Manager of Bioenterprise’s Analyst Team at jessica.bowes@bioenterprise.ca.

 

Sources:

Wightman, J. (2016). The search is over [Kincannon & Reed Powerpoint slides]. Available upon request.

Koloc, N. (date). 7 Keys to Hiring Your Start-up’s First Employee. [Web log post]. Retrieved May 1, 2017, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-keys-to-hiring-your-startups-first-employee

https://stock.adobe.com/ca

 

Jessica Bowes
Manager, Business & Technology Analyst Group






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