Subscribe to Blog via RSS
Search for Events
Recent Blog Articles
- On "Unexpected Napa Valley Wines"
- Robert Parker's Advice to Wine Writers
- Biodynamic Cabernet of Grace from Wise Acre Vineyards
- Back Labels I Can Get Behind
- Napa Valley Premiere - Competitive Juices Yield Record Prices
- Robert Parker Scores and Misses
- 18 Delicious Zinfandels You Need to Try at ZAP
- Awesome Sauvignon Blanc in Santa Ynez Valley
- It's Not Too Late! Downloadable Gifts for Wine Lovers
- 4 Great Gifts for Wine Collectors
- Recapping an Epic Tasting of 1968 Cabernet Sauvignon
- A Blow to the Stomach - SF Chronicle to End Standalone Food Section?
- New Pinot Noir and Cabernet Releases from Sojourn Cellars
- Fervor versus Flavors
- Update: Missing Articles on NorCalWine
- Thoughts on the Inaugural Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA Tasting
- Body Count - On Describing the Body of Wine
- Lateral Moves North
- Enjoy an Epic Tasting of 1968 Napa Valley Cabernets and Other Upcoming Events
- Charles Banks Acquires Historic Qupé Winery In the Santa Maria Valley Appellation
Recent Wines of the Day
- 2010 Gallica Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2011 Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel Lizzy James Vineyard Lodi
- 2006 Santana Supernatural Rosé by Mumm Napa
- 2011 Jekel Riesling Monterey and 2011 Jekel Pinot Noir Santa Barbara
- 2012 Matthiasson Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley
- Review from the Cellar - 2010 Qupé Mourvedre Ibarra-Young Vineyard
- 2012 Tres Sabores Rosé “Ingrid and Julia” Napa Valley
- 2011 Testarossa Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2009 Lucia Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- Review: 2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
- 2008 Vin Roc Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley
- 2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
- 2009 Laetitia Pinot Noir Single Vineyard La Colline Arroyo Grande Valley
- 2010 Lange Twins Chardonnay Estate Grown Clarksburg AVA
- 2012 Borra Vineyards Artist Series Kerner Lodi AVA
- 2010 Wren Hop Pinot Noir “Fire Messenger” Sonoma Coast
- 2011 Lucia Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2011 Roar Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
- 2010 Frostwatch Chardonnay Bennett Valley Sonoma County
- 2007 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Napa Valley
NorCal Wine Blog
8 Excellent and Free Online Tools for Businesses and Individuals
- General Interest
- Written by Fred Swan
- Wednesday, 11 July 2012 16:58
I’m attending this Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) in Napa this week. It’s a conference put together by providers of technology solutions (mostly software) that helps wineries better manage their businesses. Everything from vineyard management to point-of-sale systems are represented.
One of the presentations I found most useful yesterday was on free and low-cost applications for wineries. Geni Whitehouse and James Marshall Berry highlighted at least 30 that were really worthwhile. Only one of them is specifically designed for the wine industry though,VinTank. I’ll look at that in a separate article at some ponit. The tools I'm highlighting today are useful for virtually any person or business.
Eight excellent and free online tools:
Bizmile.com offers a set of business mileage tracking applications. One of the best features is automatic calculation of mileage between places using geo-data. No more guessing when you forget to reset the odometer! It also allows you to quickly record trips after the fact. The “lite” version, which works for up to 1,400 miles per year, is free. However, for very modest fees, Bizmile.com presents both individuals and companies with robust solutios.
Some of the best tools do just one small thing, but do it easily and well. Degraeve.com’s color palette tool is like that. It generates two different five-color palettes based on an image you designate. Palettes of colors that work well together are key when designing websites, glossy brochures or even do-it-yourself holiday cards.
Expensify.com is an online solution for expense reports. It’s not just for one individual’s expenses though. It has mobile apps for recording expenses as they arise and for capturing photos of receipts (which are acceptable to the IRS). The online expense reports can then be approved by managers within Expensify. It also generates reports to help management understand where money is being spent. Expensify synchronizes with QuickBooks and lets you design and export spreadsheets too.
Monitor online mentions of your brand, your own name, or a competitor with Google Alerts. Tell Google Alerts what to watch for. Once a day, you’ll get an email with links to new articles in which the search terms have been found.
Learn how many people visit your website, who are they, where they click in from, what pages they look at, how long they stay, etc. This is essential information for anyone whose business depends on a website. And it’s totally free.
Google Webmaster Tools
Ensure your site is performing properly with respect to links, search engine optimization and page-loading speed.
MailChimp manages your email newsletters and offers. If you have fewer than 2,000 people on your list, you can send up to 12,000 mails per month for free. That includes advanced features like A-B mailings, dynamic delivery of custom content based on merge tags and automatic segmentation using geolocation tools.
Pixler.com is an online photo editor that offers many of Photoshop’s features, but doesn’t cost a dime. You can retouch photos, adjust color balance, apply filters and resize them for web publishing as you would with expensive photo-editing software. It doesn’t batch process or have some of the most cutting-edge tools but is more than adequate for most people.
Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook. Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.
This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.