So you’re either working from a home office or you’re thinking about it … or you’re just randomly reading this cus I tweeted it or something :)
I’ve now been working from a home office for a few years. Before this I tried to do part work from home / part working in the office and it worked fine. I actually ended up being a LOT more productive from home so long as you can make the distinction between home life and working life when working from home. Until now I’ve never had an actual proper home office setup there had always been something there.
I moved over with my wife to Madrid in August 2009, I had taken office space in February/March of last year when I finally decided hello I’m going mad can I have a p please bob. I found a like minded soul Jason Roe and we went looking at office spaces around the place. The time was RIPE for it. The recession was kicking in and people were thrilled to find there was some interest. (Honestly the amount of office spaces for rent I’ve seen I’m just surprised prices weren’t cheaper). In the end after having looked at various places and considered setting up our own co-working space we found a place. Nice location (very nice dead center of Dublin .. well Dublin 2 and right beside FF Headquarters). We moved into the office of Pix.ie and ended up sharing the space with them. There was another arrival Angel of Bohoe and then we were four. It seriously made such a change to my working live. Getting up / having a purpose / having a place to go / having an actual office where I could invite clients… completely AMAZING .. deciding to head for a pint or lunch the normal for most people but WOW. Then came the news in July that my wife Valérie-Anne had a new job in Madrid and we were going moving. I’d spent a long weekend there already and fell in love with the city … so my immediate response was …. O … K …. when do we move :D (I’ll revert to my previous time now … I’d worked from home in Galway … I worked from home in Dublin …) The common denominator in both places were … they were bedrooms. They included Beds / Wardrobes and honestly after 3 years … it really is about the feng shui of the place. I moved to Madrid and well I realised I couldn’t go on using the laptop / table tops and so on (sure the cat was happy out but I wasn’t being the most productive) Thus beings my trips to IKEA!!!
IKEA = The land of the home office. If you’re on a budget and you want something that looks the Shiny then IKEA is your stop. I ended up buying a desk. It went with the office chair in the apartment and hey presto I had a semi proper home office … but no. We’re still not there yet I had dismantled the bed and stored it away but the mattress being a thing of bulk was left there. Now this is where things boil down to the Feng Shui of the place … its just not right … its the office but its not. Fast Forward 4 months and my wife is laid off. A bit of an oh **** situation where one goes oh .. so … erm .. yeah … about that… do we move .. do we stay!
Well we’ve opted to stay she has gone into French Freelance Translation having worked 6 or 7 years now with various translation companies full time.
The last few weeks has seen us convert the spare bedroom / office into whats mostly a proper office.
Buy 2nd Desk – Check
Buy 2nd Chair – Check (and its a rather nice one pictures to follow)
Buy External Monitor – Check (before you use 2 or 3 monitors it seems like a nice to have once you use it … its a major time saver)
Buy Lamp – Check
Buy 3rd Chair – Well the original one I had was a hand me down left there that I never bothered to replace so now I’m setup in a rather shiny Karsten from IKEA very comfy and I’m a happy camper
Buy Printer / Scanner – Its annoying as I’ve multiples in Ireland but it had to be done and shipping and scanners = not good
Buy 3rd Counter Top for said printer / scanner
And hey presto we’ve got our office setup … two work spaces … lack of non work items …shelve units as well. Is it good for business?
The answer is incredibly … getting up now and going into the office is great its no longer getting up and going into the place I’m going to work from. It feels right. We’ve both got individual lighting. We’ve got our own chairs that we picked (probably one of the most important things) Valérie-Anne’s chair was around the 150 mark … her desk was around the 30 quid mark. I on the other hand went with the expensive desk and he cheaper chair at 70 quid.
All in all its a good feeling … having your own space / place to work from and I’d heartily recommend it if you can. Spend the day dismantling a room and putting together your office furniture. Get rid of the extra crud in your work space and enjoy your home office setup.
Get yourself something fun for the desktop a mascot a keepsake something that makes you smile. Get yourself a sound system if you want and are working alone. And if you’re in a home office get yourself a Pet (if you think you’ll be around a while) they are such a great stress relief.
So there you have it Part I of the home office setup.
I installed the Hybrid Theme Framework the other day and must admit it took me a little while to realise what was going on with it. Once I did however I immediately threw the man the 25 quid subscription fee for access to the forums. Why Pay ? well he’s putting a lot of work into it so he might as well get something back. 25 dollars equates to 17 euro so I’m happy to help and getting support to questions in a timely manner is a major plus for me (he’s rather active on the forums on there as he should be)
So you’re here and you’re probably seeing blue .. a whole lot of blue. Don’t worry it was intentional :) The design is based on my work site though obviously different colours. (I’ve another site design / branding to do with the same style as this shortly for another personal project … consistency and code re-use should be good). I had wanted to do some retro style design that I was tinkering and playing around with in my head on here but in the end I said screw it. The logo is similar to an earlier version I had on the site with slightly updated colours.
So why not let me know what you think add a comment give some feedback. As with most of my personal projects its going to be a Work in Progress.
Pardon the pun of my post title but I thought it appropriate after staring at construction terminalogy the last few days.
So I was approached to do a simple enough move of hosting and a few updates on a website for Deeside Building and this turned into them changing branding / company to Devine Building. They were happy enough with their existing logo and colours but I made a few suggestions and one thing led to another.
Take their old site and see what I changed.
Now I immediately didn’t like the site. I’m not getting a warm vibe from it .. I’m not getting any professional edge to it. I’m not getting hit with what they do apart from the graphic with the keywords. This would have been fine for me a few years back but once you start to consider what you’re trying to do .. impress end users you’ve to change the way you think slightly.
The site had links to the Recent Projects all listed on the one page so the first thing to do was a bit of a rethink of their branding. Now I think their signage works perfectly well on a construction site but once you move over to a computer I found their colours strange to say the least. I suggested toning it down. Now with sites where you’re trying to highlight a product / photo I find that black is a good colour it works well with warm images. ( Take Safari Club as an example of this ). So keeping their logo (slightly updated with the DEVINE wording) I put it against a black background and changed it to white. The front page of the site while linking to Recent Projects / Available Services / Health and Safety .. wasn’t really doing anything and just adding in an extra click to get to what the customer really wants to see the completed projects. So I opted to include a random display of their recent projects on the front page. The other options are still present in the menu so you’re not really losing anything but we’re now showing some high class construction work on the sites front page. I removed the generic house building image as well from the front page and hey presto you’ve got what I think is a rather nice clean and straight to the point website.
You can see an example re the artifacts here ( I do love photoshop )
And so to the final design. Simple, clean and hopefully to the point and highlighting their construction work.
So my name is James and I make websites. One of those websites is for Blacknight and its Dropped.ie the Dropped .IE domain list. Now even though I’m working on it I’m addicted to it. I just LOVE seeing what domains have dropped and whats available. I’ve even gone and picked up a few of them myself. (Details to follow when I actually get around to launching the projects they are for).
So my post title was about new features … get on with it you say. Well one of the features was described over on the blacknight blog. Semantic “Funky” Search. So basically .com suggested alternatives have been added in but with a slight twist. It’ll give you examples of other domains based on semantic search so if you go and search for espresso for example you’ll get hit with various search terms related to espresso .. and what is an espresso. Its a coffee.
They aren’t premium domains that you can buy from people. They are domains not registered at all. Handy no?
If premium domains are your thing they are listed there as well towards the bottom of your searches. A bit out of my budget for the most part but I dream of finding a great one going cheap at some stage.
So now you’re not just getting dropped .IE domains. You’re getting suggestions on .com domains that are available and premium domains.
Other nice features available are suggested keywords and county keywords.
From an SEO point of view with the .IE domains you can check on their age, history and from archive.org you can see what was previously on the sites.
So any comments / suggestions feel free to make them. Blacknight are open to suggestions and I’m open to challenged with messing about with the system.