Friday, December 13, 2013

How Google Apps and Gmail Image Caching Affects Marketing Emails

MailChimp has done a good job clarifying the confusion on the impact of Google's recent change to how images embedded in emails are displayed. Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo, for example, misunderstood the impact of the change but has since revised his article with updated information.

Many of our customers use MailChimp or Constant Contact for email marketing since they integrate beautifully with Norada's Solve360 CRM and other CRM solutions. MailChimp also integrates with Google Apps so that you don't need to remember yet another password and can better protect your account with Google's free two-factor authentication.

Google Apps and Gmail accounts represent about 475 million users worldwide.

The key points are:
  • The tracking of unique opens of marketing emails by Gmail web interface users is improved by this Google Gmail change.
  • The tracking of repeat opens by recipient is defeated by the image caching used by Gmail for web interface users.
  • Gmail users that access their email via POP or IMAP clients like Outlook, native iPhone mail, etc., are not affected by the change since the client software opens the images.
  • The privacy of Gmail and Google Apps users is greatly improved by the change since your own computer's IP address, which can disclose your physical location, as well as browser and version, operating system, and more, is no longer disclosed to the sender by the unique images embedded in emails by all the leading email marketing software solutions.
Certainly reach out to us at if you'd like to learn more about this change.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BlackBerry is repositioning itself as a device management company—but is already being beaten by Google

BlackBerry recently published an open letter to its "valued enterprise customers and partners," to remind everyone that they "are very much alive, thank you." The newly-minted CEO, John Chen, makes an important—and telling—concession to the "new" mobile computing landscape: recognizing "that BlackBerry devices are not for everyone."

Unfortunately BlackBerry devices are losing ground faster than ever according to data released by Gartner last month. BlackBerry now sits at a mere 1.8% of the global smartphone market, compared with 5.2% at the same time last year.

As a result of their declining sales of smartphones to end users, BlackBerry is beginning to reposition itself to focus on a handful of what it sees as key areas: enterprise mobile management (EMM) solutions and embedded systems, as well as cross-platform instant messaging (BBM).

It's not hard to see why BlackBerry sees the need to pivot away from what has traditionally been its strength, but unfortunately it's pivoting straight into a marketplace where it's pricing itself out of contention. BlackBerry's enterprise management capability revolves around the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES), a software package that requires you to either manage an on-site server or pay for hosting one in the cloud, in addition to the $19 per year management fee. Add to that the fact that the newest version of BES (10.2) can't manage BlackBerry devices running older versions of the BlackBerry operating system and you need to double your server count just to be able to manage both generations of devices.

As if all that wasn't enough, the $19 license fee is charged per device, so if you have two devices, each one of them needs its own license fee. And who doesn't have a smartphone and a tablet these days? In fact, a Sophos survey says consumers are carrying an average of 2.9 mobile devices each.

Google Apps for Business and Education includes bring-your-own-device (BYOD) security for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 10 in the $50 per user per year price tag—which includes activation on an unlimited number of mobile devices. We've tested management of BlackBerry 10 devices from the Google Apps console and it provides remote wipe and monitoring capabilities just as it would for any other device. There's really no need for a BES.

For about $12 more per year than two BES device fees per user, you can have an all-in-one, cloud-based productivity suite that includes BYOD management features and can replace your Exchange, Lotus Notes, or other email and documents solution. Sticking with BlackBerry means you're on the receiving end of all the IT headaches involved with patching, securing, and managing yet another server (or two!).

All of us at Interlock IT live close to BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo and sincerely hope that they can find a successful market niche. BES 10.2 does have some advanced security features not found in other products. But the BYOD market is a highly competitive space already well-covered by giants like Google so BlackBerry has a tall, competitive mountain to climb.

Does anybody remember Palm?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

As Windows XP and Exchange 2003 approach end of life, Google Apps can fill the gap

Microsoft's Windows XP is one of the most successful operating systems ever released, selling over 400 million licenses during its lifetime. When coupled with Exchange 2003, the two systems were hugely profitable for Microsoft. Businesses simply don't want to move away from products that still work well. However, after over twelve years of powering many of the world’s computers, Windows XP and Exchange Server 2003 will officially retire on April 8th, 2014.  This means that security patches will no longer be released by Microsoft leaving your Windows XP computers more susceptible to attacks, vulnerabilities, and other nasties.

However, Google has committed to support Chrome on Windows XP until at least April of 2015. Since unpatched browser bugs are often used by attackers to infect computers, this is great news for the millions of users still using Windows XP.

As of November 2013, Windows XP still accounts for a whopping 31.2% of desktop operating systems worldwide. Unfortunately no solid numbers are available for Exchange 2003's market share, but in March of this year The Radicati Group released its report, “Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Outlook Market Analysis, 2013-2017” which pegs overall Exchange usage at 51% of email systems in the Business Email and Collaboration market.

Google Apps for Business provides a powerful alternative to any Exchange Server or Outlook email system and relieves the pressure of constantly having to upgrade by doing all the heavy lifting for you. You're always on the newest version of Google Apps and you never have to worry about upgrading servers or micro-managing a fleet of incompatible devices, as nearly any device with a web browser will work.

So if you're near the end of Exchange Server 2003's life cycle, why not boost your company's productivity with Google Apps for Business? Contact us today to find out why Google Apps is the right fit for you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Introducing the new Google bar and restoring Single Sign On (SSO) for Marketplace Apps

Google Apps is a constantly-evolving suite of the best web applications for businesses. As part of their quest to always make everything just a little bit better, Google recently rolled out a new navigation option that replaces the old Google bar.
The new Google bar.
The new app launcher replaces the traditional black navigation bar with a simple grid that is designed to keep the experience consistent across Android, Chrome OS, and the web. The complaint we've heard is that you now need at least one extra click and sometimes two in order to get to services that you used to be able to get to very quickly. As well, all your Google Apps Marketplace applications are hidden under the grey "More" link. We've had multiple customers contact us saying the links have simply disappeared, because it's not immediately obvious where they might be.

Not a big fan of the new navigation system? Not to worry! There is a way to avoid all the hunting, and it involves taking advantage of the excellent Bookmark Bar in the Chrome web browser. If you're using Chrome, press Ctrl+Shift+B (on Windows and Chrome OS) or ⌘-Shift-B (on a Mac) to show or hide the bar; you'll see it appear or disappear beneath the address bar if you've done it right. To add a bookmark to this bar, follow the instructions below (these show you how to add a single sign-on bookmark for Solve360):
  1. Click the Chrome menu button () on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager. You can also get to the Bookmark manager by using the hotkey Ctrl+Shift+O (on Windows and Chrome OS) or ⌘-Shift-O (on a Mac).
  4. Right-click on Bookmark bar in the left-hand navigation pane and click Add page....
  5. Name it Solve360 and paste this URL: (where is replaced with your primary domain name).
  6. Press Enter. You're done!
Now you'll have one-click access to Solve360 from anywhere in your browser, not just from your inbox. You can also hold down Shift while you click the bookmark to open it in a new window, and Ctrl+Click or click with your middle mouse button to open it in a new tab.

You can configure the same functionality for other services, such as FreshBooks ( and Xero (

All you need is the URL that the service redirects to as soon as you click a link. Need help finding out exactly what that is? Contact us and we can do all the heavy lifting for you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Generating quotes with Google Apps Script and Solve360

Norada's Solve360 CRM is a low cost but very fully-featured cloud-based CRM, and while it integrates deeply with Google Apps, it still needs some custom work every now and then to unlock its full potential. Luckily, we can offer it a helping hand by leveraging the Solve360 API and Google Apps Script.

Rick Klassen of Klassen Specialty Hydraulics contacted us at to see if we could streamline the "tedious" quoting system that they had been using: searching for a similar quote, editing it manually to reflect the new requirements, and then saving it to a new folder on a local server, all followed by opening a spreadsheet that doubled as a database and adding the details of the new quote. And forget about trying to create a new quote from a mobile device or when you were out of the office!

We found that with a bit of custom work, we could make Rick's life much easier, and that's exactly what we did. Here's how.

To start, we need to establish the conditions that allow Solve360 and Google Apps to talk to each other--we want to automate repetitive things, so an activity template is used in Solve360. We insert it, and kick off the first of two scripts by clicking "Create new quote":

Insert an activity template to get started.
Now we can use Google Forms to gather the information we need.

The first stage of our quote generator. This particular utility has a number of these pages, with various branches of logic.

Once the user submits the Google Form, the second script is executed. The second script processes the latest submission, reading it from the spreadsheet in which Google Form submissions are saved, and performs a number of actions on it. In a later blog post, we'll detail exactly how some of the scripts work.
The user receives the above email and in one click can view the completed quote, an excerpt of which is below. It's a live Google Document so the user can continue to make changes to the quote.

Finally, the Solve360 record for the contact is once more updated. This time we can see that the script has added two follow-ups with different dates, created a direct link back to the above Google Document so it can be reached quickly and easily, and inserted an Opportunity record that allows you to track the progress of the deal as it moves forwards.

Here are the final activities that the script adds to the Solve360 record.
As Rick told us, "We have a powerful and flexible solution that not only saves time in the quote creation process, but takes care of the data entry, management, and even reminds our sales people to follow up - all automatically." Creating quotes can now be done from anywhere with an internet connection, and everyone who needs access has it right away.

"These days my colleagues and I can create quotes in a snap (from desktop or mobile), and we each get an email whenever a new quote has been created so we can collaborate on it in real-time, then send it to the customer. This can all happen in a matter of minutes from start to finish."

All this is done in the background, completely transparently to the user, and takes the hard work out of creating quotes, leaving you to focus on the important things—like closing the deal.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The future of malware - Google Apps protects you

In the last few weeks, a relatively new "ransomware" package has been making its way through the world's computer systems, spreading via email. The email messages where the malware lives appear to come from legitimate sources (banks, accountants, and more) but are really just highly sophisticated phishing messages.

Of course, your best course of action if you aren't expecting a message to have an attachment is always to not open that attachment and instead call the sender directly to verify it. While Google has very, very good spam and phishing detection, it's not perfect, and the last line of defense is you.

The message you'll see once your files are encrypted.
The malware, called CryptoLocker, works by scanning your computer and any network shares for a huge variety of files, including Office documents, pictures, PDFs, and Outlook PST files, among others, and then encrypting them with a nigh-unbreakable 2048-bit RSA encryption key. Once the encryption process is complete, you'll be presented with the message above, demanding a $300 payout to unlock your files and warning you that attempting to remove the software will immediately destroy the private key stored on the remote server.

According to a number of posters on a month-old reddit thread detailing the malware, paying the $300 ransom does work and you will be provided with a key that will decrypt all your files.

The advantage of Google Apps

But it would be much easier to simply not have to worry about this kind of thing at all, wouldn't it? Thankfully, Google Apps protects you from this kind of attack by blocking the sending or receiving of any and all .exe files, even those contained in archived zip files. The best defense is, as always, staying vigilant, but it's nice to know that you don't have to worry about opening any suspicious .exe files, since Google stops them from ever getting to you.

Can your current email system do that? If it can't, it might be time to consider switching to one that allows you to focus on the important things and not worry about whether or not every message you receive contains a hidden malware payload.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

SMBs use multi-clouds to ramp up customer service

Mike Zafiris, an team member, is quoted in the article "SMBs use multi-clouds to ramp up customer service" on Tech Page One, a technology blog from the Dell editorial team.

The article explains some of the general advantages of using cloud computing for businesses, as well as a specific use case for field technicians (something we've helped out other clients with).

Check it out here:

Friday, August 2, 2013

What is the most common reason for a Google Apps Gmail outage?

Answer:  The failure of your Domain Name Server (DNS) host.

This morning subsidiaries of EIG which are Bluehost, Hostgator, Hostmonster, and JustHost completely failed affecting some of our customers.  As of 5 pm Eastern time today, 12 hours later, millions of EIG customers effectively still don't exist on the internet.  No email, websites, or anything that connects over the internet to will work for EIG customers.

Domain Name Servers (DNS) are the telephone directory of the Internet and are required to translate domain names like into an ip address.  When DNS fails sending email servers can't lookup the location of the Google Apps email servers to deliver your emails.

A coincidence, but another Google Apps customer was down for most of yesterday because DNS hosted at their small IT consulting firm failed.  We had recommending moving the DNS hosting for higher reliability 6 months ago.  Today we switched them to to avoid future issues. did have an outage in 2012 but this has happened only once in the 4 years we've been working with them.

GoDaddy's control panel for changing settings is user friendly and the modifications propagate quickly meaning we can complete our work on behalf of customers faster. Many DNS hosts have horrible control panel user interfaces and take many hours to push changes to the internet.  Many others amazingly don't support SPF, DKIM, or DMARC entries which are required to take advantage of Google Apps security measures for sending emails and blocking spoofing.

Here are our recommendations related to domain registrations and DNS:
  • Use or which are the official Google domain name registration partners and the world's largest Domain Registrars by Total Domains. is a good option too.
  • Do not transfer your DNS (also known as name servers or NS records) from one of these partners to a separate website hosting company.  Just change the pointers/ip addresses for the website in your zone file and don't change the Name Server records (NS)
  • Never allow your IT consulting company to transfer/register your organization's domain name in their company name.  If a Whois lookup shows something other than your name in Registrant Name or Registrant Organization get this changed right away because legally you don't own your own domain.  If the Registrant becomes unavailable or uncooperative you have the nightmare situation of losing control of your own domain name and website.
  • Retain the username and password for your account at and so that you can provide access to consultants and service providers as needed.  Too often we can't fix an emergency problem or get started on a project because the holder of the keys to the DNS is unavailable.
  • For the ultimate in reliability we can configure your DNS at two different hosting companies.  This way both hosts must fail to experience an outage.
The Internet was designed to be highly resilient to failures.  It just requires configuring things the right way to avoid issues.  Certainly contact us at if we can be of assistance.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Google+ SEO and the New Google+ Related Pages Widget in Gmail

In December 2012, Google+ overtook Twitter for the #2 spot among social networks, with 343 million active monthly users. YouTube, Google's famous video-sharing site, ranks third, with 300 million active monthly users. Together, these two sites boast over 700 million active monthly users. Wouldn't it be nice to tap into 700 million users?

With the new Google+ related pages widget in Gmail, you now canprovided you meet a few important criteria. Most small-to-medium sized businesses we've encountered who have already deployed Google Apps haven't had it done by Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists, which means they're generally missing SPF spam prevention and DKIM message authentication. This not only leaves your domain open to spammers and fails to prevent spoofing, but now it also means that your Google+ page can't help you fight your way to the top of Google Search Engine results.

Recently, Google rolled out a new Google+ feature that ties into Google Apps email: related pages. When a contact opens an email from you in Gmail or Google Apps, they have the ability to see at-a-glance your latest activity on Google+, the ability to +1 posts, follow your page, and more. All this capability, though, hinges on your Google+ page and Google Apps accounts being properly configured.

Linking your website to your Google+ profile is the first step, and something few businesses have done. This step is fairly easy and helps slightly with your search results, but more important are the email domain protection of SPF and DKIM authentication.

SPF is easy to implement but unfortunately just as easy to implement incorrectly, which is the state we often find it in. SPF helps other email systems identify where your email messages are allowed to come from and whether or not a particular message actually came from there. Without this, spammers can "spoof" your domain name and send email that appears as though it comes from your company's domain.

DKIM works like SPF but takes the authentication up another notch by integrating your domain's DNS records with email. You generate a unique 1,024-bit "key" that is added to every email message you send from your domain while mail servers that receive messages from your company compare the key on the message to the key in the DNS records. If the two match, the message is cleared and will hit your inbox; if the two don't match, the message is marked as spam and treated as such. A handy side-effect of DKIM authentication is that recipients of your emails will no longer need to click "Display images" on your messages. Since Google knows that your message came from you, this anti-spam tactic isn't required.

Google+ makes its impact not simply because it's also a Google product, but because Google can gather more information on users than what would come from using a browser cookie—now it can track someone's location, age, industry, and most importantly, their interests. With Google+, Google can even better personalize search engine results based on the additional information provided by a user's +1's, sharing, and posts.

By building a powerful Google+ network, you have the opportunity to directly affect the personalized search results of thousands of people in your extended network. The more interaction you have with users and followers on Google+, the more likely it is that your page and website will rank higher in Google Search Engine results.

The Google+ Related Pages Widget makes it simple for your contacts to follow you on Google+ leading to increased Google Search Engine page rank and visibility. Ultimately, this leads to more prospects and customers for your business!

Contact us at so that our team of Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists can configure the Related Pages Widget on your Google Apps domain.

Friday, May 24, 2013 team member becomes a Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist

Over 6,000 partner organizations are implementing Google Apps around the world.

Only a small fraction of Google Apps partners have staff that have passed the stringent Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist exam. is pleased to be able to further differentiate ourselves in the Google Apps Marketplace by adding a third Certified Deployment Specialist to our team. currently maintains an elite status as one of only two Google Apps Premier Authorized Resellers based in Canada.

Deploying Google Apps is what we love to do!

Does your current provider have any Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists on staff?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chromebooks for customers, employees, students, and guests in Canada

We've been using our new Samsung Chromebook for about a month now and it has become our favourite road device and preferred "Let Me Google That" tool. With an 8 second cold boot time, over 6 hours of battery life, and secure access for employees and guests, it's the perfect business and personal cloud productivity device. Today, Chromebooks have been enhanced for simple public kiosk use. For more details visit: Chromebook kiosks for customers and employees.

Public users leave no trace behind and IT managers have no viruses or malware to worry about. Starting at a price of $249.99 (on sale for $229.99 until May 2!) at Best Buy or Future Shop, it's a very cost effective business or family computing solution.

A Google Apps domain is not required to use them but certainly having one gives you enhanced administration and control over the devices deployed across your organization. For example, you can centrally configure the passwords for WiFi hot-spots your employees may access. For more details, take a look at Google's documentation on Managing Chrome Devices.

In Canada, Alberta School boards are fans and have deployed over 3,400 Chromebooks so far. Our customers that have already eliminated servers from their premises and moved to the cloud are ready to go!

The cost savings of Chromebooks add up quickly when you consider the alternative of buying a Windows netbook, Microsoft Office, antivirus, and a Windows Server (domain controller) to centrally manage passwords and computer policies. Yet on Windows devices, you are still at risk unless you encrypt the hard drive. Windows with Microsoft Office or Outlook store oodles of confidential email and other documents on your notebook hard drive that is easy to access if it falls into the wrong hands. With a Chromebook, you can still store email and documents offline for updating while on a plane but it's stored in an encrypted format and the built in secure boot features ensure that your data stays secure. Plus, it is easy for administrators to remotely wipe a Chromebook, leaving no trace of the data that was on the machine.

Contact us at to learn more and to determine if Chromebooks are a good fit for your organization!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Using Google Apps with the BlackBerry Z10: Device Administration and Remote Wiping

The new BlackBerry Z10 brings a number of great new features to the plate for enterprise users, all without the need for costly BlackBerry Enterprise Server hardware or BlackBerry Mobile Fusion licenses. These costs aren't insignificant; BlackBerry Mobile Fusion costs $99/device/year. If you want to manage a phone and tablet you pay twice or $198/user/year.  Compare that to Google Apps which costs $50/user/year with no per device fees.

In our last post, we showed you how easy it is to set up a brand new BlackBerry Z10 to work with your Google Apps domain. Thanks to the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and the continually-improving functionality of Google Apps, it's now easier than ever to manage all your mobile devices from one centralized location.

In your standard Google Apps for Business Mobile Device settings, you will be presented with a screen similar to the following:

Click to enlarge.
On this page, you'll see all the mobile devices currently registered to each user in your organization. The last one is what we're particularly interested in, as that is our fancy new BlackBerry Z10. (Note: it's listed as Unknown/Unknown here because we took these screenshots very soon after the device's launch. It now shows up correctly as a BlackBerry Z10.) Clicking the Device ID will bring you to the device's current status page, where you'll be able to see such information as the first time the device synced to Google's system, the last time it did, its current state, the user's name and email addresses which are delivering mail to the phone, as well as some more technical information.

BlackBerry 10 device properties
Click to enlarge.
Alternatively, if you have a large number of mobile devices, it may be easier to get to the one that you need through the user's control panel settings. Simply scroll down to the bottom and you will see the mobile devices the user has registered with his/her account.

Click to enlarge.
Through either of these control panel screens, you have the option to wipe the device. This will wipe all data from the device and restore it to factory settings. You will be presented with a fairly standard warning screen when you choose to wipe the device, at which time you will either confirm or cancel the wipe process.

And that's it! Nice and simple device administration, without the need for any additional hardware or software.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Using Google Apps with the BlackBerry Z10: Syncing Email, Contacts and Calendar

Google Sync now officially supports BlackBerry 10 devices, so this workaround is no longer necessary. To see updated instructions, click here.

As you can imagine, being a Google Apps reseller means we here at get to experience all the joys (and challenges) of dealing with a vast array of different mobile devices.  The newest kid on the block is the BlackBerry Z10, which just so happens to be BlackBerry's first smartphone to support Microsoft ActiveSync.  Unfortunately, much like its iOS and Windows Phone relatives, the Z10 does not differentiate a Gmail account from a Google Apps account, so it needs a little hand-holding to make use of these new available features.  Follow this guide to ensure your new Z10 is syncing your email, contacts and calendar with your Google Apps account.  Let's jump right in!

First, access the System Settings menu and select Accounts.

Next, click the Advanced button at the very bottom of the screen.

Choose Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.

Fill in Description with what you'd like the account to be called on your device.  In the Email Address field, enter your full email address.  In the Domain and Username fields, simply split your email address in the same way shown here. 

Put your Google Apps password in the Password field, and use the server address of on port 443.  Turn both SSL and Push on, but leave VPN off.  You may also choose the Sync Timeframe, which determines how much email content to keep on your device.

Finally,  you may choose which items to sync to your device from your Google Apps account.  Unfortunately you can not sync Tasks and Memos with Google Apps at this time.

Hit Done, and the Z10 will verify your settings, add your account, and begin syncing!

Breathe a sigh of relief while reflecting upon the days of yore, filled with calls to your service provider to reset your BlackBerry Internet Service password.  As you can see, BlackBerry has the beginnings of a winner with the Z10; let's hope they keep it up!

To find out more about and what moving to the cloud can do for your business, visit us at

Thanks to +Nicolay Doytchev for the screenshots!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's official: is a Xero Certified Development Partner is currently the only Custom Integration Xero Development Partner in North America!

Xero provides online accounting, bank reconciliation, and invoicing services and integrates with a wide range of powerful software solutions and add-ons.

We have extensive experience building live integrations between Xero and Google Spreadsheets, credit card payment gateways, FreshBooks, Solve360, and more.

Our listing on the Xero website:

For more details visit our website at:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blair Collins from presenting at CMA Ontario's SME 2013: Small Business, Big Success event on January 24th

Re-invigorate and re-charge the way you think about your business. Specially developed for entrepreneurs, SME 2013 will provide you with strategies to grow your small-to-medium business. Its blend of specialized speakers and networking opportunities will provide you the professional insights to take your business to the next level.

For more event details visit:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Get Organized with Google Apps and free web services for 2013

One of the top resolutions for many Canadians is to get organized. Between work life, home life and their social life, people are juggling more and more each year. As schedules become increasingly hectic, staying in control can feel overwhelming at times, but getting organized doesn't have to be a lofty goal.

Frazzled families can finally toss all those paper to-do lists, post-it notes, kitchen calendars, pocket organizers and baskets of bills with the web – and free web services ranging from web calendars that you can share with a spouse or family, to web-based documents that can save your sanity as you plan family events.

The web can take a lot of work out of managing your life.  A free Google account is all you need to get started.  You can take your information with you wherever you are, whether on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Here are just a few ways people can get their lives organized online:
  • Move the kitchen calendar online – See how your spouse’s and kids’ schedules line up with yours by sharing a Google Calendar. Different colours/calendars click on and off to show events for different members of the family, carpool schedules, swimming practices, birthdays etc.
  • Toss out bulky pocket organizers – Have your Google calendar sync automatically to your smart phone calendar or set up text message reminders of calendar events.
  • Create Google Tasks directly from an email with the shortcut Shift + T or by choosing Add to Tasks from the More options menu in your Gmail conversation.  This ensures you won't lose track of the related email content.
  • Organize your expenses for 2013 and keep track of your spending plan on Google Docs Spreadsheets.  You can edit Google Spreadsheets directly from your iPad or Android tablet or of course from any web browser.
  • For a more sophisticated but still free financial planner that automatically retrieves all your transactions from most Canadian banks you can setup the Canadian version of in 10 minutes or less.
  • Google sites is a free tool that lets you build collaborative websites. You can give anyone on your sports team, or PTA group permission to edit or just view the content of the site. You can make the site public or private. Sites makes it easy to embed the latest news updates, contact lists, videos, photos, group calendars and more.
  • On the business side; need to better manage your customer relationships and projects?  Try out Norada Solve360 CRM and give us a ring to show you how it integrates with other solutions for accounting, contacts, calendaring, and email marketing.
Now’s the time to make those New Year’s resolutions a reality!

Some content from: Official Google Canada Blog