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7 Top Knitting Apps for Beginners and Experts | MakeUseOf

If there’s something digital technology can help with, you can be sure that there’s a mobile app for it too. This includes knitting, an increasingly popular hobby nowadays, but one with some complicated elements.

Our detailed list of Android software will give you seven handy tools to choose from. Whatever you need, from patterns and row counting help to tutorials, these knitting apps can take your skills and creations to the next level.

1. Knitting Genius

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Anyone with patience and artistic flair can pick up knitting, but every valuable tip that comes your way can help you improve faster. Knitting Genius is the ultimate tool for those just learning the ropes (and knitting is a great arts and crafts activity for kids to learn).

More experienced artists use it just as much to keep their skills sharp.

The app mainly deals in patterns, whether you download them as PDFs from Ravelry and Lovecrafts or create them from scratch. You also get access to free designs that come with easy step-by-step instructions, not to mention several row counters.

Extra thoughtful tools to look forward to include a swatch adapter, units converter, audio instructions, and even the ability to give verbal commands so your hands are free. Knitting Genius is a must-have app for Android.

Talking about Ravelry, if you’re not familiar with it yet, it’s a huge online community for fiber artists with connections to almost every knitting platform and application available. Join the network and you’re set for life with ideas, tools, and friends that share your love of knitting.

Download: Knitting Genius for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

2. Knitting and Crochet Buddy 2

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Among several highly efficient apps open to you, Knitting and Crochet Buddy 2 is one more worth checking out before any others. It tracks and stores your projects, including their measurements, needles, and yarns.

You can share your choice of materials alongside pictures of your creations through WhatsApp, Facebook, and other popular channels. Customize the app’s performance and make it your own with features like sound alerts and sorting preferences.

You actually get more handy tools than with Knitting Genius, including reference charts for abbreviations, needle sizes, yarn care symbols, and measurement guides. Don’t forget the calculator, ruler, and flashlight.

The monthly pro subscription expands all these luxuries for beginners and experts alike.

Download: Knitting and Crochet Buddy 2 for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

3. Knitting Stitches

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Sometimes an app with one specific purpose really is just what you need as a new fiber artist. Knitting Stitches is a great example as it only provides patterns.

The beauty of the software is in how it refined its simple service with detailed but not overwhelming guides, as well as vivid pictures of the patterns.

All you do is browse designs across four distinct categories: textures, eyelet and lace, cables, and rib. Choose one you like and tap through to the full instructions. There you’ll find helpful abbreviations and step-by-step knitting instructions.

Knitting Stitches inspires and eases you into its platform, while also letting you sort available patterns by level of difficulty, for example.

Download: Knitting Stitches for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)

4. Ravulous Hot Right Now

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If all you need are pattern ideas, this software offers exactly that at a glance. Ravulous is a widget instead of an app that displays 5, 10, or 20 pictures of the most popular designs on Ravelry.

Set up Ravulous in a few simple steps. Buy, download, and place it on your smartphone’s screen like any widget. You can stretch out the set of images as you like, and they’ll update regularly with new trending patterns.

The upgraded version also lets you open each pattern’s details. Then you'll get detailed instructions and more pictures of what your needlework could produce. While not the most complex software, Ravulous is a great source of ideas.

Download: Ravulous Hot Right Now for Android ($0.99)

5. Crochet and Knitting Tools

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Daifukoo, the developers of Knitting Stitches, created this app for people in need of extra help with projects.

Crochet and Knitting Tools works much like the previous big tracking systems, except with a simpler and clearer layout. Its main purpose is to create and store projects with photos and detailed information.

Beyond that you have access to the same stitch library available on Knitting Stitches, as well as a range of tools. From a calculator to charts on symbols, abbreviations, and international needle sizes, lots of luxuries await.

Unfortunately, you need the paid upgrade to enjoy anything more, such as tutorials on basic knitting techniques. Nevertheless, the free version offers plenty to all knitters and Android users.

Download: Crochet and Knitting Tools for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)

6. Row Counter

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Here’s another example of knitting app developers doing well for themselves. Row Counter is by Annapurnapp Technologies, who also made Knitting Genius.

The main difference with this software is that it focuses on helping you track your rows and stitches. The capabilities in managing projects are more or less the same as Knitting Genius, except that you get additional features.

Expect a needle and wool size chart, not to mention a pattern creator. With this you can show off your expertise by developing your own pattern and sharing it, whether with friends or customers. Row Counter also connects to Ravelry and Lovecrafts.

However serious you are about developing your knitting skills, Row Counter is for all levels and goals.

Download: Row Counter for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

7. KnitCompanion

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While not the most attractive app, KnitCompanion is a longstanding and reliable solution. It works as a database for patterns, where you can store all your favorite designs as PDFs.

It also connects to Ravelry and Dropbox so you can get your inspiration from different channels. You can collect patterns from other knitters or create and edit your own projects.

The app also works offline, so the PDFs are available whenever you feel like working on a new piece. Not having to rely on the internet is a common demand for artists, after all, clear from the popularity of creative Chrome apps for offline use.

KnitCompanion is useful to all levels of expertise. It’s a good place for beginners to store and track patterns, while more adept artists can also develop and upload their designs.

Download: KnitCompanion for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Find the Right Knitting Apps for Your Goals

Row counting and keeping track of your projects is tricky enough, so an app’s helping hand is invaluable. Some software focus on specific needs, while others offer a whole range of tools. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Think about your knitting goals and what support you want from your Android device. Whether you’re just dabbling with a new hobby or really exploring your potential as a fiber artist, try out each of the options above and enjoy the fruits of your talents.

Feeling inspired? We've got loads more ideas for creative hobbies that will make you a happier person.

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What Is Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and How Can It Boost Customer Service?

Thanks to its efficient data analytics, Microsoft's Dynamics 365 is a very popular service for businesses. It uses data to make decision making in various departments easier and more productive. And customer service is a sector that benefits a lot from this system.

If you want to get to know Dynamics 365 better, you should start with the basics. Below we'll break down how the overall software works. Then we'll elaborate on what its specialized Customer Service Insights and high-tech features can do for your business.

What Is Dynamics 365?

As already mentioned, Dynamics 365 uses cloud technology to organize your business better. In official terms, it focuses on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship or Engagement Management (CRM), but it also offers a range of extra add-ons.

In essence, Dynamics 365 is a super-efficient set of programs for collecting, analyzing, and using data in different ways. Whether you need the whole Microsoft package or a single application, Dynamics 365 makes managing your corporate affairs much easier.

When it comes to Microsoft's pricing, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial. After that, it all depends on what you want from the company and whether you already have a Dynamics 365 app. For example, the Customer Service Enterprise license costs $95/month if it’s your first app, but can be half that or even less as a subsequent buy.

Data Analytics Explained

Basically, Dynamics 365 reads your digital records, from your sales and website visitors to how much your vehicles are used. Then it finds patterns. Whatever you ask for, this software will put the numbers together in clear reports, including charts, percentages, and helpful insights.

From these patterns, you can tell how the business or a specific department is doing, which lets you take effective action. For example, you can enhance services that customers like, counteract problems before they occur, or motivate and support workers with more helpful solutions.

The data industry continues to grow with the digital age, gathering a great array of data analytics software tools. While you don’t need to become a scientist, learning about it as a business owner is a good practice.

How Dynamics 365 Works

For starters, Dynamics 365 is a cloud system based on Microsoft’s Azure. Everything happens online and through the company’s servers, so you don’t need to download anything, and you can access your applications from anywhere with an internet connection. Internet of Things technology plays a big part in this too.

If you’re a dedicated Windows user with lots of Microsoft products at your fingertips, you’ll be happy to know you can connect them all together. So Dynamics 365 can link to your Outlook, Office 365, and Teams accounts, as well as other compatible programs.

Finally, Dynamics 365's close-knit grid works for any corporate needs. Beyond tools for CRM (like Marketing) and ERP (like Finance & Operations), there are many other useful features to choose from as well.

The Dynamics 365 Layout tool, for example, gives VR capabilities, while Guides helps train your staff and improve your overall performance. Even AI add-ons are available for sales and customer-related services.

What Is Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights?

As the name suggests, customers benefit a lot from Dynamics 365, but so do agents engaging with them. The features on offer really are wide, letting you research data, communicate effectively, solve problems, and create a smooth working environment.

The basic application alone can strengthen your organization skills and relationship with customers. But an AI boost to Dynamics 365's programming will increase your productivity even more. Explore its advantages in more detail and think about how they might apply to your circumstances.

Customer Insights

Dynamics 365 is mainly about data and using it so your business can reach its very best in performance and status. The customer service side of the system makes the most of available data so you and your staff can keep consumers happy, while also communicating with them better.

How many people visit your website? How many sales do you make each month? What products are most popular and why? You can find answers to such questions in the app’s reports. But Microsoft goes beyond showing you consumer trends.

If a customer reaches out with a question of their own, or even a complaint, you can bring up a profile of their activities. This can include details like purchases, feedback, and previous interactions. Keep in mind, though, that you need the customer’s consent before you start collecting such data.

By bringing you up to speed with their details, Dynamics 365 lets you help individuals in the best way for them. You can help them faster this way, too. Looking at group patterns also gives you a good idea of people’s general likes and dislikes, which your business can then address.

Staff Support

Customer Service Insights goes into a lot of detail when analyzing your business’s performance. For example, you won’t just get individual profiles of customers, but also a dashboard showing cases over a specific period.

You can see what issues come up the most, as well as what channels customers use to contact you, their average sentiment, and your average resolution time. Considering how analysis tools like this you’ll get, all this information can be overwhelming at first. But the more you practice using them, the easier it'll get.

Microsoft designed Dynamics 365 to be as easy to learn as possible. In case you still struggle, the company’s customer helpline is always available. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t take long to understand how to navigate the different interfaces and, above all, start reading the data.

The cross-platform accessibility is another plus for busy workers with multiple devices. On top of that is Dynamics 365’s ability to interact with customers via all popular methods, from voice and live chat to WhatsApp and Messenger.

Dynamics 365 addresses basic needs of customer service staff. Clear communication and client profiles alongside a smooth, straightforward user experience make everyone's lives much easier.

AI Assistance

What the Dynamics 365 AI add-on provides Microsoft’s system is more intelligence and automation, another thriving tech sector with tools perfect for time-saving entrepreneurs. These qualities can support both customers and workers in different ways, far beyond data analytics.

When someone contacts the company, for example, they can go through self-service portals to try and resolve any issues quickly. The AI program could even recommend articles from your blog to guide visitors and staff on related topics.

When analyzing your business’s data, you’ll also get handy suggestions, which improve as Dynamics 365’s software learns from the business. If you have several customer service agents with a range of responsibilities, this intelligent system can automatically distribute cases to the right people too.

The perks don’t end there. In addition to transcripts, an agent can rely on the AI’s sentiment analysis to pick up on emotional patterns in customers' emails or texts. By choosing their words and actions carefully, the agent can then steer interactions towards positive solutions.

Refine Customer Relations With Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is a complicated program that needs knowledge and lots of practice to master. Make sure you know its ins and outs in relation to your company, whether it’s a startup or major corporation.

But, even though we only scratched the surface of what Dynamics 365 can do, its power and usefulness are clear. For one, the insights and smart tools open to you can help amass happy and loyal customers, invaluable to any successful business.

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7 Rules to Remember When Uploading Videos to Twitter | MakeUseOf

Twitter is a powerful networking tool, but there are limits to what you can do. In terms of uploading videos, the task comes with a set of technical rules that stem from the platform’s principle of sharing short-form content.

You can’t just record endless footage and share it as it is. So take a look at the rules below and keep them in mind next time you plan a visually rich tweet.

1. Twitter's Video File Size Limits

The maximum file size for videos on Twitter is 512MB. If the file you try to upload is bigger than that, Twitter will tell you to adjust it. You can either trim it on the app or make changes to the original video file.

If trimming really isn’t enough, there are several video compression methods for PC and mobile devices. This the most practical solution to your upload problem.

2. Twitter's Video Length Limit

Twitter has a maximum video length of two minutes and 20 seconds long. Once again, the app will let you trim a longer file as part of the upload process.

If you do have lots of footage to share with your followers, the best solution is to upload it in small snippets. Maybe, pick out the 2-minute highlights and turn them into weekly fun episodes.

3. Video Formats Supported on Twitter

The mobile app supports MP4 and MOV video files. A web-based upload, however, needs to be an MP4 in H264 format with AAC audio. This is the most common format for recording and distributing video content online.

If your file is the wrong type, explore the internet for helpful and free online file converters for all your needs. For video formatting, the likes of Online-Convert or FileZigZag are your best bet.

4. Video Resolution, Frame Rate, and Bitrate on Twitter

The minimum resolution you need when uploading videos on Twitter is 32x32. The maximum resolution is 1920x1200.

The frame rate should be no more than 40fps and the bitrate 25Mbps. While hardly lagging, the app’s capabilities will evolve further alongside digital technology.

5. No Embedded Tags and Descriptions on Twitter Videos

Unfortunately, unlike images, you can’t tag people or add descriptions to videos on Twitter. But don’t underestimate the other options available in a single tweet.

Simply describe the contents of the video in your message and tag any important names in there. Even though it takes up characters, you’re still able to make the most of videos on the platform this way.

6. Conditional Autoplay for Twitter Videos

Videos do automatically loop on Twitter, but only if they last 60 seconds or less. Another factor that affects this, however, is settings on someone's profile.

An interesting detail to keep in mind is that videos won’t autoplay in general if you enable Twitter’s data saver mode on mobile. To toggle this option, go to the Settings and privacy tab before clicking Data usage.

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If you enable the Data saver setting, longer videos won’t autoplay or loop if someone doesn’t click on them. This isn’t an issue, unless you’re serious about building a strong presence on Twitter. And media going unnoticed isn’t ideal.

Essentially, eye-catching videos on a loop can boost a profile’s visual appeal. If you make a point of only uploading tiny snippets, your account will look a lot livelier and worth exploring.

7. Twitter Videos Don't Count As Characters

Finally, you don’t need to worry about the video itself taking up too much of your character count. Despite being typically larger than an image, Twitter also excludes it from a tweet’s total character count. Just choose your words carefully when including tags and descriptions, as discussed above.

For more information on how to use videos on Twitter for maximum effect, look through Twitter’s online help center.

Plan Your Video Uploads Wisely

Considering how big Twitter is, it’s not surprising that some boundaries are in place. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t get the job done. You just need to get creative with whatever tools you do have access to.

Remember these rules when creating, adjusting, and uploading your videos on Twitter, whether on a smartphone or computer. They matter in terms of smooth user experience and your profile’s success.

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The 6 Best Websites to Play Backgammon Online | MakeUseOf

Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in human history alongside the likes of chess, Go, and mahjong. If you don’t already know the rules, there are many great websites to learn them and put your skills to the test against other players.

Expect layers of fun and challenges as you try several variations of the same goal: to get all your checkers off the board. The range of features on the following online resources will let you play backgammon according to your tastes.

1. 247 Backgammon

This is a very simple and free website to learn and practice classic backgammon. You can play at different levels of difficulty, either against an AI opponent or a real one.

The second option only works in pass and play style, though. Two players need to use the same screen to progress the game, so a smartphone would work as well as a computer.

The design of the digital backgammon board is nice and simple, but with lots of features to make things interesting. When you roll the dice, for example, the board highlights which checkers you can move and where.

You also have access to a doubling cube, which can multiply a player’s final score up to 64 times. But don’t get carried away. Take your time reading up on the website’s instructions and playing at your own pace.

2. iTavli

Get to know the different ways to play backgammon on an even easier platform. iTavli has its flaws, like unclear instructions when it comes to the rules, however, it is a rare online opportunity to escape classic gameplay.

Choose between Greek, Turkish, Russian, and other styles before playing against the computer or an online player. Since iTavli’s manual fails to deliver, you may want to read up on how each variation works to fully enjoy the experience.

There’s also a leaderboard to keep track of who the site’s best players are. You can even challenge each other on a board of your choice. Sign up for free and watch your name climb those ranks.

All in all, the aim of this humble site is to let you spend your evenings playing traditional backgammon against a calming beach-themed background. Just like online jigsaw puzzles, it’s a great way to exercise your brain.

3. VIP Backgammon

If you’re looking for a more modern design, VIP Backgammon is a better choice than 247 Backgammon. The domain is part of the greater VIP Games community, full of online versions of beloved card and board games.

Through the backgammon section, you can play against the computer on a sleek, wood-style board. The choice to double your score exists here too.

One major difference is that each turn is on a timer, so you need to think and move fast. VIP also offers many more social options, from playing with friends to competing in tournaments.

Keep in mind that competitions demand chips, which you collect from each session you play. And how much you earn depends on how well you perform against your opponents, whether real or AI.

This platform is a community where you can set up a profile, build up your rank, and go head to head with backgammon fans. Of course, the better you get, the more exciting each game becomes.

4. Backgammon Galaxy

Once you’re fluid with the rules, you may want to focus on live games more. There’s nothing wrong with playing against a computer, but the experience is different when you know there’s an actual person on the other end of the virtual board.

Backgammon Galaxy is perfect for the job, as it only accommodates online players. You can create or join a session with fans from all over the world. In terms of other features, you face a timer of different speeds and collect points to climb up the leaderboard.

Points aren't essential to joining tournaments like on VIP Backgammon, but the competition is still fierce. Make sure you’re up to the task before buying in.

If, on the other hand, you don’t feel up for a game but still want to keep learning, the website even lets you watch sessions. You can develop a good head for backgammon by just studying the techniques of more experienced players.

5. Extreme Gammon

Even though you have to download Extreme Gammon on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, the provider is worth a mention because of its fame in the field of backgammon. Apart from being behind Backgammon Galaxy, Extreme Gammon is the go-to program for serious competitors.

Players and organizations from around the globe rely on this software to practice and analyze their games. While the 2D or 3D fully customizable board is a plus, the platform's winning features go beyond smooth design and performance.

Once you download and install it, you can play against the computer or a second player. But Extreme Gammon’s main purpose is to help you train with lots of tools and settings.

For example, it lets you choose the difficulty level of your AI opponent. Additionally, it breaks down your sessions and shows you which moves were bad and why. You can even import games from websites while playing, so Extreme Gammon can analyze them as you go.

The downside is that the software isn’t free like most browser-based options. It costs $59.95 per computer, but you can get a free trial and various discounts if you’re a member of GammonSite or the US Backgammon Federation (USBGF).

6. Backgammon Studio

If an analytical backgammon site is what you want, there’s nothing better than Backgammon Studio. Be warned that the signup process and overall navigation of the platform are tricky to get used to.

Nevertheless, once you work out what’s available and where things are, you’ll realize just how invaluable Studio is to dedicated players. Like Extreme Gammon, it's designed to help you improve, not just play.

In addition to analyzing your games, it offers a huge database of specific moves and checker positions. You can jump in at different degrees of difficulty and work your way through them.

Since you don't get a clock here, you can go the extra mile and work on your response time too. Use your watch or a helpful timer app to make sure you react well under pressure.

If all that's not enough, there are even quizzes you can try to ace, as well as another handy panel that lists matches from live tournaments. You can watch the recordings while playing a session on Studio’s live match domain, which is aptly named Heroes.

Play Backgammon Online to Master the Game

From simple browser games to professional online communities, the internet is full of ways to enjoy backgammon in its modern and classic forms.

If you’re new to it, you should start with smaller options, like iTavli, just to get the hang of the rules and tricks. From there, you can move on to bigger and better hubs.

Like chess and other brain games, backgammon is worth all the effort. Pitting your tactics against each platform’s best players is thrilling, but you also get to join a global community of fun-loving tacticians.

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How to Make the Most of Reedsy Discovery as an Author | MakeUseOf

Thanks to companies like Reedsy, self-published authors have to struggle less and less. Its latest initiative, Discovery, offers a place for writers to showcase and promote their works. But the true scope of the platform is in the details.

If you’re an author, you can make a nice space for yourself on Reedsy Discovery, all while getting reviews and followers. Below are the key steps to making the most of the website.

What is Reedsy Discovery?

Reedsy itself has been around for years, listing a huge range of professionals and opportunities related to the world of books. Whether you need an editor, marketer, or web designer, you can find them all here.

Discovery is part of Reedsy. This section arrived on the scene in 2019 to bring authors, reviewers, publishers, and avid readers together. The company, with the help of its new and existing fanbase, is becoming a modern alternative to Goodreads. You can even link the two platforms.

1. Create an Attractive Profile

As an author on Reedsy Discover, the first thing you should do is set up your profile. The basic things to include are a picture, bio, and links to your social media accounts and website (if you have one).

On that point, a personal domain is a good thing to have. Make sure to explore the pros and cons of some reliable website builders for your online portfolio. A beautiful landing page can make all the difference to your public image as an author.

In terms of your Discovery profile, aim to make it as interesting and professional as possible. For example, don’t underestimate the value of your tagline and cover image. Unfortunately, the latter is blurry when uploaded, but the right image adds a nice splash of color to your profile.

2. Build Your Library

Another important feature that appears on your Reedsy Discovery profile is your library. Since we’re talking about a website for bookworms, sharing your favorite reads will get you even more attention.

As long as you know what books you’re adding, there are two ways to populate your virtual bookshelves: manually or through Goodreads.

If, on the other hand, you remember a great read but not its title or author, there are plenty of online resources to track down a book through its plot details alone.

With all your titles in mind, it’s time to fill your library.

Manual Import

Whether you’ve read them already or not, you can add each book, one by one. To do this, first copy the book’s URL as it appears on Discovery, Amazon, Google Play, or Apple Books. Keep in mind that links from US domains tend to work best.

Go to the Add to your bookshelf section in your library and paste the link in the URL box. From the dropdown menu below that, choose your progress with the book. Finally, tick whether you want to post the new addition on your feed and then click Add to bookshelf.

Goodreads Import

If you have lots of books to import, this is by far the easiest way to do it. Assuming you already added your Goodreads URL to your profile, scroll down the library page until you find the Import from Goodreads section.

Click on the button so Discovery can sync with your Goodreads account. It will then prepare to bring over as many books as possible.

This can actually take hours, depending on the number of titles you have, but you can close the window and Discovery will keep working on its own. It may not manage to import all of your books, but you can fill in the gaps with subsequent syncs.

3. Submit Your Book

Reedsy Discovery is great for a budding writer to network and find interesting reads. But a lot more features are available to authors with books of their own, especially self-published ones.

Submit to Discovery

For $50, you can submit your digital manuscript at least a month before its launch to get reviews and build some hype. To start the process, just click on the Submit tab at the top of the website, and then select Submit your book.

Follow the process and fill in as many details as possible. You can upload an ePub, PDF, and Mobi version of your ebook, alongside a JPEG of the cover. Remember, the appeal of these and all elements on your author profile affect whether people will engage with you or not.

Submit to a Discovery Reviewer

Alternatively, you can give the manuscript to specific reviewers. On the Submit page, click on the Reviewer directory. Use the filters to find a promising reader and click Request a review. From there, the submission process is exactly the same as above.

4. Attract Readers and Reviewers

Once you upload your book and set a launch date, you have a month to get people to review it. Unfortunately, sitting around and waiting for those stars and opportunities doesn't always work.

Invite a Reviewer

Unless you found a reviewer from the get-go or want to go through that process now, there’s a much easier way to attract one of those coveted readers.

Go through the reviewer directory and pick your favorite candidate. Then, announce your launch on your feed and tag the reviewer, politely asking for their input. Even if they refuse, you can quickly move on to another candidate.

The truth is: all you need is one good review on Reedsy Discovery to turn some influential heads. The company itself and its valuable members are always on the lookout for promising works.

Promote Your Book

On launch day, your manuscript and the feedback it collected will automatically join the Discover page. A point system is in place here, so that the top-ranking books will be featured on the website’s main page and the next newsletter.

To get more points, you can collect them from Discovery members, as well as from people outside the platform. You can post a personalized link on your social media accounts, forums, newsletters, and any other online community you want.

Don’t be aggressive with your marketing, though. Find charming or funny ways to invite people to back your work without damaging your reputation in the process.

Get to Know the Ins and Outs of Reedsy Discovery

The platform is still growing, but hundreds of indie authors are already grateful for its support. To join them, get your book to its absolute best and then submit it. Optimize your profile before flexing your promotional muscles to make lots of valuable friends.

At first glance, Reedsy Discovery is just another good literary community. However, you’ll quickly see it as a network of gateways that can lead your book to a very promising future.

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6 Best AR Interior Design and Decorating Apps for Android

If you want to change the look of a room, you don’t just have your imagination to rely on when visualizing it. Through augmented reality, you can check whether certain furniture, paint colors, and other decorative choices suit or even fit in a given space.

Several interior design apps with AR capabilities exist for Android users. They each come with a range of features to make your enhancement project easier. You can also have a lot of fun giving that old living room a virtual makeover. Here are six of the best AR design apps to choose from.

1. Houzz

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The popular hub for home designers has an app with an AR trick up its sleeve. While uploading photos and browsing products from various retailers, you can view some of them in a more realistic way.

Just select the item that interests you and tap the View in My Room button. This will let you see the chair or mirror in the place you want to fill. You can take pictures of different setups and return to them later when you’re ready to invest in your space’s new look.

Collecting visual representations of your ideas means you can then compare them to each other and go for the most appealing design. Unfortunately, the mechanics of Houzz's AR tool does need some manoeuvring to get all the elements right on the screen.

Nevertheless, as far as AR interior design apps go, it's a handy feature, not to mention versatile. The wide selection of products and brands also means you can find almost anything you need to plan your project and buy it on the spot.

Download: Houzz (Free)

2. Home Depot

Here’s another retailer that joined the helpful trend of AR-based interior design apps. But Home Depot is a high-end brand, which results in software with much better user experience.

Even though the mechanics follow the same process of choosing a product and pointing the phone at the room, the overall performance is just smoother. The downside is that the AR feature only supports some items on the retailer’s catalogue, so there’s still room for improvement.

But this doesn’t take much away from the app’s value. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you bought something online with a good awareness of the item’s dimensions and overall harmony with a space’s style.

As augmented reality improves, so will the scope of opportunities on Home Depot’s app. Its existing foundation is sound, however, and promises great things in terms of the product range, efficiency, and convenience of its mobile platform.

Download: Home Depot (Free)

3. Dulux Visualizer

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When it comes to achieving a room’s new style, finding the perfect shade for the wall can be just as tricky as choosing furniture. Dulux, as a leading paint brand, offers a great solution in the form of a simple but very helpful augmented reality feature on its app.

Instead of making several trips to the local store just to test and then pick colors, go to Dulux’s mobile platform. Here you’ll find the Visualizer button. Tap it to turn on the AR program and follow a few easy steps.

In the same way as the previous apps, direct your phone’s camera at the wall you want to paint. Choose a hue from the many color schemes available and tap where the paint should go in the virtual representation of your space.

This could include ornaments in the case that Instagram’s interior design hacks inspire you further towards your artistic side. Whatever the case, if the camera’s angled right, the Visualizer will fill in your selected area.

The software’s handiness goes beyond picturing a new environment. The colors offered conveniently come with their assigned names. If you like a color or several, you can quickly note them down or order them there and then through the very same app.

Download: Dulux Visualizer (Free)

4. Wayfair

Out of the many home improvement retailers with AR options, Wayfair is one more that got it right. You gain access to a great range of furniture, decorations, and other high-quality products. And you can instantly see how they fit into the space you’re renovating.

It’s true that, even here, there are minor weaknesses to deal with, from glitches to flaws in the layout. But the overall service works quite well, especially on up-to-date devices.

That said, it’s always a good idea to carefully judge the dimensions of virtual items against a real room. Things like the phone’s screen and your position in the space can mislead you. Keeping such factors in mind helps avoid mistakes.

If you’re serious about home improvement projects, you could even go for a free online interior design course. With the ins and outs of the business clear in your head, it’s easier to achieve, if not exceed, the stylistic results you want.

Ultimately, with careful planning and use of this app’s AR features, you can easily freshen up your bathroom or hallway exactly as you imagined.

Download: Wayfair (Free)

5. Overstock

As a popular and well-supplied retailer of home goods, Overstock's app is a go-to option for homeowners and Android users in the US. The software works in more or less the same way as Houzz.

You pick items you like from Overstock’s lists, select to view them in augmented reality, and then use your phone to place 3D models of the products in your current environment. The technology matches what most retailers’ interior design apps offer through their AR features.

The difference lies in the standards of this software’s producers. The program came about from a collaboration between Overstock and Seek, creator of one of the leading AR platforms, in an effort to improve the shopping experience.

The software delivers exactly that: a better and user-friendly way to plan your purchases. This is thanks to the developer’s care when designing the program, but also to Overstock’s substantial wares.

Download: Overstock (Free)

6. AirMeasure

Finally, when it comes to buying furniture or home décor materials, measurements are essential to making right decisions. This is something AR can help with too. If you don’t have a measuring tape at hand, AirMeasure is the perfect digital tool for the job.

If you want to measure a wall, for example, all you do is point your phone at the desired area. Tap the place your virtual measuring tape should start from, then tap where it’s supposed to end, and the app automatically calculates the distance.

AirMeasure will make you feel a lot more confident about the couch size you need or the amount of paint necessary to cover the whole bedroom. With AR technology on your side, redecorating the house can be a fun and less stressful experience.

Download: AirMeasure (Free)

Make the Most of Interior Design Apps With AR Features

When it comes to interior design, Android is catching up with iOS in the AR scheme of things. More and more retailers are enhancing their apps with augmented reality. At the same time, Houzz and other home improvement hubs that bring brands together do their best to develop good 3D tools of their own.

Despite some shortcomings, there’s much you can do with these interior design apps. What matters is that you enjoy the experience as much as you can, including the chance to let your creativity run wild. Make that space your own.

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5 Best Phone Trackers for Extra Security on Android and iOS

Losing your iPhone or Android device is no longer the end of the world. These GPS-based solutions each bring their own perks to the table, whether you need to check your family are safe, or often misplace your smartphone at home.

Whatever your mobile platform, you can have the best phone trackers on the market at your service. The following keep your security and privacy in mind.

1. Glympse

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This company is all about improving customer experience, especially with delivery services. Among their many solutions that use location sharing technology is Glympse, a simple app for commercial and personal use.

You can broadcast your location to a chosen recipient or ask someone to return the favor. That’s the phone tracker’s main function, but it also lets you add messages, speed, metric units, and even specify for how long the app should share your location.

Whether your priority is security or convenience when keeping appointments, for example, Glympse is a good choice. Not just because it’s one of the easiest apps to use, but you can also be sure of its reliability, considering it’s already a key tool for professionals on the go.

2. Life360

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If you’re looking for lots of extra features in your phone tracker, then Life360 is a better choice. Designed for close circles, like family and friends, the app lets you check in with everyone else when necessary.

Thanks to a good GPS system and detailed global map, alerts between members of the circle are quick and precise.

In addition to sharing locations, you can contact each other in emergencies like an injury or car crash. Interestingly, the app can even monitor and keep a log of a user’s driving, including top speed and total miles.

The SOS button is just as valuable. Whenever you feel unsafe, you press it. Once released, you have 10 seconds to enter a pin before an alert is sent to circle members and emergency services. This last feature is only available to Gold members, but could be a lifesaver alongside other smart apps and devices for emergencies.

The membership-based restrictions are a downside of Life360. Nevertheless, depending on how much you want to invest and get out of the app, it can make a big difference to your connections and security.

  • Download: Life360 for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

3. iSharing

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This is another app with plenty to offer, especially to a group of people. It can notify you about a range of things, from when linked people leave a location to where they are at any given time. It also works as a walkie-talkie, allowing you to exchange messages fast and free.

iSharing comes with its own panic alert too. You can either tap the button on the screen or shake your smartphone. Both methods notify group members within seconds.

It lacks the massive range of services that Life360 comes with, but does provide the essentials any family could need. You get an efficient and user-friendly GPS that cares about your peace of mind and well-being. That ticks the right boxes of what the best phone trackers are supposed to do.

  • Download: iSharing for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

4. Find My (iOS Only)

On busy days, it’s so easy to put down your mobile and forget where it is. Phone trackers are especially handy here. If you use an iPhone or iPad, you’ll come across many location sharing software, but on iOS 13 or above, you get access to the new and improved Find My app.

For best results, make sure your devices are traceable by GPS. If so, all you need to do to track one of them is go to another device and check Find My’s interactive map. Additionally, you can have the lost iPhone or iPad make a distinctive sound or display a message for whoever finds it.

Even if your phone is stolen, there are safety measures you can take, like remotely locking it or erasing its contents. Losing that all-important tablet doesn’t mean you need to worry about its information falling into the wrong hands. Just be certain everything is backed up before you erase it all.

Alongside many cool ways to use Find My, the app offers friend-tracking features. You can all stay on each other’s radar through your phones, assuming the devices are compatible and want to be found.

Get permission before you start tracking people, even friends and family. Keep that in mind while searching for the perfect phone tracker.

5. Find My Phone Whistle (Android Only)

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Apart from serious, complicated programs like the above, there's this funny but no less useful app. Think of all the times you were in a hurry and couldn't find your mobile anywhere. Now, you can just call it and it'll bark back.

Only available on Android, Find My Phone Whistle lets you choose a sound for your device to make when you summon it. Basically, if your phone isn't active but the app is on, whistle and it will respond with a chime, laugh, animal noise, or anything else you want.

There’s also a flashlight option so the device can guide you to it in the dark. The more you explore, the more interesting tools you’ll discover.

The main problem with Find My Phone Whistle is the constant ads, but you can get rid of them with the VIP version. This unlocks extra content as well. On the other hand, sticking with the software's free side gives you enough services to make it worthwhile.

Choose the Best Tracker App for the Situation

Choosing the best app depends on why you’re browsing phone trackers. Life360, for example, would suit a busy family or group of traveling friends because of its many services aimed at keeping you safe. Find My Phone Whistle, however, is for people who just lose their phone too often and want an easy way to dig it up again.

Think about what your ideal app should do for you, as well as what software actually works on your device. Google Play and the App Store are full of information on these and many more helpful tools.

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14 Stretches for Gamers Who Spend Too Long Playing Games

Long hours in front of a computer or console put pressure on your body. You might not feel it right away, but that tension can build into actual pain. So it’s a good idea to give yourself a break once in a while and loosen those muscles.

Below are 14 great stretches for gamers to try when your hands, arms, back, and neck feel stiff. Exercises like these also help build your flexibility and reaction times, benefitting both your health and gameplay.

Hand Stretches for Gamers

1. Thumb Extensor Stretch

For best results, fold your thumb into your palm and wrap your fingers over it, making a fist. Then bend your hand towards the pinky’s side. You want to feel a painless stretch of the muscle beneath the thumb. Hold that position for 30 seconds and repeat a few times before doing the exercise with the other hand too.

2. Thumb Adductor Stretch

Extend your arm forward with your palm pointed ahead and fingers upward, like a stop gesture. Gently pull your thumb down and back with your other hand. This stretch for gamers eases tension in the thumb’s front muscle. It also helps your grip and flexibility.

3. Prayer and Reverse Prayer Position Stretch

Place your hands palms together, as if praying. Your fingers should be pointing up and elbows outward. The only motion you make is to gently push your connected hands downwards. You want to straighten the line from elbow to elbow and stretch the front of your wrists.

The reverse position has the backs of your hands touching instead of your palms and the fingers pointing to the floor. This time, the push is upward so as to stretch the backs of the wrists. The most you should feel is slight discomfort, no pain. This applies to all these exercises.

4. Supine Flexors and Pronated Extensors Stretch

The positioning in these two stretches is exactly the same, but the muscles they stretch are different. The position is simple: arm straight in front of you and palm facing up. The other hand comes and lightly pulls your palm backwards toward the floor.

For the first stretch, pull from the fingers to extend your palm muscles as well as those of your forearm. For the second, the pressure should be further up on the palm itself. This focuses the stretch on the wrist and the arm muscles beyond it.

Arm Stretches for Gamers

1. Cross Body Stretch

There are so many ways to keep your arms strong and healthy, including free online fitness programs to improve your whole body. But a gamer often just needs simple stretches to beat specific pains.

This exercise, for example, folds your extended arm across your chest with some extra pressure from your other hand. It gives your shoulder muscles a gentle pull.

2. Chest to Arm Stretch

You can do this exercise at different intensities. One method is to extend your arm to the side with the elbow bent 90 degrees and fingers pointing at the ceiling.

Rest that forearm against a flat surface with your chest parallel and gently push that forward. The stretch should go from the front of your shoulder into the arm.

For more intensity, extend your arm backward, ideally against a wall beside you. Make sure you square your shoulders and that they’re facing forward.

This position alone should give a similar chest to arm stretch, but you can also turn your head in the opposite direction to your arm. The gentle and relaxing pull should now run from your neck to your arm.

3. External Bicep Stretch

Set your bent elbow on the desk with fingers up and shoulders down. With your other hand, push your forearm backward, slightly rotating the arm.

Only apply pressure until you feel a pull in your biceps that also touches the shoulder and elbow. This is a small but effective stretch.

4. Tricep Stretch

Here’s another great way to release arm and shoulder tension. For best results, place both bent elbows on the edge of the desk before you. Then slowly lower your head and torso into the space between desk and chair.

Make sure your upper body is straight and your arms well planted on the table. Your shoulders and part of your back get a good stretch, too.

Back Stretches for Gamers

1. Backward Arm Stretch

Long, hunched gaming sessions are especially bad for your back. To quickly release such knots, you can easily find simple stretches in places like yoga apps and courses.

A common exercise involves extending your arms behind your back and interlocking your fingers, palms facing in. Try raising your arms as high as possible and holding them there. The position and motion engage several stiff muscles.

2. Internal Arm Rotation Behind the Back Stretch

Here’s a tricky stretch you’ve probably seen before.

What you need to do is fold one arm over the same shoulder until your palm faces and touches your back. The other arm folds under its shoulder so its palm faces outward while resting against your back. Now, try interlocking those hands.

Even if you don’t succeed, the attempt alone pulls all the right muscles in your back and shoulders. Repeat the exercise on both sides.

For some extra help, you could get a strap of some kind to hold onto while stretching. Keep practicing and you’ll be able to connect your hands in no time.

3. Spine Rotation Stretch

Be extra careful with these kinds of exercises. Too much force can hurt your back more than help it.

In this case, cross your right leg, for example, over the left and slowly turn your torso to the right. You can push against your leg or desk for more rotation but stop as soon as you feel the desired pull down your back. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Neck Stretches for Gamers

1. Front to Back Stretch

A painful neck can ruin a game and your overall well-being just as easily. For a good first stretch, tuck in your chin to align your spine and then slowly bend your head forward and then all the way back. Do this a couple of times to loosen those neck muscles.

2. Lateral Stretch

Follow the same principle as above. Tuck in your chin and bend your head from side to side, as if trying to touch your ears to your shoulders.

For more intensity, depending on the direction your head will lean in, place the opposite hand either behind your back or under your hip. You can also use the other hand to gently pull your head closer to each shoulder.

3. Rotation Stretch

Finally, move your head in circular motions, and in all directions it can go. Don’t push yourself too hard or fast. In fact, the slower and more focused you make each movement, the better your muscles will stretch.

The aim is a fluid, relaxed routine to counteract the tension of gaming.

Stretch for Better and Healthier Gaming

Revive your body’s flexibility and energy with these easy exercises. They’re focused on key areas that tend to give gamers the most trouble when playing too long, but there are many more stretches and fitness solutions to discover.

Choose the best and combine them into a healthy and relaxing routine for the benefit of your hands, neck, back, and beyond. Your body and overall gaming performance will thank you for it.

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6 Best Text Expansion Tools for Windows | MakeUseOf

If you use the computer a lot, you know the tedium of typing emails, websites, and other pieces of text over and over again. Modern technology provided a great solution: text expanders. They enable quick typing through simple keyboard commands.

But there are many such programs on the market. What we’re here to do is list the best text expansion tools for Windows. So you can explore their key features and decide which are of most use to you. Some are even compatible with macOS.

1. FastFox

As far as easy text expanders go, FastFox is a favorite among writers. It contains the most basic automation tools Windows and Mac users could possibly need. There's much more you can do than fill in phrases through shortcuts or smart autocompletion.

You’re also able to set up hotkeys for images and macros of any length. On top of that, you can share text expansions with other users, but only with a business license. If you do go for a more professional account, FastFox is pretty smooth technology that can help you do more throughout the day.

Unfortunately, it isn’t free. The normal price for a home license is $60 and $99 for the business version. Even so, it’s a well-rounded program worth considering for the sake of convenience alone.

Download: FastFox for Windows | macOS ($60)

2. FastKeys

FastKeys offers a more user-friendly interface for another popular and free automation tool on Windows: AutoHotkey. The latter’s programming language is easy enough to learn, especially with handy tips from our AutoHotkey guide for beginners, but the overall experience can be too much trouble than it’s worth.

In terms of text expansion, the simpler design of FastKeys lets you create shortcuts for common phrases without getting into complex scripting. While there is a free trial on offer, you can only use the full version of FastKeys if you buy a lifetime license for personal or corporate use.

That said, if typing and getting things done quickly is your only interest, a personal $19 account is a good choice. You get access to text expansion and shortcuts. You can record common actions on your PC as macros. And you can even execute tasks through mouse gestures.

FastKeys can also be used in various places, from apps to browsers.

Download: FastKeys for Windows ($19, free trial available)

3. TextExpander

If you’re looking for strong text expansion tools, here’s another great candidate. TextExpander is compatible with Windows, macOS, and iOS, while featuring several handy automation perks.

Just like most software of its kind, it has classic phrase expanding powers, but extra features also boost the user experience.

For example, TextExpander embraces HTML, CSS, and even emojis as elements you might want to create shortcuts for. The Mac version also comes with multiple languages to work with. And the extensive management and sharing tools can take teamwork to the next level.

The price of TextExpander is a bit steep but reflects its usefulness. A basic license costs $4.16 per month, less if billed annually. The best deal for a team is an annually billed package, which starts at $7.96 per user. If you’re not sure about the program, a free trial is available too.

Download: TextExpander for Windows | macOS (free trial, subscription required)

4. PhraseExpress

Among the more professional options around, PhraseExpress likes to beat the competition. It’s better for businesses, but you can still get a lot out of the free personal version. While text expansion services exist across its packages, a paid license just brings extra tools to the table.

PhraseExpress also offers cross-platform compatibility, opening its doors to Windows, Mac, and iOS users. Apart from text expansion through shortcuts and autocompletion, you can correct spelling, import phrases from MS Word, make good use of your clipboard, and even protect shared folders with passwords.

Read More: 5 Ways PhraseExpress Can Help Improve Teamwork

PhraseExpress isn’t cheap, though, even with its free trial. A standard license, for example, which basically enhances the freeware edition, costs $49.95. And the price of a professional system starts at $139.95. On the plus side, these are lifetime licenses to a highly praised and efficient program.

Download: PhraseExpress for Windows | macOS ($49.95, free trial available)

5. Breevy

If all you want is a simple, efficient, and affordable text expander focused on improving your workflow, Breevy fits that role perfectly. It’s designed for quick typing and use of Windows, letting you set up shortcuts for a range of tasks.

Add commonly used sentences to a document, even on alternative writing software to MS Word, and then launch a completely different program with a few keystrokes.

It’s also possible to import phrases from TextExpander or sync the two apps to exchange files. Even though Breevy isn’t compatible with macOS, that means you can still use text expansion on either platform by syncing it with TextExpander.

These kinds of small but ingenious features are what make Breevy stand out from the competition. Instead of cramming lots of elements together, it offers specific luxuries to people who need automation in their lives.

There’s a free trial to try, in portable form as well, before deciding to pay $34.95 for a full license. Breevy isn’t the most feature-filled technology, but it is support you can rely on and master quickly.

Download: Breevy for Windows ($34.95, free trial available)

6. PhraseExpander

No matter how simple or complex, the best text expansion tools usually come at a price. PhraseExpander is one more piece of software worth your attention and money, especially if you need it for work. And, since the top license aimed at doctors, you know you’re dealing with reliable programming.

Every package gives you expansion features like autocompletion, spell checking, and the ability to use the clipboard’s history. The more professional services include sharing tools, dictionaries, and even branching logic, which uses if/then logic so that PhraseExpander brings up different snippets under specific conditions.

This is next-level text automation. It’s perfect for intense workflows that could use some backup from smart technology. That’s also why the price is quite high. A standard license is $59, while systems for businesses can range between $149 and $249. Another downside is that PhraseExpander only works on Windows, but at least there's a three-week free trial.

Download: PhraseExpander for Windows ($149, free trial available)

Save Time and Effort With the Right Text Expander

Customizing your PC to perfection often just comes down to research. Think about your circumstances. What tasks do you want to do faster? Do you only have Windows? Or do you have a Mac, too? What’s your budget?

From your answers, you should be able to find out which of our suggested text expansion apps suits you best. Either dig deeper into their text expansion tools or use them as inspiration as you keep searching for the most effective and convenient automation system.

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5 Ways PhraseExpress Can Help Improve Teamwork | MakeUseOf

PhraseExpress offers some valuable productivity services. Its key purpose is to provide great text expansion tools, which allow users to write faster and more efficiently. But PhraseExpress is also an excellent tool for improving your team workflow.

If your business relies on a team of people collaborating smoothly, here are five ways PhraseExpress can help out.

What Is PhraseExpress?

PhraseExpress is a program designed to help you type faster. You can set up keyboard shortcuts for specific words or sentences. Then, when you use those shortcuts, PhraseExpress automatically fills in the complete phrases.

Explore enough online and you’ll come across dozens of different methods to expand text. For example, it only takes a few steps to learn how to create custom text expansions on Microsoft Word.

What makes PhraseExpress special is that it works in multiple places. Whether writing a report or an email, you can make commonly used phrases appear in half the keystrokes.

When joining PhraseExpress, you can start with a 30-day free trial of all of its services. After that, your account returns to a free personal account but without the cool, commercial toys.

To get these back, choose between a Standard, Professional, or Enterprise subscription. As you can see below, each package comes with more and more perks.

If you're in a team and want to work well together, the Enterprise edition is the best choice. Its features show what an intricate system PhraseExpress is.

Access to several languages and an add-in for Outlook are great benefits to the Enterprise package, but even a Standard PhraseExpress subscription can help your team improve its workflow.

1. Team Members Follow the Same Phrasing Rules

PhraseExpress makes sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to things like style guides. After administrators set up keyboard shortcuts for different phrases, the entire team can access and use them. Everyone can view, learn, and apply the text expansion shortcuts across all your common tasks.

PhraseExpress is also very easy to update, letting everyone see any changes to the rules.

For extra organization, you get a central client manager as part of the setup. It controls everything from program settings and server notifications to usage statistics and account permissions.

To be more exact, you can specify which person or group can read or edit certain folders. To do this, go to the Phrases toolbar at the top and click on Access Rights. Then make the relevant choices from the dropdown menus. Options become clearer as the team grows and you get to know the system better.

Program Restrictions is another tool to help manage things. The icon is right beside Access Rights and opens a similar window that lets you select the available software a folder or phrase can be restricted to or excluded from. You can also choose conditions. Then only team members using those programs under those conditions can use the text expansions.

2. A High-End Local Network Sets a Good Workflow

The local network is usually the heart of communication in any tech-based office. With Microsoft, Citrix, and NAS server support, the system PhraseExpress provides should keep your teamwork in top shape.

You can install PhraseExpress on both Windows and Mac computers, but each platform must download a different file and follow its own process. Another option is the portable version of PhraseExpress, which goes on a USB device and can move between computers.

This is useful, for example, if a team member works from a laptop with limited space.

Choose the best version for your group. After you add the necessary software to all your computers and link them to the main server, you're good to go. This is how a network can share a program.

Making sure your local connection works well creates a strong foundation for your group's collaborative needs. At the end of the day, each user will be able to work and write to in-house standards without missing a beat.

3. Several Safety Measures Allow Peace of Mind

Your saved phrases could include names and addresses, so security is a major priority. PhraseExpress’s online capabilities make this even more important. The restriction tools we already mentioned are a perfect way of ensuring your team shares resources safely to protect your customer privacy.

Don't underestimate the central client manager either. It can monitor overall usage as well as controlling access rights.

On top of that, there are other measures you can take like creating passwords with end-to-end AES encryption. This prevents unauthorized people from accessing data as it moves from one user to another.

To add encryption, go to the File tab and then select Set password. A window pops up. Type in a strong password and tick the conditions you want to use. After clicking OK, the secured file will only open for people with the password.

4. Cloud Support for Next Level Collaboration

If the team is mostly based in an office, a local network will work fine. But some creative projects need people to be on the go all the time. When it comes to these remote working conditions, cloud synchronization makes PhraseExpress much more helpful to a team.

You can share phrases and folders over the internet, using every popular cloud provider out there—OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Synology. Among all of PhraseExpress’s features, this is a winner because of how much easier it is for coworkers to collaborate across vast distances.

5. Cross-Platform Compatibility for Computer and Mobile

To boost the software’s user-friendliness further, the brains behind PhraseExpress designed it to work on as many devices as possible. There are differences, however, in which services each platform can use.

On Windows, all options are open, whether you have a personal or professional membership.

Macs see a smaller range of features, but the client-server system you get is no less efficient. All you lose are Windows-based tools like the Outlook add-in, clipboard tricks, and the option to import text expansions from MS Word. Beyond that, the performance and sharing capabilities stay the same.

PhraseExpress is also available on iPhone and iPad, with tools similar to those of computer editions. The mobile version does come with disadvantages, though. For example, you can't create and edit macros or use an external keyboard.

Nevertheless, PhraseExpress on iOS is no less handy. Even on a portable device, users can access the team’s shared resources. Being stuck behind a desk isn't the only way to make the most of professional text expansion.

Unfortunately, Android users are in for bad news. Due to technical problems between Google Drive and PhraseExpress programming, the Google Play app isn't available anymore. Until that's the case, team members on the move might want to invest in an iOS device for work.

Download: Text Expander PhraseExpress (Free, premium version available)

Share Text Expansions and Work Better as a Team

There are lots of handy tools and tricks to discover on PhraseExpress that can speed up your writing. But its value to a network of users is just as great.

Whether locally or via the Cloud, you can share folders full of phrases or even commonly misspelled words. And you can do so from a computer and iOS device, quickly and securely.

Additionally, this is a perfect program to start customizing your workflow, maybe pairing it with other solutions for text automation on an Android device.