The Repo

The Weekly Wrap

David Dexter

Written by David Dexter on September 17, 2014

Posted in: WRL

Here’s our weekly wrap for you weekend perusal.

Wayfarers Chapel View

The team stopped by the Wayfarers Chapel gardens on our way back from a team lunch today. Here’s a picture that @kellysims snapped of the view. Gorgeous!

David

Our friend Erik Reagan over at Focus Lab put together and interesting read on failover servers: 3 Basic Ingredients to Setting up a Failover Server

Marcus Neto from Blue Fish Design schooled the world with 10 Cool thing you can do with ExpressionEngine

Firefox Add-on Enables Web Development Across Browsers and Devices

Kelly

I love the movie Princess Bride. Now Cary Elwes (The Dread Pirate Roberts) has written a book about his experience. Check it out.

I’ve been meaning to get more familiar with Susy for Sass grids in my personal projects, but just haven’t yet. Zell Liew wrote up a piece over at CSS-Tricks called Build Web Layouts Easily with Susy that looks like a great primer.

We’ve been seeing more sharks locally, so when I saw this I had to read it. Sharks Are Accidentally Good at Math

Want: Cult movie playing cards.

I just found out about the Responsive Design Podcast, and it’s great. Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane do a great job of interviewing people involved in RWD and the hurdles they faced through the process.

As an avid home brewer, this was interesting. Here’s How A Six-Pack Of Craft Beer Ends Up Costing $12.

The laws of shitty dashboards.

This was also a good read on CSS naming conventions. Naming CSS Stuff Is Really Hard.

And finally, your long read for the weekend: Improving Smashing Magazine’s Performance: A Case Study.

The Tools We Use - Evernote - A Little Bit of Everything

Jenn

Written by Jenn on July 15, 2014

Posted in: project management tools

Next on our list of tools we use to get things done at Codesly is Evernote. Evernote seems to be one of those tools that we are always learning something new about. We dig it because it makes us feel like there are endless possibilities when it comes to better ways of organizing all of our diabolical plots to take over the world.

How We Use Evernote

Evernote

How don’t we attempt to use this tool? - That’s more like it. From client contacts, to the office supply list, ideas for world peace… We use it so we don’t lose it. Evernote even comes in handy for jotting down notes on how we can use Evernote. Don’t judge.

As a basic client contact card, it works great for storing contact info and previous communication with clients. You can copy it right in or add images and file attachments. We can even add a picture of our client so that we have a face to a name. This is a great way to keep information like this in an easily accessible place for current staff and any newbies that may come aboard.

Contact Card

Client folders also can be a great way to use this tool. We create a folder of each client and store all kinds of stuff. In each client folder we have added a project outline. This project outline gives a streamlined view of all of the basics and then some. We include things like the date of inquiry, project start date, and projected hours for completion of the project. Remember those client contact cards I spoke of earlier? We just plop the contact card links associated to that client right into the project outline along with links for any other relevant files linked to the client. Easy peasy.

We also love using Evernote as a bank of blog ideas and cool links that we may run across throughout the week. Evernote’s Web Clipper is a super convenient way to plop those web pages and link likes right into an Evernote folder.

Enough with the serious work stuff! We like to break away from the week full of post haste with a movie every Friday in the office. Our Codesly Movie Friday ideas and picks get jotted down in Evernote. Here we keep inventory of the movies we would like to see and the ones we’ve watched. This helps to make sure we don’t watch The Princess Bride more than once (in a month). Plus, we can use it as a bragging tool for all of the poor suckers that haven’t been blessed with Movie Friday in their office.

Well… there ya’ go. These are just a few things we’ve learned to use Evernote for. Like I said, we are still fresh on the Evernote scene and are always learning new ways to harness its power. With the ever growing list of things to remember, this is a nice tool to help clear some space in your brain.

If you like the ideas that we’ve had for using Evernote, but you’ll likely forget about them right after you’ve read this- We recommend that you copy this text into Evernote right away!

The Weekly Wrap

Jenn

Written by Jenn on June 26, 2014

Posted in: WRL

A week away from a big holiday weekend here in the U.S. We’ll be taking an extra day off here at Codesly for a 4 day weekend. Here’s our weekly wrap for you weekend perusal.

Jenn

Looking for something to do in LA this weekend?

My latest fav… Jeremy Mann

Kelly

My 14-year-old tells me we should make an iPhone app as a summer project. Cool! The best resources for learning iOS design and Xcode

Your writing is crucial
How frequent writing furthers research and success

Why Side Projects Should Be Stupid

Oh to have a time machine… The Silver Arrows Project. So cool.

From last year but such a good read. Work - Life by Trent Walton

I switched up my shaving gear last month and I couldn’t be happier. Harry’s blades were a little odd at first but work great, and the shave cream is fantastic. Grab their Truman Set for $15 and try it out. I might upgrade to a shaving plan now.

Jamie

OHMYGODLOOKATTHESEBEAUTIFULCUSTOMBIKES!! By Deus Ex Machina

A photo essay of families like mine (mixed raced).

Road trip!!! The first one of the Summer. Going to Marfa, Tx, and here’s why.

Apparently there are some really cool houses in the West Adams neighborhood in LA.

Ana

Corbett Barr on the benefits of being a “small” business.

At an event recently where Maria Popova of Brainpickings spoke with Sharon Ann Lee, Maria said: “90% of my time is spent off the Internet, in old books. I believe the creative medium doesn’t matter, the thinking behind something does.”

Why body language matters more than you think.

Productivity tips: Tabless Thursdays.

As someone who’s taking a break from Twitter (and my primary bookmarking app, Instapaper) during July and August, these digital detox ideas were useful..

Listen To This…

jamie

Written by jamie on June 24, 2014

Posted in: music

From the moment I wake up, to the morning commute, to the office, I don’t think 10 minutes go by without me listening to music. I can’t get ready without Björk or Grimes helping me pick out an outfit for the day. Really almost every aspect of my life has some element of music with it—studying, working, driving, etc. #isthatbad? Am I blocking out the world? Well, escapism is part of my nature.

However, even when I’m not trying to ignore society, music is just nice to have playing in the background, it is the safety net for those awkward breaks in conversation or just to have on as white noise. Here in the office, we like to listen to KCRW, (“a service of Santa Monica College”, I sometimes like to pretend that I am a radio DJ for NPR), which is amazing because I am always finding great new music to listen to. They’ve been telling us for weeks to check out their brand new website. “It features a responsive design.” Haha.

So here is what I am listening to right now:

  1. All The Time by Bahamas
  2. Never Work For Free by Tennis
  3. Age of Consent by New Order
  4. Every 1’s A Winner by Hot Chocolate
  5. 1991 by Azealia Banks
  6. Midnight Song by Wild Nothing
  7. Klapp Klapp by Little Dragon
  8. What’s In Your Head by Disclosure
  9. Ffunny Ffriends by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  10. Wandering Limbs by Kimbra

Listen to this

My Right Now:

The World Cup

Art Horror film genre

Stay here. El Cosmico in Marfa, Tx.

Eat here. Brite Spot in Echo Park.

Reading Is Fundamental Fundraiser

Jenn

Written by Jenn on June 18, 2014

Posted in: announcements

RIF

We are proud to be a sponsor of Reading Is Fundamental. This organization does wonders to promote literacy by providing books to underserved children in Los Angeles. RIF is in another year of fundraising with the help of Macy’s. Check out all of the details below!

Get Ready! Get Set! Go! Macy’s “Be Book Smart” Starts tomorrow!

What is “Be Book Smart”?

RIF has partnered with Macy’s to create Be Book Smart, a national partnership to raise awareness and support of children’s literacy. This effort helps RIF provide free books and literacy resources to children nationwide, while expanding RIF’s outreach to the children at greatest risk for developing reading difficulties. This campaign provides an opportunity for Macy’s customers to join the effort and have an impact on literacy in their community.

This year’s campaign has a special focus on summer reading. Research shows that reading books during the summer is the most effective way for a child to maintain and even improve their literacy skills. Each coupon sold during the campaign provides a book for a child and just as important, the spark to keep them reading during the school year and all summer long.

From June 18 –July 13, 2014, Macy’s customers can give $3 to provide a book for a child in need and receive a coupon for $10 off* a $30 in-store purchase at any Macy’s nationwide. Macy’s will give 100% of every $3 to RIF.

Now in it’s 11th year, the Be Book Smart Campaign has raised more than $30 million and provided over 10 million books to kids.

Why Support the Campaign

Reason #1: By supporting RIF at Macy’s, you are helping provide free books and literacy support to children in underserved communities. All children need access to books and to be exposed to reading at an early age to prepare for success in school and life. And for many of the children RIF serves, their RIF books are their only books.

Reason #2: Macy’s will thank you with a $10 off coupon* valid on eligible purchases of $30 or more!

Reason #3: You’re a Book Person and helping kids make you feel good.

Last year RIFSoCal was able to purchase 56K books – for no cost – from our participation in the promotion. Between Board, staff and volunteers, we will visit 41 Macy’s stores this year to talk about RIF, Be Book Smart and the importance of bringing children and book together.

The Tools We Use - Asana - Project Management

Kelly Sims

Written by Kelly Sims on June 12, 2014

Posted in: project management tools

Part of a series of posts where we cover the tools we use here at Codesly.

Back when I came on board with Codesly, we were using ActiveCollab for project management. It was a bit of a pain point for me coming from Apollo, but we made it work. Mostly.

One reason we used it, and one that most agencies use it and things like Basecamp for, is client interaction. Having a tool for clients to take part in discussions and task management seems like a win for both client and agency.

But eventually, we discovered that most clients just don’t use them. This meant the PM tool was really just for us. For us, we didn’t need discussions, notebooks, and most everything else ActiveCollab (or Basecamp for that matter) offered. We needed task management.

Hello Asana!

I’m a tool junky. If left alone, I will spend an inordinate amount of time researching the best tool for everything I do. It’s borderline obsession. But it has it’s good side. When it came time to find something new, I already had a short-list of things to try, and Asana was on top of that list. As it turns out, it was a perfect fit for us.

How we us Asana

Asana has a learning curve, somewhat steeper than other simple task systems. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s really flexible. Which means you can use it a number of different ways, and that means it can be hard to fit into at first. The team behind Asana has done a really great job of setting up videos and help on it though.

For us, everything start with projects. We have one team here so using multiple teams is unnecessary. Everything we do gets a project. New Codesly website, new client project, new internal project, all get a project in Asana. We also have a Client Support project that lumps a number of clients together for support tasks. More on that later.

For our work to excel, we need to make sure everything is covered in tasks. Each of us needs to know what needs to be done and by when. So every task in Asana gets assigned to a person. No open tasks allowed. If we’re unsure who might need to do the work, I take the task and decide later. We also diligently assign (most) everything due dates. This helps us get a big picture view of all work inside the calendar view of Asana.

Every day we take time in the morning to set up our tasks for the day. Asana let’s you set a task to either Today, Upcoming or Later. This is my favorite part of Asana. I look through Upcoming and move things to my Today list every day. Everyone else does this as well. During the day, I can open anyone’s task list and see what they have on their plate for the day.

Asana is also very keyboard-friendly. Almost the entire system is manageable from just the keyboard. Makes getting around in it a breeze once you get your bearings.

Due dates on tasks automatically bubble up tasks when they are due. So if you have something set for today and it’s hidden in Later, it will show up in your Today. Very nice!

Client support with Asana

We have a growing number of clients, and they often need assistance or small bits of help on things. For this we created the Client Support project. Since each project gets it’s own email address, this makes it easy to forward in client emails to start a task. That keeps the whole message and any attachments included in the task. We can then pop into Asana and assign it a person and due date. We use comments and sub-tasks as needed for these.

To keep them organized better, we use tags to distinguish clients. Each client gets a tag, so at a glance we can see which clients have work needing done. Clicking a tag shows all tasks for just that client, all over Asana.

Asana integrates with a number of 3rd party systems, like Harvest. We use Harvest for time tracking and invoicing our clients. Once the client support task has been emailed in, we can start a Harvest timer right from the task itself. I can see the task timer show up in my desktop Harvest app within seconds, and then I’m off to make the client happy! We love the integration with Harvest. It was one of the big selling points for us.

Client work in Asana

I mentioned above that we don’t do much collaborative task work with clients anymore. Most of our clients just never use it. We do have clients once in awhile though that do, and Asana works well in those situations too. We just share a project with whoever we need to by email address, and they get to access just that. They never see anything else within Asana that we don’t need them seeing. They get email updates and get to email tasks in just like we do. It works great.

Other tools

This is one of a series will be doing. Other tools we use that we’ll be writing about include Evernote, Dropbox, Foundation, InVision, Beanstalk and Harvest.

Los Angeles ExpressionEngine Meetup With mithra62

Kelly Sims

Written by Kelly Sims on June 10, 2014

Posted in: expressionengine meetup

This week Codesly is happy to sponsor another Los Angeles ExpressionEngine Meetup. The LAEE is a great group, and acts both a resource and a rallying place for local ExpressionEngine users.

Eric has been a big part of the ExpressionEngine community for the past few years. Between creating some amazing add-ons, writing on several blogs, and speaking at EECI, you’d have a hard time finding someone in the community who doesn’t know his name. He is the founder of mithra62 and proud developer of professional and enterprise grade ExpressionEngine add-ons.

Founded in 2009, mithra62 aims to be a leader in ExpressionEngine add-on development and has a reputation for stability, usefulness, and being highly configurable.

On Thursday, Eric presents “Debugging ExpressionEngine and Improving Performance.”

Finding performance bottlenecks before they start causing issues can be one of the differentiators between a professional ExpressionEngine developer and an amateur dabbler. To help with this, the ExpressionEngine Debug Toolbar is built specifically to alleviate the pains of the built in Profiler and Debug Output by being a complete, from the ground up, replacement. Come join Eric Lamb (the developer behind the EE Debug Toolbar) as he walks us through the ins and outs of the add-on and shows us how to improve the performance of our sites with minimal pain.

We are meeting again at Kleverdog Coworking.

Kleverdog Coworking is not just about the membership options, or the hours, or the comfort of your chair. It is about being in an environment where entrepreneurship is fostered, where other like-minded people come together to make something real, where a casual conversation in the kitchen leads to a perfect collaboration on the latest mobile app, and where working in solitude is replaced with community and where accidental serendipity is bound to happen.

That’s just a short few days away. RSVP today and join us!

The Weekly Wrap

Kelly Sims

Written by Kelly Sims on May 22, 2014

Posted in: WRL

Holiday weekend for us here in the U.S. It’s a time to remember those who died serving in our military. It’s also a great time to cherish your family and loved ones still with you.

Everyone here at Codesly wishes you a healthy and happy holiday weekend. Here are a few cool links to read over the long weekend. Enjoy!

Jenn

Ana

Jamie

  • An amazing cover for Esquire Ukraine with Tilda Swinton. #tildaswintonisagoddess
  • I know it’s a week old, but its funny because it’s true. An SNL Digital Short.
  • An interesting format for a website, kind of confusing? With James Turrell, Beck, and Tilda Swinton. The Source
  • A fun wiki format website.

Kelly

The Weekly Wrap

Jenn

Written by Jenn on May 16, 2014

Posted in: WRL

Another week gone by? What the …? Oh well, here’s another batch of links and cool stuff to browse this weekend. We’re coming off a crazy hot spell here in Los Angeles. We hope things are good for you wherever you hang your hat.

Love this video!

JohnnyExpress from AlfredImageworks on Vimeo.

Jenn

Jamie

Kelly

“My point is that while we don’t want to overwhelm the user with choice overload, we also need to be careful not to unintentionally remove valuable choices that can empower people. In our quest to make experiences seamless, we run the risk of also making those experiences rigid and inflexible.” - from Seams by Jeremy Keith

The Weekly Wrap - Cinco de Mayo!

Kelly Sims

Written by Kelly Sims on May 08, 2014

Posted in:

Once again, a collection of links and interesting bits to fill your weekend reading sessions right up!

Jenn

Kelly

Doug Bowman’s last day as Creative Director at Twitter is today. He shares a love letter to Twitter, and this stands out to me:

“I love how people can gain a new voice with Twitter. It has given me a louder and farther-reaching voice than I ever thought possible. And while I can only physically be in one place at one time, I love how Twitter distributes my awareness of what’s going on nearby or far away. At any moment, I can instantly know what’s going on in the next room, in the next town, or in a country halfway around the world.”

Jamie

  • Anto Shirt
  • Boomphones
  • Lifefactory
  • Growersbox
  • Cake
  • RIFSoCal

Just a few of the amazing companies we have worked with. Find out how Codesly can help your business grow.

Codesly is proudly based in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, CA. We provide website design and development solutions to companies in and around Torrance, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes as well as globally.