Outlook Google Sync

We found a fantastic plugin to provide excellent contact & calendar syncing between Microsoft Outlook and Google. It’s called Outlook4Gmail (http://scand.com/products/outlook4gmail/). The Pro version costs $20, but it works very well and is very configurable.

Google terminated support for their own Outlook Calendar Syncing (unless you have Apps for Business or Education) four years ago, and it never worked well anyway.

Mass Delete Unnecessary Email from GMAIL

Many of our clients use email clients like Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, iPhone/iPad/Android, but by default Google archives any message that’s marked as deleted.

Running a GMAIL search (at http://gmail.com) for the following query allows you to mass delete (run the search, select all the messages, hit the trash button) messages that aren’t labeled (and therefore are likely to have been previously archived).

has:nouserlabels in:all -label:inbox -label:trash

Add this criteria to filter a specific date range:

after:2008/1/1 before:2012/1/2

This example will only select messages between January 1, 2008 and January 2, 2012.

Hope that helps.

Replacing iPhone Front Glass & Digitizer

Total labor: 1 hour
Total materials: $30

Jackie notes:

The process wasn’t too bad. Lots of tiny screws and risers and such. I found a good light, a small blade, tweezers, and a heat gun (I used my hair dryer) useful in addition to the tools they provided. I followed this video (http://youtu.be/8fujLMaxJsw) and felt he offered many good tips that other sets of instructions might fail to include.

My screen, as you might see, was in fact shattered. It really was being held together by the screen protector. I had ideas that if the new screen didn’t work out, I’d put the cracked one back on. In retrospect, this never would have been possible. Prying the screen away from the glue ( I think it’s double sided tape, but everyone says glue) basically ensures that its coming off in pieces. It’s necessary to reuse the home button, and a small piece belonging to the front camera.

Putting the new screen on required a bit of wiggling and finagling, but no real pressure. I wonder if this is where others cracked the new screen. Also, the ribbons connected to the LCD and Digitizer can get snagged – as mentioned in the video. They did get snagged for me, and it took me a minute to notice, even with the warning.

The new screen is not Apple quality. The digitizer seems responsive enough, for now. I don’t play games on my phone, so I’m not sure how sensitive it really should be. The display does seem a little cloudy – I’m not sure if this is noticeable in the photo. It’s absolutely usable, but its not as crisp as it was. Comparing to my iPad (both supposed to be retina displays) it seems more an issue of brightness than clarity. The new screen, however, is not cracked. image

Accept Credit Cards with Square!

Are you looking for a cheaper and better way to accept credit payments? Try Square!

Square is a great iPad/iPhone system to accept payments. It emails or texts receipts to the customer as well. You could use square for everything from tag sales, coffee shops, taco trucks, and yoga classes!

If you are already using square, you can also set up to accept “Pay with Square.” The best way to explain “Pay with Square” is for you to watch this great video at the link below. If you need help setting up Square for your business, call us at Brainspiral. We can help you out.


-justin adkins

Amanda, Michigan

You’re a rockstar.  Thank you :)


Regarding: Remotely installing a virtual environment for Windows XP on a Macbook Pro.

Tortured Orchard

Tortured Orchard, a local seasoning sauce company came to us looking for a full re-design.  justin designed this beautiful layout with the client highlighting their products and the many ways you can use their tasty sauces!

The new site is Search Engine Optimized and connects to both Facebook and Twitter so every new blog post gets posted seamlessly to the top two social media outlets.

Check the site out at: http://torturedorchard.com

Elizabeth Winthrop

Award winning children’s author, Elizabeth Winthrop, is a client we have been working since our beginning.  Her website looked like it was done ten years ago, cause it was.  She needed to enter the 21st century and turned to us for design and technical help.

Building a custom theme for Elizabeth was tons of fun!  Her site needed to reflect the fun of her kids books and the seriousness of some of her adult focused work.  What came out is a site that we are all proud of.

Check out Elizabeth’s site here: http://elizabethwinthrop.com and look for her books at your local library.

Fundora Jewelry

Fundora Jewelry is a new online store and home show bead business based out of Pittsfield, MA.  Fundora needed a full web store on a budget, since they are just starting up.  They also needed to highlight their show locations.  Sometimes home parties, sometimes at local festivals and markets.

The site is as fun and simple as their business concept.  Fun, high quality, low cost beads, necklaces and more!

Check out fundora and grab your mom a bracelet while you are there! http://fundorajewelry.com/

Brainspiral offers full e-commerce and SEO solutions.  All of our work is built on the WordPress framework.  However, we do extreme customization.  We build 98% of our designs from the ground up.  Don’t get charged more for a free theme, go to a team that knows the design and tech end of building websites!  Do it local, do it custom!

QR Codes

I’ve been asked a lot about QR Codes recently.  In fact, I had two clients call me today because they saw local forward thinking businesses using QR Codes.  I used to just call them mobile scanners but I guess I gotta catch up to the times as well.

QR codes are not for every business.  Just like facebook is not always good for business.  Please, do not just use them cause they are trendy and you saw them at a bus stop in Brooklyn, think before you use QR codes.  That is why my first recommendation is… Decide why you are using a QR code, what is the point?

No need to ask me when you want to generate one… you can generate your own.

First, what are QR codes?
QR codes are basically a link in print.  You can print an image and when someone with a mobile device that has a QR scanner, such as an iPhone, scans the image then the link you place shows up.  QR Codes can be used for many things such as, a link to a song in itunes, a link to your contact information, or a link to a webpage.

I use the Bakodo scanner on my iPhone because it can scan more than just QR codes! (in fact, I just learned that it could be used for more than finding out the price of spaghetti sauce (my past use of it)

Want to generate and track QR Codes like a web geek?

Decide why you are using a QR code, what is the point?

For something other than a link to a webpage on your site:

  1. go to: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ (there are many generators out there.  this is the one justin likes)
  2. choose from the dropdown what kind of content it is
  3. fill out the fields
  4. choose your size (the size of the image)
  5. click generate
  6. then… you can either download the image or use the url to link to it (if for instance you are putting it in your email signature)
  7. test your image by scanning with your mobile device

For a link to a webpage of your site there are more steps because we want to track the code to see how many people use it:

  1. go to: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578
  2. put in the url that you want to link to example: http://brainspiral.com to link to the Brainspiral Homepage
  3. for the campaign source put “the name of the magazine, etc” cause that is what we are gonna track here.  For example for this I would put “websiteqrexample”,  if this was in the Transcript on May 22nd, “transcript522″
  4. for campaign medium, Id put “qr” cause that is what the medium is
  5. for campaign name… give it a name
  6. click generate URL (I got: http://brainspiral.com/?utm_source=QR&utm_medium=qr%2Bcode&utm_campaign=qr%2Bweb%2Btest)
  7. now that is one LONG URL…let’s shorten it! so, copy that long URL
  8. go to: http://goo.gl/
  9. paste the long URL you just generated into the box and click shorten
  10. For mine I got: http://goo.gl/5UcsV (nice and short!)
  11. NOW go to: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ (there are many generators out there.  this is the one justin likes)
  12. choose from the dropdown URL
  13. paste in your nice short URL
  14. choose your size (the size of the image)
  15. click generate
  16. then… you can either download the image to use in print or use the url to link to it (if for instance you are putting it in your email signature)
  17. My image looks like this:
  18. test your image by scanning with your mobile device

Ok, that is it!

-justin adkins
Get a website today with Brainspiral!!!