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It’s been a while since I mentioned the weather – and I know some of you Brit expats especially look forward to updates – so I feel safe to say it’s a rainy Sunday here in London town and I love it.

Rainy Sundays for me mean extra thinking time, aka time to get creative. And that usually means getting away from my computer.

Even in Silicon Valley, the trend is now to have a ‘digital sabbath’ or detox where all devices are turned off, usually for the entire weekend. The result is that everyone returns refreshed and invigorated to their screens with some ‘real life’ perspective.

If you’re feeling a little frazzled by this whole internet thing, I can heartily recommend this approach. Even if, at the moment, your digital business building is confined to weekends, just a few hours off can make all the difference.

You can find out more on that in your recommended TED talk this week (see below) and this is also an excellent article on how taking a digital break can really benefit you and therefore your business:

View story at Medium.com

Another way to reduce the time you spend online is, of course, to streamline your business and I’ve been doing just that all year. One thing I’ve just set up is a ticket support system after trying out just about all the free (and some paid) offerings out there.

I’ve finally settled on Freshdesk and I’m very happy with it. It’s entirely free for up to 3 agents which is a generous enough allowance to mean that, for most of our purposes, you need never pay for it.

Get Freshdesk here:

http://freshdesk.com/best-help-desk

Another thing I’ve been doing is going as paperless as possible (and if you could see my desk you’d know what a monumental task that is!)

I’ve recommended Evernote before but I’ve also recently installed the Cloud Magic app which links seamlessly with Evernote as well as other paperless solutions and means I can take notes etc on the go:

https://evernote.com/

https://cloudmagic.com/

Here are the other paperless solutions Cloud Magic offers:

http://blog.cloudmagic.com/2014/06/05/gopaperless-with-cloudmagic/

And for a whole bunch more free apps and tools to streamline your life and business, look no further than this from Mashable:

http://mashable.com/2014/09/11/workplace-technology/

At this time of year, most of us are looking ahead to 2015 and what we can do to streamline/improve things during the fresh, shiny 12 months ahead.

Right on cue, Hubspot have brought out a great new report on 17 SEO Myths you should leave behind in the coming year.

Get your copy free here (as ever with Hubspot, you need to enter your details but I have never, ever been spammed or had a problem with their emails):

http://offers.hubspot.com/17-seo-myths-leave-behind-in-2015

Staying with 2015, here’s what some of the world’s top digital marketers predict will be on trend or crucial to success in all areas of marketing:

21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions

A really strong trend that will continue through to 2015 is visual marketing – let’s go back to Mashable for some great tips on how to succeed in this arena and the best tools to use:

http://mashable.com/2014/11/20/media-trends-visual-story/

Finally, your TED talk this week is the aforementioned one by Pico Iyer – this has so far been watched by over 2.1M people and teaches how travel can rescue us from our technological distractions. Perhaps not quite what laptop lifestyle entrepreneurs want to hear but important for all of us:

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