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Cococello is Deb Pang Davis. Independent print and digital designer, educator and soon-to-be-author.

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What I Learned This Week #20 2010

This week is all about web apps and other tools that I’ve discovered or re-discovered for my business. Perhaps they might work for you, too!

Need an E-commerce Shop? Check out Big Cartel

I’ve known about Big Cartel since they launched and haven’t been back until recently when my friend and fellow invitation designer, Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia asked me about it.

If you are looking for a fully-hosted, easy-to-set-up e-commerce shop for your website, Big Cartel is worth the look. I’m seriously considering it for Coco Paperie because it would be super quick.

There are three pricing tiers, each offering different levels of features. If you are looking for custom CSS/HTML options, the $9.99 per month package is a great starting point.

Big Cartel is definitely not a solution for those needing a more robust solution and if you are a small creative shop interested in selling a few products direct to customers, it is an affordable and easy way to hit the ground running.

As with any tool or app you might consider integrating with your website/online business, take the time to think about your goals and how your website will be structured. Understanding your content is key to choosing your tools and how your choice of tools will work with your marketing strategy and business goals.

With e-commerce, it is even more important to fully define user paths and error messages to make purchasing an easy experience for your buyers.

Here are a few other e-commerce tools I’m checking out:

Side note: John and I have also been looking at Cartthrob. It looks super promising since it is fully customizable and allows for seamless integration with ExpressionEngine (our CMS of choice) for more complex content relationships. I agree with Angie at 420 Creative that “it isn’t for everybody.” and if you are using EE, Cartthrob is definitely worth a look.

Evernote on the iPad Rocks

I’ve been using Evernote (Premium) as a giant online digital notebook and It has helped me get rid of a ton of paper. I can access all my notes from anywhere using any device.

The desktop version I expect to be stellar and I just recently started using Evernote from my iPad.

It seriously rocks. The interface is easy and it looks beautiful.

My favorite part: I love how on the iPad if I have a list of bookmarks in a note, I can browse without having to launch Safari.

I also love how you can send tweets to your Evernotebooks. There are all sorts of very cool ways to track information. Check out Evernote’s Tips and Tricks

Juggling Appointments? Need to Get a Grip on Schedules?

In January, Mike and I have been sending each other iCal invitations to stay on top of our crazy schedules. We are super dependent on it to make sure we don’t double-book ourselves. We also have only one car to share so tracking can be super important. 

Add to this, I spend a lot of my time sending emails to friends, colleagues, subcontractors, potential customers, existing customers to find times to schedule meetings, consultations, etc.

To get a grip on how I spend my time making appointments, I’ve signed up for free trials for the following web apps to see which one will be the winner:

SkedgeMe seems to be the latest and it’ll be interesting to see how they develop. Coming soon is an iPhone app, Universal Sign-on and the ability to integrate booking appointments straight from your website. I haven’t done much with it yet since it doesn’t have iCal sync as an option.

TimeBridge has integration with Evernote which is a big plus and it also works with Box. I’m just not sure I have a need for web conferencing at the moment.

What I like about Tungle is its simplicity and while this isn’t a deal breaker, it is prettier. I like the fact that on your public scheduling page, you can have your profile pic and contact details displayed which makes “Scheduling a meeting” seem more friendly.

So I’m stuck right now between Tungle and Timebridge.

Do any of you have experience with any of the online scheduling apps above? If so, which do you prefer and why? I’m all ears and help me decide! 

Here’s a quick review of 4 meeting schedulers by Mashable.

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