The Importance of Water Conservation

water conservation infographicThe drought-filled summer months that many cities and utility districts have experienced in 2014 have made it clear that high availability of water tends to be taken for granted by residents. We flip on a faucet and enjoy water any time we wish – and don’t think about what a wonderful luxury it really is to have clean abundant water always available at our fingertips. The truth is, only a little over 2% of the world’s water is fresh water and only 1% is accessible drinking water.

In wide-spread drought times, we become more aware that there are many areas of the US where water conservation is almost always a concern and not so taken for granted. Read more >

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Five Things to Consider

English: A pile of mobile devices including sm...In the five or so years since BYOD (meaning Bring Your Own Device) first emerged as an acronym, the proliferation of devices such as tablet computers and smartphones has led to an increasing tendency among organizations to allow employees to bring their own devices to work and connect them to the organization’s network. The BYOD movement is showing no signs of slowing. In addition to corporate offices of all sizes, state governments, county offices and city halls are altering their policies to permit personally owned mobile devices in the workplace and use of those devices to access proprietary information and applications. Read more >

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Where Will the Internet of Things and Wearable Technology Take Us?

An icon from icon theme Crystal Clear.The Cloud. Apps. Domains. Big Data. With so many techy buzzwords, computer jargon, and computer slang, the world of technology can have us feeling out of touch in a nanosecond! And now there are two more buzzwords floating around that seem to have the average Joe a little more than confused: wearable technology and the “Internet of Things”.

We like to try to keep you informed of upcoming trends in technology and hope that we can help alleviate some confusion about them. Though we are in the somewhat humdrum business of government accounting software, we also live every day in the exciting place where new technology meets tried-and-true software. Read more >

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Must-Have Apps for Government Office Employees

appsDo you love your smartphone? Do you find yourself obsessed with apps? Then do we have something fun for you! It’s our favorite Apps for Government Employees.

  • Google Docs: The powerful suite of document creation and editing tools from Google. This Cloud-based services allows users to quickly create, revise, share and store documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from any location with internet access.
  • Ergonomics: This app gives office workers health tips, options for low impact stretches, and tracks activity levels. It also allows users to set notifications when it’s time to get up and stretch.
  • Trello: This popular project management tool is similar to Basecamp, but it’s free. Read more >
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    How to Organize Your Computer and Virtual Space

    13_58_11Did spring cleaning (and maybe summer, fall and winter cleaning) pass your computer by?

    With so many to-do’s to check off the mile-long list on any clerk’s desk, it’s hard to get around to tidying things up and organizing your desk and computer. But a tidy space (virtual and otherwise) can actually help get things done quicker, and more efficiently.

    It doesn’t have to take all day, either! Here are some “quick and dirty” tips for organizing your office computer.

    Organize Your Virtual Space

    Email management

    Managing and organizing email can be an extremely frustrating task. Using tags to organize emails is an effective method that allows you to specify keywords that describe the topic of the email for simple searching at a later time. Read more >

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    2,000 Members and Counting…City Clerk Cafe

    city_clerk_coloredWhere can you learn about storage apps such as Dropbox, gather tips for taking minutes, and exchange stories from the frontline of a City Clerk?  You can do all this (and more!) on the The City Clerk Cafe on LinkedIn.  And that’s probably why so many city clerks–2,000-plus actually–have joined this LinkedIn group.

    The City Clerk Cafe has thousands of members from all around the country, giving clerks the opportunity to connect, network, and brainstorm together in an organized forum.  It also allows members to track discussions, search for jobs, ask questions, share advice, and get updates on the latest seminars and conferences.  Read more >

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    Close the Gender Pay Gap and Ask For More Money

    MoneyFACT: On average, American full-time women earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men.

    FACT: Many women don’t even know they are being underpaid, so they cannot secure themselves equal pay for equal work.

    FACT: Fifty-one percent of women report they are discouraged or forbidden from discussing their wages.

    FACT: Women earn the majority of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degrees.

    FACT: You are most likely a part of these statistics, and don’t even know it.

    There has been a lot of discussion about the President’s “Equal Pay for Women” in the news over the past several months. While this is all great news for working American women, we believe that we cannot sit around and wait for the government to mandate these equal pay rights. Read more >

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    Can That Be True? How to Spot an Illegitimate Claim on Social Media

    Have you seen the commercial where a man and women are discussing truths and the woman always replies that it must be true because she “read it on the Internet.” The commercial then closes by the woman meeting up with her online boyfriend who claims to be (but is so very obviously not) a “French model”?

    With the Internet being our primary source for information these days, it’s hard to remember that what is on the Internet is only as good the source reporting the information.

    Both the glory and the pitfall of Internet information is that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can publish information on ANYTHING. Read more >

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    Tips for Office Moves

    Ah the pains of moving.  The drywall dust in your coffee, the banging of a hammer while on the phone, and the unorthodox placement of common office equipment like the copy machine.  It’s anything but pleasant, and here at Black Mountain Software, we are feeling the everyday pains of both moving an office and converting a once-residential property into a corporate office. Which is why we thought the timing of an article on easing the pains of an office move was perfect!

    Tips for Office Moves

    Get the details.  Find out where your new office will be, what kind of office arrangement has been determined, and when the move will take place. Read more >

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    Getting Started with Lean Projects and Lean Measures

    Saving in a piggy bank

    What do you think of when you hear the word “lean government”? Painful? Financial hardship? More work?

    What you rarely hear in conjunction with the word “lean” is the benefits of lean operation. When properly executed, effective lean management can lead to sustainable, efficient, and effective government offices – offices that deliver more value with less waste. The key is finding and establishing the appropriate lean procedures and executing them correctly.

     

    Keys to Successful Lean Measures

     

    Leadership.

    In order for “lean” to work, it must be executed by leaders who introduce the lean concepts in a manner that is: respectful, positive, opportunistic to the office as a whole, open-minded, adoptive, and by a person who is personally committed to the process. Read more >

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