Posted by David in Office Stuff on October 08, 2011
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OK its been almost a year since we last did this. Here's a collection of some music we've been playing at the office lately....instrumentals, beats, R&B, hiphop, dubstep and more, everything from Eric Satie to Lil Tunechi. Download link below after the tracklist….

Oh Why - Balam Acab
I'm God (Instrumental) - Clams Casino
Feels Better (produced by Beautiful Lou) - Sed the Dean
Real Estate - Wiz Khalifa
Fire Flame (Remix) ft. Lil Wayne - Birdman
Unreleased - Lex Luger
By Your Side - Araabmuzik
The Zone - The Weeknd
Paris Morton Music - Drake
White Girl Problems - Jay Curry
Detroit Falls - Pariah
Free Spirit - Araabmuzik
A Galaxy in the West Quadrant - Keyboard Kid
I'll Be Yours (Visions of Trees Remix) - Those Dancing Days
Things Fall Apart - Zomby
Shell of Light (Shlohmo Remix) - Burial
The Vision - Joker
The Bells (Girl Unit Remix) - C.R.S.T.
Feral (Lone RMX) - Radiohead
Parallel World - Actress
Gnossienne No. 5 - Erik Satie

DOWNLOAD MIX (.zip)

See Vol. 1 here

Posted by David in Office Stuff on August 10, 2011
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The dust is still settling and the boxes are still all over the place, but we've been up and running at our new place here on Tung Street in Sheung Wan for almost a week now. So far we've met a few of our neighbours, done a little bit of exploring the local eateries, smashed a couple roaches, hung out a bit outside in our tiny makeshift patio....and it all feels like a bit of a dream, really. Had time to take a few crappy iPhone photos of the place and here they are. If you're ever in the neighbourhood, come by and say hi! We're at 48 Tung Street, near Tai Ping Shan Street.

 

Posted by Belle in Office Stuff on July 23, 2011
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Back in April I was interviewed by Sam Barnes on his popular Web Project Management Blog and talked about how we manage projects at BeansBox and some specific tools that we use. One of the tools that is worth a special mention is Co-op.

As the business owner + project manager here, I have the constant challenge of keeping tabs on project budgets and making sure our resources are well utilized in a very fast-paced environment. To do that, I not only have to set up schedules and tasks on Basecamp beforehand, I also need to know what everyone is working on right now and will work on next to be sure things are running smoothly. Otherwise a small slip-up here and there would easily creep up in a few days, and throw our schedule and budget off course.

Some managers like to "check in" face-to-face or get updates via email, IM or daily meeting to find out the team's status, but I found these methods too disrupting or inefficient. I certainly don't want to nag people by asking "What are you working on?" every other hour or wait until the end of the day to get an update (sometimes this would be too late already because of the dynamics of juggling multiple projects).

Imagine every one in the team can easily update their "work status" like tweeting, and have a centralized place to share their agenda. This is how Co-op solved the problem for us. 

Posted by David in Office Stuff on July 15, 2011
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These days in Hong Kong, you can walk down any block of any street and chances are you'll see at least one or two buildings being torn down or built up. Signs of progress...what else is new? Only that we've also become a victim of this, kicked out of our building because its destined for demolition sometime later this year. Already, the building next to us has been bulldozed...such a pleasant sound having demolition crew go off all day long while you're working....NOT.

The plus side of all this is that we've found a great new space where we'll be moving too, several blocks away in the chill side streets of Sheung Wan.

Here's a Photosynth "before" shot we took of the exterior of the building....renovation is well underway and we're so psyched. Further updates to come!

Posted by Belle in Office Stuff on November 30, 2010
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We have a small team here so every one wears many hats and understands how important it is to get things done faster and better with the right tools. Here are the 7 apps that "power" our operation and if you happen to be running a small business or aren't too happy with what your corporate I.T. department offers, check these out:

1. Google Apps - free email for custom domain

Did you know that you can use Gmail with your own domain name, e.g. name@yourcompany.com? Google Apps (free edition) allows up to 50 user accounts so it's perfect for us. What we like most are:

  • Simple interface for adding/removing accounts and aliases instantly. You don't need an IT support.
  • Ability to use custom domain like http://mail.beansbox.com for web and mobile access.
  • Superb uptime. More reliable than any other *paid* email hosting service we've used.

The only caveat is the accessibility of Google services in Mainland China. So if your operation is based in China or you travel there a lot, this could be a problem. 

2. Basecamp - project collaboration

After we hired our third staff in 2004, we realized that emails just didn't work for collaboration. It was impossible to keep up with dozens of email threads for projects every day, and to keep track of what's going on, what needs to be done and organize all assets and communications.

We started using Basecamp for all our client projects in early 2005. For us, the most important feature of a collaboration tool is "simplicity". We absolutely need every one to use the tool, including our clients, to really benefit from it.

So instead of searching for the tool with the most features that fit our needs, we looked for the simplest one - one with a dead simple interface, and one that plays well with email - so clients who are typically used to emails or aren't tech-savvy at all still feel at ease.

Posted by David in Office Stuff on November 26, 2010
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Here a selection of songs that have been floating through the office over the last few months that we've been working on our new BeansBox site.

I like the idea of curating a sort of soundtrack of certain periods in our lives. I can imagine that years from now, listening back to these tunes would mean something. This Office Mixtape is the first of (hopefully) many office soundtracks that we will keep on putting out.

It took us (embarassingly) 10 months to get our own site redesign done.  Anyone who's gone through the process of making their own company website can probably relate to this -- struggling to find time to work on your own site while also dealing with the day-to-day.....cramming in three hour sessions here and there in-between doing all your client work. Anyway, with much determination we finally pushed it out, and we're pretty happy with it.

Music for us this summer was all about bass, beats, hooks and grooves. Press the Play button in the Mixcloud player above and have a listen! Track list after the click.

Posted by Elmer in Office Stuff on January 04, 2010
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Happy New Year everyone!

Surely, there are still some traces of the holidays as evidenced by getting used to the late waking hours and a bit lazy to head to work. Unfortunately, there are unfinished tasks to do, emails to respond to and deadlines to meet that we need to get back on track as we begin the new year.

In the case of BeansBox, we will begin the new year with a renovation of our Stanley Street office. This means for the first few weeks of the year, we will be working remotely. If necessary, we need to find some place else to meet up for project updates and keeping in touch with clients. We'll miss working in the office for a while, but we're all excited to be in a new working environment without actually changing jobs.

You can still reach us on our phone lines for enquiries, or drop an e-mail if you feel more comfortable doing so. In the meantime, we'll be working on our solitary spaces for now.

 

Posted by Belle in Office Stuff on December 25, 2008
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We wish you a very merry Christmas from all of us here at BeansBox. We hope you like our website's Holiday Theme.

2008 has been a great year for us. We have expanded our team, landed some exciting new accounts, and just launched our revamped site. With a new suite of marketing services, we have kept our clients' websites and ourselves quite busy. We are very grateful for your support and look forward to the new challenges in the New Year.
Posted by Belle in Office Stuff on December 11, 2008
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What does BeansBox love? You bet, it's beans - in particular coffee beans. Thanks to the fellow coffee maniacs at Coffee Assembly, we're proud to present you the BeansBox Brand Coffee Beans!

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