Leah Monica

Director of Marketing

Favorite Tool: Google Page Analytics Chrome Extension

For me, 2017 is all about productivity hacks and working more efficiently. Recently, I’ve been diving deep into the world of Google Chrome extensions to help me streamline as much of my work (and personal life) as possible.

One of my current favorite tools is the Page Analytics extension for Chrome. With just a quick glance, it shows you how your users are interacting with your site, in an easily digestible format.

How does it work?

Once you have the extension installed and turned on, you will see the analytics data pop up on any webpage you visit that you have access to in Google Analytics. Keep in mind that this requires that you are logged into the Google account in Chrome that is tied to your Google Analytics account.

When the extension is turned on, you’ll be able to see:

  • Metrics such as pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, and exit percentage. You can also use the date comparison and segmentation tools directly in the extension for these metrics.
  • The number of active, real-time visitors on your site.
  • In-page click-through rate analysis.

I love that in the middle of a marketing meeting when someone asks, “Hey – does anyone know if our users are actually clicking on the calls to action in our rotating branding area?” I can quickly pull up our website to see how many people have clicked through in the last month. It’s also a heck of a lot easier to take a quick, high-level peek at the traffic on any given page of our website than it is to log in to Google Analytics and dig for that information. Pretty great, right?

While I still very strongly suggest doing a deep dive into your Google Analytics reports once a month at minimum, it’s great to be able to get a rough idea of what pages users are visiting, what’s working, and what’s not working in a matter of seconds.

One very important thing to note about the click analysis, however, (and one of my only gripes with this extension as I think it’s a bit misleading at first glance), is that the click-through rate is for each destination page. For example, if you have three separate links to your events page on your homepage – in the navigation, right rail, and footer – they will all show the same number of clicks, even though the link in the navigation may have gotten the most number of individual clicks. Therefore, the click analysis isn’t good indicator of the success of link placement. Just something to keep in mind!

What are some of your favorite Chrome extensions for working more efficiently?

Elaine Heinzman

Content Strategist and Information Architect

3 Last-Minute Holiday Tech Gifts

We acknowledge that it’s late in the gift-buying game, so if you procrastinated on your shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and/or Three Kings Day, Matrix Group has got you covered with three options for the gadget geek in your life.

Nixplay Iris digital picture frame

The Nixplay Iris is a sleek, high-resolution digital picture frame that you can update from your smartphone. It connects to Dropbox as well as the major social-media and photo-gallery platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr).

If your parents love to see the most current photos of their grandkids, you can use the Nixplay Mobile app to update the images they see on their Iris. Bonus: Click the Nixplay link above for a voucher code to get free delivery in time for the holidays.

 

Nonda ZUS phone charger and car locator

The Nonda ZUS looks more like something out of the new Star Wars film than a phone charger, but it has another, even better superpower: It automatically saves your car’s location whenever you park.

Are you the kind of person who can’t remember where you left your car? Use the ZUS app to find your vehicle, and connect your phone to the ZUS so your phone can recharge. 

Rocketbook WaveThe Rocketbook Wave is a traditional spiral-bound notebook with some pretty unconventional twists. It comes with a Pilot FriXion pen, which you use like a regular pen to take notes (and which you can buy in office-supply stores everywhere). The Rocketbook app lets you scan those notes and upload them to whichever cloud service you use (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, Evernote).

The coolest part: When the Rocketbook Wave is filled up, you microwave it to clear out all the pages and use the notebook over and over.

Leah Monica

Director of Marketing

10 Ways to Stay Healthy and Fit at the Office in 2015

A group of Matrix Group staff get together to do yoga at lunch every now and then.

A group of Matrix Group staff get together to do yoga at lunch every now and then.

Aiming to be a healthier, happier you in 2015? If so, you’ve probably evaluated your exercise and eating habits, and have put a solid game plan in place for the New Year. But have you considered how your habits at work could make or break your ability to meet your goals?

Here are our top 10 tips for staying healthy and fit throughout the workday:

  1. Keep healthy snacks within reach. I’d venture to say that office temptations might be the #1 diet saboteur. If you’re office is anything like ours, it’s all: doughnuts and cakes and candy bowls (oh my!) I’ve found that when I have healthy snacks ready and waiting — fruit, nuts, light granola bars — I’m less tempted to seek out the junk food lying around the office.
  2. Ask for a standing desk. I converted my desk to a standing desk about 6 months ago, and I can’t stop singing its praises. I’ve found that I’m more alert and more energized during the workday, plus I move around a lot more now that I’m always on my feet. While I realize this option may not be possible or ideal in some work environments, it never hurts to ask. If your company can’t (or won’t) spring for a new standing desk for you at the moment, you can always make a poor-man’s standing desk.
  3. Take the stairs! Sometimes taking the stairs isn’t always feasible — you work on the 20th floor, the stairway access is locked when entering the staircase (pro-tip: means of egress can never be locked – take the stairs DOWN!) or you’re nursing an ailment – but if you can, try to take the stairs to add some extra cardio exercise into your day.
  4. Grab a larger glass. Larger glass = more liquid. Consuming more liquid = more trips to the restroom. More trips to the restroom = more movement. Win, win, win.
  5. Take the scenic route. Need to meet with someone down the hall? Take the long loop around the office to get some extra steps in. Need to use the restroom? Go to the one that is the furthest away, or even go to one on a different floor (taking the stairs, of course!).
  6. Head to the gym at lunch. Studies show that working out in the middle of the day boosts productivity (how can your boss argue with that?), and is a great option if you are not a morning person or tend to have packed evenings. If there isn’t a gym close to your office, aim to take a walk every day at lunch time.
  7. Stand up and stretch. Many sources say that to stay healthy, you shouldn’t sit for more than an hour at a time. Make sure you give yourself at least 5 minutes of movement for every hour you are sitting. If necessary, set an alarm/reminder to stand up and stretch every hour on the hour, or invest in a fitness tracker that will alert you if you are sedentary for too long.
  8. Take your meeting on a walk. If you have a one-on-one internal meeting scheduled, suggest taking it on a walk. Sometimes the fresh air will even help to spark inspiration! Just make sure one of you has some kind of note taking device on hand to record action items or new ideas.
  9. Find a workout buddy. Find someone in your office that has similar goals and fitness interests, and hold each other accountable. It’s much easier (and more fun) to make yourself go for a walk or head to the gym when you have someone to do it with. Plus, you’ll probably think twice about grabbing that second doughnut when your buddy is around.
  10. Invite others to participate in small wellness “brain breaks” throughout the day. At Matrix, a group of us will gather for 5-10 minutes almost every day to do a few jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, and light stretching. If I were to do those things on my own at my work area, I’m sure my colleagues would think of me as a manic. But when we do those things as a group, it feels much more acceptable and is a LOT of fun. We also have a “stair club” that takes the elevator down to the bottom of the building, and then climbs the 12 flights of stairs back up to the office together. Start something fun at your office. Everyone will love you for it. Promise.

What are your secrets to staying healthy and fit in the workplace?

Kevin Tomko

Project Manager

Making Life Easier with Extensions

Extensions and plugins can make life so much easier. Those of us who use Chrome now have more options when it comes to Gmail.

This article in PC World Magazine explores several nifty extensions, including KeyRocket, Markdown Here, Right Inbox for GmailChecker Plus, and Gmail Offline. keys on a computer keyboard

They all look pretty exciting to me. They make things easier for the user and are free. What more could you ask?

Have you used these extensions? Are there others you prefer?

Chip Boyd

Brewmaster

Mailstrom – Finally Getting a Handle on Your Inbox

Inbox

Image source :http://www.sxc.hu

Dealing with your inbox is pretty awful. It only gets worse as we advance in our careers, and as more Luddites give in and join us here in the 21st Century. In the end, every one of us needs some kind of inbox solution.

Mailstrom is a web application that helps you move towards “Inbox Zero,” when you have no more unattended-to emails in your inbox, cluttering your life. It scans your Gmail account and breaks things down by sender, subject, topic, etc., and allows you to archive or delete them. It also tracks your progress.

Gotta tell you, I’m a fan so far. I used it to get rid of a lot of junk that I had in my Gmail account, and am now operating with a much cleaner inbox.

Have you found a great email tool?