Monday, September 26, 2011

Bead Manager Pro Review

I was recently given the opportunity to work with and write a review for an exciting jewelry inventory and pricing software called Bead Manager Pro.

This software is great for anyone that makes jewelry for profit or for hobby and it is flexible enough that it can be used to track various other types of handcrafted items you might make for sale or for fun. I have started using it for my sewing and quilting items as well as my jewelry and I think it is going to be the perfect solution to tracking my cost versus profit.

Out of 5 stars I give this software a 4.5 and the only reason I don’t give it a full 5 stars is because I wish there were a way to separate the different categories of products that I offer. Or at least, I haven’t found a way to do that yet.

If there is a way to do this, then I have no doubt that I will find it because this company offers a large selection of help information for using the software to its fullest potential. You also get access to a comprehensive user’s manual by clicking the help button in the software.

Bead Manager Pro provides:

1. Instant stock level tracking and inventory management

2. Automatic pricing of your completed jewelry pieces

3. Customer records and alerts for special dates

4. Data export into Excel format

5. Professionally printed labels, invoices and catalogs

6. Notes and storage archive for designs details

7. Backup and storage of data

8. Invoice management and tracking

9. Vendor tracking

10. Tax calculations for completed items and invoicing

11. Compatible for all countries and currencies

12. Works with Windows based or Mac platforms

Now, as for the reasons I love this software after such a short time, other than the above list of items, is the ease of use and the comprehensiveness of the software. There is a customer database where you can even set up alerts for special dates and you can print labels, and a whole lot more. Plus, the price is very reasonable for this type of program.

I highly recommend purchasing this software and plan on writing another review once I have a chance to play with it some more. I never thought about using it for hobby things as well but it is a great way to track exactly how much I spend.

To read more about this great software, click here.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

JCopia Review

If you are like me, you love the free tutorials you can find on YouTube and the various websites that offer wonderful instructions via audio and video. There is a wealth of information on the internet and I find myself searching the various video sharing websites in search of those little golden nuggets that help me when I want to try out new techniques for my jewelry, sewing or just about anything else you can imagine. But, sometimes, trying to organize these tutorials for later reference can be a real pain.

I work full time, plus operate a small craft business so I don’t always have the time to watch the tutorial right at the moment I find it. Plus, I am a visual person so I like to refer back to the tutorials as I am trying out the instructions for the various items I like to make. My interests are broad, so you can imagine the amount of tutorials I can amass in just one setting.

I recently had the opportunity to review a wonderful software program called JCopia, offered by the Jiteco Corporation and I must say I like it. There are several things I would love to see added to make organization easier (I will list those later) but overall, it does a good job and the price is right, just $17.99 as of this writing.

Normally, my filling system for my audio and video files has always been a link in my favorites or sending myself the link by email, then putting it in a special folder. Then there is the problem of having a slow internet connection at times that makes it impossible to watch or you go to click on the link and the video is gone (I hate this!). JCopia has solved this problem for me.

JCopia captures the videos you want then stores them on your computer as files. Now you have a great collection of tutorials to watch whenever you want. No need to use an internet connection or worry that just as you decide to follow that tutorial that shows you how to teach Rover to roll over, the video has been removed. You have a record of it for as long as you want.

For me, this means I can download the tutorial to my laptop then carry it wherever I need to whether it’s my workroom, my sewing room, or just to the couch so I can follow the tutorial but still be with my family.

Plus, the video copy is fast and you can set it to run in the background. That way, whenever you pull up a video to watch, JCopia starts recording. I would say, in about a minute or two, the entire video has been captured and you won’t need to sit there and watch the entire thing, you can move on to the next video.

You don’t want all the videos it captured? Just right click on the video you don’t want then delete. You can even rename your captured files.



The only things that I did not like is that when you watch the video, the display is small. Unlike watching on YouTube, you cannot adjust it to fit the screen. For me, that is an issue because for one, the screen on my laptop is not that large so to see what they are doing in some of these videos, I have to adjust it to fit the screen. One thing to remember though, to make it slightly larger than what it normally defaults to, you must set your YouTube to “Fit Screen”, that way, the display in JCopia will be just a little bit larger.

Secondly, it needs a better way to organize your files. So far, I have not found a way to make new folders and then move the files into the folders. This, I think, is also another big issue.

All in all, I would give it 3 stars out of 5. It is a good program and the price is great. It is definitely one I would recommend and will continue to use myself.

Also, JCopia has a giveaway for any of my readers if they also create a review in any blog/forum/twitter/facebook, etc, and contact Jennifer Johnson with link to the review,

You can read more about JCopia by following this link: JCopia Video/Audio Capture