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Posts by Karen Schoellkopf:

Join Us on GitHub for All of Your API Needs

We’ve moved our API documentation to GitHub, and we’ve added some other goodies there as well. Why move it there, you ask? A lot of our developer community is already using GitHub, and in fact, we have several open source projects there ourselves. You can now watch our API (and therefore, get updates when changes are made), ask questions, or contribute to our documentation by submitting pull requests, all straight from GitHub.

We’re also started a wiki called Community Creations and Hacks, where you can look to see what others have already made, or add your own, to share with the Harvest community. This section is for the interesting and useful things that people have built with the Harvest API, and may have very specific use cases, or broader applications. There are already over 20 creations by inventive Harvest users just like you, who dipped into our API and shared what they made. For example, Klokan Tech built an integration between Harvest and GitHub Issues Tracker, and Zach Hobson devised command-line Harvest time tracking. All you need is a (free) GitHub account to access everything you need to know about our API, improve or adapt others’ creations, and even add your own creation to the growing list on the wiki.

Inspired by what others have made, or have an idea you’ve been meaning to make a reality? Roll up your sleeves, and build your own integrations with our API. Have fun, and let us know what you’ve made – we’re happy to spread the love!

RSVP to WalkaboutNYC Tech Edition

Today, we’re proud to announce our 4th annual WalkaboutNYC Tech Edition. Since organizing our very first WalkaboutNYC in 2010, we’ve nurtured and grown this behind-the-scenes event to showcase the vibrant tech movement in New York City.

WalkaboutNYC Has Grown

  • We’ve created an RSVP system, so that you can better plan your schedule, and your day. About 1500 people RSVP’d for sessions at last year’s event, and many used our mobile-friendly view while they were on the go.
  • We created a new version of WalkaboutNYC, the Agency Edition, where we invited NYC’s independent creative agencies to join in the Walkabout fun.
  • For the second year in a row, we’re happy to see WalkaboutSingapore happen!
  • For those who don’t live in NYC but want to throw their own Walkabout, we made Walkabout available as an open source project, so that you can share your own behind-the-scenes look at your own city’s tech movement.

Why Do We Do This?

Harvest co-founders Danny Wen and Shawn Liu have always enjoyed taking tours of workspaces. Whether it’s a loft or shared co-working space, they’ve always been inspired to see where companies are born, people spend their time, and products are launched. WalkaboutNYC enables us to share that experience everyone.

Join Us

RSVP now to join us on Friday, May 17th, and meet the entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers who are shaping tomorrow’s technology.

WalkaboutNYC Agency Edition: The Recap

For the past three years, we’ve been organizing WalkaboutNYC for technology companies, as a way to give people a behind the scenes look at how these companies get work done. Last month, we organized our very first WalkaboutNYC Agency Edition. We invited 28 independent creative agencies to open their doors, and share how they work with the public. We held a kickoff event in downtown New York’s SoHo, to bring together some of the participants, share lunch, and have some interesting discussions related to design and getting work done at an independent creative agency, with sponsorship from Mailchimp and Behance.

During the kickoff, Sam Potts, Communications Designer at IDEO, discussed his circuitous path through the world of design. What may, in retrospect, look like a master plan, was really an unplanned route that included publishing, superhero supplies, travel in China, and now IDEO. Hear why he made the decisions he did, and how he traveled from A to Z.

Continue reading…

DIY Walkabout

We’ve just come out of our 3rd WalkaboutNYC, and with 3 years under our belt, we’ve learned a lot. For those that don’t know, WalkaboutNYC is a citywide open house event for technology companies. This year’s WalkaboutNYC was our most successful yet, and we’ve had many inquiries from people in other cities who would like to host their own Walkabout. I wanted to share some points about what we did, what we’ve learned, and where we’re headed.

We’re excited to announce that Walkabout is now an open source project.

We’ve had many inquiries from folks around the globe that would like to organize a Walkabout in their own cities, and we couldn’t be happier to hear it. To support these efforts, we have shared our experiences and knowledge about Walkabout on GitHub, to get you started on hosting your own events. Go forth and bring Walkabout worldwide!

We learned that people like structure.

For this year’s WalkaboutNYC, we took a more targeted approach. We set a goal to include about 50 companies (down from 80+ last year), driving traffic to 5 main neighborhoods (sorry Brooklyn), and requiring companies to create an experience led by founders, or lead designers or developers. This framework, utilizing timed events, allowed companies to know what was expected and what to expect. The same is true for attendees with RSVPs — giving them a schedule to follow was loads easier to follow than “go wherever you want.”

Be forewarned, Walkabout is a lot of work. And a lot of time.

We spent 873 hours on WalkaboutNYC this year.

What did we spend so much time on?

  • We built a new mobile first website, with a front- and back-end RSVP system and database, and Facebook/Twitter authentication for attendees. This was our intern Joschka’s very first Ruby on Rails project, and led to his first open source project, Harvey.
  • Kim did some great design work, from the site, to wall signs, limited edition tote bags, to stickers. The goal this year was to bring a stronger tie between Harvest and WalkaboutNYC, so that people actually know that we organize and support it.
  • The rest: outreach and back and forths with companies, sponsorships, press and PR company involvement, and general inquiries.

Coming next: WalkaboutNYC for creative agencies.

Despite the time commitment, we find the experience WalkaboutNYC provides for companies and participants to be a very worthwhile endeavor for the community. Previously, WalkaboutNYC has focused on the technology product community, and we’d like to shift focus to creative agencies this fall. Email us at info@walkaboutnyc.com if you work at a creative agency that is interested in hosting walkabouters this fall, we’d love to hear from you. And keep exploring!

Time Saving Tips – Food-y Edition!

For the last in our series of time saving tips, we have turned our attention to food. Food is very important here at Harvest, whether we’re learning how to brew the perfect cup of coffee or sharing lunch together. We set out to helping you shave time in deciding what to make, how to buy, and best practices for preparing it – here’s what we found.

Get ideas to make it

  • relishrelish will email you a week’s worth of recipes every Thursday, complete with shopping lists. The meals take 30 minutes or less to prepare, and the ingredients usually cost $80 or less for the week’s worth of dinners.
  • Gojee curates recipes from food bloggers around the web in a visually enticing way.
  • Use Allrecipe’s Ingredient Search to find recipes based on what you’ve got on hand.

Buy it

  • Multi-task! Use Omnifocus to give an alert to your phone when you’re near the grocery store — reminds you when you have a list and saves trips out!
  • Shop at odd times. The less time you spend waiting in line with everyone else who’s shopping is more time for anything else.

Make it

  • Choose recipes that take limited time to prepare. Mark Bittman wrote a great NY Times writeup for summer meals that take 10 minutes or less (save for when it gets warmer!).
  • Make more than you need. Example: if you make soup, make enough that half can go in the freezer for next week — you can do the same with tomato sauce, and chili. You can even portion soups into 2-cup containers for freezing: the perfect healthy grab-and-go lunch. You can even swap with a friend!
  • Use ice trays to freeze tomato sauce, pesto, and soup stock – most regular-sized ice cubes are just about 2 tablespoons, it’s easy to dole the ingredients out later!
  • Cooking in blocks of time, as advised by The Pemmican Principle of food preparation. Set aside a 4 hour block of time on Saturday or Sunday, and prepare meals for the week. If you’re pressed for time, simply wash and cut fruits and veggies, essentially turning refrigerator into a healthy salad bar and deli.

Many thanks to theTwitter community for sharing your own tips for this article. We’re please to announce that @DanaCoBar won our very last Time Saving Tuesdays contest for January – congratulations Dana, we hope you enjoy your beautiful new kitchen timer!

Time Saving Tuesdays and Food

It’s the last week of January, and that means our final Time Savings Tuesdays contest! Find out who won last week, and how you can get in on this week’s contest.

LAST WEEK’S CONTEST: We asked you to send your best workday time saving tips. We assembled a blog post of Time Saving Tips for your Workday, based on the answers we sourced from our Twitter followers. Nicole won this gorgeous handstamped NOW clock by M Bart Studios, and here’s her winning entry:

#respectyourtime Do all my invoicing & paperwork in set groups, so that I can pull things out and put them away more efficiently. Consider us impressed.

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST: It’s the end of January, and our thoughts are turning to the SuperBowl this weekend, and the parties that it involves. We decided to turn our time saving focus to food – how do you save time? Either in the grocery store, getting food to your home, or with food prep – we want it all!

Follow @harvest, begin your tweet with #respectyourtime, and share your best time saving workday tips. We’ll be following the #respectyourtime hashtag to keep up with your entries.

This week’s winner will receive a kitchen timer (for pies, and beyond!) by the London-based brother design duo Designwright:

Please share this widely, the more answers we get, the more we can share with you. We can’t wait to hear your tips and tricks!

Quick Time Saving Tips for your Workday

The one resource we all have the same amount of is time – how you spend it defines so much about your life. We’ve assembled a few tips to help you make the most of the time you have in your workday.

Managing your time needs to become a ritual, an ongoing process you follow to keep you focused on your priorities throughout the day.

  • Do all of your invoicing and paperwork in set groups, so that you can pull things out all at once, and put them away more efficiently.
  • Have 2-3 attainable goals for the day. No one is productive w/ endless to do lists.
  • Learn to say no to projects where the time investment outweighs the return.
  • Find the perfect GTD system out there: there are no magic answers, it’s simply the one you trust and use so your mind is free.

Know the strongest times of your work day. If you can match your best times for work with the most intense tasks, and your least productive times with more routine tasks, you’ll get more out of your day.

  • Read emails before leaving for work, mentally process while commuting, then answer on arrival at the office.
  • End your day by making a list of things you want to accomplish the following day.

Budget your time. 

Many thanks to the Twitter community for sharing your own tips for this article. We’ll announce the winners of our Time Savings Tuesdays contest next Tuesday (along with the new contest theme), and feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

Time Saving Tuesdays and Your Workday

We’re excited to announce our winners from last week’s Time Saving Tuesday contest, and to fill you in on this week’s contest and prize.

LAST WEEK’S CONTEST: We asked you to send your best time saving keystrokes. We had so many great entries that we decided to pick two winners in two separate categories: everyday tips, and power user app suggestions! We assembled a blog post of Time Saving Keystrokes, incorporating several of the best responses. The winners of the 3-1/2 in computer hard drive clock by pixelthis are:

@AdamHoej, who tweeted this: #respectyourtime ctrl+s.. Saves (pun intended) me from messing up my files! I’ve set it to Incremental save, so instant traceback! Nice touch with the incremental save!

and also @chopmo, who tweeted us with this power user protip: I use Gleebox for webbrowsing using only my keyboard. Huge timesaver. #respectyourtime

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST: Inspired by our Twitter follower @nicolelafave and her #respectyourtime suggestions last week, we decided to dedicate this week’s contest to your best time saving tips for your workday – how do you shave time from your day?

Follow @harvest, begin your tweet with #respectyourtime, and share your best time saving workday tips. We’ll be following the #respectyourtime hashtag to keep up with your entries.

This week’s winner will recieve this beautiful hand stamped clay NOW clock by M Bart Studios!

Please share this widely, the more answers we get, the more we can share with you. We can’t wait to hear your tips and tricks!

Protip: Time Saving Keystrokes

Did you know that it’s 10 times quicker to type a command rather than lift a hand from the keyboard to the mouse? Here’s a few ways to save time with some easy keystrokes!

Some Harvest and Co-op protips, from the Harvest Team:

Everyday keystrokes:

  • Ctrl+F (Win) or Cmd+F (OSX). Finds specific text in the Web page that’s open.
  • Backspace (Win) or Delete (Mac). Makes your browser go back one page.
  • Windows key + first few letters of a program + enter. Start any program from your keyboard. (via @jkenters)
  • Ctrl+z. “People take this feature for granted. Imagine a world with no ctrl+z.” The power of the undo! (via @stevendeeds)
  • Ctrl+s. “Saves (pun intended) me from messing up my files! I’ve set it to Incremental save, so instant traceback!” (via @AdamHoe)
  • Cmd+q. “Sometimes you have to quit and walk away.” (via @weepapa)

If you want to geek out:

Many thanks to the Twitter community for sharing your own tips for this article, we had a great time swapping tips! We’ll announce the winners of our Time Savings Tuesdays contest next Tuesday (along with the new contest theme), and feel free to share your own tips in the comments!