Your browser is no longer supported! Please upgrade your web browser now.
Fun Stuff posts:

Harvest Playback, February 10 Edition

Willkommen zum Harvest Playback!

Harvest gets a bit more international this week as we welcome our new development intern, Joschka, to the team. Joschka is from Lemgo, Germany and is spending 5 months in NYC learning the ins and outs of Harvest’s codebase while exploring our great city. The team wasted no time and has already taken him out for karaoke. Check out Joschka’s portfolio to see why we thought he’d be a great fit here.

Joschka’s adventure begins.

We rolled out phase one of our new user profile functions this week. In the coming weeks we’ll be adding the ability to manage a user’s profile right from their profile page — a big time saver when you’re adding a new co-worker like Joschka. We received a lot of positive feedback for this announcement and we’re excited to make it a reality.

The best part of writing the weekly playback for Harvest is looking back through a week of posts to Co-op, our virtual water cooler app. It really reinforces how we rely on Co-op to stay in touch with each other even when many of us are thousands of miles apart. Let’s have a look at some of this week’s highlights:

  • Harvesters had a lot to say about the Superbowl (and that crazy play), but I can’t get past the chicken-wing cupcakes that Christopher ate at a superbowl party.
  • Barry found us the perfect location for future Harvest summits (complete with private suspension bridge).
  • Jae shared a delicious vegetarian chili for a bonus Monday team lunch. For Wednesday’s lunch, Naama suggested we try mindful eating. Once we smelled the delicious indian food, however, we were off to the races. Maybe next week!
  • Doug introduced us to the blobfish and Kim was quick to point out that it looks a lot like somebody stuck Ziggy in the microwave.
  • We want you to be ready for Valentine’s Day next week, so we present two solid gift options: Pizza Hut (yes, Pizza Hut) has put together quite a proposal package which includes a ring and fireworks for a mere $10,000. Vermont Teddy Bear is offering a 4 1/2 foot tall teddy bear (check out their creepy commercial).
  • Barry shared this great photo of President Obama watching a marshmallow cannon at the White House Science Fair.

Harvest Playback: February 3rd Edition

It’s an honor and a treat to work for Harvest. The team in New York does a fantastic job of reinforcing the value of culture, even when interviewing new people that want to join the team. As a result, we have a great group of people who work very well together, and our trust level amongst one another is incredibly high.

One of the big advantages to a high level of trust amongst co-workers is the ability to work productively while also working remotely. I live in Alberta, while Jon lives in British Columbia. Barry is in Minnesota; Doug is in Montana; Warwick is in Pennsylvania. Dee is in Hungary. Our head office is in New York City. And Patrick is trying a different-location-a-month for a while, starting with Texas, and now in Illinois. (All pictures taken today.)

To stay in touch, we all use Co-op to post what we’re all working on, to have some hilarious banter, and to share some informative tidbits during the week. Here are some of this week’s highlights:

  • Patrick is trying to get us to gamble on some strange American tradition called the “Superbowl”. I thought it was a trendy NYC noodle shop.
  • This week we made a playlist dedicated to speed.
  • TJ taught us more about the dangers of fracking.
  • Karen had us all consider the trustworthiness of beards.
  • Barry got nostalgic about what we did last summer. (But it was before my time with Harvest, so it probably wasn’t much fun anyway.)
  • And Christopher came up with a first draft of our new marketing campaign.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

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!

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!

Geeking Out with Timers

Last Friday evening a bunch of us stayed at the office to play Settlers of Catan. It was the first time I ever played, and when I texted my husband to ask him to pick up the kids, he texted back with this: you’ll be there for a while.

Sure enough, the game did not move quickly. I was new, and others were rusty. After about an hour and a half, everyone was getting fidgety, so I took out my phone and convinced everyone to play as a timed game. Everyone got 1 minute for their turn, no more. The game was more fun and no one’s strategy suffered due to lack of time.

Since joining Harvest I’ve gotten a bit fanatical about measuring time and keeping myself to time limits. I’ve found that I have become more efficient. For me, timers create a sense of urgency that I need to help me focus.

In this age of constant distraction, what tools do you use to help you focus?

Harvest Playback: January 20th Edition


It seems that flu season has arrived. Harvesters and their children are dropping like flies. So far among our team of 19 the virus has been spotted in NY, MN, PA and Canada. But even though the nasty bugs have been on attack we’ve still managed to get some work done and share some utterly ridiculous videos and animated gifs on Co-op.

The biggest product news this week is that we pushed out a new update to the Harvest App in the Android marketplace. We also deployed another 14 changes behind the scenes to make our beloved Harvest run even more smoothly. We ran a Time Savings Tuesday Contest and got some awesome Keystroke Protips from our Twitter community. And Samara came out of the closet as an introvert by writing this blog post on collaborative work spaces. Take that flu!

Next week Warwick, Jon and Christopher will be hitting the road. If you happen to be in Cape Town next week join our awesome Systems Guy, Warwick, for a drink. Once you’re done drinking him under the table, jet over to Seattle for a happy hour with 2/3 of our support team on Friday night.

And now a brief look into the wacky world of Co-op:

  • Lettini found this explanation to the age old question ‘What are the Developers really doing all day?”
  • Not really sure why Doug decided to share this picture with us, but now I’m sharing it with you.
  • Barry apparently gets tired often and needs a place to sit.  He found this solution – chair pants!
  • And, at lunch today we decided to end the week with a Friday evening game of Settlers of Catan.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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!

Time Saving Tuesdays And Keystrokes

We’re excited to announce our winner 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 tips you use on your commute. We got many creative submissions (thank you all for Tweeting your suggestions!) and we assembled a blog post of Quick Time Saving Tips For Your Commute, incorporating several of the best responses. The winner of the Harvest orange slapwatch from Winky Designs is @jorydayne, who tweeted this: #Respectyourtime: I walk to work. It takes 4x as long, but building my sched with that constraint in mind forces efficiency everywhere else. We really liked how Jory combined two activities (exercise and commute)  instead of trying to skim time off of either on.

THIS WEEK’S CONTEST: We want your best time saving keystrokes, one of the most universal time savers. We want to know your most relied upon keystrokes.

Follow @harvest and tweet your best time saving keystrokes (and what they do!) using #respectyourtime. This week’s winner will win this sweet clock made from a real 3-1/2 in computer hard drive by pixelthis!

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!

Harvest Playback, January 13th Edition

Yikes, Friday the 13th! No point dwelling on it though, let’s all enjoy another dose of TGIF and sit back for another Harvest Playback. Here’s a look at what’s made the news in Co-op and what we’ve accomplished for the week:

Ms. Sarah Haas joined the team this week as our Account Manager. Welcome Sarah! We pushed out our 2011 retrospective looking at all that happened in 2011. We published a pair of blog posts with time saving tips for your commute and for meetings. We did some software upgrades to help with performance and security. We posted about an excellent new Harvest integration, Harvest4Clients that was posted to GitHub. And finally, we sent out invitations for our Harvest Happy Hour (Seattle) event at the end of the month. If you’re in the area, join us!

But what would Friday be without a little fun?  Submitted for your enjoyment:

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week.