Tag Archives: clever words

Automate Google for endless inspiration!

Inspiration is aplenty, if you know where to look. One of the best places that works for me is Google Alerts. It’s not perfect but if you manage it well, it’s a rocket fuelled source of business writing inspiration. If you don’t have a Google account, you do need to register but it’s simple and free.

I use Google Alerts for myself as well as for clients, and encourage them to set up alerts for themselves.  Here’s why.

Too much information?

It’s impossible to stay on top of every industry or sector related story. Certainly I find it impossible to stay on top of Radio, TV and the NZ Herald, let alone LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Pages, Google+, Industry Blogs and the plethora of other info sites I indulge in.

Store your inspiration for when you need it.

Google Alerts, cleverly used means I can quickly access the information I need, and decide what I need to write about or comment on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my only way of staying up with my education, but it does happen to be a great way of collecting an in-one-place stream of possible inspiration.

Here’s a glimpse at an alert for Recruitment NZ.

Google Alerts - Recruitment Example

Choose the settings that suit you best.

As you can see, you can choose your settings. Choose the sources you want (e.g. news, blogs, discussions, even videos and books). Choose when how often you want to be updated. Choose the kinds of update results you want. Google takes care of the rest and emails relevant content to you.  If you want to see how I manage alerts and other regular emails see my post here.

Put your inspiration to work.

Basically when I want to write a newsletter topic or business article, I can just dip into my folder of inspiration to see what’s topical. It also means I can proactively contact clients to let them know about conversations that impact on their business.

Gain profile on the back of industry news.

One of the upsides is that it gives me an opportunity to see what’s going on in my industry and comment (or not) on other people’s input.  Not all copywriting has to be long or comprehensive. There are many ways to build a business profile. Google Alerts will definitely give you some inspiration.

Test it out. See what works for you.  And let us know below.

Overloaded by newsletters? Ditch the drama now!


Here at Copy Carats we get far too may newsletters a month.  Some are unsolicited and unwanted (instant delete); some are initially unsolicited but a pleasant surprise; and then there’s our regulars, the ones I can’t wait to read… but even those don’t usually arrive at a convenient time.

I’m as guilty as the next person for not wanting to miss out.  But I’m also as time poor as the next person and on a busy day I used to hit unsubscribe (often dancing through the three stage process, and losing more time)… only to have someone in the business ask me if I’d seen that tip from XYZ or news from ABC!

Honestly for the longest time I thought newsletters were fools’ gold but after being caught out a few too many times… genius struck.

Thanks to modern email programmes there’s a really simple solution. You create one folder for newsletters, and command all newsletters to go automatically to it (commanding is one of the many guilt free things you can do with machines. They never ask if it’s fair, they just do it).

With a few simple keystrokes, my problem was solved. My inbox was as clear as my conscience – guilt free indulgence in news when I want it, and no irritating interruptions when I can’t afford the time.

And here’s the best bit.  All those previously wasted minutes in my day (when I had a scheduled call in a few minutes, or arrived a little too early for an appointment) are finally useful instead. I just pop into my newsletters folder and catch up with the world; and I’ve never been better informed.

So to start the process, create a new folder in your email programme (mine’s called newsletters but call it what you want).  Then once a day (and later once a week, then once a month) create a rule for all those newsletters to go straight to your folder.

In most email programmes it’s as easy as a right mouse click… just tell your email that all content from that sender’s address should go straight to your “folder” and sit back and relax.  Yes, there’s a reason why most newsletters have their own email address.

Let me assure you, those few minutes you spend now will save you hours every week!  Hours you can spend on writing… or golf… your call!  Or call us.



native-americans-white-people-eat-thanksgiving-ecards-someecardsThey say a picture’s worth a thousand words… sometime it is.  Sometimes though, it’s just the eye attract and the real story is the story.

Personally we love a good story, and particularly the plethora of witticisms that get circulated through social media. A smile is worth a thousand words – politically correct or not.




And while we’re commenting on political thinking… here’s another cutey.


So you can tell we’re big fans of someecards.com.  And not just because they’re brilliant.  But also because they let you write your own, on the off chance you can’t find one that ticks your box.



Of course, even if you are a writer, you’ll probably find the perfect commentary for whatever it is you want to say on the site already.  We did.


Nuff said. Enjoy your Friday. And if you aren’t, check out someecards.com.

four letter words

Yes, I made you look but I’m not talking about the obscene kind. The words I’m referring to are “goal”, “plan” and “track”.

Ok, that last one has five letters but you’d think it was a four letter word (and that word would be “rack”, as in “on the rack”), judging by the way some businesses react to it.

Running a business isn’t easy; you’re always up against competing priorities. In NZ we’re famous for our number eight fencing wire mentality – we can fix anything and we do. Of course we’re also famous for our rugby. So the way I see it, if John Kirwan can talk about “the plan”, so can we.

Planning is often referenced as the place we go back to when the (proverbial) hits the fan and it is really good for that. But planning is largely ignored when everything’s working ok – and it shouldn’t be!

Setting goals, planning and tracking are essential to avoid wasting precious business resources on poor outcomes. And it doesn’t have to be hard (another four letter word), or complicated.

At Copy Carats we like goals, plans and tracking because it gives us a chance to show off. Equally importantly, we like them because it gives us a chance to use our number eight fencing wire skills (tweaking, fixing, innovating) because we can see if it’s going wrong.

If you haven’t got a goal, a plan to get there and a way of tracking your success – you’re relying on luck and she’s a fickle mistress. We can still help, but we’ll put you in touch with the right expert.

If you have a goal, a plan and the means to measure it – talk to us. We’re champions of copy and we’re a dab hand at numbers too.