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Issue #6 - May 21, 2013


I hope that your week has started off well! After our little electrical fire on Saturday this week has to be better right? ;)

This issue may be a bit longer than 10 minutes but the time you'll save with the Check It Out section will more than make up for it. :)

In today's main essay our expert panelist Susan Smyth tells us about the controversy with QuickBooks 2013 and its color/resolution. Believe it or not, in a round-about way Intuit is blaming the user for the problems!

Also in today's issue...

Organization!! It sends shudders down my spine to contemplate getting my office organized but with these very cool goodies it's going to be so much easier that I won't know what to do with the extra time on my hands. :) See today's Check it Out!

And today's Quick Tip is a little different than normal...

I hope you enjoy this issue of


Oh my gosh, it's 4:00 am PST Tuesday and I just now heard about the tornado(s). I'm so sorry and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by them.

"Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it.
It is what the client or customer gets out of it."
~�Peter Drucker

QuickBooks 2013 and the Color/Resolution Controversy
By Nancy Smyth

For anyone who has used QuickBooks for a number of years, like I have, when you open QuickBooks 2013 you'll be in for a big surprise at the way it now "looks".

In previous versions of QuickBooks you could pretty much set your own color scheme � granted the number of colors were limited to 15 rather bland colors, but you could find something that you could live with or at least something that you liked and was easy on your eyes.

Perhaps, like myself you preferred, and used, a specific color scheme. When you open QuickBooks 2013 for the first time, what you'll see is nothing more than shades of gray, it doesn't "carry over" your color scheme preferences from your previous version of QuickBooks.

What possessed Intuit to make this change?

According to Intuit, a top request that they had heard from customers was to make the product easier to use so you could work more efficiently � no additional features, just a better user experience.

As Intuit began planning for the release of QuickBooks 2013, they decided that updating the look and feel of QuickBooks was a key way to deliver on their objective to make it easier to use.

Intuit also says that they were very deliberate about the design decisions they would make.

For example, they wanted to put more focus on the places you do most of your work - like forms, centers, and registers - so they made those areas of the product brighter while using dark colors in the left navigation and top icon bars.�

And they increased font sizes selectively throughout QuickBooks 2013 to draw attention to key fields, such as invoice details and totals - while it appears that in other areas the fonts are smaller.

They even said that they worked closely with customers during the process to ensure the changes would help improve ease and efficiency.

Do people really like the lack of color?

The lack of color, font sizes, and the amount of screen space QuickBooks now requires have all been very controversial subjects.

Some people claim to "love" the updated look because it is so much cleaner and crisp; while others can't tell you loudly enough just how much they HATE it! Personally, I think there are a lot more people who hate it, because Intuit has made some changes in the R4 and then again in the R6 maintenance releases.

In the R4 Maintenance Release, Intuit brought back a "little" bit of color. You could add a small colored flag to the top of QuickBooks and you could change the top icon bar to have a light background. But it didn't change the left navigation panel - that was still dark grey.

People still screamed their displeasure and Intuit released the R6 maintenance release. While the R6 release did bring back some color, the display is still very much off. You'll find that QuickBooks will need much more real estate on your computer screen in order for you to see everything that you need to - like the buttons to Save your transactions, especially if you want to use the new left navigation bar.

So how the heck do I deal with this so I can get some work done?

Here's what Intuit is saying about this whole situation ---- and please don't shoot the messenger!

Intuit is saying that some of the problems are being caused by a combination of monitor resolutions and Windows Font Setting issues (meaning that you or someone else changed the font settings and/or the resolution on your computer to something other than the default or recommended settings) and that changing it back to the default settings is the solution.

So the first thing that you'll want to do is check to see if the default font settings have been changed - but BEFORE you make any changes write down on a scrap of paper what the settings originally were ... BEFORE you make any changes!

If your computer runs:

Windows 7 or 8 -

  • Right click on the Desktop -> click Personalize
  • Choose Display on the left hand side
  • Choose Smaller-100% (default)

Windows Vista -

  • Right click on the Desktop -> click Personalize
  • Choose Adjust font size (DPI) on the left side
  • Select Default scale (96 DPI)
Windows XP -
  • Right click on the Desktop -> choose Properties
  • Click on the Settings tab -> click the Advanced button
  • Set the DPI settings to Normal size (96 DPI)

If your font settings are currently at their default or recommended settings, let's go look at what your resolution is set to. NOTE: You should close all currently running programs on your computer because a reboot may be required.

If your computer runs:

Windows 7 or 8 -

  • Right click on the Desktop -> choose screen resolution
  • Look at the Resolution setting � does it say "recommended"? If not, grab the little drop down arrow and look for the recommended setting. Select it. Click Apply.
  • You may need to reboot your computer

Windows Vista -

  • Right click on the Desktop -> choose Personalize
  • Click Display Settings and choose "How do I get the best display" link and follow the instructions

Windows XP -

  • Right click on the Desktop -> choose Properties
  • Click the Settings tab and move the little slider

I'm going to be quite honest and tell you that I have a Windows 7 machine and resolution and font sizes are set to the "default" size and I still can't get 2013 to display correctly. As a matter of fact, I can't work in it for more than an hour without getting a headache. Perhaps 2014 will be better - or - as I've been told for over a year now, you'll get used to it.

I hope you have found this article to be helpful.

About the Author: Nancy Smyth has supported Intuit products and end-users since 1986, with her primary focus being commercial/government construction contractors. She has been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since the inception of the program in 1999; as President of Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc., she is a key player in the development of several QuickBooks Add-Ons for the construction industry. She is also the author of the QuickBooks for Contractors blog and the Learn to use QuickBooks in your construction business website. To learn more about automating certified payroll, AIA Billing and Payroll Wage Management, visit

Check It Out!

Organizing your office and paperwork... Whew, feel that shudder? I did! ;)

I've received lots of requests for items and products that will help with the organization of your office, paperwork, and project files. I'm currently running a LinkedIn survey asking for input from everyone as to how they handle various organizational issues in their own office. So far 22 responses! Please jump in there if you have something to offer. I'll be putting together an article with the responses. :)

In the meantime, here are some goodies that'll help conquer your paperwork nightmares - and some of them will scan directly into Quicken and QuickBooks!

No more manually entering stuff, man I hate having to do that!

Okay, here we go (please click through to check these out because there's no way I can list here all the incredible things you can accomplish with these):

How is this for cool - they have a "Forever Free" plan (it really is free forever) as well as three premium plans (and those all come with a free 30-day trial). You'll eliminate your paper clutter for sure!

When I mentioned this last week the response was amazing! It comes with a free one-week trial and a free bonus report "28 Ways To Stop Procrastinating" - and if you decide to continue after the free trial period it's only $14.95 per month and you can quit at any time. No wonder it's so popular! :)

Neat Receipts for PC
Includes a free 30-day trial of NeatCloud Home & Office plan as well as a free 30-day trial of NeatCloud which allows you to sync and back up your Neat files, and access them anywhere with your browser and mobile devices.

Neat Receipts for Mac
Includes a free 30-day trial of NeatCloud Home & Office plan as well as a free 30-day trial of NeatCloud which allows you to sync and back up your Neat files, and access them anywhere with your browser and mobile devices.

This comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free bonus report "The Top 10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Go Paperless".

Check 'em out! :)

Quick Tip

I promised to let you know when the links I gave you before that weren't working started working again. There were a lot of folks that tried to get to these two places and I apologize for the troubles. At last check they're working now! Yay and fingers crossed!! :)

An excellent, and free, download to help grow your business painlessly -

By following this link you can get a free downloadable eBook - How To Attract Customers With Twitter And Vine - that will show you how well Twitter (and Vine) can work for your business.

Did you know that 42% of companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter? Imagine how many more customers they could get following the help in this free download.

Again this downloadable eBook is free so click on through and download it and then put some of the techniques to use and see what happens!

You'll learn how to:

  • Optimize your Twitter for brand awareness & search
  • Jump start your Twitter lead generation strategy
  • Incorporate Vine into your Twitter strategy
  • Measure the ROI of Twitter and Vine
  • Gain new leads and customers

Employee Handbook Templates

If you don't have an employee handbook use these very customizable templates and don't waste any more time putting one together. You may end up saving the life of one of your workers and you may save your company from business-breaking lawsuits and/or fines from OSHA.

And if you do have employee handbooks take a look at them and compare them to these that I recommend; make sure your handbooks are compliant before OSHA does it for you.

Updated Forms and Laws

Nothing here for today but this is the section of my newsletter where I'll be announcing updated forms from my website as well as changes to laws.

Since I can't be aware of all the states' law changes I would love your help in keeping this section active.

If you know of something that has changed in your state please let me know. I'll include it here and I'll happily credit you and your company for providing me with the info. :)

What I would really like to ask for here is your feedback. :) I ran informal surveys to see what my readers would like to read about. But those needs change as the construction and business landscapes change. All I need to know is "am I hitting the mark on the information you need" or "am I missing the mark on the information you need (in which case can you please tell me what's got your mind worrying these days)"? Thank you SO MUCH for your help! Diane

Look Who's Talking!
Send me your comments and see your name in lights! ;)

Good newsletter. I had never given the waiver of liens a sniff test before. I appreciate all that you do to keep us informed.

The personal touch is what makes it a pleasure to work with you and your company. I don't know how you and your staff do it. It's gratifying to know its not just old timers like me that appreciate it.

~ Marty Maness -- Maness Contracting, Inc. --

What Did You Think?

If you haven't yet, please let me know your thoughts on the main essay by posting your comments here.

Copyright � 1999 - 2013 MONK AND DBUG, LLC

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Nothing in this e-mail should be considered personalized advice, legal or otherwise. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under laws to address your particular legal situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized advice.

For specific legal advice please visit:

Monk and DBug, LLC
2171 West Beach Road
Oak Harbor, WA 98277

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