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Customer Spotlight: North by Northwest

“From the moment we capture an image with a video camera, all the way through the edit process and the final delivery, our number one goal and what we pride ourselves on is high quality.”
– Brad Kaup, Editor

North by Northwest
Founded:1990
What they do:
Full-service digital studio focused on storytelling through film, video and the web
No. of employees: 41
@nxnwboise



North by Northwest (NXNW) specializes in digital storytelling through full service video production, television commercials, feature films, corporate web videos and web design for customers like HP, Idaho Lottery and Albertsons. NXNW needed a reliable way to send high-definition videos to clients, who varied based on their geography and technical abilities. Hightail helps their team deliver large files to clients, who can simply click a link to download the video. NXNW also uses expiration dates to control time-sensitive commercials when sharing with TV stations across the country.

We’re #HighlyInspired by: Ricky Montalvo

Hightail is celebrating our favorite photography on our #HighlyInspired Tumblr page. This month’s guest artist is San Francisco-based Ricky Montalvo. We caught up with him recently to talk turning the banal into art and finding character in Ficus microcarpa.

Ricky Montalvo photographer

How did you first get into photography?

I’ve always loved taking pictures but it wasn’t until I landed my digital cinematography role that I really got into it. Because I was doing video for a living, when it came to personal projects the last thing I wanted to do was video. So I got more into photography as means to stretch my artistic legs.

Who is your biggest photography inspiration?

Without a doubt it’s Stephen Shore. Anyone who has worked in the 70s and can turn a color photo of something bland and banal into a medium of artistic expression is an inspiration to me. His photos were never meant to be a memorializing action. He used photography to explore the world and the things around him, even if there were banal to the everyday person. I want to do the same.

What inspired the Unnaturally Natural series?

When you live in San Francisco for as long as I have, you sort of get used to the environment around you. You stop seeing things that are there all the time. One day I saw this particular tree on the street, a Ficus microcarpa, and then I started seeing them appear more and more. They are just there in unusual spots and all of a sudden they have character. I took one photo and that’s what started it.

What else inspires you?

This may sound dumb, but my two-year old kid. He can barely string two sentences together let alone know the importance of photography but I hope that, when he’s older and is looking through my cartons of photos, he will come to understand how I saw the world.

Where can we see your work next?  

I travel a lot and constantly post photos at www.rickymontalvo.com.

We’re #HighlyInspired by…futebol

The World Cup has ended leaving Germans triumphant, Brazilians in tears and a gaping hole in our schedule.

All month long, Hightail celebrated the festival of futebol with 31 photographs by Brazilian photographer, Caio Vilela. Now that everyone is compiling their favorite goals, players and games of the tournament, we thought we’d look back at our favorite Highly Inspired soccer shots.

BRASIL PORTO ALEGRE CAIO VILELA

Porto Alegre, Brazil: Every day the barefoot kids from Porto Alegre’s poor neighborhood of Vila Protasio Alves play after school matches that, for them, are always as important as a national team’s game.

SENEGAL_GOREE_©_CAIO_VILELA

Gorée, Senegal: A kid entertains himself by playing football in front of a mural in the historical center of UNESCO’s protected heritage site, Gorée Island.

BURKINA_FASSO_UAGADUGU_©_CAIO_VILELA

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Dozens of amateur teams practice every day on the dusty pitches next to Ouagadougou’s main football stadium. It doesn’t matter how many people get on the field, one ball is enough.

EUA_SAO_FRANCISCO_©_CAIO_VILELA

San Francisco, USA: A student from UCLA trains alone but spares some time to entertain a kid on sandy Baker Beach, just under Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

ARGENTINA_BUENOS_AIRES2_©_CAIO_VILELA

Buenos Aires, Argentina: Kids play in a park filled with colorful murals in Diego Maradona’s home neighborhood of Boca, a place where football is part of everyday life even more than the rest of Argentina.

You can see more of Caio’s photos (and meet our next #HighlyInspired artist) on our Tumblr page.

A fresh take for Android users

Hightail has just launched a brand new Android app, bringing sharing controls, file tracking and multiple language support to your Android device. The revamped Hightail for Android—now available to download from Google play—is a great way to securely, access and share documents, photos and videos from your phone or tablet.

Android App for Hightail the TrackerIf you are ever sharing a confidential file and want to ensure that only authorized people can access it, Hightail for Android gives you complete control from your mobile. All Hightail users can choose identity confirmation and with a Professional plan you can also add passwords, change expiration dates or get notified when your file has been accessed.

Because it’s reassuring and useful to know when someone has viewed your shared file, Hightail for Android shows Professional plan users who accessed a sent file and when it happened. Plus it gives you complete tracking information and insight for all your sent and received files.

When you receive a file via Hightail, you can now tap the link in the email and access the file in the app, rather than having to use the web browser.

Plus, we’ve added single sign-on support for our enterprise users.

Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, with a 78% global market share according to a recent IDC report, so Hightail for Android now supports eight languages—English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian.

With a fresh design and great new features, all available in eight languages, Hightail for Android truly allows you to be in control when you’re out of the office. So keep working even when you’re on the move. Download Hightail for Android for free today.

Coffee with: Kiersten Hollars

Name: Kiersten Hollars
Hometown: Turlock, California
Joined Hightail: July 2012Kiersten Hollars, VP of Communications, Hightail
Title: Vice President, Communications & Brand Marketing
College: St Mary’s College of California

We caught up with Hightail’s queen of communications to discuss being a Silicon Valley native and why she prefers pools to beaches.

How did you get into tech?

I was born into the tech world. My dad’s family is from Palo Alto and my grandmother was one of the first women to work at Fairchild, an early innovator in the semiconductor industry. I think she used her tiny fingers to assemble chips before becoming one of the first women at HP (where my aunt also worked). So it was hard not to become part of the Silicon Valley bubble. Interestingly, both my parents did other things but my sisters and I all work in tech.

What do you enjoy most about working at Hightail?

The people. I know everyone says that so I’ll be more specific. In the file sharing world, Hightail is an underdog when compared to companies with significantly more money, like Dropbox and Box. Some people want to join a winning team, but I find that boring. I like people that are interested in helping the underdog win. I want to work with people who understand both success and struggle and enjoy taking risks in order to beat the odds. That’s the kind of people we have at Hightail and that’s why I enjoy working here.

Who or what inspires you?

My parents. As I said, they are unusual in my family for not being part of the tech world. My dad was a high school football coach and is now a principal, while my mom worked in the music industry. But as well as holding down full-time jobs and raising kids, they were serial entrepreneurs. They ran Mel’s Bowl in Redwood City, they owned a chain of pizza restaurants, they bought into the famous music publication, The Gavin Report. Everyone in the family had to pitch in and my sisters and I worked at all of these places. When I was younger, I thought our lives were normal. Now I realize that most families are not like that. But it taught me the value of hard work and what it takes to run a successful business.

What’s your favorite piece of technology (besides Hightail)?

The Bluetooth connection in my car. I’m always on the move and end up taking a lot of calls when I’m driving. Bluetooth means I no longer have to mess around with headsets or wires. It makes my life so much easier. (I also love my Jambox speakers.)

What’s your usual coffee order?

A large Philz Tesora with medium almond milk, no sweetener. One per day every day.

What is your ideal vacation?

Somewhere hot and sunny. Definitely near a beach, though I prefer to lounge by a pool. I’m not a big fan of sand. As long as there’s someone to bring me drinks, I’m happy.

Read Kiersten’s full bio

Customer Spotlight Video – Magbooth

“Thanks to Hightail being so fast and cost-effective, we have been able to expand our business to nine markets across the country.” -Alexandra Owens, Senior Regional Marketing Manager

Magbooth
Founded: 2007
What they do:
Design, build and rent photo booths for awesome events across the country.
No. of employees: 1-10
www.magbooth.com
@magbooth

Magbooth uses the power of a photo booth to capture fun moments at hundreds of store openings, corporate events, weddings and other events across the US. Magbooth needed a scalable way to deliver thousands of photos to event customers. Hightail allows the company’s on-site event team to send photo files to post-production, where the images will be transformed into coffee table books and other keepsakes. Hightail’s speed and reliability enabled Magbooth to accommodate more events every year and expand to nine cities across the US.

Coffee With: Suneetha Lakkaraju

Name: Suneetha Lakkaraju
Hometown: Hyderabad, India
Title: Senior Software Engineer
College: Osmania University

Suneetha Lakkaraju Hightail employeeWe caught up with Suneetha to chat about Bollywood, HGTV and how she fell in love with engineering.

How did you find out about Hightail?

I was introduced to Hightail back when it was called YouSendIt. I had taken a tour with some friends and had to send some photos. At that time, I normally would use Picasa, but it wasn’t good for sending large, high-resolution files. I ended up using YouSendIt and from then on, whenever I had to send large files I would use it. When I got the chance to work here, I was excited for such an awesome opportunity to explore and actually see how the technology worked behind the scenes.

What drew you to engineering?

Generally, the majority of the people from where I’ve grown up are into technology and that’s where the interest came from. My sister was also in the same field so it became a default path in my family. But, after I really started getting into it, I realized that, yes, this is where I belong. I felt like I made the right decision.

Who inspires you?

I’ve taken inspiration from a lot of people at various stages of my life but my main inspiration has been my parents.

What gets you going in the morning?

I drink coffee in the mornings. My favorite kind of coffee is a cappuccino from Pete’s Coffee. I also like to listen to music on my way to work in the morning. I listen to Bollywood mostly.

Who is your favorite Bollywood artist?

AR Rehman and Sonu Nigam.

What is your favorite song of all time?

The song that I love the most is called “Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams. It was my first ringtone, during that crazy time where everyone had a song as their ringtone.

Do you have a favorite sports team?

After coming to the U.S., my husband got me hooked on football. We love the 49ers! But, back home we used to watch cricket. That is basically equivalent to football here. Everyone watches it.

What is your favorite mobile app?

I don’t have a favorite app in particular. But I use apps for EVERYTHING. You name it and there is an app readily available. Recently I have been using the Google shopping app though. It’s really awesome.

What is the last book you read?

I’m reading Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. It’s extremely funny. I used to read more serious books before but once I started reading her style of books, like Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, etc., I’ve found it to be very calming. It’s a way for me to relax and a good break from the routine stuff I do.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

HGTV (Home Garden TV) shows. After watching it, it took us so long to find a home because I had so many high expectations.

What is the one thing you just can’t leave home without?

A fully charged cellphone.

I think most people would agree with you Suneetha.

Movin’ on up… Consolidate your cloud services and backup your files

Everyone has a deep personal relationship with their own digital data. Whether you are working on a Word document or an Illustrator file, watching a video or looking at photographs, these files are a significant part of your life. The advent of cloud-based storage has made accessing, updating and sharing this important data even easier.

The cloud has created a fundamental shift in how we interact with the information that dominates our personal and working lives. Yet, it also introduces a new degree of complexity as we have to learn a new way of storing and working with our files.

For individuals, it’s reasonably easy to manage content, whether you simply drag and drop a handful of files from your desktop or sync gigabytes of folder information from your computer to a cloud storage provider like Hightail. But for a business, it’s much harder when you have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of employees trying to sync millions of files or terabytes of data.

Companies have the same kind of relationship to data as individuals. The files and folders generated and maintained by employees are the lifeblood of a business. When a more effective way to store, access and manage this information like the cloud comes along, then a smart business will adopt the solution to make it more productive.

The immediate challenges facing businesses adopting cloud storage are two-fold:

  1. How do we actually get our company files “in” the cloud?
  2. How do we back up our cloud storage to ensure ongoing protection against user error and disasters?

Complicating these questions further are local bandwidth constraints, adoption curve concerns and looming deadlines. We all know it’s hard enough to get a dozen employees to read a manual, never mind trusting them to carefully migrate precious company data from point A to B.

Backing up data can be hard, too! Cloud storage providers sync data but they don’t copy it so as soon as a user deletes a file, it’s gone from every other device where it existed. Version history is available for most enterprise file sharing solutions, but if you have users accidentally overwriting the wrong file after a month the original version can be very difficult to recover.

Move your data from Amazon to Hightail with Mover.io

 

Though the cloud promises simplicity, the deep relationship that a business has with its information can be increasingly complicated, especially for the IT administrator charged with both securing the company’s data and helping everyone work more effectively.

Mover was founded on a simple premise: to better your relationship with data. Our new partnership with Hightail will supercharge your ability to finally migrate the rest of those unsanctioned storage accounts you’ve been ignoring. We act as a middleman between Hightail and other storage solutions to secure data, save you time and maintain your sanity.Move your cloud content from Dropbox to Hightail with Mover.io

If your business is trying to switch from Dropbox, Box or Google Drive, we make it a painless process. Need to back up Hightail to a third-party like Amazon S3 or Rackspace? We’re experts at that.

Whether you’re an IT manager, CIO or simply a business user, Mover will improve the way you adopt and utilize cloud storage.

Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can move your cloud content to Hightail.

Make external collaboration easy with Hightail for SharePoint

With 78 percent of Fortune 500 companies using SharePoint, the product is one of the leading Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions in the world. Microsoft boasts that one in every five knowledge workers now has access to Microsoft SharePoint. But even with these impressive stats, research shows people find SharePoint inherently difficult to adopt and use. We developed Hightail for SharePoint to help your team collaborate externally without disrupting their workflows. In addition, our latest product provides complete security and control over content, so your team can truly make the most out of your investment in SharePoint.

Collaborate externally with ease

External collaboration is tough. SharePoint was designed for internal collaboration, not sharing beyond the corporate firewall. Users find it time consuming and difficult to do any type of external collaboration, which involves giving partners domain accounts on the Microsoft security domain, plus numerous other steps. Hightail for SharePoint gives users the power to easily share content with partners, consultants and others beyond their company firewall. Project files of any kind or size can be sent directly to external parties from their SharePoint Documents Library. To send project files right from SharePoint:

  • Visit any of the sites for which Hightail for SharePoint solution has been deployed
  • Select a document from within the Documents Library, and then send the content from the top ribbon, or right-click menu next to the document.
  • Click Send, and choose Hightail’s file security options to protect your content

Share securely using Hightail right from SharePoint

Better security, oversight and control

As we mentioned, external collaboration is tough using SharePoint. According to a 2013 Forrester Research report, 62 percent of users simply do not like the SharePoint experience. As such, users often find alternate, unsecure ways to send documents to external parties. This poses a threat to IT, as company data is extremely sensitive. Hightail for SharePoint gives users control, while providing IT with oversight on any collaboration that takes place from SharePoint. This ensures enterprise content stays secure, even if it leaves your organization.

  • End user controls: Users have the ability to enforce controls on their shared content so they know who is accessing their files and when. These controls include password protection, file expiration, verify recipient identity and return receipt. By clicking on Track, users can see their download history for a specific file they sent – e.g. who downloaded it, when was it downloaded, etc.
Externally send files securely with Hightail for SharePoint
  • IT oversight: All SharePoint collaboration shows up in an administrator’s Hightail Usage Report, which is accessible from the easy-to-read admin dashboard. This report gives admins insight into how users are collaborating using Hightail for SharePoint so remedial actions can be taken if needed.

Hightail for SharePoint usage report

Boost productivity

End users have a hard time adopting SharePoint because of its inherently complex and steep learning curve. “[SharePoint] remains a tool that people are required to use, not one they want to use,” said Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann at a symposium in 2013. Because the product is difficult to adopt, users waste valuable time learning how to use the product or finding workarounds. Hightail for SharePoint keeps users productive because there is no need to switch between multiple applications in order to share large files. Instead, Hightail integrates right into SharePoint, minimizing any disruptions. Because our integration is so simple, your users won’t need to search for workarounds to help solve their collaboration problems.

Track your sent files with Hightail for Sharepoint

Anytime, Anywhere Access

Hightail opens up content locked away in SharePoint to be accessed across different applications. The Hightail mobile app (iOS) puts SharePoint content at the users’ fingertips to be accessed at any time. Content stored within Hightail is also accessible within enterprise apps like Outlook, Salesforce and NetSuite, making content flow easily across different divisions of the enterprise. This increases user productivity and gets projects completed faster.

Hightail for SharePoint solves one of the biggest pain points of SharePoint admins by giving end users an easy, secure way to collaborate externally. Deploying Hightail for SharePoint keeps users productive and happy and lets IT rest easy — all while maximizing their investment in SharePoint. Contact us to get Hightail for SharePoint

Little Moments Add Up To BIG Opportunities

You’ve got a couple of minutes in between meetings, or while waiting in line for coffee. Why not pull out your smartphone and check Facebook or the latest activity of your favorite sports team? It’s hard to use that time for “useful” work, and it seems harmless to spend a few minutes here and there.

The Absurdity of Time

 

With back-to-back meetings and a never-ending deluge of email, you probably head home with an inbox bursting at the seams with more work. When the chaos of the day settles, you may grab a drink and work your way through requests from your boss, colleagues, and especially clients. After all, the more responsive you can be to your clients and prospects, the more successful you’ll be on the job.

You put in the hours – and then some – trying to stay on top of everything and be responsive to your manager and your clients. However working this way day after day, week after week, can become exhausting.

So while it’s understandable why you have been spending those little moments here and there reading Facebook or Twitter, you can do so much more with that time. All of those little moments during the workday add up to a lot of time – more than 90 minutes every day between desktop and mobile. Even a fraction of that time can go a long way towards staying on top of your inbox, being responsive to clients, and getting work done while also leaving you more time at the end of the day.

To really take advantage of your entire workday, you need to set up your smartphone (not just your tablet) to be your mobile office. That includes mastering mobile apps and techniques so you can:

To take it a step further, you need to schedule a few minutes between each meeting to send relevant and immediate follow-up (next step, relevant documents, etc.).

Instead of tasks that pile up, you’ll be able to knock them off throughout the day. Instead of spending the first and last hours of your busy workday responding to emails, you’ll be able to focus on top priorities. Instead of putting clients off until the end of the day or end of the week, you’ll be more responsive.

At Stitch, we believe the right mobile tools can transform those little moments into extraordinary productivity boosters. We are excited about the sales rep who can close one more deal a month, the customer support rep who can reply to 5 more requests a day, the business development person who can establish one more partnership a month, and the CEO who can close financing and move deals forward in record time.

We believe you can take advantage of the morning commute, the time waiting for coffee and many other moments throughout the day, in order to gain a huge edge in your ability to be more responsive and get work done. Plus, you’ll have more free time to do the things you really enjoy.

Love to hear more about what apps you use to help increase productivity and save more time, comment below.

Integrating existing on-premise storage with the cloud

If you‘ve been in the Information Technology sector for any length of time, you’ve already experienced this scenario. A new and better technology emerges that everyone adopts, or at least would like to adopt. Think ECM (Enterprise Content Management) in the early 90s and then on-premise storage portals and sites in the early 2000s. On the surface, moving files to a new platform sounds effortless, but organizations quickly discover that it’s mired in both system-integration and user-acceptance challenges.  Hightail and SkySync

Sans the historical technical obstacles, the biggest hurdle usually lives within the user community. Every organization has a Bob or a Betty who thinks, “Why would anyone want to use the spooky internet when you could just have a fax machine on every desktop to share documents?” It’s not that Bob or Betty hate technology, it’s just that for most folks, change can be difficult.

Conversely, IT loves what cloud storage has to offer, especially for organizations that leverage a decentralized workforce. However, myriad technical challenges preclude most companies from simply shutting off their legacy storage platform(s) on Friday and moving to cloud storage on Monday. Some have multiple ancillary systems (e.g.: line-of-business systems) that, over the years, have been tightly-integrated with their existing storage platforms while others may have thousands of network home-drives and/or tens or even hundreds of terabytes of content. Further, these legacy storage systems are often required to remain in place to meet certain compliance mandates and/or for the business-specific functionality they deliver.

As a workaround, some take a quarantined, more tactical approach. For example, all new content within the sales organization (going forward) goes in the cloud. That strategy kinda/sorta works, but it can take forever and can temper user-adoption and rollout. It also doesn’t provide the strategic (holistic) benefits that cloud storage and collaboration offers. What’s worse, it doesn’t deliver the current, most-valuable content into the hands of users. It’s not the fault of IT; until now, that was their only viable option.

The concept of syncing files across storage platforms is certainly not new, however the process of it actually functioning without a ton of headaches is… let alone having it fully operational in a matter of minutes. Cross-platform file syncing must effectively and efficiently manage “every” conceivable file exception. For example, it must automatically update file versions, even when each system may manage versions differently or not at all (e.g.: Network storage). Syncing must also reconcile file sync-conflicts as well as know when the same file is merely renamed or moved (and that it’s not a new file). The good news is that SkySync manages these system dissimilarities automatically and with no heavy-lifting on your part.

From a user’s perspective, syncing delivers the best of both worlds for function and speed. A user arrives at work on Monday and conducts business as usual leveraging her existing on-premise storage solution. Then with those same files bi-directionally synced to Hightail, she can access and update content from anywhere and from any device while confidently knowing that any changes made to files are propagated back to her organization’s existing storage system(s). And since a “sync-enabled” environment is completely seamless to users, it makes adoption an easy and welcoming endeavor.

Whether your strategy is to completely move all your existing content to Hightail or simply have it live in parallel with your existing storage system(s), cross-platform syncing offers significant business value for both end-users and your IT staff. It provides security and control over content that IT demands along with the productivity and ease-of-use that end-users need. Betty and Bob may even thank you.

Learn more about how SkySync work here. Interested in moving your content from on-premise to Hightail? Get in touch with us 

We’re #HighlyInspired by: Caio Vilela

Hightail is celebrating this summer’s festival of futebol in Brazil by showcasing a series of stunning images by Brazilian photographer Caio Vilela on our home page. We caught up with him recently to talk about his biggest inspirations, which team will win the World cup and why soccer is like ballet. 

Caio Vilela - Highly Inspired

How did you first get into photography?

Back in 1994, I was travelling a lot as a backpacker and taking photographs for myself. A journalist friend of mine saw those images (slide films!) and invited me to collaborate with him about travel destinations for Sao Paulo-based national newspaper Jornal da Tarde.

Who is your biggest photography inspiration?

My biggest inspirations are the North American painters from 19th century. Artists like Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church and Thomas Cole travelled the world during a pre-photography era and portrayed North and South America’s natural landscapes on huge canvases with such an accuracy and beautiful light that all photographers would love to catch nowadays.

Describe your style of photography

I like to focus on colorful stuff that’s filled with information, movement and energy. I was never into conceptual emptiness in art photography. I enjoy and want to produce explosive, high voltage images.

Why do you like photographing football?

Football is so dynamic and fun to shoot. Every match has a different rhythm and mood. Some are pure fun, some are fast and serious. Every time I visit a football pitch there is a surprise waiting for me, whether it’s bucolic and empty or there’s a dust-raising match happening.

Are you excited to have the World Cup take place in your home country? 

I am very excited that Brazil is hosting the World Cup, although I agree with most Brazilians who are not happy with the country investing in circuses and not education, health, employment, security, etc.

Who will win the World Cup?

I’d love to see Uruguay or some African country win it!

What else inspires you?

Ballet! To me taking pictures during a soccer match is at the same time similar and the total opposite of photographing a dance presentation. Both are an exercise of agility, timing and blending in with the environment, with no interference. During a ballet, the lens points to a small limited space, where choreographed predictable moves will take place. While in a soccer pitch, action is everywhere. Anarchy and improvisation runs the show and that can drive the most experienced photographer dizzy. You have to foresee the right moment to press the button, predict when one body will unblock the sight of another, make a split second decision to capture the scene.

Just like dancers, amateur soccer players will probably not run, jump, fall on the ground and bring out their bodies best performance for more than one hour. Whenever I come across a thrilling spontaneous match, I have to run and hopefully produce two or three really good pictures. You can never tell if that game has just started or is about to come to an end. I approach the pitch like an eager striker and nervous as a defender, willing to see the ball being kicked towards the goal like a forward. At the end of the match, I am sweating and covered in dust, feeling like a player who has just scored a goal.

What fascinates me most about the set of images is that I have registered golden moments of some anonymous talented kids. All these boys have now an opportunity to shine in the pages of a book, just like they shine every single day in a dirt pitch, away from the eyes of a talent scout. The plays displayed in these pictures are the result of pure chance. They are here because there was a photographer in that pitch at the very moment they were playing.

Where else can we see your work?

You can see my work on my website. I also have a book called Futebol-Arte do Oiapoque ao Chuí, which you can buy online and has a preface by the great Brazilian player, Zico. And of course, you can see a new photograph every day at www.hightail.com and on Highly Inspired.

We’re #HighlyInspired by…coffee

Last month, our featured Highly Inspired artist was Kristine Herman and her beautiful photos of coffee. We also received some gorgeous submissions from Hightail users. Here are just a few of the best.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by Adam Tiernan Thomas. “I’m a father of two and full time freelance photographer and I love taking photos of life around me. I can only get up with a triple like this one photographed on my kitchen table at 6:30am.” See more of Adam’s work here.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by Malika Favre. “This illustration was commissioned by France’s national railway company, SNCF for the upcoming Orient Express exhibition at l’Institut du Monde Arabe. While I was researching images of the train, I realised that the experience was the essence of the train, so I went for something that had more narrative and mood.” See more of Malika’s work at www.malikafavre.com.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by Trudy. “I have a camera handy in the kitchen for taking pictures of things that look like something other than what they are. THIS cup of coffee was just that. It just sat there and said: ‘Well, hello’ to me.”

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by @liisa_lee. See more of her photos here.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by jampal. “A beautiful long mac from my local coffee shop, 125 on broadway, Perth.” See more photos here.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by seenist. “Latte. Coava Coffee. Eastside Portland.” See more photos here.

highly inspired coffee

Submitted by Mark Tatarinoff. “After a week in the Philippines and another in Shanghai, I finally found good coffee.”

To find out more about Highly Inspired, see more photos and submit your own, visit our Tumblr.

Out of office. In control.

Here at Hightail, we are all about control (not in a weird way) and especially giving you control (again, not in a weird way). But that control shouldn’t change just because you’re out of the office.

So we’ve just updated our iOS app to add the same sharing controls you find on our website, to your iPhone or iPad. Sharing controls allow you to do a number of things when you share a file including:

Confirm their identity

Have you ever been added to an email thread and scrolled down to see something that wasn’t intended for you?

iphone-send-controls_0015_verification-on

What if that something was the link to your confidential file?

Using Confirm their identity ensures that even if the link to your file is accidentally shared with others, only your intended recipients can access it by logging into Hightail with the specified email address.

Add a password

Another way to ensure that only the right people can access your work is to Add a password.

iphone-send-controls_0015_verification-on

This is a really simple way to protect your files. Just don’t forget to share your secret code in a separate message.

After all, you wouldn’t carve your PIN onto your debit card. Would you?

Set expiration date

There are many reasons to share files for a limited time. You may need to distribute information that will become dated after a certain point. Or you want to give your colleagues Mission Impossible style expiration to motivate them to act quickly.

Hightail iPhone set file expiration

Set expiration date lets you decide how long your files are available, whether that’s for a day, a month, a year or never.

Notify me

We know that sharing your work can be nerve-wracking. Maybe you’ve got a strict deadline or you’re excited to know what your client or colleagues think about your big new idea.

Hightail iPhone send notification

Now you can stop wondering and know for sure. Select Notify me whenever you share a file and we’ll send you by email as soon as it’s been downloaded.

By the way, those last three controls are only available with a Hightail Professional plan. They’re a great reason to upgrade your account and we’ve got even more reasons to go Pro here.

These sharing options are about giving you control of your information and insight into what happened next, whether you’re at your desk or on the go.

To start using these sharing controls on your iPhone or iPad, download the latest version of Hightail for iPhone and iPad for free.

Oh, and If you love the app, don’t forget to review it. If you’ve never reviewed an app before, here’s a quick how-to.

Six tricks to get your creative juices flowing

Have you ever found yourself carefully examining the intricate patterns of dust particles on the window by your desk at work? Or caught yourself staring at your computer screen unable to come up with another comprehensible thought?

In other words, have you ever been stuck in a rut, had writers block or just felt like your brain has stopped working? Getting those glorious creative juices flowing might be easier than you think. Here are six ways to get your workflow back on track.

Coffee - HightailThe first (and most obvious way) is to wake up your body with nothing other than caffeine. Whether you can’t do without your daily cup of Blue Bottle coffee or are satisfied with a good ‘ole cup of Starbucks, caffeine will definitely wake your brain up which in turn will wake your body up and give you the strength you need to get back to work and make some magic happen. Just don’t drink too much, or you will be wired for the rest of the day.

While partaking of your short coffee break, you just might want a snack to go with it. Eating a healthy snack is the second way to jog your creative memory. “With the right ingredients, you can boost brain power by as much as 20%, according to the World Health Organization.” And don’t turn your nose up at healthy. The proper mix of berries and dark chocolate could be just what the doctor ordered for you to get your engine going again. Check out this article to see what other brain foods you can eat to improve your creativity

Not hungry but still stuck? Get some exercise. We know you may not have time to go for a five-mile run (besides, nobody wants sweaty people around the office) but there are some quick exercises you can do that will give you a break from sitting on your bottom all day and refresh the body and the mind. This video gives you an idea of how easy it is to stretch out your body at your desk.


Speaking of your desk space, what does it look like? Does it have the right feng shui? Are there old water bottles that need to be thrown out, magazines you meant to read five months ago or printouts of PowerPoint presentations that you no longer need? If you are anything like me, and your desk space can sometimes look like a tornado, it’s time to organize the space around you. A cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind, which is not conducive to productivity. (And if you are a complete neat freak already, try re-organization. It can also give you the breath of fresh air you are looking for.)

In the event that you can’t manage to muster up any bright ideas within yourself, perhaps it will help to draw inspiration from others. Find a way to get inspired. To start off you can visit sites like medium.com where budding writers bounce off their latest ideas and stories on the Medium community. They even let you know how long it takes to read each article (“The 30 second habit with a lifelong impact” is a pretty good one.) Or check out our Highly Inspired project for your daily dose of photography heaven.

Highly Inspired Hightail

An inspiring story or a jovial read gets your brain back in gear and ready to work.

Last but not least, when you’ve completed one or more of the above tasks, sit down at your desk, and put on some tunes. Studies have shown that “melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain, as would eating a delicacy, looking at something appealing or smelling a pleasant aroma.” Music will also make your time at work fly by and help create the perfect atmosphere for your creativity to flourish. Find out what music genre works best for you in the work place. Listening to the band that you rock out to on the weekends might not be the best music to keep you focused, but who knows…maybe it is.