Cut Down This Year’s Christmas Tree At A National Park

It’s that time of the year again, but instead of purchasing an artificial Christmas tree, consider cutting down your own tree at a national park. It helps reduce tree clutter and it can be a fun family activity, just make sure you can transport it home.

However, before you get your axe and take a ride, you are going to need a permit. Luckily, the permit can be obtained online at And the price may surprise you as it’s only $10 dollars. And it’s free for some families with children in the fourth grade.

Not all national parks are participating, so some states may be out of luck. In those cases, buying a tree from a local source is advised.

How Does this Help Forests?

You may be thinking that cutting down trees in a forest is a bad thing, but it actually has many benefits when done responsibly.

For starters, cutting down smaller trees provides more space for the other plants and flora to grow. This is because trees block sunlight from reaching smaller plants. They also absorb more nutrients from the soil.

It is also much easier for smaller trees to catch on fire. As a result, cutting down smaller trees can help prevent massive fires from breaking out.

Make Sure to Recycle Your Christmas Tree


After you are done with your Christmas tree, make sure to recycle it. Most cities and towns provide simple ways to dispose of your tree. However, this can see them end up in landfills.

Make sure you recycle your tree by turning it into mulch or donating it to local wildlife facilities. Many of these trees can help create animal habitats at recovery centers or zoos.

Some cities provide free Christmas tree pickups for these endeavors, so make sure to see what your area offers.

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The Importance of Making Environmentally Friendly Cities

Urbanization trends are continuing, and the rate is likely to increase in low-income countries as they continue to develop. Thus, it falls to architects and engineers to construct more environmentally friendly cities to help reduce climate impact.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, it is estimated that 75% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from cities. With the biggest emitters in the form of transportation and construction.

And if more people continue to move from rural areas to cities, these numbers will only get worse.

Why Do Cities Create So Many Emissions?

Traffic Jam

If you can remember how life was before the Covid-19 pandemic, traveling in a large city was a nightmare. Cars backed up for blocks in bumper to bumper traffic for hours at the same time every day.

The increased population size means that more cars are on the road in a very condensed area. And to make matters worse, trips typically take longer because there are more cars on the road. Thus, not only are there more cars but more emissions in general.

However, that’s only one half of the emissions problem.

Building a city is no easy task, and building giant cement structures has a serious impact on the environment. In fact, cement is one of the biggest emitters in the world. Building skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and parking lots are having a serious impact.

And it’s not even just the CO2 emissions you need to worry about.

Construction sites typically release PM2.5 particles into the atmosphere, which are a health hazard.

Thus, it is essential to construct more environmentally friendly cities.

What Innovations Are They Considering?

Architects and engineers around the world have already come up with a variety of ideas that could help solve the problem.

Some of these innovative ideas include self-driving cars to reduce traffic, vertical farms, underground recycling systems, and many more. However, these will remain ideas until they are actually implemented, and if it doesn’t happen soon, it’ll be too late.

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8 Best Employee Monitoring Software for 2021

Do you need to keep tabs on employees that are working remotely? If so, you need employee monitoring software to give you the tracking tools you need. Luckily, there are many options to choose from, but that also makes it difficult to find the right one.

What is Employee Monitoring Software?

Employee Monitoring Software allows employers to monitor employees in a variety of ways. These include time tracking, work performance tracking, location tracking, view screenshots of employee computers, and task completion to name a few.

Of course, it is completely up to the employer to decide what features are necessary and which are not.

And those decisions are usually based on the type of industry they run. For that reason, you need to pick the best employee monitoring software for your particular business. However, that has become difficult as the features each software offers have increased over the years.

Thus, I have assembled a list to help you find the best choice.

The Best Employee Monitoring Software

1. ActivTrak


ActivTrak is a feature-rich employee monitoring software intended for small to mid-size businesses. And most importantly, its interface is simple enough for anyone to use, which makes it perfect for companies making a transition to working from home.

Due to the large number of features it offers, it’s one of the best out there.

Some of the key features include monitoring work activity in real-time, protects important employee information to increase trust, helps to identify unbalanced workflow distributions, monitor appliance usage, and it can even find security gaps.

By far the biggest advantage ActivTrak offers customers is its pricing structure. It is the cheapest employee monitoring software on this list, and when you consider the numerous features it offers businesses, the value just can’t be beaten.

Benefits of ActivTrak

  • Simple UI means anyone can use it efficiently
  • Monitor workflow in real-time
  • Identifies unbalanced workflows and suggests redistributions

Price of ActivTrak

  • A free account supports 3 users and up to 3 GB of data
  • The Advanced plan is $7.25 a month per user

2. SentryPC


SentryPC is built to help small businesses, and boy does it succeed. It has a simple interface to use, the prices are relatively low, and it gets results. And it is entirely cloud-based, so you can start immediately after signing up.

Thus, it’s one of the best pc monitoring software to buy.

A few of the key features include using the minimal CPU processing cycles to ensure it does not impact computers, block multiple chat services, takes random screenshots for your review (stores 500 of them), a variety of tracking and logging charts, and you can even set up keywords to notify you (like your phone number).

Unlike the vast majority of other software on this list, SentryPC does not require a minimum number of users. This can greatly increase the amount you pay, and for many small businesses, you might not even have enough employees to use them.

Benefits of SentryPC

  • Set up keyword notifications to alert you in real-time
  • Can block chat services to help keep employees working
  • No minimum number of users required

Price of SentryPC

  • Basic starts at $59.95 per year and costs $19.95 for each additional license
  • Business 50 starts at $995 per year and costs $19.90 for each additional license
  • While the Business 100 starts at $1,595 per year and costs $15.95 for each additional license
  • And the Business 250 starts at $2,995 per year and costs $11.98 for each additional license

3. Teramind


Without a doubt, no other employee monitoring software comes close to Teramind in terms of features and performance. It truly is the software to beat and can fit a variety of business sizes.

And it supports both cloud-based and on-site options.

Some of the more unique features include video capture via live session viewing, time tracking, project step completion tracking, can capture violations and report them to management, pre-built rule templates, and much more.

It is worth noting that while Teramind is the most comprehensive employee tracking systems available, some of its tools are complicated to use. Thus, it’s important to remember there is a learning curve if you plan on using the more in-depth features.

Benefits of Teramind

  • Includes web page tracking
  • A variety of rule templates to choose from
  • Web browser and email monitoring

Price of Teramind

  • There are two sets of plans; one for cloud coverage and one for on-premise. The prices vary across plans.
  • Starter begins at $10 a month per user with a minimum of 5 users
  • UAM begins at $20.83 a month per user with a minimum of 5 users
  • DLP begins at $25 a month per user with a minimum of 5 users

4. Veriato


Veriato is a powerful piece of software designed for larger teams. Thus, small businesses will find the services it offers to be a bit on the pricey side. But for the people it’s intended for, Veratio is unmatched in terms of security.

And considering many of its customers are defense contractors, finance, health, and other industries where security is important, it excels.

Security is the name of the game, and boy does this software deliver. It can monitor employees whether they are in the office or at home, offers video playback of their screen at any time, and offers powerful forensic tools to aid investigations.

The real goal of Veratio is to find potential threats from within your company. Again, this is for industries where discretion is key. It uses an AI to calculate the risk probability of all of your employees and alerts you of threats before they may happen.

Benefits of Veriato

  • Uses a powerful AI to detect threats
  • Video playback is available from any screen
  • Makes internal investigation simple

Price of Veriato

  • The price of licenses reduce as you buy more
  • 3-9 licenses cost $150 per license per year
  • 10-19 license cost$135 per license per year
  • 20-49 license cost $121 per license per year

5. StaffCop


StaffCop offers customers a variety of powerful set of threat detection and employee monitoring tools. It is intended for large companies and can even support up to 25,000 employees on a single account.

Thus, it isn’t something a small business may need.

Its focus is on security, and some of the features include detailed user cards to analyze every aspect of what an employee does at a work station (web browser history), monitor communication in a number of services like Skype, and you can work on a company computer remotely.

One of the most useful features is how customizable the screen capturing is. You can even customize it to take more screenshots for specific applications. This can help you keep track of employees with access to sensitive information.

Benefits of StaffCop

  • Remote control company computers
  • Supports up to 25,000 employees
  • Monitor communications across multiple services

Price of StaffCop

  • StaffCop has a variety of plans that are based on the number of licenses you buy and the length you wish to buy them.
  • You can purchase 3-month, 12-month, or Perpetual licenses.
  • License amounts are highly customizable ranging from 5-25 all the way to over 1000 licenses.

6. Hubstaff


Hubstaff is one of the best time tracking tools on the market, and it has quite a few employee monitoring tools as well.  It is also one of the more affordable options on the list, which makes it great for small businesses.

Although, keep in mind that every plan requires a minimum of 2 users.

The list of features is quite long and includes invoice, payroll, and payment options, scheduling options, set limits for the hours employees to work, 24/7 support, timesheet approvals, and the ability to customize unique options for each user.

One advantage this software has is the free trial, and it’s unlimited for 1 user. It’s a great way to test the service, but keep in mind that it is a very limited free plan that only includes activity tracking, screenshots, and payments on a limited scale.

Benefits of Hubstaff

  • Individually customizable user settings
  • Multiple payment options
  • Support is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, or email

Price of Hubstaff

  • A free plan is available for 1 user
  • Basic starts at $7 per month per user
  • Premium starts at $10 per month per user
  • Enterprise starts at $20 per month per user

7. InterGuard


InterGuard has been around for a while, and you can expect its experience to show. It’s a cloud-hosted service that provides teams of any size the tracking tools they need.

As a result, monitoring computer activities has never been easier.

There are a variety of features to choose from including detailed reports based on your employee’s work performance, video playback from any screen, automatic screenshots, and you can even set up notifications if certain actions are taken by employees.

Keep in mind when looking at the pricing options that the license comes in a pack format. The more licenses in a pack, the better the deal.  However, expect your monthly price to increase significantly nonetheless.

Benefits of InterGuard

  • You can set up suspicious behaviors that trigger notifications
  • Takes screenshots and supports video playback
  • Email monitoring support

Price of InterGuard

  • Monthly plans start at $25 a month per user
  • 1-year plans start at $156 a month per user
  • 2-year plans start at $132 a month per user

8. VeriClock


And last on our list, but certainly not the least, is VeriClock. It’s another excellent choice for small businesses to consider if they are on a budget and are looking for variety when keeping an eye on employees.

However, it does lack most of the in-depth monitoring tools of alternative platforms.

Benefits include integration options with Quickbooks, automatically sign employees out when their shift ends, schedule creation, a variety of time tracking tools including TSheets, and it can even track the location of where employees last logged in.

To be perfectly honest, Vericlock is not a pure employee monitoring software. Instead, it focuses on time and location tracking. And for a variety of businesses, this is more than enough, especially at such an affordable price range.

Benefits of VeriClock

  • Apps for both Android and IOS available
  • Geotracking available, which is perfect for employees who travel
  • Makes creating schedules a breeze

Price of VeriClock

  • $10 account fee charges each month
  • $5 dollars a month for each user

Does Employee Monitoring Software Get Results?


Being able to track how long a task takes can help you ensure that each project you undertake is getting the proper amount of staff to meet deadlines. It can also help improve productivity and deter employees from surfing their Facebook page.

However, just keep in mind that not all of them are positive.

For example, it is commonly cited by employees and analysts that it can sometimes be considered insulting to be tracked as you work. After all, it’s sending a pretty clear message, I don’t trust my staff to perform their jobs.

And even the idea of productivity-increasing is up for debate.

For example, according to Clutch, 79% of workers feel that being monitored did not make them more productive at work. That’s a lot.

So keep in mind, you might be sending the wrong kind of message to your staff and you may be better off buying project management software instead.

Be Understanding

For many businesses, transitioning to working from home presents a variety of challenges. After all, it’s easy to get distracted from work when you are home with your family. And while these are unique circumstances, employees are still getting paid to do a job.

This can put employers in a weird situation.

After all, they are paying for a job to be done, but the employee cannot give work 100% of their attention. And this situation is outside the control of both of them.

As such, expect productivity to suffer slightly and adjust accordingly.

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The Lockdown Didn’t Solve the Emissions Problem

During the Covid-19 lockdown, there were some that said it will help lower emissions. However, according to the annual World Meteorological Organization, that was just a blip on the radar, with no visible effect.

As a result, the new highs the world saw in 2019 are still the same and unchanged. In fact, the report found that emissions are still rising at an unprecedented rate. Since 1990, the radiative forcing (warming effect) has increased by 45% as a result of CO2.

Carbon dioxide is the biggest problem, and it accounts for four-fifths of the heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere.

Was There Really No Impact From the Lockdown?

It may be hard to believe that a global shutdown that involved virtually all sectors of our society would have no impact, but it is the truth.

While daily CO2 emissions have decreased significantly, 17% from last year, scientists have found this to be the same as natural variability. To put this another way, while emissions have fallen for this year, the total amount of heat-trapping gases is still increasing.

This is because nothing is removing the old CO2 or other gases from our atmosphere. This is why carbon capture technology is crucial in climate plans going forward.

What If the Reduction Continues?

2nd Lockdown

As many nations begin closing down for a second time as the virus continues to spike, another lockdown is very likely.

The reduction in emissions is a great thing and absolutely necessary. But, we are at a point where reducing emissions isn’t enough. We need to also help natural carbon sinks thrive. Forests are a great example of this.

Trees and plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and planting more while reducing emissions is a terrific combination.

However, around the world, our forests are on fire and those losses will cost us dearly.

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Como impulsar tu tienda en línea a través de redes sociales con Facebook para WooCommerce

En esta oportunidad contaremos con Vero López desde Quito, Ecuador, quien es nuestra primera expositora internacional invitada a nuestros webinars en idioma español.

En este webinar, Vero López comenzará interiorizando acerca de lo que es Facebook e Instagram, conocer cuál es el funcionamiento de cada una de estas herramientas y con base en esto, comprender cómo puede hacer uso de ellas para trabajar en su sitio web.

Algunas de las cosas que aprenderá en esta charla:


Vero mostrará datos relevantes acerca de Facebook: es la red social más utilizada a nivel mundial, permite hacer publicidad segmentada, las edades que utilizan esta red está entre 30 y 50 años. Es importante conocer cómo funciona Facebook para así poder administrar su negocio de una forma adecuada.

Aprenderá cómo saber cuántos millones de usuarios activos se encuentran en su país, esto lo puede encontrar en el administrador de anuncios de Facebook, en la sección de crear un nuevo anuncio, se escoge el lugar y la herramienta indicará qué porcentaje de millones de usuarios estarás alcanzando con tus publicaciones.

Un término que conocerá, es el de algoritmo utilizado por facebook, el cual funciona con base en 4 elementos, los cuales son: inventario, señales, predicciones y puntaje.

El inventario, se refiere a todo el contenido que puede mostrarse a los usuarios. Facebook siempre le dará prioridad a los perfiles personales en la sección de noticias.

Las señales corresponden a la información que se recopila sobre la publicación, son las interacciones por parte de los usuarios hacia la publicación, por ejemplo, los me gusta, comentarios, respuestas, compartir el contenido.

Lo relevante de esto, es que dependiendo de qué tanta interacción se de a una publicación, el algoritmo de Facebook lo mostrará a más o menos cantidad de usuarios. Vero nos indica que el promedio de vida de una publicación es de 4 horas, mientras se de más interacción, puede que dure hasta 2 días.

Otro de los elementos que Vero repasará es el de predicciones, que se refiere al comportamiento del usuario y la probabilidad de que tenga una interacción positiva con sus publicaciones.

Y por último tenemos el parámetro de puntaje, que se obtiene con base en la interacción que tienen sus usuarios a su contenido publicado.

Un dato muy interesante es que el elemento de contenido mejor calificado es el del video, siempre y cuando sea de al menos de 1 minuto y en promedio de unos 3 minutos. Además, que sean videos con contenido de valor.

El elemento menos calificado es el del link, porque cuando compartimos un link, usted no estará haciendo que el usuario permanezca dentro de la red sino que se vaya a un lugar externo.

Una de las recomendaciones que hace Vero es siempre ser originales en los contenidos que se publiquen, ya que Facebook califica estos contenidos de una mejor manera.


Instagram es una herramienta gratuita utilizada para difundir imágenes y videos como principal contenido. Y una de sus potentes características es la de comunicar historias breves y así provocar llamadas de acción por parte de los usuarios, logrando así promocionar sus productos de una forma eficaz.

Es una red social con un público más joven, entre edades de 18 años en adelante.

Vero le mostrará el comportamiento que tiene un contenido dentro de la publicación en Instagram, en el cual la idea es lograr que el menor tiempo posible haya la mayor cantidad de interacciones y así su publicación durará más días.

Aunado a esto, se debe tener en cuenta el tema del alcance, que son los usuarios que están realizando comentarios, compartiendo contenido, o dando clic a me gusta. Un dato a recordar es que, generar comentarios y guardar el contenido por parte del usuario son las dos acciones con mejor calificación.

La importancia del sitio web

Como punto relevante, Vero le mostrará porque es tan importante contar un sitio web para su negocio digital y así tener una presencia en internet que luzca profesional.
Aprenderá las diferencias entre sitio web, página web y tienda.

Vero lo guiará acerca de qué se necesita tener para empezar a darle forma a su empresa. Es fundamental contar con un dominio web, el cual es el nombre que le dará a su negocio y con el cual sus clientes lo reconocerán.

Otro de los aspectos a considerar es contar con un hosting, el cual es un alojamiento web en el cual alojará todos los archivos de su sitio web y además podrá hacer uso de una cuenta de correo corporativa, haciendo que su empresa se vea de forma profesional.

Otra de los elementos que Vero le indicará, es el uso de un CMS (Sistema de Administración de Contenido), en este webinar, aprenderá acerca del popular WordPress, que es una de las herramientas de gestión de contenido más utilizada a nivel mundial y que además puede ser aprendida y utilizada por cualquier persona.

Si su objetivo es crear una tienda en línea para su negocio, en este webinar, Vero le mostrará como hacer uso de WooCommerce, herramienta utilizada para alojar, administrar productos y generar métodos de pago a través del sitio.

Repasará todos los elementos que contiene un sitio web de una tienda en línea, por ejemplo, categorías, etiquetas, atributos y precio, aprenderá la diferencia entre cada uno así como sus características.

Conocerá acerca de las plataformas de pago disponibles para cobrar en su tienda virtual, por ejemplo, Vero le explicará como funciona PayPal. También como hacer uso de Google Analytics para ver las estadísticas de su sitio web y la herramienta de Facebook Pixel para ver la cantidad de visitas que se generan desde Facebook.

Escritura persuasiva

Es de gran importancia saber comunicar de una forma asertiva cuando se quiere lograr que los clientes adquieran los productos que ofrecemos.

Vero le mostrará el método AIDA que se utiliza en escritura persuasiva, sus siglas significan Atención, Interés, Deseo y Acción. Con este método aprenderás la estructura persuasiva para que empieces a atraer a las personas y generar tráfico hacia su sitio web.

Facebook por WooCommerce

Ahora que ya cuenta con el aprendizaje acerca del funcionamiento de Facebook, Instagram, el concepto de sitio web y tienda en línea, continuará aprendiendo cómo incorporar todo lo aprendido en un solo lugar, esto lo logrará con el plugin Facebook para WooCommerce.

Este plugin le permitirá instalar el Pixel de Facebook, cargar del catálogo de los productos de su tienda en línea, entre otras funciones que Vero le mostrará.

Vero repasará cómo se lleva a cabo la instalación y activación del plugin, el cual le permitirá sincronizar toda la información desde la tienda en el sitio web.

Por último, aprenderá a configurar el plugin dentro de su sitio web con WordPress y observará cómo funciona dentro de Facebook.

¡Espero verte de nuevo para aprender más de distintos temas por parte de nuestros expositores!

Nos gustaría agradecer a todos los que sintonizaron nuestro webinar. Esperamos poder ayudarlo a mejorar su aprendizaje acerca Redes Sociales, WooCommerce y WordPress en general.

Permanece atento a nuestras redes sociales para saber cuándo estará disponible el próximo webinar, muy pronto tendremos un webinar acerca de WooCommerce.

¡Muchas Gracias y feliz aprendizaje!

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8 Best Point of Sale Systems for 2021

Every storefront needs a point of sale system to conduct business. However, it’s gotten extremely difficult to choose the right one as the market has expanded. And not only is there more competition, but the number of features they include has increased significantly.

What Is A Point of Sale System?

A point of sale system, or POS, is what a customer uses to make a purchase from your store or website. The point of sale system adds up the cost of the products in the cart, calculates tax, creates a receipt, and most importantly, accepts the payment.

In it’s simplest form, you can think of a traditional cash register.

However, as we all know, everything has gotten more complicated over the years. And a simple POS just won’t cut it for many small businesses in 2020. Thus, every small business needs to find a POS system that matches their needs.

For example, if you are in retail, you need to find retail point of sale software. Each business type is different, and as you would expect, so are the solutions each one uses.

The Best Point of Sale (POS) Systems of 2020

1. Vend


Vend is the perfect retail software for a small business because it comes with everything you need. This includes everything from inventory management to accepting credit card payments and so much more.

And it’s entirely cloud-based, which means no on-site server installation.

It has a long list of features that include creating quick keys to help make finding popular items faster, store credit tracking, layaway support, gift card support, and refund processing.

One of the coolest features the software includes is being able to use your iPhone to complete transactions. You can use the camera to scan barcodes and the phone screen will display and calculate the cost of the order.

Benefits of Vend

  • Swift refund processing to make returns a breeze
  • A variety of shortcuts like quick keys
  • iPhone barcode scanning

Price of Vend

  • The Lite plan begins at $99 dollars a month
  • The Pro plan starts at $129 dollars a month
  • An Enterprise plan is available upon request

2. TouchBistro


TouchBistro was a POS system built specifically for restaurants, and as a result, it’s one of the best ones you can pick. Restaurants have different needs from a retail store, thus they need a different solution.

However, there is a fair share of overlap with traditional POS systems.

In the past, restaurants have taken orders with pen and paper. And many still do to this day. But more and more kitchens are switching to iPads (tablets). This is because the moment you take the order, it is sent directly to the kitchen. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that this offers some of the best iPad support.

On top of this, there are a variety of features that include telling waiters which items are out of stock, inventory management, credit card processing, in-app messaging to keep communication between the kitchen and staff, and much more.

Benefits of TouchBistro

  • Amazing iPad and tablet support
  • In-app messaging to help improve employee communication
  • Track tables and manage seating from any iPad

Price of TouchBistro

  • POS License starts at $69 dollars a month
  • Add Gift Card support for $25 dollars a month
  • Add Online Ordering for $50 dollars a month
  • Reservation support starts at $229 dollars a month

3. Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale is one best POS systems on this list because it has multiple options for different businesses. These include options for retail, restaurants, and professional services like hairstylists, repair shops, and health care.

Thus, regardless of your business type, this POS supports it.

As you can expect, each business type will find features that are specifically made for them to make doing business a breeze. For instance, hairstylists have access to an excellent interface to keep track of appointments.

One of the biggest advantages of Square Point of Sale is the way they handle pricing. Unlike other POS systems, you don’t pay for the software on a monthly or annual basis. Instead, you pay a small fee for every time you make a sale, which can help cut the initial costs from traditional POS plans.

Benefits of Square Point of Sale

  • Supports a variety of business types
  • No upfront costs for the software
  • Excellent online store support

Price of Square Point of Sale

  • The software is free to use and only collects payments when you make a sale
  • The processing rate is currently 2.6% + ¢10 per tap or swipe

4. Quickbooks Point of Sale


Quickbooks Point of Sale is an excellent choice for any business that uses Intuit Quickbooks for accounting. They connect seamlessly, which can help save time managing your business’s finances.

However, that’s only one advantage of using this POS.

Some of the key features include gift card support, automatic inventory updates to prevent selling more than you have, manage inventory across multiple stores, accept payments on mobile phones and tablets, and much more.

Something quite unique to Quickbooks Point of Sale is that it comes with customer relationship management tools that help you identify trends to improve sales. After all, knowing what your customer likes can help you make good recommendations or help entice future consumers.

Benefits of Quickbooks Point of Sale

  • Fully integrates with Intuit Quickbooks accounting
  • Automatic inventory updates
  • Supports a variety of business types and multiple store locations

Price of Quickbooks Point of Sale

  • POS Basic is available for a one-time payment of $1,200
  • POS Pro is available for a one-time payment of $1,700
  • The POS Multi-Store package is a one-time payment starting at $1,900

5. ShopKeep


ShopKeep is a tablet-based POS system intended for retail, quick service, and full-service restaurants. It has an especially easy interface to use, which makes it great for businesses with part-time employees who won’t spend a lot of time getting familiar with it.

It also has a variety of features tailored to these business types.

Some of the key features include accepting all types of payments including contactless, inventory management, mobile app to keep track of business on the go, delivery options for restaurants, and easy syncing for stores with online shops.

ShopKeep offers the best support options out of any point of sale system on this list. This includes a collection of detailed user guides to help understand any of the software and most important live chat and phone support are available 24/7.

Benefits of ShopKeep

  • Live chat and phone support available 24/7
  • An awesome mobile app for when you’re on the go
  • Contactless payment support

Price of ShopKeep

  • The Basic plan starts at $49 dollars a month
  • An Essential plan starts at $79 dollars a month
  • The Advanced plan starts at $179 dollars a month

6. Lightspeed


Lightspeed is another excellent tablet-based POS system that supports both retail and restaurant business types. It has a variety of plans and add-ons to help businesses purchase what they need like the eCommerce add-on for those who plan to have an online shop.

The name, Lightspeed, isn’t just for show either. This is because the developers add new features fast.

Unfortunately, the way business is being conducted has changed significantly as a result of Covid-19. And to help businesses with the transition, in October 2020, Lightspeed launched Order Ahead.

This service provides additional options to help restaurants offer more pickup and delivery options.

It has a plethora of features that businesses can take advantage of including contactless payments, customer loyalty programs (reward point systems), stock import options, help with seating arrangement including social distancing changes.

Benefits of Lightspeed

  • The newly launched Order Ahead helps restaurants cope with Covid-19
  • Create customer loyalty programs to boost customer retention
  • Easily update seating arrangments in your restaurant

Price of Lightspeed

  • Basic starts at $69 a month
  • Starter starts at $99 a month
  • Standard starts at $119 a month
  • Advanced starts at $169 a month
  • Pro starts at $229 a month

7. Erply


Erply is one of the most customizable point of sale systems on this list. It works excellently in both an online and in-store environment, which makes it a great choice for any retail store or restaurant.

And you can expect a lot of features to use.

Some of the key ones include cloud-based storage and encryption to protect your data, training demos to help you get started, import tools for other POS systems, loyalty program support, and plenty of more useful features.

One of the most interesting highlights Erply offers, through add-ons, is the self-checkout option. That’s right, you can let your customers check themselves out if it fits your business model. This works great for quick service restaurants like sandwich shops or pizza parlors.

Benefits of Erply

  • Supports a self-checkout option
  • Data encryption and backups included
  • Import tools make it easy to switch

Price of Erply

  • POS without inventory costs $39 a month
  • Inventory + POS costs $99 a month
  • An Enterprise plan is available upon request

8. Bindo POS

Bindo POS

And closing out the list of the top point of sale systems is the excellent Bindo POS. It has solutions for both retail stores and restaurants, so it’s perfect for most small business structures.

And it has one of the best user interfaces available.

The software is feature-rich and some of the more noteworthy ones include the ability to apply discounts at any time during a transaction, gift card support, detailed analytic reports to help keep track of what’s selling well, and inventory management.

Bindo POS offers customer relationship management (CRM) tools as well. These help you keep data about your customers which improves their experience and helps you suggest products they are interested in.

Benefits of Bindo POS

  • Includes CRM tools to help you improve customer relations
  • Discounts can be applied at any time during a transaction
  • Inventory management helps keep your store and online shop linked

Price of Bindo POS

  • Prices are available upon request

When Does My Business Need A Point of Sale System?

The moment you open your doors to customers and plan to make a sale is the moment you need a POS system. This allows you to enter the price information, update your inventory when a sale is made, ensure a quick checkout, and so much more.

It is not possible to open a business without one.

Match Your Business Type

Every business is unique, and the solution you use will also be unique. As such, the POS software you choose needs to meet your needs.

Thus, carefully analyze how you will conduct business and choose the most appropriate software.

Which point of sale system did you choose? How did the type of business you run influence the choice?

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Hydrogen-Powered Trains May Replace Diesel Trains in Germany

A new announcement by Siemens could see an influx of new hydrogen-powered trains in Germany. Currently, 40% of the railways in Germany have not been electrified, which means only trains with a diesel engine can operate on those tracks.

However, that could soon change.

For years, hydrogen power has been a promising clean fuel that could replace traditional fuel sources, and now many companies are starting to utilize it. Hydrogen-powered trains are not new and are currently in use in France.

And Germany may be the next country to utilize them. And it could be as soon as 2024!

How do they Work?

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Hydrogen-powered trains utilize fuel cells that convert interactions between hydrogen and oxygen molecules into electricity. The electricity is then stored in batteries, which have also been improving over the years as a result of the electric car revolution.

However, unlike electric vehicles, there is a form of “waste” in the process.


Yup, these trains will generate water, which is collected in a separate container. However, while the water is less acidic than rainwater, it is not recommended to drink without processing.

Though, this is much better than producing harmful greenhouse gasses.

Will It Have a Big Impact?


Trains represent 17% of freight deliveries in Germany. And even with diesel-powered trains in operation, they still produce fewer emissions than trucks. Adding even more incentive to companies looking to cut emissions could be the push they need.

And of course, that means the 17% market share they already make up will reduce carbon emissions.

On top of this, Germany is already lowering the price of train tickets to help incentivize normal travel. After all, trains produce fewer emissions than vehicles on the road, especially on long trips. This also shares the goal of reducing the number of flights.

After all, the airline industry has a huge emissions problem.

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Jeff Bezos to Donate Almost $800 Million to Fight Climate Change

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced on Monday that he is donating $791 million to 16 groups that are fighting climate change. This is to honor his pledge to donate a total of $10 billion dollars to support organizations working to protect the environment.

According to the Instagram post, the 16 organizations that will receive the money include:

  • The Climate and Clean Energy Equity Fund
  • ClimateWorks Foundation
  • Dream Corps Green For All
  • Eden Reforestation Projects
  • Energy Foundation
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • NDN Collective
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • The Solutions Project
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • World Resources Institute
  • World Wildlife Fund.

The donation’s intention is to help ensure that these organizations can scale up to help more communities.

Jeff Bezos Is Staying the Course

Free Shipping

Jeff Bezos made a promise to make Amazon climate neutral by 2040, 10 years before the Paris Agreements deadline. And since then, it appears he is following through on that commitment.

One of the biggest promises Amazon made was to switch its car fleet to electric. As a result, they recently unveiled their first 100% electric Amazon delivery truck. The company expects to have 10,000 of them on the road by 2022 and 100,000 by the end of 2030.

This will help mitigate the emissions generated from the quick deliveries the company is so famous for.

Amazon has also made huge strides in switching to renewable energy sources. It currently has a renewable energy capacity of 2,900 MW with 91 unique projects in the works. This will help keep all Amazon facilities running on renewable energy.

The goal is to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Most recently, Amazon has changed the design of their boxes to ensure they use fewer materials to build. The company is definitely following through on its promises to do more.

However, other companies and nations need to do their part, too.

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