Experience with the IKEA system

Good day,

Today I would like to share our experience shopping with IKEA. We have just bought a new flat in Singapore, since our baby is almost due. The next logical thing was to buy some furniture. Our choice of vendor came down to IKEA, since they offer reasonable prices. After going back and fro several times to their website and store. Here are a few tips which we consider will be useful.

1. Make a floor diagram of the flat
You will find this useful along with step number two. It will help you visualise the flat you are trying to furnish. We used OmniGraffle for this purpose. Because it has a feature whereby you can create the diagram, objects with specific measurements and put it in the diagram to see roughly how it will fit. The diagram is displayed as 2D. We considered using CAD, but it would be an overkill. You can get the measurements of the items from their website.

Screen Shot 2013 09 25 at 9 22 02 PM

2. Make a list and checking it twice
IKEA has this custom of naming an item by series and numerical code. Go to the online site, do a search of all the items you are interested in. Note the item’s series and code. To make things simpler IKEA has provided this as a nice feature at their website. We didn’t know about this until later.You will need to:

    • Create a profile and login to the online website. This profile is different from the IKEA family option. Though I am not sure why. Remember, while creating your profile you will need to create your password as an alphanumeric, IKEA will not mention this or show it in their error message. I realised this by intuition.
    • After creating your profile and you login, click on the link My Shopping list. Then create your shopping list

      Screen Shot 2013 09 25 at 8 48 30 PM

      Screen Shot 2013 09 25 at 8 44 31 PM

    • Remember the item’s code and add it to the list.

      Screen Shot 2013 09 25 at 8 39 00 PM

    • After finishing your list, remember to select the shop you are going to check the items availability, we didn’t do this the first time, and we missed several items. Yes it seems a bit strange, we are able to create a shopping list but we can’t shop online, but it will make sense in the next step. Click the print button, it will create a comprehensive shopping list for you.

      Screen Shot 2013 09 25 at 9 45 18 PM


3. Go to the store and see the items
Once you have made your list, remember to check the store at least once. We changed several items in our list once we say that the items were not to our expectations, such as being too small.

4. Buy containers to put small items together
Since carrying bags of small items using the public transport is not a convenience (The taxi queue at IKEA stores in Singapore is notoriously long). It is better if you buy some containers in the store, put the small items in there, and ask for IKEA to deliver the items along with the bulky furnitures you have bought. It will cause you extra 10 SGD per box. But we found this worthy.

5. Be an IKEA family
It is totally worthy, I got a 30 dollars voucher, and they treat us nicely when we want to exchange a bag which was broken only a week after purchase.

Being an advance stage of pregnancy it would be nice if only IKEA would provide an online shopping option in Singapore. It is available to their US store. They only provided the means to create a shopping list online, but there is no check out button there. Plan as much as you can before going there, because the store is really big, and it can take hours to finish if you don’t make a shopping list.

Aireen Deviani

How to Quickly Post Yammer Updates from LaunchBar

If you’re a LaunchBar user, you’ll already know how time saving it is. What if I say that you can save even more time when you post Yammer updates directly from LaunchBar? Just think of how much time you’ve spent just to post a short update to Yammer:

  1. Open Safari (10 seconds).
  2. Open yammer.com (10-30 seconds)
  3. Log in to Yammer (20 – 60 seconds).
  4. Skip the intros and get to Yammer’s main feed (0 – 30 seconds).
  5. Click the “What are you working on” box and write the text (20-40 seconds)
  6. Click the “Post” button and wait for your message to be posted (10-30 seconds).

That’s total to about three minutes to just let your colleagues know what you’re doing. Yeah sure it doesn’t matter if you only do it less than once a day, but on a typical day’s work, these can add up quite a bit. There must be a better way to do this.

Yammer Loading Screen

Being a LaunchBar user, you’ll know that it can make use of other application’s services. Via the power user’s Services menu – exclusive to the Mac – you can type any text into LaunchBar and use it to drive other Mac applications. Too bad, Yammer is a web application so that it couldn’t take advantage of this. What’s worse, Yammer’s Adobe Air client doesn’t make use of this facility either.

But if you use Scuttlebutt to connect with your colleagues on Yammer, you can also post Yammer updates directly from LaunchBar via Scuttlebutt. Because Scuttlebutt is a native OS X application and provides Services menu items to post new Yammer updates and send file attachments to Yammer.

Send message to yammer

Here’s how you post a Yammer update from LaunchBar

  1. Activate LaunchBar – I use the “double command key press” to activate LaunchBar (takes less than one second).
  2. Select the “Enter Text” action – you can type it in or assign a hotkey to that action; personally I assign “,” (the comma button) as an abbreviation for this (this again takes less than one second).
  3. Type in the your Yammer update (takes about 20 seconds, depending how long do you type & think).
  4. Press the “tab” key and then select the “Scuttlebutt: New Yammer Update” (takes about two seconds).
  5. Scuttlebutt should launch and display your message. Simply confirm and click on Send (takes about two seconds in total on an SSD-based Mac).

Post yammer update

That amounts to less than half a minute – which is about 90% reduction in the total time to send a single update. These are where the time savings came from:

  • You won’t need to wait to log in to Yammer nor wait for its pages to load (which could take a significant percentage of your time, depending on how fast your Internet connection is and how heavily loaded Yammer’s servers are).
  • You don’t need to wait for your message to be sent since Scuttlebutt caches the message for you before sending posting it to Yammer (again the benefit of a desktop client).
  • You didn’t distracted by having a Safari window showing Yammer taking over your screen.

But wait, you can even save more time if enable LaunchBar’s “Instant Send” feature. This allows you to send any selected text as input to a Service item. For me, I assign the Double Control key to Instant Send.

  1. Select any text (say, in Safari) – takes about five seconds.
  2. Double-tap the Control key and then type “Scu..” to select the “Scuttlebutt: New Yammer Update” service item (takes about three seconds).
  3. Scuttlebutt will open and display your message. At this point, just click on Send (again, takes about two seconds on my 2011 MacBook Air).

So that’s just about it for today. If you prefer Alfred or Quicksilver instead, you can also apply the same technique to those applications. But if you’re a Yammer user and haven’t heard of Scuttlebutt, get it now if you value your time at all.