Part 8: Time Management
One way to succeed in business is to make productive use of your time. Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1748, “Remember that time is money.” He went on to explain that if you spend time being idle, then your wages during that time are wasted. That excellent business advice is even more relevant today considering how fast the business world moves.
Businesses that don’t run smoothly and make valuable use of their time will inevitably get left behind. The good news is, there are many tools available that superheros can use to move their business ahead of the competition in a flash!
Time Management Tools
Since we’re a web design and internet marketing company, it’s probably no surprise that we like to use web applications to keep our work flowing. These are some of our favorites…
Basecamp is the project management tool that helps us stay on top of all our projects here at TheeDigital. It’s web-based, easy-to-use, and very reliable. Our President can get a big picture view of what’s going on across the company, and the project managers can manage all the details. We can even share files and communicate with our clients and the whole team through the app. Basecamp is a big reason why our projects run smoothly and efficiently.
Harvest is pretty new to our arsenal of tools, and so far we’re happy with it. It’s an online time tracking application that integrates with Basecamp and QuickBooks. Our projects and tasks are recorded in Basecamp, then the time is entered and the invoices are created in Harvest. We use the Harvest Chrome extension so we can enter the time directly in Basecamp and it magically appears in Harvest. The invoice data is imported in QuickBooks for our accounting records. This has been an efficient work flow for us and it limits the need for a huge accounting department.
QuickBooks is the #1 small business accounting software that handles our accounting and payroll and prepares TheeDigital’s owner for tax time. Its apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices allows us to take photos of receipts, email customers, and send invoices on the go. QuickBooks integrates with Harvest, SalesForce, and many popular shipping, eCommerce, payroll, and scheduling tools.
Google Calendar & Google Docs
Google Calendar keeps all of our schedules in one place so we can quickly see who is available, which conference rooms are booked, and who is out of the office. Google Docs is another web application that helps to keep us organized and share files with each other.
If you’re a business superhero, you probably have a ton of valuable information you need to store and access quickly and Evernote is here to save the day. Evernote is not used company wide at TheeDesign, but I personally love it and some of my coworkers do, too. Evernote stores and organizes all of my notes, business cards, web clips, files, and images in the cloud and makes them available on all of my computers and devices. That’s really helpful when I’m off-site for a meeting or doing a little work at home. You can take pictures of your handwritten notes and store them with tags so you can search for them later, and if you have a premium account, even the text in photos is searchable! Now that Evernote has added tasks with reminders and notifications, it’s also handy for tasks so I don’t need a separate to-do app anymore. Holy Organized, Batman!
We use Desk.com to provide customer service to our existing customers. We ask all of our clients to send support requests to email@example.com and they’re automatically logged in Desk.com and we’re notified. All communication about the request is done in the app and we log the tasks and time in Basecamp and Harvest.
The Desk.com website describes their product as a customer service application that combines all your channels into one über accessible location and provides powerful tools so you can deliver heroic support with ease. It’s like it was made for Superheroes!
Salesforce is another important tool for superheroes to use to grow their businesses. TheeDigital uses this customer relation management (CRM) tool to manage contacts, gather leads, and manage sales deals.
The Easy Clocking time clock is a state-of-the-art fingerprint authentication technology that we use to track employee’s time and attendance with the touch of a finger. It integrates with QuickBooks and it has many time and attendance reports that can be easily exported to Excel, Word, PDF and to many payroll provider applications. So even if your Spidey-sense is off, Superheros can still know who’s in the office, who’s on break, and who might need to be rescued and returned to the office.
We know being a business Superhero isn’t easy, so we hope this peek into our work flow and processes at TheeDigital was helpful. Please share this with your fellow heroes, and tell us about your favorite time management tools in the comments. We hope to see you at the party! Up, Up, and Away!
Join the Celebration!
Our 10 part series leads up to an exciting celebration: “TheeDigital’s Marvel-ous 10 Year Anniversary Party“. Join us June 19th, 2014, 6-9pm at The Hive bar/restaurant in downtown Raleigh. Register now for this free event!