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DeepGreenLawn
08-28-2008, 05:01 PM
OK, so this is coming to the end of the first year...

I am horrible about taking phone calls and writing the info down on the closest piece of paper/my hand I can find. Then of course, the paper gets lost through the day... good by customer, hello one more bad reputation.

I have tried carrying a ledger, notebook, phone, everything other than a smart phone. I got a phone with internet but am saving up for a phone with a keyboard so I can actually type something. I think I will be set then...

What have yall found to be the best way to keep up with this kind of information? One day I will have me a secretary that can handle this stuff for me...

One day...

Beau Rivage
08-28-2008, 05:19 PM
A good ole' daytimer for me...(but I'm old fashioned) :cool:

DeepGreenLawn
08-28-2008, 05:22 PM
That comes back to the whole can't keep up with it deal. I have my truck and my business truck, which I use both for different reasons. Then going back and forth to the office... I do have a clipboard that I carry with me and have managed to keep up with... maybe just a notepad on that will work?

MowHouston
08-28-2008, 05:24 PM
Get a dry erase marker and put one in each vehicle.

When you get a call and need to write down notes... right them on your drivers side window or on your windshield :)

Old trucker technique.

DeepGreenLawn
08-28-2008, 05:28 PM
smart... VERY smart... it comes right off?

Putting one in my truck right now...

HOLE-N-ONE
08-28-2008, 05:32 PM
I use a small tape recorder that fits in my pocket to record information or if I have an idea about something or think about a task I need to do (post office stamps) then I can play it back to retrive my information.

When you pick up the phone and someone wants a bid for instance. Tell them to hold for a moment, start the recorder, when you ask thier name they will tell you, then to verify repeat thier name and other information into the recorder.

John C

MowHouston
08-28-2008, 05:32 PM
smart... VERY smart... it comes right off?

Putting one in my truck right now...

Yep. Just keep a little rag or even one of those neat erasers that usually come with a board lol.

The rag works fine though.

I do this all the time. I hit a tree on a fourwheeler at 50mpg when I was 14 and I've got a crazy memory problem. Thank goodness my girlfriend treats brain injury patients or I might be working for one of you guys! :laugh:

DeepGreenLawn
08-28-2008, 05:37 PM
I personally get it from my dad. But his businesses are big enough that he has people doing all his scheduling and taking of phone calls. We were talking about this the other day and he was kind of getting on to me for forgetting stuff like this, as I am much better than I use to be. I told him that sure it's easy for him... he pays someone to solve his problem...


One day...

I am going to tie a string to it and hang it from my mirror so it doesn't disappear itself.

Buddy Buds
08-28-2008, 06:05 PM
I have a spiral notebook. Each week I write down every customer I'm going to cut or service. One page is devoted to each week. I write down all gas purchases, anything from dealer supply for parts or supplies. Each time I cut I put down the price in the left hand margin. Each time they pay I write pd to the right of their name. If it's a monthly customer I go back 4 or 5 weeks and mark pd if it's a 4 or 5 week month. When a customer calls I write out to the side of their name. This way I can wait until Saturday or Sunday and enter everything into the computer. It works for me.

AI Inc
08-28-2008, 06:20 PM
Mine call the office. I clear the machine while sitting in front of quickbooks.

DeepGreenLawn
08-28-2008, 06:23 PM
I would just hate to miss any more phone calls than I have to. I look at it as they are calling around looking for an estimate and typically the first person to show up gets the job. I want that first person to be me.

lawnman_scott
08-28-2008, 11:08 PM
I would just hate to miss any more phone calls than I have to. I look at it as they are calling around looking for an estimate and typically the first person to show up gets the job. I want that first person to be me.Nothing makes me madder than setting up a time to go there and they got someone already. Too damn stupid or lazy to pick up the phone and say dont come.

Go with the smart phone. They can do so much to make life easier.

Kennedy Landscaping
08-28-2008, 11:14 PM
Personally, I've got a memo book in my truck that I use whenever I need to write down an estimate or what not. Alot of times, especially while mowing I can never feel my phone vibrating nor can I hear it ring. So when I get back to the truck I check my phone and if there is any missed calls I return them. If its a customer I grab the book and start writing.

jwalker17
12-29-2008, 10:12 PM
I have a dry eraseboard hotglued to the roof of my mobile office truck (1995 GMC Suburban) it works wonders

VirginiaLawnCare
12-29-2008, 11:13 PM
I always have a little wallet size note pad and pen that always goes with me its a habit just like finding my wallet is.

Puddle of Oil
12-29-2008, 11:41 PM
Ive got a phone that can record all my calls! and no its not called voicemail! haha

Mickhippy
12-30-2008, 12:53 AM
Just get a diary/day planner!

ryry278
12-30-2008, 01:14 PM
I have a spiral notebook. Each week I write down every customer I'm going to cut or service. One page is devoted to each week. I write down all gas purchases, anything from dealer supply for parts or supplies. Each time I cut I put down the price in the left hand margin. Each time they pay I write pd to the right of their name. If it's a monthly customer I go back 4 or 5 weeks and mark pd if it's a 4 or 5 week month. When a customer calls I write out to the side of their name. This way I can wait until Saturday or Sunday and enter everything into the computer. It works for me.

I do the exact same thing. Its easier for me to write it out then use any computer program. I got a notbook devoted to mowing and work written out in the order done. or i number them. By the way i love the dry erase marker idea deff gonna try that. And the voice recorder is a great idea

RLS24
12-30-2008, 03:59 PM
I have one of those metal clipboards that EMS and police agencies use, like so:
http://www.galls.com/jpegs/16004.jpg

inside said clipboard is a sheet that has my customers names and information on it, which is broken down and organized into days so when I service the account I mark it off on the sheet so I know I was there and what I did so I can later bill appropriately. I also have estimate sheets, new customer information sheets, and some blank invoices that I can hand wrote out on the spot if need be. Finally, I have a few sheets of blank paper to write info down from phone calls or whatever else I might need to write down. The clipboard is always in my truck and then comes in the house at the end of the day with me so that I can empty it out, get my info out of it for proper billing and to create formal estimates and proposals, and then I reload it and it goes out the door with me again the next morning. I also keep a digital camera in my truck so that when I am looking a landscaping job I can take pictures so I know what I am talking about when I look at my estimate notes from the job.

Its all about organization....stay organized and you will be fine....but not too organized. I am the most organized disorganized person there is, my office is a mess but I have a system and know where everything is and if i were to ever clean it, I would never be able to remember where the hell I put everything! lol

Loadsmasher
12-30-2008, 05:19 PM
I have a Treo smartphone and run my whole business off it. I track client services, schedules, billing and everything. I even keep track of my equipment maintenance and part #'s, etc on it. I back it up on my laptop in case it gets lost or damaged.

jwalker17
12-30-2008, 05:20 PM
yeah i have an HTC and Samsung smart phones (one is back up) and it works well

topsites
12-30-2008, 05:56 PM
I don't think it's so much HOW you do it...
It's the fact you HAVE to do it.

Like wearing a seatbelt, might take time but get into that motion and just DO it.
Force it for a while, DO it and DO it and tell yourself to get it DONE!

After time it should get easier.

I have a Treo smartphone and run my whole business off it. I track client services, schedules, billing and everything. I even keep track of my equipment maintenance and part #'s, etc on it. I back it up on my laptop in case it gets lost or damaged.

Dang I knew I had too many separate items to do one thing :p

Lenovo Thinkpad here...
Of course the phone, the GPS and the digicam are all separate, individual toys.
Good thing it all goes inside the carry case, the USB and power cables too.
Wi-fi makes it even more fun, free Internet anytime, anywhere.
That reminds me, I need to go see if that is available as a 'roof' unit for the house.

I might try and see if Bluetooth works out some kind of way.

.........
You know, the sick of it is with these 16gb flash sticks we about don't need a hard drive anymore.

BeautifulBlooms
12-30-2008, 07:21 PM
We have a cell phone that my mother in law keeps with her (retired and very considerate). If she doesnt answer people leave messages which she emails to us. If she does answer she asks for basic info (name, address, phone #'s, type of service requested) (which then is emailed to us) and then we transfer that info directly into our contact list. The cell phone is a good idea because we can then take the phone back for midseason when we arent crazy busy, and in the winter when we have lots of free time. This system keeps a paper trail that is easy to track, and allows us to have all info in the same spot, until we get it into our contact list.

Oh yeah, you dont always want people to have to leave a message, but if you can return the phone call at the end of each day, it isnt a big deal, but sometime people just want to talk to a human. It comes from so many contractors who do not return phone calls when they are very busy.

We also have smartphones that we can receive the emails during the day, so we never go more than 6-12 hours from when someone calls until we return the call.

Roger
12-30-2008, 07:46 PM
I use a 3X5 spiral-bound note pad, 100(?) sheets. It goes in my shirt pocket, along with a pen, and a wallet with business cards. These three items are ALWAYS with me. The pad is good for taking notes, equipment information, names/address/telephone, etc. If I need to leave a short note someplace, I write the note on the back of a business card. Usually, the space is enough, and there is no question about the "who" on leaving the card. I always date/time those notes when leaving them, so the finder knows exactly when I was there.

I use the Voice Memo feature of my cell phone to leave myself notes on "weekend work." These are notes on repairs, items to add to the tool box, or whatever I need to do when at home, preparing for the next week. I can leave a Voice Memo on the phone while in the field, when those things come to mind, and even record them when riding the Z.