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View Full Version : What's the easiest was to schedule mowings?


BigGreen1
10-13-2008, 04:19 PM
What is the easiest way to schedule mowings? I have an index card and pen system that works ok but wanted something that would generate work schedules as I went along. I have looked at the LMS system and was wondering if it was more than I needed. What have you guys found that works well.

Thanks for your help,
Tim

fool32696
10-13-2008, 08:48 PM
I use the calendar feature on my Mac and Iphone. Can setup events to automatically repeat.

gardenkeeper88
10-13-2008, 09:33 PM
QXpress! Schedules, bills, keeps track of times and gives reports. Print my papers to leave at customer doors after chem app. ................

TXNSLighting
10-13-2008, 09:43 PM
Pen and paper...Or i always used word. This was the easiest part. Dont over think it

brandtb1
10-14-2008, 10:18 AM
I use the old school pen and paper on a calender. I should use the computer, but half the time I cannot get the printer to work. Sometimes I do not log on the computer either, I might have to put two days worth of work in Quickbooks. I have a daytimer and keep up with it in there.

BigGreen1
10-14-2008, 01:05 PM
Thanks for the responses. "Don't overthink it"that is not likely. I was just looking for a program that would schedule a yard x number of days for me.
In other words if I arrive and next time I want to go 9 days instead of 7 it would schedule it for me. Any other ideas out there??

Thanks again,
Tim

bohiaa
10-14-2008, 01:56 PM
I use lawn pro.....

scheduleing is the one most PITA thing I have to do with this business,

I'm hireing it out next year....

DLAWNS
10-14-2008, 05:05 PM
I just made up cut sheets for each day of the week on Excel . It has an area for checking off cuts and its got the customer's info on it so I can contact them if need be. It's also got an area for notes. ie: Extra charges, potential work, etc.. It works well and all I do is update it weekly if there are any changes like new customers or dropped customers.

TJLANDS
10-14-2008, 05:42 PM
I dont think there is anything better for the money than Gopher.
No problem scheduling one crew or multiple crews, rescheduling, canceling etc etc etc.
And once they are set up billing is two clicks at the end of the month. Automatically takes care of sales tax, etc.
Why would someone use Word? or Excel? That is way to complicated.
Simplify and save more time.

BigGreen1
10-14-2008, 06:31 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I will look at the answers and try to find the one that works best.

Tim

sandman23
10-14-2008, 07:14 PM
I use Microsoft Outlook. It has a great calendar. I can schedule customers to recur at any interval I choose (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly). I can color code customers to distinguish which services they get. It is easy to reschedule a customer by drag and drop. I can print out the schedule (daily, weekly, etc...). I can make it notify me in advance if I have something coming up (also good for anniversary's b'day's etc...). I have been using it for a couple of years now and there isn't much that it won't do for me. I paid $99.

NC Greenscaper
10-14-2008, 09:25 PM
I use outlook calendar. It works fine.

fool32696
10-14-2008, 10:39 PM
I used to used a palm pilot and it worked great. When I got my new phone It really didn't make sense anymore to carry the palm too when my phone had a similar feature. I'll sell you the palm for $75. It's a Zire 72 and includes usb adapter to hook up to a computer and computer software so that you can set up your calendar on the computer or on the palm itself. I paid over $300 if I remember correctly. I've run the software on both Windows and Mac, works great with both.

BigGreen1
10-19-2008, 10:00 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I have spent an hour or so setting all my customers up in Outlook. I am going to sync this calendar with a Dell X30 that I purchased for $50. They have wifi and outlook express on them. Outlook works very well for what I do.

Thanks to all,
Tim

tinman
10-20-2008, 10:27 PM
free scheduling software ... can set up recurring events like weekly mows

http://www.davidberman.com/software/timetodownload.php

Roger
10-21-2008, 06:40 AM
I used to used a palm pilot and it worked great. ...

I too use a Palm Pilot. The task scheduler allows for any repeat interval, and always shows what tasks are ahead for the day. Until I mark a task as "done," it will never get lost in the "to do" list. It is a very simple system. The Palm is always in my briefcase, so I don't need to print anything to take along, and I can maintain the list during the work day.

lawnjocky
10-28-2008, 01:58 AM
If you have a lot of crews this won't work but here's what I do. It's only a small step above pencil and paper but I like it to well to change.
I have a board with slots made that looks like a 5 week calender.
Each customer has a folded 5 1/2 X 8 1/2 card with their info at the top.
On the front and back are spaces and ck boxes for date, time, cut height, # of guys, etc. there is enough for 36 visits.
On the bottom of the back is a place for customer comments.
Open the card and there are spray, landscape, and misc records.
I have different color cards that denote frequency or level of service.
When there are one time jobs or special work to do I have other forms.
At the start of the day the guys pull the stack from the previous week and the current day then put them back at the end of the day.
The big drawback is entering the days info into the computer which is slower than some automatic system. But that only happens once per month, not counting spot checks.
The big plus is it's self running. The guys know what to do and whats coming up in the future. Plus unless something happens the scheduling order remains in place every week.
I know my systems old fashioned in this electronic age but for someone starting out it might be worth a try.

mowranger
10-28-2008, 08:21 AM
We use Qxpress cause it hooks up with QB's. Enter info 1 time into Qxpress and the info goes to QB's automatic. A huge time saver! We run 5 trucks and handle over a thousand customers. I would not spend the money unless you had say more then 100 customers. I think all scheduling software have their good points, I like Qxpress cause it sync's with QB's.

Big C
10-28-2008, 07:36 PM
Try this..it is pretty good and cheap on top of that.

http://www.landscapemanagementsystem.com/

coolluv
10-30-2008, 07:06 PM
I use Microsoft Outlook. It has a great calendar. I can schedule customers to recur at any interval I choose (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly). I can color code customers to distinguish which services they get. It is easy to reschedule a customer by drag and drop. I can print out the schedule (daily, weekly, etc...). I can make it notify me in advance if I have something coming up (also good for anniversary's b'day's etc...). I have been using it for a couple of years now and there isn't much that it won't do for me. I paid $99.

I'm interested in using Outlook. Could you explain in a little more detail. I'm not too savy on a computer.

Thanks, Dave...

IN2MOWN
10-30-2008, 07:43 PM
I use Gopher to sced. things and invoice them but I dont print out the sced because I do about 15 yards day and the Gopher program prints out the name, addresses, phone #s , dates, and a bunch of other stuff so every day I would be printing out 4 or 5 sheets of stuff.

For my sced. I just use one sheet for the week with Mon-Fri on it and then list the houses underneath each day accordingly and check as I go. I use Microsoft Excel to do it.

elite lawns
10-30-2008, 11:53 PM
Groundkeeper pro works great for us it run $300 but you get a free sample

BigGreen1
10-31-2008, 07:45 PM
Tinman,

Thanks for the link. I am going to download and try.

Tim

tamadrummer
10-31-2008, 07:47 PM
We are every 7 days in the growing season and every 14 in the off season. No questions asked.

I cannot see how it is possible to maintain a schedule any other way.

zimmatic
11-01-2008, 08:05 AM
I used qxpress, but I wanted something better. I went to hindsite. It cost per month for the service per pocket pc I am only at 1, so it costs me $100 per month. next year I will have 3 the cost goes down with more pocket pc's. I am just really upset at myself that I didnt go with them eariler. Plus it syncs with quickbooks. I have NO more paperwork and I can track all my time, admin, shop, travel, and the acctual work time, oh did I mention no more paperwork. I just thought it was to expensive, now I just think I was to lazy. I look at it this way. For all those lco's that charge $1.00 per minute. If you work 20 days a month and 5 minutes out of your day is for all your paper work that would add up to 100 minutes (without hindsite) = $100.00 And we all know $1.00 per minute is still way cheap(for most of if not all of us lco's)
I know I spent WAY more time than 5 minutes on paper work each day, and I let $$$ slip through the cracks.
Check it out, because remember billing is the MOST important part of business.