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mr mow
12-01-2008, 07:38 PM
:dizzy:Do any of you guys use a smartphone for you business, and if so what software and phones do you use? I somehow would like to track my jobs on my phone i.e. whether they are done or not, customer balances... My problem is after working a full day at a regular job, then mowing, the last thing i want to do when i get home is get on the computer. I would like to just grab my phone when done with a job and quickly go into my phone and click that its done and date or when i go to postoffice and get checks to just enter them quickly. I dont want papers blowing around the truck if you know what i mean. This year i got kinda disorganized due to not keeping up on paperwork. would be nice to once a week say on sunday morning go through my phone and enter info. any input would be greatly appreciated...by the way i use gopher at home so if it worked with that it would be a bonus. Thanks! :dizzy: ps im solo

mr mow
12-02-2008, 12:47 AM
anyone ?

PLM-1
12-02-2008, 03:35 AM
I've got a BlackBerry. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've got a downloaded program that connects my phone to my computer. I also receive e-mails and the like which really help.

Alot of people have Iphones these days. To me, those are just toys that aren't for "business".

mr mow
12-02-2008, 08:16 AM
probably wouldnt get an iphone cause i would have to switch carriers from us cell(they own all the towers in my area,never a dropped call) to sprint...i do like how they look though. been checking out the bb storm. can you give me examples of how it helps you with your business?

macaw
12-02-2008, 08:16 AM
Right now I use a pda with windows mobile. If you are going to get a smart phone you should try to get one with windows mobile 6.1 that way you will have excel,word,powerpoint,media player and all kind of third party downloads.My pda has all of this but it's getting old (2004) so I'm looking for a
smartphone.

nnj18
12-02-2008, 08:37 AM
I've got a blackberry will never go back

Prolawnservice
12-02-2008, 08:42 AM
My new blackberry bold should be here today, I've had a blackberry 7100i with nextel for the last three years and don't know what I'd do without it, Nextel is just too expensive so we swiched to at&t and I'm upgarding to the new Blackberry. I can't wait:)

Green Pastures
12-02-2008, 08:45 AM
Alot of people have Iphones these days. To me, those are just toys that aren't for "business".


It's interesting that you say this. I'd be interested to have an intelligent conversation with you why you say this and what exactly brought you to this decision. The iPhone is clearly not a toy and may not satisfy your needs in a business tool but I personally know people with iPhones and they love them and do alot of business on them. International and domestic business with great success. Several people I know state that even with the problems in the AT & T network in this area, their iPhone is an essential business tool they would never give up. Personally I need 100% connevtivity and will not change carriers or phones till I find both a tool (phone) that meets or exceeds my needs and a network that is up to par. In this area At & T needs some work and it has nothing to do with the iPhone.

I believe that it's the caliber of people who buy iPhones that have given the iPhone a bad name. Kids who have to have the latest cool gadget.

I currently use a razor on the Verizon network but have been looking into a business tool to help me track current jobs, clients, prospective clients, and appointments among other things.

The iPhone is an absolutely amazing device. Apple has singlehandedly revolutionized the way we look at cell phones.

In my area it's the AT & T network that keeps me from getting an iPhone and looking into alternatives to the iPhone with similar features. The AT & T network in my area simply sucks. There are numerous completely dead areas where no signal at all can be had. I've never in 5 years with Verizon had a significant problem. Occasionally I get a dropped call but I can always call right back and get connected.

I demo'd an AT & T 3G phone about a month ago and was disappointed, really disappointed with their network.

In my extensive research I've found that the iPhone is really the best device for me and many iPhone wannabe's are also good devices but none have all the features of the iPhone that I both want and need.

Having said that, just like I've always said here when the discussion turns to mowers, blowers or weed eaters, if you need to know what works for YOU, demo the unit you want against some of its competitors in the real world and find out for yourself what YOU like best.

We are all different and there really is no one device that's the "best" for everyone.

Thank God for diversity in products.

BeautifulBlooms
12-02-2008, 08:45 AM
Mr. Mow U.S. Cellular has HTC smartphones so you dont need to carry around a phone and a blackberry.

Benefits:

1) You can check incoming weather situation and alert your crews.
2) You can check traffic slowdowns to reroute your crews.
3) You can check your emails anytime throughout the day to be able to save travel time on sales calls or site visits. (I also highly recommend if you have an office line with noone attending to it, to get an answering service instead, who immediately emails out all phone calls to you)
4) We will be using ours for timetracking in the field using TimeTTracker this coming season for job costing
5) You can easily store your entire contact list (emails, phone #'s, addresses, etc. etc.)in it for easy searching to call your customers if service needs to be delayed.

MOHUSTLER
12-02-2008, 09:15 AM
Had a blackberry and now have the Iphone. Wont ever go back to blackberry. Just for the full internet browser.

Il admit there is alot of stuff on there that is NOT nesecary. But alot of it comes in handy. I had AT&T to start though. I totaly understand about not switching carriers. Thats a pain in the ars.

I feel that when I get out in the sticks here the Iphone does a tad better with reception. Not much but a little.

AT&T is dominate around this part of the state and nothing else works worth a crap, unless your standing right in the middle of the interstate!

mr mow
12-02-2008, 09:15 AM
thanks for all your replies. green pastures i completely agree with you on the iphone, if i didnt have a parttime business and was independantly wealthy i would get an iphone just to play with, however since i want one i feel i need to justify it by having it meet my business needs, not just use 25% of the phones functions. Im sure most sphone will meets my needs, i guess a better question would be what software are you using and how is helping you/help me not spend so much time at home entering in stuff...rather do it on the fly. Maybe just give me the name of the software your using and the platform and i can look it up from there. Thanks again guys

mr mow
12-02-2008, 09:21 AM
blooms, blackberries are phones now...1-3 you can do with an internet browser which is an absolute must for me. I do like the time tracker idea though, even though im solo it would be nice to know exactly how long things are taking, then i can bit$h at myself if im being inefficient. thanks

BeautifulBlooms
12-02-2008, 09:57 AM
then i can bit$h at myself if im being inefficient

Exactly! It is hugely important to see how and where you make or lose money that way you can increase prices or dump customers alltogether if the losses are so far off of what should be made. You can however do it on paper pretty easily if you are on your own. We did it on paper for 3 years with up to 4 employees at any given time. Now it is time for a quicker method. Entering the data at the end of the year from paper was always a week long process at least. If we sync our pda weekly it wont take any time at the end of the year.

PS I did not know Blackberries are phones, do they work with any carriers?

mr mow
12-02-2008, 10:17 AM
I dont know if they work with all carriers, i know that us cellular carries them though. As far as doing on paper i did that my first 3 yrs as well(end of 3rd yr now) as a backup to my software. The problem is that during the season i work 14hr days with my fulltime and the last thing i want to do when i get home is do computer work...im tired, i have to eat, workout, sharpen blades, shower, grocery shop...you know the things normal people do. So what happens is i put it off until the weekend, but when it comes to the time of year when i got customers wanting me to skip or requesting other things it becomes easy to lose track and papers flying around in truck doesnt work for me. Plus with the phone i can just enter in jobs done, any notes, show balances on the spot if need be. I can do it while im at the job to find out the true cost the office side adds to the job. also if im at the post office i can always enter checks in my phone right away go to the bank and deposit and enter them at home later. I needing a better system than what i have now and would rather figure this out now than 7 yrs from now when i hopefully have a lot more customers and revenue. Rather the office be in the truck and home be a backup and for printing statements. I know this can be done fairly easily without a laptop. technology has come a long way and these types of programs do not take much room (storage and processing power).

JFGLN
12-02-2008, 11:53 AM
I have an Iphone. During the day I forward calls from the office to the Iphone. They still go to voice mail, but I can return calls much faster. I LOVE the visual voice mail! you can pick which message to listen to, rewind or replay just by tapping the screen. I would buy the Iphone for this feature alone.

Az Gardener
12-02-2008, 02:03 PM
Any input on this phone? http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller
This is what we are looking at to use for the field. We plan to use QXpress on it. If any one has any experience with this phone I would like to have some first hand reviews. How things hold up in the heat is our biggest concern here.

That blows the link didn't work

lets try this

The new Verizon Wireless XV6800 combines all the performance and functionality of Windows Mobile® 6 Professional with the convenience of a slide

Az Gardener
12-02-2008, 02:10 PM
Lets try this again

The new Verizon Wireless XV6800 combines all the performance and functionality of Windows Mobile® 6 Professional with the convenience of a slide–out QWERTY Keyboard and trackwheel navigation. Create documents in Word and Excel®, view PowerPoint® files, filter your Inbox, and stay connected – securely – with your office via Wireless Sync or ActiveSync®. Take advantage of Wi–Fi Connectivity, Bluetooth® Wireless Technology and its 2.0 MP camera with flash and video capture. Use it as a tethered modem through BroadbandAccess Connect and stay entertained with Windows Media Player. The XV6800 is the ultimate no–nonsense mobile productivity tool for the busy professional.
Features

* EV–DO, 1X RTT Capable
* Windows Mobile® 6 Professional
* Microsoft® Office Word Mobile, Excel® Mobile, and PowerPoint® Mobile; Adobe® Reader® LE PDF viewer
* View, edit, create Word; Excel files; view only PowerPoint, PDF files
* Internet Explorer® Mobile
* Windows Media® Player 10
* Memory: 64MB RAM/256MB ROM
* Wi–Fi Connectivity (802.11 b/g)
* Slide Out QWERTY Keyboard with Trackwheel Navigation
* 2.0 megapixel camera with flash, auto–focus and video capture
* 2.8" Display: 240x320 pixel; 64K color TFT
o Touch–sensitive LCD display
o Portrait and landscape orientation

* microSD™ memory slot (up to 4GB)
* Voice command capable
* Speakerphone
* Security locking features
* Text, Picture and Video messaging (MMS)
* Wireless Sync capable
* ActiveSync® capable (v4.5) and Windows Mobile Device Center®
* BroadbandAccess Connect capable

Steiner
12-02-2008, 07:41 PM
I bought an iPhone and it helps me in no less than the following ways:

1. Driving directions are the best of any smartphone device I have had, being able to see the satellite photo's overlayed with the road info is great for pinpointing locations.

2. Quickbooks addresses are automatically added to my address book and synced to my phone over the air in less than a few minutes. If anyone at the office adds info, it is pushed directly to my phone.

3. The software downloads are cheap and easy to use/download through iTunes. I download the custom weather apps and can check weather in about 3 different ways with the doppler pattern being my fav. I have also found some great software designed for business on iTunes.

4. The built-in microphone into the earbuds allows me to listen to tunes and simply click and take the call with out having to remove the phone from my pocket. Plus I don't have to charge a stupid bluetooth device.

5. The email client displays PDF, excel, and word files so customers can send me info as well as pictures.

6. The 2mp camera takes great photo's in ample light and can be emailed directly to a customer or crew.

7. The web browser have saved my butt numerous times, by being able to look up plant info, or check my bank info on the fly.

8. The calendar syncs with all my computers so wether it be laptop,desktop, or phone everything is on the same page. (I also have the .me account for syncing)

9. The photo software allows uploaded plant photos. Customers take the phone in their hand and can "swipe" the photos to move to the next image and I can speak about them as I try to up-sell.

10. The notepad is easy to use and is a lifesaver because you can type a list and email it right to crews, or office staff.

The bad news: The volume is too low in loud environments, plus my generation phone is slippery because of the aluminum back.

I love mine.....and so does my business, no more carrying that huge laptop!

mr mow
12-02-2008, 07:58 PM
thanks steiner. I dont to any landscaping as of yet but i can see how #9 would be a great assest...bet the customers just drool all over that display looking at block and plants, really good idea!