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DLM155
06-04-2010, 08:19 PM
(maybe wrong forum? I don't know.)

I've been part time for a while and I've expanded to the point where I made my first real mistake this year- I totally just forgot to cut a bi-weekly property this week. Luckily she is probably the oldest lady on earth and doesn't really care, and was perfectly happy with me cutting it 3 days late.

However, I don't want this to happen again. Do any of you guys use a scheduling program that can maintain a list of properties? Especially one that can keep track of weekly and bi-weekly jobs. The free-er the better.

mark123
06-04-2010, 08:44 PM
I use gopher. http://www.gophersoftware.com/

DLM155
06-04-2010, 08:57 PM
100$? Is it going to come out on the job with me and trim+blow?

twcw5804
06-04-2010, 09:10 PM
If you have any computer knowledge and Microsoft Excel just write yourself a spreadsheet. I list all my accounts down column A, and days of the month in the rows left to right. At end of the day I type in how much I made at that job into that day of the month to the right of that account. Using autosum it can then give me a total MTD also. I run 25 accounts this way for years no mistakes. I know that if its the 21st and a biweekly was last cut on the 7th, time to get it done.

I even get creative with it. If I did the job that day and customer wasn't home or they wanted billed, then I color that cell Red to show it wasn't paid. when check comes in I hop on computer and change it back to black.

ProMo
06-04-2010, 09:10 PM
i use an excel sheet to track date, time and serviced performed of each customer, I started with a pda then had a laptop and now i use my iphone because my wife stole the laptop when she saw i could do it on phone. I track date , time in/out and have a check box for services performed. It tracks time spent on job adds them up for the year and shows an hourly income which is very useful in comparing accounts .

twcw5804
06-04-2010, 09:19 PM
I also have a setup like ProMo but on a seperate sheet that is designed to be printed out and I log it in the truck and do the math at end of the day.

mark123
06-04-2010, 10:15 PM
100$? Is it going to come out on the job with me and trim+blow? Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you should spend all last month's allowance. :laugh:

Alpha Property
06-04-2010, 10:58 PM
google calander, requires web access but works awsome

2001FZ1
06-04-2010, 11:17 PM
You could use microsoft outlook and sync it to your blackberry. You can make it give you a 1 day, 2 day or what ever kind of reminder you want.

CrewKut
06-05-2010, 01:53 AM
Lightning is a calendar addon for Thunderbird email. It has reminders and does a great job of keeping track my schedule. You can set up weekly, bi-weekly, monthly customers with a start and end date if you want. It's free and you don't need web access to view your schedule.

Dan

Roger
06-05-2010, 06:33 AM
You don't say how many customers you have, but a real low-tech solution may work for you. When I started out with only a few customers, I used a simple solution of 3X5 index cards.

Punch a hole in an upper corner, and find a small ring that opens/closes (any office supply store has them). Use one card for each customer, putting their name in the upper corner opposite the edge where the hole is punched. Make two columns on the card, one for intended cut date, one for actual cut date. Put the cards on the ring in the order of INTENDED cut date. When the cut is finished, add the actual cut date (for reference only). Remove the card from the ring, and insert it in the order of INTENDED cut date. As you turn the cards, they should always be in order of INTENDED cut date. Make one card with different color, title, or some distinguishing mark, no customer name. This card is the "cover" card. The cards follow this card, by order of INTENDED cut date.

Using this procedure, nobody gets lost. As cards keep coming to the top with the current date, you have to handle with a cut. Only when the cut is finished, do you move the card. If everybody is on the same schedule (e.g. weekly), then the cards will never be reordered. But, if you have some on weekly, some 10 days, some 14 days, then they continue to be reshuffled as the tasks are done.

This is simple, hardly any cost, can be carried with you in your truck easily, and is fail safe.

Richard Martin
06-05-2010, 08:21 AM
Like was said above... It depends on how many customers you have. Here is a sample from Calender Creator. You can actually get a good number of names into each day. Up to 10 I think depending on your font size.

DLM155
06-05-2010, 04:49 PM
Lightning is a calendar addon for Thunderbird email. It has reminders and does a great job of keeping track my schedule. You can set up weekly, bi-weekly, monthly customers with a start and end date if you want. It's free and you don't need web access to view your schedule.

Dan


Will look into this, thanks.

nepatsfan
06-05-2010, 04:55 PM
100$? Is it going to come out on the job with me and trim+blow?

Wait a minute....Do you seriously think $100 is expensive???? Try a pad and a pen then. LOL @ spending your allowance.

CT18fireman
06-06-2010, 09:00 AM
$100 is not expensive but there are lots of programs that "come" with computers that will do it. We use excel sheets for our routes and Outlook as a reminder for jobs, both can be synched to Blackberries. We also have started using Customer Manager for Quickbooks which syncs between Quickbooks and Outlook Calender, E-mail and Contact List.

No matter what though I never "depend" on the technology totally. I know we are supposed to become a paperless society but I still like knowing that I have a route sheet printed out in my binder in case a phone or computer fails.

MyLawnConnect
06-09-2010, 08:47 AM
We allow you to track which jobs you did by sending a text message, and at the end of the day we send back a report with all your completed jobs. When you type in all your customers, you get a comprehensive list with all your job numbers that you can take with you in the field.
Let us know if there are features that would make our software better as we're always listening.

sfddelta1
06-15-2010, 10:35 PM
well this is the third topic i have answered on this in the last 1o minutes

quickbooks pro along with qxpress. not only will it keep up with your scheduling but you can rent it by the month till you grow enough to purchase it.

it schedules everything for you and then creates your invoice in quickbooks pro for you with out you having to do it.

We have been using it for 4 years and have been very happy with it


Eric

mark123
06-15-2010, 10:47 PM
... quickbooks pro along with qxpress. not only will it keep up with your scheduling but you can rent it by the month till you grow enough to purchase it. ...Now if this guy balked at $99 how will he swallow this pill?

sfddelta1
06-15-2010, 11:43 PM
Now if this guy balked at $99 how will he swallow this pill?


Mark i agree a hundred percent but there comes a time when you have to start spending money to increase productivity and take care of your customers and this system works very well


E

mark123
06-16-2010, 06:39 AM
Mark i agree a hundred percent but there comes a time when you have to start spending money to increase productivity and take care of your customers and this system works very well
I've looked into it in the past but it was just too much for a start-up, IMO. Does it have the Matrix setup that gopher uses?

Personally, I hate making two entries (one into Gopher and another into Quicken Home and Business) for invoicing and accepting payments but I hate Quickbooks more. :p

seabee24
06-20-2010, 03:15 PM
service autopilot, i searched , looked at most of the ones list, including real green (they have a good program as well) but service autopilot was hands down the best

mr.q
06-30-2010, 02:48 AM
Sorry for being an a$$ but if you can not afford $100 for software, to help you make money, then you have a long road ahead of you.

MarcSmith
06-30-2010, 06:52 AM
as other have mentions a simpel spreadsheet can solve all your problems. My trucks had a three ring binder with their route for the week, client names, address, equipment photos/serial numbers, insurance numbers, ect. call it the bible if you will.

The spread sheet was simple, each day had its own sheet it on the right hand columns had the clients names grouped by order of cut the next column listed level of service, the next 5 columns with boxes so you could date/time/checkoff when the prop was visited. and then there were blank sheets after that to list any extra's that may have been done, or things noticed that needed to be reported (dry areas, chinch bugs, dead shrubs, broken heads ect..) No computer int he truck, simple pen and paper... so each sheet of paper with 5 colums is good for one month. so when you look at the Mondays sheet you still have all your notes and work you did the previous week...

seabee24
06-30-2010, 07:09 AM
as other have mentions a simpel spreadsheet can solve all your problems. My trucks had a three ring binder with their route for the week, client names, address, equipment photos/serial numbers, insurance numbers, ect. call it the bible if you will.

The spread sheet was simple, each day had its own sheet it on the right hand columns had the clients names grouped by order of cut the next column listed level of service, the next 5 columns with boxes so you could date/time/checkoff when the prop was visited. and then there were blank sheets after that to list any extra's that may have been done, or things noticed that needed to be reported (dry areas, chinch bugs, dead shrubs, broken heads ect..) No computer int he truck, simple pen and paper... so each sheet of paper with 5 colums is good for one month. so when you look at the Mondays sheet you still have all your notes and work you did the previous week...

prior to software this was our method as well. but heres the thing.... if you use this method, how do you track the time on property? thats alot of manuel data entry. how do you invoice for your services? same thing...

i use to spend days on invoices, now i can do it in less than 1 hour. Crews can mark the job complete in real time on any web phone

MarcSmith
06-30-2010, 07:18 AM
prior to software this was our method as well. but heres the thing.... if you use this method, how do you track the time on property? thats alot of manuel data entry. how do you invoice for your services? same thing...

i use to spend days on invoices, now i can do it in less than 1 hour. Crews can mark the job complete in real time on any web phone

all maintenance jobs were fixed contract prices. same bill every month whether it took em 20 minutes or it was a skip...The biggest tech advance I took was QB pro... talk about a life/time saver...300 plus invoices done and printed in just over an hour...

I agree that a lot has changed over the last 15 years and there is a lot of available apps. But if you are just starting out or have a small customer base, sometime low tech is better.

punt66
06-30-2010, 07:20 AM
Just use a spread sheet with a client list and 31 days worth of boxes to circle when scheduled and check off when completed. Its a flawless system. I can send you a template if you like. Its a monthly and not daily sheet. In other words i work off the same sheet all month and its all there right infront of me when i am billing.