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View Full Version : Organization ideas? Need some help!!


andyslawncare
09-29-2010, 03:02 AM
Organization is my biggest problem...
I have done everything that I thought would help, and nothing makes it easier for me...

I have 100's of clients, many programed to the cell phone and email address.

BUT, I get calls for constant maintenance, installation, one time jobs, repairs, repairs under my guarantee, and consultation/design/& estimation.

Then, I'm stuck making plans to meet with the clients with the larger jobs 2 or 3 times before the job closes.

Gopher is great for my continuing accounts, but it does not organize my appointments or change days if I have a full day scheduled. It doesn't remind me to call clients if they will be early or late until the service date is late; it simply just doesn't include easy adjustments to several accounts.

I am really in need of spending the fall and winter to redo what I'm doing in better order.

I feel that I should have a file on each customer and update it weekly, but I'm unsure how to easily do this, or if it is even necessary; also don't know what information I should include in each clients file... Does anyone do this?

I'm looking for input from everyone reading this.
What do you do to keep your business organized, and keep stacks of papers from piling up on your desks?

I have 3 desks in my office filled with books and papers almost all the time, and it is really getting to me.

-tracking emails
-tracking phone call logs
-service schedules (use Gopher currently)
-tons of designs and proposals floating around
-etc...

I have 2 white boards that I change often to change appointment times and such, but it would be easier if all appointments could be recorded separately on the computer.

I've thought of maybe making another route on Gopher for appointments, but I also want a solid paper trail of everyone for when the computers don't work right.

mbrew
09-29-2010, 07:11 AM
I don't think it would be the best thing for your service schedules, but the rest of it pretty much describes Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is very powerful and most people don't use it to its capability. It might take some training to be able to do so.

SNAPPER MAN
09-29-2010, 07:49 AM
For my appointments I just use the calender on my iphone. I set it to alert me a couple hours before so if I have forgotten I can make time. To me it is essential to have a smart phone to run a business such as a iphone, droid, or blackberry. It makes life easy having my schedule in my pocket.

GravyTrain
09-29-2010, 11:10 AM
Google calendar, which links to my iPhone calendar app

MJS
09-29-2010, 11:13 AM
I've got a notepad which I occasionally use to write down dates and stuff. . . numbers and customer info goes into my phone or into Quickbooks.

I do schedule everything in my head, though. Not recommended for everyone, but it works fine for me.

Glenn Lawn Care
09-29-2010, 01:37 PM
I have a white board with each days schedule on it, and I also use a note book that I keep in my truck to keep track of time and so I dont forget any. I'm looking at getting a software. Prolly Groundskeeper pro.

Puttinggreens
09-29-2010, 02:05 PM
I'll second Microsoft Outlook to schedule your personal appointments and contacts.

I tried gopher several years ago and did not like it one bit. Quickbooks was much more suited for our business.

I then leased Qxpress for all our crew scheduling. These two programs work together, I can complete a job in Qxpress and it creates an invoice and sends it to QB. Contacts are exactly the same in both programs. Not perfect but it works well.

You can even synchronize your contacts between QB and Outlook.

ktmlbates
10-04-2010, 06:39 PM
QuickBooks Pro for tracking time (have 2 computers), billing and keep all client info re: contact, model, engine...Outlook for my schedule and use my phone calendar for carry around projects and to remind me when not in the shop, also use the 'to do' list and 'note pad' on my phone, for anything done off-site. only problem with that is is doesn't sync w/my outlook (maybe one day will be able to afford a 'smarter' phone. Use to use 'palm pilot' which does sync w/Outlook just got to be to much to carry around. but DOES WORK!!
Use white board what is in house at a glance and occasionally for notes to myself.
As for PAPER (I DISLIKE PAPER!!!) just try to enter it into your software as you go and not let it build up also have your filing system RIGHT there to put it away.
I HOPE ONE DAY TO PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH!!
WISH ME LUCK AND LUCK TO ALL OF YOU!

andyslawncare
10-05-2010, 02:10 AM
I've got a notepad which I occasionally use to write down dates and stuff. . . numbers and customer info goes into my phone or into Quickbooks.

I do schedule everything in my head, though. Not recommended for everyone, but it works fine for me.

I don't know what kind of work you do, but my brain is not a clock...props to you for doing it that way. Sometimes I hate dealing with so many clients. My office is still crazy! (I've been cleaning and organizing too!) I have a laptop torn apart on one desk (need a new video card), other desk with computer and notes, and the last desk with papers that I need to type and put in my files....

andyslawncare
10-05-2010, 02:17 AM
Which phone is best for use with outlook? I have outlook but do not use it.

I want a Droid, but I have considered a blackberry

I am horrible about having my phone in my pocket while I'm moving 200 lb rocks or operating machines and then I hit the phone, and its broken...I use to use a boulder, but it didn't connect to my computer. My current palm does not connect (like it is suppose to...it has a dirty port). Its been a dirty little *****, and doesn't do what I want it to! I guess I kept it in my pocket too much :)

OrganicsMaine
10-05-2010, 03:24 AM
Try this: www.serviceautopilot.com

malinois1
10-05-2010, 07:51 AM
Get an Iphone and schedule in outlook then sync iphone to outlook

Potomac Lawns Inc.
10-05-2010, 07:56 AM
Quick Books Pro with Qxpress

rockytopseahawk
10-05-2010, 11:08 AM
Re; crushing phone problem.
I have an iPhone 4 which replaced my crushed 3GS. I would recommend an Otterbox defender as a crush resistant case. You can throw it across a parking lot, walk over and check your email(saw it done on YouTube and wanted to see if it worked. Check.) if you listen to music while working, use Bluetooth headphones or else you can get dust inside the case as it is necessary to open a flap to plug in. The case comes with a rotating clip on holster. Otterbox rox.
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