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organizational skills

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I am always thinking about how to be more efficient, and a good indicator of being disorganized is not having what you need, sticking your hand in a bag or box and slicing yourself with a blade, taking forever to do a simple sequence of steps, I could go on.

    So I went to a hardware store and an office supply store, and invested a few bucks in more stuff. I will list what I found helpful, and would really like hearing/seeing what anyone else has done to make life easier and more professional.

    Divide and conqour is my theme:

    --Big Stanley wheel thing, the one that expands into several layers (I like to see everything).
    --Medium/Big Stanley folding out storage device for hardware, etc.
    --A clippy thing with suction cup to stick on my windshield or dash (client's number,address/directions, errand list, etc.).
    --A cork/dry erase board for my garage. I will write a checklist for demo's, and a check list for installs. Update as needed. Keep a list of items running low and to stock up.
    --Another file box, and a bunch of green hangers that are not generic! The metal hooks don't slide out, and these have cool tabs that pop up.
    --More trays to "contain" and tame my notes and pants-pocket contents.
    --Two of those plastic wall pockets to hold folders, one for pre-contract, one for going to contract.
    --Two huge piles of premium note pads and lots of gel pens (tip: I unscrew the pens and superglue them back together, they always fall apart in my pocket).
    --Art supplies. After my demo's, I sketch a quick portrait indicating my fixtures, wattage, etc., and keep this in the file. I am developing this as another thing which separates me from the add-on guys.

    --New cell phone and service. Every other year, I'll go through a bill-time infused rage and cancel as much technology as possible and make an oath to join the Amish. I just went 6 mo's without a cell, now I'm doin a 180 and getting that bluetooth crap. I love the idea of standing there with a prospect or customer and asking for an email address, and immediately sending them mine. I'll have an e-mail business card to send on the spot (what a great way for them to readily forward my info to friends!).

    I am learning the ins and outs of website stuff and will have a site running as soon as I get more pics from my projects. Imagine putting templates for on-the-spot proposals, receipts, and all kinds of handy info, ready to show anyone anywhere with your cell. I had a customer asking me about kilowatt consumption/cost to run the lights; I could have accessed the CAST calculator and given him specific numbers before I left.

    Mike M
  2. Infinity Landscapes  Inc

    Infinity Landscapes Inc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    Sounds like your on track. Remember to keep all your notes in one place like a day timer or what ever. I have been in the bus since 1993 and when you get going things always get very crazy. notes here notes there notes every where. I still have to remind my self to stick to one thing. It has helped me with install to keep a separate file for each as we all probably do. This way all note copy of receipt etc go in that file for better tracking. I have a stack-able file deal on my desk that is label, calls, Bids,pending bids,jobs.job to be billed and mis notes. This helps in knowing that each paper has a spot. just some thoughts . good luck and LIGHT ON
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I just got a new phone that I'm very happy with. It's a Casio G'Zone Type S and my provider is Verizon (rated best in this area.)

    The phone is water and shock resistant.. a little bulky, but slick. Has a speaker phone and is Bluetooth equipped too. Has a small camera and the flash doubles as a flashlight... LOL. Battery standby time is amazing. I'm only having to charge it every three or four days.

    Last month's Consumer Reports called it a best buy. After my free upgrade and a rebate it cost me less than $50. Verizon didn't have it on display. I had to ask for it, but the local store had a dozen or so available...
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I agree. That's the key for me, every paper, and every item from design and install materials to office papers has a spot. Sounds silly, but I learned that while teaching: everything has a place to go. Or you'll go crazy! Divide and conquer.

    Greg, cell phone stuff: big topic, thanks for tips. I am really going to put the technology out in front for accessing databases and files on my website directory (nonpublic folder), while I'm on the cell. If anyone is doing this or interested in playing with it, please pm me or start a new thread for cell phone uses.


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