7. Use a web-based project management system like Podio.
“Although we has just five in-house employees, we also manage eight to 10 freelance contractors in different time zones and continents. Combined with the fast-paced nature of our ‘experience gifts’ business, we frequently dealt with missed emails, missed deadlines, and lack of performance continuity. We integrated Podio, a project management system that allows us to assign tasks, set deadlines, and give quick feedback. Contractors’ work is tracked automatically, and all Giftioni employees can reference that work. The platform has created a virtual workspace that enables us to manage our contractors effectively, as if they were in-house.”
8. If you’re an attorney, use legal case management software like Needles.
“The efficiency of my law firm is highly dependent on the case management software we use, which is called Needles. This program provides us with a centralized location where all items from documents to memos relating to a particular case are stored and able to be accessed by the various staff members working on the file. This allows multiple staff members to quickly become acclimated to the case as it moves through the various stages of litigation that was not previously allowed with a paper-based case management. The software also provides a centralized calendar for scheduling as well as a centralized messaging system which makes office communication more efficient. I can easily say that my firm could not provide the level of service that we do without this software.”
9. Send emails and pick up the phone.
“Good old fashioned sending emails and/or picking up the phone serves as the best and most effective form of technology for the type of business we do. [Instead of] international calls, [which don’t have] the greatest reception, we rely on sending emails to communicate effectively [internationally]. However, when working with out-of-state clients, the new ‘one on one’ experience requires picking up the phone. Our customers are at ease when they hear a real person on the other line.”
10. Use a web-based time management tool like Timetrade.
“We use Timetrade.com for appointment scheduling to set block out times when you are available and ready to receive phone calls on an online calendar. Then, your clients can schedule their own appointments through the system on a date and time that best works for them within your available times. This saves so many back and forth emails and calls to work out scheduling details. It also provides confirmation reminders and instructions to your client. Many prospects and clients have commented on how professional, organized, and convenient it is to check their schedule and set up an appointment when it is a good for them. This process is also good for you because you can block off time in the calendar when you want focused work and to not be bothered with phone calls.”
11. Use appointment scheduling software like Full Slate.
“One of our most recent decision has been to move from Google Calendar to Fullslate.com, and it has been a great business decision for us. Not only does it do the scheduling, it sends an appointment reminder to our clients via email or SMS. Those are just a couple of many great features they offer. It’s very convenient for our business to have everything in one place: client information, history, scheduling, payment options, etc. One very important aspect of this program is that it’s 100% online so I can get access to it anytime, anywhere, including [on my] mobile phone!”
12. Use cloud-based solutions like Harvest and SmartSheet.
“We use many different kinds of technology and cloud based solutions. Two of my favorites are Harvest, which we use for invoicing and time management, and SmartSheet, which we use for project management to delegate tasks and track progress.”
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