FREE (or Cheap!) Online Tools for Maximum Productivity
FREE (or Cheap!) Online Tools for Maximum Productivity Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer President, NAPO-SFBA Who is this guy?
President, NAPO-SFBA One of the first Certified Professional Organizers in the U.S. Started SF-based Professional Organizing company in 2003 Specialize in working with entrepreneurs, small business owners, and home office workers
Registered SF Green Business What is a Professional Organizer? According to NAPO, a Professional Organizer helps people take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper, and their lives
Professional organizers work in many environments, from small and home offices, to homes, all the way to large corporations What are online tools? Lets define the cloud
Software as a service (SaaS) Lives online You pay monthly or yearly (if at all) Why use online tools? Pros of going to the cloud
Easy setup Cross-platform No software upgrades or IT needs Additional backup Usually cheap! Why NOT use online tools?
Cons of going to the cloud Need to be connected Different UI than desktop software Security
Will this company be around in a year? Never own software The rules The parameters for our list:
Web-based Cross-platform Has real utility Ive tried it Under $25/month (per user) Evaluation criteria How well be looking at our choices
What it is Why youd want it Ways to use it Cost Our categories The types of tools and services well be looking at
Scheduling Contact Management
Collaboration Notes, Ideas, and To-Do Lists Multiple Computers and Backup Paper Management Travel Scheduling: TimeDriver
What it is: Online self-scheduling tool Why youd want it: You dont have time to play phone/email tag to set up appointments Ways to use it: Let leads self-schedule phone consults Clients can self-schedule meetings
What it is: Online group scheduling tool Why youd want it: Because scheduling multiple people can be hair-pullingly frustrating Ways to use it: Team meetings without shared calendars Client meetings
VA scheduling for you Cost: Free; $28/yr for ad-free version Scheduling: Doodle Contact Management: Salesforce.com
What it is: Supercharged CRM application Why youd want it: To maintain a central database of all your customer/client information Integrates with Google Apps! Ways to use it: Keep track of appointment history with clients See which clients/leads you havent contacted in
a while Centralize all your client emails, phone calls, appointments, notes, and more Cost: $5/user per month for Contact Mgr. Edition Contact Management: Salesforce.com Contact Management: Salesforce.com Contact Management: Salesforce.com
Collaboration: Basecamp What it is: Collaboration and project management tool for
inside and outside your company Why youd want it: To help keep track of all the pieces of working on a large project to-dos, messages, files, milestones, and more Ways to use it: Manage to-dos for your team (or just yourself) Communicate and centralize changes to a client project Share business development and marketing ideas with a consultant
Cost: $24/month for Basic plan Collaboration: Basecamp Collaboration: Basecamp Collaboration: Basecamp Notes, Ideas & To-Dos: Evernote
What it is: Online and software-based system for keeping track of notes, photos, website, ideas, and more
Why youd want it: To get things out of your head an into a searchable system Ways to use it: Take photos of whiteboards, notes and napkins from meetings for searching later Create a notebook for an upcoming meeting with notes, research, and related web sites
Create a shared notebook for each client with websites or resources they could find useful Encourage clients to keep track of receipts by snapping pics with their cell phone Cost: Free; $50 year for Pro (more storage, syncs files) Notes, Ideas & To-Dos: Evernote Notes, Ideas & To-Dos: Evernote
Notes, Ideas & To-Dos: ReQall What it is: Voice-to-text memory aid
Why youd want it: So you wont forget important things while youre on the go Ways to use it: Automatically transcribe client meeting notes Send tasks to your VA while on the road Create notes or to-dos for you to handle later Cost: Free; $25/year for Pro
Notes, Ideas & To-Dos: ReQall Multiple Computers & Backup: Dropbox What it is:
Online file sync, sharing and backup Why youd want it: Because trying to keep track of files on multiple computers is annoying! Ways to use it: Sync just a few key docs to ensure theyre current everywhere financials, client info, etc. Share entire folders with team members, clients or vendors Backup all your important files offsite
What it is: Online bookmark sync Why youd want it: To keep the same bookmarks on all your browsers and computers Ways to use it: Add a bookmark for a research project on you laptop, and it will also show up on your desktop computer Create a folder of new bookmarks at your office
and have the same folder at home Ensure the same bookmarks show up in all your browsers Cost: Free Multiple Computers & Backup: Xmarks Multiple Computers & Backup: Mozy
What it is: Super-simple online backup Why youd want it: Because its essential to backup your data Ways to use it: Backup just your key files Backup everything on your computer
What it is: Document scanning and database service Why youd want it: If youre trying to reduce paper but dont feel like scanning Ways to use it: Create a virtual file cabinet for all your paper documents Send OfficeDrop all your mail for scanning, then you can process online later
Clients can send their receipts to OfficeDrop and you can access them Cost: $15/month, 50 pages scanned Paper: OfficeDrop Travel: Worldmate
What it is: Online travel planning tool Why youd want it: To keep track of all the details of a trip Ways to use it: Centralize your itinerary (air, hotel, car, meetings) Stay on top of travel changes (air delays, gate changes, etc.) and find alternatives
Create a map of all your meeting spots, local restaurants, and other trip elements Cost: Free; $50/year for Gold Travel: Worldmate Travel: Worldmate Travel: Mileport
What it is: Frequent Flyer/Rewards Program Tracker Why youd want it: So you dont miss out on using the points or miles youve earned Ways to use it:
Put all your balances in one spot Review quarterly to see eligibility for trips/ rewards Cost: Free Travel: Mileport Get More from Custom Living Solutions Upcoming Events:
March 24th Evernote Tips and Tricks March 27th Become a Professional Organizer FREE Giveaway the Profitable Productivity System BONUS! Alternatives to Popular Software
MS Office OpenOffice, StarOffice, or NeoOffice Outlook Thunderbird Photoshop Paint.net or GIMP
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