APP NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
Let’s face it. There are a helluva lot of programs and apps out there dedicated to organizing various areas of your life (some even claim the ability to replace an assistant - guffaw!). There are so many options, in fact, that it becomes more overwhelming and daunting than helpful.
When I first started C3, a lot of software due diligence was required to determine which programs would work best for me, my clients and benefit the type of work that I am doing. I came across several that wasted my time, but found some nuggets of gold along the way.
Below is a list of my fav’s – some are beneficial for the C3VA / Client relation, while others might be helpful if you are starting your own company, or if you are just looking for some cool new apps.
Nutcache. Invoicing, time tracking, and expenses… in a nutshell. Since the type of work that I do is not exactly ‘standard’, it was a struggle for me to find a software that could keep track of time (per client and per project), as well as automate invoices and keep track of it all. Add on top of this the ability to accept online payments, add attachments to invoices, process reports, and option of 10 languages?! Awesome.
Wunderlist. This nifty app allows you to organize and share any type of list – you can add anyone to it, include due dates and chat within the app. I use it for both professional and personal lists. If I am working on a large-scale project with a client, this is a good way to share info or docs that I need from them. For a household, it’s a handy way to have a shared grocery list – each individual can access the list and add what they want (teenagers take heed: just because it is on the list does not mean Mom or Dad will buy it…). On a personal level, it makes a great Bucket List app to share with friends!
MailChimp. Design and send email campaigns in a snap. You can easily monitor who opens the emails, as well as any clicks on links embedded in the campaigns. Keep track and manage your subscribers and get notifications if anybody unsubscribes (the gall!).
Google Drive. Since I already have emails (professional & personal) with Gmail, Google Drive is a welcome addition to share files with others. It’s simple and easy to use. Once you sync a file from your computer to Google Drive (offline app for your computer available), you can then share a link to that file with a client or invite them to a shared folder. Added plus - it also serves as a great backup system.
Google Calendar. This is a web-based application that makes it easy to share my calendar with clients or colleagues on a need-to-know basis. I break my calendar into various sub-calendars (ex. due dates, project deadlines, appointments, meetings, etc.) and then share the relevant categories with the appropriate person. This way, if a client has several deadlines to meet throughout the year, I can schedule those out, along with a tickler, to remind them.
Text. Old school? Maybe. Hate it? Eh, c’est la vie. But it remains a solid fixture in this techie world… so much so you can now access it from certain watches (wannabe Star Trek communicator badge anyone? Wait for it…). Ideal for quick communication regarding questions and short exchanges of information.
Skype. While nothing beats a face-to-face meeting, Skype comes close. Whether it’s a one-to-one meeting or a group meeting, it’s almost like being in the same room together. You can see one another, share screens, exchange text links or other relevant information, and even record the session if necessary.
That’s it for now but you can except this list to grow in the next few months. I’ll keep you updated! Happy app-ing.