The ultimate organisation tool
For those of us who like to keep things in order, you can't beat the pen, paper, ruler, tip-ex, highlighter with a selection of 10 different coloured pens and let's not forget the coloured sticky notes. We can't help ourselves - it makes us feel in control and on top of things. How else are we supposed to remember what to do? Technology has moved on, but there is just something about having a pen and paper that keeps that smile on our faces.
Now that most of us have smart phones and we can integrate with our calendars, this has taken some pressure off the pen and paper. Slowly, the die-hard pen and paper brigade are laying down their tools and moving to their phones. Beeps and Pings constantly remind us that we are about to do something or have already forgotten to do something. Dentist @ 4pm, file tax return, arrange credit control meeting.
Step away from the Pen and Paper
Taking it a step beyond beeps and pings for appointments, having a proper integrated accounting software and CRM (customer relationship management) software is definitely the way to go. So, reluctantly I have given over to letting automation and technology guide me through my day. I can see my calendar with little icons telling me what I am doing today. If something needs to be re-prioritised or moved about, it's SO MUCH easier than getting out the bottle of tip-ex or scribbling on the piece of paper. The best part though is that as I move through my tasks, I can keep track of what's been done. Of course your Outlook calendar can do all of this but using an integrated business software solution, client records are linked to the communications I have created. So at any point, I can pop into my CRM software and it will give me all the details of the calls, emails, letters, appointments and outstanding tasks for this client. I can see everything I need from financial information on the client through to sales activities and customer service issues. Not so easy to do with a fancy coloured pen and paper!
Integrating your software systems
Using integrated software in your organisation means that everybody is singing off the same hymnsheet. It is no longer the case that CRM software is for sales people. It's whole purpose is so that everybody can use it across the organisation. Tasks and appointments can be scheduled for yourself and/or for your colleagues. The left hand knows what the right hand is doing - this is important even in the tiniest companies. Calendars and diaries can be shared (or not - depending on access and permissions). You can even sync up with your Microsoft Exchange Server, so you can send out meeting requests to people in your database (customers, prospects, colleagues). Of course, you have integration with your smart phone for when you are out and about.
Using an integrated accounting solution, you can also avail of some additional tools such as business alerts or you can even schedule reports so that they will be automatically emailed to your colleagues/superiors without having to remember to send them. This cuts out some of the tasks that you would otherwise have to add to your list!
My advice, keep your to-do lists up to date, clear out completed tasks and re-prioritise as required. As hard as it may be, let go of the coloured pens and the ruler. Review your internal business systems (accounting software, CRM software etc) and see how you can become even more organised!
If you would like to discuss your options for integrating your accounts software and CRM, why not contact us to have a no-obligation chat with a member of our team?