We use a variety of software and services to keep our business and our lives up and running. These are the heavy hitters in our list - the software that we use daily. In the web 2.0 world, not all software is installed and run on the desktop. The majority of this software is accessed via a web browser. There are several players in each of these fields, but these are the choices that work best for us. Get in touch with us and we can find the right matches for you.
I can't rave enough about Basecamp. I use this software to provide a virtual meeting place for me and my staff, and to keep my clients informed of the status of their systems and accounts. I've never felt more in touch and on the same page with my team as I do now. It's an office with no walls.
This is a call sheet on steroids. In an executive/assistant scenario, this software trumps kludgey excel and filemaker solutions that I've come across. Everyone I've converted is hooked. Will you be next?
Zendesk forces me to respond to problems. Every time someone asks a question, leaves a voicemail, or reaches out for help, we make a ticket in our Zendesk app. I can then view tickets by context, urgency, client, or age. This tool helps us keep response time down and accountability up.
Freshbooks makes invoicing simple and saves the planet (if only slightly) while doing it. Invoices generated with Freshbooks are delivered to my clients via email and the status is tracked online. This enables faster delivery, and tracking of statistics like payment time and average invoice size. They even offer postal mail delivery of invoices for those who insist on paper.
BusySync keeps us on-time. Both our appointment information and our time tracking for invoices is done in iCal, so calendars are important to us. There are a few players out there in the calendar syncing world, but our requirements are strict. We need by-calendar permission control, offline access to calendars, and near-realtime syncing. BusySync delivers.
Apple's OS X 10.5 Leopard's built-in backup software is called Time Machine. It's brilliant. This software protects against the three types of data loss: hardware failure, software corruption, and accidental data loss. Paired with a Time Capsule it's almost a perfect backup solution.
This is the closest thing to Time Machine I've found for the PC. It basically replicates the Time Machine feature set, though it's not quite as pretty.
Offsite backup. Network connections are finally robust enough that online offsite backup is practical for most small business and even some home users. This is not a replacement for local backup -- recovery times can be quite long for large data sets -- but offsite backup protects against disaster and theft. A backup is no good if it gets stolen.
If you're already a Feedwire customer, you've probably seen that voicemails you leave for us are transcribed into emails. This is a great time-saver. PhoneTag is the company that does this for us. It gives us only one in-box, which helps us to focus and keep our response times down.
Cloud based file storage systems are great, but nothing beats having a local copy of the files. Dropbox handles syncing our project files between Feedwire employees. We operate a distributed office and don't always have internet connectivity, so a traditional file server doesn't work for us. Dropbox keeps all of our computers synced and even allows us to roll back to old versions of files. How cool is that?