Here we are at podcast #30! We are loving doing these podcasts and are excited to bring you the third part of our business automation series today – tools for time management! People are so inundated with technology and everything else going on these days that being ‘time poor’ is a very common complaint. We are going to share tools and practical resources that will help you with time management.
Firstly, what did Andrew and Heather learn this week? Heather has been looking at the #hashtag as used for a long time on Twitter to denote subject material. What is exciting about it now is that people are starting to use it as a business tool for research and keeping up with what’s going on. People are using it more and more and it is now available on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instragram as well. Heather also uses ‘tweet chat’ which is where you can jump into a live chat that is filtered by the hashtag you are using – you are able to search using that particular hashtag to see who else is joining the conversation.
Heather and Andrew would also like to send a big shout out and thank you to Molly from Douglas County Daughters! Molly contacted us and offered to re-design our podcast profile photo so that we now have a cool new look on itunes! Check out Douglas County Daughters website and you also have the opportunity to support them through a Kickstarter campaign to help them launch an album.
Andrew has learnt about some new things to do on Facebook; basically, when commenting on someone’s status update you can post a photo inside the replies. This has potential for some great interaction and fun with people, for example asking to share their favorite photo relating to a certain subject.
On to time management; what can be automated within your business?
- Booking one on one calls
- Making reservations
- Bookings of conference calls
- Bookings of sales calls
One of the tools that we use the most is Time Trade. This is a great tool and allows you to create a calendar that syncs to your calendar and allows people to see your availability. So, if you are a coach or anyone who needs to spend call time with others, you can send them to your Time Trade account and let them check what times you have free that will work for them. When they choose, they are automatically synced into your calendar without you needing to send emails or block out the space yourself. You can have this tool embedded on your website and include instructions for booking – a great way to automate!
The other great thing about Time Trade is that it can be used by retail stores to book appointments also. Big stores such as Staples in the US are using it, and the Concierge service has all kinds of practical applications for service businesses, such as allowing people to check in when they arrive.
Some other similar programs to check out are Doodle and Go Book. Take a look at a few of these and decide what will work for you – most of them have free versions available, while if you want extra features (such as Concierge with Time Trade) you will need to pay for a pro version.
Giving others the ability to access your calendar (with whatever program you use) can be a big time saver. This means that others know when you are available and you can have people delegated who are able to put new appointments in your calendar.
Our next tool helps you with what you charge and managing your staff. Minutedock is great as it lets you track time spent on tasks, including time on Twitter! You can log in from anywhere and input time taken, and it allows you to group tasks in order to search for them really quickly (this could be useful if you are pricing a job!). It will even allow you to send invoices directly.
Basecamp is a project management tool which we use and includes things such as timesheets and to-do lists. We use that in our business and it is a great way to keep track and even include training. It keeps control of who’s done what and where, and includes milestones and messages for each project.
We are running live events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in August. These will be small ‘fireside chats’ for 20-30 people. You will get some great tools, tips and a blueprint you can take away. If you are interested in attending please contact us here.
Got questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below…
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