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Keeping On Top Of Things.

 
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:21 PM   #1
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Keeping On Top Of Things.


So things are really starting to pick up for me. I'm averaging three calls a week right now, which is the busiest I've ever been. I do everything I can to make sure that I don't forget things. Currently using my phone calender to keep track of when I have estimates booked and when I have to call people, and using wunderlist to keep track of tasks related to estimates to do and projects on the go.

it's working for me now, but I'd love to hear what others are doing or what kind of systems they have in place to keep track of everything. I'm very focused on customer service and I'd hate to see someone fall through the cracks.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Evernote

I am most on my game when I take time to make lists...daily/weekly tasks, leans, calls to make, supplies to purchase, etc.

If I don't make lists of things I need to get done that day I can procrastinate forever.

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Old 06-01-2015, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Right now I am holding on for dear life....Our schedule is kicking my ass. Google calendar, getting as much in writing as possible, EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL. Tried evernote but couldn't form the habit. I will need to get back to that. A lot of my lists are currently emails to myself or on notepads.

We use binders, well try to atleast.

See this thread - http://www.contractortalk.com/f4/mob...nizing-147201/
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I don't spend as much time on the appointments/office stuff as some, but I usually have 4-8 appointments a week and two proposals in the pipeline at all times. What works best for me is pretty low tech, I find that pulling out my phone tends to lead to more lost time as I see emails, etc. so a quick check can eat 5 minutes or more. I keep a small spiral bound pad in my back pocket at all times. I have a binder in the truck. All notes go in the notebooks and I transfer the important stuff to the binder at the end of the day or lunchtime. Appointments go in Google calendar on the phone at the same time.

A app that is helpful to me is Any.do. It has a chrome extension so I can add to it while I'm at the laptop and my favorite feature is that it has a nag feature which sets off an alarm every morning and asks me to prioritize my scheduled tasks. That allows me to postpone reminders or set them for a specific time that day with a little alarm. It's pretty simple but effective.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Ethan made a good point, unlike him I am almost only doing office work/appointments. I rarely put the belts on anymore.

How big is your company?
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


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Ethan made a good point, unlike him I am almost only doing office work/appointments. I rarely put the belts on anymore.

How big is your company?
Just me. Growing quickly though. I'm trying to get a handle on things now, before they become problems in the future.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:02 PM   #7
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I just use notes on my iPhone. Keep all new customers in a list in there until I go see them then they end up with a new folder on PC where all of their info goes. End up with about 6-7 new leads on their a week and get most of them cleared away before I schedule to see the next lot. See 5 people today for jobs as it was a rain day so checked notes and called them up and meet with who could see me. The rest will be caught up with when I find time.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:27 PM   #8
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I write it down on lumber, great until i put that board through the planer.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Paper tape is just a big note pad!! You can't do that with mesh!!
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:52 PM   #10
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I just get to stuff when I get to stuff.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:52 PM   #11
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I too am holding on for dear life. Hence, me working at 10 pm with no end in sight tonight. I use an alarm app, but usually just push stuff off til the next day or week or month. Just not enough time in the day or night.

I have tried to do better at communicating, but I put it off until the afternoon and all of a sudden it is a week later.

In some ways it is a good problem to have, glad to hear you are busy, busy.

I'll be watching this thread. I gotta do something.
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:25 AM   #12
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


moleskine notebook.
I map out the next week or 2 in advance---and then as something arises I jot it down for the appropriate day. I usually have a sheet of loose paper in there as a bookmark/"grocery list"---stuff to buy at lumber yard etc.

so, that all keeps it org.---and each eve. I right down a specific schedule for the next day---do things in what order, make calls at what time, stop at what lumberyard etc. 5 minutes of thought each eve. cn save several hours the next day.

also, hire employees---- I am going home by 2:00 each day!!!!
stephen
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I carry a dozen or better 3x5 index cards in the pocket of shirt at all times along with a couple pens and my phone.

The cards are great for writing down contact information of a customer. Notes to yourself about what you need from the supply house. Measurements for cuts when traveling to the saw.

At the end of the day I go through the cards and toss out the ones I don't need. Transfer the customer info into my database and a notebook.

Resort the cards for the next day that had shopping lists or to do lists on them - add a few fresh cards to the stack and set on the counter by the back door to be put back into my pocket the next morning.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:16 PM   #14
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


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also, hire employees---- I am going home by 2:00 each day!!!!
stephen
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Old 06-02-2015, 03:00 PM   #15
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Quote:
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also, hire employees---- I am going home by 2:00 each day!!!!
stephen
Funny enough, I started looking for a helper today. Won't need one for a couple weeks, but I want time to sort through applications and do some proper interviews.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:19 PM   #16
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


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Funny enough, I started looking for a helper today. Won't need one for a couple weeks, but I want time to sort through applications and do some proper interviews.
I recently got called about trimming out a large lake home. I said I would love to but I don't typically do new construction because it doesn't pay. Long story short they ended up bringing me on even though they would be paying me more than what the builder was paying them, they said they could make it work if I brought a helper with me.

So for the last month I have had a high school kid helping me do whatever on this trim job. He is the best high school kid I could ask for. It has been good for me, it has shown me that under absolutely no circumstance can my first employee be unskilled. There is not enough for an unskilled person to do.

I could go into more depth, just thought I'd share that recent personal lesson for what its worth. I'm ready to go back to just me.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:24 PM   #17
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


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I recently got called about trimming out a large lake home. I said I would love to but I don't typically do new construction because it doesn't pay. Long story short they ended up bringing me on even though they would be paying me more than what the builder was paying them, they said they could make it work if I brought a helper with me.



So for the last month I have had a high school kid helping me do whatever on this trim job. He is the best high school kid I could ask for. It has been good for me, it has shown me that under absolutely no circumstance can my first employee be unskilled. There is not enough for an unskilled person to do.



I could go into more depth, just thought I'd share that recent personal lesson for what its worth. I'm ready to go back to just me.

I have done that a few random times. Took me longer with him than without and he was standing around most days. Was nice him moving the lumber though but overall not worth it.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:27 PM   #18
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
I recently got called about trimming out a large lake home. I said I would love to but I don't typically do new construction because it doesn't pay. Long story short they ended up bringing me on even though they would be paying me more than what the builder was paying them, they said they could make it work if I brought a helper with me.

So for the last month I have had a high school kid helping me do whatever on this trim job. He is the best high school kid I could ask for. It has been good for me, it has shown me that under absolutely no circumstance can my first employee be unskilled. There is not enough for an unskilled person to do.

I could go into more depth, just thought I'd share that recent personal lesson for what its worth. I'm ready to go back to just me.
I know what your saying. I had an unskilled worker last year. Good guy, hard worker, but with the work I do it just didn't work out.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:04 PM   #19
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


I am in the same boat. I've been in business fulltime under a year, and now with deck season, I am getting 3-4 calls/emails a week to quote stuff.

When someone contacts me by phone, I will make an appt on the spot for an evening that I know is blank, and then immediately enter it in the calendar on my phone, with all the information I know about them: name, phone #, address. Same with email, but by email I have more time to plan when to meet them, depending where they live etc.

I have a ringed book that I do all my quotes in. I will put their info at the top of that page(s), and figure the quote, and send it out. If they accept, then all their info including the quote and contracts goes into a manilla envelope.

I use Evernote on my cellphone. I have a note called "Buy and Take". I constantly update it with things I need to buy that day, or specific tools I will need for that days tasks.

I have another note simply called "Priorities". It reminds me who I need to prepare quotes for, in what order. Also other pertinent tasks. This gets updated frequently too.

This is keeping me going right now, but I get overwhelmed sometimes.

I am meeting with a bookkeeper on Friday, who is getting me setup with Quickbooks Pro 2015. $199 for quickbooks, $500 for her to set me up completely. This is going to be my smartest purchase yet.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: Keeping On Top Of Things.


One person can only do so much.

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