By Justin Rasmussen, Editor
Who Needs Control?
Everyone needs a sense of control, stability, and sanity to your business. I’ve been using a multitude of programs lately in an attempt to wrangle my business functions and to be honest there is so much out there that work okay but nothing that really worked great for me.
What Was I Looking For?
The software had to handle contacts (not my Address Book but my business contacts), businesses, appointments, projects, opportunities (sales), tasks, calendar, and miscellaneous notes. Also, I wanted something that could interface with my email as that is where the majority of where I spend my life when I’m not actually working.
What Did I Find?
After looking through dozens of applications I decided to use one that integrates with my billing software, Billings 3, made by MarketCircle. They have a great application called Daylite, if you haven’t checked it out you should. I had downloaded it before but never really got to using it because it always seemed disjointed from the way I work. Basically, I had to change the way I work to work with it and I always hate doing that with software.
What Did I Do?
I did what everyone does only years later after struggling through use of a great software, I read the user guides. To be honest I rarely do it because most user guides are so very simply telling you where the menu is and to be honest, I’m not that dumb. Well, I guess I was. But regardless of that, I found their Concepts Guide and that was very helpful. Obviously it told me what was what but it went into short detail about how one would use each feature and how implementing the way you work into the software can help you really find the power in the software.
So I Set It Up
I took a trial copy I had downloaded before and installed it clean and began setting it up to run my business. You can import any of your contacts out of your Address Book via vCard. Getting everything set up was pretty simple. Then I installed the Daylite Mail Integration module, this is where things got fun!
What’s So Cool About DMI?
The Daylite Mail Integration module hooks into Apple Mail application so easily it’s amazing! Now I know many of you run from Apple’s Mail application and I get it because you use Gmail or something cool like that. Well, I use Gmail for our business, you know the free one that you can get your domain hooked up to? If you read a little and follow Google’s instructions on how to successfully set up Mail for use of a Gmail account whether for your @gmail.com or @yourdomain.com you’ll find that Mail works wonderfully.
But enough of Gmail for now, back to DMI. You can toggle the DMI module by pressing control+7 and a little window slides out from the left side of Mail. As you click on each one of your contacts the window will change. If that client, employee, vendor, etc. is not in the database it will ask you if you want to add them, just a button, not a pop-up. If they are already in the database, it will show you a check box that you click to add the email to the database as a note. You can also choose to take the attachment with it or strip it out of the email. The DMI is really helpful when you are tracking projects in which your primary communication is through email.
This software works very well if you setup it up right from the start, they warn you about just using it and trying to change the way you work mid-way through. Mainly because it will break your reporting, to me reporting is very important so I decided to take the little time needed and set it up right. There are some huge benefits of the software that can help every business but one downside that I can’t stand, I know it’s petty, but for the company that makes Billings 3 (which is beautiful), Daylite is just okay looking. I’ve seen worse but they have a standard that they set themselves. One of the best features I look forward to is the iPhone integration which from their blog seems to be right on track.
One More Thing
They have this additional module called Daylite Delivery which in their words
…You can share andschedule PDF reports for automatic delivery to your inbox. And because the reports are delivered via email, you’ll receive them wherever you are. They’ll also look great on your iPhone. There is no need to worry about being in front of the computer, schedule it once on the server and forget it.
I haven’t used this feature but when you are always out and about it would be nice to have the reports in your mailbox every morning. This feature would be very powerful for firms who are not in one geographical location or a firm who is always in and out of the office.
Daylite Shines On Your Business
I really look forward to the next thirty days while I use this software, good things can happen when you have your business under control. Having your business tamed will help you keep your business mind like water allowing you to be productive, effective, and hopefully really, really profitable.
Did I Mention GTD?
If you’re a Getting Things Done nut like almost everyone these days you should know that they have a guide to help you setup Daylite to match GTD practices. This was a big seller for me as I use Things (which is the best program by far that I’ve used for GTD) but it is just not enough, it lacks so much on the “everything else I do” factor. I might begin to slowly transfer over to using Daylite as my GTD trusted system.