Like I promised last week, here’s the second part in our two-part series on the real, actionable WORKetc business management software tips and tricks that our creative and resourceful users have shared with us. Read on and let’s get this started!
Quickly attach items to each other using their ID numbers (without hyphens) when searching in the Attach field, instead of names. It’s much more accurate.
– Christina Fowinkle, Now Digital
One of WORKetc’s core concepts is that users can attach anything to anything else.
Let’s say you’re working on a project. You can attach individually assigned tasks and timesheets to that project. If your client emails you with some changes to the project, you can attach that email as a project update as well.
If it’s a recurring or long-term project, you can also attach any support tickets that your client sends you. And when the project’s finished, you can attach your invoice to it as well.
By keeping all pertinent information attached to the proper project, sales lead, support ticket, contact, or what-have-you, you ensure that your team knows exactly what is going on at all times. Support won’t need to bug your sales team for a backgrounder, for example, since it’s all there in WORKetc.
Keep current with your information, don’t wait to put in contacts, leads, and information later. Later will never come! Work with the system as it happens and it will pay back in spades.
– Stephen Gardner, eCompany Solutions
WORKetc has a number of features that make data entry much faster.
The Gmail CRM gadget we talked about in the previous installment lets you quickly turn any email into a new contact, sales lead, or project from inside your Gmail inbox. There’s also a similar plugin for Outlook.
Webforms also allow you to you pretty much let your clients and prospective customers do the data entry for you.
Any information captured in a custom WORKetc webform can automatically be turned into a support ticket, a new lead, or a new contact and then be assigned to specific members of your team — all without you having to do it manually.
You can use also instantly turn Evernote notes into sales leads, contacts, or project updates simply by using Evernote tags. For example, you can tag a note with the #Person and #Client tags and WORKetc will instantly turn that note into a contact with the “Client” tag.
In addition, you can easily import Excel spreadsheets and CSV files to WORKetc. This can be particularly useful when you’re, say, at a trade show and get a lot of people to fill out an Excel signup sheet you’ve prepared.
All those names and contact details can immediately be turned into leads in WORKetc simply by properly formatting and importing that Excel sheet.
And finally, you can add “create new” links to your WORKetc dashboard just by tweaking the welcome message. Simply get the URL of the “create new” page you want to add and link to it.
You use this little trick to add any “create new” links on the dashboard. Plus, if you know a little HTML, you can customize further and make those links all kinds of fancy.
When we get a new client I prefer to generate a support ticket first. While I’m entering the data I can add the contact’s name and company’s name and WORKetc saves me those two steps. Then I just go back to the contacts that the support ticket just created and I can update the info.
This also saves me the time to search if the client is in the database already, because the Contact and Company field are search fields within themselves.
– Celina Garcia, tekRESCUE
Most modules and items in WORKetc have a “Create New” button. From that dropdown button, you can create and automatically attach any item — a contact, lead, support case, timesheet, etc. — to almost any other item in WORKetc.
Using the “Create New” button will automatically associate the new record you just created with the one on which you clicked the button, meaning at least one field will always be pre-filled.
For example, you open up a task and create a new timesheet. That new timesheet will automatically be attached to that task.
Also, when you’re editing a contact record in full edit mode, you can quickly add people or companies simply by manually adding them in the relevant fields. You can also create new contact records on the client tab when creating a new sales lead.
By combining those last two steps, you can create, for example, a new sales lead for the Acme company (the company contact record) with the primary contact (the person contact record) being James.
That’s three different records created in one process. You can also do this from you email inbox by using the Gmail gadget or the Outlook plugin.
Use Custom Fields to customise your support cases.
– Christophe Jouret, Solventure
We explicitly designed WORKetc to be usable in any industry and by any kind of business. It doesn’t have any super-specific fields that would be deemed important only by businesses in one particular industry.
What it does have are custom fields, highly editable fields that let you collect any kind of information, no matter how niche or esoteric.
An IT company, for example, could use custom fields to track the serial numbers of all the routers that they sell and install. A shirt design company, meanwhile, could use them to record a client’s shirt specifications and ink preferences.
Or let’s say your country requires you to include your client’s tax number on your invoices. Custom fields let you do that as well.
They’re not just for collecting information, either. Let’s say you have some tasks assigned to people that you need to review before anybody can mark them as complete. You can add a custom approval field that’s editable only by you to those tasks.
These custom fields can be added to every WORKetc object, from contacts and projects to support tickets and invoices.
You can also use custom fields when creating smartlists. The IT company we used in the scenario before can, for example, create a smartlist that shows all sales of a router with a specific model number.
Lately, I’ve been going gaga with links. In the “Description” field of a project, I create links to shared Google Sheets and other docs associated with a project. In those sheets & docs I also include links BACK to the WORKetc project.
For example, when we plan a public workshop, the responsible team creates a “master planner” in Google Sheets that holds all of the relevant information including what, where, when, pricing, messaging, discounts… We also create a project in WORKetc and create links from the project to the master planner and back.
We also have a master registration sheet to which we add all registrants who come in through our various payment portals. We create a link to that shared sheet and back to WORKetc as well and have one of our team make sure all registrants are added to WORKetc and tagged appropriately.
– William Mullane, TechHelp Idaho
By integrating Google Drive with WORKetc, you can easily and quickly add a link to any file in your Drive account from right within WORKetc.
WORKetc also honors Google Drive’s file permissions settings, so you can be sure that those who need to see those files you link to are the only ones who can see it.
In the past, Google Drive integration was available only to users with a paid G Suite account and access to the G Suite admin console. Now, even users with a consumer-level Gmail account (those with “firstname.lastname@example.org” email addresses) are able to connect Google Drive, Contacts, and Calendar to their WORKetc accounts.
My best tip is to ‘star’ the pages you use the most (or are hard to find). Never have to search for that obscure page ever again!
– Branden Maynes, CompuEase Consulting Services
You can “star” or bookmark pages in WORKetc and turn them into easily accessible links simply by going to a page (it could be a contact or lead you’re working on or a smartlist of tasks you’ve delegated) and clicking the star icon in the Bookmarks tab on the right side of your WORKetc screen.
By bookmarking pages, you can access them with one click from any page in WORKetc. You can also drag and drop the bookmarks on the bookmarks tab to rearrange them and keep the most important ones at the top.
My best tip is check settings periodically, as boring as that sounds. We used WORK[etc] for two years, then realized there were settings that either were new, or didn’t apply to how we did things initially, that made our lives so much easier!
– Colin Scattergood, Mark Systems USA
I make it a point to announce the big product news like new features and functionalities here on the blog, but there are dozens of other fixes and changes and updates that we roll out regularly that don’t quite make it to the front page, as it were.
Fortunately, we regularly publish release notes on our forums. You can check out all the important updates and changes, both big and small, happening to WORKetc there.
If you’re an Insiders member (and if you’re not one yet you really should be one now), we also publish release notes and highlights there.
Plus, WORKetc users who are paying annually not only get an 2 months free (you end up paying only for 10 months), they also get an up to two hours of one-on-one support sessions with a senior product specialist.
You can use that time to further streamline your processes, get new staff up to speed, or learn about any new developments.
Well, this article already has one of my big tips (I feel so famous), but another one is to attach projects to other projects. That way you can do things like have “Company X Project” as the main one, and the sub-projects can be “Website”, “App”, and/or “Backend”. It means that you’re not reliant on the timesheet descriptions to determine how to split the time for invoicing (or just to see how long a specific portion takes for future quoting purposes).
After using any system for a long time it is a great to to through lists like this. There are things we tried and abandoned that may be more helpful today. Plus things we forget we can do to make things faster, like updating the dashboard with link. Never thought of putting quick creates in there like that, great idea. We use the stars for quick reference on the right but haven’t done too much on the core dashboard. I will be putting some tweaks in for that this week. Thanks!
I love these two blogs. A lot of great tips. I was happy to know that we do a lot of them already. But the one that caught my attention was creating “QUICK” links on the dashboard. We are definitely going to look into that. Thanks and keep up the great work.
Of these I thing I use event the most. it allows me to set reminders to contract a customer who’s support ticket is unresolved for longer than expected. Which provides them with the customer service they deserve.
Great tips above – really like the Support case idea when creating a client – need to try it out.
Another really useful tip from us is for every project that we are working on – I add it as a Starred page – then the projects are sorted in chronological order and its easy to see what we are working on.
Every time I turn around, i learn something new about Work! I really feel like we’re just scratching the surface with what we do with it. Currently, we use projects and support tickets most. I love that I can create a support ticket from an email within GMail. And then, I can turn around and create events for my calendar that block out time to do the work related to the ticket, and those calendar events sync to my GCal.
Ok I’m pretty excited about the Drive integration. We use the ticket feature the most. Can’t wait to try out the Drive integration tho. We use Drive to save tons of info related to our customers.