Organisation in scheduling

Does any one have a method of scheduling work…like a scheduling sheet or spreadsheet or something so you can see exactly what your working day involves and where you have to be…i am for the most part extremely disorganized, so some method of organizing my jobs would be extremely helpful.

By the way i am talking literal sheets here, i don’t have much patience with computers on the job and wouldn’t be technically minded anyhow…so i prefer to have a hard copy of the spreadsheet in my hand so i amn’t really talking about software here, i’m more so talkin about something that can be printed out, though any suggestions are very welcome.

I use George the window cleaner, and print a worklist out each day. When I had a palm. (it died), I used to sync it (or put a worklist on a small “pocket pc” (so to speak)). Then I could lookup what jobs to do, and click on complete, and/or paid when I did jobs.

But now I print a worklist from George and bring that/those sheet(s) with me.

For producing invoices I use quick books easy start (costs just $100). I print invoices from that program and give them to the customers on the job, or put them in the mail.

I use Palm Desktop 4.1.0, and have the ability to print daily/weekly/monthly/date range lists.

I would use the customerfactor.com

you can print out a weekly,daily or monthly schedule.

If you would like a demo of this product, contact me by pm

In the ‘How do you get places to get on a schedule?’ thread, I described what I use:

I talked to an old-school window cleaner and all he uses is a rolodex type system - He says what ever cards are in front, he cleans that day. I’m not quit sure how he does varying schedules though.

For what I do though, it doesn’t take any time to just jot the days schedule on a sheet of paper and go. On that same sheet I write the date, mileage and any other notes while I am out. I separate each day by a solid line. Once done with one job you can cross it out, circle it or whatever. I have one of those clipboards that opens up so you can store pens, biz-cards, w9’s, $$, checks, snack bars or whatever else you want to carry with you.

I fooled around with George a bit a little while ago but didn’t quite get the hang of it. I can see and access so much more information at one time with Sunbird than I could with George. With Sunbird you have some nice print options also but I never print – it seems that printing would further complicate things for me since I keep all my notes for the day or week on the paper I carry with me on my clipboard.

This is a spreadsheet I created for scheduling work.

http://www.windowcleaningresources.co.uk/html/round_tracker_.html

Round Tracker is the cheapest system available at £10 (around $20)

There’s a free trial version which you can download but all the dates entered are a bit out of date so the jobs all show as Overdue. Have a play and you’ll get the idea. I use it every day.

Since it requires Microsoft Excel, sme knowledge of Excel is helpful.

I’ve been using Sunbird too works pretty good. Still trying to figure everything out like uploading my calander to another pc. Just started to mess with google calander. You can access it anywhere you have the net.

I must be the only one that uses a calender book from staples, it is simple and tangible.

My Palm device is simple and tangible – I view my appointments there while away from the office. I can utilize repeat scheduling easily, and add extensive notes.

In addition, I believe the images I view on my desktop computer’s monitor are tangible.

What method do you employ to present estimates and invoices to your customers? I find software allows for a great deal of increased efficiency (i.e. sync, copy-and-paste, etc.)

I use the cavemanish method, that is I have a estimate sheet and a invoice on my pc and print them as needed. I’m sure this is not the best method, but it works for me. Perhaps next year I will need some software or maybe I need it now, because I am using three books, one for all calls, one for customer contact info, and one for scheduling.

i love technoligy but not sure if I trust it!

Trust its use or trust “tangible” archives such as your multiple books?

There are solutions for either…

I almost lost everything off my pc the other day and it scared the s**t out of me. I had to do various to fix it and only recovered about 90% of my system. Probably should have been backed up. Oh well live and learn. It in my opinion is harder to lose books.

Hope this answers your question llaczko.

I bought a Dry Erase board from Lowe’s and write my entire month for Commercial on it. Of course I write it down on my computer and back it up on an external hard drive>>>NOTE: If you have anything that is worth keeping saved on a computer PLEASE buy a external hard drive so and make copies:) I had to learn the hard way twice:eek:

That’s how I started out and frankly. I use a computer on the job and home. All the goodies. But that notebook/appointment pad is the best. It stays with me everyplace. On the coffee table to book estimate and appointments. And then in the truck every morning. I look at that more then the computer. Easier and quicker then turning on the machine. I love the big books I love to write notes all over the place with lines to the customers. LOL. I know not to smooth but I understand it and that’s what matters. I just hate that they are like $40 each.

That’s why I use ‘George’ - I pay a minimum amount a year for back-up. Even if everything burnt down, I could go straight to an Internet cafe & get the details I needed straight away.

Its the same with customerfactor.com. If I ever have an issue, albeit computer not working, house/office burns down, just want to see it from somewhere that I usually do not do business, all I have to do is log on to the www and log in. Even from my internet accessible celly.

I sync my pc with my laptop (with subird). Call or contact me if you need walked through it.

So is it “palm device” hardware or software? Can you use the same method on your pc?
I agree about efficiency.

Can you trust yourself to back up your data? That is the important issue. How easy is it to ‘backup’ your books that you write in? There are a plethora of ways to back up and syncronize. Data is a lot easier to retrieve if properly backed up, then books are if they are stolen, lost, ruined by water, or creatively massacred by your devilish toddler.

I have a Palm brand handheld device with Palm OS and I have Palm Desktop software on my PC. Information can be input or edited from either the handheld device or the PC. The Palm software provides the sync operation capability.

Hmm, I’d like to look into that. Is there a way I can preview the software to see if it fits my needs?

Check at http://www.palm.com/us/ or a local (or your favorite) electronics store (like those idiots at Best Buy.)