Thank god for technology! Some people refuse to use it, but I embrace it and try and think of creative ways to use it in order to allow my partner and I to communicate better and more efficiently. In the beginning we started off trading spreadsheets back and forth which you can imagine quickly became a mess!
“I sent it over yesterday, did you get it?”
“I didn’t get it, or maybe I did”
“Shit, I accidentally copied on file over another”
“Which file are you talking about? I can’t seem to find the lead”
Everybody has different levels of organization, my partner and I definitely do as well. Our minds just work differently. What I find as a logical way to organize leads in an excel file is not the same way he does. We struggled heavily in the beginning trying to create a system that worked for both of us.
Over the past two years we’ve adopted the following tools to help us with our organization which had a nice side affect on our communication. Tell me what you think…
Google Drive used to be called Google Docs up until this past summer. It’s more of a cloud storage service now but we use it mainly for it’s document and excel editing features. This is the place we store the following information…
- Ideas we come up with
- Store our meeting minutes
- Our Joint Venture agreement
- All our letter drafts so we can modify and share them
- Our Goals
- What we are going to cover in our weekly phone calls
Dropbox is a cloud storage service that gives you 2 GBs of free space. The best thing about drop box is that you can sync up files on your home computer and work computer. All you have to do is designate a folder on each system for syncing and it does the rest. I use it to store all my development files for SI Lead Manager. This way I can work on the application where ever I am and don’t have to carry around a portable storage device that can be lost or damaged.
I’m thinking Google Drive can do the same thing now, but it did not when it was Google Docs. I am already to far invested in Dropbox to switch now, and plus from referring a few people (with each referral they increase your free storage space) to the dropbox service, I’m up to 5.8GB of space.
SI Lead Manager
This is obvious for anyone who has read my blog. I use this in combination with the next item to perfectly manage our leads with out any more double work.
This is Microsofts cloud database solution. It works REALLY WELL and is very cheap! Having only one database setup for SI Lead Manager, I only pay about $5.00 a month for the service. It is very quick and reliable and I can barely tell the difference in speed between the standard local MS Access database that SILM normally uses and the SQL Azure. 5 thumbs up!
This is where my partner and I schedule all of our meetings and appointments. Being able to see a combined calender is great and makes life so much more manageable. For those that don’t know it, you can share a calendar.
These items above work very well for us as we enter year two together. I’m always trying to come up with ways to streamline our communications and organization.
How do you all use technology to communicate with partners?