December 2013 - Posts
On behalf of the Method Team, I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season! May your holidays be filled with love, joy and laughter as you celebrate the season with your loved ones.
If you plan
on reaching The Method Team during the holidays, please take note of our holiday hours:
Tueaday, December 24th (Christmas Eve): Office will be closed after 4:00pm EST
Wednesday, December 25th (Christmas Day): Office Closed
hursday, December 26th (Boxing Day in Canada): Office Closed
Tuesday, December 31st (New Year’s Eve): Office will be closed after 4:00pm EST
Wednesday, January 1st (New Year’s Day): Office Closed
Have a safe and joyous holiday season, and we'll be in touch in the New Year!
Allo and Happy Holidays!
Wow! Not only have I not blogged in a while, this will be
my last blog of the year! Have I been working on things? Yes! I have! And I will hope to get them out before the year ends.
However, I need to share a video with you! A Happy Holiday video that Alex, the documentation guy, made with me! Alex decided he wanted to get in on all the video tutorial fun so we did a joint one:
It was a lot of fun to make! I think my office mates were wondering why we were yelling in the next room.
Anyway, what is coming up? Well, I am working on new Field Service videos and I am hoping those will get done before holidays hit! And we are also converting the webinars that required the GoToMeeting codec to normal youtube videos!
What does that mean? Remember the webinar page that we had (which has now been moved to the help center)? Well, a few of those videos required a codec in order to be viewed. We’re converting them so that you can now view it on YouTube and not worry about downloading and installing anything on your computer! Huzzah!
For a sneak peak, we've converted all the Customization Webinars and they are now available as a playlist on YouTube.
Soon you will not need the Codec to watch our Webinars!
Anyway, we’ll definitely keep you posted, and follow @MethodCRM on Twitter or Facebook because they always announce things that are happening!
Take care, and I hope you have a great winter holiday!
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Rebranding a company is one of the most exhilarating and challenging aspects of running a business. If you get it right, it brings an intangible aura to your business (think Apple). If you get it wrong, it’s hard to fix and you won’t win as much business as you could have. Strong brand = greater trust.
For Method, rebranding was a process that started with understanding why you, our customers, cho. Why do you trust us? What benefit did Method bring to your small or mid-size business? se to do busi ness with us in the first place
What we learned, from speaking with many of you, is you go through a journey with Method.
Often, you’ll start a free trial because you use QuickBooks and you’ve heard Method’s QB sync is amazing and our is outstanding. But that’s just the beginning… once you start using Method and seeing the time you save when your financial data and CRM data are in perfect harmony, you then start some simple customization. That’s when lightning strikes. You see how easy it is to customize Method with drag and drop tools (yes, no code required!) Suppo r t Teamso that your CRM matches your unique workflows and business needs.
John W. from Dean Markley (maker of guitar strings) gave us an example of this. He told us how a senior executive at his company now saves 3 to 4 hours a day (yes - 3 to 4 hours every day!) because they were able to automate tasks and reporting that used to be done manually. Many of you gave similar examples of how customizing Method has made you and your team so much more efficient.
And here’s the thing about customization with Method’s platform. There are no limits. It’s endless. The possibilities are infinite. That insight from you, our customers, lead us to our new logo:
Ron, Method’s Ambassador of Awesome Design and the creator
this logo, says:
“We wanted to bring in the idea of infinite possibilities without having a separate icon, and we wanted that connection right inside the word “Method”. We achieved it by connecting the “o” and the “d” as an infinity symbol. In terms of color, we chose the dark blue because our customers see it inside the app all day, so it has to be easy on the eyes, and it’s a calming colour. This darker, warmer shade is also different and stands out from the cooler blue that’s popular on many of today’s websites.”
What do you think of Method’s new brand? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below, or tweet us @MethodCRM.
In my next post I’ll talk about the principles we used to redesign our new website and how you can leverage them for your business. In the meantime, please Take a Tour and let us know what you think.
We hope 2014 is full of possibilities for you, your family and your business.
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Hello fellow Method users,
I’m happy to announce that report screens are now live in your Method accounts! We have added report screens for Leads, Customers, Activities, Opportunities, and Cases for both QuickBook Online and QuickBook Desktop users of Method.
The new screens have three options for reports Quick Report, Advanced, and Custom.
This option generates a report with pre-defined filters. For example, the Leads Quick Report will give you a list of the logged-in user’s active leads, and the Activities Quick Report report will give you a report of the logged-in users pending activities due on or before today.
Depending on the type of report you’d like to generate, this option gives you the ability to add grouping or additional details to your report (Step 2: Add Reports Details). It also gives you the ability to add filters to the report (Step 3: Add Filters)
Allows you to choose a report (Step 2: Choose Custom Report) and apply the filters options built into the screen (Step 3: Add Filters) to the selected report. For example, if I created a custom Opportunity report I would be able to select it and apply filters to it.
These reports will give users an easy way to extract data from Method, and can also serve as a blueprint for creating additional reports and reporting options tailored to your specific business needs.
Hope you enjoy the reports!
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If you’re a small business owner, you are most lik
ely involved in almost all aspects of your business, which can often result in an overloaded email inbox. In fact, for many business owners, the inbox has gone from being an effective means of communication to a huge source of day-to-day anxiety.
If you get into the office and your first thought is “Oh no, I don’t want to open my inbox!” it’s time to change the unhealthy relationship you have with your email. Here are some strategies that are worth considering.
#1: M anage Communication Expectations
In our world of instant communication, it’s easy to feel obligated to get back to someone right away, but that doesn’t have to be the case with email. Consider that by replying to an email immediately, you are setting a precedent that says you are perpetually available to anyone at any time of day. If you have a systematic approach to your inbox and managing your email (which means prioritizing messages and getting back to them in due course, not all at once) not only will you reaffirm that you’re a busy business owner (which you are!), but you will also manage expectations for communications in the future.
Yesterb, where he primarily focuses on the emails he received the day prior. ox System
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said his inbox “felt lik e a never-ending treadmill”, so he developed the
#2: Stay Out of Your Inbox
The 4 Hour Work Week Method Timothy Ferriss calls email “the greatest interruption in the modern word”, and promotes an avoidance strategy when it comes to your inbox. Ferriss recommends only checking your email twice per day: once at noon, and again at 4pm. And, interestingly enough, he a lso advises to never check email first thing in the morning - which is exactly what you do, isn’t it?
In his book
If you’re interested in testing out this strategy, try an auto-response email template to advise people of your process. In this “Out-of-Inbox” notification you can also provide a way of contacting you in the case of an emergency (but who really uses email in the case of a real emergency?)
"Thank you for your email. I only check my email twice a day, so I appreciate your patience in receiving my reply.”
#3: Establish a Healthy E-mail Culture
Is your team using email as an instant messaging tool? If they are, it’s no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed! Limiting how email is used within your company is a great way to cut down on inbox overload. Studies have shown that productivity tends to go up when your employees are using instant messaging or internal social network programs (like Skype or Google Chat) instead of email for real-time communication. Don’t be afraid to encourage a “less is more” email policy - everyone’s inbox will benefit.
#4: Avoid Open-Ended Questions in Emails
If you are arranging a meeting time, don’t ask open-ended questions in an email that might result in unnecessary back-and-forth. Instead of writing “Let’s meet this week - when are you free?”, try being more proactive so only one response email is required: “Let’s meet this week. I’m available Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday between 2pm and 5pm. Let me know if any of those times work for you, and if so, which one.”
#5: Embrace the FYI
If you are sending someone an email with the intent of informing or sharing something, start your subject line or the first sentence in the email with “FYI” (for your information) and end your email with “NRN” (No Reply Needed). This can really become a saving grace in avoiding multiple replies when you’re sending something to your whole team.
#6: Unsubscribe or Use Unroll . me
I f your inbox is full of subscription-b ased emails or spam, simply search “unsubscribe” within your account to find all the senders to unsubscribe from. You can also create an account with Unroll.me , that rounds up all subscription-type emails for you to either unsubscribe from or decide on the frequency o f your Unroll. me Daily Digest.
#7: Stop Sending Emails
The simplest way to reduce the nu mber of received daily emails is to encourage your team not to use email. At your next team meeting, propose a reduction in the use of email, or maybe just send everyone this funny workflow - I’m sure they will get the hint :)
Do you have your own techniques for avoiding inbox overload? Tw eet at me
Until next time,
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Every year I run a hockey playoff pool with some of my friends (yeah, yeah, we like hockey in Canada). As the amount of people in the pool grew each year, it became increasingly hard to hold a live draft. It was impossible to have everyone in the same place, at the same time (or even online at the same time)!
Naturally, to address this pain point, I made an app in Method. I created a Hockey Pool portal and gave each of my friends access so they could log in and draft a player when it was their turn. No hassles! Here’s what it looked like:
Everyone in the pool can log into their account, and see their own Statistics, their own Team List, their own Draft Order, and they can manage which players they want to pick next with the On Deck feature.
I’ve included a grid that filters out players that have already been selected, and the Draft Player button only works when it’s actually your turn! When it is your turn, the Draft Player button opens a pop-up window, which looks like this:
The Draft Player button on this screen not only drafts your selected player to your team, but also removes them from the Players Remaining grid, removes them from all decks, adds them to the pool’s draft order (which can be generated as a report), sets the next user’s turn, and even sends them an email notifying them that it’s their turn!
In order to set this up, I imported all of the player data I needed into a new table that I called NHLPlayers. I used fields such as Goals, Position, and Team. In order to keep my hockey data separate from the rest of Method, I also created my own users table called HockeyPoolUsers.
Here is where I stored the data for my hockey pool friends such as Email, UserName, and Password. The cool thing is that these are not Method users, just users for my Hockey Pool portal, so no additional licenses are needed!
This is not only great for hockey, but the same principles could be applied to make an NFL football pool (for all our American friends). It doesn’t stop there either. I feel like I’m only scratching the surface because so far my app can only manage the draft.
My next goal is to use a Call Web Service action to update all the real time player stats and pool standings with the click of a button! Is this possible? I’m not sure, because I haven’t found a web service yet that will .
When I find one, you’ll be the first
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