By Taylor Tuomie
Ever feel like you and your team are on completely separate pages? Have you wasted time completing tasks that didn’t need to be done, lost money because you didn’t do something you were expected to do, or looked like a complete idiot in front of a customer because you didn’t know important information? I think most of us have been there, whether we like to admit it or not.
Some of the technology that we use every day is extremely distracting. For instance, what was this guy doing that was so important?
Is this how it feels showing up for a job that your customer cancelled?
On the other hand, the technology we use can help cut down on stupid mistakes and make us a lot more productive. For instance, we can use field service software for planning, dispatching, automate emails, and effectively change around field tech’s schedules on the fly. However, there are times that we don't need full-blown field service software and a simpler solution would do for the situation at hand. Here are five apps that will promote collaboration and communication throughout your team:
Google Docs is an extremely versatile way to work on spreadsheets or word documents in a collaborative way. You can upload photos of a job that you’re on, take notes about a property and share those notes, pictures, or documents with multiple people at the same time. Google Docs also works with popular file types like Microsoft Office files. Best part is, this app saves your work in real-time, so you don't have to worry about not saving what you're working on!
Hangouts is primarily used for video conferencing, but has a few other extremely helpful collaboration components. While you can hold a video conference with up to 15 people, you also have the ability to share your screen with anyone who is on the Hangout. This would be a great way to share your plan of attack before a major snow event with your crew or to get everyone on the same page every week without having to gather everyone in one place.
Their slogan is "Be Less Busy". This collaboration/communication app has created a lot of buzz in tech news the last couple of years and has earned an estimated valuation of $2.8 billion. The amount of emails and texts that you send throughout your team might get out of hand at times. This app seeks to be the one communication app you use for business.
It is easy to use, highly searchable, and integrates with the two services we mentioned above! All your communication is in one place, so your entire team is on the same page!
Think of Wunderlist as a to-do-list on steroids.This is a great app to use for smaller reminders or tasks that your crew might need to get done throughout the day. For instance, get one of your trucks washed before coming back to the garage or park the trailer on the North side of the shop tonight. The app allows you to share lists with multiple people and they can check off the list items as they go. Again, it is nice having everyone on the same page, even if it is something as simple as a to-do-list.
Much like Google Docs and Wunderlist, Evernote allows for multiple users to share lists, documents, and files. One nice thing about Evernote is the ability to grab pages from the web and share it. It is a great way to keep your team on the same page.
While these aren't going to solve all the problems that your business has, they are great tools to help get your crew pulling on the same rope. Give them a try, all of them are free for the basic versions. They are available for both iPhone and Android users and work on PC or Mac as well.
Want to learn more about how technology can make your lawn care business better? Download our Lawn Maintenance Software Buyers Guide today!