My whiteboard is getting fuller, but my office is still tidy and pleasant to work in, so I have no complaints. We’re trying to streamline our systems so we can get more work done in the same amount of time.
The rest of the house is not tidy, and we’re filming an intereview here tomorrow, so tidying is definitely on my list for today.
#1 daughter and I went out yesterday for fun, admiring high priced furniture and having a girl’s lunch at one of those places where your meal arrives on a triangular plate, stacked and sauced to look like hat trimmings. We made a hair appointment and really didn’t accomplish much of anything else.Then we split up and I went to do the grocery shopping while she went and spent a packet on electronics.
We have to spend a packet on electronics every now and then. Can’t be helped. At least she enjoys it.
I also did some knitting. The Nantucket Jacket is growing nicely, with the waist shaping done so that there’s a bit of a peplum. I was concerned that the edges weren’t even,but it’s clear by now that this is a design feature. See the photo below to see how the peplum undulates gently as the stitches change.
I’m enjoying the knitting. This is Elann’s Highland Wool in Cedar. It’s a sturdy yet soft yarn that works up into a good basic fabric with a nice hand.
I knitted up the second skein yesterday while watching lawyer shows on Netflix and chatting with #1 daughter about love and life and haircuts.
We talked a lot about business, too. You will not be amazed by this because it’s all I seem to talk about here, ever. There was a time when you could come over here and find a discussion of good and evil or evolution or underwear, but now it’s all work all the time. I think this is why I post so rarely. I get bored at the mere thought of writing more stuff about business.
However, in real life it’s fairly exciting.
At the moment, I’m comparing online project management and customer relationship management tools. It happens that I encountered the blog of another knitter/ tech guy who faced the same task, and she outlined all the pros and cons of a whole bunch of programs. The fact that she’s a knitter caused me to put greater faith in her thoughts on PM/CRM tools than I otherwise would have, and how irrational is that?
I suggested to #1 daughter that we figure out our workflow and then find a tool that worked with it, but she disagreed. We must find a tool we like, she says, and then develop systems to leverage its power. We tried Salesforce, the CRM the aforementioned knitter favors, and liked the robust data capture and reporting — but didn’t have time, in the year we paid for it, to learn to use it properly. We’ve now been using Solve360 for a year, but it doesn’t seem to support collaboration as well as Basecamp did — but Basecamp’s associated CRM seems pretty lame. This is the sort of thing that makes the decision difficult.
I’m going to revisit Basecamp, though the knitter who wrote about it pointed out that it’s all about what has already been done. I feel as though it’s easier to assign and follow up on tasks in Basecamp, and easier to collect project files there. Right now, we send stuff back and forth to client/designer/animator/linkbuilder with Dropbox, Desk, Google Docs, email, and various other tools various other people use, and it all gets messy.
We also don’t have the data we need when we need it. I liked the fact that Salesforce assisted with projections and showed the sales pipeline and how we were doing.
#1 daughter says it’s user error. If we used 360 correctly, she maintains, it would have all the data we wanted and we could communicate and collaborate perfectly well with it.
What we need is something that will do for our PM/CRM what SproutSocial does for our social media management. We can put all our clients in there, work from within the dashboard instead of having to work elsewhere and then go add stuff later, and it gathers the data for us and creates reports (albeit inaccurate reports, according to #1 daughter).
On the other hand, it appears that Mavenlink offers groups health insurance, so I’ll check it out, too.