I like to think that my move away from Microsoft Office and Entourage, to iWork and Daylite, actually enhances my ability to be efficient and productive with others. Even more important is the ability to communicate with others, track that communication, and use it to improve sales.
The Communication Conundrum
How many ways can employees communicate with each other? How many ways to we communicate with customers, clients, or potential customers?
Email is an evil necessity. It is filled with inane time wasting communication, yet all of it must be tracked, stored, and, if possible, linked to specific tasks, projects, objectives, and even customers.
Daylite’s approach is reminiscent of that same effort in Entourage. Without opening Apple’s Mail, Daylite has an email module which works in Mail, and links messages to various contacts, tasks, and projects.
And, all those pieces integrate with reminders and alerts, and pop up as actionable items. The email window pops up with a side pane which can link to other items (click on an image for a larger, pop up detailed view).
Activity Is Not Accomplishment
That’s my view of business work flow. Accomplishment is the goal. So, activity must be specific and targeted, otherwise it’s wasted effort. Daylite lets you create what they call Activity Sets (simply template workflows) which use tasks and appointments.
Note how the Activity Set contains specific tasks. Think of this as step between simple to-do lists and more complex projects made up of many tasks. These are specific activities which can be linked to other items, and even given an end date.
Money Makes The World Go Around
Another deviation from Entourage is Daylite’s ability to incorporate good old capitalism into the work flow. Use it to track new business leads using a module called Opportunities.
Here again, the linking or associating of contacts and projects and tasks and activities gives you a better handle on the sales process—from contact to contract and all the steps in between.
This one feature alone is worth the price of admission to Daylite, as performance measured is performance improved. The value of an integrated approach to tools that track customer and client contacts, as projects, is genius.
But Daylite has a few other values, too. One is to reduce the complexity (more on that, too).
Since Daylite uses an email module, you’re still using Mail, and don’t have to learn something new. Even incoming email gets linked automatically with open projects, tasks, meetings, and related files.
One thing we spend too much time doing is searching through all our contacts, to-do items, email messages, tasks, and lists. Daylite integrates search into a Quick Find window.
From there you can search and create smart search lists which can be re-used. And, again, the results all link to other items. Finally, there are three other major issues which plaque productivity apps, and Daylite has a decent handle on two of them.
Part 3 tomorrow.