Not every small business needs an expensive and complex financial system, an advanced docflow/workflow tool, huge projects managing or powerful CRM. You get the basic functions of all these systems in one package, if you use the Brown Boot Works service.
You can add employees with GMail account, give them instructions, work on shared documents simultaneously, view statistics on the work of the staff, add guests participants.
Tasks & Responses
It is easy to create a task. Write or dictate a text by voice. Select performers. Set deadline. Attach the required documents or links. Send for execution. Employees will respond. Mark the task done when you consider it completed.
Approvals and familiarization
Select several colleagues, attach a document and send them for approval. If you want to send a document to familiarize, you can select a list of employees, and they will mark it as acknowledged.
Service enables attaching an unlimited number of files to tasks and responses. The size and uploading rate of file attachments are determined by Google Drive restrictions.
You can create and save your Google Docs items (documents, spreadsheets, presentations) directly in the task. You can attach Google Maps locations, contacts from Google account.
You can attach docs both as copies of files (from the cloud and from the device), and as links to the objects stored elsewhere on Google Drive. Each method has its own advantages. But processing file attachments directly in the service storage may be easier and more user-friendly. In particular, the service will automatically assign the access rights for the attached file to the task participants. Assignees get the right of editor. Users added for familiarization can only get rights for Viewing. The Service never changes the rights for objects by the attached links, rights should be created hand-set.
When you attach files in Ms Office format (or import from Mail) the service can convert them to Google Docs format. This feature is controlled by the user’s setting – to convert, not to convert, ask on each file.
If you transfer the task with attachments to an external mail recipient as a file, the system will automatically convert Google Docs into Ms Office format.
All attachments in the service storage are created on behalf of your Google Account and stored only (!) on your Google Drive.
You can create a personal folders structure of any complexity and put the tasks into them. It enables your finding previously executed assignments quickly, plan upcoming tasks as a drafts, monitor the project progress as a task chain. Each employee has his/her own folder structure.
Unlike folders that are specific for each user, labels are common for all company users and used for a wider general grouping of tasks. For example, you can create labels with the names of major clients, and labels with names of projects with customers and then attach two labels – Customer1, Project11 to the task.
Editing of the label list used in the company is available only to the account owner. Old unused labels can be hidden so that they do not interfere in the selection dialog. Herewith grouping of old tasks with these labels is preserved. Frequently used labels can be marked as Favourites in the labels selection dialog (when set to a task or at selection in the list).
“By labels” task list is available in the main menu. It allows the user to select all available tasks containing specified labels set. For example, we specify “Customer1 and Project11” labels and get a list of all the tasks related to the project of the customer.
E-mail and messengers
The Service is integrated with GMail. You can create an email-based task, move the text of correspondence and attached documents. You can share the task and the response in an e-mail message, transfer documents, as well as in popular instant messengers.
The service has a customizable mail notifying on new tasks, replies and task execution. Besides, you can create a Google Calendar event and set alerts for an employee. But it is sometimes convenient to remind one or all participants of the upcoming deadline. The system will generate a message template, specifying the following: reminder addresser, the task being reminded and the term of completion. You can edit the message before sending it. If we know that the task assignees are actively using some messenger, we can send them a reminder to the communication channel, providing more prompt delivery. The function of copying a message into the clipboard buffer allows you to send a reminder to any required application being convenient for delivery to these assignees.
The service is integrated with Google Calendar. From any task any user can create a Calendar event. A task text and a deadline are transferred to the event. You can optionally add all the task participants to the event. They get the invitation, and if it is confirmed, the event also appears in their calendar. You can specify that links to task-attached documents are to be transferred to the calendar event. If there is a Google Maps location among attachments, it will be set as the calendar event location. One can set an alert directly from the task to him/herself and participants, and define the event duration.
Each employee can create a task linked to incoming or outgoing task. For example, tasks can be linked as Director-manager channel and manager-specialist channel. The Director can view the status of the linked tasks execution.
A task lists can be represented by several views. Incoming tasks are the ones given to you. Outgoing tasks are the ones given by you. The upcoming affairs are incoming or outgoing ones, the deadline of which expires in the next few days, as well as outdated one. My Folders view is used for access to tasks through the folder structure that you have created for your own convenience.
Search and selection of tasks function is available in the main task lists. You can quickly find the task by a identification number, by participant name or e-mail, by task/response text extract.
Notifications are a useful mechanism of interaction during co-work. Notifications on new tasks, a new reply in the task and marking the task as Done by the author are envisaged within the system. In many cases it is required that an employee receives an e-mail with notification on Manager’s having given him/her an important task. In some cases, on the contrary, notifications on every response during active correspondence might be excessive and even annoying. So notifications are implemented as a customizable tool. Each user has a personal setting on how the system uses notification in his tasks (Personal Settings in his account menu). And this setting is applied for each new task created by the user. But the notification settings in each certain task may be changed as well (“More” section on the task form).
A Notification Center icon is available in the top-right corner of the tasks list window. All notifications sent to you via e-mail by other participants are duplicated in Notification Center History in chronological order. Accordingly, 3 types of notifications are currently available – a task has been assigned to you, a task has been marked as done, a new response has appeared in the task. By clicking on the notification in the list, you are redirected to the task where the notification was initially created. The manual marking the notifications as read allows you to organize their sequential processing. The number of unread/unprocessed notifications is always shown in the notification list icon.
You can select Quick notes function from the main menu of the service. Notes can be created by voice or by keyboard at your choice. Afterwards you can create a task from the note.
Notes are convenient to use during meetings or negotiations. One can quickly record important points or decisions. After the event, it is possible to view the notes, to think over the performers, deadlines and to assign a task. Besides, sometimes one needs to write down a certain point or an idea when it is inconvenient, for example in transport. You can mark a group of notes in order to create one task from them, or copy them to the clipboard and send the protocol of negotiations to the participants.
Voice notes with speech recognition are available in our service on Android mobile devices, as well as on computers in popular browsers. On iOS devices, this feature is available only through the use of standard voice input capabilities on the keyboard.
If you have decided to use the service for business purposes, you are strongly recommended to use accounts in your own G Suite domain for employee, where you have administrator rights. Connecting an employee’s personal account, you should be aware that the employee will have owner rights for the documents created by him/her.
The Service is hosted on Google Cloud Platform, that ensures its availability 99.95% of the time. You log in to the service using your account and Google authorization tools. We do not store your passwords and documents.
The key processes of business management are to identify tasks, assign them to people, control their performance and monitor financial values. A manager, being constantly mobile and online, needs to have all of this at hand. So, the Brown Boot Works service provides both task and budget management functions.
The budget management subsystem doesn’t concern simple accounting. These are important questions to be answered in real time, such as income plan for the period, basic expenses, payment approvement, profitability of projects or branch, availability and a forecast for working capital and real profit. Apart from business budgets one can maintain personal budgets.
How does it work? You enter financial operations directly in the task where they were originated. Here are some examples. You complete a task for project purchasing parts, then you enter the amount of expenses. You pay a monthly office rent, after that enter the amount of expenses. After receiving a payment from a customer, you enter the income. After obtaining investments, enter the income again. If you want to have plans, enter the planned operations when creating upcoming tasks.
All entered planned and actual operations can be displayed in the form of a budget plan or a report at any time. You need only to make once a setting of collecting a certain budget from a task. To do this, you need to use labels or folders, or both. If you specify “office expenses” label in a task, the operations will move from the task into the related item of the budget expenditures.
The setting of a budget is very simple and takes a minute. Budgets support the grouping depth up to three levels, which is usually sufficient for organizing a small company’s income and expenses budget. The budget table shows the current state of the plan and the actual execution at any time. You can collect a budget from the operations which have been entered by several employees. The service enables configuring the employees’ access to the input of financial operations, as well as the visibility of a certain budget for each employee.
Budget data are always in the Google Spreadsheet format. Budget table can be easily copied and modified. All budget tables are stored on your Google Drive, as well as other documents that you create in the service. The completed budgets are transferred into the archive. The archived ones are always available for viewing and analysis.