I’m the head of a small IT company. We provide software development, implementation and maintenance services to our customers. Some of our employees work in remote access from home. I am myself quite mobile too, I visit other cities, meet the clients, I am in the office less than half of the time.
A year ago we decided that we needed a 100% remote access to 100% of the company information from any place of the world and from any device. We didn’t need a compromise decision. We bought a Google Apps for Work business domain, currently called G Suite.
We switched to GMail, have been using actively Hangouts communications, Google Calendar daily. We transferred all our documents and files to Google Drive, created a system of folders with differentiated access. We use only Google Docs to work with texts and tables, we have been actively working with documents in a shared access. And all of this was done by each of us from any device at any time. In general, we 100% have implemented the Google Apps.
As a manager I was quite satisfied with the result and the new technology. But the requests grow up. We wanted to improve the level of service and our efficiency, without leaving the Google + Android ecosystem, in which we had integrated completely. I needed the following:
1- The team and work management from a smartphone, namely:
– to see the tasks flow and keep it under control,
– to plan all the tasks for a day, a week, both personal and working tasks,
– to connect it all with e-mail, calendar, and several messengers,
2- The required content management from my smartphone
The team containing 15-20 people isn’t a big one, however the overall structure grew up to several hundred folders with up to 5-8 levels nested depth , tens of thousands of files. I need 5-7 percent of them, but it’s difficult to find them. I would like to have my (!) own Folder structure, containing only shared high-priority documents, the ones I’ve dealt with, which might have been the final and most important and will possibly be required in future and are to be quickly found.
3- The entire company workflow on my smartphone
Was that possible? I almost did not create documents. But I read, corrected and forwarded them to other participants and customers. And I wanted to be able to do it anytime, anywhere in real time.
As a result, I had got the BB Works service. I just logged in it with my Google Account from my smartphone, connected my employees and started working.
Before and after Brown Boot Works
Simple tasks. Assignments from me and to me. I click New task, pronounce a text, select the assignees, set a deadline. That is all. Smartphone keyboard is not used. Notifications are sent to participants. I wait for responses with documents attached.
To prevent deadline miss by assignees, I just click the Calendar icon, and send the task. An event with the required date and time will be created in the calendar , the assignees will receive an invitation to it, and for example, an hour before the event they will receive a notification on their phone or PC. No chance to miss.
Creating a folder
Folders are only for own use, for instance Private, Finance, Customers folders, having Client1, Client2 folders etc. I create tasks directly in folders, they remain with attached documents inside.
Extracts from e-mail received
I get lots of e-mails. But one from ten is really important. For example, the client has sent a Technical Specification and required its cost.
What I did before:
- I downloaded the TS from e-mail to my device
- uploaded it to the required folder on Google Drive
- converted it from MsWord into Google Docs format
- opened access to the document to three assignees
- sent them the original email
- added something like “Guys, it is to be assessed till wednesday…”
- put down to a special table that I had to send the assessment to the client
My current actions:
- I click “Create a task from the e-mail” and select e-mail
- Select assignees from the list and set a deadline.
- Send for execution. That is all.
When the assessment is ready, the assignees have responded to the task and attached the document. I open it directly in the task, make corrections to the price. I click “Share by e-mail”, select from customer contacts. The document is automatically converted to a common MsWord format, and goes to him into the e-mail.
It is just an example. I won’t be able to describe all features of the Brown Boot Works service, but my aforementioned tasks are definitely solved by me. And that is the point.