The larger McLean IT grows, the more I worry about managing the flow of information. Between telephone calls, emails, texts, and clients telling me about issues while dealing with other issues, the flow can become unmanageable if unprepared.
Originally I’d intended to keep my notes on my phone or tablet, but I was soon painfully aware that they just weren’t as convenient as a notepad and pen – despite my aversion to paper. And even now I keep everything in my handy little notebook. I have to admit that writing things down does prime your memory to trap things. However when I add things to the list, I often have to bring remaining tasks from previous lists forward and I end up writing the same thing over and over.
My biggest fear is that I’ll forget something.
On any given day – every day – I send and receive an average of 55 emails. Doing the math, of course that’s roughly 385 a week, or 1540 a month (actually closer to 1600 but I’m rounding the numbers down).
Last year I bought my wife a new iPhone 5 and at the same time used the opportunity to renegotiate my plan to add more minutes. I’d been consistently using all of my time for months. My new plan is for 1000 minutes and that number is already offset by a number of calls I make through my VoIP line, Skype, and FaceTime. I haven’t taken the time to count the texts sent and received.
What all of this amounts to is a massive amount of information flowing constantly.
In an attempt to manage this flow of information (and limit overhead to keep costs down), I’m now working with a ticket tracking system. With it, not only can both my clients and I create, view, update and edit tickets, but it is also an integrated billing system which I can use to upgrade my old system.
To take advantage of this system, one need only request a login.
There is no pressure for clients to use this system to log issues – they should feel free to communicate the way they always have. Think of it as just one more service to our clients.
Already it’s reducing the amount of time I need to review things at the end of the day, and it’s the first time in months that I’ve finished the day not feeling like I’ve forgotten 100 critical tasks.