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pencil/paper or computer?

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  • pencil/paper or computer?

    For those who are mobile or who are sole owner-operators in a shop.
    When scheduling appointment, keeping pet info, etc. do you use pencil/paper or a program on a computer? And why?
    If you use a program, what do you use?

    I'll probably start out pencil/paper and datebook for the simplicity of it, but I'd like to know what's out there in computer programs if it gets to be too much. I got the free trial of pet 123 and I took a peek at Outlook I'm sure both are useful, but I don't know how much I need in a program. I won't be doing retail, so it'll just be the mobile grooming service records and contact info.

  • #2
    I use Outlook on my laptop and set up appointments for each booked client. If a clients on repeat schedule I make the outlook appointment a recurring appointment and then it shows up in my diary every 4 weeks for example.
    I have changed the labels (colour codes that can be applied to each app) so they now show me at a glance whos a new client, if they No Showed, Easy or Difficult Groom etc, Any thing you like can be pre-set up in the label field.
    I have not seen any specific pet programs so cant comment, but im interested to know whats out there!


    • #3
      I currently keep everything done by hand, but will soon be getting a Treo. You can book your appts and keep your client list there, then back up each day to your home computer. I will have internet access as well, so I can use google maps/mapquest if my GPS doesn't cover an area, plus I can keep up on emails during breaks in the day. I am afraid of losing data, so I will back up like crazy!


      • #4
        I schedule in my appointment book, then I put into my laptop. I use 123pet. Although now my computer is out of service and being repaired so I am without it today!!! I will have to write everything down and enter it when it is fixed.


        • #5
          PC & PDA Handsdown!!

          I'm mobile and I also use Outlook to schedule and keep my client data base, but since I am mobile I also have a PDA (I started with a basic Palm Tungsten and my current one is a "smart phone," a Treo 700w with Verizon wireless service). I sync my Treo to my desktop PC so I always have a backup. Outlook has been perfectly adequate and I don't feel the need to have any specialized software.

          It did not take me long to realize the paper/pencil route was simply too cumbersome. The Treo has a nifty search feature that lets me search the calendar, my contacts, anything. So if someone calls to cancel or reschedule I just enter their name, the next appointment comes up and I click on it and edit it to the new date. Very simple. I am not at all computer savy either and I was able to set the PDA up ... almost by myself. Verizon and Palm both have very excellent tech support phone centers to talk you through whatever problem you may be having. The folks have always been very pleasant and even pleasantly chatty during the inevitable times you're just stuck on the phone while your PC or the PDA is "thinking."

          The Treo is also a camera so I even have photos of the dogs in the contacts. If Mary Smith calls me a photo of her dog comes up along with her name. I have my ringtones set so my clients ring different from my personal contacts and unknown callers get still another. If I hear the phone ring while I am working and it's an "unknown caller" I let it ring through to the voicemail and return the call when I finish grooming for the day. If I hear a known ring, I quick look at the phone and if it's a client for that day or the next couple of days I answer if I can in caSe they are leaving me instructions for accessing their dog or need to cancel or reschedule or something. Anyone else I let leave a message if I am busy. It's easy to let the technology work FOR you!