How I become a G Suite Super Fan

Microsoft out, Google in.

The Turning Point

Back in 2007 saw the release of the very first iPhone, PCs started to come shipped with Microsoft Vista and iMacs were still the new kid on the block (oh and let’s not forget first iphoneRihanna’s Umbrella song stayed in the charts for an incredible 10 weeks.)

Microsoft was still the default choice for most things and I hated it.

Then one lazy afternoon later that same year, I read an article about the increasing popularity of the iMac and as someone who likes the underdog it wasn’t long before I purchased my first Linux based machine.

Within a week I realised just how much I loved the iMac and at the same time how much I disliked Microsoft. Using Apple’s macOS felt like a homecoming to me, everything just made sense. It worked how it should and didn’t splurge out error after error and fall over halfway through writing an unsaved letter. I swore then that I wouldn’t never venture back into the problem ridden world of Microsoft.

windows-vista

Every time I was forced to use a PC at a client’s premises, or help one of my Children on their home laptops, it added a little more to the Microsoft hate pit. Over the coming years that original dislike of Microsoft grew and festered inside of me.

I wasn’t the only person disheartened by watching others struggle with simple tasks on their Windows based PC’s. Magazines and online forums were full of people moaning about crashing PC’s, how complicated things were and how Microsoft was of little or no help. How I was glad to be in the Apple club.

The Downside to the iMac move

There was one downside to owning an iMac and that was the limited availability of software. Don’t get me wrong, things had come on massively since the iMac launch but compared to Windows software, you were in no way spoilt for choice.

I did have a copy of Apple’s iWork bundle, this comprised of Pages, Keynote and Numbers. These were OK but only that, just OK. Even though called iWork, in my humble opinion they were more aimed at the consumer than at business users. Since movingiwork to Apple I had refused to install Microsoft Office or for that matter, any Microsoft title. I am a stubborn kinder of a guy and wasn’t going to be deterred from owning a Mac. I wanted to explore other options that weren’t Microsoft so I set myself a challenge and that challenge was to erase Microsoft out of my life completely.

I know it sounds a little drastic but a challenge is a challenge and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a better alternative for me out there.

The False Start

I had a personal Gmail account, which like many others I had to wait for that all important and prized invitation. (Gmail started with a limited beta rollout, this involved giving accounts to a thousand outsiders and allowing them to invite a couple of friends apiece, and growing slowly from there.)

gmailAs much as I liked using Gmail (especially the user interface, labels and search) there were some niggles that I couldn’t get over. The main culprit being conversation view which was enabled by default and couldn’t be disabled.

Being from the old school, I was used to single view emails and just hated conversation view. There were also issues with unrelated conversations being linked together which caused me a massive headache, so I parked my Gmail account and used my Apple @me.com address instead.

Google Relents on the Conversation View Argument

I wasn’t alone with the conversation view argument and after many years of petitions and dedicated websites of hate, Google relented and decided to give their users the ability to switch conversation view off.

You can read their official post here https://gmail.googleblog.com/2010/09/turn-off-gmails-conversation-view.html

This was big news on the web and as soon as I discovered the change, my sights were firmly fixed back on Google Apps Premier Edition.

My Move to Google Begins

The Google Apps suite came with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Sites and Google Talk, basically everything I needed to run my business. It google apps premier editionwasn’t a hard decision for me to migrate straight over to Google Apps and without a second thought I did exactly that.

Google are like Apple’s and the latest Android and iPhones, things just work. Using Cloud based software was fantastic for me as it allowed me to work from anywhere in the world without the need of having to use my own computer, very handy when working on site at a clients or on holiday.

Compatibility wasn’t an issue as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides lets you import their Microsoft counterparts documents in a breeze. Google also compatabilitygive you the ability to export any document as Excel, Word or Powerpoint compatible files.

Gmail was my favourite part of Google for Work. I loved the fact I could add multiple domains to my account and send and receive emails from multiple alias names across multiple domains. As I ran about 6 websites at the time, having more than one domain for email was absolutely essential. Search was impossible to beat and to this day still is, finding lost emails was never going to be a tiresome issue again.

Never having to worry about backups or software updates signed the deal for me, I was converted.

Present Day

i_love_googleTo this very day, amid a few rebrands I have stayed loyal to Google and have strayed only the once. I am now an avid user of Google G Suite. and as well as being an authorised referrer I am also working towards being a certified G Suite Partner.

For professional reasons I have followed Microsoft’s Office 365, and have tested it on a few occasions. I will admit that they have come on a long way but ….. Office 365 is no way as user friendly as G Suite, 365 costs more (nearly double on same subscriptions) and G Suite support can not be beat.

As of January 2017, G Suite has 3 million paying businesses, and 70 million G Suite for Education users. I am very pleased that my children’s school uses Google Classroom and for them, Google is now the norm and Microsoft the underdog, who would have thought?

You can signup for a Google G Suite trial here and if you are interested in moving to G Suite then give me a shout and i’ll email you a discount code to enable you to receive 20% off your first years subscription charges.

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Teamwork.com Review

Teamwork.com – Project Management, Help Desk & Chat Software

Today, Teamwork Projects, Teamwork Chat, and Teamwork Desk form the backbone of Teamwork.com. Each product serves to enhance the performance of teams by coordinating both process and people simultaneously. Teamwork Projects is all about getting things done by creating task lists and tasks and assigning them to the team.

It increases visibility across each project as well as aligning every dependent function within the business. Teamwork Desk incorporates the customer into the equation. It streamlines all contact between you and your customers by way of a ticket management system.

Teamwork Projects

It creates a much more efficient process for handling customer queries. Teamwork Chat is an instant messenger that can be used by all of the team for immediate communication.

Each of the three products integrates together seamlessly. Every user has the ability to create an action within each product that influences activity in another. E.g. Creating a task for Teamwork Projects as a result of a ticket received in Teamwork Desk. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects is something I use on a daily bases and love everything about it, it’s intuitive, fast and supported by an amazing team over in Ireland. Its something I recommend to all my clients.
– Paul O’Brien

Teamwork Projects has loads of functionalty and can manage a project of any size, helping you to  streamline  your tasks and collaboration within your team, from micro tasking to full project management.

Intuitive Design

Teamwork Projects Dashboard

Pricing

Teamwork Projects Pricing

30-Day Unlimited Free Trial

No credit card required. No per-user fees. Cancel anytime.

  • All plans come with unlimited users and companies, 256-bit SSL security, and all our key features (tasks, time tracking, etc.)
  • After the 30-day free trial, you have the option to pick your plan and pay monthly with a credit card or PayPal, or annually via credit card or invoice
  • 90 day money back guarantee – If you don’t absolutely love our software, we’ll give you your money back. No questions asked.
  • Upgrade, downgrade, or cancel anytime
  • If you don’t pay after the 30-day free trial you can still use Teamwork Projects free forever
  • Only active projects count toward your plan’s project limit. You can have an unlimited amount of archived inactive projects
  • We also have a Free Forever plan with 2 projects and 100mb space

Read more or signup for a FREE trial by clicking here

Teamwork Projects

Looking for managed setup, bespoke integration or training?

Give me a call on 01895 604 4444

TeamWork Project Management Software

Why I chose Teamwork over Basecamp

I’ve been using Teamwork.com since September 2011 and even though I have tried a few alternatives I am completely hooked on this fantastic project management software.

Up until 2011 all projects I was involved in were managed by email and Skype, looking back I am amazed how we managed to keep our tasks and projects on track … we were forever searching emails and Skype messages for missing notes and had to continually have telephone conferences to see where everyone was on their tasks.

Shared documents were a major problem, we had so many copies of the same documents circulating that some people in the team were working from old copies and some from newer copies, by the time we realised what was happening we had wasted a shed load of time.

Email was ridiculous, with everyone CC’ing everyone into nearly every email being sent, steping out of the office for a few hours would mean returning to virtually hundreds of emails, most of which was not even relevant to my part in the project.

We were running in a very unproductive team, costing the business money, looking unorganised to our clients and causing ourselves a ton of stress and sleepless nights.

Time for a change …

As I was the CTO within the company I made it my top priority to sort out this mess, I’d already moved our accountancy and invoicing systems to the cloud so decided to look for a cloud based solution to better manage our projects, team collaboration and reduce repetitive communication by streamlining how we worked.

After some research and much Googling I thought I’d try one of the most popular solutions on the market, Basecamp by 37signals.

My first impressions were good and if I am honest I thought I had struck lucky and found the right solution straight away, I spent about a week playing with Basecamp and was about ready to present the software to the rest of the team, but just before I did I decided to run a Google search for Basecamp alternatives and up popped Teamwork.

Finding the love of my life

Straight away Teamwork had the edge due to the fact they were based in Ireland, I have always preferred dealing with companies closer to home and in my own time zone as this can have a huge impact when needing support.

Team Work Project ManagementI signed up for a trial and instantly saw some similarities between Teamwork and Basecamp but unfortunately for Basecamp, Teamwork had the edge, their software was more intuitive, sleeker in design and had functionality that was missing from Basecamp.

When taking a look at Basecamps forums I found that missing functionality was one of the major grievances their clients had back then.

Cost Factor

Another major selling point was that Teamwork was cheaper than Basecamp, plus they made in very easy to switch between plans and had no long term commitments …

Referral Program

The last factor in my decision to choose Teamwork was that they offered a referral program, this meant that whenever I recommended their solution to other associates and business partners I could receive a small kick back for my time.

Conclusion

This post isn’t a review of Teamwork but the story of how I come to use them, it’s been 6 years since I started using their Project Management solution and I have never looked back.

My next post will cover us moving to Teamwork, the setup process and the bespoke integrations we made to our other cloud based software, a separate post will then follow with a full review.

You can signup for a FREE no obligation trial of Teamwork by clicking here

Don’t miss out on the next posts in the series….

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Teamwork Projects