Thursday, March 23

Gone Bush

My excuse for not posting recently is that it has been school camp season here in New Zealand and I have been bush, no cellphones, no internet.

As we finish off our summer and hand it on to you folks in the Northern Hemisphere, I just hope we have left you enough sunshine as this year has been a cracker.

But, school camp or not, the practice had to keep ticking over.

This year it was much easier thanks to my recent discovery of Trumba over at I [Heart] Tech .

I recently posted about the trials and tribulations of calendar management for mediators - mainly because so much of my non-table time is taken up with dealing to dreaded whitespace - taking dates out/putting dates in/changing them all around.

Trumba is an online calendar and once it's set up, it sync's every time I make an entry in Outlook on my laptop.

Because I run a fairly lean operation I don't have any onsite support. I do have a downtown office but spend most of my time in law firm boardrooms where the coffee is better.

So I don't want anyone sitting around at my place waiting for the phone to ring (I seem to do that part of the job very well myself).

When I am mediating, I now have my desk phone turned out to my VA, Jo the amazing virtual assistant, who lives in a different city than me and has a dedicated cell phone so that she answers my calls in my name.

With Trumba, Jo simply clicks on the web to see my up to the minute schedule when people ring for dates. Before they used to leave a message on my phone and I'd get back to them the next free day - so last century! If she sells a day or makes a change, she enters it in the calendar and that shows up next time I fire up my laptop.

I have even set Trumba to email Jo with my next week's schedule every Friday so that she gets a heads up of when the phone will be turned out to her.

I can allow authorised persons to access the calendar and have viewing or editing rights however I choose just to allow Jo at present (but in future, as I bed down the system, I may move to a trusted list of repeat clients who are able to self-schedule). It's free to trial then about $30 or so to download.

This is all part of a plan to extreme outsource, to make a smarter, slower practice. Oh, and take home over 90% of moneys-in, leaving only 10% for opex!


Tammy Lenski said...

Geoff, thanks for the post about Trumba. I've been using AppointmentQuest and not entirely happy with the interface from my end of things. After reading about Trumba on your blog, I signed up and am trying it's looking like a winner. Best to you!

Gary said...

Hey Guys, for the last few years (6) I have shared a cordinator with a couple of other mediators. The advatage is cost with personalized service. Our coridinator can hold dates and let people know what is happening, such as when and where we can be reached. It sounds like you are close maybe just one more step and you can get even a bigger bang for your bucks.