• The work you do, no matter how creative, almost always has some repetitive elements. Designing and using a workflow allows you to do that work efficiently and effectively. It reduces wasted time, unnecessary decisions, and disorganization so you can be more creative and more productive.

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    Pay Attention to How You Work Now

    The first step to designing a workflow is to simply start noticing how you already work. You probably have a routine you already follow; it just might be an inefficient or incomplete routine.

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  • Alf Rehn is a writer, a professor of management, a ginthusiast, a keynote speaker, a fan of Ethel Merman and a strategic advisor, although not necessarily in that order. He can be stalked at www.alfrehn.com or on Twitter at @alfrehn.

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    Let's get to the point. Your book is called 'Dangerous Ideas'. How real is BYOD problem? Is there really any danger in employees bringing their own phones, tablets and laptops to work and working with company data?

    AR: I’m not sure that specific book of mine has too much to add to the BYOD issue, but it might serve as a framework to understand the same: The notion of employees bringing their own devices will in most cases will a CIO and an IT department with a sense of foreboding and doom. “–They’re bringing in unsecured machines! –They’re ignoring protocol!” But maybe this is the best thing that can happen to an IT department! Rather than seeing themselves as an armory, BYOD could get corporate IT to start seeing themselves as teachers and ambassadors – regardless of platform. So there is of course some dangers, but also the potential for renewal and transcending an IT logic that, frankly, is stuck in the 1980’s.

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  • Not all marketing is created equal. There are different marketing methods, and some work better than others depending on your business and your customers.
    The question, then, is how to know which types of marketing will work best for you. There are three foundational marketing types that can be applied to almost any business successfully. Take a look, and check out the two marketing types you should avoid.

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  • Jones Loflin is a motivational speaker and author with primary areas of focus being work/life balance, time management, and change.
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    A lot of teams nowadays are distributed. People are telecommuting, working from home and relying on other forms of non-traditional employment ranging from (freelancing, temp work, short term contacts). How do you build a strong team when people don’t see each other every day in an office environment?

    JL: Three things come to mind:
    • Clarity of work and outcomes. When people are working in non-traditional environments, it’s easy to get so focused on your own work and forget how it connects to what others are doing. As a manager of leader of virtual teams, it’s critical to keep everyone focused on the “big picture” and what each member is doing to contribute to the outcomes.
    • Maintain “face time.” Part of what makes a strong team is positive emotional energy. Interacting with others through some type of video conferencing on a consistent basis is important. If at all possible, physically meet from time to time as well.
    • Keep everyone informed. As the leader or manager of the virtual team, keep other team members abreast of what others are doing. It prevents team members from thinking, “I wonder what _______ is doing?” which can lessen the trust they have that the other person is fully contributing to the desired outcomes.

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  • Your desktop app chat can be now viewed in a separate browser page. Simply add desktop_app/  at the end of your intranet name link  ( so that the full address will look like  https:// yourcompany.bitrix24.com /desktop_app/  )

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  • Tyler Hayden a keynoter, team builder, and author of over 16 books. His business is personal development and non-traditional team-building programs.

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    A lot of teams nowadays are distributed. People are telecommuting, working from  home and relying on other forms of non-traditional employment ranging from  (freelancing, temp work, short term contacts). How do you build a strong team  when people don’t see each other every day in an office environment?

    T.H.: So true the face of todays work teams are so different then they were only a few years ago. Ironically I'm preparing a full day event on this very topic for project managers. Here are a couple tips from that presentation for you to build a strong team when you are distributed:

    1) Where financially possible get your team together at the beginning of the project in a face-to-face environment. This helps to build those essential relationships.

    2) Set clear guidelines with your teams around communication requirements. Agreed to SOP's early on can reduce confusion, stress, and feeling left out … plus will help the manager live "life" too and not receive phone calls at 3am from team members overseas.

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  • Working when you feel worn out and burned out is not a great way to operate. You have to push through low points, sometimes; but you don't want to have to force yourself to do your work all the time. Powering through without any joy or internal motivation is a great way to start hating your work and resenting your goals.  

    Instead of mustering up willpower, take some time to remember what you're really doing and why it matters to you. This simple three-step technique can help you pull yourself out of that slump when you're just not feeling motivated, or amp up your productivity when you feel yourself settling into a rut.
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    Step 1: Connect the Tasks to a Goal

    Stop slogging through a list of tasks that has no connection to anything you care about. Remember why you're doing the work, and the work will be easier to do.

    Sure, not everything relates directly to a big goal. Some tasks simply exist to keep the systems running, but asking why can help you connect the need for the task to a real goal or desire in your life.

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  • Kaihan Krippendorff is a leading business strategy keynote speaker, founder of Outthinker, former McKinsey consultant, and author of four business strategy books. Kaihan Krippendorff has over a decade studying corporate conflict. Blending Eastern philosophy, military theory, and modern business strategy, helping ambitious companies outthink their competition.

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    What is the number one mistake (other than having no strategy at all) that companies make when doing strategic planning?

    KK: My favorite quote on strategy is “vision without action is a daydream, but action without vision is a nightmare.” To avoid the dream and the nightmare each reach strategic clarity: knowing where you want to go and being confident you have a strategy to get there. The problem is that most strategic planning processes are not designed to create strategy. They are designed to create consistency and predictability. They were developed in the 1950s when businesses evolved into larger multi-business corporations and leaders like the Rockefellers needed to better coordinate unwieldy organizations. So, the biggest mistake in strategic planning in my view is that we confuse the active coordinating our actions and priorities of design and innovative, differentiating strategy.
     
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  • The halfway point of the year can be a bit of a shock. The stark reality that a full half of your year is gone can be painful, especially if you're working toward big goals and aren't sure of your progress.
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    Don't Avoid Honesty
    Sometimes you'd rather shuffle those grand plans under the rug than face up to failure. But don't give in to the temptation to avoid a close look at the progress you're making or not making.

    Ignoring your goals, and the work you've done or haven't yet done, is dangerous. Even if you're way behind, it's much more productive--and, ultimately, much more satisfying-- to take an honest look at where you are, evaluate your options, and make some decisions about how you will proceed.

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  • Customer service is an essential part of business, not a back-up plan. Everyone on your team, no matter what their role, can benefit from developing their customer skills. You'll get more satisfied customers, fewer complaints, and happier, more productive employees.
    Employee Satisfaction Leads to Customer Satisfaction
    To start improving customer service, first try to improve your employees' experience. What do your team members want? Are they happy, challenged, and engaged? Research shows us that engaged employees are the key to successful businesses, in almost every area.

    When it comes to customer service, all interactions are person-to-person interactions. A team member who is passionate about the business, interested in its growth, proactive, and self-motivated is going to share that energy, expertise, and professionalism with each customer. And customers will respond positively.

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  • MAKE Interactive, Bitrix Gold Partner, Netherlands.

    Unique features of this implementation include:
    • High-level scheduling tool (task and absence chart modules)
    • Flexible interface for logging time into multiple tasks
    • Workgroups and their tasks strongly linked with CRM Deals
    • Dynamic filter in CRM report relating workgroups and Deals
    • Large number of custom CRM reports.
    The task at hand was to integrate the CRM and project groups such that tasks could be easily assigned, tracked, and billed while maintaining smooth organization and assignment of tasks. This sounds perfectly easy given Bitrix24’s standard equipment, except that the scope of work performed for each client in this case is dizzyingly large and the number of tasks can reach into the hundreds. Thus, the work for each client is distributed among several workgroups, bespoke interface components for scheduling and time reporting are provided, hard limits on budgeting are implemented, and a couple dozen highly customized reports were created.

    In the end, all of the activity related to a single client needs to be gathered up in one place and reported on.  That one place is customized CRM reports which themselves are granular at the workgroup level.  

    The customized interface features (timesheets, reporting in the CRM, and the scheduling tool) allow dynamic selection of Client > Workgroup > Task via pull-down lists.  

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  • Online reviews have become a major factor in how consumers make purchase decisions. If you've been ignoring them, now is the time to start getting proactive. Gathering and promoting online reviews can help you gain customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

    How Much Do Online Reviews Matter?
    In 2010, Forrester Research found that approximately half of consumers use online reviews to research local entertainment options and big purchases (such as cars and household appliances).

    Just three years later, a BrightLocal survey found that 85% of consumers check online reviews to research local businesses. According to the BrightLocal Survey summary, "Consulting reviews is now a logical step in the purchasing cycle for all types of products and services." The good news is that "the path from reading online reviews to purchasing from a business is short."

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  • Mailigen Mailer Integration With Bitrix24

    Yana Prokopets 18 June 2015
    One more way to manage your CRM email campaigns - via Mailigen Mailer app for  Bitrix24. If you don't have a Mailigen account yet, you can create free one at mailigen.com.

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    Tags: Bitrix24app, marketplace
  • MAKE Interactive, Bitrix Gold Partner, Netherlands. For more information please contact Sales@make-interactive.com.

    This customization is ONLY available in the on premise version of Bitrix24.

    MAKE Interactive has updated the CRM-Helpdesk integration significantly.  The solutions draws on several features of Bitrix24, and merges them into a smooth ticket experience with a much improved interface for both client and support staff.  Bitrix24 features that are utilized in the solution are:  CRM, ticket system, workgroups, tasks (especially Kanban statuses), email handling, activity stream, notifications and reporting.

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    Tags: CRM, helpdesk
  • Xero Integration For Bitrix24 Is Available

    Dmitry Davydov 15 June 2015
    If you are using Xero accounting software, we have great news - you can now purchase a connector for Xero from our NZ partners

    Services: Cloud & Self-hosted Versions
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
    Phone: +64 212 836 660
    Email: info@cloudxchange.co.nz
    Website: cloudxchange.co.nz


    Here are highlights of the app's current features:
    • Invoice statuses in Bitrix24 & invoice statuses in Xero
      • Users can create a custom ma ping  between invoice statuses in Bitrix24 and Xero, i.e. users can specify what invoice status in Bitrix24 maps to what invoice status in Xero.
      • This allows users to use any custom invoice statuses they may have added in Bitrix24.
      • This mapping is done during the initial setup only, and not every time the app is used.
    • Create / Edit invoices in Xero
      • Invoice(s) from Bitrix24 can be created or updated in Xero by pressing the “Create / Edit on Xero” button.
      • If the invoice is already present in Xero, it is updated with all information from the invoice in Bitrix24.
      • If this invoice is not present, the app generates it in Xero and assigns it to the relevant contact.
      • All Products on the invoice in Bitrix24 are added as line items on the invoice in Xero.
      • If the invoice is created for a contact that does not exist  in Xero, this contact is created automatically in Xero and marked as a customer.
    • Status updates from Xero  
      • When the “update from Xero” button is pressed, all invoice s with their statuses are looked up from Xero .
      • If any invoice status has changed, for e.g. if an invoice is marked as Paid, the new status is applied to the invoice is Bitrix24.
    • Add Product tab
      • The “Add Product” tab creates a new Product in  Bitrix24 and also adds it as an Item in Xero at the same time.
      • The added Product is available for use with invoices immediately.
      • This feature helps reduce human error & effort since information is only needed to be entered once for both Bitrix24 and Xero.
    • User access permissions
      • The app respects user access permissions for viewing / editing invoices .
      • Users will only be able to see invoices that they have privileges for.
      • Users can use any login with Xero to use the app.
      • The login to Xero is kept alive for 30 mins and the user is logged out automatically after.
    • Responsive design, pagination and dynamic display
      • The app is built with using responsive design features and thus will render on any device — desktop, mobile or tablet.
      • Results are also paginated for better user experience.
      • Users can select the number of results shown per page.
    • More features coming!
      • Additional features will soon be added to the app — these include:
      • [COMPLETED] Date range filter for invoices - This will allow users to filter their invoices by a date range and sync relevant invoices from Bitrix24.
      • Mass upload of Products from csv - This feature will be added to the "Add Product" tab.
      • New tab for "Contacts / Companies sync" - This tab will allow users to import Contacts from Xero as either Contacts or Companies in Bitrix24.
      • Payment amounts updates from Xero - This feature will update all payment amounts from Xero and apply it to the invoice in Bitrix24. This will update the "Amount  paid" field. on the invoice in Bitrix24.

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