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small business Evernote Business - How Do You Expect To Use It?

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Hi All,

Just been reading through and watching the movies on the upcoming 'Evernote Business'.

So far I cannot see anything that makes me excited enough to join in.

I love Evernote with a passion and have got many friends in all walks of life to sign up. For me it has become a major and key factor to the way I run my business and indeed my personal life. I don't really need to say it, but the ease with which I can record information and access it everywhere is awesome. So tonight I am taking my Daughter to the theatre and have already made a note with the parking details for shops and theatre. Times and pre paid seat numbers. Easily read on my Android phone later on. So easy!

I have tailored both Evernote and my way of working to make the recording of data simple and useful wherever I am. In fact it has even managed to become more useful than my contact management software Maximizer which I have used since it was a dos programme! Sadly I still use Maximizer as I have 15,000 customers which just won't fit into Evernote! Nor, for my company the 16 years of data!!

Have some of you other 'small businesses' looked at how the new version will work for you? If so have you got excited by features that means you will definitely be signing up?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards

Chris

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Hi All,

No other small businesses, looking at using the new package when it comes out?

Regards

Chris

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Hi Chris,

I am a fairly new user of Evernote and am just starting to unlock its power. As a time management trainer, I can see many great ways I can use it.

But I looked briefly at Evernote Business yesterday and, like you, I didn't see any compelling reasons to upgrade. The intro video doesn't even show any features.

It looks on the feature page that the key benefits are more user management and a higher level of support. Since I don't need those it really isn't a significant benefit for me.

However, I am a one person home office so I may not be the target audience. These things may be of more interest to larger organizations.

I do, however have up to 5-6 freelancers who work on projects with me and I have plans to share documentation on how to do tasks with them.

I can think of many additional features I would gladly pay more for, but the business package doesn't have any of those.

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It strikes me that the business package is aimed at groups of 5 to 50. The aim seems to be to simplify sharing and billing.

With less that number of users sharing remains very simple.

The issues I have are the weaknesses in collaboration, the lack of version control and the cost - it is a pretty expensive service when compared with other similar options. I know there isn't another Evernote out there at the moment, but Google Docs or a decent Wiki like Confluence from Atlassian handle many of the multi-user elements far more successfully than Evernote and are priced more aggressively.

I've offered to beta test with a small group from within my company (who are all existing Evernote users), but it's going to have be very slick to convince me to move a larger bunch of people over.

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Hi Metrodon,

Be very interesting to see the results of your beta test, with your view, as mine, that it would have to be very good to convince you.

For me, I have always steered clear of software packages that want you to charge for a monthly, per user amount. It just does not gel well with me. Maybe it is because I am behind the times? But I did read the sales blurb for this very eagerly, but then became very disappointed as I cannot see anything that my small company can get out of it.

I am in the same boat with trying to get my long serving contact management (CRM) into the cloud. Maximizer, which I use does not do it at the moment, Sales Force charge the earth and the only sensibly priced solutions I have found don't have the ability for off line operation in the same way as Evernote. I am sure it will happen, so I will just sit back and wait.

Best regards

Chris

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I am in the same boat with trying to get my long serving contact management (CRM) into the cloud. Maximizer, which I use does not do it at the moment, Sales Force charge the earth and the only sensibly priced solutions I have found don't have the ability for off line operation in the same way as Evernote. I am sure it will happen, so I will just sit back and wait.

Hi Chris,

While I love Evernote, I don't see it replacing a CRM. A CRM has scheduling, email an sales funnel capabilities that can only be done in Evernote with work-a-arounds. Have a look at Nimble CRM.

I have been using it for the last week and am very pleased with it. What I like is that it was able to import all my LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter and Facebook contacts into a system where I can move them into my ales funnel.

They have a free version, but the paid version is only $15 per user per month. The interface is very open and uncluttered.

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I am in the same boat with trying to get my long serving contact management (CRM) into the cloud. Maximizer, which I use does not do it at the moment, Sales Force charge the earth and the only sensibly priced solutions I have found don't have the ability for off line operation in the same way as Evernote. I am sure it will happen, so I will just sit back and wait.

Hi Chris,

While I love Evernote, I don't see it replacing a CRM. A CRM has scheduling, email an sales funnel capabilities that can only be done in Evernote with work-a-arounds. Have a look at Nimble CRM.

I have been using it for the last week and am very pleased with it. What I like is that it was able to import all my LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter and Facebook contacts into a system where I can move them into my ales funnel.

They have a free version, but the paid version is only $15 per user per month. The interface is very open and uncluttered.

There is no way Evernote could replace my Maximizer and I would not want it to.

As I have mentioned elsewhere I have been using Maximizer since it was a DOS package and at one point trained large companies on it's use. My problem, as mentioned is that I need it to be in the cloud like Evernote, but they are not currently doing it and the competitors, whom I don't like, are charging too much.

Thanks for the heads up on Nimble I will check it out. I do have 15,000 customers and about 16 years of data to transfer, so whatever product it is, it needs to be good!

Best regards

Chris

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You're welcome Chris.

I used to use ACT! some years ago and did help some of my clients with Maximizer so I know how heart wrenching it can be to switch systems.

They do allow import from .csv files so you should be able to pull your Maximizer data into it. I haven't tried this, but it does pull my LinkedIn contacts in wonderfully - something that is critical for me. I love whenever I look at a contact that I can also see their LinkedIn profile and their social media feeds. Go through the video tutorials to see if it would fit your needs.

I like that I can add a second user to it so and we can assign the prospects to different people to follow up with.

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You're welcome Chris.

I used to use ACT! some years ago and did help some of my clients with Maximizer so I know how heart wrenching it can be to switch systems.

They do allow import from .csv files so you should be able to pull your Maximizer data into it. I haven't tried this, but it does pull my LinkedIn contacts in wonderfully - something that is critical for me. I love whenever I look at a contact that I can also see their LinkedIn profile and their social media feeds. Go through the video tutorials to see if it would fit your needs.

<snip>

Video tutorials? from Evernote, Act!, LinkedIn or Maximizer? can you offer a link?

Thank you

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Video tutorials? from Evernote, Act!, LinkedIn or Maximizer? can you offer a link?

Thank you

Ha ha!

No he is talking about the Nimble software he linked me to!

Regards

Chris

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You're welcome Chris.

I used to use ACT! some years ago and did help some of my clients with Maximizer so I know how heart wrenching it can be to switch systems.

They do allow import from .csv files so you should be able to pull your Maximizer data into it. I haven't tried this, but it does pull my LinkedIn contacts in wonderfully - something that is critical for me. I love whenever I look at a contact that I can also see their LinkedIn profile and their social media feeds. Go through the video tutorials to see if it would fit your needs.

I like that I can add a second user to it so and we can assign the prospects to different people to follow up with.

I thought ACT was a total waste of time in terms of it's operation ability. Once you started storing a reasonable amount of data it seemed to grind almost to a halt. The data was difficult to extract as well.

Maximizer is a great package, but over the years they have gone more towards 'partners'. In the early days I dealt directly with the one person/company who imported the product at the grand price then of £99!

The problem with the 'partners' is they are too keen to find ways of you paying more money for everything! I just want a package, like Maximizer used to be that can be set up with a little computer knowledge and then upgrade it as and when updates come out. The last update I got, they told me I could not update it myself and I had to have them in for a half day at something like a minimum of nearly £1,000! I delved further and found my 'partner' was lying and bought the update and installed it myself!

I have now looked at Nimble and it seems to suffer the same key problem that a lot of the newer CRM's have. That is, you might be able to import the customer name, address etc, but you cannot import the historical contact data. So my 16 year of data since I took over this company which includes phone calls, emails, quotations, letters, emails, mailshots and probably other data, would be lost! Absolutely no good to me!

I have however, sent them an email asking about it. I will let you know their response.

The good side about Nimble is the founder was the very same guy who set up Goldmine. I didn't find Goldmine anywhere as good as Maximizer, but he should hopefully have taken the best of all the CRM packages and used them in the writing and implementation of Nimble!

Best regards

Chris

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On the original thread question:

I am an owner and manager of a company of 50 employees, mostly engineers, whose activities include:

System engineering on large aerospace and manned spaceflight projects

Sustaining engineering, maintenance, service level support

Product design, engineering, manufacture

Satellite subsystem engineering and ground systems

24/7 console operations for manned spaceflight

I personally use Evernote for just about everything, and I have managed to accrete some users by putting important things into notebooks and sharing them. The most successful of these have been:

Proposal research

Technical details for specific projects in which I participate directly

Purchasing workflow

Conference and trade show preparation and participation (both technical and social)

What I hope to get out of Evernote business is the ability to give everyone in the company an account and, by example, gradually transition Evernote to be the company's knowledge base in as many of the areas of activity that make sense. For now, they all seem to be candidates, but experience will show which are the best fits.

Right now, I am the only Evernote evangelist in the company, but I hope to use the new services to lead people into using Evernote the same way I do. I use a tagging system that lets me stay one step ahead, and has been particularly valuable in tracking down all those "pending" and "delegated" tags, often to the surprise of people who had forgotten things. I never fail to mention that Evernote led me back to check.

Rather than go all-in, I intend to deploy the new business service with some key employees. When more people start asking me for an account, I will know I have succeeded. I would love to give a new employee an Evernote account on their first day as the "Hitchhiker's Guide to our Company".

The best way I can see to implement this strategy is to make sure that the information distributed by Evernote is important and relevant. I don't want to try to cram all of our ERP, CRM, DMS and HR data into it. It would just become a monster with a huge learning curve. Over time, though, I can easily see it becoming the "goto" source for information, even if it is just pointers on how to get information in and out of the other systems.

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Hi Extropy,

A really great use for the product. Thanks for sharing.

Regards

Chris

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Great Chris,

It would be interesting to hear their response on whether you can get your history into Nimble.

Sadly this is the response to my questions:

1. Can I import existing data from my Maximizer CRM along with all historical communication and notes?

We're working on notes import at the moment. Currently we can bring in contacts and companies but not communication history.

2. Can I view data in Nimble when off line? Say for example I am without internet coverage, in a similar way that Evernote allows me to store data on my computer, iPad, iMac or Android phone if I choose to do so.

We're a SaaS product with online only at the moment. We will be releasing an iPhone/iPad app with offline capability Q1 next year.

Happy to demo the product and run through any questions, just let me know the best time.

Richard Young Director of EMEA

Nimble - Social Relationships Made Easy

So seems at this stage there is nothing for me. I have been looking at Microsofts offering, but like all the other 'cloud' crm's out there, it does look a bit expensive.

Regards

Chris

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Maximizer is a great package, but over the years they have gone more towards 'partners'. In the early days I dealt directly with the one person/company who imported the product at the grand price then of £99!

The problem with the 'partners' is they are too keen to find ways of you paying more money for everything! I just want a package, like Maximizer used to be that can be set up with a little computer knowledge and then upgrade it as and when updates come out. The last update I got, they told me I could not update it myself and I had to have them in for a half day at something like a minimum of nearly £1,000! I delved further and found my 'partner' was lying and bought the update and installed it myself!

I ran into the same problem with GoldMine, back in 2000, when they were taken over by FrontRange. The additional fees bordered on the outrageous. As a sales manager, I had tens of thousands of entries in GoldMine.

Fortunately, the old version still runs satisfactorily today. On a weekly basis (over the past decade), I've been copying and deleting the important communications individually from GoldMine to Evernote.

Being in a new industry makes the old info less useful now. Still it is very tedious and I will never move all of it.

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Nicely put. Your solution of moving notes over on a weekly basis would take time, but does allow you to take advantage of new technology. I am doing the same with my old note taking program. Whenever I have to send a templated email, I open up my old notes system and copy the template I want over to Evernote. Each week, I am opening the old one less and less.

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I'm really looking forward to the introduction of Evernote Business. As a small practice of 10 people, I've always found it a slight concern that shared notebooks always have to be associated with a personal account, so it's always been unclear who is responsible for each notebook, ie. do we have one person in the office who managed all shared notebooks, or does each individual project leader set one up at the beginning of each project.

The disadvantage of the second option is twofold; firstly, it means that we are unable to be consistent with the use of tags across the office, as these are assigned on a user-by-user basis, and may vary from one to another resulting in inconsistencies, and secondly, should that person leave the company, the ownership of that notebook (which is likely to contain a lot of important project information) becomes unclear.

By allowing notebook ownership to be "centralised", this solves both these issues, although it will be interesting to see how the ability to tag notes translates, given that at the moment one is only able to use tags on shared notebooks that have been determined by the the notebook owner.

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Just a couple more days until December.

http://blog.evernote...-this-december/

I know. I signed up a couple of times, beginning in August, but haven't heard word yet. I hope everything is OK! I'm looking forward to seeing what they roll out :)

Evernote Business will launch in December of this year. In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting early access and staying up-to-date on the latest Evernote Business info, please visit our Evernote Business site.

We’re really excited to bring this solution to small and medium businesses around the world. It’s the same Evernote that’s used by nearly 40 million people around the world, but with additional features that make it great for companies like yours and ours

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In Evernote "Speak", it is coming SOON.

Evernoted that!!

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That's a good point, Russell. Clear ownership and centralization of notebooks and tags are critical in a multi-person office.

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Apparently my group didn't make the current beta testers (although they don't appear to have a forum so I wonder if they exist....).

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