Zoho Docs Gets A Fresh New Look And Feel

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You probably must have noticed the changes in the Zoho Docs UI by now. In an update done yesterday, we’ve completely redesigned our user interface with a fresh new look to improve navigation and to easily manage your documents in the cloud. The new Zoho Docs UI has a cleaner, sleeker interface that will make it easier for you to navigate through your Folders, Workspaces etc.


 


Let us look in detail at what is new in this update

Easy-to-use Navigation
The new navigation system is simple and intuitive. It focuses on things that users do most often like say, going to a specific folder, workspace or group.


Drag-and-Drop Files
Uploading files to Zoho Docs just got easier. You can now upload files by just dragging and dropping them from your desktop on to the desired folders in the “Personal Folders” section. You can also drag multiple files at once. There are no plugins needed for this feature to work. This new feature uses HTML5 and so will work in browsers that support HTML5, like Firefox 3.6+ and Chrome 6+.


Attach From Zoho Docs
We love listening to our customers and quite a number of you had told us that finding documents when using Zoho Mail’s

Attach from Zoho Docs
was not flexible enough. We have now provided more options to easily find and attach the documents from Zoho Docs.

 

Other Enhancements

  1. If you have documents shared to you, which are not relevant to you anymore, you can use the new Remove Share option to remove the sharing. An email notification will be sent to the author of the shared document.
  2. Using the Unsubscribe option, you now have control on what Workspaces you would want to view in your Workspace section.
  3. You can now email documents present in Workspaces using the Send Mail option.

Like Mark Ford who tweeted the below, we hope you too like the new look and feel of

Zoho Docs
 :)

 

Please do share your views and suggestions by dropping us a comment here.

Break Free Alliance manage their information repository using Zoho Creator: A success story

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Break Free Alliance is a program of the Health Education Council, and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are using Zoho Creator for their online data collection, sharing and collaboration needs. Lisa Houston, the Program Administrator of Break Free Alliance was more than happy to explain how Zoho Creator was deployed for their requirements. Even if not directly, we are extremely privileged to be associated with this healthy initiative.

Disadvantaged populations are the ones suffering the most from tobacco-related diseases. The primary motive of Break Free Alliance is to ensure that every person has access to tobacco education resources, cessation support and prevention programs, regardless of education level, income or occupation. They do this with the help of states, national organizations, researchers, community-based agencies, medical experts and volunteers, who help advocate policies and programs that help the poor quit tobacco and prevent youth from starting.




Their repository of endless information was previously maintained in hardbound files on their computers. Some were essential to program-organizers and some were needed by participants, so user role-based sharing had to be implemented, keeping it accessible at the same time.


“Before, whenever people asked for contact information and resources, I
would have to ask a staff person to search through files in order to
send them the information. I was not aware of web-based applications for
this kind of data management then.” – Lisa Houston

Lisa embedded all the required information on their website, which made it much easier to direct users to the repository than looking around for the information in their files. They like it that Zoho Creator is easily searchable. Lisa had built all four applications by herself, of which three are embedded on their website. She appreciated our support team too, saying I
got some great support from Zoho Creator. Whenever I couldn’t figure
something out myself, Zoho staff got back to me right away.

She had seen Zoho Creator being embedded on the website of The National Latino Tobacco Control Network, yet another national network like Break Free Alliance. Both their requirements were similar, so she considered trying Zoho Creator. They ended up liking it. Well, we couldn’t be happier.

If you have a Zoho Creator success
story to share, write to us at creator-marketing@zohocorp.com; we’d
love to feature it here!

7 Reasons For Self-Employed Professionals To Choose Zoho Projects

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In a recent article titled ‘

Seven Keys To Productivity In The Human Cloud
‘, 

Business Insider
shared a set of productivity tips for independent consultants and freelancers; self-employed professionals who generally work from their home offices, collaborating with multiple clients and juggling multiple projects. According to the article, these tips should be used by professionals in leveraging the power of cloud-based tools for attracting and delivering better business. We offer one such cloud-based tool, Zoho Projects, which is ideal for this purpose especially since its features match all 7 criteria suggested by the article.

We’ll take Business Insider’s 7 criteria into account, to explain why Zoho Projects is the perfect choice as a tool for self-employed professionals:

#1 In accordance with tip 1, Zoho Projects is a 

Collaborative workspace which functions as a conference room where clients can easily review documents, mock-ups, share comments or check on project status
. Project members can

easily add and share project-related documents
, spreadsheets, videos, etc from within the Project. These documents appear in the document tab where they can then be reviewed by clients.

#2 Tip 2 suggests that you use ‘ an end-to-end project management solution that gives you integrated, seamless access to all aspects of your projects ‘ and that doesn’t require you to login separately to a document sharing program such as Google Docs. With Zoho projects, you get

inbuilt access
to task management, bug tracking, time tracking, project reports, meetings, project wiki and more. You can also upload documents directly from Zoho Docs or Google Docs. Read more about the Google Apps Integration that also lets you add users from Google Apps, add tasks and events in Google Calendar and view project information in Google Mail. 

#3 Tip 3 stresses the significance of staying organized by maintaining all communications, documents, tasks and milestones in a central place and of selecting a solution that supports email collaboration. Zoho Projects includes separate tabs for organizing and maintaining all your documents, tasks and milestones within your project portal. It also includes powerful email collaboration that lets you add new tasks, forums, documents, comments and status via email.

#4 Clients should be empowered to find answers to their questions and not have to rely on back-and-forth communication, says Tip 4. Zoho Projects makes all these answers easy to find with a comprehensive project dashboard that lets you view status of tasks at a glance, and keeps documents, milestones and conversations all in one central location making them easy to track. Another aspect of Zoho Projects that enables easy access to answers is the visual representation of project and task status in the Projects Reports feature. The inbuilt forums and Project Wiki also help in quickly accessing information or answers.

#5 Tip 5 talks about the importance of supporting a flexible work environment that makes it easy to invite people, control access limitations and track work-hours and expenses. Zoho Projects offers all of that flexibility; inviting users is easy, client access controls and project user access controls are seperately defined and timesheets allow project users to log their hours for tracking and billing.

#6 Invoicing, can be better aligned to purchase output if done directly from within the project workspace, says Tip 6. And of course, Zoho Projects comes with inbuilt timesheet and billing software that lets project users log and track time, record billable hours, generate customized billing reports, export timesheets and create invoices to bill your clients.

#7 Tip 7 explains why maintaining a consistent branded look with logo and colors, is important so that clients can be made to feel comfortable about your Project workspace presence. With Zoho Projects, a project team can create that consistent branded look by adding their own logo, customizing the layout, changing timezones and setting the language according to their preference.

So, if you’re a self-employed professional, you now have above 7 reasons to start using Zoho Projects. Here’s what one such professional, Raphe Patmore, experienced when he started using Zoho Projects:


My client had never used Zoho before. Once I’d set up the whole project on Zoho I shared it with him. His response after visiting Zoho was, “I knew straight away this was going to be a well managed project”

Read what some of our other customers said about Zoho Projects or share your own experience with us by writing in to support at zohoprojects dot com. If you liked this post, please share it with those who you think will find it useful.

Zoho CRM Case Studies in Marketing and Distribution Industries

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Aviation, Business Services, Technology, Financial Services, FMCG, Wealth Management … this is just the beginning of the list. Zoho CRM is used successfully in diverse industries. Today, it’s the story of how Zoho CRM helps to Build, Maintain and Strengthen Customer Relationships in the Marketing and the Distribution industries. Here are the stories right off our customer’s mouths.

T3 Direct, a direct and telemarketing company, had previously been using disparate systems to manage their contact database, collaboration and sales activities. With multiple systems to update, sales executives were finding it difficult to keep track of all their data resulting in a total chaos!

Zoho CRM was the answer to all their chaos and the results they achieved after switching to Zoho are increased revenue, lower costs, and lower risks. According to Jonathan Mason, Director of Marketing, T3 Direct:

 We get an eagle’s eye view of all our clients’ activities and can
determine which leads are most costly to generate, which campaigns are
the most productive and profitable and can provide amazing real-time
statistics on our clients’ market demographics.

Read the complete story here. T3 Direct also has a video on their usage of Zoho CRM.

How is Zoho CRM implemented in the Distribution Industry? Teco Pneumatic, Inc. tells you.

 Zoho CRM is better than their competition and 75% less expensive. Our
adoption has increased by 300% and the migration executed by ViWo* was
flawless.” says Karl Anderson, President of Teco Pneumatic, Inc.

TECO, a full line supplier of fluid and motion control products, needed a seamless solution to communicate and register activities with customers. Zoho CRM integrated with GMail provided them the solution that they were looking for. For TECO’s staff, customer information is now at their fingertips and can provide better service to their customers.

There are some more benefits that TECO is enjoying after switching to Zoho CRM with GMail. Read about them here.

If you have a story to tell us, let us know. We are on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn too !

* About ViWo:

Virus Woman Inc. (ViWo) is the premier Information Technology service provider operating as a contractor and subcontractor. VoWo is a Zoho Alliance Partner Program member, and implemented Zoho CRM for TECO Pneumatic, Inc.

Zoho Recruit: Now with Improved Access Permissions and Data Migration

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Here’s a couple of enhancements from Zoho Recruit.

Access Permissions to view Client and Client Contact details

The relationship between Recruiters and Clients is the key to run a successful Recruitment Agency. Therefore, it is vital to protect all your clients’ data from unauthorized access. Zoho Recruit – Applicant Tracking System now comes with Role based and User based permissions, which allows the Recruiter Admin restrict user access to Clients’ and Client Contacts’ data. Grant your teammates access to this data only when required.

Data Migration

Transferring your data from one source to another takes a lot of time and effort. Recruitment data from other Applicant Tracking Systems can now be moved into your Zoho Recruit account efficiently. You can choose from below the method that suits you best, for migrating your data to Zoho Recruit:

  1. Import data from XLS, CSV and TSV formats – Using this method, you can import upto 1000 records at one shot.
  2. Import data from DOC, DOCX, PDF, RTF, TXT, HTML and ZIP formats – This method helps you automatically parse upto 200 to 300 files at a time.
  3. Migration tool – This method helps you to migrate huge data from any platform into your Zoho Recruit account, courtesy our integration with Rchilli.

Try the above improvements and share your valuable feedback with us. For recent updates, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

New in Zoho Sheet: Strikethrough and other enhancements

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Zoho Sheet now supports the ability to set the ‘Strikethrough’ format to cells.  This can be used in cases where you want to mark a task as completed in a task list spreadsheet or to eliminate a few options from a list. Here is a screenshot demonstrating its usage.

This release also features an enhancement with respect to the Chart and Image objects. These objects now use the common UI component used for Buttons. Selecting and acting upon these objects are now similar to the Button objects. Here is a screenshot. 

We have added support for a few keyboard shortcuts that help you quickly navigate between various objects (Image, Chart, and Button) in the spreadsheet and to align these objects to the grid. This is very useful when you have a lot of images / charts / buttons in your spreadsheet and you want to align these objects with each other. The related keyboard shortcuts are available in the following URL under the “Shortcuts for Objects” heading: https://sheet.zoho.com/keyboard-shortcuts.

Learn more about the other enhancements and bug fixes available with this release: https://sheet.zoho.com/features#2011-05-02.

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Are you on twitter? Follow @zohosheet.

How To Clean Up Your Business – With Zoho

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Entrepreneur.com recently featured an article titled ‘How To Clean Up Your Business‘. The article talks about Spring Cleaning, a time to ‘get rid of the tasks, people and situations that drain time, money and energy from your Business’. Every Business encounters its share of such tasks, people and situations that it must successfully overcome in order to increase and optimize productivity.

I’d like to share some ‘Productivity Pitfalls’ quoted from the original articleAt Zoho, we offer several applications which can help eliminate 7 out of these 8 Pitfalls. These Zoho Apps can be used together, in conjunction with one another, to achieve the purpose of maximizing productivity while saving you time, money and energy.

Productivity Pitfall #1 Scattered day plans

 “Failure to plan their days is the No. 1 reason business owners waste time, energy and money, says New York City-based time-management expert Julie Morgenstern By not planning their days, they tend to become reactive and distracted, diminishing their productivity and the revenue they can generate.”

Our SolutionZoho Mail for Business comes with Calendar, Tasks and Notes apps integrated for improved productivity and efficiency. With Zoho Mail, Business-Owners can plan and organize their days better. The Calendar app within Zoho Mail helps easily schedule, manage and track important events and meetings from within the email interface. The Tasks app lets you assign, plan and track important tasks, ensuring that you never miss any task-related deadlines. The Notes app lets you add quick, color-coded notes to gather all useful information in one place, so you can later refer to it, edit or import it. Zoho Mail also supports multi-level folders that make it easier for Business-Owners to track, organize and prioritize incoming email thereby saving time and energy. Read the complete list of powerful features offered by Zoho Mail for Business.

Productivity Pitfall #2 DIY syndrome 

Morgenstern estimates that 75 to 80 percent of the small and midsize businesses she consults with waste employee salaries, including their own, by not focusing each person’s time on the optimal task for that person.”

Our SolutionZoho Creator helps many Business-Owners build custom apps for their Busi
ness requirements. Instead of hiring a developer who may or may not understand their exact requirements, Business-Owners can easily build their own custom app all by themselves, using the Zoho Creator platform. Building their own apps saves these Businesses considerable time and money that may have otherwise been wasted hiring unnecesary developer resources Also, using Zoho Creator ensures that there is no compromise on the quality of the applications built.

One such Zoho Creator customer, Wayne “Kila” Watts, Chief Pilot at  PilotSpeak.net reports:

“It was a godsend for the applications I needed for my website, saving me thousands of dollars to have someone else make the databases and design the pages.”

Read experiences of other Business-Owners who have saved time and money by building their own apps with Zoho Creator.

Productivity Pitfall #3 Disorganized direction  

To make the delegation process more effective and less time-consuming, Bakersfield, Calif.-based business growth consultant Russell S. Allred, co-author of Best Practices of High Performance Entrepreneurs, recommends creating task-related systems and processes. Write a list of steps for each task you perform regularly in your workplace and the best practices for completing those steps.

Our SolutionZoho Wiki helps create a secure, collaborative environment for Businesses to document and share such task-related systems and processes online over their Intranet. Wikis serve as a knowledge-base where employees can maintain and update information and steps related to these tasks.

Stu Press, CEO of Grand Assistance, is the owner of one such Business and has successfully achieved this purpose using Zoho Wiki. Here’s what he had to say about our Wiki solution:

“Zoho Wiki has been a valuable communication tool that we were able to integrate into our business. We have been able to eliminate printed procedure manuals and employee handbooks resulting in a more nimble and environmentally friendly process for keeping our all of organization’s people in alignment with our goals. We enjoy being able to quickly implement modifications and updates to our Wiki.”

Learn more about Zoho Wiki features that can help you create process-oriented knowledge-bases for your Business.

Productivity Pitfall #4Untamed distractions

“Many people have no idea how to manage the overwhelming amount of communication that comes their way on paper and electronically, says productivity consultant Kimberly Medlock, founder of Productive Matters in Olive Branch, Miss. To cut down on distractions and time-sucks, clean up your act, she says. Develop hard-copy and electronic filing systems to help locate important papers and information more quickly.”

Our SolutionZoho Docs can serve as the electronic filing system helping your Business store, manage and collaboratively work on documents online. Not only does Zoho Docs allow secure file sharing via an online workspace, it also includes an admin console so that user rights and access to files can easily be controlled. Read more about these features available on Zoho Docs.

Productivity Pitfall #5Leaky expenditures 

>By checking his monthly expenses closely, Eli Mechlovitz, co-founder of GlassTileStore.com, an online glass tile retailer, found a variety of unwanted subscriptions, warranty programs, fee-based website analytics programs, utility bill errors and other incorrect or unwanted charges. Eliminating these budgetary leaks has saved his Brooklyn, N.Y., company approximately $4,000 per month.  Every quarter, be sure to review where the money is going, he advises, and discontinue or fight unnecessary or incorrect charges.

Our SolutionZoho Books is a comprehensive accounting solution that helps Business-Owners manage their finances and stay on top of their Business. With Zoho Books, you can keep your Business expenses in check and manage the money flowing in and out of your Business. Learn more about how Zoho Books can help your business stay financially healthy.

Productivity Pitfall #6:  Collecting (all) customers

Maria Marsala, a business coach in Poulsbo, Wash., finds that many of her clients waste time and energy serving the wrong customers. She encourages them to define their “ideal” customer–the person or entity that will pay a fair price for their product or service, value their business, return and buy from them again and generate referrals. The greatest marketing investment and effort should be devoted to finding and courting those ideals, she says.

Our Solution: Zoho CRM can help your Business build, maintain and strengthen customer relationships. With Zoho CRM, you can organize your customer database so that you can identify and tag the right customers, prioritize and track business opportunities and plan focused marketing activity. Read about some of the Business-Owners who have benefited from adopting Zoho CRM for their Business.

Productivity Piftall #7: Energy-sucking employees

 When Mechlovitz has trouble with unproductive or negative employees, he tries to move them into positions that better suit their skills. But if an employee isn’t a good fit or is miserable, he says, you have to end the relationship–quickly. 

Productivity Pitfall #8: Persistent procrastination

 If you constantly avoid tasks or put off work until the last minute, you need to figure out why, Morgenstern says. Burnout could be from being overworked, but she often finds that procrastination is rooted in uncertainty or intimidation. If a project seems too big, procrastination can be a coping mechanism. She suggests breaking the task down into manageable steps you can do in shorter chunks of time.

Our Solution Zoho Projects is helping many Businesses effectively manage their Business Projects online. With features such as task-management, time-tracking, project calendar, chat and meetings, Zoho Projects can help you plan and optimize the time spent on tasks. 

Business-Owners can use Zoho Projects with their teams ensuring that team members collaboratively manage their tasks within optimal time. Tasks can be easily broken down into manageable chunks and completed over a defined, measurable period of time. Not only that, Business-Owners can also save and plan their own time that they would otherwise spend micro-managing different tasks across multiple projects within their Business. Read about some of these Businesses and how they have benefited from Zoho Projects.

So, that’s the complete list of Productivity Pitfalls and how they can be avoided by using the right Zoho Apps. Thanks to Gwen Moran of Entrepreneur.com for the original article that inspired this post. Besides this list, are there any other Productivity Pitfalls that affect your Business? Tell us about them, and we can help you figure out the best ways to tackle them.

If you liked this post, drop us a comment here or give us a shout on twitter. We’d love to hear from you!