David McLean is a financial planner and the owner of Titan Financial Planning.
While many of us may have been scrambling to embrace high tech solutions to managing our businesses, David was using tech to make his business run smoother well before the COVID-19 pandemic took root.
Here he offers his five favourite technology services that have transformed his business, and how you can make the most of them in your own work.
5 technologies to take your set-up to the next level
- Zoom for calling, conferencing and collaboration
We've been using Zoom for almost five years, so we were already doing 70 per cent of our appointments through Zoom before COVID even started. It's not just for video calls – we use it as our entire VoIP phone system, so we can take calls anywhere, on our phone, laptop, wherever. Don't overlook its great whiteboard option, which lets you demonstrate and mark up documents together. From a productivity point of view this has been our best piece of technology.
- Adobe Sign for managing signatures on documents
We present all our documents in Adobe Sign. We could be on a Zoom call and I can email a document and they can sign it then and there digitally – on their computer, on their phone, whatever the case may be. We like Adobe Sign because it gives a good audit trail of who opened it, when it was opened, all those types of things. It locks documents too. From a compliance point of view, that's really handy.
- Google G Suite for managing email, calendars and files
I like using G Suite because it has so much synergy with different tools we want to use. We use Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and they talk to each other and other tools, like Calendly for scheduling meetings, really nicely.
- Zapier for connecting your apps
Zapier is a technology that links different apps together in the background. It helps link Calendly to G Suite and to Zoom so we can do one thing that triggers a sequence of tasks without needing to do each one individually. The amount of apps on the web that will talk to Zapier is just incredible. I've got some time pegged out in the new financial year to sit down and work through more ways it can deliver little one per cent productivity benefits, which add up quickly. Just go take a look at tools you already use and look at some of the templates and you'll see what's possible here. It's not as scary as it looks at first.
- Evie for managing your schedules
Evie is an AI scheduling assistant. You send an email about an appointment and include Evie in it, and it starts talking like a human to find a time in your diary that will work. I've had clients think she's a real human! She'll set up Zoom meetings, book a coffee catch-up, whatever you need. Between Calendly for proactive appointment requests from clients and Evie for organising appointments mid-conversation, these tools save us a lot of hassle trying to plan our diaries.
Tips on adopting new tech the smart way
- Remember you're investing a little time now to get it back later.
- Don't overhaul your whole business at once. Identify little pain points in your work.
- Look for Zapier templates called 'Zaps' which offer suggestions that can quickly add These technologies don't reduce the 'human' element to your business. They improve it by dealing with mundane admin and giving you more time to have better quality conversations with clients.
Listen as David discusses with Julio Cagigas how he has effectively harnessed technology to build a successful business, long before COVID forced us to on the Life Insights Podcast.