Time for another installment of: tools that save you time and money (Click to read the recent installment). Today we are bringing you two computer programs that cut down on paperwork...big time.
One creates near-perfect Adobe PDF files from inside almost any application. The other enables you to link scanned originals directly to accounting entries inside of QuickBooks. The first tool is FREE. The second is incredibly affordable.
We'll start with the pdf tool, because it's so simple to get, install and use.
The name of the program is CutePDF Writer. You can download it from www.cutepdf.com. If you want a little more functionality, buy CutePDF Pro for around $50. I use the free version. It has worked flawlessly in a couple of programs that Adobe's version (Acrobat Pro for $700) didn't.
Here is how to get the program up and running.
- Go to the CutePDF site.
- Click on the CutePDF Writer "Free Download". Save it to your computer.
- Find the downloaded file and double click on it to install.
How it Works
Open up a document, spreadsheet or any type of document. Choose Print and change your printer to CutePDF Writer. A dialogue box will ask you to name your file and pick a place to save it. Do so and hit Save.
The file will open up in Adobe Reader on any computer. You can e-mail it, put it on a flash drive and hand it to someone, move it to another computer over your network, or wait to print out a hard copy at a later date. It's easy, it's safe, it works perfectly and it's FREE.
I often use CutePDF to print and save things when my laptop isn't connected to a printer. This comes in handy when making travel arrangements on the fly via the internet - like the time I missed a flight and the airline customer service attendant was being completely uncooperative. 15 minutes on another airline's website, reservation booked, receipt and itinerary, complete with return flight, printed and saved. Off to the boarding gate with everything I needed to get back home and claim the new expense.
The second software program takes paperless to the next level - inside QuickBooks. The program is named PaperSavePlus (www.PaperSavePlus.com). They should have called it Time Saver Plus.
The program is generically referred to as a QuickBooks Document Management program. That is exactly what it does, but in an incredibly small-business-owner-friendly manner.
PaperSaverPlus kills off a major headache: matching a supplier's hardcopy invoice to the associated QuickBooks Payable entry.
That's its primary benefit. It has many others and you may or may not find them to be worth your time, but keeping copies of bills accessible by the click of a mouse saves tons of time and frustration.
The company's marketing representative, Ms. Allison Semancik, reached out to us several weeks ago thinking "Ah-ha. Here are some guys who will market my product for me!"
"Hold on their Allison. We're not real quick to promote stuff to our clients and readers. We get approached quite frequently by people wanting us to promote their products or services."
Virtually all are deemed unworthy of your time and attention - but not this one.
PaperSavePlus appears to be one of those rare products that remedies an all-too-common headache for a great price.
Allow me to share Ms. Semancik's sales pitch. It's quite entertaining.
~ By Ms. Allison Semancik of PaperSavePlus ~
It's 4:54 PM on Friday.
You're trying to get through the pile of paperwork on your desk so you can leave for the holiday weekend. The phone rings . . . it's a frantic client calling to tell you that a member of your team has installed the wrong cabinets.
Yikes. Okay, no problem.
I just have to find her customer file to check which cabinets were ordered. It's right here on my desk . . . where is that thing? Hmmmm, it's not on the desk.
I'll bet it's in the materials folder in the filing cabinet. Nope.
Maybe it's in the installer's folder? Here it is!
Wait a minute. This doesn't look right.
That's for a different project!
Wonder if Jean placed the order's paperwork in that project's folder?
Ah-ha. Here it is!
I'm going to have to talk to Jean about her poor filing habits.
Wait a minute. What time is it?
I'm an hour late! I wasted an hour tracking down that stupid order."
It happens to all contractors at one time or another - spending too much time looking for files when you need them right at your fingertips. The ability to respond to clients quickly and accurately is a vital key to any contractor's success.
Luckily, a solution exists to your paper overload problem.
PaperSavePlus integrates with QuickBooks to create the ultimate document management tool for small contractors. You can go paperless and store all of your documents on your computer for easy retrieval.
- Scan and attach documents directly to QuickBooks records
- Attach e-mails, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, images, pdfs and more to QuickBooks
- Access your scanned paperwork from within or from outside of QuickBooks
- Secure all of your documents in a SQL database that you control
Using a desktop scanner (we recommend a Fujitsu 5110 or 6130, Kodak ScanMate i1120, or Xerox Documate 152 or 252), you can easily take your contracting business paperless.
PaperSavePlus was created to integrate with QuickBooks (Pro, Premier 2006-2009, and Enterprise versions 6-9).
Here's what one contractor had to share:
"Paperwork was swamping our company and PaperSavePlus has greatly reduced the time spent keeping track of all our documents. That alone is my biggest rave. Now, when clients call with questions, a simple click of the mouse leads me to the answer."
-Danilo Mayorga, Jr., Andes Construction, California
PaperSavePlus can be downloaded from the website right after purchasing. You can start going paperless today.
You receive 90 days free telephone support to help you get started and free upgrades for the first year after purchase.You also have a 30 day, money back, satisfaction guarantee.
To take your business paperless with PaperSavePlus go to www.PaperSavePlus.com.
Thank you Allison.
It comes in a PC version and a server version. The PC version starts at $200 for one computer and starts dropping in price at three computers (licenses).
We haven't used it yet, but it passes our smell test. Allison answered all of our questions beautifully. If it doesn't work like they promise, they'll have A LOT of egg on their faces.
If you're running QuickBooks, you would be wise to look into PaperSavePlus (www.papersaveplus.com).
You definitely want to load CutePDF on all of your computers. It is far and away my favorite computer accessory.
If you come across other simple tools you'd like to share with our audience, please let us know. That's how we found out about CutePDF!
Ron Roberts teams with Guy Gruenberg as The Contractor's Business Coach. They show contractors how to grow their businesses profitably. To sign up for their FREE Newsletter or join their Private Club, visit www.FilthyRichContractor.com.