Nice article on how others are using Ofuz to manage projects.
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Nice article on how others are using Ofuz to manage projects.
Here is the first video of our new tutorial series for Ofuz’s invoicing features.
This video shows and describes how to both create an invoice and get a payment in 3 minutes.
When you create an invoice in Ofuz, you have the ability to send it by email. And from only that email, your client will have a link to review the invoice and pay it online.
He will also receive a PDF version of the invoice for him to keep off-line on his computer.
We made the process of creating invoices and receiving payments as quick and simple as possible.
Quick update on what we are up to.
Didn’t have time to write much to the blog as we are spending all of our energy on the open source release of Ofuz.
We are very excited about it; we are preparing all the cool stuff we wanted to have in an open source project.
Our challenge is to make it simple for developers to customize and extend Ofuz without the need to learn how the Ofuz Core works. So we are creating 3 APIs: Block, Tab, and Setting, each with very simple hook logic so in a few minutes a developer can integrate his own code and customization in Ofuz open source without modifying the Ofuz Core.
The plug-in API is 80% done, the multilingual i18n is 100% done, the forum and wiki are up and running, but the documentation is still only at 10%.
Everybody that requests an alert on our Open Source Page will have an early access to the source code downloads and community site.
In the meantime, we have fixed tons of little bugs and annoyances on Ofuz. You can follow the development of version 0.6 at:
I just tested and confirmed that Philipe has enabled the Contact Sync feature to work with Google Apps. That means that if you are using a custom domain handled by Google, you can synchronize your contacts with Ofuz. This will allow you to then invoice, time track, and collaborate with any of your contacts. Give it a try!
For more information about importing contacts, check out this blog post.
In the last blog post, we talked about how Ofuz can help the freelancer reduce their Opportunity Losses through better mailing list management. Before we talk about how to grow your mailing list using Ofuz, let’s wrap up a few more items related to managing your mailing list.
Follow-through is Critical
Using a tool like Ofuz to manage your contacts is great, but the follow-through is always up to you. As with other functions that are critical to our freelancer, he can use Ofuz to stay on top of what needs to happen next with his contacts. Maybe it’s a followup call to discuss a project idea, or a thank-you note for work that’s just been paid for.
Ofuz offers two features that help our freelancer get an A in follow-through: contact notes, and contact tasks.
A note is attached to the contact, and provides additional information about that contact. Things like the results of the last interaction with that contact, important things to remember for that contact, etc. Our freelancer adds a not to a contact this way:
Our freelancer can also attach tasks to a contact. These are used for more action-oriented items, like reminders to call the contact by a certain date. Tasks attached to contacts show up in the Ofuz dashboard, just like tasks attached to a project. To attach a task to a contact, our freelancer simply:
Building Your Network With Ofuz
Ofuz offers a great way to passively build your network. You can create a web form, which you then add to your web site. Site visitors can fill out the web form to be added to your Ofuz contact list automatically. When you use a web form, you’ll also want to use the feature that tags contacts created when someone fills out the web form. That way, you can identify which contacts were created through the web form.
Here’s how to create a web form:
Another great, easy way to create new contacts is to use the Ofuz email dropbox:
Staying Billable With Ofuz
Ofuz helps you stay billable by integrating your contact list with your workflow. From contact management to creating new contacts, Ofuz connects your contact list with your task management in a way that helps the freelancer spend less time on the administrative tasks of sales and lead generation, and more time on billable work!
See how Ofuz can help you. Sign up for a free account now.
In the previous post, we discussed Friction Losses, which are mostly due to administrative overhead or inefficient tools. Ofuz helps freelancers reduce Friction Losses. Let’s take a look at how Ofuz can make life better for the freelancer.
From Status Report-Readers to Collaborators
Does anyone really like creating or reading status reports? Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for freelancers to keep their clients in the know about project status, risks, and milepost completion. But with Ofuz, you can convert status report-readers into stakeholders and collaborators by providing more granular updates, and inviting stakeholder participation. The result can be tighter collaboration and better project workflow.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of how our freelancer would use Ofuz to keep his client, co-workers, and any subcontractors he’s employed in the know:
So what has our intrepid freelancer gained from using Ofuz in this situation?
What About Those Weekly Status Reports?
Most clients will probably still want them so you’ll still send them, but with Ofuz you can save some time and effort.
Ofuz has a great email list feature that reveals itself to you when you select one or more contacts. But first, our freelancer spends a few minutes creating a status report template. To create an email template:
Here, our freelancer creates a template for his weekly status report, using mail merge fields wherever possible. For more information on this Ofuz feature, see this post.
Then, when our freelancer is ready to create a weekly status report, he does the following:
Using the Ofuz email template for weekly status reports helps automate a repetitive task. Sure, our freelancer could send out status reports from his email account using an attached PDF or the like, but there’s a friction loss caused by switching tools. Ofuz is a unified system that helps reduce these kinds of friction losses.
Better File Sharing With Ofuz
Our freelancer is now using Ofuz for the majority of his communication with stakeholders and co-workers now. That’s great, but what about files he needs to send to his client, and files that his client needs to send him?
Here at Ofuz, we love our product passionately, but we know its limits. Ofuz is not designed to replace a full-featured file repository and versioning system like SVN or DropBox. However, Ofuz has a great file sharing portal that can replace email attachments as a means for sending files to and from clients. You know, those single-file attachments you would usually use email to send?
For our freelancer to send files to his client or to co-workers is easy:
That’s it! Anyone who has access to the project can get this file now. Remember, that if you need a specific person to see the file, you can always use the @username nudge feature to notify them about the new file attachment.
Now, how about when our freelancer’s client needs to send files to the freelancer? Even if they don’t have an Ofuz user account, our freelancer can create a web-based portal where the client can upload files to the project. It’s easy!
Stay Tuned For More
In the next post on Friday of this week, we’ll continue to see how our intrepid freelancer can continue to lubricate his workflow and reduce Friction Losses using Ofuz. If you have any thoughts on this post, please let us know in the comments!
Quick feature of the Day.
We have keyboard short cuts to get to some parts of ofuz faster.
At any time you can type:
CTRL+ALT+ N = Add a new contact
CTRL+ALT+ C = List all the contacts
CTRL+ALT+ P = List the projects
CTRL+ALT+ T = List the Tasks
We are very proud to present you the first official private beta of Ofuz
This version include all the major features we initial planned 9 months ago, this includes Facebook connect and friend import as contact, emailing capability and web forms.
Connect to Ofuz with your facebook account. So you don’t have to remember again an other username and password.
Using facebook connect will enable you to import your friends from Facebook in Ofuz so you can organize them with tags and add notes, tasks and documents.
With our new emailing capability we are taking the email marketing to a respectable level.
With the tag organization of your contacts you can now send relevelent and personalized email to a very targeted group of your network.
Emailing with Ofuz is as effective as individual emails without having to send them one by one.
You can create email template that you can reuse and personalize as needed saving you from retyping over and over the same email message.
Opt-out is built in, so you don’t have to manualy remove users from list, with a single click they will opt-out them self.
Is probably the most inovative and usefull feature of this release.
It enable you to create forms that you can insert in your web site or blog.
When you site or blog visitor fill in the form they will be automaticaly added to your contact list in Ofuz and organized in the tag (categories) you have set.