Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ofuz review, to increase efficiency in a small business

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Nice article on how others are using Ofuz to manage projects.

http://smallbizontheweb.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/using-ofuz-cloud-computing-to-increase-efficiency-in-a-small-business/

how to create an invoice with online payment

Monday, August 30th, 2010

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.
Give it a try and let us know how fast you got paid.

No news is good news

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

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:

http://ofuz.net/PublicProject/166

Stay tuned.

Now Sync with Google Apps

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

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.

Reducing Opportunity Losses for the Freelancer, pt. 2

Friday, April 16th, 2010
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:

  1. Click the Contacts tab.
  2. Click on the name of the contact you want to add a note to (the name will be highlighted in blue).
  3. In the Add a Note About <contactname> field, type your note.
  4. If you want to attach a file to the note, change privacy settings for the note, or notate time for your timesheet, click more options. Otherwise, click Add this note.

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:

  1. Click the Contacts tab.
  2. Click the contact’s name.
  3. The contact details page appears.
  4. On the left, click add new task.
  5. The Add a Task box appears.
  6. Fill out the Task description, due date, category, and project fields.
  7. Click Add this task.

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:

  1. Click Settings (top right of window)
  2. Click Web Forms (left side of window)
  3. In the Form Title field, type the name you want to use to identify your web form.
  4. In the list of fields, select the ones you want to include on your web form.
  5. In the Tags for those contacts field, type the tag you want to use for new contacts that are created when someone fills out your web form.
  6. In the Web address to take the user after submitting the form field, type a URL where users will be directed after submitting the form.
  7. Click Create.

Another great, easy way to create new contacts is to use the Ofuz email dropbox:

  1. Click Settings (top right of the page).
  2. Click Drop Box Note.
  3. Take note of the email address under Drop Box Note Setup.
  4. CC the email address from step 3 and a new Ofuz contact will be created (if necessary) and a copy of the email will be attached to the contact as a note.

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.

Reducing Friction Losses for the Freelancer, pt. 1

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

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:

  1. Our freelancer creates a new project in Ofuz.
  2. He adds contacts for client stakeholders, co-workers, and/or subcontractors, and then adds these new contacts to the project.
  3. Our freelancer adds tasks to the project.
  4. Any time he has something he wants to remember, or report to client stakeholders, co-workers, or subcontractors, our freelancer adds notes to project tasks, sometimes using the @username nudge feature to help stakeholders know when their involvement or response is required.

So what has our intrepid freelancer gained from using Ofuz in this situation?

  • The client is more comfortable because they’re not waiting for a weekly status update. They know the current status immediately.
  • Our freelancer has a documentation trail for their own reference. Any medium or large project gets complex and demands that the freelancer track detail carefully. With Ofuz, these notes are integrated into a single place, made searcheable, and are sent by email to clients (and co-wokers) if they want. So one stone kills two birds: our freelancer’s project notes also become micro-updates to the client and co-wokers, with no extra effort on the freelancer’s part.
  • Project status and client communication are integrated to a single interface, rather than being spread among multiple email threads, documents, etc.

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:

  1. From anywhere in Ofuz, click Settings.
  2. On the left of the screen, click Email Templates.

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:

  1. From anywhere in Ofuz, click the Contacts tab.
  2. Select the recipients for the status report (remember, you can import contacts from Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter). Remember you can also tag your recipients and select multiple contacts based on a common tag.
  3. After selecting the recipients, our freelancer clicks Send a Message from the context menu.
  4. The Send Message window appears. Our freelancer selects the email template they previously created, and then fills in the particulars for this week’s status report.
  5. Our freelancer clicks Send Mailing and gets back to making money (or knocks off early for happy hour!).

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:

  1. From anywhere in Ofuz, click the Tasks tab.
  2. Click the note icon to the right of the task name (it looks like this: ).
  3. In the Get into the discussion field, type an explanatory note for the file you are about to attach.
  4. Click More Options.
  5. Click Choose File, and then browse to and select the file you want to attach.
  6. Click Add this item.

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!

  1. From anywhere in Ofuz, click the Contacts tab.
  2. Click on the contact’s name (not the white space around the contact).
  3. The contact detail page appears. On the left side of the window, click share files and notes.
  4. Click Click Here to Turn on File Sharing with contactname.
  5. Ofuz will give you a personalized web address that they can use to upload files and notes to the project.

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!

You can sign up and try Ofuz right now.

Keyboard short cuts

Friday, July 17th, 2009

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

Ofuz 0.3 first private beta

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

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.

Facebook connect

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.

Emailing

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.

Web Forms

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.