Project Management Software – Selecting the Best Software

The use of project management software has become a necessity to every business today. Project management describes what the plan is and securing the right people and resource to plan, perform and deliver a project on time and on budget. The software has been widely used for handling projects efficiently and effectively to any type of industry such as IT, construction, architecture, sales and marketing, surveying, etc.

People involve in the management process are called the project team which includes the project manager and the team members. They use applications and tools to analyze, plan, schedule, track and manage projects to improve productivity and carry out the whole process of management. The software allows your company to get projects up-to-date, stay up-to-date and organize the data. Just remember that the software only assists the project team in the success of the project, everyone needs to work on every task and to whatever needs to be done. A project cannot be executed properly if one is working with the wrong plans.

The importance of project management has become more remarkable in today’s business life. The best project management software is actually one that meets or suits the requirements for the completion of the project. The main points of selecting the software should perform these important tasks:

    • Project Management Priorities – when evaluating a business software, it’s best that you have a better understanding of the project management activities from time to time. This helps in determining whether or not the software is capable of solving any problems your business will encounter. Applying current management practices to the project management software will help to identify how a problem can be resolved by using the software. Breakdowns of what a project needs can also picture out how both projects and the software fit with each other.
    • Assess Future Project Management Requirements – although it’s quite difficult to predict how a software adjust over time, it is possible to understand the flexibility that the software accommodates. A flexible software allows a company to grow. Software that are simple to use may or may not have the ability to match the needs of a company as it grows. The more flexible the software is, the more options a company will have to accommodate situations. An effective project management solution accommodates change and meet changing demands of businesses without degrading existing projects.
    • Accounting Software Integration – the ability of one software to synchronize business data with other software is an essential component for a project management software. A software which can integrate other software systems to work together is much better since company may be using an existing application and would want it to be sync to their choice of software. In fact, selecting the software which can integrate other applications can reduce costs due to a reduction of data setup.
  • Software Vendor/Client Relationship – The software vendor and the client must establish a supportive relationship mutually. When selecting a project management software, one must factor into consideration how responsive and competent the software vendor and its support for the intention to serve. The company or business should also notice how willing to help the vendor and the support when there are questions and when problems arise and how promptly they follow-up. The vendor should be an active participant in supporting their clients.

If for instance the company is currently using a software and wants to migrate into a new one, they should identify how such a switch to a system will be addressed and to whether such steps be taken. The switch can be costly when a company wishes to transfer the data from the current software to the selected software. Therefore it is best for such company to analyze how much effort is needed to switch to a new software.

6 Yoga Business Management Software Must-Have Features

Did you become a yoga studio owner and teacher because you love administrating your business and being glued to the computer? I bet not. Most yoga business owners start a yoga studio and teach yoga because they love yoga and sharing it with other people.

The trouble is that running a yoga business can get in the way of doing what you love – teaching yoga. After all, a yoga studio is a business that has customers (students), employees (contracted teachers and/or staff), financial reporting, and of course you must attract students through marketing in order to grow and maintain your business.

One way to increase revenues and profits while reducing the amount of time you spend administrating your yoga business is getting 6 software features that integrate together. When you have these 6 features integrated, your time administrating will decrease, and you can very possibly increase your revenues (with less work and more time teaching).

Here are 6 Must-Have Yoga Business Management Software Features:

1. Robust Scheduling Capability

Your class and private session schedule is the heart of your yoga business. It makes sense then, to use great scheduling software. There’s all kinds of decent scheduling software you can use, but in my view, it’s best to get scheduling software that automates bookings and integrates with your email autoresponder software and credit card processing (to get paid up front automatically). Let me explain.

First, you need scheduling software that creates a central database. When updated, all your posted digital calendars update automatically. For example, you may have calendars posted throughout your website and of course on your computer. It’s much fast to make changes to one calendar than several.

Second, get scheduling software that enables students to log in and book private sessions or reserve class spots. Better yet, get this calendaring system to integrate with credit card processing so you can have students pay online when they book.

Third, get yoga scheduling software that integrates with your email autoresponder software (not sure what this is, then read on). This is a powerful feature if you require class reservation and/or book private sessions. For example, you can program the email software to automatically send out email messages to your students and/or a waiting list if someone cancels. This way you reduce no-shows and class spots.

2. Centralized Student Contact Database

If you’re like a lot of small business owners, you may be tracking your students with spreadsheets. I love Excel, but turning excel into a database is inefficient. Instead, get yoga business software that includes a properly programmed database for student contact information.

Once all your student contact information is in the database, you can integrate your contacts with your email software, and financial reporting (who attends and purchases what and when – which can be very helpful information).

3. Email Autoresponder Integration

An email autoresponder software program enables you to send out e-mails at pre-defined times. You can pre-load a bunch of e-mail messages that are sent on a date you specify. When a new student attends your studio and signs up to your list, that will trigger your series of email messages.

Of course you can also broadcast messages immediately giving notice of sales, class vacancies, events, etc.

The key with choosing the right email software is that it integrates seamlessly with your scheduling software. If someone cancels, it triggers an email message to your students and/or waiting list so that you can fill the vacancies quickly without your involvement.

4. Credit Card Processing and E-Commerce Capability

Setting up credit card processing is a hassle. The right “on-the-cloud” software gives you credit card processing without all the hardware (saves on the leasing costs). Instead, you simply process credit card payments in the computer.

Better yet is getting credit card processing that integrates with your scheduling software so students can automatically pay online when they book class packages. This gets you the money up front and you didn’t have to take the time to process payment.

Finally, a really robust yoga business software platform includes an e-commerce option so you can sell retail goods in your studio and online. I understand retail sales won’t be your biggest earner, but extra revenue never hurts.

Moreover, you can then get creative with offering class packages and memberships and sell them directly on your website.

Don’t forget about gift cards – this is great for revenue and referrals. Be sure the software you get can create, package, and process gift cards.

5. Payroll Management

If you have a few teachers who are independent contractors, do you struggle tracking how much they’re owed. Some of the remuneration arrangements are complicated such as flat fees plus a percent of the take. Also, simply tracking all the classes a particular teacher teaches can keep you busy.

Get software that integrates with your scheduling software so you automatically track who teaches which classes and then automatically tallies your payroll based on the remuneration details you input into the system. Good software will tally the most complicated remuneration arrangements such as a percent of the take upon a certain number of students plus flat fees or an hourly rate.

6. Student Swipe Cards and/or Tag Capability

I’ve seen all kinds of sign up systems in yoga studios. Some use pen and paper. Others manually input attendees into the computer as students arrive. Then there’s some studios that issue swipe cards or tags which enable students (or a staff person) to scan the card for attendance. Which is faster and more convenient for your students? In my view swipe cards are the best. There’s a reason huge health gyms (and small gyms) use swipe technology.

If you’re going to set up your yoga studio business with a great software platform, then why not add swipe technology? It looks professional and is convenient for you and your students.

One other feature I strongly recommend, and that’s getting yoga business software that’s “on the cloud.” By this I mean software that’s hosted on the servers of the software provider. This way you don’t have to deal with installing and networking software. Moreover, you can access your software wherever you have Internet.

This feature alone can save you a great deal of time and money in installation and software networking costs. In fact, if you’re a larger studio with several computers, you then don’t require a server for your software

Cloud Sports Software Vs Installed Sports Software

Thinking about using a sports software to better manage your sports/recreation program? Before you make a decision, you should know the differences between cloud-based sports software and installed sports software. If you make the wrong choice, you can pay a hefty penalty in terms of time, headaches and of course, money.

The word “cloud” has been getting thrown around a lot these days. It seems to be a popular choice for software in many industries. But what does it mean in non-technical terms? And how does it apply to sports software and you?

In short, cloud software does not require installation or downloads. You can access it online at any time. Your data is saved and protected online. Installed software is just the opposite. You have to download and install the software onto specific computers. You can only access the software on those computers, and you are responsible for backing up, saving and protecting all your valuable data. For example, “gmail” works in the cloud.

In today’s internet-connected world, cloud software is the clear choice. Since cloud software is a relatively new thing however, most people don’t know much about it. The good news is that it is much simpler than you may think. Here are the main advantages you will gain from using a cloud-based sports software as opposed to an installed software:

1.) PRICE. Cloud software is drastically cheaper than installed software because it costs less money for companies to build and distribute. Don’t be fooled by price! Just because an installed software is expensive, it does not mean it is better than a cloud software. Installed software is only more expensive because the companies that build it have higher bills to pay due to heavy production and distribution costs. They turn to you to pay those bills. Since cloud-software is less expensive to manage for companies, it is often very cheap and sometimes even free for users (ex: free sports software).

2.) TIME. Cloud software requires no installation or download (think CD-Roms or slow moving download bars). You can access it online at any time. For example, you can get to gmail instantly on any computer by visiting gmail.com. Installed software is far from instant. In addition, it often requires long phone calls with company reps about things like configuration (ughhh).

3.) UPGRADES. When cloud software gets upgraded by the company that makes it, you will instantly have access to the upgrades. Your software automatically gets updated through the web. When installed software gets updated however, you are often required to jump through hoops in order to get the upgrades (more downloads, new CD-Roms in the mail, more phone calls, etc). Not to mention, you may even be asked to get out your check book and pay to have access to these upgrades.

4.) SECURITY. With cloud software, your data is kept safe and secure by the company that provides it. Most importantly, it is backed up online. With installed software, saving data is up to you and the computer you installed the software on. If your computer crashes or breaks, you are completely out of luck.

Digital Signage and System Software Vs Application Software

Like nearly any software package, digital signage software is composed of both system software and application software. System software is created to govern the operations of computer hardware and create the parameters under which specific applications run. For this reason, system software is also known as an operating system or a software platform. Generally speaking, it’s not to be messed with. When a software program attempts to modify the system software, the user or software manager will receive all manner of messages and warnings. Application software is the specific programs and features that can be added and subtracted to accomplish various tasks for the user.

Many people readily understand the basic differences between system software and application software. The difference is not so clean-cut, however. Writing for Buzzle.com, Bhakti Satalkar notes that “making the distinction application software vs software programming is arbitrary and more often than not blurred…. It is the capability of both the application software and system software to interact with each other in ways that are beneficial to the user.” Nevertheless, it is useful to understand the conceptual differences when choosing a digital signage software package for your business or enterprise.

System Software: Reliability, Security, and Compatibility

System is largely, though not solely, responsible for creating a digital signage system that is reliable, security, and compatible. Superior system software will help ensure that your signage doesn’t experience glitches, error messages, and other breakdowns. This is of paramount importance for businesses whose reputation lies squarely within their ability to deliver dependable sources, and that’s about every business out there. System software is also the first line of defense against cyber-attacks and otherwise compromised software security. Finally, compatibility refers to the ability of system software to successfully operate and integrate any and all hardware functions and accessories. It’s important to consider each of these performance factors when choosing a digital signage solution.

Application Software: Capability and Usability

Application software will determine what your digital signage can do. Applications can be designed for specific functionality, such as wayfinding, information displays, and live data integration. Other applications can be designed for specific industries and business clients as is the case with a casino game finder application or a virtual concierge. Typically, a digital signage software package will include an array of applications that speak to general functionality and client-specific applications. Usability (or a user-friendly quality) is another important component of software applications, though this quality is determined by both system and application software. Too, with software applications, businesses need to know exactly what a software firm’s applications are and are not capable of, as well as its user-friendly qualities, although this is often already among the first questions businesses ask.

The Pencil Animation Software: One Free Option For The Graphic Designers

Pencil is open source software that can be used to create 2D animations. This software will allow you to design bitmap and vector graphics for you. Since open source or free softwares are becoming popular among the professional graphic designers this would be useful for the software designers who can’t afford much capital on their graphic development work. This software was developed by the Pascal Naidon by using the computer language C++ and Qt based. Pencil is 2D software that can be operated in Mac, Windows, Linux and BSD operating systems. The current version available for the free download from World Wide Web is 0.4.4 b. The early versions of pencil are 0.4.2 and 0.4.3. You can create traditional hand drawn cartoons using this pencil software. However pencil is not for the designing of the software on web. It is for designing simple animations. You can design animated cartoons using this simple software.

The current version of pencil can be downloaded free from its official website. If you search by the queries “Pencil Software” or “Download Pencil” in a search engine like Google or yahoo you can see the URLs related to the pencil software. Remember it is not available for buying. So always use the official website for the downloading purpose. Open source software developers always try to develop software on behalf of the community those who can’t afford for the softwares available for the high prizes in the software market. So you can contribute any amount you like for this developer if you like and satisfied with your pencil software. If you donate at least few dollars that would be helpful for the number of software users who are depending on pencil and who can’t afford for the softwares sold in the market. So if you can better donate using your pay pal account. There is a tab available in the official website and you can donate the desired amount there.

So let’ get started with pencil. Download the setup programme and run it in your computer. There are separate links for the software download in pencil website. Each link is created to download the same version of the pencil software for different operating systems. This will install the software to your computer. Sketch your cartoon using the pencil tool available in the software programme. Insert frames to the figure. There is also an eraser tool available in this pencil software whenever you want to make the necessary changes. The tools, paint brush and the bucket are available for you to add colours if necessary. You should right click on the timeline you need to add a sound layer. Sound may be essential for your animated cartoons. Choose the layer and import the sound you are having in your computer.