BuildIT PDF document templates and Apple iOS products

Our users have given two enthusiastic thumbs-up to BuildIT’s PDF construction document templates. There are now over 60 templates in BuildIT that instantly take your business to a new level of professionalism.

These templates marry job and contact details into preformatted forms, saving both time and costly errors. And… we’ve created hundreds of customized forms to match users existing forms or take those forms to another level of consistency, clarity, and efficiency.

If the information exists in BuildIT, there's never a need to re-type that information into a document.

With the ever growing use of iPhones and iPads, we've run into some limitations, brought about by the basic PDF reader included with these devices. Some customers have noticed that PDF documents generated in BuildIT would have blanks where data should be displayed.

In response to this, we have modified how BuildIT PDF documents (or PDF "forms") are generated.

  • When viewing or sending locked (uneditable) PDF’s, the fields will now show on iOS (Apple) devices.
  • To create or edit PDF forms, you will need a third-party app that goes beyond the native PDF reader on iOS devices. This will require a 3rd party application such as the excellent “PDF Expert” app to be purchased and installed by the user. This app comes in both iPad and iPhone versions and is only $9.99. 
     

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

BuildIT email update - June 2012

After losing thousands of personal emails to a corrupt Outlook file years ago, I vowed to take steps to avoid that pain by moving my personal and business email over to BuildIT.  I've written before on the benefits of BuildIT email.
 
Years later, I have access to a long history of email correspondence. Easy to access, and confidence knowing my email is backed up regularly and available wherever I have an Internet connected computer.
 
In an effort to continue to improve our system features and performance, we've made some improvements to BuildIT email:
 
1. Click the email tab, and you'll see a new "date range:" in the lower left menu - the default is set to "current (1 year)".

2. This "current" value can be adjusted in the email preferences page. Set it to what you consider to be "current".
 
3. In the left menu, choose the year to search or display emails for only the selected time period.
 
TIPS:

1. When doing a search on email, ensure you have the correct job selected in the yellow job picklist. This will narrow the search to just those emails that are assigned to that job. Search results will display lightning fast.
 
2. For those of you with dozens/hundreds of spam/marketing emails, it only takes a few minutes to select and delete those. Again, the fewer emails you have saved, the quicker your pages will display and the shorter your search times will be.
 
3. If you have dozens/hundreds of unread emails, you can quickly change them to "READ" by using the top right yellow "do this" drop down menu option to "set checked to READ".
 
4. Looking for a particular file that someone emailed you? Just click the "files" tab, then in the top left, click "file association:email attachments" and search for the file. Great way to get to file quickly, and see the history on that file (who sent it, when, how big the file is, etc.).
 
NOTE:

Customers with 10K + emails: if you are not in the habit of assigning your emails to jobs (e.g. they remain "unfiled"), and you have ALL JOBS selected in the yellow job picklist, and you launch a search for a particular email, the system has to search ALL records to find that email. For some customers, this will take seconds. Search times over 15 seconds can be frustrating.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Smart Phones and BuildIT

With the massive proliferation of smart phones in recent months, and their adoption en masse by contractors and field personnel, we're getting a lot of enquiries about whether BuildIT has "an app" available.

It's not a question of whether we will build one, it's when.

An "app" is specifically designed for a small screen device and is fairly "light weight" in terms of feature set. And they're all the rage now. There are goofy ones (like the Orc detector... you can tell if one of your friends is an Orc from Lord of the Rings, then of course, you'd have to kill him)... then there are those designed for productivity.

But what we've found is most customers are having success using iPhones, Android smart phones, iPads etc. with BuildIT as is. All you need is a web browser, and you can access your BuildIT account.

I've been using a Samsung Galaxy smart phone for a few months now, and can easily access most of the functions and controls in BuildIT. And while there are some current limitations (that will likely be solved as 1000's of smart phone customers clog up tech support lines and online technical forums), we see most BuildIT customers benefiting from wireless access to the system with these devices.

Case in point - prior to writing this, I just spent 18 minutes on my smart phone, logged into my BuildIT account.

Here's what I did:

1. Created a new job (Martin Residence)

2. Entered a schedule template of 28 tasks related to a kitchen renovation.

3. Modifed durations of 2 tasks using the Gantt popup power bar... watch the schedule adjust in real time.

4. Set 1 task to 100% completed - keeps the schedule up to date.

5. Entered specific details in one of the tasks... while it was on my mind.

6. Entered a note tied to the Martin Residence... for others on my team to reference

7. Assigned a task to a sub contractor... so he would know where he's supposed to be, and when.

8. Created a standard "invitation to tender" from the myriad of construction document templates available to all BuildIT users.

9. Faxed that invitation to tender to a contact on my team (and was messaged minutes later from him about that fax he received!!).

10. Created a calendar appointment tied to the project... where other BuildIT users can see so they know when my time is booked.

11. Sent a text message to a contact (the contents of which get stored in BuildIT in the "sent email" folder, and tied to the Martin Residence).

12. Then logged out and got on with my day.

You don't have to be a 13 year old with lightning fast thumbs to make BuildIT work on a smart phone. Just an interest in becoming more productive and taking advantage of the technology to allow you to manage your business and make decisions wherever you happen to be.

Imangine: you and/or your employees accomplishing this much in 18 minutes for your business... from the truck !

Personally, I find it easier to be in front of a computer typing on a regular keyboard, and viewing a large monitor, but I don't always have that luxury, and neither will you or your employees.

Make the jump soon to becoming "untethered, and get more out of BuildIT.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1