When rolling over into a new year it’s time to start thinking about upgrading your software. If you’re still using an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your incoming and outgoing revenue, it’s probably gotten so complex you can’t even understand it anymore!  Having a hard time keeping track of your client information in Outlook or Google Contacts?  Yep, it’s time to update.

Quickbooks Accounting Software. If you’re still plugging in all your debits and credits into Excel, I guarantee switching to real accounting software will be the best investment you’ll make all year!  Run important financial reports like profit and loss statement (useful when doing your taxes), revenue by month, compare years or months, and see all your open and late invoices.  Best feature of all, send your clients invoices to be paid with debit, credit and echeck online.  Starting at only $8/month, you’d be crazy not to start the free trial period.

Sales Force: Sales Cloud.  Having issues remembering which property belongs to what client? Missed a meeting because you couldn’t write it down while in the field?  Wished you could see a convenient list of all your sales deals and potential deals with amount and client information?  Sales Cloud allows you to make notes on your clients, integrates to show their social media activity, does online searches for their company’s latest news, and you can sort them by importance. Close more deals faster by making notes in real time (with your smart phone) directly into Sales Cloud including meeting appointments, concerns the client has, or change the status of deals immediately.  Sales Cloud gives easy, real-time status checks to all your deals– all information can be accessed from your smart phone, tablet and desktop.  Starts at $25/month.  You can also integrate a team of people so everyone can see what’s going on in real time.

Google Mail.  If you’re still using Outlook and need a specific computer to open and access your email, it’s really time to join the 21st century. You can integrate your @business.com email with Google. Receive and send emails without anyone knowing you have a Google account. While you can start Gmail for free (and integrate your email free too), eventually you’ll reach the 30-gig limit of storage (it’ll take about a year) but it’s only $2/month. Accessing your email from your phone, any tablet or desktop with your Google account will keep you in the game 24/7.

DropBox or Google Drive.  Have you heard of “The Cloud”?  This is it.  “The Cloud” is basically a computer that keeps all your data, does automatic backups, and allows you to access your information from anywhere – your computer, smart phone, tablet, your work computer, or anywhere. As long as you’re logged in to their system, your files can be accessed, edited and saved easily.  Both companies offer a free plan of 15-gigs or less and a 1-terrabyte plan is only $10/month.  Personally, I think Dropbox is more user-friendly, but if you’re a Google person you may want to keep all your data with a single company for ease of access.