Skylight - Productivity Web App for Business http://skylightit.com Making Business Life Simple - Invoicing, Time Billing, Contacts & Project Management for Businesses & Freelancers. Fri, 03 Jul 2015 21:10:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Effective time management - Skylight Founder interview in Financial Timeshttp://skylightit.com/2015/06/effective-time-management-skylight-founder-interview-in-financial-times/ http://skylightit.com/2015/06/effective-time-management-skylight-founder-interview-in-financial-times/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:30:25 +0000 http://skylightit.com/?p=8658 Skylightit.com founder Taimur Khan shares simple life hacks and time management tips for small business with FT (Financial Times) FTadviser.

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We are delighted to announce recent interview of Skylight founder Taimur Khan in  Financial Times.

 

"The productivity of a business can be bolstered by effective time management – which can be achieved by creating routines and habits, according to Taimur Khan.The founder of the productivity app Skylightit.com added that time wasted could never be recovered, and outlined eight tips for how to use time efficiently."

The article is focused on how simple life hacks and time management tips can improve your productivity, optimising and tweaking small changes and the results they have on your day to day productivity.

Here is the scanned version from the print version.

interview of Skylightit.com founder Taimur Khan in Financial Times FTadviser.

You can read more on their website click here to read the article .

 

 

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Time Management Tips for a Small Businesshttp://skylightit.com/2015/04/time-management-tips-for-a-small-business/ http://skylightit.com/2015/04/time-management-tips-for-a-small-business/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 08:13:13 +0000 http://skylightit.com/?p=8265 For success, bottom line is time management, that time wasted can never be recovered. Therefore, for effective time management, you need to set routines and habits that help you to maximise your productivity.

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There are 24 hours in each person’s day - and yet some people always seem to be ahead of everyone else, despite the equity in time.

On the other hand, there are entrepreneurs who have business plans and goals, but when it comes to execution there seems never to be enough time.

So what’s the difference? It’s all about the type of time we’re operating in. By this I mean there is clock time, which is twenty four hours with minutes and seconds, and then there is real time, which we all live in and experience.

An example of this is when time seems to go slowly, especially if you are waiting for something to happen, like waiting in a  queue or in a departure lounge; time seems to stand still. At the other end of the spectrum; there are situations when time just seems to fly by - that’s when you are enjoying what you are focused on.

So your perspective of actual time is based on the kind of activity or task you are engaged in.

I know from my experience of building businesses or going for growth, days tend to blend into nights and work never seems to end; there seldom seems to be enough hours in the day.

For success, bottom line is time management, that time wasted can never be recovered. Therefore, for effective time management, you need to set routines and habits that help you to maximise your productivity.

In my experience there are three essentials to small business time management:

1) Organisation

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Without setting defined goals it becomes impossible to gauge your progress. Also, psychologically, it helps to tick tasks off.

Like all things human, each of us works differently; some like to get down to finer details and others look for the broader perspective. Personally, I prefer to have targets or broader goals that span 12/24 months, so you know where you are heading in the long run. These broader goals are further chunked down to shorter three to six month targets. Beyond this I work from daily and weekly tasks.

There are many things that you have to do in a day, so list them down in order of priority and when finished, tick them across.  At Skylight we help you achieve this with the use of its comprehensive task management features, you can create a project or a milestone for the target you want to achieve and than add tasks, or organise tasks by tasks lists and tick them off as you progress.

I recommend starting small and building a routine. See what works best in your given circumstances; bad habits take time to shed and good ones take even longer to set in. Our brains are programmed to look for the easiest way out, that is why so many New Year resolutions fail. If you are committed to start today - you will see the results.

When you reflect back at your daily routine and completed tasks throughout the day, see what activity consumes more time and ask yourself if it’s relevant.

The other thing you should also avoid is multi-tasking; you cannot serve two masters at once. You will simply end up not doing anything constructive.

2) Your goals matter but your vision matters most.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has goals! If you ask almost anyone they will tell you they have some sort of goal. So, why don't people achieve those goals? The main reason is VISION, (followed by focus and determination).

Just having a list of goals is not going to cut it until, or unless, you have a specific vision. What do you want to achieve in your business and what will it look like when you have achieved it?

Always ask yourself this question before engaging in any activity and soon you will find yourself paying attention to the right things that can propel your business ahead.

Let your short term goals build into your long term goals, which essentially form part of your bigger, grander vision.

These two sets of goals (short- and long-term) should be what you focus on everyday; everything else is just a potential distractor. For you to be able to focus completely you should exercise the power of saying ‘no’ to anything or anyone that will deter you from your course.

3) The power of technology

Why spend a lot of time doing something that new technology can do in seconds?

Most people starting businesses today are doing so from their homes. Instead of meeting a client physically you can do so via Skype and instead of sending long emails that may not be read immediately, why not try instant messaging or Skype?

In Skylight, when you comment on a task the others get that comment notification as an email.

Productivity apps help you manage tasks, organise your projects and keep all the documents in one place. How many time have had to go through countless emails to find a specific attachment? Or spent hours collecting billable time to create an invoice? Apps like Skylightit.com can help you achieve all that in one simple app. Using these cloud based services helps make your work life simple and organised.

4) Team Delegation and Outsourcing

It’s important to recognise when you need to expand, hire or outsource in order to free up your time to do the important tasks that only you can do.

The majority of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs juggle between various roles from accounting to sales and more. For most SMEs hiring staff becomes the major bottleneck for growth and some leave it too late.

You are failing if you find yourself saying the following...

  • I can do this all by myself
  • I can not delegate this, it’s too much work to delegate
  • I am too busy to find time to delegate
  • No one will be able to do this as well as I can
  • Finding the right staff will take too much time

And list goes on. What you are actually doing is creating excuses not to delegate. Yes, it is true that there are disadvantages to delegating but the benefits over ride them.

Start by taking a look at the list of business goals and activities that you need to accomplish in order to achieve your vision, and identify what you will not be able to do and what takes valuable time that you could employ somewhere else in the business. These could be tasks that are regular, for example, invoicing and accounting, sales research, newsletters, website updates etc. Build these tasks into a processes, so that when you delegate, it becomes easier to explain and follow through. Create a process folder or document and list activities and actions needed to complete them. It will also help you to identify what sort of skills you need, how long you will need them for and at what expense.

Find the right talent or company and delegate the tasks. For some this can be seen as a burden on cash-flow, and it may mean paying a salary which you feel you cannot afford -  but unless you pass some of these processes and tasks to other people, it’s likely that the important areas of your business will suffer as you struggle to do everything yourself.

The best thing to do is outsource or hire in staff. Someone else with the required skill will be able to do the job while you engage in other tasks to build your business empire.

5) Be good to you

In order to use your time well you should get enough rest. Doctors recommend that we sleep eight hours, but if you need to be stingy then do not get less than six hours of good sleep.

And what you eat also matters. Avoid junk food, excessive caffeine; your body needs all the vitamins, proteins and minerals it can get because, if you are working hard, you are really using its fuel deposits.

Exercise is also good and a little jogging or swimming did nobody harm.

6) Emails

With the today’s technology we are more connected than we ever were. I remember the days of sending telegrams and faxes, but now we have emails on mobile phones, watches and possibly even your glasses (Google Glass). As a result, it has become difficult not to notice that ping sound when you receive an email.

You might have heard of  many people who start their day with reading emails. Do not do this if you want to save time. Emails are just a trap because the moment you open them you will be tempted to reply or clog your mind with how to respond or what to say.

Set aside 20-30 min time slots on your daily schedule for emails, prioritise important emails into folders or flags depending on what email client you are using. This way your focus is not distracted by that ping from your inbox. And when it’s time to reply to emails you are focused on the most important ones.

I have run multiple companies at the same time with multiple email addresses, on occasions resulting in more than 200 odd emails that were mid to high priority. Just imagine how much time it took to reply to them?! However, with a simple strategy of keeping the responses short and keeping my ‘email time’ to the assigned slots - I was able to stay on top of the work needed.

Further to that Skylight keeps internal emails to minimal due to the commenting and notification feature, what more if I need to find the conversation about a project or a client. I only have to look at the related Skylight project. Saving considerable time in searching through emails.

Not all emails need long crafted responses, to the point emails are often more effective. However, this does depend on the recipient. For example, if it’s a team member they would probably appreciate having a precise response rather than a long winded email that will take them further time read and then craft a reply.

7) Do not procrastinate

Have you decided to do something, put it in your diary and then after a day, week or month, realised that you didn't get around to it? Why? Because it was difficult to do, or something more urgent took over?

Procrastination is the mother of all failures. If you have things that need to be done to achieve your goals, but you keep setting them aside for another day, you will not achieve the results you want.

The only difference between you and your local millionaire is a) the way you use your time and b) what you focus on.

So, the key is to make sure you stay on track, organise your priorities, and remain focused on your goals. Always have the big picture in mind whenever you feel like postponing something; look back at your goals and vision and let them inspire you to push forward.

If you have large tasks or goals to achieve - break them down into smaller chunks and set aside time to tackle them one by one. This will make them easier to start and complete, and each step you finish will motivate you to tackle the next task. Just think what you will achieve in a week, a month or a year!

8,9,10...) Take action and review

Regardless of how many ‘ Top 10 tips...’ of this and that you would have read. It always comes down to taking action, changing your mind set and actually doing the things you have written in your ‘to do’ list. If you feel you are not getting the results you want or your goals are looking further away regardless of how hard you push - then it’s time to pause, reflect, and take a look at what is working and what needs to be changed to get the right results. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, what are you going to get? The same results.

Finally, remember what you focus on grows. So put that searchlight on your milestones and objectives and be aware that the ticking clock has never stopped for anyone.

 

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New customer support site at support.skylightit.com with many new knowledge base and support articles.http://skylightit.com/2015/02/new-customer-support-site-at-support-skylightit-com-with-many-new-knowledge-base-and-support-articles/ http://skylightit.com/2015/02/new-customer-support-site-at-support-skylightit-com-with-many-new-knowledge-base-and-support-articles/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:07:37 +0000 http://skylightit.com/?p=8540 Skylight team is pleased to announce the launch of its new customer support site at support.skylightit.com. The new site provides how-to articles, getting started manuals and is the central hub for all things Skylight.

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Skylight team is pleased to announce the launch of its new customer support site at support.skylightit.com. The new site provides how-to articles, getting started manuals and is the central hub for all things Skylight customer support.

We hope the new support site will serve our existing customers to find the answers to questions they might have, as well as new business customers and teams who want to know more about Skylight and how it works.

Skylightit.com All in one - business managementtask invoice software in the cloud

Over the last few months, we have been extensively busy in the background coding and hacking away at improvements and bug fixes on Skylight business app. This means there is a backlog of new product feature  announcements that were waiting for the new support site to be up and running, to provide a more streamlined approach to future product releases and related documentation.

 

 

Getting Started with Skylight

Search New Support site at Skylightit.com the business software company

The new site has a dedicated Getting Started section with a collection of most important articles to get you started with Skylight, from inviting a new user, custom invoice headers for your invoices, settings timezone settings and importing contacts. This section is mainly for new business users but equally beneficial to our existing customers.

In coming weeks and months we  will be releasing new how to articles and improving the support site further. We look forward to your feedback and any ideas you would like to share with us on how we can improve the Skylight business app and our customer support. Here is the link to the support site  http://support.skylightit.com

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Recent updates to Invoices, quotes and user invitationshttp://skylightit.com/2014/12/recent-updates-to-invoices-quotes-and-user-invitations/ http://skylightit.com/2014/12/recent-updates-to-invoices-quotes-and-user-invitations/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 02:16:06 +0000 http://skylightit.com/?p=8319 Now you can add personalised message when inviting clients and teams to collaborate on your Skylight account. Purchase orders (work order) now have payment transactions section, here you can record what has been paid against a PO to a supplier or a freelancer. Same as invoices where you can register what has been paid against an invoice

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Time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve had a busy year and I can hardly believe 2014 has come to a close.

At Skylight, we aim to improve and add functionality that directly impacts your day to day business life. Therefore our recent work has been focused on improving online invoicing, notifications, collaboration and creating quotes, as well as many smaller changes to improve Skylight business softwares user experience.

 

Personalised message when inviting new team members or clients:

Personalise Message when inviting Collaborators to your business software

 

Now you can add personalised message when inviting clients and teams to collaborate on your Skylight account.

The new message(1) field on invitation screen will help you to inform the new team member where and what to do when they login. For instance you can put a link to a project, or when working with freelancers send specific instructions on what to do after logging in to your Skylight business account.

 

Invite Multiple Contacts to collaborate on your Projects

Invite Multiple Contacts to collaborate on your Projects - Skylightit.com

If you are setting up a new  business account on Skylight or you would like  to quickly invite new team members. Now we have made it easier for you to invite multiple team members at once.

To do this hover over over the main navigation and then select 'Invite Contacts'(1) link.

Invite Multiple Contacts to collaborate on your Projects - Skylightit.com

On the next page you can add new contacts details, add individual message (1) and select 'User Group' (2) for access permissions, or pick an existing contact from the link ‘Pick an existing Contact’ (3).

 

User Account Activation Notification

User Account Activation Notification - Skylightit.com

There is no more need for chasing team members “Did you accept the invite from Skylight?” – this process is now automated.

Now when you invite new users to your account on Skylight to collaborate across your projects and tasks, when the invitation is accepted by the new user and they login, Skylight will send you a notification.

 

 Accounting modules update:

Creating a custom invoice or a quote for your client are daily routine for most business owners and one of the most used features in Skylight business app. We have been busy updating the existing workflows for business accounting features and out of many smaller updates are the most important ones.

 

New Statuses for Invoice and Purchase Orders

media_1416271066170.png

Accounting invoices and quotes have a new  ‘Approved’ status. This was highly requested by our customers, to highlight if a particular invoice or quote was approved.

 

Now add Transaction or payments for Purchase Orders

media_1399440275259.png
 Purchase orders (work order) now have payment transactions section, here you can record what has been paid against a PO to a supplier or a freelancer. Same as invoices where you can register what has been paid against an invoice

Task and Milestone quick view

Calander__Tasks_and_Milestones_update.png

You can now mark ‘Task’ and ‘Milestones’ complete(1) from the calendar view. To do this, simply click on any Task or Milestone on the calendar, on the popup you can leave comments as well as view recent comments.

 

media_1416276133326.png

We have also improved this  functionality for task widgets on your dashboard and task list view, so you can now click on the task(2) to view the new Task popup view.

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Heartbleed Bug - Learn How to Protect Yourself!http://skylightit.com/2014/04/heartbleed-bug-learn-how-to-protect-yourself/ http://skylightit.com/2014/04/heartbleed-bug-learn-how-to-protect-yourself/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:00:31 +0000 http://skylightit.com/?p=8246 Heartbleed affects encryption technology that is designed to protect everyday online accounts and passwords, and any online communication between secure servers.

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The world is in an uproar after hearing last week’s news regarding the major breakdown in online security, the “Heartbleed”. This is the biggest security flaw at the core of the internet and its security.

Heartbleed affects encryption technology that is designed to protect everyday online accounts and passwords, and any online communication between secure servers.

This security hole has existed for over two years, and the scale of the damage is not yet known, nor will it ever be, as there is no current way to check which data has been compromised.

So with all this happening, and all online services being affected, how can you protect yourself?

Check whether the websites you use updated the fixed version of OpenSSL - Heartbleed created an opening in an SSL/TSL variant, known as OpenSSL. A fixed version of OpenSSL has been released, but it is still up to the individual website owners to put the fixed version into place.

The range of websites affected is also not yet known, but CNET has published a list of several popular websites, indicating their status: http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/which-sites-have-patched-the-heartbleed-bug.

CNET’s list indicates that most popular websites have already patched the vulnerability on their website. At the time of the writing of this article, most news websites still show an ‘Be on Alert’ warning, so this suggests not to login to those with your social media accounts (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest) as these can still be compromised through those websites.

Change your passwords - After checking that the website has fixed the loophole, update your passwords. Simple passwords are easier to crack. If you use Safari, activate ‘iCloud Keychain’ which will prompt Safari to suggest ultra-secure passwords for you, and save them for you to access anywhere.

Safeweb Norton Skylight Business App

Skylight team rolled into action as soon as the news of the bug reached us. We have since reissued our SSL and upgraded our servers. After the server updates, all customers were notified to reset their passwords. If you haven’t yet, please do so now by clicking here.

With the Heartbleed bug being exposed in the media, it increased its vulnerability, as more hackers became aware of its existence.

If you have a website you can check its status by installing the ChromeBleed plug-in for Google Chrome, which automatically checks every site you visit for the bug and warns you. You can install ChromeBleed or you can use online Heartbleed checker provided by Norton.

Stay safe and watch out for the updated OpenSSL patch that fixes the loophole on all the services you and your business uses online!

 

 

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