Teamwork Project Management

TeamworkPM

TeamworkPM

Credit where credit is due, we’ve been trialling these guys for a tool to help us track our tasks, priorities, time and progress as we develop the next version of AnnualLeave.com and we think its’ worth sharing with you.   It’s worth a look in our opinion.

Business & Leadership magazine covers AnnualLeave.com

Business & Leadership magazine 13 Jan 2009

Today Business & Leadership magazine – Ireland’s business news service wrote about AnnualLeave.com:

Alistair Thacker, CEO, AnnualLeave.com

Annualleave.com is the first online annual leave tracking system to cater for part-time and shift-work employees, and is designed to accurately track employee leave while reducing costly mistakes that can occur when organisations automatically enforce set rules in its administration.

Flexibility and control

The flexibility of this application allows complete control over the number of departments and locations included while creating specific leave types, eg, maternity leave, parental leave and jury duty.

Businesses can also create their own sub-domain with a customised login page that carries their branding and corporate logos.

How much does AnnualLeave.com cost to use?

AnnualLeave.com is SAS (Software-as-a-Service) and is free to organisations with 10 or fewer employees based in one department and one location while larger organisations are charged for its use on a sliding scale.

“For many company owners and HR managers, managing your employees’ annual leave, sick leave and other time off is a lot of hassle and it really shouldn’t be,” said Evolution founder Alistair Thacker.

“Companies get to a certain size where a wall planner or spreadsheet just won’t work anymore, and the big HRIS systems are far too expensive. AnnualLeave.com is online, affordable, easy-to-use and once it’s set up, you need never worry about employees’ absences again.

“If you look at the high cost of time and mistakes that are inherent in manual systems, you’ll see that AnnualLeave.com will save you money from day one,” he added.

You can read the full article here: http://www.businessandleadership.com/news/article/19030//novaucd-start-up-launches-hr-software-for-tracking-annual-and-sick-leave/

Where we got our logo…

We got a compliment about our logo the other day, so I thought I’d give credit where credit is due.

Our logo was designed by A+ Signs a really nice guy who won the competition we ran recently on 99 Designs.

I can recommend 99 designs to anyone.  It works like this:

  1. You submit a brief for what you want designed - it can be as general or as specific as you like.
  2. You offer a prize for the best design. We offered $200.
  3. You set a deadline – we gave 1 week.
  4. The first designs start to come in after a day or two, and you rate them as you go, giving feedback, what you like and don’t like.
  5. Over the next few days more designs come in, but the designers will have read your comments, so they get closer and closer to what you are looking for.
  6. When the deadline comes, you have up to two weeks to pick a winner. We had almost 100 designs to chose from so this bit was hard.  We ended up with a process of elimination until we were down to about 5 designs we all liked.
  7. We held a secret ballot in the office, where we all ranked our favourite three designs in order, and then we opened the votes.  We gave 3 points to a first choice, 2 to a second and 1 to a third choice (we’re all so analytcial and process driven here…).
  8. When the scores were added up, we had a winner:
The winning design

The winning design

You can see all the other designs here: http://99designs.com/contests/21109

Incidently, A+ Signs was great even after we’d selected his design.  He gave us all the original files, and even made some additional styles (For use on white, for use on Black, for use in monochrome etc). A really co-operative guy.

I still find it amazing that we got such a good, professional corporate identity for AnnualLeave.com for only $200. A few years ago a design like this would have cost at least 10 times as much.

Freshbooks – Our Heros

Freshbooks - Painless Billing

Freshbooks - Painless Billing

We love FreshBooks. They are our heros.

If you ever want a textbook example of how to create a SaaS company, Freshbooks should be your #1 starting point.

Why we love them:

  • They have a great product and they continually strive to improve it.
  • They understand that usability is #1 for end users. A lot of applications get bolted together and gradually begin to stop making sense – not freshbooks. Every page looks like it was actaully meant to be the way it is – not like it started as one thing and gradually grew into something else. 
  • They engage with their customers, really listen and act on feedback.
  • They have everything automated, but they will still talk to you if you like.
  • They have the on-line marketing and social networking sussed. A lot of people are guessing how to use it, they just know.

If AnnualLeave.com turns into just half the company FreshBooks is, I’d be a happy man.