PC Business Organization - Software for managing events, contacts, $. HELP!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Pooch-Photo, May 15, 2008.

  1. Pooch-Photo

    Pooch-Photo TPF Noob!

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    I want software that will manage my photo clients/events information in one place, or, which will tie the other needed programs together. I have good organization on my hard drive for the actual photos, but I need something to help manage the rest of it. I might be asking for too much, or am I? Read on….


    So I've been shooting weddings (along with other events) for about 10 years, but my event details are still being scribbled on a paper form I print out and keep in my day planner. This is a custom Excel form with lines for the brides info, wedding details, etc- nicely organized into one 6x8" page. I want to zoom into the digital realm with this but I want the best, most intuitive, integrated solution possible - software that will let me do the same in an unified way.


    What I want, ideally: Software, truly integrated with Outlook if possible, that will let me pick the needed form (Wedding, Bat Mitz, etc) to enter the client's info, etc, as well as the ability to add a links to the respective photo directory on my PC (so I can go straight there from the program), and a link to the contract too or anything else on my PC I feel is relevant. Also, I want the money at least somewhat handled through here. I don't need it to be a complete accounting solution (tho if QuickBooks can do all of the above, great- let me know!) but I would at least like it tied to an accounting program so it will automatically populate the client’s name in my ledger – don’t want to have to enter their info twice. I want something that will manage my photo events in one place, or, which will tie the other needed programs together. I don't want to have to type something twice. It would also be really nice if it will let me see all of the email correspondence with them by a single click.


    In short, I want something that will help me tie it all together- so i can get to everything from one place - I want to minimize clicks to find what I need for that client/ project/ wedding. It doesn't have to be Outlook-centric, but would be nice. I don't mind having to build my own forms, as long as it will let me. Is ACT the answer? QuickBooks? Outlook Business Contact Manager? Something in MAC (just started using mac on the side so it's new to me)? Or am I asking too much?


    THANKS!! -Jason
     
  2. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    That's quite the program you're looking for.
    If you were to cut out the accounting requirements, MS SharePoint Services might work, but it's not designed to run on just a PC and you probably don't have the money for a server running SBS03.
    Personally, I'd ditch Outlook and go for a handmade PHP/MySQL webapp running on your localhost. Know any geeks?
     
  3. Pooch-Photo

    Pooch-Photo TPF Noob!

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    I know some Geeks and that might be a route. I gotta believe tho that, with all the professional photogs out there, someone has already designed some software that can handle a lot of this. All of my 'requirements' are simply a wish list- I'm willing to deal with only some of these met in the software. What do you and the people you know use to manage their clients & jobs?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A lot of that could probably be done with Excel or a similar spread sheet.
     
  5. Jim H

    Jim H TPF Noob!

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    With exception to outlook integration - you have kinda described SuccessWare . But be ready for the sticker shock as it doesn't come cheap.
     
  6. Pooch-Photo

    Pooch-Photo TPF Noob!

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    cool thanks- do you (or does anyone else) have experience using Successware?
     
  7. Jim H

    Jim H TPF Noob!

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    I don't use it no. A lot of successful photogs (read - the ones that make instructional DVDs and go on tour) use it - but i don't know for sure whether they are sponsored for the product or not.

    Myself - kind of a geek so I wrote my own stuff in ASP/MSSQL (some preconfigured code snippets too) and integrate it with QuickBooks.
     

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