Posted on November 29, 2016 by Dan Quick
We hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and if you’re not over the tryptophan yet, may we suggest a coffee IV? That’s because, in case you haven’t noticed yet, business keeps marching along even during the holidays. The problem many people encounter during this time of year is balancing productivity with a seemingly ceaseless onslaught of scheduling conflicts, out of office notifications, and their own plans to get away. With all of this absenteeism and celebration, it’s no surprise that many companies in the B2B space experience troughs that stretch from November to January. The actual surprise is that in spite of the dip in business, it can still be just as hard to achieve Inbox Zero now as it is any other time of the year. Until you read these next steps, of course.
Inbox Zero is a State of Mind
To prevent a self-defeating cycle of disappointment, it’s important to remember one thing about Inbox Zero before you set out to achieve it. Specifically that the satisfaction of seeing a big zero in the new messages folder is fleeting because, as sure as the sun will rise, you will get another email. In fact, the man who coined the term Inbox Zero, Merlin Mann, wasn’t even referring to the actual number of emails you have, but how much attention you give to them when you need to be doing other tasks. That’s a good point to remember when setting out on the task of streamlining your messages so that you aren’t discouraged when you have to start at it again.
Achieving Inbox Zero
Now that we’ve gotten the existential platitudes out of the way, like many of you, I really just like to see an empty inbox. Inbox Zero means I don’t have a growing list of tasks that I haven’t yet addressed. To get to that mythical promised land, and more importantly to stay there, start by taking these steps-
- Start by unsubscribing to anything you don’t need to read everyday. You know that vacation sweepstakes you signed up for? It probably came with signing up for several newsletters or marketing emails. And really, do you need to know about the latest in flip-flop developments every week?
- Consider using multiple inboxes. This process is a way to make sure that emails are organized not by the time they arrive, but by the topics or responsibilities they cover. Setting-up multiple inboxes in Gmail is easy, and this guide will walk you through it.
- Label everything. Even if you aren’t using multiple inboxes, a strong labeling system will help you quickly read, categorize, and archive for later anything.
- Archive everything. While we’re talking in superlatives, there’s nothing you should need that you can’t keep in archive once it has passed. Emails aren’t your HR department or finance team, so don’t treat them like the place to store everything. If it’s something that is so important that you have to access it all the time, consider using Google Drive or just saving it on your device.
- Try ”Yesterboxing.” This is the term that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh gives to the process of deferring opening one new message until he has opened 10 of his older messages. This is a good way to make sure that whittling down or staying on top of the ever-growing list of emails.
Then Inbox Zero Everything Else
Voicemail is another area that can get backed up before you know it, so take the same approach with that inbox to avoid similar frustration. Do that by employing tools like Auto Attendant and a Virtual Receptionist to make sure that, if you’re unavailable, callers are directed to someone else in the organization who can help them. Or, even better, try employing an intelligent call forwarding system like Follow me Calling that can direct business calls to any other device you want.
By following these suggestions on how to achieve Inbox Zero on all of your devices, you can unclutter your workday, everyday. Plus, because you can access both your email and your business phone from any smartphone, now you can be connected to all of your business communications no matter where your travels take you during the holidays and beyond.
Posted on November 23, 2016 by Dan Quick
You’ve probably heard the story before about a couple of visionaries getting together somewhere in a basement or garage in Silicon Valley to start something big. We have, too, but mostly from the people who founded VirtualPBX. We are proud to be the industry leader in advanced business phone system design, but we’re equally proud of the fact that we didn’t start that way. Being as closely tied to our own small business heritage as we are has defined how we’ve run our business, designed our products, and given back to the business community. At this time when people often reflect on all that has been good in their lives, we’re grateful for, among many things, our humble beginnings.
Built From A Small Business, To Help Small Business
Admittedly, it may be hard to envision where we have come from now that we have employees all over the world and an ever-growing, dynamic core group in our San Jose headquarters. But because we have remained steadfast in our quest to help businesses boost their appearance, and thereby their revenue, with enterprise grade phone systems for startup prices, we’ve retained much of the identity and focus of a smaller organization. Now, with thousands of small businesses all relying on our products and services to level the playing field between themselves and their competitors, our devotion to small businesses is more impactful than ever. It’s with that in mind that we’d like to encourage you all to focus on two things this Thanksgiving weekend.
Small Business Saturday
First, we’d like to remind you all that this Saturday, November 26, 2016, is Small Business Saturday. This is a time for you to not only save on all of your best holiday shopping for the season but also to support the millions of men and women in local retail who are the backbone of our economy. The next thing we’d encourage you to remember this Thanksgiving is that, while we may not always agree on everything as a country or even a family, we are a nation founded on the most ambitious and admirable of all possible philosophies. And it is with that in mind that we recognize what we’re most grateful for; we were born in and remain piloted from the only place where a couple of techie guys can MacGyver their own electrical power grid one day and build it into an international company committed to helping entrepreneurs realize their own dreams. That’s a true privilege, and we’re grateful for you being a part of it.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at VirtualPBX!
Posted on November 22, 2016 by Dan Quick
There are about as many different ways to balance the holidays between two families as there are different families. Thanksgiving is one of the times of the year that tends to be a bit more contentious than others. Unlike religious holidays, it’s pretty common that most American families will have their own Thanksgiving traditions, regardless of their sect, beliefs, or denomination. That’s why Thanksgiving with the in-laws can be a bit more contentious than others. If you happen to be trading years between you and your partner’s extended families, I’d encourage you to keep an open mind, because you never know what great new custom you might be introduced to. This is also a lot like how beta programs work, too, in that you’re introduced to new products or features that you might not otherwise be familiar with. That’s why when we introduce the Inbound Call Recording Beta for Dash users this week, we’re hoping to treat you to something great, too.
Inbound Call Recording is like DVR for Work
Almost as reliable as turkey and mashed potatoes, you can be sure that millions of American households will include one of the televised NFL games as part of their Thanksgiving celebration. But for those times when you need to head outside for your own game of catch with the family or when you are being beckoned to help baste the turkey, sometimes you miss some of the action. No problem! Just like rewinding or pausing your DVR, Inbound Call Recording lets you call a timeout and head to the replay booth on your business calls. Plus, the best thing about the Inbound Call Recording Beta is that it’s unlimited access allows for you to add it to any user on your Dash system. This means no more missing out on something great because you already used your last challenge flag!
Help Us Build a Better System For Free
This is the Inbound Call Recording Beta, emphasis on Beta. That means that unlike your Aunt Rita’s pumpkin pie, this is not half-baked feature. However, also unlike Rita, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for how to make it better. Plus, because we’re letting you add this feature onto any of your users’ profiles for free through the end of the year, there’s no reason not to get going on trying it out! After we’ve received your thoughts and reactions to the new service, we’ll roll out it’s final iteration along with any relevant pricing changes for the first of the New Year. Until then, you’ve got free reign to head back for seconds of the all-new Inbound Call Recording Beta for Dash!
Already using Inbound Call Recording? Like what you’ve seen so far? Let us know on by reaching out to us through Customer Support because we’d love to hear what you think!
Posted on November 18, 2016 by Rachel Anderson
It may come as no surprise that employees are no longer satisfied working inside cubicles. According to Global Workplace Analytics, employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. Desks are already empty, so why not consider allowing remote working as an option for your employees?
Whether your business is looking to scale it’s workforce, improve employee performance or downsize overhead expenses, flexible working options have undeniable benefits for your business. This infographic showcases 5 reasons why your business should adopt a remote working strategy.
Posted on November 16, 2016 by Dan Quick
Yeah, that title may be a bit misleading, that was the plan. The last week since the presidential election has seen a lot of action, but to be fair, it has also been much of the same. Candidates winning the Electoral College and losing the popular vote is nothing new and for nearly 20 years in a row we’ve had nearly equal amounts of votes cast for both major party candidates. The point here is that no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I’d wager that your job hasn’t changed one bit. I know ours hasn’t, and because our engineers have been hard at work on improving the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone, it’s time to update your softphone today.
What’s New for Softphone
Much like what is needed in the country today, we took an approach that focused on bringing devices together with this latest batch of updates. By focusing on expanding compatibility, we made sure that when you update your softphone you’ll be able to use it with more peripherals and on more new devices than ever before. To take a quick look at the new opportunities that the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone offers, see this list below-
- New enhanced capability to use the latest Logitech headsets without third-party software.
- Bria updates tab that cleanly and quickly notifies you of any additional driver software needs for Plantronics headsets and peripherals.
- New Heads Up Display context tab that allows users to use simple keystrokes to mute, hold, transfer, or end calls easily.
- New software that enables use on 2-in-1 windows tablet/laptop combo PC’s.
- Updated localization that supports German language for all of you globetrotters.
We’re Here For You Through Anything
Change can be tough, we get it. But whether it’s through the ups and downs of seemingly endless political campaign seasons or a bit of apprehension before you update your softphone, we’ve got your back. Remember that our award-winning Customer Support Team is headquartered right here in California and ready to help 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.