Hello my name is Matt and welcome to Business Friday.  More on Business Friday to follow, but by way of introduction I am a relatively new member here of the Dingbat Press team, one who you may be familiar with if you’ve requested an estimate from our form or otherwise emailed us looking for some letterpress goodness.  I’ll be posting every now and then on the blog to mix things up a bit.

Most of the wonderful business cards, edge painting, and branding, that we do here at Dingbat Press would be nothing more than a nice conceptual thought without much of the legwork that goes on behind the scenes.  Today we will be starting a new series of blog posts to compliment the usual beautiful letterpress work that you see on a regular basis, wherein we will be exploring various aspects of a small-to-medium business and sharing our lessons learned with you as we have experienced and worked through them.  We plan to post every Happy Friday with content that is relevant and interesting for anyone who owns or runs their own business.

Today, we’re going to be talking about Google Apps, and how making the switch has enriched and benefited Dingbat Press.  When I started working here last June, I came fresh from a corporate job where I was accustomed to setting up frequent meetings to talk through some relevant document.  At that time DP had no calendaring system, no uniform method of tracking jobs, and no central location to store and share data.  Having somewhat of an affinity towards Google and the products they release (in addition to having been well trained in the arts of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs for my own personal productivity), I proposed the idea to Adrienne and we decided to make the transition to Google Apps.  For a business of our size, it happened over a summer weekend and before we knew it, we were enjoying the benefits of fast, easily-searchable, threaded email.  No more digging through through Mail.app (yes, we run on Apple hardware) for parts of the conversation!  More importantly, we now enjoy a rich calendaring system where we can schedule out the press, mark down employee time, and best of all schedule meetings with our clients to discuss proofs.  We can track our jobs in a single spreadsheet and make that spreadsheet visible to anyone who needs to see it within the company.  We now have a central location with Google Docs to store and access notes or other files relevant to each job.  There are many other features that I could go on about (some of which we will explore in greater detail for future Business Fridays), but the one that you might like the most is the price:  Google Apps is free if you are 50 users or smaller, and only $50 per user per year for Google Apps for Business.  Not too shabby.  It’s as easy as making a few changes in your mx records and you’re ready to rumble.

Well that’s all folks.  That’s this week’s Business Friday.  We hope you’ve enjoyed it and we are looking forward to continuing this tradition each week on Friday.  If you have any questions, let’s discuss in the comments below.  Have a great weekend!