Will Bachman: Hey there podcast listeners. Welcome to Unleashed, the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. Unleashed is sponsored Umbrex, the world’s first global community of top tier independent management consultants. I’m your host Will Bachman.
Today’s episode is an in-betweenisode, not the standard interview format. I’m going to talk about four tools that I love that are useful for any independent professional. I’m going to talk about DocuSign, about Expensify, about ScannerPro and Rev.com.
DocuSign. DocuSign lets you send a contract or other document to someone else to get them to sign it like you’d expect from the name. There are other solutions out there that occasionally get sent to me that I experienced. There are probably … other ones are probably good. I find DocuSign a great tool if you’re sending someone a non-disclosure agreement or a contract. It’s such a hassle for the other person to have to print it out, sign it, scan it, email it back to you. DocuSign lets you do all that online. You just upload the document, you put in their name and your name if you want to sign it too. You can put a little email of what you want the email to them to say.
Then you can put in little boxes where the other person either, whether you want a signature or the date they signed it or you can even have a text box where they can type in whatever they want say for their address. Very useful tool. Usually, I will send a DocuSign to someone, I will usually follow it up with an email in case that DocuSign goes to spam or they don’t what it’s about. The other nice thing about it is it keeps this log for you so you can always go back in and download the pdf of something signed in the past. DocuSign, great tool.
Next one is Expensify. Expensify is the best tool that I have found for managing expenses. Managing expenses is such a time suck and such a hassle. I used to hate the end of the month where you’re stuck with a pile of taxi receipts and meals and searching for that airline, going through credit cards, such a major time waster. With Expensify, it’s both an app on your phone as well as online web service and they’re all synced together. You can, if you just have a paper receipt, you just snap a photo with your phone and you put in some information like what’s the charge code, what’s the amount, and upload it. Then I just throw the receipt away.
If you have an online receipt like you just bought an airline ticket, you forward that email to email@example.com, it recognized your email, puts it into your account. If you are paying for Smartscan, even scan it and figure out the amount and use its brain to do some artificial intelligence and classify the best it can. Then you do this throughout the month and then at the end of the week or the end of the month, you want your expense report, you go into Expensify online and you just select the expenses that you want to include. If you have multiple clients, you can have different charge codes and so you might say, filter by charge code for the given month for unsubmitted expenses, create a report, you download it and then you get a pdf where the cover page lists all your expenses and then all of the receipts are in subsequent pages. I find that an awesome, awesome tool.
Next tool, ScannerPro. I don’t have a dedicated scanner in my office, maybe you do, but I don’t know if you carry yours around with you. ScannerPro is an app on your phone where you can just take a picture of any document and if it’s a multiple page document, you can take pictures of multiple pages, the app automatically recognizes the edges of the document so you don’t have to crop it. It also does a really nice job of color-correcting it and if turning it into a nice black and white document. Combines these multiple pictures into one pdf with all the edges cut off and you can just email it to yourself and I find that hugely viable. Whether it’s signing a contract or someone did email to you, or whether it’s just your child’s permission slip and you want to email it to the teacher, ScannerPro, I use it almost every day.
Next one is if you are interested in doing transcripts of any kind of interviews, I use Rev.com, that’s REV.com. Transcripts can be really useful. If you do an interview with an expert, let’s say, it’s nice to ask permission of course to record it. But if the person does give their permission, it can be useful to record that discussion and then get a transcript made. I would usually still take notes anyways but it’s nice having that backup of the transcript. I’ve used that for example to as its survey, an extra appendix type deliverable to the client if here’s the actual full transcript of the interview, or you can search through it for just a keyword and pull out a key quote verbatim. It’s really nice for that purpose.
There’s lots of different transcription services out there. I can’t guarantee you that Rev.com is the best. It’s the best that I found. it’s a dollar per minute so it’s nice, simple, easy pricing. They have a pretty fast turnaround and I really like their web interface. Nice, clean, and simple, you just click, you can either upload a file or provide a URL. If you’re using drop box and you’ve already synced the file to the cloud you can just get copy link, put it in rev.com. It’s a very easy interface if you’re recording this lesson, thirty minutes, it’s typically you get back within 12 hours, seems to me. Longer ones, I always have seen them coming back in less than 24 hours. Quick turnaround time, and check it out. I suggest you try using this service before you really need it. Try doing a recording and doing a transcription. You can record with your phone but don’t at fancy equipment to record it.
Four tools, DocuSign, Expensify, ScannerPro and Rev.com. If you have better solutions for any of these four, I’m definitely interested in hearing about it, particularly if you have a better expense tool or better solution, love to hear about it. If there’s a better scanner tool out there that I don’t know about or a better transcription service, let me know. I hope that you find these tools useful.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Unleashed, the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. Unleashed is sponsored by Umbrex, the world’s first global community of top tier independent management consultants. The mission of Umbrex is to create opportunities for independent management consultants to meet, share lessons learned, and collaborate. I’d love to get your feedback and hear any questions that you’d like to see us answer on this show. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s UMBREX.com.
If you found anything on this show helpful, it would be a real gift if you would let a friend know about the show and take a minute to leave a review on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. If you subscribe, our show will get delivered to your device every Monday. Our audio engineer is Dave Nelson. Our theme song was composed by Gary Negbaur, and I’m your host Will Bachman. Thanks for listening.