Guest Blog Post: 11 MORE Tech Tools That Will Bring Your Funeral Home Success
Dec 09, 2015
Do you ever find yourself wishing that you had more time in your day? Wait… you wish that every single day? Yeah, us too.
The truth is, in the funeral profession, there never seems to be enough time to do it all. Helping families, educating our community, planning beautiful services, spending much-needed time with our own families, becoming better at our job… it’s all just a portion of the things on our daily to-do list.
But, we’ve got a secret for you… it is possible to do it all.
No, we’re not talking crazy, and we haven’t had too much holiday eggnog... we’ve simply found the secret to mastering time. It’s all about finding the perfect mix of task delegation, time management and building up an arsenal of awesome tech tools that will help you do your job better (and faster) every single day.
Luckily, we’re saving you time already. We’ve already scoured the internet researching and testing out the best tech tools out there for funeral directors who want to make their lives easier. You can find the first nine tools over at the funeralOne blog, and the rest are right here… ready for you to use them and put time back into your day. Enjoy!
Time Management Tools
1. RescueTime: If you want to allocate your time better, you first need to step back and look at what you spend the most time on each day. RescueTime is an app that does just that. After downloading the app onto your computer, it will run in the background and monitor how much time you spend on different websites and applications each day. At the end of the day, the app will provide you with personal analytics that give you a detailed report on your daily activities and potential time wasters. Also, if you find that you are spending too much time on certain websites (Facebook, anyone?), you can even block yourself from specific websites for a set amount of time when you really need to focus.
2. TaskRabbit: You can’t concentrate on the tasks that are the most important to your businesses’ success when you are also worrying about the small things that need to get done both at work and at home. Luckily, a new errand-running app called TaskRabbit wants to take these small to-dos off of your hands so you can concentrate on the tasks that matter most. You simply log onto the app and describe the tasks that you need done, and TaskRabbit will connect you with a skilled professional who will get the task done for you. These helpers will take on anything, from running your errands and putting up home decor, to cleaning up your funeral home’s yard or taking the car to get washed!
3. IFTTT: There are no tasks we dislike more than boring, menial tasks… the kind that aren’t exactly difficult, they are just a pain to do because they require multiple steps or tedious, manual work. One company called IFTTT (which stands for “If This Then That”) feels exactly the same way, so they created a workaround (or what they call “recipies”) for a lot of the two-step tasks in our lives. For example, do you want to be more active on your social media sites? With IFTTT, you can make it so that anything you upload to Facebook is also automatically shared on your Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn page as well! Want to keep your family in the loop of when you’ll be home? IFTTT will send them an email or text message when you have left work. There are thousands of different recipes created specifically for simplifying your life.
4. Wunderlist: If you are a lover of to-do lists and checking off tasks, then Wunderlist is the app for you. This simple, yet amazingly helpful app allows you to organize and share your to-do lists… no matter what kind they may be. You can set due dates and reminders for your tasks, assign to-dos to different employees in your funeral home, and access your different lists from all major devices - cell phones, web browsers, tablets, Apple Watches, etc. Creating to-do lists has never been easier.
5. Trello: We’ve talked about Trello several times before on the funeralOne blog, and we’re going to mention it again here… simply because we can’t get over how much easier it makes office organization and task delegation! With this simple app, you can gather and share ideas, assign people tasks with checklists and due dates, and essentially connect everyone on your team to what’s happening around them. The theme of your Trello boards can be whatever you make them, such as project management, hiring, or even the planning of the upcoming holiday. This all-in-one-tool really is an office allstar.
6. LastPass: So much of our life and business is now hosted online… which means a lot of websites and passwords to remember if you want to keep up with it all. In an ideal world, we would simply be able to use the same account name and password for everything, but when your business and identity are at stake… that’s the last thing that you should do. Luckily, LastPass not only works to keep your login information secure by generating safe passwords, but it also will store all of them so you never have to click that “forgot password” button again. This simple app is a must for any business with an online presence.
7. Gmail Canned Responses: We have a love-hate relationship with emails. We love being able to connect with people and share information about our business… but we also hate the fact that we never can seem to stay on top of all of the questions coming in. However, there is one secret Gmail feature that does help make this problem a little more manageable. It’s called “Canned Responses” and it is a Google Lab feature that allows you to save an email response to use over and over again in different emails. So, if you find that you frequently receive emails asking the same types of questions (“How much is this product?” or “What personalization options do you offer?”), you can now select your pre-written email from a list and send it out whenever the question arises. Click here to learn how to enable this feature in your Gmail account.
8. ASD - Answering Service for Directors: Have you ever been deeply immersed in a task, seconds away from completing a difficult and laborious project, only to hear the phone ringing and from a room away? Or how about in an emotional meeting with a family, when the ringing of the phone suddenly interrupts the peace? In those situations, we would give anything to have someone there to answer that call on our behalf. Enter ASD. This awesome funeral home answering and call forwarding service not only provides funeral professionals with the opportunity to return calls in an environment that works best for them, but also gives funeral homes a major competitive advantage, because it ensures that their callers are always able to get through to them.
9. Skitch: Sometimes visual communication is the key to understanding. Just think about it - if you are trying to explain to a colleague the steps to uploading an image to your funeral home Facebook page, or what title you would like them to change in your latest blog post, it’s much easier to show them then to tell them. And Skitch is a program that makes visual communication easier than ever. When you download this app to your computer, you can easily screenshot images, make annotations over photos, draw sketches and shapes on top of images, and more. This is a great tool for those who want to share their visual ideas in an easy-to-understand way.
10. Life Tributes: Today’s families are requesting a more personalized funeral service each and every day. Often times the best way to do this (and the most meaningful way) is through sharing personal photos and videos at the funeral. funeralOne’s Life Tribute software helps make this process easier than ever for funeral professionals with their easy-to-use, one-stop personalization software that creates Hollywood-style DVD tribute videos, personalized funeral printing, funeral webcasting and more. All you need is personal photos from your families, and in minutes you will have a gorgeous tribute to their loved one’s life to play at the funeral service and to send home with them for years and years of memories to come.
11. Dropbox: Speaking of families that like to bring in personal photos for their loved one’s service… it can be difficult and time-consuming for everyone when the memories that families want to share are stored on a huge hard-drive. You never know when there might be a problem with the file transfer or if there will be enough room on your computer to store all of the photos they want to share. Plus, you now have the additional worry of making sure that the family’s photo and hard-drive are safely returned to them once the funeral is over. Luckily, Dropbox takes away all of this worry by allowing you send and receive photos digitally - without taking up all of your data storage. Your families can simply upload their photos into a shared folder in the cloud, and you can access, edit and save all of the photos from your own computer at your funeral home. It’s completely private, and no physical photo transfers are required.
Want even more tech tools that will help bring your funeral home success in the New Year? Be sure to check out our Part One post - 9 Tech Trends That Your Funeral Home Should Embrace - on the funeralOne blog!
Did we miss out on one of your favorite funeral tech tools? Be sure to share your favorites with us in the comments!
Rilee Chastain is the Content Marketing Manager for funeralOne and it’s parent company, Hello Innovation. In addition to regularly writing about new trends and changes in the funeral profession on the funeralOne blog, her knowledge and expertise on content marketing has also been featured in several online publications and books. To learn more about funeralOne or to contact Rilee, please reach out to email@example.com.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD's company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com