‘Paper vs digital’: It is one of the biggest dilemmas of our era. Even though the Internet has taken over our lives, and that we all now carry our phones everywhere, we have to admit that they are incredibly handy in our day to day activities, whether it is work related or not. Paper and pen have become almost obsolete for most people. Cursive writing is now almost considered an ancient form of writing.
Digital appointment books are so advanced now that it’s hard to believe businesses worked without it before. They can synchronize your calendars, contacts, notes, and more, all in one single, easy to access place. You can even synchronize all your information from your phone to your computer, and vice versa. Then how come so many small business owners still using paper systems that keep slowing them down?
Stop Wasting Time With a Paper Appointment Book
Time is money, time is precious, time is everything for a business owner. Planning your time well is essential for your business to prosper. In fact, great time management helps you become more successful as a worker and a person. Juggling employees, a budget, clients, and suppliers is tough work. If you're having trouble with cancelled bookings and mix ups as well, it will affect how well you do. Your clients might not trust you as much, and you could easily lose business you worked hard to win in the first place.
To optimize your time, you should devote your attention on tasks that are truly important rather than get distracted with minor emergencies that can arise during your work day. You don’t have time to remember where you’ve placed someone’s insurance paper or where you’ve left a note about a client’s specific allergy. It’s an added stress that can completely throw off your work day. Don’t sweat it. A digital appointment book will save you time and energy so you can concentrate on the important stuff.
So, Here's Why You Shouldn’t Use a Paper Version
1. It Is Heavy
This might sound obvious but it’s much lighter to carry a phone around than a large agenda, notebook and contact book. Are you always on the go? When you use a digital booking tool, you don’t need to bring an extra bag for your paper planner. Ok, we might be exaggerating a little bit, but those things can be pretty heavy compared to your phone which you can easily fit into your pocket.
Furthermore, this device can be pretty useful if you ever take that vacation you've been dreaming about for the past couple of months (Margarita in hand, the soft breeze caressing your face…ok back to the important stuff). Alas, 61% of people work during their vacation so if you are one of them, at least do it without your ginormous paper booking tool and use your portable phone. If ever you need to check an appointment or reschedule one, it can easily be done through your phone or from the hotel computer.
What Does a Paper Planner And a Corded Phone Have in Common?
Let’s use a metaphor: you know those home phones people used to have? The ones with cords attached to the kitchen wall? Well, you couldn’t move around your house with them, you had a perimeter of movement and that’s it. You could create a labyrinth of cords around your kitchen, or accidentally almost trip your mother (which would then result in a long and unavoidable bickering match between you two) but you couldn’t expect to go much further. It’s the same thing with a paper appointment book. You can’t go around your clinic with your giant paper book, going up stairs, with a pen, an appointment book and a phone in your hands.
2. Schedules Get Confusing When You Have More Than One Employee
When you have numerous professionals working for you, you have to make sure all their appointments are clearly indicated and that there is no confusion between anyone. With a paper version, it is complex to make follow-ups between the employees' different schedules. It is so easy to misread a name, a time or even a room on a paper planner: pens smudge and pencil marks fade quickly (and that's only the beginning). A digital version will help you organize all your workers schedule easily (and it's smudge-proof!). All the appointments are organized in an orderly way so everyone knows where and when they have to be.
3. It Is Easy to Lose Important Documents
“Where’s that darn paper I had two minutes ago?” are words that one can often hear in a clinic or a salon. With a digitized booking system, you will never risk loosing important notes again since you don’t need any paper! If you lose your phone, who cares (well, you probably do but at least you didn’t lose all your data)! You’ve got everything backed up on the cloud. You can even double back up your digital appointment book with Google Calendars.
You can’t back up a paper appointment book if something unpredictable happens like fires! Floods! Dogs eating your papers! And at some point, we all know this can happen... So it is better to be prepared and eliminate all the risks, don't you think so?
4. It Can Make Your Office Look Unorganized
A clean front desk is important for the image of your clinic. Stacks of papers littering every surface of your desk and floor does not translate to: “Come on in! We’ll take care of you and we’re really neat and organized people.” You don’t want to lose clients because of the alarming number of papers you have in your office (even if we know you are already well-organized). If you can’t keep your desk tidy, what does that say about your business? A scheduling app, on the other hand, won't pollute your work environment, and will leave your desk neat and clean.
5. You Have Limited Space
You don't have an unlimited amount of space to add as many notes as you'd like for each of your contacts with a paper planner. The digital planner, on the other hand, can store all your comments and ideas, and you can include any documents you wish to add that can enrich your client files.
Keeping track of your client’s history and what treatment they usually like strengthens your business relation with them. Your clients will feel appreciated and stay loyal because you’ve remembered relevant information about them that makes the interaction between you two so much more real which is good for returning business. For example, by adding to your client's file: “Billy Bob - great client, always on time, loved that X cream I used for his shoulder therapy, don’t have any left, should buy more since he wanted to buy some.”
6. No Search Features
Regretably, you can’t Ctrl F in a paper appointment book, and you don’t have a search bar either. You’ll save so much time when you are looking for a specific client or appointment booking in your paperless book.
You want to help the environment? Burn...We mean recycle your paper appointment book now! Electronic ones are manageable, useful, and instinctive because you get so much more out of this tool than lines on a piece of paper. All your information is organized in one place that you can use from anywhere at anytime. You won’t waste any more time looking through piles of documents or your recycling bin. Even if your computer crashes, you have all your information saved and backed up.
After all, the key is to have a tool that can help you and not hinder your work. The whole point is that you save time while using it so you can spend more time on the important stuff: building your empire. So get out there, get digital.