"What's holding you back? " asked the keynote speaker at a recent business event. Easy... administration, compliance and BT. Whilst I have to be patient for BT to make improvements to their service and similarly acknowledge that regulation and compliance is not going to get any lighter in the personal financial services sector, I can take some small steps to streamline my administration and spend more time with clients.
So, I'd like to share my 5 most used apps that have helped so far.
1. Good Notes IV - Time Base Technologies Ltd
How much time do you waste looking for that compliment slip with vital information or the post it note or scrap of paper with a much needed phone number ? Is your desk cluttered with notebooks and caps of paper ?
Are you a scribbler who likes to take hand written notes at a meeting, lecture or networking event ?
Good notes can help and as I've found out over the course of last year it can do so much more. Use it to annotate pdf documents, complete application forms, store pdf brochures, key feature documents, illustrations, guides. You can set up notebooks for when the creative ideas start flowing, notebooks for each client meeting, notebooks for each networking event. Like all apps they need to be used for a while to understand their full potential and then customised for use your way.
This is how I have been using it.
I've created a Master Category List which includes, Clients, Ideas, Products, CPD, Exam Study, Initial Disclosure Documents. Here's a screen shot from some exam revision notes imported a pdf into the Exam Study master category. There's been a few sub categories here but that's another blog for another day.
Its perhaps with organising material for client meetings that Good notes has really come into its own. Under the Client master category, I create a sub category for each client meeting containing a notebook for handwritten notes. As well as notebooks Good Notes allows you to import pdf's. This allows me take all the documents, charts, brochures, illustrations, forms, I might need all within the one folder and ready to annotate as we go through the client meeting. There's an electronic rubber to wipe out unwanted notes and a highlighter pen. The ink flow is very responsive and pens come with different ink colours and nib thickness. Then, before I leave the meeting any documents and notebooks can be emailed, synced, printed or exported for safe keeping to Google drive or iCloud before deleting from my iPad.
Find out more here
2. Scanner Pro 6 - Readdle
Once more in the quest for an uncluttered desk and mind the ability to turn my phone or iPad into a scanner has been another most used app. Its quicker than my desk top scanner, can create documents with multiple pages ready to be saved and shared by email, social media or other apps on your device.
The scanner automatically loads scans to a nominated cloud storage. I've found it invaluable in taking scans on the spot at client meetings of documents, where I prefer to leave the originals with my clients. They can be uploaded on to a specified client folder on the main server and immediately deleted from the mobile device.
Readdle's Scanner Pro is also handy for copying news articles to share, dare I say it recipes, receipts, screen shots, event handouts. Use it your way. The app is also compatible with Good Notes which means I can import scans into folders for greater organisation.
Discover more here
3. Cam Card - Intsig Information Co Ltd.
The result of going to a lot of trade shows or networking events is a pocketful and a deskill of business cards and then when you need that very one, its nowhere to be found. Cue Cam Card.. this handy app not only relieves your desk from all those business cards but saves you the time of entering the all the contact details by hand into your contact management system.
A press of a button has cam card scanning the business card, it highlights the important contact details and then enters the relevant information into the right fields for either Gmail contacts, or iCloud contacts or both. Not only does cam card save you from the tedium of entering details manually into a contact management system, the full app allows cards to be shared, tagged, reminders added and notices received when contacts move companies or get promoted.
You can also add meeting notes and it will pick up your location and let you know where you first met the holder of the card. How it does all this is as mysterious and amazing as the time it saves you.
Discover More here
4. Tax App - Intrinsic
There's loads of features and information contained in this app which make it indispensable particularly for those of us who's memory recall is a little slower. there's so much information to retain as a financial planner its not always easy to recall the detail immediately but that's what clients often want and need. So to save my head from bursting and to declutter my mind so I can focus on my client's needs during a meeting, its reassuring to have the equivalent to a weighty tax guide, on my phone, in my pocket, ready and waiting.
The app has all the tax tables you can shake a stick at, including amongst others, car benefits for employees, National Insurance contributions, stamp duties as well as all the personal and corporation tax reliefs. There's calculators for loans, inheritance tax, savings, future values, break even points, V.A.T ,along with Budget updates and a news feed.
5. Attitude to Investment Risk App - Intrinsic
Attitude to investment risk isn't the sole focus when working out financial plans and the right type of investment funds or portfolios for our clients. It allows financial planners to work within a regulatory framework but it is just a starting point to much broader discussions.
Where this app excels is enabling us to engage with clients quite quickly in discussions around what may originally appear to be quite complex subjects. Investment experience to date , their own appetite for investment risk, capacity for loss, appropriate asset allocations all of which are combined with goals based planning, all during a client meeting, without having to go back and forth to the office.
Financial Plans are built around changing circumstances, needs and aspirations and these will vary from client to client. This app allows some of the initial concerns, goals and understandings to be worked out during a client meeting, allowing us to reach a draft proposal stage in a shorter time frame. The report can be emailed there and then from my iPad to my server for safe storage and to my client's inbox if I wish to leave a "takeaway" from our initial meeting.
If you've got a favourite or indispensable app I'd love to find out more. Please use any of the contact details at the top of the page or complete the contact form below.
Whilst reading the blog articles please be aware of the following:
Welcome to the blog curated by Jill Turner. The pages are not intended to give advice, they are just the real life stories from a real life financial planner and the wonderful people I get to meet.
I want the pages to be engaging, informative and purposeful.
The information contained within this blog is based on our understanding of current government proposals and tax
law, both are liable to change in the future.
Jill Turner is a member of the Personal Financial Society