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For the first instalment of our ‘How They Work’ series, we’ve asked Mark Harris from Xero to reveal the secrets of his workday success. Read on to find out what software he swears by to manage work on the go, and discover the free app that has had a huge impact on Mark’s productivity…

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Mark Harris, I’m a Vertical Account Manager for Xero and I have been with the company since September 2010. My role is varied but I manage relationships with our strategic partners, large franchise’s and I manage our Cloud Integrator channel

What software do you use to manage your emails, contacts and calendar?

I’m a huge fan of Apple products. I use a Macbook Pro, iPhone 5 & iPad day to day to conduct my business. I have Google App’s setup on my devices so I can still use Macmail, iCal & iCloud.

Do you run a CRM, and if so, what is this?

Xero have provided me with our own internal CRM called BOSS. I’m also a fan of Capsule CRM & often recommend this to most small business owners

What’s your best software advice for running your job role day to day (tasks, to do’s, follow ups etc)?

Ensure everything is setup correctly and integrated, its no good adding a task to your calendar and it not showing up in real time across all of your devices. I travel a lot in my role & with integration of all my devices working in sync I always know where I need to be & when.

What’s the biggest advantage of cloud software for you in your role?

The main advantage is flexibility, I can work from home, from the office or from an airport and providing I have a wi-fi connection. I can work, stay on top of my emails and update my CRM from anywhere in the world

What one piece of advice would you offer someone who’s never used cloud software?

I think the truth is that most people HAVE used cloud software & they were oblivious to it. Microsoft setup Hotmail almost 20 years ago & most people had a Hotmail account. This was cloud software in its infancy. Most people have used a cloud based email platform or internet banking. If it can work for your email & your banking what else can it do. If I had to recommend one solution it would be iCloud

What other productivity tips do you have (software or otherwise)?

I use Wunderlist, it’s a free app from the app store. I can create lists, tasks, notes & upload files on the move. I have Wunderlist on all of my devices and its one of the best things I have done to increase productivity. Xero is also a fantastic solution for managing my accounts & expenses. I’m also a big fan of Shopify & think they will be a highly successful company in the future.

Thanks Mark! Some great advice for anyone a little hesitant about moving into the cloud. And check out Wunderlist and Shopify – we’re big fans here at Waypoint too.

Throughout March, we’ll be featuring more leading lights in cloud startups, so stay tuned for the next instalment of the ‘How They Work’ series!

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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