Ferdinand Center for the Creative is a small nonprofit working to start a graphic design school in the Philippines for artists who can’t afford college. Rather than pay tuition, their students give back to the community by volunteering with feeding, elementary education and social welfare programs for street children.
We store all our contacts in there, whether they’re student applicants, confirmed students, donors, volunteers, vendors, partners, or even personal contacts, and keep them all organized by category. We schedule all our meetings and events, as well as personal lives in it to catch any scheduling conflicts, and use it to invite other participants to join in. We input all our student applications into it as form entries, attached to the applicants’ contact entries, and are then able to use Smart Lists to filter all the applicants in a super intelligent way that helps us tremendously when it comes to figuring out which applicants we can accept as students. I can’t state enough how much I’m in love with the Smart Lists feature, especially combined with forms. For instance, we’ve got one Smart List that shows all our applicants who either haven’t attended college or have had to drop out of college due to financial issues. We can then schedule a one-on-one interview with those applicants. Then we have another Smart List that shows all the applicants who’ve already attended the first interview, have been emailed for a second interview, and haven’t responded in more than a week. This tells us we can either try to send a follow-up email, or try contacting them in a different way (since we deal with people in poverty who may not have access to email that often). This is a level of complexity that we’d never be able to achieve without Daylite.
We’re a very small, young organization, and as such, we don’t have much funds yet for hiring employees. That requires me to be something of a master-of-all-trades, when really I’m more of a passable-at-many-trades kind of guy. I think of Daylite as an employee. An employee I was able to hire really cheaply, and only pay once. It does all the work I’m weak at, such as scheduling, organizers, and follow-up reminders. It’s made it possible for us to survive without hiring another employee to handle those tasks, and it’s helped save my sanity in the process. Before Daylite, I'd tried a lot of mixes of different software, none of which did everything I wanted. FileMaker Pro, Bento, Contactizer Pro, Google Calendar, BusyCal, Highrise, Basecamp, OmniFocus. None of them did everything I needed, and they didn't integrate well with each other. I was a huge fan of OmniFocus, but when I discovered I could use Daylite to do everything I'd been doing in OmniFocus, as well as replace that big stack of software and online services I'd been using, I was sold and knew I needed to make the switch once and for all. Daylite fits perfectly with my GTD workflow.
I actually don’t have an iPhone currently, but I hope to get one soon and the main reason is Daylite. I use Daylite on my iPad, though, and it’s really all about mobility; about having all our information at our fingertips, wherever we are, and being able to make decisions away from the computer.
We bring the iPad to all our events. If we’re selling our t-shirts at a fundraiser, we’ll have the iPad playing our music video on a loop to help attract customers. We can then instantly sign up new fans to our mailing list with the iPad, as well as using it to ring up sales. And if we meet anyone interesting who can help us in any way, or who we can help, then their contact information goes immediately into Daylite.
Daylite is probably our second most-used application on our Macs, second only to our web browsers. It’s our organizer. It’s our decision maker. It keeps track of our marketing campaigns and shows us where we fail and succeed. Daylite for iPad makes it so we can have all our most important information with us everywhere else we go.
Having my contacts and schedule everywhere I go. I can have my iPad with me during student applicant interviews, and it’s much less of a barrier between me and the applicant than if I were to bring a laptop or sit behind a desk with a computer. It makes interviews much more casual and intimate one-on-one conversations, while still allowing me access to all my notes and information about the person I’m talking with.
We’re able to track everything we do with it. We schedule our marketing campaigns, and track their successes, attaching notes to review to each project. We use forms to track customer/donor satisfactions, and then are able to filter those with smart lists to see where our strengths and weaknesses are. We actually follow through with follow-ups now. That’s big.
Another thing I'd like to comment on about Daylite is just how beautiful and easy to use it is. It's got a great interface like I find in apps from my favorite developers, like Panic, and it's so simple to grasp. It's a reason businesses should seriously consider buying Macs. I go to other businesses and see the ugly, complicated software they use that all looks like it was designed in the late '80s or early '90s, and I wonder why they don't just save on training costs by purchasing Macs with Daylite.