Darryn Lowe

Darryn Lowe is a freelance systems engineer who fixes IT hardware problems. His clients range from large businesses to home users, and even the odd museum. Find out how he uses Bento to help manage his business.

Perfect for Freelance Needs

Overview

  • Freelance systems engineer who fixes IT hardware problems switches job data from a spreadsheet to a Bento jobsheet he has customised from scratch.

Industry

  • IT hardware support

Solutions

  • Quickly customised Bento jobsheet to record the time spent on each job, travel time, car mileage, the type of work assigned and how long the job takes against expectations. Bento for iPhone version used on the road and synchronised daily with desktop version in office.

Benefits

  • Quick and accurate transfer of previous data from spreadsheet
  • Improved efficiency and data security
  • Bento for iPhone reduces clutter on the road and improves safety

His work takes him to a variety of locations every week and he needs to record the time spent on each job, travel time, car mileage, the type of work he is assigned and how long the job takes against expectations. To do this more effectively Lowe was looking for a simple database solution that would record and display this information for him as he wanted. He explains:

When Bento arrived on the market, I was thrilled. It was the database I'd long been looking for, affordable and easy to use but with enough power to handle my data effectively. Bento is a great mix of usability and functionality. It's definitely not a featherweight - it's actually capable of some pretty amazing database structures but still really easy to use.

Lowe explained the frustration he'd experienced prior to Bento:

Existing time recording applications just aren't designed for the kind of work I do. They're mainly designed for project work and even then mostly for people tied to a desk. Bento on the other hand has allowed me to create a database for my specific needs.

He needed a means of recording the necessary job information required for tracking and billing in a logical structure with quick access to information:

Bento allowed me to create my very own jobsheet database. Before Bento I used a spreadsheet to input my data but spreadsheets just don't have the level of data security I needed. Bento has an excellent data backup function.

No Need to Look at the Manual

It took Lowe a mere 20 minutes to get completely comfortable with Bento with no need to refer to the manual:

Once I got the hang of it, I customised my Bento to create my own database for tracking job updates, and got rid of the features I didn't need to streamline it. It even allowed me to import information from the spreadsheet I'd been using.

He continued:

I can't say it enough but Bento's ease-of-use really is its best feature. No one wants to have to sit a degree course in order to use an application, you want to just sit down, dive in and use it effectively. Bento is exactly that. It's got a great feel to it and everything just seems logical. The fact that with just a little bit of playing you can figure out Bento's capabilities all by yourself is testament to its great design.

Improved Working Life

Bento has improved Lowe's efficiency immensely as he can now access his job data clearly and easily:

All the information I need is right there at a glance, in a logical form structure. I don't get lost in table views like I used to with spreadsheets, and that improves my productivity.

Bento for iPhone has opened up a new dimension for Lowe:

I used to carry around my tools, parts required to do the job, my MacBook Pro and bits of paper but now I simply clip my iPhone to my belt leaving my hands free to carry my toolkit and the parts I need. It's safer than having to juggle numerous things and far more comfortable.

Getting data to and from the iPhone version of Bento is simple:

I simply copy and paste into a new record from our call system to desktop Bento where it is easier to do this sort of thing, then I synch to the iPhone and work from that on the road. When I've finished the job and I get back to the office I synch from my iPhone into desktop Bento then copy and paste my updates into our call system.

Lowe concluded:

Bento is great because it is so easy to use and is completely customisable to meet my exact requirements. For those needing a simple database to track simple data needs, I would definitely recommend Bento. But you can create quite complex databases within Bento's limitations and it's this that makes Bento ideal for my needs.

Thank you to Darryn Lowe for sharing his story with us.

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For FileMaker:

Vuki Vujasinovic
Click PR
+61 2 8006 0132
filemaker@clickpr.com.au

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