Forget the hassles and cost of old-fashioned office and business software: Now, you can do everything online with Zoho! Discover how to make the most of the amazing online applications that over a million people are already using! Here are complete step-by-step instructions and great insider tips for using Zoho’s 15 hottest applications to run your business--and your life! Nancy Conner covers everything from word processing and spreadsheets to Zoho’s slick new collaboration and customer relationship tools. You’ll get started fast...then learn how to build great documents and reports...share presentations worldwide...manage email and IMs from anywhere...run web conferences...plan your day...invoice your customers...and a whole lot more! This book can help you do practically anything you need to do--faster, smarter, and at lower cost!
You’ll Learn How To
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Nancy Conner writes and edits tech books from her home in central New York state, on topics ranging from eBay to WAN optimization to Google Apps. She’s also worked as a medievalist, an English teacher, and a corporate trainer. Nancy holds a PhD from Brown University.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Zo-who? Getting to Know Zoho
Never heard of Zoho? You will. Zoho has been around only since 2005, but in that time it’s launched a complete suite of business- and productivity-related applications—from Writer, its word processor and first program, to CRM, a sophisticated tool for managing customer relationships.
Zoho’s name comes from a play on SOHO, which stands for small office home office, and the SOHO market was one of the company’s first targets. As word spread, and as Zoho released more applications, small-to-medium businesses showed interest. And large enterprises weren’t far behind. In summer of 2008, Zoho’s millionth customer signed up.
What’s the buzz about? In a nutshell: sharing, collaboration, and affordability. Because Zoho offers software as a service over the Internet, you can access your applications (and their documents, data, and records) from anywhere you can connect to the Internet and use a web browser to sign in. Storing documents and data online also makes it easy for you to share, publish, and collaborate with others. So, for example, when your team members are putting together a report or a PowerPoint-style presentation, they can work on it anytime, from anywhere—several people can work on the document at once, updating a single copy in real time.
As for affordability, all Zoho services are free, or have a free version you can try. Business applications have different pricing structures for different subscription levels, so you’re never paying for more than your business actually needs.
Note - A note about security: Zoho knows how important it is to keep your data safe and private. Zoho locates its servers in super-secure datacenters behind sophisticated, state-of-the-art firewalls. Servers are regularly checked to prevent vulnerabilities and are constantly scanned to protect from viruses and other suspicious traffic. In addition, your data is backed up daily on multiple servers at multiple locations. How does that compare to your desktop?
A Quick Overview of This Book
Zoho 4 Everyone is designed to be what its name implies: a book for anyone and everyone who’s interested in learning how to use Zoho’s online programs. Whether you’re looking for a free, easy-to-use online word processor to write your memoirs or a suite of productivity tools for your business, this book has something for you. Even if you’re new to web-based applications or you’re still learning your way around keyboard, Zoho 4 Everyone will get you up to speed in using Zoho’s most popular programs.
This book is organized into parts, and each part groups programs by what they do: create and organize documents and slideshow-style presentations, track data, communicate and keep track of your to-dos, meet and collaborate online, and streamline your business processes. This section describes how the book is put together.
Part I: Documents and Presentations
Part I is all about information: writing documents and reports, adding content to a virtual notebook, and communicating your ideas in a slideshow format. In Part I, you’ll find these chapters:
Part II: Spreadsheets and Databases
Everybody needs to keep track of something. Whether you’re keeping the family to a monthly budget, cataloging your stamp collection, or updating your business’s inventory, spreadsheets and databases have become indispensable tools for life in the twenty-first century. This part of the book has chapters that cover these data-management tools:
Part III: Communication and Scheduling Tools
A big part of the attraction of web-based applications is the ease of communication and sharing that the Web allows. This part of the book focuses on applications that let you communicate with others and share your schedule:
Part IV: Meeting and Collaboration Tools
The whole point of online applications is how easy they make it to collaborate. This part of the book covers Zoho’s state-of-the-art collaboration tools:
Part V: Apps for Business
You can use any of Zoho’s applications for your business, but this part of the book focuses on those designed to meet specific business needs:
Note - Zoho is responsive to user feedback and feature requests, which means Zoho frequently updates its applications. Because of these frequent updates, you may find that some of the pages and steps on the live applications differ from what you see in this book.
What Are You Waiting For? Signing Up and Signing In
When you sign up for a Zoho account, you get access to most of Zoho’s applications with just one user ID and password. It’s called single sign-on, and it saves you both time and the effort of remembering multiple passwords. (Some of the business apps, such as CRM, still require you to set up an account, although you can use the same username and password for that account as you use for all your other Zoho apps.)
To sign up for a Zoho account, a good place to start is Zoho’s home page: http://www.zoho.com. (You can also create an account from the home page of any individual Zoho service, such as wiki.zoho.com or writer.zoho.com or mail.zoho.com.) On the right side of the page, click the Sign Up link to open the page shown in Figure I.1. It takes just a little information to create your account:
Look good? Then click Sign Up. Zoho emails you a confirmation notice; click the link in the email, and you’ve got a Zoho account of your very own.
Signing In to Zoho Through a Google or Yahoo! Account
If you have a Yahoo! or a Google account, you can use that account to sign in to Zoho. This is helpful if you want to take a look at a few Zoho services before you decide whether to sign up, but you also get full access to Zoho services when you sign in this way. So if someone shares a Zoho Writer document with you, for example, you don’t have to create a whole new Zoho account to access it—you can sign in through your existing Google or Yahoo! account.
When you sign in to Zoho through your Google or Yahoo! account, you give Zoho temporary, limited access to your account. Zoho doesn’t store your password or poke around in your personal documents.
To sign in using your Yahoo! or Google account, go to Zoho’s home page at http://www.zoho.com (or go to the home page of any Zoho service). In the Sign In box on the right side of the page, look for where it says Sign In Using Google or Yahoo. Click Google or Yahoo!, depending on which service you use.
If you’re not currently signed in to the service you clicked, a page opens asking for your user ID and password. Type these in and click the Sign In button. When you’re signed in, another page opens, asking for your permission to grant Zoho limited access to your account to log you in. Click I Agree (in Yahoo!) or Grant Access (in Google) to sign in to Zoho.
Getting Help with Zoho Applications
In the Zoho suite of services, different applications have different levels of help. Some have an FAQ (a list of frequently asked questions), others have a Help wiki, still others have a phone number you can call for live assistance, and some leave you more or less on your own (so it was smart of you to pick up this book).
If you can’t find a Help link in a Zoho program, or if the FAQ for that program doesn’t answer your question, the best place to try is one of the Zoho forums. Each Zoho app has forums for feedback, feature requests, bug reports, and announcements. Most apps have a Forums link at the top of their pages. If you don’t see a link, you can get directly to the Forum page for that app by pointing your web browser to forums.zoho.com. Zoho services are listed along the right side of the page; click the one you want, and then use the upper-right Quick Search box to look for keywords related to your issue.
To ask a question, choose a particular forum from the Forums Categories list on the right. On the page that opens, click New Topic to open a form where you can ask your question and add it to the ongoing discussion.
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