Nancy Conner Zoho 4 Everyone

ISBN 13: 9780789739377

Zoho 4 Everyone

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9780789739377: Zoho 4 Everyone

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

  • Get the power of today’s top productivity applications
  • Track, organize, and report on all your data, from personal collections to customer relationships
  • Simplify the way you manage your tasks, events, and appointments
  • Store anything you create or find on the Web--and access it from anywhere
  • Use Zoho’s powerful collaboration tools, including web conferencing and wiki-building
  • Create invoices and estimates for your small business or freelance work
  • Manage marketing, sales, and HR teams more efficiently than ever before

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About the Author:

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.:

Introduction

Introduction
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:

  • Chapter 1: “Have Your Say with Zoho Writer”—Writer is Zoho’s word-processing program. Because your documents are stored online, you have access to those documents wherever you have a web browser and Internet access. But you can also work on your documents when you’re not connected to the Internet and then sync them with Writer when you’re back online. If you’ve never tried a web-based word processor, you’ll be surprised at the way Writer steps up to the job, letting you format documents, use templates, and insert images, links, and tables—pretty much everything you expect and need in a word-processing program.
  • Chapter 2: “Zoho Notebook: Clip, Snip, and Organize”—Notebook is an online program that lets you gather and organize different kinds of content—text, images, audio, and video—and then easily share that content with others.
  • Chapter 3: “Presenting...Zoho Show”—A presentation is a slideshow, similar to those made with Microsoft’s PowerPoint. Presentations are meant to be shared, and Show makes it easy for you to do just that. With Show, there’s no need for your audience to be in the same room, because you can run your presentation over the Web.

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:

  • Chapter 4: “Track Data with Zoho Sheet”—Zoho’s spreadsheet program lets you organize, analyze, and store your data in a single, secure, easy-to-access location. For power users, Sheet also offers advanced features such as recording macros and creating pivot tables.
  • Chapter 5: “Zoho Reports: Online Databases and Reports”—Use this online database to enter data and use it to create reports in the form of charts, pivot tables, and summaries (and that’s just for starters) by simply dragging and dropping. Because the data is stored on the Web, your whole team can access that information from anywhere: on the road, at home, or at a far-flung branch office.
  • Chapter 6: “Do-It-Yourself Applications: Zoho Creator”—Who said you need to know how to program to design a database? With Zoho Creator, if you know how to use a computer mouse, you can create a database of your very own. Design one or more forms, and then use those forms to capture data and view it in different ways.

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:

  • Chapter 7: “Zoho Mail: Web Mail Redux”—If you’ve tried just one web-based application, chances are you’ve tried a web-based email program, such as Hotmail or Gmail. After you give Zoho Mail a try, you’re likely to make it your email program of choice. Zoho Mail lets you organize your email messages in a way that makes sense to you: folders, labels, or both. It also integrates seamlessly with other Zoho applications.
  • Chapter 8: “Instant Communication with Zoho Chat”—Chat is Zoho’s instant-messaging (IM) program, which you can use to send and receive messages with any of your contacts who are online: friends, family, coworkers, business contacts, and more. Unlike some other IM programs, there’s no software to download, so you can chat from any computer with a web browser and an Internet connection. Chat one on one or in groups, and save a transcript of the conversation to read later.
  • Chapter 9: “Zoho Planner: Your Online To-Do List”—Keep yourself organized with this simple, streamlined program that lists your upcoming events, tasks, and appointments as to-dos and lets you share them with others. If you tend to be forgetful or are always running late, you’ll appreciate Planner’s automatic email reminders.

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:

  • Chapter 10: “Zoho Meeting: Web Conferencing Made Simple”—Online meetings are all the rage—not because they’re fashionable, but because they’re convenient. Zoho Meeting lets you schedule and run online meetings through your web browser. Participants can join immediately—there’s no special software for them to download and install. Zoho Meeting works with Skype, a service that lets you make free voice calls over the Internet, to add voice conversations to the meeting.
  • Chapter 11: “Build Collaborative Sites with Zoho Wiki”—A wiki is a collaborative website; when you create a wiki, you can make it your own personal website, or you can invite people to work on it with you. So a class can work together to create a group website on, say, saving the whales; a family can share photos, memories, and news; and a business team can create a site dedicated to its current project. Zoho Wiki works with other Zoho services, such as Writer and Show, making it easy for you to fill up its pages.

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:

  • Chapter 12: “Manage Customers with Zoho Invoice and Zoho CRM”—Whether you’re a self-employed consultant or work for a large company, business is all about keeping your customers happy—and getting paid. And that’s what these two programs are designed to help you do. Invoice is a good choice for small-to-medium businesses looking for a way to streamline and track their invoicing procedure. CRM is for companies looking for an all-in-one customer-relationship management solution—from launching a marketing campaign, to following up on leads, to closing the sale, to processing payments.
  • Chapter 13: “Keep the Team on Task with Zoho Projects”—Managing a project is a complex set of overlapping objectives, tasks, and deadlines. Whatever the project, if you’re managing it, you have to assemble a team, assign roles and tasks, create a document library, set up meetings, and keep an eye on approaching deadlines. That’s a lot of juggling, and Zoho Projects helps you keep all the balls in the air by managing all these activities with a single application.
  • Chapter 14: “Zoho People: Your Online HR Office”—Zoho People provides a common-sense workflow for managing your organization’s hiring process—from posting a new job opening, to identifying qualified candidates through making an offer and bringing the new employee on board. But that’s not all—People also has tools for managing current employees, including a self-service page where employees can update their information, request time off, sign up for training, and so on. People is customizable, so you can be sure it fits your organization’s 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:

  • Username—The ID you want to use with your Zoho apps.
  • Email address—Where Zoho can send the confirmation email.
  • Password/Confirm Password—Type in a hard-to-guess password (it’s best to use a combination of letters and numbers) to gain access to your account.
  • Image text—To prove you’re a person and not some kind of web bot, type the sequence of letters and numbers into the text box.
  • Agreement—Click the links to read Zoho’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. If you agree, check this box.
  • Newsletter—If you want Zoho’s newsletter delivered to your email inbox, check the box that subscribes you.

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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