Track Mileage in QuickBooks

Recently, there have been lots of tech support questions regarding how to track business expenses that are paid out-of-pocket from personal funds. One of the most common questions is about using a personal vehicle for business purposes. QuickBooks has a great Mileage Log that can generate reports for your accountant or even track billable mileage expenses for clients. We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor, accountant, or the IRS to determine if you can deduct the costs of operating and maintaining your vehicle and which method you should use. Visit the IRS website to find more information about vehicle mileage.

In general, you can use one of the following for calculating your vehicle mileage expenses:

  • Standard mileage rate (The current IRS mileage rate is .55¢ per mile)
  • Actual expenses (Includes service on vehicle and fuel costs)

The first step to managing mileage in QuickBooks is to create a list of vehicles whose mileage you plan to track. To track mileage for a vehicle, you must add it to the Vehicle list.

  1. Click on Company to access the drop down list and select Enter Vehicle Mileage.
  2. In the Enter Vehicle Mileage window, click the drop down arrow beside Vehicle.
  3. Click on Add New.
  4. Enter a name for the vehicle and an optional description. The vehicle name might be the model and year of the car, the license number, or a specific number that you've given to a vehicle.
  5. Click OK.

Now you are ready to enter vehicle mileage for business related trips.

  1. Click on Company to access the drop down list and select Enter Vehicle Mileage.
  2. Click the drop down arrow beside Vehicle to select a vehicle.
  3. Enter the start and end dates for the trip.
  4. Enter the mileage from the odometer, both beginning and end. QuickBooks will calculate the total mileage for you, based on these numbers.
  5. (Optional) If you plan to bill a customer for this expense, select the Billable checkbox. Don't forget to click the Customer:Job drop-down list to assign it to a specific customer.
  6. Save your mileage record.


I Want to Think About it!

What does someone really mean when they say "I Want to Think About It." Watch the video to see what Jeffrey Gitomer has to say.

This video clip was part of Jeffrey's ezine I received yesterday. He responds to two questions from readers in every ezine; his response is a video recording now. How clever!! Much more engaging of all of us avid readers.


Treat your family and friends to some old-fashioned cookies

Last week at our IDG Course attendees enjoyed my oatmeal cookies. Several have emailed us and requested the recipe. Here it is for all to try. Right click on the image and choose Save or Print.


Stretch Your Advertising Dollars ~ Wrap Your Company Vehicle!

Wrapping your vehicle is an inexpensive and an easy way to advertise your business. We wrapped our Dandelion vehicle for around $600. We designed this simple wrap ourselves. The company you contract to wrap your vehicle will help guide you with any necessary adjustments. And, of course, they have a graphic software that will allow you to see the finished product before you sign on the dotted line.

Clients mention they see our vehicle all around town. Marketing is all about having people remember your company. A vehicle wrap helps your company stay top of mind with people in your community.

We drive it everywhere ~ it is free advertisement!! (Once you pay for it) We have had our wrap for a little over a year.

We do have commercial tags for our vehicle. I think a company might be required to have commercial tags if they add a wrap to a vehicle.


IDG Certification Course for Studio ~ Travels North

The Central New Jersey Chapter of WCAA hosted the IDG Course for its members and guests on Friday, June 12. The information packed day-long session led by Merlyn Corcoran was held at The Center for Great Expectations.

Kelli Chitty, Membership Chair, describes The Center: "There are two residential treatment homes that welcome homeless, pregnant adolescents in one; and homeless, pregnant adult women who are in addiction recovery in the other. Following the birth, each mother can return to the Center with her baby and other children, up to the age of 5, to continue in the programs and services that will help them break the cycle of bad decision making." She and 38 other members of this very active, socially responsible Chapter donated their time and materials to transform this building into a warm and welcoming home with lovely window treatments.

In their lower level conference room attendees opened their laptops and spent the day learning Studio 3.0, from elevation rendering to designing on a photo and creating floor plans. Many had never worked in a graphic software program before and mastered skills they can use to set their businesses apart from other designers and workrooms.

Use the Quicklist in ActiveWords Until You Memorize Your List

Using the Quicklist in ActiveWords will come in very handy until you memorize your new words. Click on Menu > Options > Assistants > select how many words you want to display on your Quicklist and color of your list. I decided on 15 words to be displayed on my Quicklist. The above screenshot is of my Desktop displaying the ActiveWords menu bar with the Quicklist displayed.

I added Webster Dictionary as one of my Activewords. My ActiveWord is "dict". Now anytime I need a definition or thesaurus I simply enter my ActiveWord in my browser and voila I am there. http://www.merriam-webster.com/


Speed Up Productivity with Two of My Favorite Programs

I wanted to share with you two of my favorite productivity software programs. These are huge time savers in our office for both Dandelion Interiors and Minutes Matter.

First on my hot list is ActiveWords, an auto-correct and auto-launch program. It is a fairly new program that Susan Gill, from Susan Gill Workroom in NY, recommended to me. My second must have program is Snagit, a screen capture program that we have been using for years. These two programs have really reduced our time spent on computer work and have made completing correspondence fast and easy.

Both programs are inexpensive, with a cost of only $49 each for a personal license, and both have a free trial period.

(Auto-Correct/Auto-Launch software)
All of us have them, phrases that we use frequently in our correspondence; this program speeds up composing and replying to emails and other day to day general business correspondence. One of my favorite things about this program is that it works on every program resident on your computer, not just one specific program. Below are a few of the features that ActiveWords has to offer. To learn more about what this program can do, visit their website and view their videos. Note: Most of their videos do not include audio. Download the FREE 60-Day trial of this program now!

Substitute Text
It's "Auto-Correct" on steroids. For the first time, you can rely on text substitutions as a property of your computer rather than as a feature of a specific program or set of programs. The investment in applying text substitutions can now pay off across your entire computing environment. You will realize tangible improvements in productivity and in the accuracy of your work. Learn More

Open Programs, Files, and Folders
Stop digging through nested folders and hierarchical menus to get what you already know you want. Need to launch Microsoft EXCEL? Just enter and trigger the word "excel" when the thought occurs to you. Need to open your folder that contains tax information? Just enter and trigger the word "taxes" and the folder comes to you. Name all your most frequently used programs, files, and folders to have them available instantly!

Here is what I did:
I downloaded and installed the program, viewed the videos (only 15 minutes) and went right to work. After the installation was complete, ActiveWords placed a very thin toolbar along the top of my computer screen. This toolbar allows you add phrases on the fly, view your ActiveWord list, and edit your ActiveWord list. To set the trigger command that best fits our companies' needs, I clicked on Menu > Options> Set ActiveWord Key > uncheck F8 key as the trigger key. (see first screenshot) Once that trigger was disabled, then click on "Confirmation Options" to use the spacebar as the default trigger command. (see second screenshot) Once you set up the trigger keystrokes, all you have to do is press the spacebar once or twice (depending if you have or have not checked the confirmation flag box) and, voila, your stored phrase appears. If your ActiveWord is unique/not a regular word then uncheck the confirmation flag box. Now that's what Minutes Matter is all about!! If you don't have a server, I recommend you purchase the personal version. If you have a server, you should definitely consider purchasing the Enterprise version.

(Screen Capture software)

Snagit is software that allows you to take a "snapshot" of anything on your PC screen and then lets you send it, store it, or turn it into a detailed graphic for later use. The entire Minutes Matter & Dandelion Interiors staff has used this program for many years. In fact, they all say that they never want to be without Snagit. You can "Snag" any portion of a page on a website or anything you see on your PC. The two screen shots above were captured with Snagit. The arrows and the rectangle with rounded corners were added with Snagit. You will find that using Snagit for your website, blog, Facebook, printed collateral and email will make your life so much easier. You will find that the uses for this program are unlimited!

Download this software and see for yourself how handy this program will be to your business (and the personal uses are limitless too). You can download Snagit and try it free for 30 days. I know I didn't talk about this software as much as ActiveWords but we love it just as much.


Class Photo of Minutes Matter IDG Cerfitication Class at High Point Furniture Market

We had a great class at High Point in April this year. Looking forward to a great class in the fall. Attendees love this hands on class. It is absolutely the most fun way to learn.


New Studio Webinar - June 18th

We are excited to announce a new webinar for Studio users on June 18th & August 18th. The webinar title is "Create Logo Wall Templates in Studio."

As you know, a logo is an essential part of every business. So naturally, everyone wants to add their logo to the wall templates in Studio. During this presentation you will learn the simple techniques of how to add and save your logo to the existing wall templates in Studio. We will demonstrate how you can create multiple personalized wall templates. See how easy it is to create a banner style heading for landscape paper and with a few adjustments create another size banner for portrait paper. You will also learn how to add your company information to the bottom of your wall template.

Attendees will learn how to save each of these personalized wall templates to Studio's custom tab. Saving these templates to Studio's custom tab will allow you quick and easy access to these templates as you begin a rendering or present the "Design in 5" technique right in front of a client.

Customized Wall Templates
Cost: $35
Date: June 18th & August 18th
Time: 1:00PM Eastern, 12:00PM Central, 11:00AM Mountain, 10:00AM Pacific


What Can Helser Brothers' Website do for Studio Users?

While I was at the Vision09 Expo in Atlanta a few weeks ago, I visited with Mark & Jay Helser of Helser Brothers at their booth. While we were discussing all the amazing things that Studio 3.0 could do, Mark & Jay showed me their new website. I decided to do some experimenting with their hardware images. The photography of their hardware is superb and best of all (for Studio users) all the hardware has a clean white background. So with the help of Studio's Photo Knockout tool, I did a "Save Picture as" on a finial and a pole with my desired finish. I imported the finial into my Studio rendering and used the Photo Knockout tool which removed the white background from the image, second I imported the rod and used the Photo Knockout tool again. Then I simply re- sized the hardware to the actual size. I used Studio's dimension tool to get the size accurate. Even though the photograph of the rod is a small segment, I was able to stretch it to the width I needed without any problem.

In the rendering below, I selected their Boca finial in the Manchester finish. Since their website is new all of the finishes are not available online yet. Currently, you can only view and save the displayed finish. However, in two months all of the finishes will be available on their website. Wow, getting the actual finish on Helser Brothers hardware in Studio, how cool is that? Want to see for yourself? Download Studio 3.0 today for a free 30 day trial! Click on the Free Trial icon next to Kate.

The window treatment design is one of Jackie Von Tobel's designs. This design is included in Studio's first Jackie Von Tobel module. It's the Cowled Flag Drapery with Banding.