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MY TECH TOOLS: Scott Harper

When it comes to running a successful business these days, entrepreneurs need a formidable mix of grit, ambition, faith, a strong network and technology too.

You don’t have to be a tech whiz to take your company to the next level, but finding a way to incorporate some of the current digital offerings into your day-to-day biz strategy is crucial for crushing long term goals.

Bi-weekly, we’ll be introducing you to local founders and the cool tech tools that they use in their businesses. This week? We’re featuring experienced entrepreneur, Scott Harper.

Members of the Dialexa team at the EY Entrepreneur Of the Year 2016 Awards. Photo credit: The Dialexa Team

In a tough startup market, Harper, along with his co-founder Mark Haidar, launched Dialexa in 2010 with the ambition to integrate innovation into an organization’s day-to-day business.

Today, Dialexa provides custom technology services and solutions to some of the top companies in the world across a range of industries including automotive, travel, commercial real estate and telecommunications. They also help to bring to market some of the fast-growing emerging startups looking to disrupt their respective categories or create new ones.

Harper is a technology entrepreneur at heart with an engineering and finance background and an extensive experience in sales, product strategy, product development, operations and marketing. Prior to Dialexa, he founded several companies and worked in early stage companies ranging from banking to consumer web to enterprise software. Harper bridges the gap between business and engineering in product development.

In 2016, Harper’s work was recognized by Ernst & Young with the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award 2016 and more recently recognized by Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 2018 awards. The Dialexa team and their work have been recognized for multiple years in a row by Entrepreneur.com as one of the most entrepreneurial companies in America and by industry analyst firm Forrester as one of the top Digital Experience Service Providers in North America.

It’s tough to earn these impressive accolades without great communication and organization. Harper shared some of the tech tools that keep his business running.

Check out Harper’s Tech Tools

Slack

How long have you been using it? Three years

What impact has it had on your business? Slack has facilitated a lot of communication at Dialexa as it’s way more efficient than email. It makes us communicate a lot more frequently while providing the oxygen that’s needed for everybody to stay in sync, especially in the really collaborative work we do. Also, more clients are on it which aids day-to-day communication. It’s pretty lightweight, simple, and the learning curve is super easy.

Any tips or critiques of the tool? Biggest critique with Slack, and it’s something you can control, is that you can get a lot of noise if you’re not too careful. It’s easy to have too many inbound voices, and distractions. It’s important to take it upon yourself to implement some discipline around the channels you subscribe to, respond too, and check in on, along with the kinds of alerts you get. Stay mindful of and archive channels that aren’t used to declutter. Also, implementing third party plugins is super valuable. I use Pingboard for when people are out, Jira, Github, and Todoist to simply add to-do items as they pop up in Slack.

Todoist

How long have you been using it? Three years as well

What impact has it had on your business? I use Todoist a lot for task management as task management and time management are critical to everybody. It helps capture things in my head, so when things come about, and I can’t address them immediately, I can capture it, assign it and tag it in order to stay on top of where I am with what I need to be doing.

Any tips or critiques of the tool? The real tips and tricks with Todoist is getting all of the different apps available integrated on your desktop and mobile devices as well as learning the keyboard shortcuts: all of that makes it really efficient. Something that I don’t do a great job of still and I’m improving on is getting the workflow that actually makes you use it effectively. On that note, I think their templating tools could be dramatically better.

Evernote

How long have you been using it? Ten years

What impact has it had on your business? Evernote has helped me keep everything in sync. It’s where I capture everything personal or professional near me. This includes tax return notices, documents that I don’t want to keep in paper, and nearly anything that I need on file or quick access to, and that’s really valuable. It’s highly searchable, and it also captures images and scans. It gives me a centralized location to take, keep and manage notes from mobile, tablet or web.

Any tips or critiques of the tool? I think the Evernote interface is a bit cluttered. They haven’t really changed much over time, and it hasn’t adapted a whole lot. Because of this, I’ve seen some other note taking tools pop up. Which usually is a sign that the incumbents have gotten a bit lazy. That said, I am perfectly happy with the tool, so they are still doing something right.

Have tools to share?

Do you have tech tools that keep your business running smooth? We want to hear them. Email our editor.

Editor at Launch DFW | SMU senior studying journalism, creative computing and computer science graduating in May '18 | Twitter: @jacquieeli | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jacquelynrelias