Even if you are not very tech savvy, technology can enhance your massage practice with free software, email and digitizing tips.
PLEASE READ: Use this information and these links at your own risk. ALWAYS “surf safe” with a quality virus and spyware program. These tips are are suggestions only and do not replace the tech support or manuals that come with your computer and programs. If you are new to technology, consider trading massage for technical help from a friend!
Our How To Guides:
- Open Microsoft Word Documents – Free Software Alternative
- Upgrade Your Web Browser For A Better, Safer Internet Experience
- Digitize Your Forms And Save Trees!
- Upload Documents As Email Attachments
How To Open Microsoft Word Documents – Free Software Alternative
The Microsoft Word “.doc” format is the most popular format for business documents. Here are some free alternatives if you do not have (or do not like) Microsoft Word:
EASY – Stress Recess recommends AbiWord, a program that is similar to Microsoft Word, but free! You can open any Word document, and create new documents in Word-compatible “.doc” format. We have tested the PC version, (download here)! Stress Recess has not tested the Mac Version, but you can read about it and download it here. Tip: When you save documents in AbiWord, be sure to choose the .doc format if you want to send the document to a Word user.
ADVANCED – Google’s Google Docs online program takes a bit more work than AbiWord, but it is worth it. With Google, you can work with documents from any computer or any internet-enabled phone, without any software. Get a Google Docs accounts at docs.google.com. It takes an hour or two to set up your account and learn your way around Google Docs, but you can open, create, and save documents in Microsoft compatible formats, from anywhere, and it’s free!
How To Upgrade Your Web Browser For A Better, Safer Internet Experience
Invoicing problems are rare. However, when a therapist cannot send an invoice, it is usually because of their browser. Stress Recess strongly recommends updating your current browser and downloading additional browsers as not all websites have full functionality on all platforms.
Mozilla Firefox: Try installing the Firefox browser for fastest and most stable internet experience. You can download and install Firefox in about 5 minutes, here.
Internet Explorer: If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, make sure you are using version 8 or higher. Earlier versions of IE may cause problems. Open IE and choose [Help] – [About] from the menu to see your version. To upgrade IE, go here.
Google Chrome: Finally if the other two options don’t suit your fancy, Google Chrome has picked up a lot of popularity lately. Download Google Chrome Here
How To Digitize Your Forms And Save Trees!
WHY? Stress Recess is committed to ‘green’ business, and we don’t use fax machines or toxic ink in our paperless office. Instead, we use digital forms. Digital documents have many benefits for your massage practice, from tracking receipts to saving on postage. Go green like Stress Recess, and watch your business grow!
HOW? It’s easy! Most MT’s use a scanner. If you have a multifunction printer, you probably already have a scanner, so check your manual. You can also use a digital camera or a video camera to ‘photo’ your forms. (This is a great way to back up important papers! ) Many newer camera phones can photo forms, too. If you have a camera and internet access on your phone, you may be able to digitize your forms and fill out your invoice right from your phone.
DIGITAL PHOTO TIPS: Place forms on a white background with plenty of light. Rest elbows on a hard surface to prevent ‘camera shake.’
CAMERA PHONE TIPS: Set your phone’s camera to the largest size (highest resolution). Place the form on a white background with plenty of light. Back up just enough to fill the screen. You may need to place the form sidewise. ALWAYS open the image to make sure you can read the text and signatures. Not every camera phone can take a readable picture, especially older ones. EXTRA TIP: If you TYPE your name and date on the waiver form, your camera phone can probably grab a readable image. If you write in the information, you may not be able to get a readable image with your phone.
SCANNING TIPS: To make sure that handwritten signatures will be readable, use photo mode, not text mode. If you are setting your scanner manually, chose 150 dpi and color or gray-scale. ALWAYS open the file and make sure it is readable before you upload it.
SAVING YOUR FILES: Open your files and make sure signatures are clear and readable, then save forms as .jpg, or .pdf. We recommend the PDF format for the smallest files and fastest upload.
MORE IDEAS: If you don’t have a scanner, you can use one free at most libraries. Bring your contract so you can complete your invoice there, or just scan your files and email them to your home. You can also have forms scanned at any Staples, Fed Ex, or Office Depot store, but call first to get pricing. Many stores charge less than $2.00 if you bring your own flash drive or CD, but others charge more. If you are stuck, try asking a technical friend to help you in exchange for massage!
***** If someone helps you scan your documents, you still need to send them with your invoice yourself. Never share your Stress Recess password with anyone.
Problems? Stress Recess is here to help! Call 404 668 9651 10 AM to 4:30 PM Mon-Fri, EST.
How To Upload Documents As Email Attachments
Email Attachments: Don’t try to click open a document while it is still attached to your email. Many programs do not allow you to save files in other formats if they are opened from an email. Instead, save the document attachment to your computer, and then open it.
Move Your Email to Google for Anywhere Business Email: Moving your email to an internet email service makes it easy to get email from any computer or internet-enabled phone. This is important for MT’s who are on the go! Stress Recess recommends Google Mail as the best internet email program. Google Mail is easy and you can connect your email to other useful programs like Google Docs. We do not recommend Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, and similar programs, because they put advertising or logos on your email or email attachments, and this makes them too unprofessional for your practice.