If you are only just starting then stick to word and excel for the time being, no need to go out and spend money, just create spreadsheets and word templates for quotes etc. There is an online free diary that a few members use, cant remember the name of it, but I'm sure Gary RK and Adam use it. I tried it and didn't get on with it. Prefer to use excel for my scheduling. Use Quickbooks for all my invoicing and accounts though.
Welcome to our world and gid luck
Following our chat Darren, Brian echoes my comments about just using excel and word for scheduling and business management.
I have been running for 3 years and it has taken time to get a good base of clients. You will start with some jobs you enjoy but don't make any money on. Gradually you can phase them out when you get new jobs to replace them with. You need to be patient and stick with it. One other thing I have learned is be decent to other people in the trade, especially those you might consider competitors. You will not worry about them taking your work once you are busy and they can become great allies when you need someone.
I work in your area one day a fortnight so if you think I can help with anything just shout.
Going against the grain here, but if you can stretch to it, I would purchase the accounting software Quickbooks Simple Start and run with it from the off.
It costs about £80 IIRC, ideal for keeping your supplier/customer details/estimates/sales receipts/invoices all in one place. Customise your invoices etc with your logo and contact details, and the 2012 version generates a .pdf document allowing you to email a copy to your client/customers. You also get all the usual P&L and Balance sheet reports for ongoing financial monitoring of your business.
Remember to back-up copies regularly to an external hard drive and buy a copy of "Quickbooks Simple Start for Dummies" to help you become familiar with the software, doesn't take long even though it's written in Yankee-stylee.
If your business grows in time, and you take on employees etc easy to update to the full Quickbooks version for payroll and VAT capabilities etc.
If you have an iphone or android phone honestly get the 2do app. its absolutely crucial and I couldn't run my business the way I do without it. Imagine having all your fortnightly client's addresses pinned on a google map with your location shown real time so you can find the fastest route between jobs/ quotes etc. You can set fortnightly reminders for a list of all your lawns to do (which come up on the map). look into it. its like £7 or something but it's that helpful i bought an iPhone contract for my employee just to use this app ( all the data I input is synced over icloud to his phone). I should really get a job in sales for their company!
You might like Free Agent .Its quite good I find .