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  1. Anna Butler wrote on

    I have to admit, I love a good software program too, Glenn!

    For time tracking I use a fab, free little program called Task Coach. It’s pretty simple, but I can set budgets (for time and revenue) and tracking time is super easy.

    To track productivity, I use another program called Rescue Time which runs in the background and sends me a weekly report showing exactly where my time has been spent… including my most productive/distracting days and times.

    I also keep all my clients in job folders, although I’d like a better system. I just haven’t found the right one. I do keep all current client projects in Dropbox, so if my computer decides to have a melt-down, I can still access current work files from my laptop or another computer (I also back everything up daily to an external hard drive).

    It’s nice to check out different programs every now and then to see if there are better solutions… but for the moment, I’m pretty content with how things are working.

  2. Belinda Weaver wrote on

    Great post Glenn. I don’t use any of these tools but I a nut for productivity tools and systemising!

    I use Liquid Planner for my project management and time tracking. Liquid Planner might be a bit much for some people but I found as I started managing a team, and therefore more projects, I just couldn’t keep all the dates in my head. And I do love a good Gant chart.

    I’m a big fan of CapsuleCRM for my client details and contact management. It integrates with my Gmail apps so I can track emails and create tasks and opportunities/proposal all from Gmail I’m sending to my client. It also integrates with XERO for the account keeping.

    In a nutshell I have been slowly refining the tools I use to use fewer tools and tools that can talk to each other, to reduce data reentry.

    What I’m not so good at yet is reviewing all the magical statistics I’m collecting!

  3. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Anna, I like the DropBox idea. But doesn’t DropBox force it all to be in a particular folder? (i.e. You can’t just pick any old folder and say, “Add this to dropbox?)

    Belinda, CapsuleCRM sounds great. I’ll definitely check out. Thanks for the tip. It might be just what I’ve been waiting for!

  4. Belinda Weaver wrote on

    It’s really great Glenn. It also integrates with Mailchimp and a whole host of other apps so it definitely worth a gooseygander :)

  5. Bill Harper wrote on

    Toggl (I see the IT industry is still suffering the ‘e’ shortage) sounds pretty good. But I’m guessing you need to be online to use it, which isn’t always the case when I’m working.

    And thanks for letting us know what you use Anna and Belinda.

    Looks like I’ll be doing a little bit of experimenting.

  6. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Hey Bill. “e” notwithstanding, Toggl has a mobile app for ios & Android. So you don’t need to be online on your computer, at least.

  7. Anna Butler wrote on

    Hey Glenn.. I’ve had no problems using individual files in Dropbox. I have a main folder called “Current Client Projects”, within that I have individual folders for each client, then within each client folder I’ll have more folders (such as 1st/2nd/final edits, keyword research, authorisations, etc.).

    If I want to add a new folder, I simply drag & drop or copy it to wherever I want it in Dropbox (either as a new main folder, or as a sub-folder in an existing project).

    I then have a shortcut to this in Windows Explorer under my Favourites and simply access whatever folder I want, which automatically updates when I save work. So in that respect, it’s no different to working from files on my PC.

    Once the project is finalised, I remove it from Dropbox and save it to the external hard drive with all my other client files.

    It’s also awesome for client meetings when you want to access something in their file :)

  8. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Right. So let me clarify. You have, say, D:JobsAppleCopy.docx and when you want to put it on DropBox, you have to drag that file/folder to, say, D:DropBoxJobs?

    If so, does that mean you have two copies of the original, or just a mirror of it?

    (Sorry, I’ve tried DropBox a few times, and I always found it forced an extra step into my workflow. It may well just be my ignorance. I always like Syncplicity better!)

  9. Bill Harper wrote on

    Glenn: Thanks for letting me know about the iOS app. Downloading it now.

    I’m a big Dropbox fan as well. On Windows I’ve redirected My Documents to my Dropbox folder, so everything in My Documents automatically gets backed up to the cloud. (Haven’t quite worked out how to do the same on the Mac, but I’ll work it out. In the meantime I just use the Dropbox folder for everything.

    Also found out about BoxCryptor, which lets you encrypt stuff inside the Dropbox folder. Dropbox stuff is encrypted by default, but this adds another layer of security.

  10. Charlotte Calder wrote on

    Thanks Glen – great article – most informative … And Anna also thanks – hadn’t even thought of using Dropbox!

  11. Anna Butler wrote on

    I’ll set up the current file on Dropbox (say C:Dropbox/ClientFolder/1st draft Home.docx) which is the active file I work on.

    Once the job is finished, I drag and drop the entire file back into the PC Clients folder (making this: C:Clients/ClientFolder/1st draft Home.docx), then back that up to hard drive.

    So in a nutshell, there is really only one copy of the folder and depending on what stage the project is at, will depend on where the information is stored.

    I just keep a shortcut of Current Projects under Favourites in Windows Explorer to easily access those folders from Dropbox. However, this is essentially the same file path, so regardless of whether I access and change files through the Dropbox folder, or through the Current Clients shortcut folder, both are simultaneously updated. It just saves me a couple of extra clicks :)

  12. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Gotcha! Yeah, I’ve thought a few times about setting it up that way. I also considered re-installing syncplicty (which I think is MUCH better than dropbox). But then common sense got the better of me, and I simply shared my PC folders on the network, so I can access them on the laptop. That’s what I need most of all. I rarely need to work away from home.

  13. Sarah wrote on

    Thanks for these tips Glenn! I’m working on tracking my time better so this is really helpful. I also use dropbox to share documents and images with clients, but haven’t used it as a back-up option. Something for me to consider.

  14. Nick wrote on

    Yaware is a great time tracker too. It estimates performance and helps to reduce distractions.

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