Being a typical creative type more interested in the lateral thinking and creative production side than the business side I was always a bit averse to going near any software that I couldn’t use creatively. Word was an unpleasant necessity but beyond that I shuddered to have to deal with Excell/MYOB etc. and hence the money-making side of my business was a haphazard affair. But there comes a time when the business becomes ever more a “real” business and your level of professionalism has to rise to the task to make it truly a venture that you want to start making a profit from.
This is where project/time management software comes into play. After having a look at quite a few programs, I found I was after something that was simple to use and did not hinder the creative flow. Officetime for the ipad seemed to answer that need. It seemed uncomplicated and perfect for my (very) small business. I just had to click on the button and it would time my work for any project, ultimately taking the guesswork out of invoicing.
So I have been using Officetime for the ipad for nearly a year now, and it has been pretty amazing, being able to track my times, no matter where I happen to be. But then it was time for the next step, having grown the graphic design business to a particular level that required some extra help in organizing invoices and generally timetracking and managing all my jobs. So having been impressed by the ipad version, buying the full version for the mac seemed the next best step.
Straightaway the effects were apparent. I could quote much more confidently, knowing that a brochure would take x amount of hours without the guesswork of being caught hours out of pocket. It has a positive effect on the productive side too as you know once you’ve turned the timer on, you don’t want to fritter time away by searching for new typefaces to buy.
What’s the best part of this software? Well there is so much not to love! I have a client that likes my bills monthly and I have other clients that want my bills per job and all you have to do is click a button and it automatically gives you a list for either, then click another button and you have an invoice!! Say “bye-bye” to the business manager because this software does it all for you. Another feature is that if you forget to switch the timer off when you leave the computer, it gives you a message on your return to ask whether you want that time deducted from the total – sweet!
I am still discovering the amazing in’s and out’s of this software, having only scratched the surface of what it can do but already it’s given me a level of business professionalism that I never expected I would achieve!