© Gaye Wilson 2008
One of the most useful strategies I’ve used for this particular project, and one that I will use again, is keeping track.

Keeping track of what, you ask?

Keeping track of whatever will help you (a) reach the goal and (b) reach your next goal.

For this current project I have been keeping track of:

  • the hours spent on the project: it is essential to know this, so that I can charge the client for my time.
  • the number of pages I have edited per hour: I seem to be averaging five.
  • the number of pages I have proofread per hour: this one is not as simple to quantify, because I was not doing my usual thorough proofreading because the time was running out. I definitely need to note how many pages I proofread on my next job.
  • the amount of time I spent formatting the document. This particular one had issues that I hope I don’t get again. Unfortunately, I didn’t note specifically which bits were formatting and which bits were editing. I’ll need to do that next time.
  • extraneous items that need to be included in the invoice at the end of the job, such as the cost of phone calls, postage etc.

For larger projects, or multi-faceted projects or projects that need a lot of resources or take a long time, you would need to keep track of some other items:

  • who’s doing what
  • when each phase needs to be completed and how on track you are
  • problems/delays
  • what’s been done
  • costs

 This is only a very short list of what can be tracked on a job.

I keep track of my projects using an Excel spreadsheet I developed some years ago. I plug in the date, the time I start work, the time I finish work, and a short description of the work. I can also track what has been sent off and when, and interim payments, and I can see at a glance what my productivity is like by using graphs.

Someone else who uses spreadsheets to keep track of business stuff is Gayla, of Mom’s Gadget. Have a look at her blog entry on how she uses spreadsheets.

What else do you keep track of, and what tools do you use?

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “Working to a deadline 7: keep track”

  1. Gayla McCord on February 1st, 2008 12:30 am

    Thanks for the mention. I hope the tips help your readers. I’m still a spreadsheet fan all these months later. I’ve even added a few more to the mix :)

  2. Working to a deadline 8: use a system : All Paths to Victory on April 5th, 2008 11:00 am

    [...] Working to a deadline 7: keep track [...]

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