Saturday, May 4, 2013

Top Time Management Tools - The Best For Business And Personal Use

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Top Time Management Tools - The Best For Business And Personal Use

As a Project Manager, a professional, a consultant an executive or an entrepreneur you are always the principal resource in your working endeavors. You must consciously view yourself as a Human Asset with time being your output. And after you have achieved a life/ work balance [i.e., hours dedicated to non-work activities, versus time allocated to business activities], you must take the "work" portion, for example say 50 hours per week, and start to physically record your hours in the form of a time sheet.

Certified Public Accountants, attorneys, and professional consultants are used to filling out time sheets on a regular basis. These reports provide vital information (I've left out the implicit question marks):

1) How many hours were spent per client;
2) What was done for that client during that time;
3) How many hours were spent on business or client development (non-billable!);
4) How Many hours were spent on administration, i.e., the non-billable time used internally for preparing management reports, doing general research, attending courses, and the like.

Obviously, the first objective is to maximize billable hours and to minimize non-billable hours. The second objective is to maximize the number of non-billable hours on client development. The third objective is to use as great a percentage of administrative time as possible toward research and education, to keep yourself up-to-date on the news and rules of your profession, and expand your intra-cranial knowledge base to make you a more highly billable asset for the firm.

This documenting of time spent (as lost time cannot be recovered) is also a fabulous self-evaluation and feedback tool. If you judiciously document your hours as described above, you will notice your work-time patterns. If you evaluate these, you might find where you are being productive, and where you are tossing away valuable time, and focus on changing them. Find out where you are losing time, and discard any of those activities which are simply drains on your time.

As promised, as of 05.04.2013, these are the 5 Top Management Tools, according to The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog :

Some of these tools are, or have available, smartphone apps, so you can track your time while you're on the move!



TIMESHEET TRACKING TOOLS 

actiTIME offers both downloadable and hosted version of their timesheet software. The downloadable version is offered for free, for teams of up to 10 users, but you will need to pay an upgrade fee for any subsequent major upgrade. More advanced features are available in the Management and Accounting extensions for an additional fee. The downloadable version only works on Windows or UNIX operating systems. There is also a web-based iPhone version and an integration add-on with QuickBooks.

 ClickTime is a web-based timesheet solution that features daily or weekly time entry options, customizable reports, a built-in stopwatch and even e-mail reminders for late submitters. It integrates with all major billing and accounting software including QuickBooks. A free 30-day trial is available.

Dovico Timesheet  is an award- winning project time and expense tracking software that easily integrates to Microsoft applications (Project, Excel, etc.) and Quickbooks. You can either install the application on your computer (preferably a PC) or use the cloud-based version. Mobile apps for iPhone and iPod Touch also exist. The company’s headquarters are based out of Dieppe, New Brunswick. The basic plan for unlimited projects is free if you do not require more than one user.

FreshBooks - despite its name – is not a full-fledged accounting software but more of an online invoicing software designed to help service-based businesses track projects, timesheets, invoices and expenses all in one place. The basic plan is free, but you may need to upgrade to a paid version to enjoy all the features, including Team Timesheets. A 30-day free trial is available. The company is based out of Toronto.

Harvest is an easy-to-use, web-based time-tracking, invoicing and project management tool. The application is extremely flexible and offers extensive reporting capabilities, along with native iPhone and Android applications. It is easy to create online invoices and to set up online payment via PayPal or other gateways to get paid faster. The free 30-day trial can help you decide if you need more than the free basic version.



TIME ORGANIZATION, "TO DO", REMINDER AND PLANNING TOOLS

Learn more about each of these products and applications by clicking on its name and visiting its website.

1. Evernote

2. Stickies

3. I Want Sandy

4. Google Calendar

5. Remember The Milk

6. ToDoIst




PRIORITIZATION TOOLS 

Learn more about each of these products and applications by clicking on its name and visiting its website.

1. Task List Guru

2. Tasks On Steroids

3. SmartSheet

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While time sheets are essential in terms of keeping track of time, they are not the best planning or prioritization tools, unless you care to analyze a a chronology of them and spend a great deal of time evaluating them. Many of the programs, tools and apps above allow you to: A) create a complete detailed list of all tasks or projects to be completed; B) prioritize each of the listed items in terms of:

1. its importance (cost versus benefit analysis) -
2. its time-sensitivity (when is its deadline and how long does it take to complete - a bit of a Critical Path Analysis as well as a coordinating Gantt Chart type of approach and analysis, too) -
3. its "exportability" by delegation;

C) See where you stand at any given point in time of:

1. tasks completed -
2. deadlines approaching (a ticklerized system, occasionally with alerts or reminders as the deadline draws closer) -
3. new tasks to be added -
4. an overall look at the task load, and where the heaviest points will be in terms of many deadlines coinciding, and the amount of time needed to complete each task.


Lastly, for those of us who need a multiple-user application or program for getting things done, or for those of us who need a painful poke to remind us what needs to done because we are naturally order-resistant, or obsessive about what we are working on at this moment without regard to its relative importance and other work to be done, we have some additional goodies:

1. Nozbe

2. LifeHacker's List Of Annoying, Embarrassing And Self-Blackmailing Applications To Get Everything Done - Hysterical and worth reading

"And that," with a salute to Forrest Gump, is all I have to say about that."

As always, thank you for reading me, and for sharing my articles with your connections. comrades and colleagues across your social media groups and platforms. I am deeply appreciative. I certainly hope that you found this article helpful, or will find it to be a fine informational resource.

 







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