Monday, June 06, 2005

(My own personal paradigm shift, part 4)

Originally posted: Mon, 06 Jun 2005 08:56:31

As you may remember, I've been looking for some sort of task/project management software for a while. Basically I wanted something that would allow me to enter a description, a range of dates between which the task could be done, and a notes field where I could delegate tasks or write additional notes. Oh, and I wanted something that would allow me to find-as-you-type.

An appropriate piece of software was surprisingly hard to find. The closest I could find was Merlin, but Merlin provided too many constraints for the work I wanted to do; it slowed me down. So I stuck with my Excel tables and kept an eye out for something better.

I think I found it this week -- by totally misusing a piece of software. iBiz is a time-billing and invoicing application. You set up a list of clients, a set of projects attached to each client, and a set of events for each project. You record how much time you put into each event, then generate invoices. Very simple. And it provides a find-as-you-type search for projects.

Here's what I did with it:

Here, I've set up "Clients" which are really categories; "Projects" which are really tasks; and no events under each project. (The search won't look through events, so they're useless to me.) You can sort by any column and find by client (category), project (task), or project notes (notes). I've used the notes field for delegation as well as for other info.

So far it's worked quite well. The only problem is that there's no way to get a decent printout. I can jury-rig a printout with project names (tasks) and due dates, but not ranges, and I can't sort the report. So I'll probably end up taking screen captures -- not a good solution, but the other advantages outweigh this problem. >

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