Milton

If you’re a freelancer or someone who owns and operates a small business, then you know that you can use all of the help that you can get. Working in this way can lead to many benefits, but there are also a lot of responsibilities and challenges that need to be dealt with. It would be great if you could just do your work, but all of the other things that you need to do (sales, accounting, etc.) just to do what you do best can feel like the biggest drain of your time, which is exactly why you need to hire Milton to help you in some of these areas.

Milton is an online service that will get you organized in several ways. When you login to your account, you’ll see what needs to be done, and from there you can manage your contacts (social networking integration keeps you updated about their activity), develop proposals, track projects, create and track invoices, and look at reports to see how your business is doing. A free 30-day trial is available, and you could find yourself hiring Milton sooner rather than later.

Todo.ly

Like many of you, I’ve seen a lot of online tools that try to help you manage tasks. Some of them are good while others are pretty much a complete waste of time and you can tell that they were almost created as a programming exercise for the coder. For me, I expect a task manager to be more than just a place that holds tasks that can be added and deleted. To be honest, if that was all I wanted, I’d just use a piece of paper. A service called Todo.ly makes managing tasks a simple thing, but at the same time, there’s just enough power to make the process useful.

When you see what the service looks like, you’ll probably be reminded of a Web-based e-mail inbox, and that’s actually a good thing because an inbox design can work for tasks. Your tasks can be organized by project and assigned a due date so that you know when things actually need to get done. Todo.ly will keep track of these due dates and notify you when action needs to be taken. With that said, if you have a lot going on and just can’t do something when you said you would, the service makes it easy to postpone a task. This is task management on your terms.

Nexty

Are you getting things done? For many of us, that can be a loaded question. The list of things that need to be done continues to grow, but there’s only so much time in the day to get to all of it. Some things will obviously slip out of your grasp from time to time, but if you regularly find yourself not getting to what you need to get to, then it’s probably time to evaluate what the problem is. More than likely you’ll need to get reorganized and start following some GTD (Getting Things Done) principles that can make you more productive. Nexty helps you to keep track of what you need to do and it’s centered around the GTD movement.

With Nexty, you’ll be able to setup your calendar, create reminders, search through your tasks and projects, and so on. I like the feature that eliminates all other distractions and simply tells you the one thing you need to do next, because really, that’s what getting things done is all about. You can use the service through the Nexty site, but since it’s open source, you can also download the code and use it on your own server. This flexibility is pretty nifty and enables you to have even greater control over your life.

Professional On The Web

It’s not always easy to be a freelancer. The lack of job security and the need to go from project to project is enough to stress out all but the most confident and persistent of people. I’ve been involved with a few short projects before, but I’m thankful to be working with most of my clients for an indefinite period of time as of right now. As a freelancer or an agency, you’re almost always on the lookout for new opportunities, and when they don’t come to you, sometimes you have to go to them. This usually isn’t the best position to be in, so if you want to list your portfolio online in a public directory so as to encourage contact from potential new clients, then look into Professional on the Web.

This service makes it easy for professionals to list their achievements and skills in an attempt to find more work. As a professional, you can submit your portfolio, talk a little bit about yourself, and establish the type of stuff that you’re involved in using tags in order to make it easier for others to find you. Visitors to your profile can even rate the items in your portfolio so that the perceived quality of your work is available for all to see.

DoNanza

The economy has been going through some hard times lately, but one area that has remained fairly strong and is in fact growing is freelancing. Employees can be expensive for companies to hire and maintain, but freelancers are more affordable in many cases and easier to use for smaller or even ongoing projects. Many people are realizing the benefits that come from being able to do freelance work online, and if you’ve ever done this before or are just starting to get into it, you’ll soon find that there are a lot of places to find this type of work online. Of course, finding the work alone can be a full-time job, but DoNanza pulls together freelance projects from all over the Web so that you can go to one place to find a lot of different opportunities.

DoNanza may not have everything, but it sure is a nice first place to go to save you time and effort. You can either browse through the categories or search for your skills and interests to see what’s available. You’ll quickly see that the opportunities are pulled from a variety of popular freelance sites, and the filtering is what really helps to make this data shine. What are you working on?

ForceDo

As life continues to get crazier and crazier, it’s nice to employ some sort of method to help you keep track of everything that needs to be done. If you don’t, you may end up forgetting something important without even realizing it. There are plenty of Web applications that enable you to manage your tasks, but they all have different features. One of the things that I’ve realized while using these applications is that simply entering and prioritizing tasks isn’t enough to encourage me to get things done in a timely matter. However, if I attach a time limit to something, I’m more motivated to get it done. ForceDo makes tasks all about timing in a helpful way.

All of the basic task management functions are here, but it’s that timer that makes the service truly useful. Thanks to it, I can even use this service in my work by timing out certain projects and activities and sticking to it. After all, if you’re not motivated in the first place, seeing a general list of tasks isn’t going to make it any better.

HHTimesheet

Project managers aren’t always glorified for the work that they do, and instead, most of the time it seems like they’re constantly dealing with frustrations from a variety of people. Being a project manager might seem like a cushy gig, but you have to be a certain type of person to do it. They can use all of the help that they can get with keeping their team, goals, and expenses on track, and HHTimesheet has come to the rescue for project managers.

A lot of companies may already have their own solution for managing projects, but many times these solutions are complicated and a pain to use. HHTimesheet is both simple and affordable for all sorts of teams, and in hardly any time at all, you’ll be tracking time and expenses, approving timesheets, and generating reports. The iPhone version of the site even enables project participants to be connected to the epicenter of the project’s management while they’re out and about. Hopefully HHTimesheet will make your next project a lot less stressful.

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Planzone

If it seems like there’s no shortage of project management tools on the Internet, then you’re exactly right, because there isn’t. When the employees of a company work together in an office, it’s not too much of a challenge for all of them to stay on the same page, but when they work remotely, the challenges can begin to increase. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to be this way, and companies of all sorts and sizes can benefit from project management solutions. The workplace of today is going through many changes, and that’s why there’s a need for these tools. Planzone will help to make sure that work is being done in the most efficient way possible. 

We’ve all probably worked on projects where we didn’t really know what was going on and what needed to be done next, but hopefully those situations won’t be as frequent while you’re using Planzone. Tasks can be managed, files can be shared, and communication is key. Each team member will know what they need to do and when they need to get it done by, and by working together, milestones will be reached.

Spendji

Making plans isn’t always easy, but the process is much simpler when you’re the only person involved with making the plans. In that situation, you alone make the decisions about every little detail, and the only person that you have to answer to is yourself. However, when other people start to get involved, then things become complicated. Each person has unique opinions, and all of these opinions have to be considered for the benefit of the group. Making sense of all this input is no small task, but Spendji will help to keep everyone on the same page. 

When you need to collaborate with a group of people about projects, activities, and events, Spendji will be there for you. If your project requires a budget, your group can set one up through Spendji, track any expenses, and even research prices. More traditional group collaboration features such as calendars, polls, and to-do lists are also present. By working together as a group, each member of your group will be more satisfied with the outcome of your plans.

Wridea

We all have ideas on a daily basis, but it’s what we do with them that really matters. You could come up with an idea that could change the world, but if you don’t do anything with it, then what results can you expect? None. The same thing applies if you come up with a great idea and then forget it. If you’ve ever been in this situation before, then you know how disappointing it can be. In order to begin to make use of your ideas and projects, you need to save, organize, and possibly collaborate on them with others, and Wridea will help you to do that.

This service doesn’t appear to be updated frequently, but the core functionality that is available should still prove to be useful for some of you. Organization is simplified through categories and colors, and whenever inspiration strikes, you can just send your train of thought to your account via e-mail. If you want your friends to be a part of your Wridea account, then that can be done, but if you want to keep your ideas to yourself, then that’s also understandable. Just sit back, enter in your thoughts, and watch the IdeaRain fall in your browser.

Elance

The other day, I had an idea that popped into my head for a new Web service. I’ve done some further research on the idea, found it to be unique, and will proceed with building it once I find some spare time to design it and make it happen. This is great and all, but the only problem is that I don’t know how to program what I’ve envisioned. While I can program desktop software, I’m clueless when it comes to Web service development. Do I plan on reading a thick stack of books and going through the expected beginner’s misery that is required to become a developer of Web applications? No, I’ll just use Elance.

This is a great service whether you’re looking for work or looking for someone to do work for you. Programming and Web development are only a small part of what Elance has to offer. For example, you’ll also be able to find professionals to take care of your writing, marketing, and legal needs, among other things. You’ll discover individuals and fully staffed companies from all over the world, and favorable reviews from former clients will give you the confidence that you need to get your project started. Elance, I may be leaving you after this review, but I’ll be back for business later.

WhoDoes

No matter what type of projects you get involved in, planning and managing them isn’t always easy and can sometimes bring your stress level to the breaking point. Computers and technology have done a lot to help with project management, and a variety of interesting solutions can be used to keep track of the madness. Desktop applications work for some, but in my mind, if your project deals with the Internet in any way, then the best way to stay on top of it is to use a Web service. WhoDoes is a free solution for everyone to check out.

The system is useful for projects of all sizes, and whether you’re simply managing yourself or a team of people, WhoDoes can be an effective project management tool. Tasks can be assigned, projects can be discussed, and documents can be shared in the file repository. Each time that you sign-in to your account, you’ll see what needs to be done immediately and in the future. It may take a small amount of work on your part to get used to using something like this, but once you train yourself to be managed and stay organized in this way, then you’re sure to become more productive.

[tags]WhoDoes, Projects, Project Management, Stress Level, Team, Organization, Productive[/tags]

Side Job Track

The Internet has made it more convenient than ever for anyone who has a particular skill that they want to use to make money to find part-time work and side jobs. These jobs may be from companies or individual clients across the country, in another country, or in your hometown. You don’t even necessarily have to be out of a job to be interested in taking on some clients because a lot of people who work regular jobs during regular hours are also diversifying their work by becoming independent contractors. No matter what your geographic location is, the World Wide Web is helpful in finding, performing, and managing work. Side Job Track is just another service that will help you to keep track of the madness.

This service provides all of the core features that you would expect from a job tracking solution including project creation and management, reporting, and invoicing. You can follow a project every step of the way as it evolves from a beginning project to a final billable solution. It’s also worth noting that your data won’t be held hostage because you can export it to XML and store it elsewhere. I have so many projects going on right now that before too long I’m going to need something like this for myself.

[tags]Side Job Track, Part-time Work, Side Jobs, Jobs, Clients, Independent Contractors, Projects, Invoicing, XML[/tags]

Toggl

My workday consists of a bunch of different tasks and projects all mashed together to form a rather unique example of multitasking. I have articles that need to be written right away, marketing work that needs to be done over here, and programming that needs to be done over there. Sometimes I just need to pause for a second and ask myself, “Which way am I going again?” Keeping track of where your time is going can be difficult enough for one person, but those of you who are involved in a company know that it’s even more difficult to figure out who’s doing what when there are numerous people to manage within a group. Toggl will help you to keep track of your time online.
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Instructables

Recent years have given rise to the do-it-yourself revolution, and people like Phil Torrone have helped to spearhead this campaign and bring it to the mainstream. Lockergnome’s Doing It is another great resource for curious individuals to examine. People are progressively growing tired of only using products in the way that they were intended to be used, and honestly, where’s the fun in that? Once you let your creativity out of its nice little container, your inner mad scientist will rear its crazy head and take over. Instead of only participating in projects that have already been created by others, you may have broken some major ground on your own and would therefore like to share your custom project with others. That’s great and all, but how are you going to do it? With Instructables, you’ll have a place to learn and teach DIY.
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