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What the best way to track my work projects?
May 28, 2009 2:38 PM   Subscribe

What the best way to track my work projects? I usually have thirty to fifty different projects going on simultaneously, all in various stages of completion.

I am interrupted often during the day, need to switch from project to project quickly, and I spend half the day out of the office sometimes. Ideally, I could see the customer, contact info, due dates, notes, color-coding based on status, that sort of thing.

I'm looking for something either electronic or physical or transcendent - all suggestions will be considered.
posted by Optimus Chyme to Work & Money (9 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm pretty basic, and I use excel. If you set up your pages right, you can have the pertinent information available to print off on a single page (or at least a single page wide). Color-coding to your heart's desire. Shift whole projects, or elements of projects, at one time. But nothing fancy (at least, how I have it set up).

Spend an hour or two setting it up, and keep tweaking the layout, and you could be pretty happy with this. But it's really basic, in terms of set-up or programming reminders.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:43 PM on May 28, 2009


I haven't gotten to try these, but here are Gantt Charts set up for EXCEL by others.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:46 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like Basecamp.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:47 PM on May 28, 2009


Ideally, I could see the customer, contact info, due dates, notes, color-coding based on status, that sort of thing.

This is exactly what online project management apps do. Try Basecamp (which everyone uses but I hate) or Teamwork (which I love.)
posted by DarlingBri at 2:49 PM on May 28, 2009


I also just realized that I asked this question in Bizarro-grammar ("WHAT THE BEST WAY," etc.) and I am super embarrassed.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:52 PM on May 28, 2009


I use a tracking log set up in Excel as well. I tried Basecamp at one point for a different job & was less than thrilled.
posted by oh really at 2:55 PM on May 28, 2009


I use a separate Excel sheet to track each job. Each line is an action item with the date it was entered, from whom action is required, how long it is expected to take, when it is due, when it was completed, and any comments. Color-coded for in progress, complete, and oh no!.
posted by curie at 3:48 PM on May 28, 2009


If you're on a mac, then check out Microsoft Entourage. I've never used it myself but heard it's pretty easy to use.
posted by sambosambo at 1:30 AM on May 29, 2009


If you're on a Mac, I'd encourage you to check out Things (the project-management app I've found best and most flexible for my needs, after getting a chance to try out most of the popular ones).

Alternative: my friend swears by DevonTHINK.
posted by kalapierson at 12:46 PM on May 29, 2009


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