Software to track project/client information?
April 24, 2007 4:42 PM Subscribe
What kind of software can I use to keep track of information on each client and/or project that I'm working on?
posted by iguanapolitico to computers & internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I do all my work on a computer. But I carry around this three-ring binder that contains all of the information/notes that I need for all of my projects and clients. I start with one sheet for each client (a form that I designed using Excel) and all of these client sheets are filed in the binder alphabetically (complete with A-Z tabs). I staple on additional sheets for each client as necessary.
I also use these little color-coded tags for flagging clients that have active projects, or that I provide web hosting for, or that I have a question about, etc.
It's some stellar organization and it has worked for years, but boy does it seem stone-age. Plus, what if this binder is washed away in a flash flood? (I really, really don't lose things, ever, but the flash flood thing is always a possibility.)
So I'm thinking of keeping track of all this stuff with a computer. Are there software programs that handle this sort of thing that are customizable? So I can customize all the information I need to store, such as client name, contact information, FTP information, billing dates/info, dates and notes on project progress, etc, etc? So I can flag or color code clients that are active, or that need attention, etc? So I can sort by different criteria? Do I just need to break down and create my own database, or do you have recommendations for existing software? And ... software that is both Mac- and PC-compatible? (My laptop is a Mac, desktop is a PC.)
(Or, is this something that I can manage with Excel, without creating/drawing a form by hand for each client? I'm really not up on Office-type products past basic word processing.)
It shouldn't be web-based because I might need to use it on a laptop somewhere without internet access.
(But is this something that would be do-able with Excel, that I could import into Google Spreadsheets so I could access the info remotely? I wouldn't need a tutorial on that, but if the answer is "yes," I could go figure it out.)
I really like using the binder. I like to be able to grab a pencil and jot down a note without having to fire up an application. And I like to keep as few apps open as possible. But now I'm beginning to worry about safety. This information should be backed up. I back up my computer regularly, and make fun of people who don't do the same, after all. Sheesh.
I feel that this is a supremely stupid question, but that the right answer will be based on a consensus of recommendations, or will be just too hard for me to go through with. (I just don't see myself building my own database any time soon; I can't even make the time to get my client login section operational on my own web site.)