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This How I Keep Track Of Things - How Do You?

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by djentre, Mar 16, 2016.

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  1. djentre

    djentre Member

    I believe in the phrase, "Whatever gets measured, gets accomplished."

    And to that effect, here are a few things that I do to keep track of time, effort, etc. Somethings are automated, somethings are manual, but most importantly, most of the things are tracked. I may miss an area or two out, but here goes:

    1. Effort Tracking: Whether you're a one-man army or a company of a hundred thousand, somethings just never change. There will always be times when distractions will try to sneak their way into your schedule. And there will always be some slip ups when people are faced with distractions. I like to keep track of things because I want to know where my time goes. Generally, I ensure my team members do the same. It helps when I am the first one to volunteer for this kind of a thing and am open to scrutiny.
    Since much of my work gets accomplished using a computer/laptop, I use a tool calle ManicTime to keep track of things. ManicTime is a tool that will keep running in the background and will take note of everything you do on your system. Since most work systems are meant for... work, Manictime will act as that annoying supervisor we all hate. If you lock your system or it goes to sleep, Manictime will ask you where you were. This kind of a tool keeps things in perspective.
    Even if you think you are the kind of a person who spends all of his/her time working, you may be surprised by what Manictime has to tell you. Again, there are many automated effort tracking tools out there, some more expensive than others, but I have found that Manictime worked best for me.

    2. Financial Tracking: While I use a lovely tool developed by Intuit offered by the bank which keeps track of all the business transactions, I have found a few things that can be tracked manually that simply cannot be tracked with such automated tools (at least not those developed by big companies). Here are a few things I track using an excel sheet:
    1. Effort/Cost Ratio.
    2. Effort/Earnings Ratio.
    3. Productivity (varies project to project - output/input)
    4. Net Cash on hand
    5. 7-Day Moving Averages for Earnings and Expenses
    There are plenty of other things that I track, depending on the kind of project or whether its even required. But, productivity, earnings, expenses and net cash are important.

    So, those are a couple of things that I track all the time. It lets me know how my business is doing.

    What are some of the things that you like to track?
  2. remnant

    remnant Member

    The one thing that I like to track is my spending. I have come up with countless methods of trying to keep track of my spending including spontaneous ones like not spending coins. The fact is, there is nothing sea changing about becoming your own boss. Only your nerves will be spared the jarring when the boss arrives. It is interesting that in the 21st century, there is no automated tracker to monitor one's spending however fiendish that is.
  3. djentre

    djentre Member

    Yeah. I mean I have tried a bunch of things for personal finance. But, when it comes to business, its a little easier to track because most of the transactions are online. But, if I was in a cash based business, I would be going nuts. This is the reason why a lot of personal expense tracking apps fail- a person can have numerous accounts, numerous cash sources, and what not. Even the best accounting softwares need a manual entry once a while, which is inconvenient and people wouldn't do it if it weren't so important.
  4. doodles67

    doodles67 Member

    I use apps to help keep my life under control. I use Remind Me, which is synchronized to my calendar, for tasks. I also keep notes and lists in Notes.
  5. Nikita

    Nikita Member

    For me what happened was it just naturally evolved into the state it is now and by that I mean that I already have a routine and a system put in place that helps me do my work without having to worry about much else other than the daily tasks I need to do. There was a time when I didn't have much of a structure and since I didn't have much guidance I pretty much was doing everything by trial and error, but thankfully after years of errors I have finally settled into a bit of a groove.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Member

    I have kept detailed records for my business since I started in 1990. In time I didn't have to keep quite as detailed notes as the timing of certain things could be accurately anticipated. I kept a work sheet on each job and a master file on each customer (I serviced mostly repeat customers). As anyone worked on the job, they noted the time started, time ended, and what was accomplished, plus any printouts to verify (artwork, photos, packing slips, supplies and colors used, etc). This helped me to project completion of orders and price accurately. I made a lot of business mistakes, but this is one thing I did right!

    I have also used Quickbooks since I started. I am sure there are other options available these days, but my accountant still uses it so I do too. It is nice to be able to easily access any financial records I need.
  7. djentre

    djentre Member

    Yeah, quickbooks work. That's why most accountants use them or recommend them too. I like the fact that you've kept records for so long. I actually do keep physical records that not a lot of people know about. I mean I have everything from 10 year old receipts to bills to everything. And more than once I have had to use those resources because someone on the other side tried to get extra money out of me or something of the sort.

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