Time management software?

  • SVS OG

    Another business question: How do you guys get a handle on how much time your work is taking? Is there a software that is cheap and easy to use that helps you keep track? I figure there must be something like that out there.

    I realize that part of my reluctance to take on work is realizing that, for a 32 page picture book, that's 11 pages/month for 3 months and 5.5 pages per month for 6 months. I feel like could do the work eventually, but I know I'm not that fast, so I want to work on either using my time better or modifying my style so I can realistically take on a book without panicking.

    To do that, I have to first understand how much of my speed problem is life impinging on drawing time, how much is work-related but not directly spent drawing, and how much is working inefficiently. That's what I'm hoping the software will help with.

    If you want to give your own estimates of how much time you spend actually drawing per week, doing a spot, doing a spread, etc., that would also be helpful. Just say what each includes so I'll know whether it's research, roughs and everything, or just the final artwork. Thanks!

  • I use Harvest for everything - time, quotes, invoicing, expenses... everything. It's like $12 a month and I've been using it for about 8 years. The time management is built into a mobile app and desktop app, so you can just tap it to start recording your time and stop it when you're done (or you can just fill in the hours later). You can then convert that directly to an invoice OR just keep track of it and invoice separately based on whatever you agreed on.

    Cool thing is at tax time, you just run two reports for your expenses and incoming revenue and you're done 🙂 It's neat in that as you record expenses in the app, you can just snap a pic of the receipt. The export includes an image dump of every receipt you took and you can just save that as a PDF.

  • SVS OG

    @jdubz Ooh! I like the tax aspect, even though I'm not official yet. I was hoping not to have yet another $12/month subscription (they're accumulating!) so last night when I ran across Toggl for free and recommended by the NY Times, I signed up. But I'll keep an eye on Harvest in case this takes off and I can justify the expense. It was highly recommended as well. Thank you!

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