And I thought my days of late nights and droopy eyelids were over once I graduated from college. Not so, says I. As a 22 year old entrepreneur with a full time job, a wife, a garage to build, a side business to run and an automotive community to manage, it’s sometimes difficult to remember to eat.
As the days seem to fly by, I try to find the best ways to help manage my time and track what I’ve been working on. Often times the good old pen and paper win out, but I also use a few other tools.
During the day, at my regular job, I use Microsoft Outlook’s Calendar feature to manage my meetings and use flags and folders to organize my tasks via the inbox. This works well because it ties in to the rest of the company and allows others to see what I’m busy with.
Over my lunch hour and at breaks in between projects I try to update my Google Calendar with personal and side business events. This includes any client meetings I may have and trips back home to spend time with the family. Google Calendar (GCal) is part of my larger Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD) setup and allows for complete integration with my other Google Apps. GCal is also great for scheduling meetings or plans with people outside your network. Just punch in the recipient’s email and away goes your invitation. They can accept the invite and add it to their own Google Calendar, or accept it in Microsoft Outlook. This flexibility in Google’s invite system is ingenious IMO.
Once I get home from the day job, its time to start thinking about Dosovo, the marketing and web strategy LLC I run on the side. To track my work on client projects I use Zoho Projects. Projects is a project management tool from Zoho, an office productivity suite from AdventNet Inc. The program is completely web-based and allows me to access it via a custom URL, making it easy to find wherever I am. Projects not only tracks the completion of tasks and milestones, but also serves as a timesheet where you can track billable and non-billable hours for project work. This is a great way for me to manage my time spent on each client and bill accordingly.
When I finally finish my client projects, then it’s time to start thinking about blogging and RSS feeds. Sadly MikeThoughts.com ends up near the bottom of my to-do list, but I do love blogging and using this outlet to voice what I’m thinking.
And now that I’ve shared how my late nights come about and what I use to make the most of them, maybe you’d care to share what you use to stay organized and on top of things?