You know the scenario . . . it’s been a few days since any new work has come through your company and you have been busy wrapping up a few larger projects. Then out of the blue a barrage of new clients are requesting jobs from you left, right, sideways, upways and downways! How do you keep track of all these new assignments?
An Easy Answer for Simple Tracking
While there are a variety of large project management applications out there to choose from (and I’m sure they do the job wonderfully), I like to keep things as simple as possible. I use a very easy method for tracking jobs in the form of a spreadsheet.
Whenever I receive a new job, I add it to my spreadsheet. Information contained on the spreadsheet includes a job number, name of the project, point of contact for the project and contact information.
The Ever-Important Job Number
The first column indicates the number of the job for the year. This is the most important bit of information on this spreadsheet. For example, my 65th job received during the year of 2014 would be job 14-ACR-065….where 14 is the year, ACR is my company indicator and 065 is the job number.
Why is this so important? The number is a locater for me. It is included on all file names for a project that I do. For example, if I were designing a brochure using Adobe InDesign (job number 14-RID-065) for a client, it would be named as file 14-RID-065_companybrochure.indd.
My reasoning for this is that I may have a client contact me a few years down the road requesting that I revise “that one brochure you did back in 2014”. I would then spend a good amount of wasted time digging through my archives for this brochure if I did not track it in some way. Since I have assigned the brochure a job number, I can easily search our archives for the job number (065) or the year (14).
It Saves Time and Effort for You!
Tracking your jobs only save you time and effort to focus elsewhere. I can’t count the number of times I have asked someone to send me a file, only to see them search through their computer in multiple folders and sub-folders not even sure of what they are looking for. What a waste of time better spent on the important and fun things…such as design!