Using Mac Spaces

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbrett/1804301958/

The first time I tried using Spaces on the Mac, it really didn’t click for me. I recently found myself frantically trying to keep up with everything at work and getting distracted mid-thought by other tasks, that I finally decided I needed to try something new.

I decided to give Spaces a try and really stick to it. Today was day 1 in this experiment. I enabled 4 spaces and have designated the spaces as follows:

Space 1: My primary workspace (browsers, text editor, Evernote, etc.)

Space 2: Misc. (haven’t figured this out yet)

Space 3: Communications Apps (Skype, Mail, iCal)

Space 4: Media (iTunes, iPhoto, Twitter)

I actually used the option to constrain those apps to the designated spaces. I use hotkeys to navigate between spaces and I believe it actually helped today. I’ll stick with this for a while and see how it works out for me. Stay tuned!

(Photo used under Creative Commons by Flickr user: mattbrett)

Slimtimer – Another winning service

SlimtimerWhile I’m in the mood for promoting great services and products, I have to throw in a recommendation for Slimtimer. One way great businesses create meaning and a loyal following is by solving a pain better than anyone else. I believe Slimtimer has done that.

Slimtimer makes time tracking easy and painless and produces powerful reports. If the recording of your time isn’t made easy, then recording the time is usually put off to another day and the records will be mostly based off of memory and will be inaccurate. If the reports produced are not useful, then all of your effort in tracking your time will be in vain.

During my time as a web developer for BYU’s Creative Marketing department we used time sheets where we recorded how we spent our time in intervals of 15 minutes. This was usually a drab process that you “had to get done” at the end of the day. We did this on paper, and I’m not sure how well the information was actually used. It seemed like a waste of time.

In one startup company that I worked for, time tracking was completely neglected all together. This led to lots of wasted development time and left no good way for management to guide efforts in more productive tasks. It seemed that management had to make blind decisions.

Another startup I worked in tried to track time with a custom-built time tracking software, but it was so complex and difficult to use, that we often put off recording our time to the end of the week, which led to bad data. We ended up abandoning the practice of time tracking altogether.

slimtimer-timer.pngIn my current work as a freelancer, I’ve been empowered by Slimtimer’s simple time recording widget. It allows me to simply click on the task that I’m working on and the timer begins to track in the background. If I forget to start the timer, I can easily edit my entries in a beautiful time editing interface.

Slimtimer has very powerful reporting capabilities. Tasks can be tagged so you can segment your reports in the ways that you need them whether it be by ‘billable’ or ‘non-billable’, by client, or by project, or even by task. You can also share tasks and time entries with co-workers, so you can build reports for your entire team.

If you are tired of filling out timesheets, and would like to have a better understanding of how your team’s time is spent, I strongly recommend you check out Slimtimer.

[Note: I am NOT an affiliate marketer for Slimtimer.]