Daily tracking software?
Thread poster: Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:49
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 11, 2006

I have a large project that is due at the end of the year. Each day I chip away and would like to be able to monitor my progress. I thought I would use Excel to track my daily progress and see the full word count of remaining text decrease gradually. I feel that that would be encouraging, but now find that I need to enter the date for each day from now until the end of the year into a column.

Is there any s/w out there that would do this? Something where I enter the word count for each portion of the text and can then enter my daily production and watch the numbers come down? It would be really useful to monitor my daily productivity.

Perhaps this would require some project management software? I looked at Translation Office 3000, but, from what I understand, it shows only the status of a project, such as started, on-going or late; there doesn't seem to be a way of adding daily productivity (or am I wrong?)

I'd be perfectly happy to purchase a more full PM package if it did what I was after.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Alan


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:49
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
Microsoft Project Sep 11, 2006

Hi

Microsoft Project is a comprehensive PM package but be aware, it has many options and tools that may not be required for this task.

I never had projects spanning throughout a year, therefore I have made a simple Excel table that adds the work done, deducts it from the total count and calculates the remaining number of words (total and daily) to be done.

Best

Rahi


[Edited at 2006-09-11 07:10]


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Gary Daine
English to Spanish
+ ...
Enter the dates automatically Sep 11, 2006

You don't need to enter each date manually:

Type in one or two dates in consecutive columns, e.g. 11/9, 12/9, 13/9 if you're starting today.
Then select the three cells.
Drag the bottom right corner to the right, and Excel will automatically increment the date as you go.

In the next row, enter the total wordcount in the leftmost cell, and then a decremented number in the next 2 cells, e.g. 20000, 19000, 18000 and proceed as for the dates row.

The third row is for the actual wordcount, which you enter each day.

You can add a fourth row showing whether you're ahead of your target or falling behind (simple comparison of rows 2 and 3) - even add a simple formula so that the number is red if you're off track.

It's also easy to add a simple graph using this data, which can show you actual progress plus an 'average' line, which should head downwards

I find this a great help on long jobs - especially when you're thinking - "shall I stop now or carry on for another hour?" Plug in your numbers, and you'll find it much easier to decide.


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 14:49
English to Czech
+ ...
Excel Sep 11, 2006

I use Excel for this. I import the initial Trados analysis, add the daily or weekly schedule, use a few formulas and that's it. Then I can see my plans sink.

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
You only need to fill in one date Sep 11, 2006

Alan Campbell wrote:
...but now find that I need to enter the date for each day from now until the end of the year into a column.

Then you can select the field and point on the right bottom corner of the field, where the cursor will turn into a cross, and then you can drag it down the column and the dates will be filled in and counted up automatically.

This works in Excel 2000. In former versions, you had to fill in the first 2 dates.


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:49
English to German
+ ...
Maybe you wish to do a little planning as well Sep 11, 2006

Instead of just seeing the numbers decrease, a little planning is not too bad in the case of larger projects.

I did a 1000 pages book in 2004/5 which had to be finished in 9 months time together with one or two other translators, including two times proofreading and discussing everything with one of the authors. This also required some project management on my side.

Check how many working days you have until end of year (decide whether or not to include the weekends) and then divide the amount of work across these days. This can help you to gain an overview whether you are still in time with your project. You will find out early if you run out of time and if so can take suitable counter measures.

This always gave me the good feeling of staying in control. The project was finished in good time.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 14:49
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I use Excel for that Sep 11, 2006

... with consecutive lines in the sheet standing for one session with the project. The important columns are start and stop column for time interval for each session and of course what's been achieved in a given session in terms of word count (either still open or already done). Add columns for "done so far" and "time spent so far" ... and you have a pretty good, even when simple, tool to keep track of the progress.Its a good motivator too: "... lemme do another 400 words to get to 33% ..."etc. Makes also a nice impression on the agent if you can tell them you are at 50% milestone and safely on the road to 100%.

Regards

Vito

PS: Of course you may also wish to have a column for words / hour to see your productivity. If you are constantly within lets say X +-y words per hour, then you will know pretty soon (in a dozen sessions for sure), how many hours still to the finish.
PPS: mail me, if you would like to have the barebone XLS.

[Edited at 2006-09-11 11:06]


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Alan Campbell  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:49
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excel it is! Sep 11, 2006

Harry Bornemann wrote:

Alan Campbell wrote:
...but now find that I need to enter the date for each day from now until the end of the year into a column.

Then you can select the field and point on the right bottom corner of the field, where the cursor will turn into a cross, and then you can drag it down the column and the dates will be filled in and counted up automatically.


Brilliant! I knew there would probably be a way to do that, but I find Excel notoriously difficult to find info about on Google.

It does sound more and more like Excel is just the ticket. Vito, your method of working sounds exactly like what I'm looking for. I do agree that seeing this information encourages one to be more productive, and I could do with as much encouragement as I can find!

I've sent an e-mail to take up your kind offer of the barebones xls file and shall look forward to tweaking it for my purposes.

Alan


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Alan Campbell  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:49
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excel set up and working well Sep 12, 2006

Thanks again Vito for the XL sheet. I've got it all tweaked and it works really well. Now I can really start to plan my workload from now until the year-end and get to work!

Alan


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