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Do you use a task reminder?
Thread poster: Edwal Rospigliosi

Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 1, 2010

When you receive a lot of small-to-medium jobs from different sources and different deadlines, scheduling all of them can become a bit complicated. Lately my post-its on a board system is not enough to cope with this, even having a couple of jobs slipping through the cracks- small jobs with long deadlines are specially prone to this- so now I'm seeking for a task reminder software.


Any suggestions?


 

philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Why do you need software? Oct 1, 2010

What's wrong with a diary or a calendar?
(Though I agree about small jobs with long deadlines slipping through the cracks!)

[Edited at 2010-10-01 21:52 GMT]


 

Eduardo García Soñanes
Mexico
Local time: 10:50
English to Spanish
Total Organizer Oct 1, 2010

Hello Edwal,

I have used Total Organizer for a long time and it works great for me. You have tasks, notes, and contacts, all in one place. You can even store attachments with your notes. It's freeware and there's a Pro version with extra functions.

You can get the whole information about it and download it at http://www.konradp.com/products/organizer/

Although the website doesn't mention it, it works on Vista.

Hope this helps!
Eduardo


 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 11:50
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Schedule Wizard Oct 1, 2010

Edwal Rospigliosi wrote:

When you receive a lot of small-to-medium jobs from different sources and different deadlines, scheduling all of them can become a bit complicated. Lately my post-its on a board system is not enough to cope with this, even having a couple of jobs slipping through the cracks- small jobs with long deadlines are specially prone to this- so now I'm seeking for a task reminder software.


Any suggestions?

I heartily suggest Schedule Wizard (www.authord.com). You can schedule tasks and also automate your computer. It is very handy and I have been using it for 4 years now.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why do you need software? Oct 2, 2010

Get with it, you're asleep.

 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 17:50
German to English
+ ...
Thanks for starting this Oct 2, 2010

I have been suffering from the same problem for years - the small job where the client then rings to ask when it will be ready since you promised it this morning, you realise you've forgotten all about it and have to dash back from the shops/beach/pub to get it done quickly. And Reed - thanks for the tip!

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member
English to French
Translation Office 3000 Oct 2, 2010

When you receive a lot of jobs, you might need some kind of business management application to make admin easier.

TO3000 is a job management software that does this and much much more.

It displays the list of projects with deadlines and other details. You can filter by project status (completed/not completed...) and set colours according to the urgency of the project (blue for today, red when you're late...). I do 200 to 400 jobs of all sizes per year and without this I used to have a hard time keeping up with Excel sheets.

However, nothing pops up to remind you to do such project. you have to view the list.

Have a good weekend,
Philippe


 

Jennifer Barnett  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:50
Dutch to English
+ ...
remember good old project planning? Oct 2, 2010

I still put my trust in paper and ink. My Mac has iCal; I print out the month overviews and enter the projects on that. I could also enter data on iCal in the 'puter but I prefer the certainty of a hard copy and I don't want to print out updates each time it is required.

In another life (BD, Before Digital) as a textile conservator in a facility serving several institutions and the public, we used a simple project planning based on estimated object treatment times carried out up to a year in advance. These days, dead easy to set up in a spread sheet.
The same system is used for building process management that shows how it can cope with very complex multi-facetted projects. I haven't looked but there must be all kinds of digital project planning templates to be found these days.

Imagine a page with a grid in landscape view with 31 days along the horizontal axis and projects/jobs down the vertical axis. One page per month. You could tape them together to run across the wall of your office - a one year time-line.

Using a spread sheet, or gridded paper, leave the first column empty, the second column is day 1. Enter day one to day 31 horizontally, one day per column.
Enter the heading 'Projects' or 'jobs' to the top of the first column.
Print out a few.
Fill in your projects vertically.
You could designate 2 or 4 blocks (vertically) per day if you have lots of small jobs.
Start with the first project of the month and add more below as they come in. They should be in chronological order.
Mark the estimated days/part of days required to complete the jobs horizontally, starting with the day to start the job and ending with the day of the deadlinedeadline.
Reserve a number of days/parts of days per week/month for overruns, small urgent jobs, illness, can't be bothered, etc.
Strike the job days through as the jobs progresses so that you always know the status of the jobs exactly.
Mark in pencil to facilitate updating and corrections.
For timing adjustments, immediately mark them and update the rest of the planning accordingly. Project planning software would do this automatically of course but only you know what can be tweaked and what cannot.

This system provides gives a good overview (and feeling of being in control!) even if your computer is down.
Possible job overlaps are immediately visible so that you can act accordingly in good time.
The hardest thing is actually doing it: looking every day and updating it every day (if required). Once it becomes a habit it requires no effort at all and even becomes enjoyable due to the feeling of confidence and ease that good planning provides.

Meanwhile, I look forward to having so much work that I need to go back to this system!




[Edited at 2010-10-02 08:41 GMT]


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member
English to French
graphic project planning Oct 2, 2010

Jennifer's description reminds me of such a feature in TO3000, which I don't use (I find this kind of display difficult to "read"): calendar grid with list of projects and horizontal bars illustrating projects and their leadtime, with pop-up details and colour-coded. Max horizontal resolution is 12 hours.
There they call it a schedule, but it's not as detailed and versatile as Jennifer's.
Philippe


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:50
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Online calendar Oct 2, 2010

I am planning to use Google Calendar (so I can access it from anywhere) with some additional software to show it on the desktop (like Rainlendar) and probably Android smartphone.

For now, I have found out that message "flagging" in my mail reader (Thunderbird) works quite well - I mark those that still need to be done, so I can always display a "mail to-do" list if I get confused.

Of course, this works only with tasks that you have received (or sent yourself) through e-mail, but I get all my work this way.


 

Emma Grubb  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:50
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
A useful website Oct 2, 2010

I use the following website to keep a schedule of all my jobs:

http://www.whichtime.com

It provides a colour-coding option so, for example, you can use red to show which days are already full and green to show where you have some free space.

As a back-up, I also use a good old desk diary. Sometimes the old ways are the best.


 

Gilla Evans  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
an oldfashioned book Oct 2, 2010

I still keep a paper "job book" in which I log every new job with a number, a due date (or time!"), PO number, client name, job description, languages, invoice date, amount charged and date payment received (the latter entries I fill in as the information becomes available).
This is a hangover from years ago when I ran a translation agency and lots of stuff was still done on paper, and I quite like it, because I have these full records of all my work, and it is useful for when I am putting my accounts together.
The book sits on my desk and I've never forgotten a job yet.

Oldfashioned I know, but it works for me.


 

Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Very useful suggestions Oct 2, 2010

Thanks everybody by your input. Now I have several venues to explore.

Regards,

Edwal


 

Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:50
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
If you use Firefox... Oct 2, 2010

... then this add-on may be a bit useful:

http://www.reminderfox.org/

it is free.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Tasks in Outlook Oct 2, 2010

I use the Tasks window in MS Outlook 2010. You can set alerts at a certain time if you want to for little jobs with long deadlines - I know just what you meanicon_smile.gif

 
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