If you’re a freelancer, you know what it’s like to juggle many projects under tight deadlines. With this in mind, tracking and prioritizing your time in a productive way is a must to help streamline your efficiency and to ensure that the right things are getting done in a timely manner!⏳
In this article, we'll explore the following topics to ensure that your time is well spent and tracked properly:
- Building a board to track your projects and tasks
- Tracking time using the Time Tracking Column
- Using the Formula column to calculate rates
- Prioritizing your time
- Organizing your board to display what you need to see first
- Viewing and analyzing project summaries using the Dashboards
Let's get to it! 🌟
First and foremost, creating a board is a must in order to track your various freelance projects! Building out a board can allow you to track any kind of project data according to your own needs, to ensure that you are ready to work and track your time in an organized, efficient and productive fashion.
Let's consider the below example as a useful board for tracking freelance projects:
How to set up this board
Although a board can be endlessly updated and customized to suit your own needs, the board above is structured as so:
- Groups: The groups represent the various companies, or clients, that a freelancer is working for
- Items: The items help to identify the specific projects being worked on for each company or client
- Columns: The columns on the board help to identify various data points that we are looking to see for each project being worked on. Here, we've used the People column, the Email column, the Status column, the Time Tracking Column and more! However, these can be fully customized to display the information that you are needing to see.
When working on multiple projects simultaneously, it is important that you accurately track your time spent so you can understand how to best delegate your time and resources. To easily measure time spent on various projects or tasks, you can use the Time Tracking Column!
With this column type, you can seamlessly track time live by pressing on the play button to start and end the timer. Alternatively, you can click on any cell within this column to open up a full log where you can enter additional time durations, giving you the flexibility to track hours without worrying about starting or ending it.
Automate the time tracked
To take the tracking of your time one step further, you can use our monday.com Automations and one of the below recipes to automate the starting and stopping of the Time Tracking being tracked!
Let's say you decide to add the left automation recipe onto your board. By doing so, you can automate the Time Tracking column so that it starts in response to changing the changing of a status to 'Working on it' and it can stop as soon as your status column changes to 'Done', for example.
This way, can sit back and focus on your work as your time is being tracked without a worry! 🙌
As different projects often require different payment rates, you can add a Numbers column on your board to track your hourly rate for each separate project. With this, you can then add a Formula column onto your board to easily calculate your billable amount which can then be sent to the respective client.
The formula will pull information from the time tracking column, multiply it by the rate you set, and adjust the amount of decimal points as so:
You can use the below formula to achieve this on your own board. Just make sure to adjust the column names to reflect the exact way that they are spelled on your board!
With many different projects going on simultaneously, it is important for you to understand which ones should be prioritized first! To prioritize your tasks, you can add on the Rating column onto your board to easily identify which projects of yours need to be completed most urgently.
Alternatively, you can also display priority on your board by customizing the labels of a status column to identify the various levels of urgency that each project holds:
By choosing one of these methods to prioritize your tasks, you can understand at a glance which projects are the most urgent in order to make your time spent more efficient. 💥
With more and more projects and data represented on your board, it is important that the information is arranged in a way that displays exactly what you need to see! In order to do this, you can choose to sort or filter your board in any way that you wish.
- Sorting the data on your board
Now that you have added priority labels to each of your projects being worked on, you may want to have those items displayed at the top of your board. To do so, you can use the sort feature to arrange the items on your board in terms of their priority, or any other column of your choice:
- Filtering the data on your board
On top of that, you can also filter the board to view only the projects that are assigned to you, those with the highest priority labels, or according to any other parameter of your data using the advanced board filters!
And there's more! You can use the Dashboards to pull the information from your boards into one overview in order to create summaries, reports, and get a high-level view of all of the freelance projects that you have going on. 🙌
Within the dashboard, you can add as many widgets as you want in order to customize the report that you can create. Some of our suggestions include:
- The Battery Widget to get a nice progress overview of all your projects
- The Time Tracking Widget to aggregate the time tracked from your boards according to the grouping of your choice
- The Timeline or Calendar Widget to see an overview of all of your deadlines
- The Numbers Widget to create quick calculations of your billable amounts, or other numerical values
- The Chart Widget to analyze various parameters of your projects
- and more!
Furthermore, certain widgets like the Battery or Timeline widgets are fully interactive, so you can click into them to view more information about the connected items and even update your data directly from there!
Amazing! With the tips and tricks mentioned in this article, we hope that you'll be well on your way to manage your freelance projects and keep track of your time in a streamlined, efficient, and valuable way. 🌟
If you have any questions, please reach out to our team by using our contact form. We're available 24/7 and happy to help!