There are a lot of web-based apps out there designed to improve small business productivity. And many of them are very good. Figuring out what online project management software to use at your company is more an issue of what fits your workflow best, not what app is the “best.” If you are trying out Intervals for the first time, there are a few core features to consider — the Intervals trio.
Intervals was built, and is used, by a Web design and development agency, to handle the workflow challenges faced by creative agencies like ours. The core features are time tracking, task management, and project management. In short, Intervals is an online project management app with tightly integrated time tracking and task management.
These three features work in symbiosis with one another, giving your small business granular insight into what projects are working, and which aren’t. By combining these three features into one online app, Intervals is able to track and report on projects, tasks, and time, in ways that cannot be paralleled by stringing together multiple apps to do the same job.
So let’s take a closer look at these three features and how they interact with one another.
Time tracking as a standalone service is straightforward enough that it doesn’t need much explanation. You start a timer or add time to a database. At some point in the future you pull the time entries back out in a report that can be used for billing, estimating, invoicing, etc.
Where time tracking becomes extremely useful is when it can be cross-referenced with other data points. Intervals accomplishes this by including several attributes on each time entry. Time can be tracked by date, person, task, type of work being performed, project, and client. It’s time tracking taken to a whole new level, where the data you pull back out can be presented in a basic overview or an extremely granular report.
Find out exactly how long it took to complete each task, and who did what percentage of the work. Or see which projects aren’t getting enough love. What you do with the data is up to you. Intervals just provides the possibilities.
Intervals treats tasks as more than just basic to-do lists. More like a traditional online issue, ticket, or bug tracking application. Tasks are neither basic nor complex — each task has just the right amount of attributes. In addition, each task has a life-cycle, series of changes it goes through before it is closed, that are defined by you. Each step a task takes is recorded in the task history, giving you an audit-able trail of task updates.
Organize and manage tasks by start date, due date, client, project, milestone, status, priority, owner, assignee, follower, and more. Each attribute provides a way to classify tasks so that they can be easily searched and sorted when in progress, and so they can provide infinite perspectives when building reports.
Find out who has completed what tasks and when. See which tasks are in need of immediate attention. Demote tasks that can be done next week. Intervals provides flexible task management tools that can be adapted to your workflow.
Intervals offers more than just a smooth blend of time tracking and task management features. The project management capabilities are what completes the online application. Project management features — such as milestones, document uploads, reports, invoices, payments, and expenses — collectively provide a holistic online application designed and developed to manage your small business workflow from end to end.
Milestones, for example, tie together tasks and time. Define a deliverable as a milestone — a collection of tasks — then monitor the milestone to see how long it’s taking, and when you might expect it to be completed. Also know how many billable hours need to be invoiced from that same milestone.
Milestones are just one example of how the project management features in Intervals can be used to manage your agency. There are plenty of other use case scenarios, and they are as limitless as the needs of your small business. The best thing to do is sign up for an account yourself and try it out free for 30 days. And who knows, it just might be a good fit for you, too.
Photo credits: medeski, martin & wood by xmith, john medeski by xmith, billy martin by snackfight, chris wood by tibbygirl