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Perfect software for freelancers

Perfect software for freelancers

Perfect software for freelancers

Interview with Valentin Koch, freelance graphic designer and user of the Xpert-Timer software

Effective project planning for freelancers

“When I started my freelance work as a graphic designer, I asked myself how much time I actually spend on certain services, such as the creation of an illustration. How much time is involved in the individual work steps until completion?”, says Valentin Koch.

"Fact was, that I needed software for project-related time recording that also serves as a basis for controlling, quotation calculation and project planning."

Since 2009, graphic designer Valentin Koch has been working with the time recording software from Xpert-Timer, which he believes is the perfect software for project management in the freelance sector, also in terms of data security. Initially, he used the time stamp function to collect empirical values ​​in order to determine the actual time consumption for individual services. He now uses Xpert-Timer for the entire project planning:

"In order to calculate an offer for the creation of an illustration, I first estimate the time required for this based on experience. Afterwards I look at how much time I actually needed to complete the illustration. During the project phase, I used the Xpert-Timer to document all times that now serve as the basis for my internal controlling and allow me even more planning security for future quotation calculations. If the time required was higher than calculated in the offer, I cannot simply bill my customer for the additional effort, but take this experience into account in future project planning”, summarizes Valentin Koch.

Project handling with Xpert-Timer

“When a customer requests an illustration, I first create an offer using the offer template that Xpert-Timer offers in the billing. I adapted the template by incorporating my company logo. If the requested project is commissioned, I create a new project for the customer. If it is an order from a new customer, I first create the new customer in the client management. If the project is very extensive, I divide the project into intermediate steps and create sub-projects. Then it can actually start”, says Valentin Koch and explains how to proceed:

“If a customer requests an illustration, my workflow is traditionally divided into the parts of research, conception and final creation. After completion of the project, the customer is billed based on the project services. The basis for invoicing is the previously created offer with the estimated time required. With the Xpert-Timer software, I have everything I need as a freelancer. The program is very intuitive and plausible. Task management with the possibility of prioritization is also very important to me. For me, the task list always runs on the second monitor”, explains the graphic designer.

The pause-function in the Xpert-Timer

Xpert-Timer customers surely know the pause button in the automated timeline that runs on the user's screen during use. But what about the "automated pause" function, which can be activated in the "User" configuration area under the "Projects" tab?

The pause function is useful if the workplace is often left and the user has to deal with unexpected other things on the go. In this case, the Xpert-Timer notices that the mouse has not been moved for a certain period of time and assumes that the user is no longer at work. The Xpert-Timer then automatically switches to the "pause" mode. The number of minutes after which the system switches to pause mode when idle is specified in the configuration. If desired, a message appears on the user's screen a few seconds beforehand.

After returning to your computer, a selection menu offers several options for what to do with the time stamp. You can choose between "cancel break", "transfer break time to another project" or "accept break". If the selection menu is not called up, the system subtracts the "pause" from the time stamp.

Valentin Koch likes to use the pause function: “When I'm in my home office, time recording switches to pause mode as soon as I don't move the mouse for longer than the set time. When I return to my PC, I choose the "Accept break" option if it was actually an interruption or the "Cancel break" option if I have read project-related documents during the break."

 

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