Simple Is Good!

How To Web Dev

Assembla and Freshbooks, Web Developers organizational friends

As with anyone who runs their own business finds out, I found out that much of my time as a web developer gets spent doing administrative tasks like Accounting, task management and making sure the people I have are doing what they are supposed to, and not nearly as much time as I would like developing. This is just a fact of life, but you can do things to mitigate how much time those things take. That is why I have assembled a list of different tools that I like to use to help my business to humm along. So here it goes:


Assembla Anyone who has ever worked on anything but a small project usually keeps some sort of task list.  This can range from the back of your hand all the way to Microsoft project!  With the advent of the internet and more and more people focusing their businesses around it, and especially for developers, it was inevitable that web based project management tools would show up.  This is exactly what Assembla is, great for keeping track of small to quite large size projects, allows for as many team members as you want.  Because it is geared towards developers it supports GIT and SVN as well as SVN hosting, which is great because you can hook into Assemblas ticket system and update tickets as to commit changes.  Also is supports time tracking and gives you multiple ways of viewing and organizing your project.  Ultimately it is a pretty sophisticated system that you can sign up for free, anyone can access your project however, or pay a few bucks and get some privacy.

This is a great option for those that don’t like writing on the back of their hand but get a headache just looking at something like Microsoft Project.


Freshbooks One of the other tools I use on a daily basis is Freshbooks, like Assembla above you can sign up for free and have some limited functionality, but enough to really get a feel for if it is going to work for you.  Freshbooks can take care of most of your accounting needs, like invoicing, quotes, expense tracking etc.  It even has a pretty decent array of reports that it can generate for you.  Now don’t forget that the reports are only as good as the data you feed them, so don’t expect it to solve all of your accounting woes.

The feature that I use on a daily basis is its project and task tracking.  Freshbooks allows you to create projects, assign them to a client and then add tasks to that project.  You can then keep track of how many hours you have worked on a task with it’s built in timer, which is simple and easy to use.  There are even apps you can get for your droid or iPhone that allows you to track your time when you are away from your computer.  This is a great feature because if you work mostly on an hourly basis it makes generating invoices for your time a snap.  All you have to do is pick a time period, tell it which client you want to invoice and it calculates everything else for you.  Much better then breaking out an Excel spreadsheet.