• How to Create Trusting Relationships with Your Clients (and a More Satisfying Freelance Career)

    Client trust

    When your clients come to you for help, they are putting their problems in your hands. They seek your knowledge and expertise, your time, and your labor. Each client takes a risk when they hire you. Even if they already know the quality of your work, they assume an opportunity cost every time they engage with you.

    If you want your clients to come to you right away when they need help, they need to trust you. They need to know that you have the solutions for their problems and that you will meet their needs in a fair, organized, and honest way.

    We have to be honest though: Building trust with your clients is not quick. It takes time, effort, and attention to detail. You have to work for their trust, building it little by little over time. Some clients will trust you after the first job. Other clients require years of partnerships before you become a trusted ally.

    In this article, we are going to explain why it is important to build trust with your clients, then we will offer some strategies to build that trust.

    Read More…

  • Introducing Timing 2021.6: All-New Activities Screen and Plenty of Usability Improvements



    We have just released Timing 2021.6, which replaces the “Review” and “Details” screens with one unified “Activities” screen. We believe that this screen combines the best of both worlds, but we would love to hear your thoughts on it, too.

    If you preferred the old “Review” screen, don’t worry; the contents of the “Review” screen are still available by selecting the “By Category” mode on the new “Activities” screen:



    In addition, you can customize the appearance of the Activities screen by clicking the button next to the mode picker:



    But that’s not all! The new version also introduces a ton of usability improvements that should streamline your time-tracking workflow even more:

    • You can now start and stop timers right from the toolbar of the main Timing app.
    • You can now also start timers via the right click context menu of a project.
    • On macOS Big Sur, toolbar buttons now show labels next to their icons to make their purpose more clear.
    • We have completely reworked the app’s onboarding. If you would like to give the new onboarding a try, you can access it via the “Replay Introduction” item in the “Help” menu. Maybe you’ll learn a trick or two that you didn’t know about yet!
    • Timing will now warn when creating a time entry causes other entries to get overwritten.
    • Slightly increased the width of time entry editors, giving you more space to enter details.
    • When starting a new timer, Timing will now suggest the most recently used project by default.
    • By default, Timing will stop any running timers when your Mac goes to sleep or when you quit the Timing tracker app. You can now customize this behavior in the app’s “Tracking” preferences.

    And that’s just an excerpt of the full release notes.

    Conclusion

    That’s it for today! Feel free to let us know what you think of this bulletin, and take care!

  • Can You Trust That SaaS Product with Your Data? 6 Things to Consider

    Saas trust

    There are more than 15,000 SaaS companies in the world. Most of us use several every day for work, personal organization, or entertainment. While each SaaS product we use adds a lot of value to our lives, they also create some risk.

    SaaS applications store your data in the cloud. This makes it easy to access from any location, but it also puts your data at risk. If you can access it anywhere, so could malicious parties who might want to use your data for nefarious purposes.

    But what is “data?” Doesn’t that apply to big companies that collect mountains of information on their customers and users? Yes, but you create data as well. Many people think they do not own or use data in their day-to-day lives, so they do not consider the trustworthiness of their applications.

    “In computing, data is information that has been translated into a form that is efficient for movement or processing,” explains Jack Vaughan on TechTarget. “Relative to today’s computers and transmission media, data is information converted into binary digital form. It is acceptable for data to be used as a singular subject or a plural subject. Raw data is a term used to describe data in its most basic digital format.”

    Essentially, you create data whenever you put your information into a digital format, like when you add your gym schedule to your calendar, when you log tasks in your time tracking app, or when you tell Alexa to make a shopping list. You probably create a lot of data every day without realizing it.

    Read More…

  • The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Team Productivity Through Psychological Safety and Trust

    Psychological Safety and Trust

    Do you know what the highest-performing teams have in common? They trust each other. They work in a safe environment where no one fears punishment or retribution for making a mistake, taking a risk, or voicing an opinion.

    “There’s no team without trust,” says Paul Santagata, Head of Industry at Google. He knows this because of Google’s two-year study into team productivity. They interviewed 200 employees and looked at more than 250 attributes of 180 active Google teams.

    They expected to find a perfect mix of talents and attributes. Surely the highest performing teams were a combination of advanced degrees, skilled specialists, and type-A personalities, right?

    Actually, no. What they found is that who is on the team does not matter much. What’s important is “how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.” Ultimately, the study revealed that the best teams have strong trust and psychological safety, including the belief that you will not be punished for mistakes.

    What happens when we don’t feel safe at work? According to evolutionary biology, a provocation or threat by an employer (or anyone with power or authority in our work environment), subordinate, or coworker is processed as a life-or-death threat in our brain. The fight-or-flight response is ignited, which shuts down analytical reasoning, thus preventing us from thinking our way out of a problem.

    Read More…

  • Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Work: How to Stay Focused?

    Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Work

    The very concept of work itself is changing. What used to be masses of people huddled in cubicle farms has become decentralized. A growing number of workers operate in their preferred locations, in different time zones, and on their own schedules. This new model of work, asynchronous work, is challenging the old model, synchronous work.

    The pandemic had an impact on this change as well. Lots of people and companies who thought they preferred synchronous work discovered that they could operate just fine in a remote work environment. Countless companies – of all sizes – are staying remote after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Entire offices are simply refusing to reopen.

    As a freelancer, you are almost always working asynchronously, especially if you work remotely. Some freelancers are expected to work during specific hours, or make themselves available during certain windows, or even work on the client’s site, but these cases are rare.

    But that does not mean working synchronously is pointless or outdated. There are plenty of good reasons to work at the same time (and alongside) other people. In this article, we would like to explain asynchronous vs. synchronous work and discuss the differences. We will go over the pros and cons, and show you how to stay productive in both environments.

    Read More…

  • Freelancer’s Guide: How to Prepare Accurate Timesheets

    Prepare timesheets

    The timesheet is a simple but critical tool for businesses. They are used by small and large organizations alike to keep track of hours and keep projects moving forward.

    Timesheets are especially important for freelancers. They help you maintain accurate records, they keep your relationship transparent with your clients, and they ensure that you are paid properly for your labor.

    If you bill by the hour and aren’t using timesheets, there is a good chance you are failing to report all of your tasks and leaving money on the table. Plus, your clients may wonder if you are actually being honest with your hours. From their perspective, a generic figure (like “10 hours this week”) might make them think you are padding your invoice.

    For the sake of your income and client relationships, it’s important to prepare accurate timesheets. In this article, we will explain what a timesheet is and how it works for freelancers. Then we will give you some tips to prepare timesheets accurately.

    Read More…

  • Timing Web App Update: App Usage in Reports!

    We are happy to announce that it is now possible to include app usage in the Timing web app’s reports! Until now, reports generated via the web app would only include tasks (i.e. manual time entries), but not app usage – i.e. the time you spend on your Mac that is not part of a task already.

    With today’s update, that restriction no longer applies. If you are a Timing subscriber on the “Expert” or “Teams” plan, you can now use the “App Usage” switch to include or exclude app usage from your reports:

    This change will be particularly useful for users of our “Teams” plan; read on to learn why!

    Read More…

  • 14 Tips for Juggling Multiple Freelance Projects

    Freelance tips

    Juggling multiple projects is one of the biggest challenges for many freelancers. It starts when one client decides to expand their services. Then another wants an extra project. Then someone refers you to their friend and they want a one-off job. Now an agency wants to subcontract through you. All of a sudden you’re busier than ever!

    What makes this hard is that your clients don’t know each other. They don’t know, or care, but you have other obligations. They only know what you promise to deliver.

    Keep in mind that having lots of work is a good problem to have. It means you are doing something right as a freelancer. People want to work with you, so your career is on the right track.

    If you don’t find ways to manage multiple projects, there’s a good chance you’ll fail to meet your obligations. Clients will be dissatisfied if you deliver poor-quality work or submit it late. It could affect your relationship with those clients and your overall reputation.

    So for the sake of your income and your career, it’s important to learn how to manage a busy workload.

    Read More…

  • Billable and Non-Billable Hours: How to Find Balance?

    Billable and non-billable hours

    As a freelancer, you have surely felt frustration when you compile an invoice and realize it doesn’t cover the complete time spent on the client. “I definitely spent more than six hours on this,” you say to yourself.

    Or the disappointment of spending half a day (or a full day) on non-billable yet essential tasks (accounting, marketing, proposals, discovery calls, etc.). These activities are an unavoidable part of freelancing, but they don’t belong on a client’s invoice.

    Not to mention that out-of-town industry event. Two full working days that can not be billed to any client, even though the whole experience felt like work!

    This is an especially significant problem for new freelancers who spend more time on non-billable tasks, such as marketing, seeking referrals, and working on spec. But veteran freelancers still struggle with non-billable hours as well. It becomes even more complex when you start factoring in vacation, retirement, sick days, and other necessities that freelancers often neglect. Who will pay for those hours?

    The challenge here is that you have an obligation to only charge your clients for the hours you work on their projects. They don’t expect to pay for the time it takes you to create an invoice and reconcile your accounting, for instance. But that’s still work time you want to be compensated for.

    Read More…

  • Timing June 2021 Update: Mac and Web App Updates, Pricing Strategy, and Documentation Improvements

    To help you get the most value out of Timing, here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on for you recently:

    Timing 2021.4: Quality of Life Improvements

    We have recently released Timing 2021.4 with plenty of tweaks that make it even more convenient to use.

    Here’s a summary of the changes:

    • We have made the timeline easier to use. You can now more easily add tasks and adjust their lengths, even for times when Timing has not yet tracked any data for you.
    • We have re-worked the preferences to make them more accessible and useful.
    • Call tracking is now available for many more apps. In case this causes false positives for you, the "Call ended" notification now includes an option to notify us about them.
    • You now have more suggestions to choose from when creating a task, and you can easily round their start and end times via the +5/-5 buttons.
    • Timing will now track window titles of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in Chromium-based browsers (except Brave).

    There’s even more in this update; you can find the full list in therelease notes on our website.

    We are planning to add even more improvements and interface simplifications over the course of the summer. If there is a particular thing that you would like to see streamlined, please let us know!

    Web App: Better Project Grouping in Reports

    The Timing web app is a great solution for starting and stopping timers on the go as well as viewing your team’s time entries.

    However, its reporting had up to now been limited to grouping times by each project, no matter how “deep” those projects were in the project hierarchy. For example, if you had two sub-projects called “Research”, there was no telling which actual parent project times in either of these two sub-projects belonged to.

    With this update, you can now have the web app group by the top one or two project levels instead, which indicates the overall area of work these times belong to:

    Read More…

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