Alexandra Cote
Alexandra Cote

Becoming a Project Manager – A Complete Guide for 2018

Project manager guide

Are you preparing to become a project manager but you don’t know where to start?

We’ve put together an extensive guide for you to serve as a beginning point and reference for your future career as a project manager. You can now start being part of this line of work right away by reading the basics of each aspect of a project manager’s career growth.

Here are the things that you should consider before starting a project management career:

  • What does being a project manager actually mean? – the basic personality traits of a good manager
  • A project manager’s skills – find out if you have the skills needed to be a part of the project management field
  • What does a project manager actually do? – an analysis of the most common project management responsibilities on the current job market
  • What’s the secret of a project management career? – tips on becoming better in this profession
  • How to become a project manager- education and the most important PM certificates you can get out there
  • Income – know how much to ask for according to your experience level
  • Project manager problems – find out how project management experts dealt with problems when they were beginners and prepare to successfully face any issues you might encounter
  • Project management methodologies – Agile, Waterfall, PRINCE2, PRiSM, Six Sigma, Critical Path, and many more
  • Tools for project managers – collaboration tools, video chat systems, project management software, and all the apps that you need to start a project

What does being a project manager actually mean?

Are you always the leader of your group who likes to keep everything and everyone organized and with a goal in mind?

If your answer is yes, you could be on your way to a career in project management.

Project management is one of the most complex fields of work out there. Be prepared for a true adventure you’ll never get bored of. There is no space for dullness in this profession. A project manager (PM) is responsible for leading an entire project through initiation, planning, execution, control, and completion. (more…)

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Jan Lukacs
Jan Lukacs

Putting Free back into Freelancing

Free Project Management for Freelancers

Some of our earliest users might still remember that Paymo initially started out as a free tool back in 2008, mainly used by the freelance community to track time. Years have passed and the software matured as well as the company and the team developing it. We grew in complexity, size, user-base, and over time the free version of the software was phased out. For a number of years the “freemium” model didn’t seem economically feasible and we couldn’t seem to make it work. Today we’re changing that.

As we were thinking about our New Year’s resolutions and the 10th anniversary of Paymo we decided to start off the year with a bang and re-introduce a Free Plan, but with a twist.

Starting today we’re putting Free back into FreeLancer – with a full featured plan that allows any freelancer to grow their business at no cost, with no limitations in terms of time tracking, time reporting and project management. We’re not talking about some feature-crippled freemium plan like you will see in other places – we want to offer a fully featured platform with no limitations for project management and time tracking.

Over the past years we’ve witnessed a revolution in the freelancing world and the gig-economy – it simply exploded. The gig economy in the US is now estimated to be about 34% of the workforce and expected to be 43% by the year 2020. According to some estimates by 2027 there will be more freelance workers in the US then full time employees.

This is quite a change and an incredible opportunity. However, we’re also witnessing some worrying trends – the biggest one in our opinion is the fact that Freelancers are getting squeezed everywhere. This is where we’d like to help out with our new plan that offers you all the basic functions you need to run and grow your freelancing business.

As a business we still need to make money and we’re hoping to offer you great extra functionality that you might need when your business grows, so we can grow with you.

We wish you Happy Freelancing and a great 2018!

2 Comments on Putting Free back into Freelancing

Alexandra Cote
Alexandra Cote

Top 10 Free Invoice Templates Resources

Are you facing the task of finding the perfect invoice template to use for your business?

We have carefully analyzed, chosen, and created the largest selection of free online sources for both printable and online invoice templates. You can use these to make your work easier and even stand out from the competition.

But first, what’s the purpose of an invoice?

A typical invoice is a commercial instrument used to identify a relationship between a seller and a buyer. Its function though goes beyond this straightforward definition. In fact, a well-designed and detailed one can be representative of your brand and what your company stands for.

The days when you had to do all the paperwork for issuing invoices are gone. Today you can look for an invoice template on the Internet and get it in a matter of minutes. The advantage of using online sources to download them is that you can filter the searches according to your own needs. Likewise, you can even personalize the chosen templates so that they fit your client’s requirements.

Without further ado, here’s your complete list of free invoice templates resources:

  1. InvoiceBerry – limits your invoice creation process to just 60 seconds
  2. PrintableInvoiceTemplates.net – hundreds of simple printable invoice templates
  3. Invoicetemplates.com – PDF, Word, or Excel invoice formats
  4. Brother’s Creative Center – complete marketing and business resources
  5. Invoice Template Hub – a perfect resource for beginners
  6. Template Docs – share your own invoice templates
  7. Template Trove – find templates for CorelDRAW and InDesign
  8. Vertex42 – discover a diversity of financial templates
  9. Pinterest – beautiful visual resources from all websites
  10. Dribbble and Behance – designer communities for creative invoices

1. InvoiceBerry

Although with the free subscriptions you are limited to downloading only 2 invoice templates, InvoiceBerry is the perfect template provider for freelancers and small businesses. If you think about it, 2 templates might be enough if your business is not too large. With just the free plan you get unlimited access to their templates and you can also customize them to fit your demands.

Invoice Berry

This website aims to simplify the invoice creation process and limit it to 60 seconds so that you save time for your other business-related activities. In addition, InvoiceBerry can track your expenses and payments, send invoices, and manage your clients. By removing paperwork and advanced interfaces, this resource is practical for anyone who’s a beginner when it comes to finance and business management.

(more…)

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Jan Lukacs
Jan Lukacs

New Paymo Desktop Widget and Timesheet Report Builder

We’ve been hard at work on a few things at Paymo this fall and we’ve got some exciting news. We’re launching a brand new Desktop Widget for time tracking (beta), an Adobe Photoshop panel that lets you track time directly from PS and last but not least, a redesigned timesheet report builder.

The new Desktop Widget (beta)

Paymo Widget

The Desktop Widget is finally back – you can start using it today in beta. Here are some of the key features:

  • server side timers (the web app timer and the widget are now in sync and can be started/stopped from anywhere, mobile app support coming soon)
  • stopwatch timer & manual time entry
  • daily timesheet overview
  • daily totals & time entry grouping
  • quickly restart timers for recent tasks
  • existing time entry editing
  • widget auto-update mechanism
  • Windows, Mac and Linux support
  • the widget can now be installed directly in Adobe Creative Suite apps (Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, Premiere Pro) as a panel, details here

The Desktop Widget (beta) is work in progress so you’ll be seeing regular updates before the official launch. We’d like to ask for your input and feedback via the in-app help system. Please report any bugs you might encounter or feel free to send suggestions and feature requests.

The widget can be downloaded here: Windows, Mac and Linux 64Bit / Linux 32Bit.

(on Windows you might see a warning about Windows protecting your PC, in this case please click on the “More Info” text in the warning screen then click on button in the bottom right corner that says “Run anyway”)

Redesigned Timesheet Report Builder

Reports

Based on your feedback and our observations we’re happy to introduce a new report builder with new features:

  • one of the most requested features – flexible grouping (you can now create custom grouping by any item available)
  • subgrouping in the report hierarchy (based on the previous selection)
  • project status support (you can now create reports for projects based on their status)
  • include Project IDs and Task IDs
  • a redesigned streamlined look & feel for the report builder

PS: we’re also on Product Hunt here, if you like it please upvote. Thanks!

23 Comments on New Paymo Desktop Widget and Timesheet Report Builder

Alexandra Cote
Alexandra Cote

4 Essential Project Management Phases – The Complete Guide

Project Management Phases Intro

If you’re a beginner in the field of project management and you’re looking for an easy way to structure your project management process, we’ve got the right project management phases guide that can help you manage your projects from start to finish.

The entire process might seem overwhelming but if you take a few basic steps, you can complete all tasks in the right sequence and at the right time. If the idea of project management seems rather abstract to you, bear in mind that there are a series of logical phases that you must go through to complete a project according to a series of guidelines and quality standards.

Here are 4 essential project management phases and processes that will ease your team’s work and speed up your efforts.

  1. Project initiation phase – dedicated to finding out the exact requirements of your client and analyzing whether or not you have the essential resources to complete the project
  2. Project planning phase – the perfect time for you to put down the exact detailed steps that need to be taken during the project development process
  3. Project execution and monitoring phase – the most important stage during which you prepare deliverables and control the evolution of the project
  4. Project closure phase – close all contracts and discuss what went wrong in the past to prepare for future projects

(more…)

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Jan Lukacs
Jan Lukacs

Introducing Project Workflows

We’ve launched a new feature to improve the way you organise your work, it’s called Project Workflows. With workflows you can create a set of task statuses that you can apply to any project.

What are workflows?

Workflows are a series of task statuses (for a Kanban Board) that produce an outcome. In the context of project management a workflow is defined more narrowly as the movement of tasks through a sequence of actions that are related to a process.

Paymo provides a Default Workflow (To Do, In Progress, Complete), however you can set up custom workflows by heading to Company Settings > Workflows > Add New Workflow. Any time you set up a new project you will be prompted to select your workflow without having to re-create it for every project (existing projects have been automatically migrated to the new Workflows feature, any projects that were using custom columns have been set up as workflows).

We’ve also launched the following improvements

Kanban Workflow

  • the Backlog can be reordered via drag & drop
  • you can display a preview of your attached files (JPG & PNG) directly on the card with the new cover feature (cover images can be shown or hidden via settings)
  • each column is color coded, and these can be edited in the Workflows settings
  • task list names are shown on cards (they can be hidden via settings)
  • all board statuses are displayed in Tasks > Simple View
  • the Complete column shows the most recently completed tasks on top
  • the Company Settings section of the app has also been redesigned with better navigation

The addition of Workflows opens up new possibilities to display your todos, a feature that we’ll be exploring in future updates.

6 Comments on Introducing Project Workflows

Laurentiu Bancu
Laurentiu Bancu

The Process of Choosing the Best Project Management Software

Intro

When we talk about the best project management software, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” or “the ultimate project management software”. The best project management software is the one that fits your workflow and really helps you getting the job done.

If you own a small project-based business, you know by now that’s almost impossible to manage projects with only pen & paper or spreadsheets (if you can do it though, feel free to share your methodology with us in the comments section). It might work for very simple projects, or in some isolated cases, but as soon as the project gets a bit complicated and several people are involved, you’ll definitely need a software or a combination of several apps (keep reading to see exactly why). (more…)

1 Comment on The Process of Choosing the Best Project Management Software

Marcel Tit
Marcel Tit

How Kunder uses Paymo to make accurate project estimates and schedule their workforce

Kunder Manuel Ibanez

Case study: Kunder
Speakers:
 Luis Hernan (Chief Operations Officer), Manuel Ibáñez (Chief Commercial Officer)
Year of foundation: 2013
Employees: 50
Number of active projects/month: 8
Years using Paymo: 3 years

Company history

Kunder started out in 2013 as a three person Software as a Service (SaaS) company with one idea: to provide companies with feedback tools for their clients. They soon realized though that their prospects weren’t interested in such platforms, yet they were in need for high-quality tailored software development. This led to a pivot and opportunity soon started to knock at their door. The tipping point was when Banco de Chile, one of Chile’s largest banks, contacted them to develop a small solution. After proving their worth, the bank asked them for help on their mobile app. The project was a success and from then on work flowed in from various financial institutions.

(more…)

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Laurentiu Bancu
Laurentiu Bancu

An In-Depth Look at the Top 8 Modern Project Management Tools

Top Project Management Tools

Last updated: January 2018

Project management tools have come a long way in the last few years. We thought it was about time for a detailed article about the modern tools designed to support the ways teams work today.

Modern project management tools are a mix of strong functionality, intuitive features and a clear user interface.

We scoured the market to come up with the top 8 tools. These are products that scale with you, let your team manage their projects the way they want to and have a user experience that isn’t… horrible.

The tools that made the shortlist are, in no particular order (click on each one to jump directly to the review):

We’ve extensively tested these tools and we’ve got loads to share. You’ll find out what the benefits are, whether they are right for your team, and what you need to get going. Plus we’ve assessed what you might find missing from each tool so you’re going into your decision with your eyes open.

But first, let’s look at some of the key criteria for choosing any project management tool.

(more…)

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Jan Lukacs
Jan Lukacs

Introducing Smart Scheduling

As promised, we’re back with some exciting updates for resource scheduling. Most organisations still rely on a suite of tools to plan projects, schedule, track time and build reports. This fragmented process makes project managers and planners struggle by juggling different tools that usually don’t integrate well with each-other.

With the introduction of Smart Scheduling we’re hoping to make this process much smoother by suggesting bookings automatically based on previously entered data. Paymo will create ghost bookings for all your assigned tasks with start and due dates – managers will simply have to convert them to real bookings and make adjustments when needed. When creating bookings for tasks with time budgets, the system will now show you how much time was estimated and how much is still available for booking.

The scheduler has now support for employee leaves and company leaves. You can view all leaves on your timeline and easily add leave days to any employee directly on the scheduler. In addition, you can define custom leave types with notes attached (leave days and types can be defined under a new section in “Company Settings” called H.R. Settings).

Other Updates

  • The web timer now runs on the backend, this means that you’ll no longer lose your timer when closing a browser window by accident.
  • The Paymo integration is now available on the GSuite Marketplace; if you’re a GSuite (Google Apps) user we recommend installing it.
  • Project & Task time budget alerts – you can now define a threshold that will trigger an alert when the tracked time for a project or a task reaches the threshold.
  • Import time from bookings – adding time based on bookings is now extremely easy, just head to “Add Bulk Time” and click on the “Import from bookings” link – this will pull all your booked time directly in the timesheet (you can make adjustments where needed).

Coming soon – Scheduler filters, project budgets & available time for bookings.

8 Comments on Introducing Smart Scheduling