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Keeping track of client information


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#1 Susie

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:16 AM

How are you guys keeping track of client information? For example, I have a client for whom I set up numerous email accounts and I need to keep track of all the passwords. I was writing everything in my notebook, but it's getting to be too much. I guess I could set up a spreadsheet for each client (if I knew how...I've never worked with spreadsheets). I wish there were an application out there that were set up for this sort of thing.

So, how do you do it?
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#2 Stefan

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:23 AM

A spreadsheet would make sense or even a series of text files - one per client. Google has a free spreadsheet that works as a web application that may be something worth looking into.

Sometimes this kind of stuff is just messy.

:(

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#3 Ben

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:41 PM

How are you guys keeping track of client information? For example, I have a client for whom I set up numerous email accounts and I need to keep track of all the passwords. I was writing everything in my notebook, but it's getting to be too much. I guess I could set up a spreadsheet for each client (if I knew how...I've never worked with spreadsheets). I wish there were an application out there that were set up for this sort of thing.

So, how do you do it?


I like Evernote (http://evernote.com/). I use it to keep track of client information, screenshots of sites I like, code snippets, random notes, etc. Extremely useful, and a program I couldn't really live without now. Everything is synced with the server, so I can access it online too, wherever I am (though obviously the usernames/passwords/etc. are stored in such a way that only I can access it).
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#4 squeezedjuicybits

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:52 PM

http://www.smashingm...tmas-wish-list/

Scroll down to section 16, it has a selection of password managers you may wish to look into.
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#5 Sea Dragon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:14 PM

I bought a book from a graphics/printing studio that I work with sometimes. She created a great little book for keeping up with all that. It's already printed with a www. and a password: and login: and it's in alphabetical order. Or you can always buy an address book from the local Walgreens and use it in the same manner.

Edited by Sea Dragon, 28 December 2008 - 09:06 PM.

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#6 lwsimon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:11 PM

I use text files in a TrueCrypt volume. The volume is only 1MB right now, so I just have a script that syncs it to my personal webserver daily, so I can access it elsewhere.

YMMV on that though, my raw text may be a bit of a nerdy solution. You might try something like MindMap. I'm looking at EverNote now, and its looking pretty dang cool, too :)
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#7 lwsimon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:20 PM

How are you guys keeping track of client information? For example, I have a client for whom I set up numerous email accounts and I need to keep track of all the passwords. I was writing everything in my notebook, but it's getting to be too much. I guess I could set up a spreadsheet for each client (if I knew how...I've never worked with spreadsheets). I wish there were an application out there that were set up for this sort of thing.

So, how do you do it?


I like Evernote (http://evernote.com/). I use it to keep track of client information, screenshots of sites I like, code snippets, random notes, etc. Extremely useful, and a program I couldn't really live without now. Everything is synced with the server, so I can access it online too, wherever I am (though obviously the usernames/passwords/etc. are stored in such a way that only I can access it).


I just ordered an Eye-Fi and a cheap digicam because of you!

I hate you. :)
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#8 Ben

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:31 PM

I just ordered an Eye-Fi and a cheap digicam because of you!

I hate you. :)


:P I'm not totally sure how a digital camera relates to Evernote (I'm assuming you were referring to me :P)... you'll have to explain that one.
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#9 lwsimon

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 03:09 PM

I just ordered an Eye-Fi and a cheap digicam because of you!

I hate you. :)


:P I'm not totally sure how a digital camera relates to Evernote (I'm assuming you were referring to me :P)... you'll have to explain that one.


Evernote integrates with Eye-Fi, which is a memory card that connects via wifi.

I'll be able to take a photo anywhere in my house, and it will automagically populate into Evernote over my wifi connection. The camera will be dedicated to that use.

Once I get a decent smartphone, I'll use that - I have other uses for the Eye-Fi, and my wife needs a carry-in-her-purse-and-who-cares-if-it-breaks camera. Win-win :)
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#10 Ben

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:01 PM

Evernote integrates with Eye-Fi, which is a memory card that connects via wifi.

I'll be able to take a photo anywhere in my house, and it will automagically populate into Evernote over my wifi connection. The camera will be dedicated to that use.

Once I get a decent smartphone, I'll use that - I have other uses for the Eye-Fi, and my wife needs a carry-in-her-purse-and-who-cares-if-it-breaks camera. Win-win :)


Ah, cool. I can see how that could be useful. :)
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#11 Susie

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:47 PM

I signed up with Evernote today and I must not get it. It seems like it's just an online version of Word or something.
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#12 Ben

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:56 PM

I signed up with Evernote today and I must not get it. It seems like it's just an online version of Word or something.


I suppose you could use it like that... it can do a lot more though. If you download the desktop client (it has versions for both Mac/PC) you can organize all of your notes into folders or by tags. You can drag/drop images from your desktop into Evernote, and the premium version (I think it's $50 per year) lets you attach files to your notes and increases your upload capability.

The notes then will sync with the online client, and you can have access to them via your desktop software, online, or on your phone (if you have a blackberry/iphone that you can install software on). You can also specify what folders you want anyone to be able to see online, and which folders are private, so it is an easy way to share files too.

I have both my personal computer (a Mac) and a PC at work, and I appreciate that I can keep things synced between computers, so no matter which computer I am using, I have access to code snippets, notes, bookmarks, photos, screenshots, etc.

In my case, I have a folder set up for all my client details, and a note per client inside that folder that contains contact information, usernames, passwords, etc.

It has also been extremely useful for keeping track of design inspiration (photos, screenshots, etc), since I can tag each item so I can easily find it later.

I've actually meant to write a blog post or brief article on Evernote, and just haven't gotten around to it yet...
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#13 shelfimage

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:53 PM

We are currently moving away from spreadsheets because the information gets lost especially when there are over a hundred active clients. I examined over 60 Project/Team management solutions and only 2 had decent support for client information or customizable fields to add support for the things you need to know everyday and have at your fingertips.

So, I am in the process of customizing a solution in CMS Made Simple. We will use it to house all of our client information, project and task information, knowledge base, file attachment for projects, general use files and documents for all projects, and online team communication.

I personally like the solution you pointed out to me the other day as a freelance/single developer and think I will implement it for my own projects/clients. http://www.freelancerpanel.com/

.
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#14 shelfimage

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:57 PM

I signed up with Evernote today and I must not get it. It seems like it's just an online version of Word or something.


I suppose you could use it like that... it can do a lot more though. If you download the desktop client (it has versions for both Mac/PC) you can organize all of your notes into folders or by tags. You can drag/drop images from your desktop into Evernote, and the premium version (I think it's $50 per year) lets you attach files to your notes and increases your upload capability.

The notes then will sync with the online client, and you can have access to them via your desktop software, online, or on your phone (if you have a blackberry/iphone that you can install software on). You can also specify what folders you want anyone to be able to see online, and which folders are private, so it is an easy way to share files too.

I have both my personal computer (a Mac) and a PC at work, and I appreciate that I can keep things synced between computers, so no matter which computer I am using, I have access to code snippets, notes, bookmarks, photos, screenshots, etc.

In my case, I have a folder set up for all my client details, and a note per client inside that folder that contains contact information, usernames, passwords, etc.

It has also been extremely useful for keeping track of design inspiration (photos, screenshots, etc), since I can tag each item so I can easily find it later.

I've actually meant to write a blog post or brief article on Evernote, and just haven't gotten around to it yet...

I've had Evernote for almost 2 yrs and update but hardly ever use it. I like how powerful and intuitive it is, I'm just a bookmark, screenshot, notepad joe smo. I can definitely see it being used to keep track of inspiration and etc.
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#15 Susie

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 07:06 AM

I personally like the solution you pointed out to me the other day as a freelance/single developer and think I will implement it for my own projects/clients. http://www.freelancerpanel.com/.


I'm having fits with freelancer panel. I suppose I should get it up and running again and give it a shot. Most of my clients don't require as many email addresses as this one I'm thinking of.
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#16 Guest_Topkingtips

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:29 PM

Great works you have done :)
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#17 jlhaslip

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 12:13 AM

Incidently, for the Linux users out there, look in your Multiverse for a KDE application named Baskets. It works similar to Evernote, but not quite as powerful. One major difference is the manner in which Evernote can read "text" from images. Basket is capable of that.
You can create "baskets" for different projects/subjects and add links, text, notes, images and all kinds of stuff a lot like Evernote. Encryption is not available, either, but the price is certainly right. Free, of course. Same price as all the other Linux products.
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#18 Eddie

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:41 AM

Like everyone else, choosing a good billing/invoicing tool is a difficult task to fit your needs. For the very serious busy developer, using QuickBooks is probably the best approach which allows you to do that very thing plus keep a database of clients. In addition, you can sync your QB with your business bank account.

But for those that are not ready for QB or any other commerical software or do not desire to save their data on someone elses online site software then you might want to check out a couple of these open source software that you can download and run on your own server:

Simple Invoices

Bamboo

Simple Invoices has more features than Bamboo which is good for those that need need them. It seems to be a bit difficult at first to navigate around and understand what does what but thereafter is quite good.

Bamboo is a trimmed down tool compared to Simple Invoice but very effective for those that don't need all the extras.

@Susie,
To answer your question, you can use Simple Invoice to create your clients. There is a note box (text area) that you can add all the information you have on your client (i.e. email, domain, ftp, etc.). It also have 3-4 custom field that you can modify to fit your need.

Edited by newseed, 25 March 2009 - 08:52 AM.

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