Job Tracking

Posted: 19th October 2018

I’m thinking that I’d like to develop a system for job tracking. I use Todoist as a task manager and absolutely love it (well, saying that I’m not in love with the Windows 10 app but it works great using the browser version).

Todoist is perfect for tracking individual tasks, but I’ve never found a way of keeping a master job list that I’m happy with. If I record the overall job in Todoist it’s not granular enough – what I need there is my next action. But then, when I tick off my next action I need something that shows me the status off the job. Have I confused you yet?

I spent a bit of time looking for ‘job tracker software’ yesterday morning but as usual ended up feeling frustrated because I couldn’t find exactly what I needed. Maybe I should be using different words to search for it? There’s plenty of task managers (like Todoist) out there, and also loads of project management and collaboration tools – but at a glance I’m not sure if either are what I’ve got in mind. I’m sure there must be something that does what I want, I just need to find it…

What I’m thinking of is something that I can enter all jobs into, whether they’re one-off ‘update this web page’ jobs or multi-task projects. Each job will need a unique id assigned to it, a way of recording status, notes, and ideally a way of recording sub-tasks for the more complicated jobs.

I think I’ve got four potential approaches to the solution:

  1. Create my own relational database using Access
  2. Find a piece of software that I install directly on my computer
  3. Find a WordPress plugin and set it up as a private website that I can access anywhere
  4. Sign up for a cloud-based service where my data is stored on someone elses server

There are pros and cons of each approach. I suspect the cloud-based service would be the easiest to find, but is my least favourite approach. I know I’m going to sound terribly old fashioned, because everything is cloud these days, but I really prefer to be in control of my own data. I don’t want to sign up for something where it’s all stored elsewhere and I lose everything if the service-provider goes pop. If I do look at cloud solutions an absolute essential would be some kind of export option so I can regularly save my own backup. But I’m going to look at the other options first.

I’m thinking the WordPress plugin approach might suit me. I work with WordPress all the time, so am comfortable with that. It would allow me to run the system online so that I can access it anywhere (not just in the office). But I would have full control over the data – I could take backups of the whole thing and move it to a different server if necessary. It kind of feels like it would have the good stuff about a cloud-based solution but with a level of control that I’m happy with.

Time for some research!

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