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How to tackle larger tasks successfully

stepsblog

We all get caught up starting a large task and somewhere along the way we endure the pain of biting more than we can chew. From experience and constant iteration, I have learned you can actually prevent this horrible situation from ever happening again.

The first thing you need to realize is that any task can be split into smaller logical steps. The most valuable thing about this is that you will achieve many small victories that will help you move forward rather than one shadowing feeling that you won’t ever finish it. Also by seeing the smaller steps you will fine tune the overall goal to achieve something even better than the initial concept. And finally, your days will feel a lot more productive. If you work on the same old task every day for a week, after a few days you will feel like you are getting nowhere. But if you finish 5 of the smaller steps in a day, or even 2, you will feel a lot more accomplished.

I personally learn a lot better with examples so here it goes. Imagine you wanted to run a marathon… that’s simple just run 26 miles. Well not really. I think most of us can’t just go out and run more than a couple of miles. So you have two choices. The first is to just go out, run as long as you can, then stop. Repeat that for as many days as it takes to get to the 26 miles. This approach has a high chance of failure as you will feel overwhelmed really quick and have no structure. Now imagine you went out the first day and just ran as far as you can. Lets say you ran 1 mile. For the first 7 days you goal is to just run 1 mile every single day. Next week you want to start running 0.5 mile extra each day until you reach 5 miles. The third week you aim to reach 10 miles. You keep this process up until you reach 26 miles. But having a good plan you can reach for, and achieve each week, it makes you feel accomplishment in the small victories and move forward in a steady pace. So the next large task you take on, spend some time and clearly separate it into small achievable chunks. The more times you do it the better you will get.

Try separating a big project using a project management system now.

Meet new ‘Projects’ widget

You told us and we listened. Please meet brand new ‘Projects’ widget. We hope it will allow you to navigate easier and faster.

Go to your Dashboard, press ‘Create Widget’ button on top right, select ‘Projects’ (1), select your projects(2), pickup up order you want to see them (3), as shown below. Note – when you select ‘All’ projects all new projects added will be added and shown. If you select specific projects – any new projects will have to be added manually via edit widget. Deactivated and deleted projects will not be shown in here.

Freedcamp's Projects Widget setup

You can have multiple Projects widgets installed on your Dashboard (1). You can expand each project (2) to have an access to applications installed in it directly (4). If you want just to open a project wall – click on its name (5).

Freedcamp's Projects Widget navigation

Please post your feedback here.

Bug Tracker retired. Meet Issue Tracker.

Last six months, since we managed to move all our team to a full time mode, we were working on improving Freedcamp’s most used part – projects. You probably noticed our updates in March, May, June and July.

We gave very little attention to our paid applications but we haven’t forgotten about them. This and next year we will improve – Wiki, CRM, Invoices+ and Calendar.

Today we are releasing an improved Password Manager and give you a completely redesigned, based on your feedback, Issue Tracker.

Get it now

- Brand new list view with different views – compact, standard and detailed.

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - batch views

- Easy switch between issues on view issue page.

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - easy switch

- Improved filters and sorting – quick and powerful (1)(2)(3)

- Ability to save and share filters in your team with public saved searches (4)

- Common sense pre-created filters. All public so everyone can start using them from the get go. (4)

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - filters and saved searches

- Auto-generated issue numbers with unique prefix per project you can define. Default is three first letters taken from project’s name. Finally issues in different projects have different IDs.

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - prefixes

- New and improved batch actions – easily select some issues and change their attributes.

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - batch actions

- WYSIWYG and attachments support (also works with Google Drive module).

Freedcamp's Issue Tracker - html support and attachments

- New attributes for issues – Closer, Due Date, Types (‘Bug’, ‘Cosmetics’, ‘Exception’, ‘Feature’, ‘Task’, ‘Usability’, ‘Performance’, ‘Auto’).

- Workflow/permissions updated – only ‘closer’ can mark an issue as completed.

More details available in our documentation.

Try it out and reach us out with your feedback.

Get it now

Password Manager – more secure with Host-Proof Hosting

Thousands of teams and individuals trust us to securely store countless passwords. We are thrilled and take your security very seriously, maintaining high levels of security for our servers and databases. Today we introduce a better and more secure way to store them.

We are launching Host-Proof Hosting support in our free online Password Manager application. What that means is that we do not store your actual passwords on our server! We simply have an encrypted version that cannot be decrypted without your master password which only you know. It is not stored absolutely anywhere. This means no one, and we mean nobody except you can ever access your passwords.

This feature is optional, we encourage you to start using it. We made it very simple to switch all your passwords in one step. You will see this new option:

existing passwords

It will prompt for the Master Password and will encrypt all your passwords in a browser and will send it to Freedcamp for storage. Sharing passwords works as before and you only need to share the master password with your team. With great security comes great responsibility – keep your master password recorded in safe place and share it with your team in a secure way!

If you want to try it out first – edit one of your existing passwords or add a new one and select ‘Use Master Password’ checkbox as shown below (1).

Adding host-proof hosting password Freedcamp's Password Manager

Freedcamp will prompt you to create the master password (2). XKCD nailed down that secure password does not need to be like ‘jn[%RSYm@+R?35z’ but can be simple and easy to remember while staying very hard to brute force. We use this approach and suggest this technique not only to create a secure master password in Freedcamp but anywhere where service or vendor do allow spaces and does not restrict password length too much.

password_strength

We added a new column with hints so it is easy to see which passwords are secured with the master password and not.

Freedcamp Password Manager - standard and host-proof security hints

Finally once you started using the master password our context menu will have two additional options.

1 – you can change your master password by providing old one (remember – lost master password makes your passwords essentially lost)
2 – you can convert all your passwords secured with Host-Proof Security back to standard encryption (no pressure – choice, as always, is yours).

context_menu_password_manager_freeedcamp

If you are interested in technical details – please check this page and diagram below.

host-proof hosting

We also updated our documentation for Password Manager application. If you have any questions – please email us and ask us about details.

Planning a project for success

campingblogWe all plan projects on a daily basis.  But whether these projects be for work or play, each type of project faces the same big problem:  it is too easy for us to go off course and, consequently, not accomplish the goal we set for ourselves.  I have comprised a set of helpful tips that I have collected through books and mentor advice, and I hope you find them as useful as I have.

The goal is to simplify the project and make each task achievable. So let’s begin!  Here’s what to do accompanied with examples.

1. Write ONE sentence for what you want accomplished.  Short and concise.  This will be your mission statement.

A camping trip in a green mountain area with a creek near by and good hiking.

2. Next, outline the tasks that need to be accomplished within the next 3 months.  Again, simplicity is key, so try to keep each task confined to one short sentence.

    - Find the ideal location to host the camping trip.
    - Organize the group of people to all contribute with something.
    - Finalize all transportation and logistics.

3. Time to start digging a bit deeper into this project- what do you need to have done within this next month in order to reach the 3 month goal?

    - Make reservations for the location
    - Invite guests
    - Create a document listing what the guests need to bring (encouraging others to task-manage. Waahoo!)
    - Set rental car reservations for use on the trip.

4. Next, in a  bit more detail, list steps that need to be accomplished this week to get closer to the goals of Step 3.

    - Look for camping location
    - Reserve camp ground
    - List of people you plan to invite.
    - Look up prices for vehicle rentals, find cheapest option.

5. What do you need to do TODAY to get achieve the weekly goals?

    - Call guests.
    - Call 1-800-CAMP-GROUND to inquire about availability.

Then make sure that you use a project management system and write down all your ToDo’s and share them with all your team. This will save you lots of time and confusion.

Save yourself the overwhelming sensation of not knowing what to do next. You can take full control of your projects with this simple and intuitive technique.

Top 101 Small Business Tools Online

tumblr_mnh2m1hnS81st5lhmo1_1280Huemor Designs posted an article about Top 101 Small Business Tools Online that help your business improve.

We found Freedcamp at the second place as one of the best project management systems that help you stay organized.

“In this day and age, the internet can solve 99% of your problems, unfortunately it can’t help you with your girl problems–however, it is, without a doubt, the most useful tool for all businesses.

Below is a curated list of our top 101 small business tools online that will help you manage, grow, and sustain whatever entrepreneur endeavors you are pursuing.

Organization Tools

1) EverNote: An easily accessible app that helps you remember things. To-do lists, reminders, and ideas. You can easily sync Evernote to all of your devices so you can add on the go.
2) FreedCamp: Project management website that you, and your employees, can access. An easy way to post projects, upcoming projects, and update the status on a particular project.
3) Appointlet: Online appointment scheduling for Google Calendar. It allows you clients to schedule an appointment without the hassle of calling.”

Read the full article at Huemor Designs.

Interview with our CEO Angel Grablev – Founders Grid

Meet the CEO of Freedcamp – Angel Grablev. Read the interview of Chris Osborne with him in Founders Grid.

Founders Grid provides exclusive discounts on software, apps, co-working spaces and events to help global entrepreneurs save and succeed. The company mission is to help global startups – funded or not – with exclusive discounts and networking opportunities entrepreneurs can use to grow, improve the world and succeed.
angelPhoto

“RUN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR BUSINESS IN ONE PLACE”

What’s the story behind creating Freedcamp and can you explain how it works?

After using Project Management in multiple companies as a successful method for organizing work between a group of people I ended up discovering a missing puzzle in the world around us.

I was organizing a camping trip with friends and of course the first thing I did was open GMail and send an email to all my friends. After 12 RE:RE:RE:RE:RE i realized this process of organization is just like what I had previously experienced in companies not using Project Management.

I knew right away there needed to be a better way for the everyday person to organize their hobbies. Fast forward 5 years later we run one of the most utilized Project Management systems on the market… and it’s completely free.

Our system works a lot like your iPhone/Android device in that it provides you the core set of applications completely free then with our marketplace you extend your usage of the platform to fit your needs.

We give you all the tools you need to organize a successful project completely free. When you need to use Freedcamp in some business related fashion, like keeping a list of your clients with our CRM application or billing your client with our Invoices application, you purchase those specific applications from our marketplace.
Read the full article in Founders Grid

Inline images in Wiki application

Creating beautiful Wiki pages became much easier now. Simply attach your files, insert them full size as shown below, align and you are done. You can see how we create Freedcamp documentation for a new Google Drive module below.

You can make your Wiki page public in Freedcamp and add to your external web site or share with the clients. Try to access public link this page if you are not logged in to Freedcamp.

inline_images_wiki

Try Wiki application for free by installing it from our Marketplace.

Google Drive integration

Sharing documents and files is an essential part of collaboration and team work. Your feedback and support was amazing! Thank you. Today we are adding another simple way to keep files and tasks together – Google Drive integration.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service, which enables cloud storage, file sharing, collaborative editing and keeps track of all your changes with revision history.

Google Drive module is just $2.99 for unlimited projects and users. Upon subscription completion it will be enabled in all your projects. For projects you are invited to or project groups you are administrator – please ask a project owner to upgrade to enable it.

Once installed you will see an additional option to attach from Google Drive.

attach_google_doc

Sign in to a Google account (we provide an option to switch Google accounts on the next step).

sign_in_google

Now you can:

(1) Switch Google accounts

(2) Use filters

(3) Change between thumbnail and list views

(4) Search your files (check Google documentation for tips and tricks)

(5) Select one or multiple files and add them to Freedcamp.

google_drive_file_selector

Your files will remain stored on Google Drive. Make sure that you shared them on Google Drive with your team.

Attached documents contain tiny Google Drive icon and option to open them on Google Drive.

attached_google_drive_documents

Google Drive files won’t count towards your file storage space in Freedcamp, however you can see all files attached from Google Drive in Files section.

Google_files_Files_application

Finally we would like to list all Google integration options you can find in Freedcamp:

• To link you Google account and access Freedcamp without a need to type your credentials, if you are logged in into your Google account, or use Google single sign-on otherwise. You can always use your Freedcamp’s user name or email and a password to login as well.

• To sync your Freedcamp’s calendar to your Google calendar.

• To attach Google Drive files to TODOs, Discussions and comments inside Freedcamp. Please login into your account, visit Marketplace and install Google Drive module.