Sometimes Easy Gets Complicated

There is a blessing and a curse with all of the great tools that we can find online to help us be more productive. Great because we have access to some really neat and generally cheap/free things to keep us organized….but bad because it seems like each program just does one thing. Harvest is really great for time tracking. Basecamp is really great for project management. Something like Highrise can help you organize your contacts and clients.

I’m sure you’re seeing the issue with this: multiple websites, multiple logins, and sometimes a lot of repetitive information-entering.

So imagine how nice it was to come across a program like Creative Pro Office. Truly, it’s one of the few products I’ve seen that integrates all those things you need a laundry list of apps for into what seems to be an easy interface. You have a main office dashboard, which feels a little like an iGoogle module set up, complete with feeds of your choosing, snapshot of project progress, tasks, invoices and more.

You can drill into the Client Manager section, which lets you see not only their contact information, but also past projects, invoices and job quotes. What’s even better is they can have their own secure login to view the same information. There’s a time tracking tool to help you bill accordingly, as well as invoicing and expense tracking to go with it.

And, of course, there is a calendar and project management feature to help keep your machine humming along.

With technology and web applications exploding thanks to programmers and designers that focus greatly on user interface, there’s no shortage of tools out there. The biggest problem is that they put so much time into making each one great, it doesn’t leave time to put them all together into one deserving product. Finding something that takes programs designed to make life easier and goes on to make it, well, even easier still is something worth praising and encouraging.

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