To-do lists, client invoicing, project collaboration, and bug tracking are just a few tasks that
every web designer is at least vaguely familiar with. In fact, I’ll bet that if
you’re a designer and you’re reading this now, you’ve got at least one account
meant to manage one of these tasks open.
Not surprisingly, the numbers of start-ups over the past couple of years aiming to make your life easier in
these areas has grown exponentially. Ever hear of Ta-da List by Basecamp, 16bugs,
FreshBooks, Remember The Milk, or the UK-based company Huddle? If you read TechCrunch or something similar, you’ve probably heard of at least one. They’re all part of a growing movement to move your data and your management functions
to the web.
Truth be told, many of them do a pretty darned good job at their respective functions.
But what if your to-do list is tied to a project that is tied to client who has only paid for a portion of
the work? Unless you’re prepared to login to multiple online portals and deal
with multiple data formats, you’re going to have trouble managing it all. Sure –
there are emerging technologies in development meant to make data portability
easier, but there are no guarantees as to what extent the companies you use will
implement the technology.
Because QuickBase is in essence an application platform, you can basically build any sort of web app. around a
database of information with very little effort. Build separate online web applications for your to-do list and client invoicing and then connect them in a breeze. By build, I don’t mean you need to do any actual coding.
Most of the apps. you’ll be using as a designer have already been built and are available for your use.
What that means for you is that you can be up and running with a complete suite
of tools to manage your business and projects in a short of amount of time. All
of the applications are completely brandable and customizable. If
you’re looking to tie in web form on your site into one of the
applications you’ve created in QuickBase, you can.
You could even give a client limited access to the applications so that they could look at the progress of
your work on their project or submit change requests. Imagine the value to not
only you from a management perspective (and the fact you won’t have to deal
clients directly…a painful task sometimes) to be able to keep all of your work-related material in one secure
web-accessible location, but to offer a client a look into whatever it is that
might be of interest to them. I’d be willing to bet that many of them would be
willing to pay for this service.
I encourage any designer or
developer to give QuickBase a try by signing up for a free trial. If you’re willing to spend a little time upfront
tweaking your applications so that they work for you, you’ll save yourself a
lot of time and frustration down the road.