Where did your day go?

Caterina Carola – Web Designer

Caterina Carola is an independent web designer, developer and consultant based in London.

She works on projects ranging from single-page microsites to online shops and database driven web applications. She also provides her customers with advice on search engine submissions, linking strategies, paid advertising (pay per click), statistics, and emails.

Caterina Carola Photo

The Problem

  • Caterina wanted to know how much individual projects were costing, so that she could estimate her fixed price projects more accurately in future.
  • She also wanted to be able to tell how much she spent on support and maintenance of existing clients, to bill them fairly.
  • Finally, she wanted to know how much of her time was spent on paid work, and how much she was doing for friends or to generate new business.

She didn't want to use a timer-based system because that would interrupt her flow of work – particularly as she often worked on several projects at once.

The Solution

Caterina installed Qlockwork and regularly reviewed her activity log and reports.

  • She was able to see exactly how much time her maintenance and project work took, even when it was fragmentary, so she could bill more accurately.
  • Reviewing the detailed list of activities for a specific project allowed her to check how her billable time was actually spent, and spot ways to work more productively.

Initially, Caterina was shocked to discover how much time she spent on activities that she could not assign to a billable project:

  • general email
  • web browsing
  • administrative tasks
  • networking
  • business development
  • ongoing professional development.

This information allowed her to streamline her work processes. In particular, she tried to focus on doing single tasks at a time, rather than allowing distractions, particularly from emails and unbillable minor tasks, to interrupt her flow.

Within 6 weeks, Caterina had freed up over 2 hours of additional billable time each week by streamlining her activities using the information Qlockwork gave her.