I’ve wanted to write this blog post - outlining the way I work, the tools I use, and what I charge - for the last two years, but have been told time and time again that I shouldn’t.
For 2016, I want to try doing things a little differently (how can it hurt?), so I’m writing it. This is a living document, I’ll update it every time there’s a change to my rate, the systems I use, or anything else listed on this page. (I’ll also look into a way to make it more central to my website going forward).
Last updated: 27th October 2016
The Way I Work
We all work in different ways. In an effort to control my life and not spend all of it working, I work in the following way:
I work in 6-hour sprints, normally one per day, to allow me time to decompress and enjoy life.
I take a “No Bullshit” approach to working. That means that I will call things as I see them and expect the same courtesy from you. We don’t get better by being pandered to.
I’m open to working from your offices or a specific locale, but all expenses related to getting to and working from that locale will be passed on.
If we’re not working in the same place, I’ll send you a weekly update email to keep you up-to-date with where we are at.
The Tools I Use
I currently use the following tools:
I use Harvest for time tracking, expense reporting, invoicing, and payments. Time is tracked using the OS X or iOS application and is used to check the actual time worked against the estimates given at the beginning of the project. This often will not affect the price you pay, but will allow me to better understand the time taken to do different tasks.
When you work with me, you’ll be given a Client URL to use with Harvest, where you can see all of your invoices (past and present), pay them, and export them as a PDF for your records.
Whilst it’s not perfect, I use GatherContent for content creation, organisation and collaboration. It’s ideal for structuring content and managing a content creation project, with page statuses and deadlines built in. Once the first draft is loaded, you can log in at any time and see how things are going.
All it needs to add is synchronous editing support, and I’m golden.
Apple’s iWork suite of applications - Keynote, Numbers, and Pages - are great for staying productive at home and on the go. Linked by iCloud Drive, it lets me edit a document on the go and know the changes will be reflected on my Mac when I get home. Primarily used for PDF generation - proposals, contracts, etc.
Slack has become the go-to application for instantaneous online communication. If you’re using Slack with your team, I’ll happily jump in. This helps me understand you and your company better.
Great for synchronous communication such as text chats or audio calls. If we’re having a call to start a project or give a status update, Skype is what I’ll use. (If you don’t like Skype for audio calls, FaceTime is possible).
Most of the communication I do on a day-to-day basis is through email. This asynchronous form of communication is best when working with busy people across the world as it respects them and their time.
I store all contracts and work resources on iCloud Drive. This means that they’re not solely on my Mac, giving an extra level of confidence in their integrity and availability in the case of an incident.
I use Dropbox solely with my accountant for synching invoices and expenses.
I’m happy to use Google Drive, through the web interface, when no other alternative will do.
Would you like to work with me?
As always, you can find me as @Smutchings on twitter.