Spreadsheets and Project Tracking

Spreadsheets are used in almost every business to help manage data and facilitate business decisions. While they excel (pardon my pun) at numerical analysis, they aren’t so great for business process tracking. Spreadsheets introduce errors that are invisible to the users, are difficult to collaborate with and do not scale up well.

Errors are Introduced

Many teams use spreadsheets for project tracking and day to day task management. While a spreadsheet is an inexpensive option that almost everyone already knows how to use, it can introduce errors into your workflow, like:

  • Inconsistent data
  • Inaccurate modeling
  • Incorrect data

The problem with these three types of error is that spreadsheets provide no warning to the user. The spreadsheet will accept any input and do its best, possibly giving you bad output data. You will then act on this incorrect data, leading to lost time, lost revenue and lost clients.

Different spreadsheets cannot easily be connected without introducing more errors due to formatting inconsistencies or other problems. Project managers are right to be hesitant when considering merging spreadsheets because the errors in each sheet will compound once they have merged. This leads to an issue in project tracking because the entire project cannot be seen at once.

Project tracking software is the answer to this problem.

Issues with Collaboration

iFollow’s dashboard allows its users to view all tasks – past, current and future, along with its completion status. The sequence template allows project managers to program the hierarchical interconnectedness of tasks, ensuring all dependencies are considered in the task management process.

Collaboration is difficult when using spreadsheets, even ones that are updated and shared regularly. iFollow’s email integration allows all employees involved in a particular project to be notified of changes and alerted to late or incomplete tasks.


As your business grows, your spreadsheet will not scale up with you. If you try to force it, the errors discussed above will creep into your business process tracking, leading to lost time and revenue.

Institutional Resistance

Once time and effort have been invested in setting up a spreadsheet system, it’s a tough decision to switch. If the system is working adequately, there is institutional resistance to change at many levels. Upper management does not want to incur the expense of new task management software or the downtime while employees learn to use it well. More junior employees, who may not see the entire management picture, will resist using something that may appear more complex even though in the long term it will be simpler to use.

iFollow has a shallow learning curve and different levels of the company can learn it at different times. Our email integration allows employees to be part of the notifications without needing to be trained on the system.

If you would like to see what iFollow can do to streamline your project tracking, we have a 30 day free trial at our website. I encourage you to give us a try and see how we can simplify your business process tracking.

How to get organized

Let’s face it, life is busy and it’s not likely to slow down any time soon.

A good organizational system is critical for keeping us on track, letting us know what’s coming up in the future and making sure we don’t forget anything.

Common wisdom tells us to write everything down so we won’t forget, but even that’s not enough. Lose a sticky note and you’ve suddenly forgotten something. Whether it’s the monthly marketing review or your daughter’s dance recital, you’re going to be in big trouble.

There are four aspects to getting organized at work: organizing your brain, your time, your workspace and your projects.

Organize Your Brain

Organizing your brain means making sure that it is ready for anything that comes its way. You want to be at high efficiency for as much of your day as possible.

  • Get enough sleep – Even fairly small amounts of sleep deprivation will put you off your game. Seven or more hours of sleep per night will keep you sharp and focused. If you can, take a short nap of between 10 and d30 minutes in the afternoon. You’ll reorganize your mind and have more energy to finish your day.
  • Stop multitasking – Multitasking has gotten a bad rap these days, and for good reason. Switching from task to task slows our decision making processes and is stressful. You can multitask when one item is ‘mindless’ and the other isn’t. For example, you can sharpen your pencils while outlining a memo in your mind. You should not switch between outlining a memo and making sales calls.
  • Take a break – Short breaks for daydreaming increase your creative thinking and help boost productivity.

Organize Your Time

Time organization is critical to overall organization. Your brain could be working at peak efficiency, but if you don’t have a good idea about when things need to be done you’ll still seem disorganized.

  • Goals – Setting goals helps you look at what we want to get done in the long term. Without goals, you will float along, busy every day, but not making substantial progress in any area.
  • Priorities – Once you know your goals, you will be able to pick out the next necessary step or task you need to do in order to move forward.
  • Schedule – Create a schedule for each day, allowing enough time to complete the tasks you need to. This series of deadlines creates a sense of urgency for you to accomplish things. It is important to be realistic in your planning, though. Don’t allot 30 minutes to write a 10 page report, you’ll disrupt the rest of your schedule and you’ll feel unsuccessful.

Organize Your Workspace

Nothing robs you of time and motivation more than not being able to find something. Whether it’s a physical object, like a paper clip or a file on your laptop, you need to be able to locate what you need quickly and efficiently.

  • Keep Important Things Within Reach – Things you use regularly should be stored close at hand, in or on top of your desk.
  • Move Everything Else – Desktop clutter saps productivity. A good rule of thumb for the office is that if you haven’t used something in six months, it can be stored away until you need it again. If you’re never going to need the item again, get rid of it. Of course this doesn’t apply to a family photo or an award you want to display on your desk.
  • Paperwork – Just the word brings a feeling of dread to most people. Use a one touch filing system, meaning once a document reaches your desk you will act on it, file it or toss it. When a project is complete, review the file and remove anything nonessential.
  • Email and Electronic Files – It’s incredibly easy to be disorganized with your electronic files. Your laptop will look the same whether your files are easy or difficult to locate, so there is no visual reminder to tidy up. The one touch system is useful here as well.

Organize Your Projects

You are responsible for many projects and keeping on top of the priority actions for each can be daunting. Using project tracking software is a must for today’s busy managers. Robust business process tracking software like iFollow can help you with all these tasks:

  • Toss the To-Do List – On a to-do list, everything seems to have the same priority and due date.
  • Focus on Current Projects – It can be tempting to think about the future while ignoring the pressing tasks of the present. iFollow’s dashboard allows you to focus on present tasks and then move on to future ones as soon as possible.
  • Plan Milestones – iFollow’s sequence templates allow you to plan milestones once and reuse them on a yearly, quarterly, monthly or even weekly basis. This repeatable task management template takes the stress out of planning.

Proper organization in all these areas will allow you to be a more effective manager. If you’d like to see how iFollow can help you be more organized, go to our website for a free 30 day trial.

iFollow helps law firms

iFollow helps law firms to ensure that their day to day activities are timely performed. The agenda of lawyers is very strained and requires good arrangement of all their activities. They have multiple clients and for each client there are series of activities to be performed during a certain time period.


Some lawyer and other legal professional use Microsoft Outlook, Google calendar, or spreadsheets to keep track of their activities. Others use Project Management or Customer Relationship Management software to manage their relationships with clients and track their activities. The disadvantages of using those applications are the following:

  • Spreadsheets and calendars do not give holistic picture of all activities, do not allow assigning tasks to colleagues or assistants and do not permit seeing all those activities on one screen.
  • Project management software packages are cumbersome to use and unreliable for managing day-to-day operations.


iFollow helps to simplify the

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work of law firms. It allows lawyers to dynamically track day-to-day operations using a powerful and easy to use interface.


Legal cases include steps of actions to be performed. In most of the cases those are standard steps. With iFollow legal lawyers create a sequence of steps for Legal Proceedings and they activate those steps for each client with a single click. They can easily modify the sequence for each client: for example add or delete steps and change due dates, reminders, email notifications, assigned people, etc. Continue reading

Measuring usefulness of a product

Cognitive group discusses this topic in the paper “Measuring a product’s usefulness” accepted and to be presented at the ergonomics world congress IEA 2012 in Brasil.


Paper is written in collaboration with Prof. Jean-Marc Robert (École Polytechnique of Montreal) and Tigran Atoyan, MSc. (University of Oxford).


Decision makers should put a major effort in understanding a product’s potential usefulness before

deciding to invest in it. The challenge is: How to define usefulness of a product, how to measure it? The paper discusses those issues, the relation between the commercial success or failure of a product and its usefulness.


The paper reveals that usefulness of product is related to ability of that product to support users to do their fundamental activities saving time and energy. Other criteria in usefulness of a product are safety, quality of outcome, etc.

Continue reading

How to Choose a Business Process Management System

How to determine which BPM system is for you? Where can you find the BPM system?

What are the key criteria to consider when choosing a business process management system?

First, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are you? Are you a manager, an analyst or an IT specialist?
  • What do you do? Are you running an operation, or are you an analyst doing modeling and optimization?
  • What type of organization do you have? A small business, a department or a large enterprise.
  • Are your processes changing rapidly?
  • Do you have training capability?


  1. If you have management responsibilities, you need a business process management system that is specialized in tracking and monitoring business processes. iFollow is the leader in the market to track business process. iFollow is extremely easy to set up and the user interface is intuitive and visual. With iFollow, managers have a feel of control
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    like never before. Continue reading

iFollow helps financial institutions in managing monthly reporting


Each month, a series of reports has to be done on regular basis for the upper management. Those reports comprise quality control, status and compliance information on the current situation of operations.


Each team member has to produce reports at a certain business day of the month, and those

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reports should be done every month.

For the manager it is time consuming to ensure that all reports are done timely by the team members. It also is rather annoying to have to remind the team members about their reports, do that by emails or by phone.

Continue reading

Task history: track all task related activities

View all task related information in one place in a chronological order


iFollow improved the user interface of the History screen providing visibility of all task activities: deadline, delegated people, status, comments, attachments. Simply click on History and see everything in a glance. You don’t need to go back and forth through several screens to find the information related to the task: it’s all on one place.

What you can see in History screen?


Get real-time visibility and traceability of every task/project, follow how things are really going and make the right decision.

Task management with iFollow: track your business operations

Every day you need to be aware of the situation of your business and ensure that nothing will fall between the crack.


Task management with iFollow will allow you to track all your operations: with your team, your clients, etc. You can:


  • Have a real time overview: see in a glance what is done, what is not done and what needs to be done.
  • Get instant alerts if something is not done or is not done correctly.
  • Have share workspace for groups who work together: who can share all information in one place and collaborate.
  • Track everything in real-time
  • Create tracks in real-time dashboard and organize it as you wish. It could be track for a project, for a specific event, for sales, etc.
  • See all information for one task at one place.
  • Get flexibility to update information about the tasks from any location. Continue reading

Task management software iFollow being used by V1 Private Jets

After booking the private jet for the client, brokers have to execute a series of steps to provide the required security and services. For example:

Different people are responsible for each of those steps. Any missed step can cost the company money and can lead to a loss of clientele, resulting in significant financial losses. The cost of missed steps per year could reach 150.000$.


V1 Private Jets (http://www.jetcharter.com) now uses iFollow to follow the steps.

Continue reading

Improved task management with enhanced design for breach

To enhance the task management productivity we have done design improvements based on results of usability tests.


Situation: For some operations the managers need to be proactive. They need to ensure that the data entered in the system by their team is compliant with the required data and want to get an instant alert if there is a breach or out

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of order situation.


For example, you may have to ensure that:


  • Financial ratios for money lending are compliant with the defined values (for example, that the debt service coverage is over 4).
  • Your employees process not less than the pre-defined number of agreements per week or per month.
  • The drinking water pH level is within the range 6.5 – 8.5.
  • Any values measured and entered in the system by the team of your inspectors are within the pre-defined range of values.
  • The amount of delivered products is compliant with expected amount.
  • Amount of available employees for the given period of time is compliant with the amount needed to complete the job.
  • Etc.

Continue reading