On Friday, June 29th we released a new and improved Daycast. Included in this release are three exciting new features designed to support a day-planning, time-tracking philosophy that leads to a less frantic, more measured investment of your greatest resource—your time:
Time-specific task reminders
The ability to unfinalize (and re-finalize) tasks
The ability to export time reports to CSV files
We’ll break each of these upgrades down for you here.
Get task reminders.
Status reminders have been available in Daycast for some time now, and as of this newest release, you can get time-specific task reminders too. Need to start work on a task at a certain time? Instead of fracturing your focus by watching the clock, let Daycast keep an eye on it and alert you when the hour approaches. Use the ‘at’ symbol to specify a time of day in your task description and you’ll get a reminder five minutes prior to that time.
Task reminders are enabled by default. To disable them, click the three stacked dots in the upper right corner and choose Settings from the dropdown menu. In the Preferences tab, scroll down to Task Reminders and uncheck the box.
We think a graceful close-out at the end of the workday is the first step to a great night's sleep and a high-impact plan for tomorrow. But we found the permanence of the finalize step made us nervous and inclined to put it off, which led to a not-quite-done feeling that subtly nagged at us as we went about our lives outside of work. So we took the finality out of finalizing.
"Only the confidence that you're done with work until the next day can convince your brain to downshift to the level where it can begin to recharge for the next day to follow."
— Deep Work, by Cal Newport
Nothing's set in stone anymore. Need to edit a task or a time entry? No problem. Just click the lock to unfinalize the task you want to change, then hit Re-Finalize Day when you're done.
Export time reports.
Easily one of our most requested features, now you can export time reports generated in Daycast as CSV files. With just a few clicks, you'll have your logged time where you need it and can get back to your day.
Start by clicking the lined paper icon in the upper right corner. Daycast defaults to the following parameters: Submitted tasks from This Month for [Logged In User]. You can edit these parameters as you wish, then click the Generate Report button. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the window where you’ll see a Download CSV file text link. Click that link, then save your report where and how you like.
Enjoy Daycast 1.1.0!
In addition to these three new features, we also deployed a few bug fixes in this version. Check out the release notes for details. Got feedback on the new features? Want to request a feature for a later release? Email us anytime at email@example.com. We love hearing from our users, and no request is too big or too small to be considered.
Top photo by Jason Leung
For all the noise about the harm of always-on working, very little ink is spilled on how individual professionals can realistically reclaim their time and attention. Leave the talk of digital detoxes and Big Tech reform aside for the moment… here’s something you can easily start doing today.
Whatever the endeavor, your time is probably better spent taking the next small step than searching for a way to pull off a giant leap. Training for a marathon? Remodeling your house? Bootstrapping a SaaS startup? There isn’t any one thing you can do to ensure success… except to keep going.
We want to build more integrations for Daycast. What would help you most? A Slack integration that lets you create a new Daycast task from a Slack message? Or maybe a Trello integration that automatically imports your board and list items? We’re not short on ideas, but we’d love your input.
If time management were just about getting things done, Daycast wouldn’t exist. There are myriad tools to help you jam-pack your days and check off more and more boxes. But we think time management is about unpacking your days, making mindful choices to spend your limited time on what matters most.
Fed-up dieters the world over have ditched food rules in exchange for what they call intuitive eating. Maybe exhausted would-be time managers should follow suit. Hard-and-fast rules about time management abound, but we advocate a more reflective approach. Bespoke time management, if you will.
A new year is underway, and you’ve got goals to crush. With these six proven tools in your personal productivity arsenal, you’ll enjoy greater focus, sharpened mental clarity, and sustained momentum—all of which you’ll use to stay committed and moving towards your targets. Come December, you’ll thank yourself.
Day planning is not an affectation of those ultra-organized folks who color code their inboxes. In fact, day planning is not about organization at all, but preparation. And it can mean the difference between wasted resources and a humble, somewhat bumpy, but altogether more efficient workday.
When we started using FreshBooks, our whole invoicing process got easier. Now we spend less time billing clients and more time serving them. Here’s our full review, including a breakdown of how we use FreshBooks for client billing and what you can expect if you give it a try.
I thought working remotely would mean being less affected by company culture than when I worked onsite. A year later, I say culture matters more as a remote worker because it lives where I do—in my home. Fortunately, culture is something we can screen for like we might a potential housemate.
One year ago, I left the commute behind for a home office (read: desk tucked into an alcove). The adjustments have been many and all have ultimately nurtured growth—difficult, painful growth sometimes. If I had it to do over, I’d make only one change: Switch to remote work sooner. Here’s why….
Time tracking software should solve problems, not create new ones. Finding the right fit for your team is key. We compiled our notes on time trackers we’ve studied—what’s special about each? what don’t we like?—and compared them with Daycast to save you time as you look for your team’s solution.
Are you using FreshBooks accounting software and want to try Daycast (or vice versa)? Using both and aren’t sure how to get the rest of your team up and running? This post is for you. We’ll have your whole team using Daycast to plan, track, and send time to FreshBooks in just a few quick steps.
With Daycast, our aim is to help you extract maximum value from each day. That’s why we’ve added three new features to help you stay focused while working, recharge when your workday is done, and spend less time on administrative to-dos. It’s all there for you in the latest release—version 1.1.0.
If transparency sounds like just another corporate buzzword, consider what happens on teams that don’t have it: silos grow and solidify, communication narrows, and efficiency slows. But what can you expect from a more transparent culture? And how do you go about building one? We cover both here.
Why is time tracking such a mind-numbingly awful exercise in … awfulness? Here’s what I think: Most time tracking methods are doing it wrong. Timesheets, frustratingly complicated apps—the only value they deliver is in the form of a paycheck. Which sounds like enough, I know. I want more.
Because managers are uniquely positioned to shape team culture through both everyday interactions and long-range choices, any move toward empathy will be more successful with intentional leadership. We’ve identified five things leaders can start doing right now to nurture empathy.
Some things—like frying eggs, like planning your days—seem pretty self-explanatory but in fact yield far better results with the application of real technique. When it comes to day planning, we recommend a method that’s simple, easy to use, and helps you get more satisfaction out of your workday.
Empathetic cultures don’t arise by default; they must be deliberately cultivated. And while leaders that value empathy give their teams a better chance of developing it, everyone plays a role in growing an empathetic culture. Here are five things we all can do to engender empathy in the workplace.
The ways and contexts in which managers review creative work can reap great rewards or cause great harm. I've failed in this area enough that I'm now qualified to write (a little) about it. So here’s a baker's dozen of hard-learned lessons gleaned from 20 years observing and managing creatives.
Confession: a packed schedule doesn’t just leave me feeling rushed; it also makes me feel important. Necessary. And in a world where busyness is the newest status symbol, I’m certainly not the only one. But it’s a trap, diminishing our ability to deliver real value. Fortunately, there’s a way out.
Clever ideas and the skill to bring them to life are abundant resources. But to purposefully innovate, we must identify what means the most to the consumer, not what’s clever. And that requires a much rarer resource: empathy. It starts, counterintuitively, not with feeling but with action.
Sometimes all it takes to achieve my goals is a little planning, a little persistence. Other times it seems the harder I try the further my goal recedes into the distance. Then I found a planning technique that helped me understand why some goals are so elusive and what to do about it.
Distractions can degrade productivity no matter where we work, but I find them harder to resist and recover from when working remotely. Interestingly, accountability tactics don’t solve the problem. Daily productivity requires that I know my limitations and work with them instead of against them.
How do you get your team focused on collective goals and working in harmony to achieve them? It starts simply but powerfully: with empathy. We can accomplish more together than we can alone, and synergy depends less on tools and procedures than it does on this undervalued skill.
When I left my office and nameplate behind, I didn’t realize I’d need to let go of a lot more in order to get the hang of this remote thing. It hasn’t been what I’d call easy. (But few worthwhile endeavors are, eh?) Now, almost four months in, I’m a happy, grateful convert.
What do we mean when we talk about the flexibility of working remotely? Because truth be told, I have zero desire to wander the globe, laptop in hand. But maybe flex isn’t just for the digital nomad set. Maybe homebody routine-freaks like me can make good use of it too.
Culture is critically important, but requires some out-of-the-box thinking to evolve intentionally in distributed workforces. We believe the right kinds of perks can help. And we don't mean free stuff. We mean activities and surprises that unify dispersed workers across miles and time zones.
Here's something I've noticed about working remotely: it blurs the line between work and home and, at least for me, creates cognitive dissonance in the process. My first instinct was to fortify that line. But the harder I tried, the more uncomfortable I got. Then one day the line dissolved altogether. And you know what? Work, home, everything—everything's better without it.
Picture a day-planning tool of some kind. Imagine using it. Do you feel inspired? Or does the very thought dampen your creative fire? If you're like many makers, it might just be the latter. Now, what if we told you that—with the right approach—planning your days can actually aid your creativity? It's true. We'll explain how.
These three books have helped shape how we work here at Open Door Teams. Using the suggestions and insight they offer, we deliver greater value for our time. Maybe you will too.