Bonus holiday tip: Tags make booking your next project team super snappy!

Booking a new project? If you’ve been using tags to set up your People, you can drill down to any team or function quickly to find the team for your next new project.

1. Click the pencil icon next to a Person’s name to open the edit panel. Click on a “new tag” and enter a descriptor you’ll use to find them later--like a team name (design) or specialization (ruby).

2. Then, with the editing panel closed, you’ll be able to filter People, not just by their names now, but also by any tags you’ve added.

3. So when you’re looking for a designer for your next project, they’ll be easy to find.

Wishing you new projects aplenty to book in the new year! Happy Holidays!

- Erin

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Part 3: With a dispersed management team, Allocate unites!

In this series, we’re sharing MojoTech’s experiences around creating and using Allocate. We’ve learned a lot about resource scheduling along the way, and hope to help agencies like us with these lessons, too. We've explained why we created Allocate and what made that a great experience, and now we'd like to share how we make the most of the app as a team. 

One of Allocate’s strongest features is its seamless real-time updating. You’ve seen it keep your team in the loop on availability throughout the week. But if, like Mojotech, you run a weekly scheduling meeting, you can also offer your managers a real-time visual of your upcoming weeks as you schedule just by updating Allocate along the way.

Why is this great?

  • No one has to take notes or struggle with a spreadsheet during the meeting.

  • If someone missed mention of a change, it’s likely already updated on their screen.

  • You can use Allocate to illustrate a scheduling suggestion to your group.

How does MojoTech do it?

On a call every Friday afternoon, the MojoTech managers run down our list of current and upcoming projects to confirm staffing for the next four weeks. (You can, of course, plan out as little or as far out as suits your agency.) Project statuses are discussed and allocation bubbles are added, extended or changed during the call. Adjustments needed to make room for new business are made along the way, and unallocated resources are often assigned to internal projects (like Allocate and

We do this all on a call together so that resources and projects can be negotiated, and side details can be shared that may not have been otherwise.

Finally, we click the “Email Team” button to send everyone a copy of their upcoming schedules.


  • Make an effort to get all the managers on the call. If everyone knows who’s working on what, and why, you’ll have an easier time negotiating any bumps in the the week ahead when clients’ needs change (or bugs crop up).

  • Update Allocate as you discuss the schedule, and your shared tool is up to date at the end of your meeting.

  • Remember that while Allocate doesn’t replace a weekly team scheduling meeting, real-time updates certainly help when you can’t get everyone together. Just remember to discuss conflicts well ahead of any resource confusion.

Subscribe to the blog so that you don't miss out! Next time we’ll look at agency challenges around our inventory being made-up of real, living people.

 - Erin

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Updates: Adding a new board and repeating allocations

Hi everyone - we have a couple exciting feature releases today:

Manage more than one group or team? Add another board to your account from the dropdown in the top right. Just click “New Board” to start a fresh screen. To get back, just use that same Account dropdown to navigate between boards. They’ll always be connected, but you do have to invite any people you’d like to share this new board with.

Adding holidays and new projects? Now it’s easier to repeat the same project to people on your team. After adding the first, just click to add the next one (as you do now) and the new bubble will default to the prior project name and length. This should make starting a new project and adding upcoming holidays much easier.

Let us know what you think!


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Splitting up bubbles

Today we released a new feature: Split. Some of us found it a little cumbersome adding vacations and holidays in between long, already scheduled allocations. Now you can split up a bubble and insert a new one with just two clicks.

To split up an existing allocation, click on its bubble in the spot where you'd like to insert something new--that will bring up the new edit menu. Click “Split” to break up that bubble and add a new allocation in between. Add the new project name and adjust lengths as usual. “Edit” lets you change the project name or add a note, and "Delete" now lets you quickly delete that allocation bubble.

This release also speeds up filtering, which you’ll notice especially if you have a longer team list.

Let us know what you think!

- Erin Costanzo Cummins

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Part 2: Allocate as a lesson in a focused, fast, MVP

Last week I shared with you how our unruly scheduling spreadsheet motivated the MojoTech team to build our resource scheduling solution, Allocate

We knew we had to keep Allocate simple--not just because we thrive at building focused apps for our clients, but we really wanted to get off of our bloated scheduling spreadsheet as soon as possible. Allocate was going to solve a painful problem, which made for excellent motivation for sticking to an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Any scope creep would not only balloon our investment in the tool, but also delay the day we could start using the solution we’d been searching for.

We started by defining the problem: managers needed to know who's working on what and when, so that they can easily see our team’s availability, and therefore, more easily respond to new requests from clients. Yes, there were all kinds of useful things that this app could do, too, but we narrowed down the core elements that we needed it to represent: people and projects on a calendar grid. Here's a screenshot that illustrates that core functionality:

Of course, the great ideas for additional features rolled in. We iceboxed just about all of them. MojoTech schedules in full weeks, four weeks out, so Allocate beta features full weeks, four weeks in a view. We kept it lean by solving just MojoTech's problem, and would later build from there.

Four short weeks later, with contributions from across the team, we had our MVP, Allocate beta, and MojoTech enjoyed its benefits immediately. The successful release of a super-focused MVP benefited our group in three ways:

  • MojoTech got to ditch the scheduling spreadsheet(!) and enjoy a much richer view of our most valuable assets--our people!

  • Allocate receives early user data and feedback from all the other agencies (thank you!) trying out the app. Our future customers are telling us what they need.

  • Team members, sitting in the client’s chair for this one, got to experience making the hard, but correct prioritizing decisions.

So, before simply adding features large and small, we're collecting the feedback and usage data that will shape our upcoming releases.

Have some feedback on Allocate? Go ahead and post it here in the comments, or send it on over to

Subscribe to these posts up on the left so that you don't miss out next week. We'll show you how MojoTech uses Allocate to unify our dispersed management team over our weekly team scheduling meeting.

 - Erin Costanzo Cummins

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Part 1: Still using spreadsheet for scheduling? (How Allocate came to be)

Through this series we aim to share with you, likely managers at similar agencies, the valuable resource scheduling lessons we at MojoTech have learned along the way. I thought it would be helpful to start with the story (and picture) of why we built Allocate, because you likely can relate to where we were coming from last year.

For about two years MojoTech used a spreadsheet to track our resource allocations before we decided to build Allocate. At the time the spreadsheet met our needs, but became cumbersome and time-consuming to use as we outgrew it. Here’s a screenshot of what it looked like at the time of abandonment, showing the upcoming four weeks from the last time we used it back in March 2013:

Yeah, it’s kind of a mess. And compared to Allocate’s UI, I’m finding the colored grid blocks pretty funny. I’ve included it here not just for a chuckle, but in case some of you can relate. I know there are agencies out there still tracking their allocations on a shared spreadsheet, or maybe even in some physical manifestation within your office (post-its on your wall?).

Week after week, we were manually adding columns for days and weeks, rows for people, and color-coding projects. Whoever was running our weekly scheduling meeting would have to open up that spreadsheet five minutes ahead of time just to get the next week’s calendar set up and ready for updating. And then we’d add the little colored blocks to denote a resource on a project for an upcoming week. It was a distracting chore and there was too much room for simple human error--accidentally giving an allocation a wrong project color or dating a week incorrectly. We found ourselves leaving out important information when we ran out of room or needed to make a note.

We knew we had out-grown the spreadsheet, but we couldn’t find a tool that was faster and easier to start using than what we had now. But…we’re MojoTech--we build apps! So why don’t we just build a tool ourselves that solves this resource allocation problem? After some market research, we decided to go ahead and build Allocate, hoping it would help other agencies like us, too. All those spreadsheet-related headaches we were experiencing motivated us to work fast, and the result is the beta release of Allocate that you see today at

Next week, we’ll discuss how releasing Allocate was a truly rewarding lesson in to sticking to an MVP.

- Erin Costanzo Cummins

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How to Manage Time Better With Less Time

Knowing how to manage time better is something we all could get better at doing. Whether it's managing time while at work or time with your family, we all wish we had a few extra hours everyday. So how can you manage time better with less time? It sounds like something out of the 4-Hour Workweek, doesn't it?

Before we begin there are a few mental hurdles you must clear in order to achieve more time to work with.

Start respecting the time you have. Get serious about it. We all know someone who is super productive and gets a lot done during the day. Chances are they're pretty serious and super selective about where they spend their time. They're not checking their Facebook or watching Youtube when they should be answering emails or writing a report. They are organized, prepared, and know exactly what they have to get done for the day. Respect the way you spend your time and it will start rewarding you with more.

This leads us to the next step.

Track your time for an entire week. After every task you complete, log what you did and how long it took. Be very strict about logging everything. If you spend 15 minutes looking at the latest animated cat gifs on reddit you better put it in your log. Don't be ashamed. This is your baseline of productivity. How will know if you're making time if you don't know how much you were spending in the first place?

Pat yourself on the back. Being accountable every minute of every day is a hard task, so you deserve it! Now that you have logged of all activities for the week, take time to analyze and discover where you're wasting your time. Did you use the bathroom a lot? Take a few more snack breaks than you thought? You may be surprised at how much and where you wasted your time during the week. What did you find out?

Write your findings down because you'll be experimenting next. To help you analyze your activity log I've created of list of time wasters to be on the look out for:

  • Bathroom Breaks
  • Snack breaks
  • Smoke breaks
  • Phone calls with Friends
  • Social media sites
  • Blogs
  • Interruptions
  • Non-business meetings
  • Daydreaming

You've got a lot data about yourself. So what should you do? That's really up to you but here are a few tweaks you could try out in the upcoming weeks.

  1. Schedule all phone meetings to occur during one day of the week. Make the calls back to back so you can get them out of the way and so that they don't distract you and un-prioritize your tasks.

  2. Wake up earlier. If you're a night owl, this one is hard, but if you noticed you're being interrupted during your peak hours you may have bite the bullet and wake up a few hours earlier. You'd be amazed how much you can get done when no one is bugging you.

  3. Use software meant to simplify your life. You' don't have to do everything yourself, you can save time by using to delegate to and manage contractors. And there are browser toolbars that block Facebook, YouTube and any other Internet distraction during your day.

  4. Stop checking your email all day long. Try checking it twice a day at 10am and 2pm. This may seem scary at first but when you're a slave to email, you're constantly pulling away from your current priorities

  5. Turn off the clock on your computer. Many people have the bad habit of glancing at the clock every so often to see what time it is. All of these glances are distracting you from work and make it difficult to re-focus in on the task at hand. Stop being a slave to time and start getting your work done.

  6. Remove all distractions from your work area. Somebody pays you to get a job done, so avoid unemployment by skipping the extra snack, smoke and gossip breaks.

  7. Block off on a calendar all the things you need to do for the week. If you have any problems with procrastination, which is often the biggest culprit of time-wasting habits, you can benefit from a better schedule.

For example, if you check reports every Monday morning, block off the amount of time you estimate it should take you, in your case it's between the hours of 9 and 10. When 9am on Monday morning rolls around, you check those reports. You don't check your email, you don't chat with your co-workers you only do the task you have blocked off. This may seem very strict, but it's actually frees your mind from having to worry about other things.

If you breeze through in less time than you anticipated, move on to your next task. Keep this up and you'll be done before you know it.

Getting more time is all about focus. The better you can keep your attention on the task at hand, the faster you can get things done. It takes determination and willpower to master managing your time better. By structuring your time during the week, you give yourself the foundation of what focus is and what your time means. Get serious about using your days deliberately and the nights and weekends could be yours!

How Task Tracking Software Makes Management Easier

Are you feeling overwhelmed? It's OK, take a big deep breath and repeat after me: "managing my resources and tasks can be easier". Feeling better? Nope? That's normal. Running a business, especially when you have a whole class of contractors to manage, keep up with and prioritize, is exhausting.

We know...why do you think we built Allocate anyway? Keep reading to find out how task-tracking software makes management easier.

In the Loop

Keeping your team and resources organized is one of the major reasons for using task-tracking software. If you had to constantly keep people in the loop, you'd be spending most of your day sending emails and obnoxiously CCing the whole team on every single one. That's what you call not getting anything done, and wasting the time of your hard-working team as well. Resource and task-tracking software lets your team know what's going without having to babysit anyone.

Missed Milestones

When deadlines are approaching, you have to be able to count on your team to hunker down and get the job done. If you weren't using resource and task-tracking software you'd be resorting to writings thing down in a notebook. This is totally cool if you're a company of one (have you seen that Evernote Moleskine?), but what if you're juggling eight contractors? How would they know what to do and in what priority they should do it?

Consider for a minute, the idea of setting milestones in the first place. You may not have thought to even create milestones for project. Having mini goals (aka milestones) spread throughout the project keeps your contractors focused and your customers happy.
Task management software can make you think about your projects in new ways -- like being able to see all your available business resources on one screen. Having this level of overview is empowering and can make tackling the next project easier.

Reminders to Remember

Does Pam have the latest copy of the report? You were supposed to have it ready for her by the end of day! Dang, now Pam's got to scramble around to get it before her big meeting. Having someone or something remind you can really save the day.

Reminders may seem trivial, but if you were able to capture all the things you'd like to be reminded of on a daily basis, your brain would be a whole lot less cluttered with mental post-it notes. Task-tracking software consolidates your to-dos so that you can focus on everything else.

Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time

You can't shop for groceries while you're at the home improvement store just like you can't assign Pamela new work if she's on vacation in Belize for the next two weeks. But you don't know what you can't do unless you have a grasp on the availability of your contractors, or anyone you delegate to.

Task-tracking and resource management software can give you the peace of mind and information to make better money making business decisions. What other ways has task-tracking software made managing your business easier? Let us know in the comments, that's something we're pretty darn interested in.

Simple Resource Management Software You'll Actually Use

Having simple resource management software sounds too good to be true.

To be able to quickly add resources (contractors, equipment, etc.), and define the availability of each resource sounds like a complicated task. In the past, managers had their own pen and paper system for managing these resources. If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant or retail business and had a shift chart, it tends to look something like that -- a visual display of when people can work, and then filling them in when applicable.

But again, if you've ever worked in the restaurant business or retail, how many times were you scheduled on days that you listed as unavailable?

That's what we mean when we say resource management – the availability of your resources and assigning them to tasks only when they're able to complete them.

Thankfully, the days of pen and paper scheduling are almost gone, but larger businesses still struggle with managing resources in an organized way. That's where resource management software comes in. The real question is, what does having simple resource management software really provide for you? How can it affect your business and the decisions you make? All of these benefits can be distilled down to one word.


It all comes down to power. Simple resource management software gives you the power to understand the resources you have access to. It should be able to tell you who's available, what they're working on, and when they're open for additional work.

This knowledge can help you make informed business decisions such as estimating a start date for a new project or knowing when you'll be able to take on new work.

If your staff is made up of contractors, each of them has their own set of schedules and skills. This can be very challenging to manage but if you had a resource management tool, you could quickly look to see who was available at any given time and determine if they possess the right skills for the task.

The equipment you use to get the job done is also subject to availability. Juggling the schedule of open equipment can be an art form of its own. Sometimes this equipment is mission-critical.

If you don't know when you can use it, then you're completing the project blindly. If someone is using it right at the moment you need it, you could be setting back the project by days or weeks. Being able to quickly see a high-level view of your equipments availability makes for better decisions.

The Foundation

Resource management creates a foundation that task management sits upon. The resources you have available will determine what you can do and when you can do it. Knowing this information is critical to any business.

Do you really want to be making guesses when it comes to setting milestones for projects? You can't provide your client with an accurate start and finish date without knowing who has time to work on their project.

Simple resource management software can save you time and money. It also helps you make money by keeping clients happy and by saving dough on unnecessary resources. It's the foundation that all other project tasks you perform sit upon.

One question still remains. Why haven't you tried a simple resource management platform like Allocate yet? Do you have any questions about the resource management process? We'd be happy to help so feel free to get in touch with us by email or by leaving a comment.