Control the Chaos with Better Time Management

Megan Sullivan

Taking full advantage of CoConstruct's project management and time tracking tools will help to control the chaos in your team's everyday lives and keep everyone on track.

By following this outline, you'll be able to communicate with your team on where and what they should be doing and easily keep track of and verify their daily activities.

 

To-dos

OBJECTIVE: Our goal in this section is for you to understand what To-dos are used for, how they are created, and how you can use them in your business.

WHAT ARE TO-DOS?: To-dos are any task that needs to be accomplished that doesn't fit on a project schedule. To-dos help you delegate tasks. You are able to assign them to another builder-side user or a Trade Partner user. You can create them individually, or cut-and-paste an entire list of items into a project at one time.

HOW TO CREATE A TO-DO ON THE WEBSITE:

  1. Start by selecting the Project that your To-do task applies to.
  2. Select the "To-dos" tab at the top of the page
  3. Type in your task (or cut-and-paste a list of tasks) then press + Add
  4. Provide details about the task in the "Description" line.
  5. Assign the To-do to a Builder-side user and / or a Trade Partner by dropping down the box and selecting the appropriate person.
  6. Assign a due date on the calendar.
  7. Attach a file or photo, either from the project or from your computer.
  8. You can now communicate with the assignees as you would in any other part of the project.


HOW TO CREATE A TO-DO ON THE MOBILE APP:

  1. Select the Project that your To-do task applies to.
  2. Click on the + at the top right of the screen or select "Add an item" in the green box
  3. Type in your task
  4. Provide details about the task in the "Description" line.
  5. Assign the To-do to a Builder-side user and / or a Trade Partner by dropping down the box and selecting the appropriate person.
  6. Assign a due date on the calendar.
  7. Attach a photo, either from the photos on your phone or take a new one.
  8. **Note that To-dos entered on your phone are automatically hidden from your client. Swipe to the left if you want your clients to see them.

TIPS:

  1. You can create a To-do from any page - just look for the "+ Add To-do" button at the top right.
  2. Mark up your photos in the Mobile App! Don't just tell them, show them!
  3. Use the Task Manager on the main dashboard to filter To-dos by user, project, or both.


RESOURCES:

  1. To-dos overview
  2. Get Your Team Moving - Adding To-dos

 

Scheduling

OBJECTIVE: When you complete this training, you will know how to create a new schedule from scratch or from a template. You will understand how to create, assign, and modify tasks within your schedule to keep your projects moving efficiently.

THE BASICS: Scheduling is the cornerstone of project management in CoConstruct. Through the scheduling platform, you can direct your internal staff as well as your Trade Partners and Suppliers along a critical path that will deliver your projects on time. When tasks are used in conjunction with predecessors, your schedules and notifications will adjust to the realities of weather and other delays without you having to adjust all of the future tasks.


SUMMARY OF SCHEDULE VIEWS:

  • Field Update: This view is a task-by-task view that allows for quick updating of completed work. Within this view, you are able to see start and end dates, length of each task, who it's assigned to and what percentage complete you are for each task. It is organized with milestones with subtasks that make up that milestone.
  • Gantt Chart: The Gantt Chart is the traditional visual representation of a project schedule. When formatted correctly, it will show the waterfall of activity and how each task correlates to all of the other tasks for your project.
  • Calendar View: Similar to a traditional calendar, this will show you the tasks that you have scheduled in a specific month.
  • Task view: This view is similar to the Gantt Chart View, but without the graph. You can focus on tasks details in this view.
  • Baseline view: The baseline allows you to lock in your schedule at the beginning of the project and then track that "baseline" schedule against how you actually perform. As you adjust dates to account for weather or other delays, you will see how you are performing against your original schedule by using this view. You can also track when you're ahead of schedule (hahaha!). When builders or project managers are incentivized to deliver a project on a specific day, this view helps you track performance against that goal.


HOW TO CREATE A SCHEDULE FROM A TEMPLATE:

  1. Check the Schedule Templates to see if you have something close: Templates > Schedule
  2. If you have a template you want to use, head back to your project. Click Schedule > Gantt
  3. On the Gantt View, look for the "Copy Template" symbol on the top right side of the page and press it. Select your template from the drop-down box.


HOW TO CREATE A SCHEDULE FROM SCRATCH:

  1. Press the bold gray + under the words "Field Update View"
  2. Start adding tasks as you need them. You can reorder any of them by clicking on it and dragging it to a different position.
  3. Create milestones by highlighting one or more tasks. Press the symbol at the top of the page that has two bold lines with an arrow pointing to the right in the middle of those lines. You now have one task that has been promoted to the Milestone. All tasks you add under this milestone should be linked as part of a similar effort. You can create additional milestone levels as needed within the schedule.
  4. Select a Start and Finish Date or select a Start Date and enter the number of days it will take to accomplish the task.
  5. Use predecessors! Link your tasks together after you watch this video: Predecessors: Automate Your Workflow


IMPORTANT HINT: Put any selections that need to be made at the bottom of your schedule and link them back to a specific task so you have all decisions made in time!

RESOURCES:

  1. Building Your First Schedule
  2. Executing Projects with a Plan

 

Task Manager

OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this training, our goal is that you know how to manage tasks across your entire company - both internally and within your projects.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. At least one project with existing schedule Tasks, Warranty Requests, or To-Do's.
  2. One or more builder-side users and trade-partners in the system.


HOW TO USE THE TASK MANAGER:

  1. Select "Task Manager"
  2. You can view tasks in the Task Manger in three different views: List, Calendar, and Gantt.
  3. If you want to add a new To-do or Warranty task, selecting the " + Add New " icon on the right side of the page.
  4. To filter and search among all tasks and assignees, across all of your projects, select "Filter & Search" on the left side of the page.
  5. On the Search page:
    • Select one or more projects to search.
    • Search by one or more contacts that have tasks assigned to them.
    • Select the type of Task: To-dos, Warranty Requests, Schedule Tasks, or Contact Activities
    • If you have Project Groups assigned, select which group you would like to search within.
    • Select the date range, or leave it on "All Dates."
    • Determine the order you would like results to show up in.
    • EXAMPLE: Show me tasks in the "Smith Project & Jones Project" assigned to "Electrician - Bob - First Electrical LLC" that are "Warranty Requests" for projects only if they are in the "Warranty Phase." Organize the results by "Project" and then by "Start Date."
  6. Edit or mark tasks as complete on the right side of the List View by clicking the icon.
  7. Check on the notification history by selecting the "Envelope" icon on the List View.
  8. View or add comments to a task by selecting the "Quote Bubble" icon on the List View.
  9. Export tasks to Excel by pressing the "Export" icon on the right side of the page.
  10. Print a list by selecting the "Printer" icon at the top of the page.

RESOURCES

  1. Reporting on and Managing Your Project Schedules

 

Messages

OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this training, you will be able to create and send a message through the Messages section.

Project messages are the way great way to communicate on general inquiries with your client - When might they be available for a meeting? Have they had a chance to review the proposal and system and make a decision on their project? These messages don't fit neatly into a project-specific selection or specification. Want to ask a question or discuss a Fireplace mantel? Do that in your Specs / Selections page under Fireplaces - not the Messages section.

If you have your client’s instant alerts turned on, they will receive an email with your message and can simply reply to the email to respond. CoConstruct takes care of making sure that reply is recorded in the system.

 

HOW TO SEND A MESSAGE:

1. On a specific project's dashboard, select “Messages” on the navigation bar.

2. Type your message. If you are taking an internal note or documenting a phone call, and you don't want to share it with your client, don't click on the " Couple " icon. Note that you can not send a general message to a Trade Partner or Supplier.

3. You can send messages using the Mobile App as well. See section "Mobile App" to learn more about sending messages through the App.

 

RESOURCES:

  1. What is the best way to communicate privately with my builder team?
  2. Communicating with clients - Messages

 

Files & Photos

OBJECTIVE: Keep track of and find project files/photos when you need them.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. A project
  2. A file or photo
  3. Access to the full website if you're uploading files. You can upload pictures from the website or the mobile app.


HOW TO UPLOAD FILES ON THE WEBSITE:

  1. Go to the Files or Photos page for any project
  2. Choose the tab at the top for Files. Note the sidebar with sorting & filter options.
  3. To upload a FILE to the project - Press the green circle with the + in the middle, then browse on your computer for the file.
  4. Choose label(s). **Labels can be added here OR the under Account Settings** Labels are a great way to organize your files by topic
  5. Add a description - this allows you to describe what the file is and is easier to find than most File Names.
  6. Select sharing with client and/or partner users.


HOW TO UPLOAD PHOTOS ON THE WEBSITE:

  1. Go to the Files & Photos page for any project
  2. Choose the tab at the top for Photos. Note the sidebar with sorting & filter options.
  3. To upload a PHOTO to the project - Press the green circle with the + in the middle.
  4. If you want to upload from a specific folder, Press "Add More Files" and then browse on your computer for the file.
  5. You can also Drag & Drop photos directly onto the page where it says "Drop files here"

 

HOW TO UPLOAD PHOTOS FROM MOBILE APP:

  1. Navigate to a project and select "Photos."
  2. You can also take a picture on a To-Do or on the Job Log by selecting "Attach photos" from either of those functions.
  3. Hit the "+" in the top right corner or select "Attach photos" at the bottom of the page.
  4. Hit "Select photos" and choose "Take Photo or Video" if you want to take a live photo, or choose "Photo Library."
  5. You can annotate or draw right on your photos once you select them. Just hit "Draw."
  6. Select visibility preferences - who do you want to see them? Owners? The default setting is to make it visible to them!
  7. Select appropriate label
  8. **Make sure you select "Upload" at the bottom of the page.**

 

WHY YOU SHOULD USE FILES AND PHOTOS:

  1. Everything is in one place.
  2. Tell the story of your projects by using photos. 12 months from now, it will be great to have a pictorial history of what happened on a specific day. You may find these images very helpful in dealing with clients who argue that "nothing happened in September!"
  3. Never forget uploading: You can take a photo on site and upload it to the right location without logging out of your mobile app.
  4. Access photos taken from the field in the office immediately and vice versa.
  5. Does your office need that receipt "right now?" Upload it and make it available..."right now."

 

RESOURCES:

  1. Files & Photos Help Center

 

Time Clock

OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this training, you will know how to make time clock entries, edit them, and use Time Clock information in Quickbooks.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  1. At least one Team Member in place so there is someone to track time for.
  2. Designate at least one Accounting Code (or multiple) for budget-tracking purposes.
  3. Download the Mobile App (see ".08 - Mobile App) on the mobile phone of at least one Team Member.

WEB-BASED TIME CLOCK BASICS:

  1. Select "Time Clock" from the navigation bar at the top
  2. On the Time Clock main page, you are able to Clock In, Add Time, Filter by several factors, and Export your information to Excel.
  3. Clock in to create a time entry. Select the drop down list for Type of Work, Project Name, and Activity Budget Type.
  4. Type and Activity Lists are customizable under CoConstruct Dashboard > Settings > Accounting. Under Accounting Codes, select the codes you wish to use with the Time Clock. Time Entry Types can be added and made active under that tab.
  5. Clock Out. You have the ability to add a note before completing Clock Out.
  6. Add Time. If you need to make a manual entry for someone in the field, you can do that by selecting the " + Add Time " button. Enter the Date, Employee Name, Hours, In & Out Time, and any Notes.


USE THE TIME CLOCK ON THE MOBILE APP:

  1. Select "Time Clock" icon from the App's Main Page or from any Project-specific menu list. The icon is located at the bottom of the page.
  2. Select the Project you are entering time on.
  3. Select the "Activity" you are working on. This is typically an Accounting Code that represents the work you are performing.
  4. Choose the "Time Type" for billing purposes.
  5. Select the green button "Clock-in" to start the clock.
  6. If you are sharing your location, the GPS coordinates for your location will recorded.


EXPORT TIME CLOCK INFORMATION:

  1. Exporting to Excel? Select the "Export" button and all time entries that match the filters and have not been "voided" will export to a .xlsx file.
  2. Sending to Quickbooks? Follow the instructions here to export based on your Quickbooks version: https://coconstruct.zendesk...-Time-to-QuickBooks


RESOURCES:

  1. Time Clock overview
  2. How do I know that my crew is where they're supposed to be?
  3. How do I view or report on my time clock data?

 

Job Log

OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this training, you will know how to make entries in the Job Log and manage the information contained there.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Job Log helps you keep track of various activities that occur at your job sites. Need to know why the job was delayed for four days or why Joe didn’t show up to the job on October 30th? As long as the Job Log is utilized daily, your Log entries will give you the insight you need to be able to understand the delays, no shows, or other impacts over the course of the project.

  • TIP #1: The Job log is a popular feature on CoConstruct’s Mobile App. Because many of the entries will be created in the field, we have made it convenient to click into the app on your phone and enter a note in the Job Log. Take photos from your phone, mark them up, and load them to the Job Log to show progress visually
  • TIP #2: Use the editable Flags to document statement you may make frequently or because of a regulatory requirement. For example, "All sediment controls inspected and in good condition." Create as many flags as you want and use them to save typing time. To create or modify Flags: on the Main Dashboard, select "Settings" > "Account" > "Job Log" and then "Add New Flag."
  • TIP #3: Protect yourself and tell your project's story! Use the Job Log daily and the log entries will give you insight needed to explain schedule delays, document injuries or damage to the property, and to educate a customer who says, "nothing happened on site last week!"


HOW TO CREATE A JOB LOG ENTRY:

  1. Navigate to the project's Job Log page
  2. Note the filtering available on the right side of the Job Log page. You can filter by date, flag, or type of log note.
  3. To create a new entry, select the " + Add " button at the top left side of the page.
  4. Select the date for your entry.
  5. The weather is automatically entered based on the address of your project. You can modify the weather details by selecting the pencil icon.
  6. Add notes next to the topics by selecting the " + Add " button. If you want to share the comment with your client, press the " Couple " icon and then press " Save. "
  7. Add photos at the bottom of the job log by pressing the " + Add " button. You can add pictures from your project files or from your computer. Pictures are a great resource for documenting your project on a daily basis.


MOBILE APP: The Job Log is a popular feature on CoConstruct’s Mobile App because its primary function is documenting activities in the field. It’s quick and convenient to click into the app on your phone and quickly enter a note in the Job Log or even take photos from your phone and upload them straight to the “Photos” section of the Job Log to keep track of the progress. See Section " Mobile App " for specific information on using the Mobile App.

 

RESOURCES:

  1. Job Log overview
  2. Keep Accurate Jobsite Records - Using the Job Log

 

Mobile App

OBJECTIVE: At the conclusion of this training, you will know how to download and use the CoConstruct Mobile App.

With the Mobile App, you will be able manage your jobs, track your to-do list, use our fully-functional Time Clock, communicate with your team, clients, and trade partners. Let's get started!

WHAT YOU NEED: A mobile phone...iOS and Android are both supported. To download the App, follow the correct link:

1. Apple Mobile App

2. Android Mobile App


HOW TO ACCESS AND USE THE MOBILE APP:

  1. Select the CoConstruct icon on your phone. When it opens, log in using your email and password.
  2. Choose which project you want to work with.
  3. Create To-dos: Assign tasks to your team members or trade partners.
    • Select "To-dos" from the Project-specific menu list.
    • Press the "Add an item" button or select the green " + " icon at the top of the page.
    • Fill out the Task and Description fields as appropriate. Assign it to a team member and / or trade partner, select a due date, and then press send it out.
    • Attach a photo directly to the To-do item from your phone’s photo library or take a picture in real time from the App. After you have selected a photo, you can annotate it by drawing with your finger on the picture. Just follow the instructions on the App.
  4. Job Log: Record the details about your field operations in the daily Job Log. .
    • Select "Job Log" from the Project-specific menu list.
    • Select the green “ + ” icon at the top of the page.
    • Fill out any Flags (refer to Feature .07 - Jobsite Log for more information on Flags, or go to Full Website Settings > Account > Job Log)
    • Enter any notes for any category that applies.
    • Attach a photo directly to the Job Log from your phone’s photo library or take a picture in real time from the App. After you have selected a photo, you can annotate it by drawing with your finger on the picture. Just follow the instructions on the App.
  5. Time Clock: Use the Time Clock to record the time spent on your job-sites by your team.
    • Select "Time Clock" icon from the App's Main Page or from any Project-specific menu list. The icon is located at the bottom of the page.
    • Select the Project you are entering time on.
    • Select the "Activity" you are working on. This is typically an Accounting Code that represents the work you are performing.
    • Choose the "Time Type" for billing purposes.
    • Select the green button "Clock-in" to start the clock.
    • If you are sharing your location, the GPS coordinates for your location will recorded.
  6. Contacts: Search your list of CoConstruct contacts and track your pipeline / prospect activities from one place.
    • Select "Contacts" icon from the App's Main Page or from any Project-specific menu list. The icon is located at the bottom right of the page.
    • Search for the Name or Business you want to contact.
    • Filter for the contact type. For prospects, open the contact and see pending activities or create new opportunities.
    • From a contact, easily find out how to drive to their address by selecting the green "Get Directions" icon.
  7. Communication: Send a quick message to your trade partners, clients, or team right from the App.
    • Select "Communication" icon from the App's Main Page or from any Project-specific menu list. The icon is located at the bottom left of the page.
    • Select a Project to see the latest messages.
    • Send a new message by pressing the "Paper and Pen" icon at the top of the page. Select the project, then start writing a message at the bottom of the page if you want the message to go to the general "Messages" section of the project. Or, choose a "Selection" or any of the other Features on the page and choose the specific area you want to send a message from.
    • You can add a photo to your message by clicking the camera icon next to the message.
  8. Warranty: Enter and manage warranty items while in the field.
    • Go to a specific project on the App
    • Select "Warranty"
    • Select the " + " icon at the top right corner of the page.
    • Enter a description or any information helpful to your Trade Partner or staff.
    • Assign a Builder-side user and a Trade Partner if applicable.
    • Create a Due Date if applicable.
    • Add the item to a sublist to make it easier to track.
    • You can take or add pictures to the Warranty Item directly from your phone.

TIP: Enable Push Notifications so you’ll get a quick indication that you’ve received a message or comment. Easily reply to the message just like you would with your phones regular text messaging system.

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