An American in Eastern Europe

October 24, 2006

To many of our users, Estonia, the home of Apprise and Toggl, may seem like a distant, mysterious country. I will admit that not long ago, living in Kansas City, I felt much the same way. Fortunate circumstances brought me to this beautiful, interesting country, though, and I now love it as my second home.

Since we at Toggl want to be a trusted partner to our users around the world, we think it’s important for you to understand more about us. To do that, you must know more about our country, Estonia.

Since gaining its independence in 1991, Estonia has become the fastest growing ex-Soviet economy (expanding at an amazing 12%). The Wall Street Journal named Estonia one of the freest economies in the world ranking 7th out of 161 countries. Because of Estonia’s stable economy and government, the EU accepted the country as a new member state in 2002.

Estonia is known for it’s quickly growing technology sector. Home to Skype, a popular software that allows you to make calls from your computer that was recently purchased by Ebay, and Kazaa, the popular music service, the country is known as a hotbed for cutting edge technology. The New York Times called Tallinn (Estonia’s capital city) “a sort of Silicon Valley on the Baltic Sea.” It’s easy to see why this is a great location for a growing IT company with global aspirations.

Please share any questions or comments you may have about our great country.

-Bridget


Bug Fixes and Improvements

October 20, 2006

Quick update!

The following changes have been made to Toggl:

  • Application speed improved
  • CSV export works in IE
  • Printer friendly reports work in IE
  • Project list is printer friendly
  • No more time zone problems so reports show correct dates

Let us know if you have any questions about these changes.

Happy Friday!

-Bridget


Killer Meetings – Google style

October 16, 2006

I stumbled upon an article a while ago that created quite a lot of feedback in the net community called “How to Run a Meeting Like Google”. Many points in this article remind me of my post “5 Ways to Have Killer Meetings”, so I’d like to revisit the topic. The following are some quotes from the article:

Clear agenda

[Google’s vice-president of search products Marissa] Mayer requests a meeting agenda ahead of time that outlines what the participants want to discuss and the best way of using the allotted time.

I think this is essential. First it helps to predict how long the meeting will take and it helps to keep the meeting on track but, also, remember what I said about holding a meeting only when there’s a need for it? If there’s no agenda there’s also no need to hold a meeting.

Decisions in written form

Those who missed the meetings receive a copy of the notes. When people are trying to remember what decisions were made, in what direction the team is going, and what actions need to be taken, they can simply review the notes.

Also a very good point. We have online notes so the project’s team members can review them later. And I personally track decisions all the time to see if I have done everything needed. Notes are a very good way to make sure everyone knows what we are talking about.

Keep meetings focused, have fixed time

To add a little pressure to keep meetings focused, Google gatherings often feature a giant timer on the wall, counting down the minutes left for a particular meeting or topic.

My idea exactly! Do not spend a minute longer than absolutely necessary. A lot of talking does not necessarily equal a lot of actual work.

And that brings us to our own little productivity tool: Toggl. What do we have? Let me sum it up for you. Agenda? Check. Note-taker? Can be anyone attending the meeting, so check. Stick to clock? We have a timer you can set so it’s definitely a check.

If they’d add Time Tracking to the mix I would say “Hey Google, just use Toggl”…


Backup, Backup, Backup

October 5, 2006

Hey all,

I found a great overview of the Future of Web Apps convention that took place last month in San Francisco and thought I’d share. Check out the post at Centernetworks.

One of the topics that stood out for me, and I would assume for most Togglers as well, was the issue of backing up data. Because you are trusting our application to hold your valuable meeting and time tracking information, the security of that data is incredibly important.

So, why don’t I explain how we keep your data safe?

First of all, the information stored in Toggl is strongly encrypted. This means unwanted people cannot access your data without your username and password.

Second, we have the data stored at two locations, both onsite and offsite. In addition to that, we also store the encrypted backups on removable media which are kept in a safe place. This significantly reduces the chance of a catastrophe destroying our hardware.

Finally, we do daily backups. Very little information has the chance to slip through the cracks from day to day. In the very unlikely chance the server crashes, we can be back online in a very short time with most of your data intact.

We have been using this backup system for many years at Apprise and have never had an incident or lost any data. So rest assured knowing we are treating your vital work information exactly as we treat our own.

I am interested in how other companies are handling backups? Feel free to comment…


New and Improved Toggl Time Tracking: Now with CSV Export

October 2, 2006

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Toggl now has CSV export capabilities. This means you can export your project list and reports. Cool!

Also, as usual, we’ve made a number of usability improvements to the application.

Boy have we come a long way in the last few months. Toggl is definitely faster, prettier, easier, and more useful than ever. Here at Apprise we are feeling pretty good about it. Hope you all are enjoying the changes as well.

Keep sending us suggestions…we have received some great feedback and would love to hear even more!

Bridget