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I do freelancing works, It's getting overwhelming to keep track of client's data like security certificates, encryption keys, numerous passwords, recurring payments & subscriptions. My question is how do you keep track of all client related data?

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Like others, I create a specific folder for each project I start. Here's a typical structure:

Software Development
  --<project name>
    --Designer work      //the client hired a designer
    --Screen shots
    --Code
    --Terms
    --Invoices
    --Backups
    --passwords.txt

Terms are the legal documents I signed with the client.

When the project has multiple milestones (with payment after each one), they're stored in Invoices. If I see 4 milestones in the agreement, but only 3 invoice files in this folder, I know where I am. I may also have a Receipts folder if I send them.

I also backup the code at the end of each stage to Backups; in the event I mess up, I can start from there.

passwords.txt has all the admin panel logins, connection strings, etc.


The whole folder is stored on OneDrive.

  • Is OneDrive secure? I say yes. I have setup 2 factor auth, so someone needs to steal my cellphone if they want the files.
  • The files are always online anywhere and anytime I need them. If my client suddenly asks for something, all I need is a internet-connected computer.
  • Most importantly, in the event that there's a fire or lightning strike and my HDD is damaged, I still have the files (otherwise I'd have to re-work them again!)
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I keep them on the cloud services like Dropbox. I have folders created for each client, then subfolder for the project, then more subfolders like code, certificates, misc. etc.

For password I strongly recommend using LastPass. I pay them pro account for $1 per month (aren't they a ripoff :)). For many years I kept passwords inside Firefox or Chrome and did not want to use cloud service. Then I tried it as a part of another project and I immediately liked it. Not only I can access it from anywhere, but I can easily share it with any subcontractor (the login field auto-login and they cannot see passwords).

So as you see, I moved all to the cloud. Is cloud safe? I'd say that there are fewer chances that someone will hack my account then the bad electricity will burn my harddisk.

In the end, it's all up to your organisation. If your file structure is a mess, no service will fix it.

Let me know if you need to know more.

  • 1
    +1, I'm using a very similar system. Just for those who don't want their passwords in the cloud, you can use KeePass. You can put the passwords in the storage also into folders. – user19 Sep 28 '14 at 6:04
  • I do keep KeePass – user1064504 Sep 28 '14 at 9:35
  • Besides this I have started using Google calendar, I create calendar per client, share it with him/her, I am keeping track of recurring charges like this. Is this fine? – user1064504 Sep 28 '14 at 9:58
  • Yes, I heard many people use Google Calendar. I haven't find it practical so far, but I am trying to find a way to utilize it. Local password storage is OK, but what when you suddenly need to login to client's account and you're not by your computer?! Such things will happen when you least expect them (to me, when I was on holidays) and you should be aware of them. – Peter MV Sep 28 '14 at 10:34
  • @PeterMV Do you have some files that are only on DropBox, or does everything you have in dropbox also synch to a PC? I use DropBox too and have wanted to keep some client backups in the cloud but NOT taking up space on my hard drive. I'm curious if DropBox does this easily. – Emily Sep 28 '14 at 21:26
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I am using Google drive, dropbox and onebox. This is a result of client preferences for file transfer. I also create a Google drive folder for every client regardless of their use of the drive. At the top of each GD client folder I have a ganntter project file. If the client also shares a GD folder, this is a sub folder of the main client folder. I do not want them to see all the files I create for that account.

For my email and calendar I use a Gmail account and alias all account addresses created for me by my clients. The Google calendar is tied to this and meeting invitations add in nicely.

Synchronization to my mobile device is automatic. Including email, contacts and calendar.

For the computer, I am now using Thunderbird as an email client since it also supports alias email addresses.

I do not store sensitive data on the cloud such a client server passwords or contracts.

Also, I attempted putting Dropbox inside my Google drive area and the resulting corruption almost destroyed my work. Thankfully, I have an external hard drive with regular backup.

Doug

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I am using Ubuntu 14.04 Server, and I was looking for a solution combined with my Google Drive account. The way I have mounted it, is this:

At Google Drive I have my customers data organised by projects. I have created a folder for every project that I developed. Then, inside this folder I have created subfolders to classify every kind of information related to the project (i.e. documents, reports, zipped backups of source codes, related invoices)

To keep this information synchronized, I found grive, a non official Google application developed by "The Fan Club". First of all, you must follow up the instructions explained on the link to his website I have put above, I will make a little summary:

  • Execute Grive Setup.
  • You must accept permissions to permit to Grive to access to your Google Drive account.
  • Copy the key that Google generated and paste it inside the input box at the application.
  • Then, automatically, begins the sync process to your machine
  • You could have an icon system to control the synchronization executing Grive Tools application.

I hope you find it useful.

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