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I work as a freelance developer for several clients. One of the problems I encounter is that information about ongoing projects is often in different locations.

Most project related communication occurs via email (Mail app on Mac). Furthermore some clients discuss things via iMessage and WhatsApp. And then I'm also using a ticketing feature in a web application (Codebase), to which some of my client also have access.

The problem is that information is fragmented and it often takes time to find back a specific decision that was made. After sending some emails back and forth, you often have to scroll through whole discussions in Mail to find something.

I don't want to force my clients into not using email to contact me. Furthermore I don't want to manually summarize and rewrite all information to some system, as that would take too much time. To put it short, the app should work with my existing communication channels and allow me to easily store relevant information in a (hierarchical?) per-project document.

I can imagine having some app that allows me to create a hierarchical information structure for all projects I'm working on. When receiving a piece of information, I'd like to put the relevant part of it (like one sentence) in the information structure, while keeping a backlink to the context of that information (like the email message from which I took the text), so I can easily look that up afterwards.

I work with OS X and iOS. Both native apps and web apps would be fine (as long as they solve the problem, of course).

Does anyone know an app/service that does this? Or do you know of another type of app/service that would solve my problem in a different way?

  • Try EverNote? Of course it doesn't automatically sort your stuff for you, but if you're dilligent about creating notebooks for each project, and tagging your stuff, etc. it will probably help a lot – Huey Feb 16 '14 at 2:19
  • @Huey I'm afraid that's just moving the problem, resulting in a second disorganized 'mailbox'. Using folders (for projects) in Mail results in a similar 'organization' (Except for the tags). – Jonathan Feb 16 '14 at 9:42
  • Some sort of content management system could be helpful...what kind of costs are you willing to deal with? – James Feb 19 '14 at 20:22
  • @James That would depend on the quality of the product. However, the price should be acceptable for 'personal' software (as I'm not a big company). What kind of content management system were you thinking of? – Jonathan Feb 20 '14 at 15:27
  • Well it sorta depends on the number of users...if you are working with code and communications you could look at perforce...they have a free for up to 20 users (forever) deal on their site. Perforce is code management but they have some newer products for collaboration on code reviews and document management out too that might be helpful. I am not sure how that one would integrate with email frankly...there is some more info here. perforce.com/try/perforce-software-version-management – James Feb 20 '14 at 21:41

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