Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Managing Scrum Backlogs Using Intervals Online Task Management Tools

Managing Scrum Backlogs Using Intervals Online Task Management Tools

Managing Scrum Backlogs Using Intervals Online Task Management Tools

Posted: 29 May 2012 12:27 PM PDT

Scrum is one of the most popular methods of Agile software development in practice today. Scrum focuses on breaking down a project into small pieces, called stories, that can be designed and developed in short iterations, called sprints. To manage this process, Scrum uses multiple backlogs to keep all of the stories organized. Each backlog [...]

Online Time Tracking and Task Management Software Review

Posted: 12 Nov 2010 08:03 AM PST

From the reviewers at comes another well-received review of Intervals, our online time tracking and task management software. “…reputed features like Comprehensive Time Tracking, Task management, Milestones and workflow, Project Management, Document/File storage, Powerful Visual Reporting, Invoicing…” Read the review in its entirety at And while it’s mostly just an overview of features included [...]

The Web Developers Toolbox; What Should You Know?

Posted: 09 Nov 2010 10:26 AM PST

The list of responsibilities that differentiate a web designer from a web developer from a system administrator is becoming fuzzier as those working in these fields become cross-trained. The necessity for a web developer to focus on her core competency while also dabbling in relevant technologies is a result of web sites and web-based applications [...]

How To Get Fired as a Freelance Web Designer or Developer

Posted: 25 Oct 2010 11:40 AM PDT

Over the last ten years that Pelago has been doing in web design, development and creative work, we’ve worked with our fair share of freelancers. Several of us at Pelago, in fact, worked as freelancers at one time or another before settling down in our current full-time positions. Most of our experiences with freelancers have [...]

Recent Intervals Time, Task & Project Management Updates

Posted: 14 Oct 2010 05:11 PM PDT

We are excited to announce another round of Intervals features and updates, based on our roadmap and feedback from our customers. Read on to find out how these online software updates will benefit you. Meanwhile, keep sending in the great ideas! Milestone Improvements Two new features have been added to milestones — document uploads and time and [...]

Online Time Tracking Software Review of Intervals

Posted: 29 Sep 2010 03:47 PM PDT

“A highly customizable web-based solution with a great user interface and simple set up process” A recent independent review of online time tracking software from the folks at Software Shortlist has rated Intervals five out of five stars. Intervals was one of the only two online time tracking applications to receive a five star rating (The [...]

Online Project Management Software is a Lot Like a Bicycle

Posted: 23 Sep 2010 11:20 AM PDT

I have a garage full of bicycles. One for each member of my family and three for me. Yeah, three bicycles each with pedals, wheels and a seat, that get me from point A to point B. Each of those bikes serves a different purpose and I’ll usually ride whichever bike is best suited for [...]

Do Web Designers Need to Know Web Development?

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 10:31 AM PDT

“…basic front-end knowledge should be possessed by anyone who calls themselves a web designer” — Elliot Jay Stocks Web designers who can’t code Most web developers, including myself, have gone through the experience of working with a web designer who is completely unfamiliar with web development. The comps arrive as an EPS at some random screen resolution with [...]

What Qualifies as Project Management Software?

Posted: 08 Sep 2010 01:39 PM PDT

Several months ago I reviewed five different open source project management applications. A commenter recently pointed out that, from his perspective “what you have here is a review of ticketing systems, some of which have some additional features that might help in a project environment.” And this got me to thinking… we all have different [...]

Time Management Activities and Results for Small Businesses

Posted: 31 Aug 2010 09:16 AM PDT

I recently read an interview with entrepreneur Chris Wanstrath of GitHub who quoted Cameron Moll saying “I don't believe in work-life balance. I believe in priorities." We should be focusing, instead, on priorities. After all, there are aspects of work that are just as enjoyable as those in life, and there are times in our [...]

Technographic Profile of an Online Project Management Application

Posted: 24 Aug 2010 11:00 AM PDT

Ever wonder what type of technology is used by a web-based project management application’s customers? What browsers do they prefer? What operating systems are favored? Where in the world they are coming from? We’ve got some of those numbers to share with you, based on our own online project management software Intervals. We’ve crunched Intervals’ [...]

A Few Tips for Developing Web-based Applications

Posted: 17 Aug 2010 03:14 PM PDT

Take a quick look at the online productivity software landscape and you will see there are plenty of options to choose from. This as a good thing, after all, project managers, web designers, web developers, and creatives are a thorough and intelligent bunch and highly capable of vetting out the best web-based applications that will [...]

Intervals Online Time, Task and Project Management Updates

Posted: 13 Aug 2010 11:53 AM PDT

We are pleased to announce yet another round of updates to Intervals, our online time, task and project management application, launched this week. These updates combine some of our most-requested improvements with a few ideas of our own to continue in the tradition of keeping Intervals fresh, relevant and in a constant state of improving. [...]

Five Reasons NOT to Redesign Your Web Site

Posted: 10 Aug 2010 09:44 AM PDT

Web designers and web developers are tinkerers by nature. We love to fine-tune our creative ideas until they are somewhere close to perfection, despite our definition of perfection being in a constant state of flux. If our web site design does begin to approximate perfection, the inevitable happens. We come up with 101 reasons why [...]

Online Time Tracking & Task Management Using Intervals Mini

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 03:30 PM PDT

With the recent announcement of our Intervals web-based mobile app for time tracking and task management we introduced a scaled down interface to our online project management software. Given the limited screen real estate available on most mobile phones, the more comprehensive Intervals online software has been reduced to only the essential features needed while [...]

Intervals Online Time, Task & Project Management Improvements

Posted: 06 Jul 2010 10:32 AM PDT

We’ve recently launched a new round of updates focused primarily on making Intervals run faster. Although Intervals was already plenty fast enough, we like to stay ahead of the curve, offering an online time tracking, task management and project management application that exceeds people’s expectations. Intervals is a comprehensive application that covers many aspects of [...]

Intervals Blog Listed in Top 50 Productivity Blogs To Watch in 2010

Posted: 01 Jul 2010 09:26 AM PDT

To help out small businesses wanting to know how to best spend the limited time resources they have, has posted its list of the Top 50 Productivity Blogs to Watch in 2010. The list includes links to blogs for getting things done, increasing productivity at work, getting organized, personal productivity, and our favorite, lifestyle [...]

Intervals Web-based Mobile App Beta Launch

Posted: 29 Jun 2010 08:57 AM PDT

Say hello to the new Intervals web-based mobile app, debuting in all its Beta glory on your smart phone’s web browser. Simply open your phone’s web browser and load your Intervals account, Intervals will take it from there. Whether at a meeting, in the field, or wherever your business may take you, easily track time [...]

Web Design vs. Print Design and the WIRED Interactive Magazine

Posted: 16 Jun 2010 09:58 AM PDT

Back in March I was sitting in Ballroom C at the Austin Convention Center watching Scott Dadich, Creative Director at WIRED Magazine, demonstrate the rebirth of WIRED’s digital magazine — a Flash-based facsimile of the print magazine designed to run on the Apple iPad. Before I go any further, let me disclaim that, first, I [...]

Intervals Online Project Management Software Review

Posted: 14 Jun 2010 03:58 PM PDT

Kraettli Lawrence from TechVentureGeek has written an overwhelmingly positive review of Intervals. He has this to say in his blog post Review: Intervals for Project Management and Time Accounting: I have to give Intervals an unreserved endorsement. It does everything I need to run a professional services firm. It does it gracefully and works almost entirely [...]

Santa Barbara I Madonnari 2010 ~ Pelago

Posted: 01 Jun 2010 04:11 PM PDT

This year’s 8'x8' square at the Santa Barbara I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival, sponsored by Pelago, paid tribute to Charles Sheeler. Our rendering of Classic Landscape, 1931, was chalked by myself, Thomas Hashberger and Lloyd Johnsen. The chalk drawing will be on display at the Santa Barbara Mission for the next few weeks, so [...]

Growing a Profitable Small Business

Posted: 27 May 2010 08:58 AM PDT

The creative and influential minds over at 37signals have begun a new “profitable and proud” series to highlight small tech businesses that have $1M+ in revenues, didn’t take VC, and are profitable. It’s a brilliant idea and a great way to share success stories other than their own. Any small business, whether they are just [...]

Bootstrapping Your Creative Web Design and Development Ideas

Posted: 19 May 2010 11:27 AM PDT

A web design, development, or creative agency is a relatively easy type of small business to start. You just need a few computers, some spare office space and a few creative minds who are willing to make sacrifices (you’d need an entire blog post to cover dry seasons, erratic cash flow, client conflicts, etc). Your [...]

Organic Search Engine Optimization Tips for Web Designers, Developers and Creatives

Posted: 11 May 2010 02:08 PM PDT

Web design, development and creative agencies will usually shy away from offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a service. And for good reason, it’s a messy trade plagued with snake oil salesman selling over-hyped talismans. It can be difficult for an agency to even know where to start when helping out their clients with SEO. [...]

Online Project Management Software Review

Posted: 10 May 2010 02:21 PM PDT

From the creative business and web consulting minds at Boston-based 829 studios comes a generous and uplifting review of Intervals online project management software: Intervals’ numerous visual reporting features allow us to understand where the most hours are being spent (whether they’re in consulting, programming, design, or social media) with each client, how efficient our employees [...]

New Intervals Features Launched

Posted: 07 May 2010 03:04 PM PDT

We have been putting the finishing touches on one of our most ambitious launches of the year. We've overhauled some core features to bring you better client and contact management and a more intuitive and accessible web-based project management experience. Keep reading below to find out what was included in this release and how these [...]

What Does Corporate America Think of Web 2.0? Observations From SXSWi

Posted: 06 May 2010 04:09 PM PDT

Anything new and relatively cool is going to be plagued with hype. Summer blockbusters, your favorite band, and most of all, Web 2.0. We can’t agree on the definition of Web 2.0 but we do all agree that it is an important milestone in the evolution of web-based technology. While us designers, developers and creatives [...]

Intervals Online Time Tracking Software Default Modules and Work Types Video Demo

Posted: 23 Apr 2010 03:02 PM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software not only lets you determine how much you want to bill for your services per each project, it also let’s you define how that time is tracked into categories, what we call modules. Modules allow you to cross reference your time tracking data across client projects so [...]

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Personalizing Intervals Online Project Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 22 Apr 2010 02:55 PM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software enables you to personalize the interface, giving your company a custom look. Set your own subdomain, upload your company logo, select your country’s locale, and select a design theme that matches your style. You can even upload your own CSS and take full control of the interface. [...]

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Upcoming Features from the Intervals Roadmap

Posted: 13 Apr 2010 12:36 PM PDT

Our recent round of much-anticipated features are close to being completed and are undergoing final testing and revisions. These updates will soon be launched along with some overall visual and performance improvements. We are planning to deploy these updates in the next few weeks. In the meanwhile, here is an overview of what will be launching, [...]

Unsexy and Profitable Businesses ~ More Observations From SXSWi

Posted: 07 Apr 2010 09:27 AM PDT

“We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.” — Will Rogers For every Twitter, Facebook, and every other Geolocation-Enhanced-Social-Network online, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of inconspicuous small businesses churning along at a profitable pace. They’re not attractive to mainstream media who seem to peddle [...]

Online Project Management Software Executive User Level Video Demo

Posted: 31 Mar 2010 02:50 PM PDT

Executives can be used to make your client or a hi level reviewer a part of the process. Executive users only see the projects that they have been granted access. Executive users can submit work requests and have a few limited reports and cannot see who has done the work or any comments that are [...]

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We F*cked Up ~ Observations from SXSWi

Posted: 31 Mar 2010 09:44 AM PDT

“You need failure more than you need success. Success breeds repetition. Failure breeds change.” Going back through my notes from SXSWi in Austin, Texas, I find myself gravitating back toward a panel called We F*cked Up: Happy Cog and Friends, Exploring Failures, Together, where panelists from Happy Cog Studios, Seer Interactive, Airbag Industries, and Fastspot shared [...]

Online Project Management Software Resource User Level Video Demo

Posted: 30 Mar 2010 02:48 PM PDT

Resources do not see any budget or financial information. They can only see their timesheet and have limited reporting. They can see all tasks for the projects they have access to. In the projects section they only see project notes and documents. Intervals web-based time, task and project management software includes four different user levels — [...]

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Online Project Management Software Manager User Level Video Demo

Posted: 29 Mar 2010 02:45 PM PDT

Managers can see all budgetary information related to the projects that they have been granted access to. They cannot create new users or new projects and they can only run reports on the projects that they are a part of. They do not see site settings. Intervals web-based time, task and project management software includes four [...]

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Online Project Management Software Administrator User Level Video Demo

Posted: 28 Mar 2010 02:43 PM PDT

Administrators are the only user level not limited by project level permissions and can see and do everything. They can change the site settings, create users, create projects, edit time, and approve time. Administrator level users are the only users that can approve timesheets. This is done primary because Intervals features project level permissions so [...]

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Looking Back On My First Time @ SXSW

Posted: 23 Mar 2010 12:29 PM PDT

For as long as I’ve been doing web design and development I must confess that this was my first year attending the famed SXSW festival. My cohorts at Pelago are all SXSW veterans and were willing to drag me along as their token noob, so I jumped at the chance to finally go and see [...]

Online Invoicing Tips for Business Savvy Designers, Developers and Creatives

Posted: 09 Mar 2010 10:40 AM PST

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a seasoned expert in the art of invoicing clients. Although the availability of easy-to-use online invoicing software has made invoicing easier, I’ve learned most about this delicate practice from my business-minded partners at Pelago. When a designer and/or developer, like myself, enters into the fray [...]

Time Tracking is Essential to Agile Development

Posted: 02 Mar 2010 03:44 PM PST

Time tracking has been a point of contention between developers and managers for as long as I’ve been working in the web design and development industry. That’s sixteen years. I’ve been on both sides of the issue working as both a web developer and as a manager. Tracking your time as a web developer is [...]

The Anatomy of a Well Designed Invoice

Posted: 23 Feb 2010 09:15 AM PST

Now that you’ve drummed up some business as a freelancer, a web design and development shop, or a creative agency, it’s time to start collecting money owed. Billing clients is easily done with an invoice. If you use an accounting program like QuickBooks or an online project management application like Intervals, they will create an [...]

Invoicing Best Practices for Designers, Developers and Creatives

Posted: 17 Feb 2010 09:42 AM PST

The fun part of being a designer, developer or creative, is solving problems in new and unique ways, building up our portfolio with examples of real-world client work. The creative process is what we thrive on. Whether we are knee deep in web development code or up all night bringing our design ideas to life, [...]

Exporting, Emailing, Printing Pages and Managing Email Notifications Using Intervals Online Software Video Demo

Posted: 03 Feb 2010 02:16 PM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software helps web designers, developers and creatives manage a lot of data that is relevant and important to running small business. Intervals makes it easy to distribute information to clients and others on your team by exporting reports and lists to Excel and emailing or printing just [...]

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Open Source Project Management Software Review

Posted: 03 Feb 2010 08:44 AM PST

We are, and always have been, big fans of open source software. In our daily workflow at Pelago we use various open source technologies; PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Linux, Apache, Subversion, and many others. We primarily use these open source technologies in developing Intervals, our online time, task and project management software, and in designing and [...]

Using Search and Project Notes in Intervals Online Project Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 02 Feb 2010 02:10 PM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software has two additional features quite useful for tracking down important information related to projects and tasks. The search functionality gives users quick access to the content they want — tasks, project notes, documents, etc. And project notes provide a secure and convenient way to store sensitive project [...]

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Working Remotely as a Web Designer, Developer or Creative

Posted: 26 Jan 2010 02:32 PM PST

I recently brought home a new laptop. After getting all of my favorite apps installed and customizing my desktop, it was time to get to work. As a web designer and developer most of the work I do has an online component, making working remotely from home, or the local coffee shop, ideal. That isn’t [...]

Online Time Tracking, Task Management and Project Management, Reprised

Posted: 19 Jan 2010 01:35 PM PST

The landscape of online offerings in the time tracking, task management and project management realm of productivity tools has changed considerably in just the last year. Not only have the number of online applications increased, but the versatility and uniqueness of web-based software has also grown to meet the needs of every niche imaginable. The [...]

Web Design, Artisans and Craftsmanship

Posted: 13 Jan 2010 09:05 AM PST

The DesignInformer has posted an excellent article calling web designers to slow down a little and give more thought and time to exploring the roots of our craft and our origins as artisans. Principles of Great Design: Craftsmanship outlines five essential points every designer should address in the course of their careers: Practice Education Accept Criticism Attention to detail Design [...]

Designing Web Sites Using Pencil and Paper

Posted: 05 Jan 2010 04:30 PM PST

When asked about what goes into a web site design most of us web designers will automatically start talking about color palettes, image formats, UI effects, and of course, Photoshop and its endless array of filters, plugins and effects. What about the design? Where do the ideas and the creativity come from? How does [...]

Scaling Your Web-based Application

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 10:59 AM PST

The proliferation of lightweight web frameworks combined with a multitude of talented web designers and developers has led to an unprecedented number of web-based applications. From balancing our checkbooks to managing large projects at a small business or creative agency, one can find web-based software that does just about everything. When I’ve been in conversations with [...]

Looking Back on the Last Two Decades of the Internet

Posted: 23 Dec 2009 09:04 AM PST

We are quickly coming to the close of a decade. One that began with the great Y2K scare and ends with yet another end-of-the-world doomsday prediction, 2012. Some things never change. But that isn’t the point of this blog post. We’ve just ended two decades of widespread public Internet usage. The Internet is one area [...]

iCal Export Now Available on Intervals Calendar

Posted: 22 Dec 2009 03:33 PM PST

This week we launched support for the iCal format from the Intervals calendar page. Intervals users can now export the current calendar view to the iCal format simply by clicking on the iCal icon in the upper right corner of the screen. This will only export what is currently displayed on the calendar allowing users [...]

Free Upgrades On Intervals Time, Task & Project Management Plans

Posted: 16 Dec 2009 09:38 AM PST

We’ve Upgraded Our Intervals Plans! We are excited to announce some big changes to the Intervals monthly plans. Each plan has been upgraded — at no extra cost to our customers — to include more active projects and more document storage. Why [...]

Reducing Energy Consumption as a Small Business

Posted: 15 Dec 2009 03:16 PM PST

We recently moved our Pelago office to some new digs. As we prepared for the move we challenged ourselves to think of ways we could reduce our energy consumption in our new space. We were able to make quite a few improvements to our office environment, resulting in less energy usage. Some of these updates [...]

Why Outsourcing Your Small Business Responsibilities is a Bad Idea

Posted: 08 Dec 2009 11:25 AM PST

If you are a small business like Pelago, you probably wear a lot of different hats throughout your day-to-day operations. Everything from accounting to marketing becomes your responsibility. And while it may be tempting to outsource as much of your job as possible, I can tell you from experience it is a bad idea. There [...]

Task Management Software Review

Posted: 07 Dec 2009 11:03 AM PST

Check out the LaTeX for Humans review of Intervals on their blog. Looks like the author has found Intervals useful for many things, including managing a PhD! I have tried a lot of different packages that do a lot of different things – from Basecamp to Open Workbench, from Manymoon to Zen. But at the beginning [...]

Online Time and Project Reporting Software Video Demo

Posted: 06 Dec 2009 10:29 AM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software is made fully complete by its robust real-time reports. Detailed reports — ranging from weekly trend graphs to productivity charts — offer invaluable and up-to-date snapshots of business health. Know where your business has been, where it is now, and where it is going in just a [...]

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Getting Started Marketing Your Small Business Through Online Social Media

Posted: 25 Nov 2009 10:25 AM PST

The realm of social media — dominated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter — is currently going through a metamorphosis. Once thought to be the wild wild west of cellphone slinging teenagers, social media is maturing into a viable venue for small businesses to reach out to their customers. Social media web sites can [...]

Customer Service: One Good Reason Why Small Businesses Should Stay Small

Posted: 23 Nov 2009 01:13 PM PST

Today I am writing from our new Pelago offices. We moved in here over the weekend. Almost every aspect of our move went well, except one. We lost our phones. In our dealings with Verizon, our account got dropped, so to speak. So what exactly happened? The story I’m about to tell is unbelievable, but [...]

Compare Browser Type CSS Options

Posted: 13 Nov 2009 03:21 PM PST

I admit it. I’m a typophile. Addicted to descenders and x-heights, I could stare at the lower-case ‘g’ (the one with the closed descender) forever trying to inherit the genius of the early typographers who gave us Garamond and it’s brethren. Exploring type on the web isn’t as limitless as it’s analog counterpart, but there [...]

Three Reasons Why Not To Sign Non Disclosure Agreements

Posted: 10 Nov 2009 01:52 PM PST

In the nine-plus years that Pelago has been designing and developing web sites and web-based applications, we’ve been asked more than once to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before putting together an estimate. Whether they are trying to protect a business process or an idea, the client usually has a genuine concern for keeping [...]

Why Evolution is Better than Revolution

Posted: 03 Nov 2009 08:29 AM PST

“In art there are only fast or slow developments. Essentially it is a matter of evolution, not revolution.” — Béla Bartók The landscape of web-based time tracking, task management, and project management tools has become a little noisy. It seems that each month another company is throwing their app into the fray and hoping for the best. [...]

A New Collaborative Web Site for Project Management Questions

Posted: 02 Nov 2009 02:25 PM PST

A new web site for helping people find answers to project management quesitons has recently launched over at AskAboutProjects. The site does a great job of allowing the community to participate without being overwhelmed by the big words and acronyms that usually go hand-in-hand with project management discussions. Go on over and participate. It would [...]

Online Client and Project Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 01 Nov 2009 12:03 PM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software makes it easy to meet your clients where they are at, by providing a centralized online app for client management. Update client projects and tasks, maintain client contact information, and give them login access to their account on the level you want — granular permissions allow you [...]

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Project Landscape Report

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:52 AM PDT

We’ve added a new report to Intervals, the Project Landscape Report. This report is useful for comparing data across several projects at once. Whether taking a glance at how your projects are doing, or digging in deeper to view tracked time, task totals and financial balances and budgets, this report is ideal for gauging project [...]

Periscope Report

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:52 AM PDT

Intervals has focused most of its features on tracking time, task and project data for making informed decisions on how to best plan and manage upcoming projects. To help make this process more complete we’ve added the Periscope Report. This new Gantt-like chart gives project managers a view of their projects along a timeline. Find [...]

Create Multiple Tasks at Once

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:49 AM PDT

Intervals now offers users the ability to create multiple tasks at once for projects and milestones. Project managers and others will find this feature useful when the need arises to quickly create several homogeneous tasks. When starting a new project it is often the case that a project manager will need to add several new [...]

Improved Email Request Queue

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:48 AM PDT

In an effort to help our customers break the habit of managing projects through their inbox, we have added the ability for requests in the email queue to be appended to existing tasks. This enhancement will make it far easier to manage client requests. For example, a client may have a detailed project update accompanied [...]

Invoice Alerts

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:47 AM PDT

As we continue to evolve Intervals as a holistic project management application we are maintaining our commitment to helping small businesses get paid faster. To ease what can often be a tiresome process, we’ve added invoice alerts. The intent of this feature is to keep the project manager in the loop and to keep Intervals [...]

Client Overview on Hover

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:43 AM PDT

After receiving nothing but positive feedback on our hover views for projects and tasks, we have added the same views to clients. When hovering your mouse over a client’s name — anywhere it is displayed in Intervals — a simplified overview containing important information will appear. This simple overview also provides links for quickly accessing [...]

Thumbnail Previews for Image Uploads

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:42 AM PDT

Graphic designers and especially web designers and developers sling around a lot of images during the creative process. And project managers will often find themselves juggling a lot of image files and distributing them to the relevant projects and tasks. Giving uploaded images distinguishable filenames and titles can become a cumbersome mental exercise. All uploaded [...]

Export Data in XML Format

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:41 AM PDT

In addition to CSV, we’ve now added the ability for our customers to export their Intervals data as XML. Not only is XML useful for downloading your data in a common, easy-to-parse format, it will give customers a head start on developing applications that utilize the Intervals API. Use the downloaded XML data to prime [...]

Administrator Access to Timers

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 10:40 AM PDT

We’ve all been there. We start a timer on a Friday afternoon and some time before 5pm arrives our mind wanders off to ahead of us. By the time we catch up with ourself we realize we forgot to stop a timer and there isn’t a computer or a WiFi signal for miles. Intervals administrators [...]

The Neverending Project

Posted: 27 Oct 2009 12:01 PM PDT

Project delays are one of the most common pitfalls that can keep even the best project managers, web designers and web developers from launching a web site online. Delays can come in all shapes and sizes but they have one thing in common. They can run any project into the ground and keep designers and [...]

Obliterating the Need for Microsoft Project

Posted: 22 Oct 2009 08:59 AM PDT

Cloud Ave has written up a great review of our web-based project management software offering, Intervals. In fact, they’ve done a great job of articulating what we are trying to accomplish with Intervals. It’s been our primary goal with Intervals to provide a reliable web-based project management platform for those who find the barriers of [...]

Don’t call it a comeback

Posted: 21 Oct 2009 09:27 AM PDT

It seems these days that a new web-based something-or-other appears in our periphery at least once a month, promising to revolutionize, redefine, and further simplify our workflow. While there are certainly some aspects of project management, time tracking and task management that could use some rethinking, existing and proven methodologies will serve small businesses best. [...]

Surviving on the Tribal Knowledge of the Few

Posted: 20 Oct 2009 09:47 AM PDT

I’ve been corresponding with an acquaintance through LinkedIn, discussing how a small creative business should adopt a process to manage a growing development team and an ever-increasing amount of work. When a creative group grows exponentially in size and complexity of work in a small amount of time, the need for a formal process and [...]

Online Task and Milestone Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 18 Oct 2009 11:19 AM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software includes the ability to group tasks into milestones. Web designers, developers and creatives will find milestones useful for organizing tasks into individual phases of a project, each with it’s own deadline — i.e. design phase, engineering phase, and site launch. Watch the video demo below to learn [...]

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How web-based time tracking software pays for itself

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 10:45 AM PDT

In this current economic landscape many small businesses are looking for ways to save money and increase productivity. Smaller and tighter budgets require us to be more frugal with our spending while still meeting our goals and expectations for the business. For web designers, developers, creatives, marketers and others providing a professional service and billing [...]

On a side note… something to do on the side

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 08:50 AM PDT

An email from one of our Intervals customers especially caught my attention today. I noticed in the footer of the email she had joined a project known as 10:10. What is the 10:10 project? It’s a challenge to people, businesses, educational groups, and organizations, to cut 10% of our emissions in 2010. We think it’s [...]

Project Management Process for Web Designers & Developers

Posted: 06 Oct 2009 12:32 PM PDT

Often times when we talk about Intervals we tell the story of how it was created by a group of like-minded creatives as web-based project management software for web designers and developers, as well other types of small businesses. What makes Intervals unique is that it was built by Pelago, a team of web designers, [...]

Recent Intervals Features and Improvements

Posted: 01 Oct 2009 11:12 AM PDT

API Beta Release After a significant amount of research, development and customer feedback, we have officially released the beta version of the API. To get started using the API, read the online documentation for help and tips. Keep in mind that all API requests will operate on your current data, so tread lightly during the beta [...]

Web Designers Are a Different Breed of Designer

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 12:10 PM PDT

During my college years I studied traditional graphic design principles while attending design school. In my three years of study I spent weeks at a time on various specialized design projects. We hand drew typefaces to learn the subtleties of type. We explored complex concepts, reducing them to simple visual logos. We were taught [...]

So, You’ve Developed a Web-based Application. Now What?

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:36 PM PDT

There are many web development agencies out there who are finding themselves in the same predicament Pelago was in five years ago. The nature of a web development business is that in solving business problems online for others, we often find it just as simple to solve our own. So we developed our own internal [...]

Online Invoicing Software Video Demo

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 12:57 PM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software includes the ability to generate invoices based on project work completed and send them to the client for payment. Creating and managing invoices using the same online software to manage client projects makes it easy for web designers, developers and creatives to get paid on time. Why [...]

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How to get hired at a creative agency

Posted: 15 Sep 2009 02:39 PM PDT

The hiring process at any creative agency is anything but typical. The handshake and the resume don’t usually apply. Getting hired onto a creative crew at a design agency is usually a lengthy process involving several interviews and portfolio reviews. Since graduating from design school eleven years ago I’ve been on both sides of the [...]

What makes Intervals different?

Posted: 09 Sep 2009 10:09 AM PDT

Today there are quite a few options online for any creative agency researching project management software to run their day-to-day workflow. A quick search on Google will turn up several web-based applications self-described as being revolutionary or redefined. But what does that even mean? Revolutionary is a lofty word, usually reserved for wars and scientific [...]

Project Management a Growing Need for Web Design Agencies

Posted: 03 Sep 2009 10:45 AM PDT

Despite economic trends, small businesses are growing, and new web design agencies are appearing in every corner of the world. These are new international companies comprised of few employees, but who still require project managers and project management tools to keep them growing. As with any new company, there will be a learning curve for [...]

What NOT to do as a Creative Web Design and Development Agency

Posted: 01 Sep 2009 12:31 PM PDT

Pelago just celebrated it’s ninth birthday, a milestone marked by a history of having worked on 300-plus projects for over 100 clients. The one component of our business model that made us the most successful was our commitment to web design and development mediums, to the nuts and bolts of designing and building web sites, [...]

Basecamp: A Clear and Present Brand

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 11:56 AM PDT

Basecamp™ is again causing a stir in the online project management space by recently announcing they will be moving all of their existing customers from their old site address to a new site address at To make matters more controversial, they’ve also announced they’ll be branding the new site address with a small logo. [...]

Project Managers: Why Every Creative Agency Needs One

Posted: 25 Aug 2009 08:46 AM PDT

After starting up our web design and development agency, Pelago, in August of 2000, it took only a few months to realize we would have to add a project manager to our eclectic mix of creatives. Our creative design and development skills were enough to get a project started on the right track with brilliant [...]

Project Management Software Review

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 11:12 AM PDT

Over at the Avertua blog they’ve been kind enough to write an unsolicited review of Intervals, going as far as to call it the “The BEST Project Management Software Available.” From the review: I really needed an all-in-one task management, project management, and collaboration tool. And I tested just about everything out there, and every single [...]

Issue Tracking and Time Tracking Combined

Posted: 18 Aug 2009 10:17 AM PDT BY-SA 2.0 A long time ago — well, five years, but that is a long time in Internet years — before the SaaS market became a breeding ground for online task management, time tracking, and project management tools, we had a working prototype of our own app at Pelago. Being both a web design and [...]

Online Document Storage using Project Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 16 Aug 2009 11:36 AM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software provides plenty of space for uploading and storing your project related documents. Attaching documents to tasks and projects, web designers, developers and creatives can work more efficiently and effectively. Upload design comps, development specs, web site copy, and anything other support documents helpful for getting things done. [...]

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Launching a web site under a tight deadline

Posted: 11 Aug 2009 01:02 PM PDT

Our web design and development agency, Pelago, recently launched the Petunia Pickle Bottom web site under a severely shortened deadline. While we had most of the site built — HTML, CSS, AJAX, database, server-side scripting — there were still many pieces of the puzzle that needed to be finished before the site could be launched. [...]

A Different Brand of Creativity

Posted: 04 Aug 2009 09:29 AM PDT

It was only eleven years ago when I graduated from design school at Cal Poly SLO, my diploma a pedigree and my portfolio a resume. Having underwent an extensive training in the traditional principals of graphic design I began interviewing with reputable design firms. A few job offers later, I had strong reservations about [...]

How to use online project management software at a creative agency

Posted: 28 Jul 2009 01:33 PM PDT

Researching online project management software for your creative agency can become overwhelming rather quickly. There are so many options available and although they may all seem generally similar, there are enough distinctions between them that finding the right fit may take some time. Before starting the search, one thing to ask yourself is “How will [...]

Recent Intervals Features and Improvements: Quickbooks Integration and Invoicing Enhancements

Posted: 24 Jul 2009 09:11 AM PDT

“We’ve been constantly impressed with not only existing functionality and ease of use, but also the continuous improvements being made and the responsiveness of support staff.” Katelyn TaylorMezzanine Consulting The recently scheduled upgrades were successfully launched last weekend. As promised, here is an update detailing some the exciting new features and improvements that were launched.   Export your time [...]

Creative outlets for web designers

Posted: 21 Jul 2009 10:25 AM PDT

“The artist is an exalted craftsman”Walter GropiusThe Bauhaus Manifesto As web designers, we are all too familiar with the frustrations that can accompany client projects. Building web sites is often driven by overbearing decision makers who inevitably want to see the logo bigger, text colored red and bolded, and several volumes of the Encyclopedia Corporatanica on [...]

Recent Intervals Features and Improvements Made to Timesheets, Clients, and Projects

Posted: 16 Jul 2009 09:33 AM PDT

This year continues to be a strong year for Intervals. Our customers are currently using Intervals to manage more than $330 million dollars worth of work throughout 90 countries. And we’ve been seeing a significant increase in signups. We remain dedicated to our ethos of constantly evolving Intervals based on customer feedback, and have been [...]

Web site maintenance: a revenue stream for IT companies in a weakened economy

Posted: 14 Jul 2009 08:30 AM PDT BY-ND 2.0 Last week I was having lunch with a friend who works for an IT company. Having a web developer on board, they were looking for ways to increase their revenues by fielding more web design and development projects. The catch, however, was that managing web design and development projects can be a whole [...]

Succeeding in Turmoil, a Complimentary Marketing E-Book

Posted: 09 Jul 2009 02:58 PM PDT

It’s no secret that the economy is behaving in an unprecedented and unpredictable manner. For the small business this can add an increased amount of uncertainty to an already volatile environment. But it can also create opportunity. As the economy continues to go through an adjustment new market opportunities are being created by agile small [...]

Web development frustration: The web designer

Posted: 07 Jul 2009 08:35 AM PDT

Photo by e-magic There has been plenty of venting in the blogosphere about the difficulty and frustration that ensues when dealing with web developers. In fact, we’ve contributed to this topic ourselves when we wrote about The Myopic Web Developer. In an ideal world there would be a unity between the designer and the developer, a [...]

Ecofont for graphic designers — use less ink, help the environment

Posted: 02 Jul 2009 12:05 PM PDT

For those print designers out there looking to lessen their impact on the earth with more than just recycled papers and soy-based inks, have a look at the Ecofont. The folks over at SPRANQ creative brainstormed several ways to deconstruct letter forms to decrease ink usage while maintaining readability. The end solution was rather simple, [...]

Simple is a Relative Word

Posted: 30 Jun 2009 09:23 AM PDT

It seems that the holy grail of any web-based project management software app is a state of consumer nirvana collectively coined as “simple.” The word has become so popular — and mis-applied — that compound superlatives are becoming more commonplace; “absurdly simple”, “unbelievably simple”, and so on. Yet, it is difficult to objectively define simplicity [...]

Web design business mistakes: Using the right web-based tools

Posted: 23 Jun 2009 02:20 PM PDT

Part 5 in a 5 part series Get online with easy-to-use, comprehensive project management software—and use it! Whether it's off-the-shelf project management software, an affordable hosted solution such as our software, Intervals, or your own internal system, every web design and development company (including freelancers) benefits greatly from good project management software. Not only does it help [...]

API Authentication Methodologies

Posted: 19 Jun 2009 12:10 PM PDT

Building an API? In the midst of building an API for Intervals, our web-based project management software, we researched several options for authentication. In case you are considering building your own API, we’ve published an overview of each method below. HTTP Basic Authentication. Similar implementations: Basecamp (, blogger (deprecated) ( Requests are authenticated in the form of the [...]

Web design business mistakes: Setting client expectations

Posted: 16 Jun 2009 08:12 AM PDT

Part 4 in a 5 part series Know when to say no—set client expectations We all want to make our clients happy, build a good reputation, and land more work, but occasionally the best way to manage a project that is running amok is to know when to cut it off. When a client has expectations that [...]

Tilting at silos

Posted: 11 Jun 2009 08:43 AM PDT

The web-based project management software landscape can be described as a scattering of silos, oversimplified online tools that focus on one component of project management — time tracking, task management, invoicing. While holing up inside one of these apps may work well for some small businesses, many are finding them inadequate for their needs. Or [...]

Pragmatic web project planning from Sam Barnes

Posted: 10 Jun 2009 09:56 AM PDT

Sam Barnes has posted a great article differentiating corporate project management needs from those of a smaller web design or development agency, while also revealing how much the two perspectives have in common. If you are struggling with managing web projects, read this article. Meanwhile, consider these wise words when dismissing the importance of planning [...]

Web design business mistakes: Creating design boundaries

Posted: 09 Jun 2009 09:15 AM PDT

Part 3 in a 5 part series Create design boundaries While there is no limit to creativity, there does have to be a limit to the number of design iterations you produce for a client. From both the client side and the production side, this is one of the most common areas for projects to run over [...]

The difference between a bicycle and a car

Posted: 04 Jun 2009 08:37 AM PDT

I am a cyclist at heart. I ride everywhere I can. Work. Meetings. Coffee shop. Farmers market. But there are limits to my pedal-powered circumference, times when I have to jump in the family car and motor to my destination. The multitude of online time tracking, task management, and project management tools are of a [...]

Web design business mistakes: Establishing internal policies

Posted: 02 Jun 2009 08:45 AM PDT

Part 2 in a 5 part series Establish internal policies and procedures. After you and your client sign the contract, be sure to keep it handy. Refer to the contract to manage your internal team, even if it's a team of one. This will help maintain a professional relationship with your client. In our experience, it’s [...]

Client Management Video: Brilliant!

Posted: 01 Jun 2009 11:25 AM PDT

A hilariously funny youtube video capturing the vendor client relationship. Enjoy!

Web design business mistakes: Establishing clear practices

Posted: 28 May 2009 08:41 AM PDT

Part 1 in a 5 part series Establish clear practices from the start with your clients and your internal team A well-developed specification from a client often sets the stage for a smoothly executed project. It should include a comprehensive scope of work and ideal timelines. However, a clearly defined spec is hardly the norm, especially [...]

I Madonnari 2009, Santa Barbara

Posted: 27 May 2009 09:04 AM PDT

For this year’s I Madonnari Festival at the Santa Barbara Mission Pelago sponsored an 8′x8′ square. We’d like to extend our thanks to Thomas and Lloyd for filling in as artists, and for executing a brilliant rendition of The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte. The chalk drawing will be on display at the mission for [...]

Online Project Management Software and Off Peak Living

Posted: 21 May 2009 08:19 AM PDT

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but the evenings, weekends, and holidays are becoming much more crowded. Parking spots are harder to find, the freeways are gridlocked, and the beaten path has extended its reach to every “secret spot” in existence. The concept of off peak living was born from this same observation by [...]

Online Project Management Software and My Two Weeks of Paternity Leave

Posted: 19 May 2009 09:24 AM PDT

I just had a son, my second, born three weeks ago. It was a day before his due date and I was working away, as usual, on several projects and tasks that needed to be completed before any babies could be born. That’s when I got the phone call. I had to run home, frantically [...]

New Intervals Improvements and Features

Posted: 07 May 2009 03:55 PM PDT

In the past couple of weeks, Intervals has undergone some major improvements, which have hopefully led to noticeable gains in performance and, in the case of the recent across-the-board plan upgrades, value. However, we’ve made a couple of less-noticeable changes recently that ought to go a long way to increasing the user experience. Use Timers Within [...]

Project management software is not sexy

Posted: 07 May 2009 03:09 PM PDT

There is a lot of noise in the project management software marketplace. It can be difficult to find the right one for your small business. The funny thing about project management is that no matter how you dress it up — with swirly gradients, ajax goodness, and other web 2.0 bells and whistles — [...]

Recent Intervals Updates

Posted: 05 May 2009 03:11 PM PDT

We're upgrading all Intervals plans at no extra cost to you That's right. We are upgrading all Intervals plans, at no extra cost to you, to include more document storage and more active projects. In addition, we're adding SSL to the Not So Basic plan. Why are we doing this? Because we've been listening to feedback [...]

Online Project Management Software is the Next Evolutionary Step for Small Business

Posted: 21 Apr 2009 09:52 AM PDT

We are currently undergoing an exciting and historical moment in the age of small business. Despite being in the midst of a recession, small businesses are finding ways to adapt to, and evade, new economical pressures due to their size and agility. Waiting in the wings to help them through this next evolutionary phase are [...]

Online time tracking software will save you money

Posted: 16 Apr 2009 10:49 AM PDT

It can be difficult to justify spending money on a monthly subscription to a web-based service that tracks your time. Whether it’s a freelancer shelling out $20 a month, or a small business paying $175 a month, it can become understandingly hard to quantify the return on such an investment. Here are a few [...]

Project & Time Management Tools For Designers and Agencies

Posted: 15 Apr 2009 09:59 AM PDT

We’d like to thank one of our customers, JLD Creative, for the blog post on Project & Time Management Tools For Designers and Agencies. After reviewing several web-based options — Intervals, FunctionFox, Studiometry, GoPlan, Harvest, Basecamp, Workamajig, Side Job Track, and Clients & Profits — here is what they had to say about Intervals: We’ve collected [...]

The remote web developer

Posted: 09 Apr 2009 08:05 AM PDT

Monday morning at our weekly breakfast meeting we were discussing what it would look like to do web development remotely for Pelago. We brainstormed a few ideas and came up with a pretty cool solution on how we would want to be setup if we had the opportunity to work offsite for a few days, [...]

Project management using Twitter?

Posted: 07 Apr 2009 08:36 AM PDT

As I’ve been tweeting my way throughout the twittersphere I’ve intersected a few tweets posted by publicly perusable ponderers wondering what a mashup of twitter and project management tools might look like. For the most part, the assumption is that Twitter would somehow be the central part of this newfangled application. While I do believe [...]

Logical Design & Creative Engineering

Posted: 02 Apr 2009 08:21 AM PDT

What may seem like an oxymoron is actually an intentional play on words and Pelago’s tagline. Afterall, we usually think of design being the realm of creativity and engineering being confined to logic. We’ve found that describing our agency as one that provides logical design & creative engineering better illustrates our approach to client projects [...]

Online Task Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 01 Apr 2009 04:28 PM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software makes group task management easy and powerful. Web designers, developers and creatives can all communicate and collaborate together as they tackle tasks. Take the online task management tour and watch the video demo below to learn more. var w = new SWFObject("","videoID",550,435,"9"); w.addVariable("file",''); w.addVariable("image", ''); document.write(w.getSWFHTML());

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Hosted project management software and web design: Why we do both

Posted: 31 Mar 2009 08:17 AM PDT

It is becoming more common now for service companies, like our own Pelago, to launch a web-based product built from their business experience. In our case we built Intervals, hosted project management software for service companies — web designers, graphic designers, marketers, PR firms, IT companies, and anyone else who bills by the hour. Why [...]

Project Management Web Application Security

Posted: 26 Mar 2009 08:27 AM PDT

We get a few emails here and there asking us how secure we’ve made Intervals, and if the prospective customer should have any concerns. It is an understandable concern, especially when a company is considering using a web-based app to host their data. We usually respond with the typical answer — the Intervals application and [...]

Should you bill hourly for project management?

Posted: 24 Mar 2009 11:39 AM PDT

We think so, and we do so. Here are some points to ponder while considering whether or not you should be billing hourly for project management. Project management hours typically account for 5% to 20% of a projects total hours That is a lot of time to be giving away for free. And when you have [...]

How to choose the right project management software

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 05:00 PM PDT

The IT Project Management Blog has posted some great tips on how to evaluate and choose the right project management software. Tip #4 is especially important: Set your goals – do not expect to do everything better and to include any improvement during the first phase (or the initial implementation cycle). Prioritize to get faster results. Below [...]

Free Web Design Icons

Posted: 19 Mar 2009 04:15 PM PDT

Over the last nine years of doing web design & development at Pelago I’ve developed an icon file that I use for things like edit buttons, delete buttons, etc. They are tiny icons designed to match the height of smaller type. Here they are below. Please feel free to download this file and use these [...]

Time Tracking: Weekly Timesheets vs. Daily Timers

Posted: 17 Mar 2009 08:37 AM PDT

There are two popular ways to track time online. The more traditional approach is to fill out a weekly timesheet. The more recent and more popular approach is to track time using timers, applying your recorded time on a daily basis. Both methods have their pros and cons, but when it comes to our own [...]

Online Weekly Timesheet Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 15 Mar 2009 04:22 PM PDT

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software includes weekly timesheets to make online time tracking easier and more accurate. The weekly approval process ensures time is recorded, reviewed and approved properly. Watch the video demo below to learn more. var w = new SWFObject("","videoID",550,435,"9"); w.addVariable("file",''); w.addVariable("image", ''); document.write(w.getSWFHTML());

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Web design beginnings… Pencil or Computer?

Posted: 12 Mar 2009 08:18 AM PDT

Although most of the web design & development process occurs in the digital realm, there are many of us designers who give birth to our creations not with a tethered mouse but with an old fashioned pencil. Either approach can result in good design, but my preference has always been the pencil. I love my [...]

Your app sucks and it’s all your fault

Posted: 10 Mar 2009 03:56 PM PDT

I am an iPhone newbie. I just got it last week. So the first thing I did was sift through the app store in search of cool apps I could install. I instantly zeroed in on the Public Radio Tuner, an iPhone app that “features hundreds of public radio streams available for free!” I was [...]

Online Time Tracking Software Video Demo

Posted: 06 Mar 2009 03:08 PM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software makes time tracking second nature for web designers, developers and creatives. Simply start, stop and apply timers as your work your way through the day. Take a tour of the Intervals online time tracking feature and watch the video demo below to learn more. var w = [...]

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How to Market in a Recession

Posted: 05 Mar 2009 02:47 PM PST

From Harvard Business Publishing comes the thoughts of John Quelch on how to market in a recession. While there are several great points in the article, a few of them are specifically applicable to Software-as-a-Service. For example, our web-based project management software, Intervals, has grown significantly by focusing on the following items from the article: Research the [...]

Small Business or Micro Business?

Posted: 03 Mar 2009 08:18 AM PST

There is a lot of talk about small business in the news today, especially in light of the unpredictable economy, but did you know a small business is defined as having anywhere between 20 and 100 employees? That doesn’t sound very small to us. We prefer to refer to ourselves and many of our customers [...]

Fuel Use Conversion Chart

Posted: 02 Mar 2009 03:00 PM PST

An interesting perspective on how much fuel we consume depending on our mode of transportation. Provides some good visuals on why telecommuting is a good idea, especially considering the availability of web-based applications available online today. So take a look at the chart below and ask yourself “How can I consume less fuel?” Click on the [...]

Why would anyone build another project management app?

Posted: 26 Feb 2009 08:29 AM PST

Looking for project management software to help run your small business? Take your pick. There are too many of them to count. So why would anyone build another online project management app? There are a lot of good reasons, and not all of them are unique to Intervals. When we first started building Intervals, there weren’t [...]

When do you invoice a client?

Posted: 19 Feb 2009 08:08 AM PST

There are many different ways to invoice a client when taking on a creative project. We’ve tried several different methods ourselves, all depending on individual client situations and how comfortable we felt with each client. Below are some examples of different methods for invoicing clients, and the pros and cons of each. Invoicing before the project [...]

Seven Different Ways to Name a Company

Posted: 17 Feb 2009 08:14 AM PST

Each day brings with it another round of fresh online apps built to alleviate our small business and freelancer woes. Many of them are solid contributions and will find a hungry marketplace. Others will fizzle after the initial flurry of tweets praising them as the latest and greatest reinvention of X. Aside from what these [...]

Social Aspects of Group Time Tracking & Task Management

Posted: 12 Feb 2009 08:11 AM PST

One of the first questions people may wonder when they first log in to Intervals is “Why can I see everyone else’s tasks and timesheets?” The ability to do project management online brings with it also the opportunity to rethink how we manage our day-to-day small business workflow. In developing Intervals, we decided to open [...]

Steal this web design & development maintenance contract

Posted: 10 Feb 2009 09:37 AM PST

In the nine years we’ve been doing web design & development at Pelago, we’ve encountered just about every type of client you can imagine. But at the end of each project, it’s always the same story. How do we get paid? To start with, we’ve divided our contracts into two categories; specified development contracts and [...]

Too big for the silo, too small for the enterprise

Posted: 05 Feb 2009 08:19 AM PST

Finding the right web-based tool for your business is not an easy task. Often times it requires researching several different hosted offerings in the SaaS realm. Finding a good fit is especially difficult if you find your small business growing and are worried about outgrowing an online project management software. Once you’ve found the application [...]

What is Project Management 2.0?

Posted: 03 Feb 2009 08:31 AM PST

There is so much discussion about Web 2.0, Software-as-a-Service, and Social Networks, that it must leave people wondering… What exactly is Project Management 2.0? The term is subject to wide interpretation, but here is how we’ve defined project management 2.0, and how Intervals fits into this definition. Asynchronous User InterfaceTranslation: Fewer page loads and a faster [...]

Online Project Management Software Video Demo

Posted: 02 Feb 2009 10:13 AM PST

Intervals web-based time, task and project management software provides a comprehensive set of features for managing projects and keeping them under deadline and budget. Keep your project team on the same page with collaborative tools and keep your clients in the loop with communications features. Intervals is ideal for web designers, developers and creatives who [...]

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International Project Management

Posted: 30 Jan 2009 02:08 PM PST

When we began adding internationalization (I18N) support for Intervals, we didn’t really have much experience working with international locales to draw upon. We could, however, see the writing on the wall: Intervals was getting more international customers day by day, and we knew they weren’t all working with US dollars. For Intervals to become a [...]

Tips on Managing Freelancers

Posted: 29 Jan 2009 10:33 AM PST

It is the nature of any small business that it must fluctuate in size to meet the demands of seasonally larger projects. Freelancers are a great way to ramp up productivity without committing to long term employees. However, some freelancers can be difficult to manage. Here are some tips on getting the most out of [...]

Project Shrink and the Future of Project Management Software

Posted: 28 Jan 2009 10:38 AM PST

Bas de Baar, who discusses Project Management in a global, mobile, virtual and multi-cultural world, was gracious enough to publish some of our thoughts on the future of project management software. The article has been published at his Project Shrink Web site. Read the article Click here to read the article and find out our [...]

Prioritize Your Workload Using Milestones

Posted: 27 Jan 2009 07:53 AM PST

We recently launched a milestones feature for Intervals, our hosted project management software. The addition of milestones is intended to make the task management process an easier one, especially in the small business environment where the number of current tasks can become overwhelming. Here are some practical tips on how to use milestones in your [...]

What Saturday morning cartoons taught me about small business

Posted: 20 Jan 2009 08:33 AM PST

Memories of Saturday morning cartoons are the strongholds of nostalgia and pop culture for us children of the 80s. Sure, they were thinly veiled, half hour long commercials, but they also gave us at least thirty seconds of life lessons per episode. Now that I’m all growned up, I find that many of those lessons [...]

Should web designers and developers bill time spent in meetings?

Posted: 15 Jan 2009 08:21 AM PST

Absolutely, and i’ll tell you why: Meetings are a usage of your time. If you are not billing them for that meeting, than you aren’t billing anyone for that time. Too many meetings and you start losing money. Meetings will almost always require some transfer of knowledge from you to the client. We’ve never been in a [...]

We manage too many projects, so you don’t have to

Posted: 13 Jan 2009 09:24 AM PST

One of the unique qualities of Intervals, our web-based project management tool, is that we are far more involved in it than your typical software company. At Pelago, we built Intervals out of a need to utilize better workflow management before realizing it could be useful to other creatives and developers. And we continue to [...]

The Best and the Worst Jobs

Posted: 08 Jan 2009 12:00 PM PST

The Wall Street Journal reviews a study completed by on the best and worst jobs in the article Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs. The article lists the best and worst jobs of 200 jobs that were studied, based on the following criteria: The findings were compiled by Les Krantz, author of “Jobs [...]

The Low End Theory of Project Management

Posted: 07 Jan 2009 11:51 AM PST

The web 2.0 sub-sphere of online project management tools is evolving. Small businesses are discovering the “simple” approach to project management is not enough for getting things done in the context of their reality. While they aren’t looking for anything complex, they are definitely seeking out more comprehensive alternatives to the overly hyped simple tools. [...]

Intervals Improvements, Features and a Happy New Year

Posted: 06 Jan 2009 02:20 PM PST

It’s hard to believe 2008 has come to a close. We’ve been so busy cranking out improvements and new features we didn’t notice the time (though I can assure you, we did track it). Here we are, just a few days after the New Year, with an update on what’s new in Intervals. Milestones The ‘stones are [...]

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Milestones and Calendar Video Demo

Posted: 06 Jan 2009 04:31 AM PST

Here is a quick (6 minute) overview of using milestones to manage a deliverable and an introduction to the modified home page that includes drag and drop functionality for rescheduling.

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Successful niche firms will help economy rebound

Posted: 05 Jan 2009 03:47 PM PST

The ongoing successes of small businesses is being overshadowed by the media’s heavy focus on the failings of corporate giants. The latest news about this economy doesn’t seem to bode well for anyone. However, there is a resurgence going on in small business circles. The Editor of the Pacific Business Times has outlined five reasons [...]

2009 is going to be a good year for creative small businesses

Posted: 02 Jan 2009 03:26 PM PST

According to a survey of 209 creative service firms posted over at, 2009 is expected to be a good year for creative small businesses. It is rumoured that small businesses in general are poised to perform well in this new year, despite the failings of corporate giants. Small businesses tend to be more agile [...]

Y2K9 Bug?

Posted: 31 Dec 2008 09:33 AM PST

Looks like the end of 2008 is causing a few problems out there in the online world. Now dubbed the Y2K9 bug, applications and devices are experiencing everything from minor hiccups to complete failures. Here are a few cases we’ve noticed: Microsoft Zune Players failing: Gizmodo: 30GB Zunes Failing Everywhere, All At Once Taking the number 4, 7, [...]

Managing Projects & Getting Things Done, at the Same Time

Posted: 30 Dec 2008 01:08 PM PST

Most online task management tools available today are great for helping the task-oriented individual or small business get things done. Once we’ve settled on one that matches our personality and worfklow style, we set about entering tasks and managing them. Intervals is very much like other hosted task management apps in this regard. The primary [...]

Tracking Time in Intervals using Modules

Posted: 19 Dec 2008 08:34 AM PST

Online time tracking apps are great for discovering where all your time is going. And many of them allow you to classify time entries by billable types of work, an invaluable feature for billing clients and estimating future projects. One of the unique features within the Intervals time tracking tool is the ability to classify [...]

New Milestones Feature Launching Soon

Posted: 18 Dec 2008 09:08 AM PST

A new way to manage projects and tasks Within the next few days we’ll be launching the much-anticipated milestones feature and redesigned home/dashboard page for Intervals, our web-based project management tool. This new feature will enable you to group tasks into deliverables, making project management a whole lot easier when dealing with so many tasks. The [...]

Putting the project before the scope

Posted: 16 Dec 2008 08:12 AM PST

Conventional wisdom dictates that any web design & development project should start out with a detailed scope of work, especially when flat bidding a project. This scope document is a road map, a guide dictating what stays in and what gets jettisoned in order to keep the project under budget and on time. That would [...]

Happy Holidays from Pelago | 2008

Posted: 15 Dec 2008 11:14 AM PST

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a Bountiful 2009 Sincerely, The Team @ Pelago

Looking back on 2005 when Intervals began

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 11:51 AM PST

We’ve come a long way since 2005 when we first opened up Intervals to a public beta. Fortunately, there are some cool sites out there, like, who’ve captured the history of our web site. Intervals will soon celebrate it’s four year anniversary. That’s four years of tuning and tweaking, making Intervals one of the [...]

Task Management From Google

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 10:04 AM PST

Google has just released task management for gmail users. Those of us who’ve been tethered to Microsoft Outlook because of its personal task management feature now have good reason to abandon it and fully embrace gmail. It may even prove to be a worthwhile free alternative to online personal task managers. Read more about this [...]

Web Design by Committee

Posted: 11 Dec 2008 12:30 PM PST

There comes a time in every web designers career when they must go up against the multi-headed committee. One person wants the logo bigger, a second person wants the type a brighter red, and a third wants to increase the amount of copy by a factor of ten. The repeated changes and subsequent communal approvals [...]

20 signs you don’t want that web design project

Posted: 10 Dec 2008 08:28 AM PST

Jeffrey Zeldman gives us his 20 reasons why you may want to say no to that next web design project. Though obviously meant to be a humorous commentary on the unpredictability of managing web design projects, some of the signs happen all too often. Then again, they are all based on actual client experiences. Here are [...]

Adding an Intervals login to your web site

Posted: 09 Dec 2008 08:35 AM PST

Wondering how to add an Intervals login form to your web site? Here is some HTML code to get you started: <form method="POST" action="http[s]://[your.intervals.domain]/"> <input type="hidden" name="module" value="people" /> <input type="hidden" name="action" value="loginsubmit" /> Username: <input type="text" name="f_username" value="" /><br /> [...]

Better Time Management Through Time Tracking

Posted: 08 Dec 2008 02:44 PM PST

It is commonly accepted that if you want to manage your finances better, the best place to start is tracking them. Even if your expenses are out of control, you are in up to your ears in debt, and you have no savings. You start by tracking everything. The result of this discipline is that [...]

Intervals Reviewed at

Posted: 26 Nov 2008 01:29 PM PST

Head on over to to read the latest project management review of Intervals. Here is what they have to say about Intervals: If you or your company has had a difficult time keeping tasks organized and tracking time, this program can jump-start you to the road of success. Because it comes with information not just [...]

Saying “no” to a potential client

Posted: 25 Nov 2008 08:09 AM PST

No matter how good a web designer we are, or how reputable our web development agency may be, we all get excited, and perhaps nervous, over the prospect of signing a new client. Our tendency is to promise them everything they want, and then a few things they didn’t know they could do. We can [...]

What does a web designer know about project management?

Posted: 21 Nov 2008 08:56 AM PST

Good question. It seems that in my inevitable evolution, which I began as a web designer, has morphed me into a project manager. I’m not talking about the resource planning, gantt chart wielding PMs that push year-long projects through numerous teams containing numerous people. I’ve become more of the small team coordinating, online tool using [...]

Choosing a web design & development team for your next project

Posted: 18 Nov 2008 11:03 AM PST

You've got a great idea for a web site and you are looking for a talented team of web designers and developers to get the job done. You don't want to get stuck with a firm that will over promise and under deliver, or worse, vanish altogether in the middle of a project. How do [...]

The Future of Time Tracking

Posted: 14 Nov 2008 10:08 AM PST

Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx, shares his thoughts on the future of time tracking. Here are some of the highlights: Software-as-a-Service will become more and more dominant as IT people become more and more scarce and businesses become more accustomed to this model. Businesses will start to see the advantage of viewing time management as a [...]

Time Tracking: Quantity vs. Quality

Posted: 13 Nov 2008 08:20 AM PST

There are plenty of online time tracking tools to help small businesses keep a better record of billable time. It’s as simple as starting a timer and letting it run while you get things done. When the job is completed, apply the time. Run a few reports, generate an invoice, and collect your money. Then [...]

Choosing the right partner for your web design & development projects

Posted: 11 Nov 2008 10:17 AM PST

Smaller web design & development teams, as well as freelancers, will often find themselves partnering with other professional service providers when working on larger projects. There may be copywriters, graphic designers, brand managers, system administrators, and database specialists, just to name a few, getting in the mix to form a larger, more complete team. In [...]

Dilbert on Project Management

Posted: 10 Nov 2008 12:15 PM PST

This recent Dilbert strip illustrates some common pitfalls to project management in larger organizations. These are exactly the type of barriers we try to keep out of small business, especially in the web design & development arenas.

International Project Management Day

Posted: 06 Nov 2008 10:09 AM PST

From the International Project Management Day Web Site: The international project management day is intended to encourage project based organizations worldwide or organizations who utilize project management methodologies to schedule some type of recognition event within their organizations or coordinated locally with others to truly demonstrate appreciation for the achievements of project managers and their teams. This [...]

Task management & project management are not the same thing

Posted: 04 Nov 2008 10:01 AM PST

Project management can mean many things to many people. Just take a look at how many hosted project management tools there are to choose from. Small business workflow has been interpreted differently with each online app, but the underlying concepts of project management are usually left intact. Getting projects started, completed, and delivered to the [...]

Subtractive Time Tracking With Multiple Timers

Posted: 30 Oct 2008 07:46 PM PDT

One of our customers recently clued us in on a unique time tracking method they devised using multiple timers and simple arithmetic. The challenge they faced was finding out how much time they weren’t tracking. Most of us do take breaks or get distracted throughout our workday, but we don’t track that time. Here is [...]

Let Someone Else Manage The Distractions

Posted: 29 Oct 2008 10:37 AM PDT

It is an unavoidable fact that anyone working for a small business, or freelancing, will be required to wear multiple hats. You will be responsible for many aspects of the day-to-day workflow outside your own core competency. When a business is comprised solely of a small team or individual, things like time tracking, task [...]

Tracking time the old-fashioned way

Posted: 28 Oct 2008 04:11 PM PDT

Today, at our Pelago offices, our Internet went offline for eleven hours. From 5am this morning until just a few moments ago, we were in the dark, completely cut off from the rest of the digital world. Instead of descending upon the local coffee shop for free wi-fi, we took a step back and re-evaluated [...]

Friendlier Email Notifications when Creating and Updating Tasks

Posted: 24 Oct 2008 04:22 PM PDT

We’ve just update Intervals with improved email notifications. Now, when you create or update a task, the notification email will include your profile photo alongside the summary or comment. We’ve also made some visual improvements to the emails to make them easier to scan. Login to your Intervals account to see this task management enhancement [...]

Hosted Task Management: Three Different Ways to Manage Your Tasks Online

Posted: 23 Oct 2008 11:36 AM PDT

When it comes to task management, there is a myriad of web-based software options to choose from to help you get organized and get things done. Which one you choose depends largely on your needs. There are three different levels of task management to consider. Each one is geared to handle different volumes of task [...]

Show your support for Intervals with a new footer badge

Posted: 22 Oct 2008 09:05 AM PDT

Want to show your support for Intervals on your web site? Use this badge graphic in the footer of your web site to show that you use Intervals for managing your project management, time tracking, and task management workflow. Just right-click on the image to the right to save it, or simply add the following [...]

Thoughts on building an online project management tool

Posted: 21 Oct 2008 01:06 PM PDT

The online market for productivity tools is growing rapidly and expected to keep doing so. The growth isn’t solely economic, either. New technologies and efficient frameworks are making it more simple for developers to launch new ideas and see where the winds of business take them. It was only four years ago that the Pelago [...]

Project management is all about…

Posted: 16 Oct 2008 09:46 AM PDT

Most project managers — and many web designers and developers stuck doing project management — will tell you that communication is the most important aspect of their job. And while that is very true, there are other components of project management that have been ignored. The over-simplification of some online project management tools can leave [...]

Time Tracking, The Office, and Battlestar Galactica, Combined

Posted: 15 Oct 2008 04:04 PM PDT

What do you get when you combine three of our favorite things? Watch the clip to see, for yourself, what happens when Dwight faces nerd torture of the highest form.

New Feature: Assign Tasks to Multiple People

Posted: 14 Oct 2008 05:05 PM PDT

We’ve recently launched a new feature in Intervals — the ability to assign tasks to multiple people. This is useful for a few reasons. First, tasks that require a team effort can be more easily managed by a project manager. Second, other people can be kept in the loop throughout the life of a task, [...]

Soft Skills to Consider when Hiring a Freelancer

Posted: 09 Oct 2008 02:19 PM PDT

Freelancers can be a great addition to any small team that requires extra help or unique expertise to complete a project. At Pelago, we’ve hired freelance designers, developers, and writers on several occasions. Our experience working with freelancers has taught us that technical skills are not the only factor to consider when entering into a [...]

New Feature: Customize Your Task Priorities for Better Task Management

Posted: 06 Oct 2008 02:01 PM PDT

Our developers spent the weekend launching a new feature for Intervals, our web-based project management tool. Now you can customize your default task priorities. Use the default task priorities tab to add, edit, deactivate, or delete priorities, as well as specify the color coding and order they should appear. These custom priorities are useful for [...]

Integrating Intervals Task Management into Outlook

Posted: 06 Oct 2008 01:22 PM PDT

UPDATE: 01.10.2012 According to Microsoft’s help document (Customize the Navigation Pane), the customization options for Outlook 2010 have been stripped down. It looks like Outlook 2010 has removed this functionality. My guess is that Microsoft did this to tighten up security in Outlook. Opening up URLs inside of Outlook from untrusted sources could wreak havoc. And given [...]

The Anatomy of a Great Journal

Posted: 03 Oct 2008 01:32 PM PDT

The digital realm of the Internet has extended its reach deep into our personal and professional lives. We are drowning in a murky sea of information and require several devices and online tools to stay afloat. From PDAs and smart phones to online task management and productivity tools, we have fought back against the digital [...]

Intervals Compared to Other Web-based Time Tracking Tools

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 05:03 PM PDT

Check out the review at listio to see how Intervals stacks up against other online time tracking apps. “Well suited for heavier users, Intervals has included tools to run reports, manage client lists, tasks, projects and people. It is laid out in a simple but pleasing interface with tabs of the various functions” Comparing Time Tracking Applications: [...]

5 Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Web-based Project Management Software

Posted: 30 Sep 2008 02:40 PM PDT

It seems like every aspect of a running small business has been built into an online tool. A small business owner, or freelancer, can perform just about any business function — tracking time, billing clients, managing projects, etc. — with hosted tools. In the realm of web-based project management tools there are probably more than [...]

Project Management & Subcontractor Time Tracking

Posted: 26 Sep 2008 08:51 AM PDT

In the beginning there was just a few of us at Pelago, and a bunch of subcontractors. We were very much aware of the project management challenges related to running a distributed team. Specifically, how do we get our subcontractors to properly track their time, so we can turn around and accurately bill our clients? When [...]

Managing Project Delays when it’s the Clients Fault

Posted: 23 Sep 2008 02:38 PM PDT

Regardless of how well you plan a project, or how well you think you know your client, most projects will be delayed. Often times, the delay is caused by the client. They might take longer than expected approving a design comp or delivering web site copy. We’ve had some clients go off the radar for [...]

Thanks for Making Intervals a Great Project Management Service

Posted: 19 Sep 2008 11:03 AM PDT

We just want to take another moment of our time to thank all of you for using Intervals for your project management needs. Your dedication and feedback have been invaluable to our continued development. We hope you will continue the journey alongside us as we work toward making Intervals the best web-based time tracking and [...]

Project Limits and Document Storage Increased

Posted: 18 Sep 2008 01:57 PM PDT

We’ve been listening to your suggestions, and engaging some of you in conversation, to find ways we can evolve Intervals into the best web-based time tracking and task management service for small business. Our primary focus has been the ongoing implementation of feature requests (see our recent road map for more information). However, we have [...]

Email Queue Integrated into Intervals

Posted: 18 Sep 2008 01:11 PM PDT

Our most recent addition to Intervals is the ability to send emails to the work request queue. Now you can field client requests and documents via email and convert them into tasks with the click of a button. To get started, you’ll need your own email account with POP3 or IMAP access. Login to Intervals [...]

Project Management Using Google Chrome & Intervals

Posted: 18 Sep 2008 12:07 PM PDT

For those wondering how Intervals, our web-based time tracking and task management tool, is performing in Google Chrome, the answer is “Beautifully.” But that is no suprise given that Intervals has been thoroughly tested using the Safari web browser. Here are some screenshots: Task Management The Intervals task listing is useful for creating tasks, tracking time against [...]

Stress Management Tips for the Small Business Owner or Freelancer

Posted: 16 Sep 2008 01:54 PM PDT

The role of the small business owner, or freelancer, is a loosely-defined amalgam of time, tasks, projects, and nine million other responsibilities to pull you in every direction manageable. There are times — believe me because it’s happened to me — when it can all become too much and you buckle under the weight of [...]

3 Survival Tips for Creatives

Posted: 08 Sep 2008 03:13 PM PDT

When I first stepped out into the real world as a creative professional, my college diploma and senior portfolio under my arm, I soon encountered the Client. We experienced some client interaction in school — mostly in the form of competing against classmates to have our logo chosen for a local non-profit — but nothing [...]

How to Accurately Estimate a Web Design Project

Posted: 05 Sep 2008 02:29 PM PDT

Whether you flat-bid or bill hourly, the ability to accurately estimate projects is crucial for delivering within budget and avoiding client disappointments. While completing over 300 projects for more than 100 clients at Pelago, we’ve spent the last nine years honing our estimating skills into an art form. Follow these four steps to create accurate [...]

What to bill when billing hourly

Posted: 02 Sep 2008 08:44 PM PDT

When starting up a new freelancing gig or small business, billing hourly for your services is a good way to keep your workload and cash flow consistent. To get started, you’ll need a few steady clients and a good time tracking system. Once you’ve set out running, the next thing to figure out is what [...]

Where apples and oranges meet

Posted: 26 Aug 2008 08:18 PM PDT

Coming up with a good tagline is no easy feat. One formula I have seen in abundance lately is “where x and y meet” which is a creative way to say your offering is a convergence of the previously unassociated. If we were to take this route with Intervals, our tagline would be “where time [...]

5 Lessons Learned from 9 Years as a Web Development Agency

Posted: 13 Aug 2008 02:48 PM PDT

This month, Pelago celebrates its ninth year of life as a web development agency. In those nine years we’ve worked on 339 projects for 105 clients. We’ve built everything from basic brochure web sites to complex data crunching web applications. And we’ve dealt with just about every type of client you can imagine. Here are [...]

Emogrifier – Convert HTML & CSS into gmail friendly emails

Posted: 11 Aug 2008 08:13 AM PDT

While working on the “email this page” feature in Intervals we needed to find a way to merge HTML & CSS files into a Frankenstein-like document that gmail would honor. Quick back story — gmail doesn’t play nice with conventionally defined CSS. We came up with the Emogrifier, a PHP utility we are adding to [...]

Using Negative Space when Designing for the Web

Posted: 06 Aug 2008 11:07 AM PDT

I once worked as a graphic designer for a small marketing group that would place ads for golf clubs in the backs of various magazines. These ads were typical of what you would see in the back of a magazine — volumes of text and photos crammed into the 8.5 x 11 confines of the [...]

Writing Code: Elegance vs. Performance

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 09:06 PM PDT

The era of the lightweight framework is in full swing and has enabled developers to quickly execute everything from our most random inklings to more advanced and complex ideas. We can have an application up and running in minutes. We’ve implemented the Model-View-Controller framework into our web site development projects, including Intervals, our web-based time [...]

What’s next for Intervals? – Intervals Roadmap Update

Posted: 31 Jul 2008 02:03 PM PDT

A few weeks back we sent out an email to all current Intervals account owners letting them about some upcoming features. The contents of that email are below. Task Flexibility Estimated launch: Next Few Weeks We are starting the process of making tasks less rigid to accommodate different types of work flows. End date is now optional for [...]

Tips From a Developer on Managing a Small Development Team

Posted: 29 Jul 2008 08:49 PM PDT

Last week our project manager took off to OSCON in Portland, leaving me, the lead developer, in charge of managing our small development team. Facing a gauntlet of client requests, developer questions, and miscellaneous tasks that fall somewhere in between, I had to adapt quickly if I was going to oversee our team’s (including my [...]

Web Design & the Influence of Metrics

Posted: 18 Jul 2008 10:08 AM PDT

The recent Illustration Annual 49 from Communication Arts has an interesting artice titled “Analyze This, Web design in the age of numbers.” Unfortunately, you won’t find it online, so pull out your copy of CA if you have it. The author ponders the relationship between the abstracts of design theory and the quantifiable influence of [...]

Feature Preview: Milestones

Posted: 18 Jul 2008 08:44 AM PDT

Intervals customers will soon be able to group tasks into a milestone and assign it an owner and a deadline. The home page will be transformed into a calendar view — a scheduling dashboard — tying together tasks starting, tasks ending, milestones, and weekly time tracked. The calendar view will allow customers to quickly reorganize [...]

Blogworthy #5

Posted: 17 Jul 2008 09:20 AM PDT

Some linkapation from the Pelago bit squad: We love Denon, but $500 for an ethernet cable? Glued To His Seat 17 Reasons Why Bicycles Are the Most Popular Vehicle in the World Today 3,800-Piece Death Star Diorama Is Coolest Star Wars Lego Ever FireFox Time Track Addon In celebration of Braden driving his first Syncro home from Seattle From the wayback bench [...]

Managing a Web Design Agency with Hosted Software

Posted: 16 Jul 2008 08:35 AM PDT

Being a small group of creatives tackling the day-to-day demands of running a web design agency requires a versatile and agile approach to project management. The responsibilities of the principals are inevitably fragmented, from keeping computers online to art directing multiple web site launches. At Pelago, we’ve pushed enough projects out into the great wide [...]

Intervals Server Maintenance Scheduled for this Weekend :: July 12th (5:00 AM | Pacific)

Posted: 10 Jul 2008 04:10 PM PDT

This weekend we will be performing routine server maintenance between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM (Pacific). We are expecting a service interruption that hopefully will last no longer than 15 minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience and will send an “all clear” email to all Intervals account owners after the maintenance is complete.  Thank you for [...]

Three Ways to Track Your Time

Posted: 10 Jul 2008 09:04 AM PDT

I have been a web developer for the last 14 years, ever since discovering SLIP and PPP with my 14.4 BAUD modem. In that time I have worked with several different methods for tracking my time. Whether I was working as a freelancer, or as an employee for technology companies and web design agencies, time [...]

A New Style of Project Management

Posted: 09 Jul 2008 11:28 AM PDT

When we first started out as a web development agency eight years ago we did what most small businesses would do. We fired up Microsoft Project and started building project plans, resource pools, and Gantt charts. Certified in Microsoft Project, our project manager created extensive visuals and stick them to the wall. Our small development [...]

The Myopic Web Developer

Posted: 01 Jul 2008 12:18 PM PDT

Photo by Jim Simonson A common characteristic of most web developers is that we have tunnel vision when working our craft. Our ability to focus and accomplish narrowly defined tasks with speed and intensity is one of our greatest strengths. When working with a larger team, however, our reluctance to step outside the zone can hinder [...]

The Fundamentals of Intervals

Posted: 25 Jun 2008 03:32 PM PDT

Dave Goldenberg at Digital Web ponders Why Do Web Startups Die? Having identified the pre-alpha as a phase of crucial importance, he elaborates on the need to build a solid foundation and then asks some good questions to help get through the process. You don't need a deckful of scatter charts to do this, but you [...]

Three ways to simplify your small business

Posted: 19 Jun 2008 01:17 PM PDT

When you stop to consider the amount of responsibilities required to run a small business the conclusions can be overwhelming. It turns out the only thing ‘small’ in a small business is the number of people. That means fewer people wearing many different hats handling a larger set of tasks. Diversity is a requirement, not [...]

The great office shuffle of ’08

Posted: 19 Jun 2008 10:15 AM PDT

This week we shuffled all of our desks around and moved a few truckloads of unused stuff into storage. Our only casualties were one smashed thumb, a severed USB cable, and a smashed video tape (the circumstances surrounding the fate of the video tape are still under investigation). Meanwhile, here are some fresh new pics [...]

Three Reasons to Track Time Against Tasks and Projects

Posted: 17 Jun 2008 09:50 AM PDT

The goal of a hosted project management service, like Intervals, is to improve the day-to-day workflow of a small business. A freelancer or creative group will start their search for an online application by evaluating several of them and choosing the one that best complements their already established workflow. But what happens when a creative [...]

Is the task list the best way to manage our time?

Posted: 13 Jun 2008 11:26 AM PDT

One of the major flaws with our efforts to better manage our time is that we believe we can accomplish more if we have the right system in place. Take your pick from any number of time management systems that make this promise. Before we can manage our time better, we need to take a [...]

Blogworthy #4

Posted: 13 Jun 2008 11:03 AM PDT

Another linkalicious sampling from us Pelagonians: Tour de Dog: David Sylvester and Chiva New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less The Price is Wrong How to restart Windows via Remote Desktop Ordering a pizza, unix style Behold the 3G iPhone, Liveblogged Amazon Flexible Payments Service Change is afoot at 37Signals It’s time to ride a bike

So, you’ve built a web-based app… now what?

Posted: 10 Jun 2008 09:07 AM PDT

In this era of the lightweight framework, fresh-launched hosted services are popping up every other day. In the small business spectrum are countless variants of time tracking, task tackling, project managing online apps aimed at increasing our productivity. It is exciting to see so many ideas being executed in this vast and wide open market. [...]

Blogworthy #3

Posted: 30 May 2008 02:57 PM PDT

Round 3 of linkular goodness for your friday grazing: Linux in cars Santa Barbara’s rat/cat/dog guy SF Big Wheel Races Windows Mobile to grow by at least 50 percent worldwide Like Office Space, but different Free WiFi for all? Klingon Debugger

Our One Percent for the Planet Contribution

Posted: 29 May 2008 02:40 PM PDT

As members of One Percent for the Planet we have the privilege of donating 1% of our sales to environmental causes. Our contribution is a small way for us to validate our commitment to lessening our impact on our surroundings. What makes this nonprofit endeavor even more relevant is they gave us a list of [...]

I Madonnari 2008

Posted: 28 May 2008 10:06 AM PDT

Pelago and its employees have been participating in Santa Barbara’s I Madonnari Street Painting Festival for the last ten years as artists and sponsors. Here are some pictures from this year’s drawing, based on a vintage cycling poster from the early 1900s. Thanks to Dale Weber for the photos.   Click each photo to view larger.

Spending Time Wisely

Posted: 23 May 2008 11:10 AM PDT

Before embarking on any type of research journey through the web of time management methodologies, we need to define exactly what it is we are trying to manage. What is our time and what does it mean to us? If we skip this step and try to bolt the methodology-of-the-year onto our muddled lists of [...]

Comparing Intervals to other Web-based Project Management Services

Posted: 20 May 2008 08:13 AM PDT

In the realm of web-based services, there are a lot of options being thrown at consumers. Mixed in with all this noise are buzzy catchphrases like “Getting Things Done,” “Web 2.0,” “Social Networking,” and “Project Management.” It can be overwhelming for anyone looking for the right fit for their small business. There are several good [...]

Intervals for Legal Professionals

Posted: 19 May 2008 11:25 AM PDT

We originally built Intervals for buinesses like Pelago — web development shops, design firms, IT companies, and other creatives who bill hourly for their services. And we continue to develop Intervals for these markets because we have an intimate understanding of them. The beauty of web-based services, especially one like Intervals that handles time tracking and [...]

Santa Barbara Bike Week

Posted: 19 May 2008 11:06 AM PDT

This week is bike week in Santa Barbara, a time for us to consider riding our bikes instead of driving, and to participate in local bike activities. Turns out we could conserve 20% more energy in Santa Barbara by committing ourselves more to alternative transportation (Chapter 3 of CEC’s energy blueprint / PDF). Considering our [...]

Blogworthy #2

Posted: 16 May 2008 10:31 AM PDT

Round 2 of weekly links making their way into our inboxes: Cool Baseball Map Gas prices knock bicycle sales, repairs into higher gear What Google Knows About Spam CBS To Acquire CNET For $1.8 Billion Is Driving Better than Cycling? How to get started with working remotely

The 80-20 Rule and Client Drama

Posted: 14 May 2008 05:17 PM PDT

The 80-20 Rule, AKA the Pareto Principle, states that “for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” This can be observed in any volunteer organization, for example, a church, where 20% of the people do 80% of the work. In our eight-plus years of doing web development at Pelago, we [...]

Intervals Updates | Export reports to PDF, graphics in emails, markup expenses, move documents, improved project note search

Posted: 13 May 2008 02:40 PM PDT

We’ve been busy with updates these last few weeks. Here are some highlights from our most recent Intervals update: Export reports to PDFNow you can save your reports as PDFs. Run a report, or load a saved report, and click on the PDF icon to download it. Next up, we’ll be adding PDF export to other [...]

Blogworthy #1

Posted: 09 May 2008 11:39 AM PDT

Throughout our busy work week — in the time between tasks — one of us will unearth something funny on the web and email it around to give the rest of us a chuckle. Please allow me to introduce our first installment of blogworthy links… Bicycle crash captured on Google maps Americans are unloading a lot of [...]

Ubuntu for Kids

Posted: 07 May 2008 10:46 AM PDT

A few months ago, Michael and I were brainstorming ideas on how we can aggregate our different interests into something that could benefit our community. Michael was interested in recycling our used computers. I was interested in helping out kids in our neighborhood. We both wanted to increase awareness about Ubuntu. We settled on the [...]

Say Hello to Bozo

Posted: 06 May 2008 11:12 AM PDT

Please meet Bozo, our new VP of Client Relations. We really like him, as Bozo is always there to listen to our frustrations. We can confide in him about late payments, conflicts, and difficult projects. And when things get heated, he takes a punch on the nose quite well. Gets right back up, not a [...]

Beyond Basecamp, the Summit

Posted: 05 May 2008 12:00 PM PDT

Basecamp has dominated the realm of online project management, or has it? Basecamp invented a methodology for getting things done, hijacked the phrase ‘project management’, and unleashed their simplified solution onto the web. This was a brilliant move because there was a large population of people with basic needs. And there still are. However, it [...]

Reasons to Ride Your Bike to Work

Posted: 23 Apr 2008 09:26 AM PDT

Modern technology has enabled us to work in many new ways. Telecommuting allows us to work from home and avoid the rush hour commute. Web-based collaborative services enable a distributed team to work on the same project, unhindered by geographical location. These new technologies are good and have improved our work lives. However, there are [...]

Preparing for what’s Ahead

Posted: 23 Apr 2008 08:16 AM PDT

There is so much buzz about a pending recession that we have to ask: what are we doing to prepare ourselves for it? Whether or not it happens, small business owners and entrepreneurs should be thinking ahead and coming up with a plan on how they will get through it. We believe that small businesses [...]

Simple Things Can Make a Difference

Posted: 22 Apr 2008 10:39 AM PDT

Last weekend’s Earth Day festivities were a huge success here in Santa Barbara. The turnout exceeded last year, with hundreds of people walking and cycling to our local sunken gardens for tips on greening the planet and freebies to help get started. I walked away with several canvas bags for grocery shopping and some biodegradable [...]

Optimizing Task Management in Intervals

Posted: 18 Apr 2008 10:58 AM PDT

Our customers have been asking us to optimize the task management functionality within Intervals by reducing the number of clicks required to update tasks. And we agree. Managing tasks constitutes the bulk of our daily workflow, ideally it would take less time. Customer feedback is important to us, and we want to be sure we [...]

Growing and evolving, preventing bloatware, and small things

Posted: 17 Apr 2008 04:51 PM PDT

Our goal with Intervals is to keep improving weekly. We have a lot of features and improvements on our road-map and we get new requests daily (often hourly) from the “feature request” link and the forum. We do not believe that “fully featured” and “easy to use” are mutually exclusive and we strive [...]

The Zerg: Testing Web Sites on a Limited Budget

Posted: 17 Apr 2008 08:55 AM PDT

The most crucial component of any web design project is the testing phase prior to launch. You want to discover and fix any bugs before the site goes live; online their significance will be distorted exponentially. The problem is clients usually have zero budget for this phase. Most clients don’t understand the importance of testing [...]

Pricing Design Services

Posted: 16 Apr 2008 03:22 PM PDT

Here are some tips for web designers from Steve Snell on Factors to Consider When Pricing Design Services. The points he makes are consistent with the experiences Pelago has had as a small web development shop. However, there are a few other things to consider. When considering how much time it will take (factor #1) it [...]

Three Tips for Handling Your Clients

Posted: 15 Apr 2008 09:05 AM PDT

It is the unfortunate circumstance of any professional service business that it must interact with a wide range of clients. From the easygoing and easy-to-please patron, to the difficult and demanding dictator, all clients require similar care and feeding to keep the relationship working. Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your clients is the [...]

The Ambiguous Feature Request

Posted: 14 Apr 2008 09:17 AM PDT

We receive several Intervals feature requests each day. Some of these requests are easy to say ‘no’ to, as they don’t align well with our trajectory. Other requests are fun to say ‘yes’ to, because they are a vote of confidence for features we’ve already considered, or they are an opportunity to give a sneak [...]

Getting Unstuck

Posted: 11 Apr 2008 02:41 PM PDT

My previous post on managing creativity talked about letting go when you get mentally ‘stuck’ on a creative project. Michael Mann at 43folders elaborates on ways to get unstuck with his post on “Whining, White Smoke & the Mechanics of Getting Unstuck.” I can see some of their ideas helping with a creative challenge, but, [...]

Intervals Server Maintenance – Saturday, April 12th (8:00 AM Pacific)

Posted: 10 Apr 2008 06:28 PM PDT

This Saturday we will be launching a few improvements and performing server maintenance. We always do everything we can to prevent any downtime, but unfortunately we are anticipating approximately 5 – 10 minutes of downtime sometime between 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM (Pacific) this Saturday, April 12th. We will send an “all clear” email to [...]

3 Tips for Managing Your Creativity

Posted: 10 Apr 2008 08:14 AM PDT

The creative process is difficult to manage, especially in a work environment so heavily focused on time management, “getting things done,” and deadlines. How can you guarantee your creative mind is churning along at a steady enough pace to meet all of your design responsibilities? You can’t. But, you can do a few things to [...]

DIY Solar Power

Posted: 09 Apr 2008 08:49 AM PDT

Looking for some ideas on DIY solar power? Here are some links to get you started: How to Make a Solar Power Generator Learn how to build a solar power generator for less than $300, with parts available from your local radio shack. Inexpensive DIY Solar Power and provide tips on building a solar electric generator for [...]

3 Types of Meetings for Web Development Teams

Posted: 08 Apr 2008 09:21 AM PDT

Everybody knows that nobody likes meetings. Try pulling a developer away in the midst of a coding binge without them groaning and sulking over to the conference table. Seen by some as a necessary evil, meetings are an essential component of team collaboration. The goal for successfully managing a creative development team isn’t to eliminate [...]

We shall not cease from exploration

Posted: 01 Apr 2008 04:03 PM PDT

The era of the lightweight framework has permanently altered the state of the web. Development shops, like our own Pelago, are finding it increasingly easier and faster to turn ideas into web-based services for the benefit of themselves and others. It seems like anyone and everyone has built something, from widely adopted and practical [...]

What’s in our snack bar?

Posted: 31 Mar 2008 09:19 AM PDT

It has been said that the health of a business can be assessed by the offerings in the snack bar. Are the snacks free or held captive by a vending machine? Coffee or soda for the caffeine and sugar fix? Here is a look inside our snack bar. With all the buzz about web-based services [...]

Startup New Orleans

Posted: 27 Mar 2008 08:04 AM PDT

Home to some of the best jazz, zydeco, and voodoo gris gris music, the Crescent City is experiencing a rebirth of business. Entrepreneurs are finding ideas and opportunities in the wake of Katrina, turning devastation into inspiration and profitability. Check out some of these businesses at

It’s Time to Redefine Simplicity

Posted: 26 Mar 2008 08:57 AM PDT

The fluidness of lightweight frameworks, and the resulting increase in the number of web 2.0 services that arrive online each day, has spurred on the trend of labeling things as “simple.” But are they really simple? Einstein, who understood the complexity of the cosmos, once said “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Building [...]

How to Get on Digg

Posted: 25 Mar 2008 10:32 AM PDT

Do a google search for ‘How to Get on Digg’ (or just click here) and you will find several articles telling you how to ‘really’ get dugg to the top. You’ll find advice on generating relevant content and formulas based on the number of friends and word counts per article. What you won’t find is [...]

Project Management for Creatives

Posted: 24 Mar 2008 09:02 AM PDT

Project management has a wide range of definitions. At one end, there is the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide, defined by the Project Management Institute. This extensive definition of project management is mismatched to how small businesses work, and is primarily what agile development, and simplified web 2.0 services, are revolting against. At the [...]

Design Can Change

Posted: 21 Mar 2008 04:02 PM PDT

If you are a graphic designer who is also interested in sustainability, visit Design Can Change and take the pledge. Designers actually have more potential to slow environmental degradation than economists, politicians and environmentalists. Their power is catalytic. Alastair Faud-Luke

Intervals updates for invoicing, task comments, and CSV exports

Posted: 20 Mar 2008 03:54 PM PDT

In the spirit of agile development and good customer service, we launched several Intervals updates today. These updates primarily address requests made by you, our customer. Here is a list of new things you will notice when you log into Intervals. 1. Invoice updates Invoices now have disclaimers (AKA fine print) that can be customized for [...]

How to Become a Great Web Designer

Posted: 20 Mar 2008 10:00 AM PDT

The field of web design is occupied by a large and loosely defined collective of freelancers and agencies. We have found our niche in working with a medium that is in a constant state of flux. There are no real steadfast rules, and the web has been used in every way imaginable to communicate messages [...]

How to Choose the Best Web-based Project Management Service for Your Business

Posted: 19 Mar 2008 08:46 AM PDT

Choosing a web-based service for your business is a significant commitment. And with so many options available, it can be a daunting task to narrow your search down to just one. Here are some things to consider when evaluating which web-based project management service is best for your business. Specific Needs Your business has specific and unique [...]

Data Center Improvements Scheduled – March 18th – 10:00 PM (Pacific)

Posted: 18 Mar 2008 06:53 PM PDT

Next week In approximately 5 hours, the data center that hosts Intervals will be making infrastructure enhancements to boost core network performance. The number of Intervals users has doubled in the past five months and this improvement should help our scaling efforts. What can you expect? On March 18th between 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Pacific) expect [...]

The Year of the Bicycle?

Posted: 18 Mar 2008 01:38 PM PDT

Neal Peirce, of the Washington Post Writers Group, ponders whether this is the year of the bicycle. As gas prices rise and our physical health declines, it makes sense that more and more people will opt for their bicycles as an alternative method of transportation. Think about the cumulative effect you could have on your [...]

Four Tips for Tracking Your Time Better

Posted: 17 Mar 2008 09:17 PM PDT

Every small business struggles with tracking their time. As a web development shop, we’ve been constantly evolving and improving our time tracking methodologies since we started eight years ago. Here are some tips we have learned along the way. 1. Group your daily tasks by availability and type of work If you know you are going to [...]

Three Lessons on Writing Code, From a Graphic Designer

Posted: 14 Mar 2008 03:34 PM PDT

When writing code — HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, or whatever — it is important to remember that yourself and others will read and interpret that code again at some point. In addition to being free of syntax errors and bugs, your code needs to be human readable. Here are three fundamental graphic design principals that [...]

Three Examples of Consistent Logo Design

Posted: 13 Mar 2008 09:41 AM PDT

Oscar Wilde once said “consistency is the last refuge for the unimaginative.” While this should, and does, hold true for our most adventurous endeavors, there are times when consistency is necessary. For example, in logo design. Given all the responsibilities it must carry on its back, the logo has enormous responsibility to the company it [...]

Sustainable Design

Posted: 12 Mar 2008 03:12 PM PDT

Sustainability is an increasingly popular buzzword being thrown about the Internet, but what does it mean? And more specifically, what does it mean for designers? At Pelago, it means a few things: Printing our collateral on recycled papers using enviro-friendly inks Using the laser printer only when necessary, and trying to keep printouts on one page Recycling our [...]

Valuing Time as a Business Resource

Posted: 11 Mar 2008 05:13 PM PDT

An interview with Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx, Inc., on why tracking time is a necessary business practice. Here are some excerpts from the interview on task and time tracking, Software as a Service, and encouraging employees to provide accurate data. Why tracking time against projects and tasks is important Well, the most obvious thing is that [...]

How to Assemble a Web Design Team Based on the A-Team

Posted: 10 Mar 2008 09:42 AM PDT

To be successful in designing and developing web sites, you are going to need a specialized and diverse team who share a common goal of doing quality work. The A-Team, although stuck in the 80s, is a perfect example for building a web design team. Their skills complemented one another perfectly, and they knew how [...]

Electronic Crafts and The Portable Power Cart

Posted: 07 Mar 2008 02:35 PM PST

If you like to tinker — as most of us web developers like to do — check out this collection of electronic craft projects. Our favorite is the Power Cart; a combination of solar power and crank power assembled into a box on strapped onto a dolly. The idea is to provide a portable power [...]

Four Resources for the Outdoor Type

Posted: 06 Mar 2008 01:37 PM PST

Living in Santa Barbara, we can’t help but fall in love with our natural surroundings. You will often find us playing at the ocean, exploring in the local mountains, or venturing further out into the Mojave and the Eastern Sierra. Our name, Pelago, reflects this admiration for all things outdoors, and is an homage to [...]

The Library of Congress’ photos

Posted: 05 Mar 2008 10:08 AM PST

It used to be that a designer wanting copyright-free reproductions of these classic photos would have to go through a lot of work to get them. Now flickr has them online, for your perusal and downloading. Add these retro photos to your next design project or web site redux

7 Reasons You Should Charge by the Hour

Posted: 04 Mar 2008 09:47 AM PST

Matthew Griffin has posted “7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Charge by the Hour.” Pelago‘s experiences and struggles over the last eight years have taught us to avoid flat-rate billing like the plague. Here are 7 reasons why you should bill hourly. It’s a long-term, personal investment Starting and stopping timers is a discipline that takes some practice. Training [...]

All Things To All People

Posted: 03 Mar 2008 08:57 AM PST

Our company’s eight-year history and experiences with web development have taught us many lessons about running a small business. One of the most important lessons learned was that we can’t be all things to all people. When we first started up in August of 2000, we tried to do it all; print design, logo design, [...]

Web-based Services on the Planet Hoth

Posted: 29 Feb 2008 10:09 AM PST

One of the most memorable cinematic moments of my childhood was the planet Hoth battle scene in The Empire Strikes Back. The Empire has finally found the hidden Rebel base and has launched an offensive with their mighty AT-ATs. The Rebels launch their small fleet of snow speeders in response. Watching the movie in that [...]

The Bellwether Effect: At the Forefront of Design

Posted: 28 Feb 2008 11:33 AM PST

Check out our entry, as well as other entries, for The Bellwether Effect, a local upcoming exhibition at our Contemporary Arts Forum. An exhibition open to all types of designers living or working within Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties and is intended to illuminate the diverse array of innovative, imaginative designs created in [...]

Invoice by Amount and Executive User Email Notifications

Posted: 28 Feb 2008 11:22 AM PST

Today we launched a series of minor improvements to Intervals. Two worth mentioning are: Executive Email Notifications on Task Comments The executive user in Intervals has evolved over time. Initially this user level was meant to view reports and the budgetary status of projects and submit work requests. We have received requests to make [...]

Non-work Related Reasons You Should Track Your Time at Work

Posted: 27 Feb 2008 10:28 AM PST

We all know that we need to track our time more efficiently at work. Doing so will increase revenues and help us focus more on the important tasks. Tracking our time and tasks in the workplace makes us a better worker. However, there are plenty of other reasons, having nothing to do with your job, [...]

Ways to Stop Wasting Time Online

Posted: 26 Feb 2008 08:24 AM PST

The Internet is a great boon to small business productivity efforts, but it is also a distraction. The Internet leaks as much of our time, if not more, than television. This distraction negatively affects small businesses who track their time and charge by the hour, meaning they lose money to procrastination and decrease their free [...]

Upcoming Concert in Santa Barbara

Posted: 25 Feb 2008 12:23 PM PST

Wednesday, March 5, Brooklyn-based "punk-rock orchestra" The World/Inferno Friendship Society will be playing at La Casa de la Raza (corner of Calle Cesar Chavez and Montecito St.) with a couple local bands. KCSB 91.9 FM and Telegraph Brewing are sponsoring the event, which will feature a beer garden, performance art, and a riding demonstration by [...]

Time Tracking Tip: Rounding Up Timers

Posted: 25 Feb 2008 08:52 AM PST

Estimating and tracking time is a learned discipline that does not come easy to most, including ourselves. One practice we found useful was to implement a ’round up’ feature in Intervals, to round up our timers to the nearest one-eighth (.125) of an hour. Why one-eighth? Because it’s a nice, neat number and is usually [...]

Bike Races, Ubuntu, & Green Cities

Posted: 22 Feb 2008 08:49 AM PST

Here are a few links of interest that have recently registered on the Pelago radar. Tour of California Stage 6: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita Head down to east beach Saturday, February 23rd, for the start of stage 6, a 105 mile ride to Santa Clarita. If you can, ride your bike or walk down, because it’s [...]

Business Lessons for Graphic Designers

Posted: 21 Feb 2008 08:58 AM PST

I was fortunate to have studied graphic design at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where I was educated and trained in several areas of design. I spent quarters at a time devoted solely to the disciplines of typography, editorial design, package design, and logo design. The experience was thorough, but it wasn’t complete. When I [...]

How to Build a Green Business

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 08:33 AM PST

Check out our contribution to Digital Web magazine; tips and advice on greening your business by John Reeve. Read the article to discover ways to increase awareness and efforts in the areas of environmental, social, and organizational sustainability.

The Collaboration Tax

Posted: 15 Feb 2008 08:58 AM PST

One of the key components to any web-based project management service is collaboration. Does the service reduce barriers to participation and facilitate collaboration? Whether or not a service touts it, collaboration among team members has to be addressed as part of the worfkow. We’ve interpreted the team dynamic into Intervals in several ways. Most importantly, [...]

Intervals Performance Tuning

Posted: 14 Feb 2008 08:29 AM PST

Last night we launched some significant updates to our web-based project management system, Intervals. These updates included upgrading to PostgreSQL to 8.3, tuning SQL queries to run faster, caching redundant data, and implementing more ajax code to decrease page loads. What can you expect to see as a result of the upgrade? Task lists and weekly [...]

Intervals Performance Improvements and Maintenance are Complete

Posted: 13 Feb 2008 02:27 PM PST

The second and more substantial maintenance and performance upgrade scheduled for this week are presently underway complete. We expect Intervals to be unavailable for approximately 1 hour sometime between 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM (Pacific). Intervals was unavailable for a little more than an hour. We will shoot out an email to all current Intervals account owners [...]


Posted: 13 Feb 2008 08:48 AM PST

At Pelago, we embrace the open source camp. We put some of our own work out there, promote projects like Ubuntu, and we built Intervals using PHP and PostgreSQL. In the large space of web-based project management software, Intervals is a fresh alternative to the proprietary behemoths who dominate task and time tracking with overly complex, [...]

Setting Higher Goals

Posted: 12 Feb 2008 08:19 AM PST

The primary purpose of a web-based project management service like Intervals is to track time and tasks, to run your small business and collaborate with a team. But is that it? Is that all Intervals does? Well, it does do a few other things, like invoicing and reporting, but there are some things it does [...]

Intervals Server Maintenance & Upgrades Scheduled

Posted: 11 Feb 2008 04:57 PM PST

This week two performance related upgrades are scheduled: Tonight – Monday, February 11th – service window 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Pacific) - expected downtime: 10 – 15 minutes Wednesday, February 13th – service window 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Pacific)- expected downtime: 1 hour Our apologies on the short notice of the first upgrade. The second [...]

What’s in a name?

Posted: 11 Feb 2008 12:11 PM PST

Coming up with a name for our web-based project management service — Intervals — was a lengthy, creative exercise. We had to whittle our way through a list of do’s and don’ts to find a name that meant something, and a logo that could capture something more than the hallmarks of a fad. Here are [...]

Why Project Management Software is Like Beer

Posted: 08 Feb 2008 09:26 AM PST

The web-based project management space offers many options for small businesses needing online help with task and time tracking. We knew this when we built Intervals, but we went ahead and built Intervals anyways. Why? Because this is an enormous space, with many different businesses and many different needs. The web-based project management space is [...]

Monitoring Maintenance Contracts in Intervals

Posted: 07 Feb 2008 02:54 PM PST

A recent thread in the forums asks “How Do You Handle Website Maintenance After You’ve Created the Site?” At Pelago we use maintenance contracts to handle undefined chunks of time; when the client knows they need to retain our services for whatever maintenance issues may arise. Once a client has signed up for Pelago’s [...]

Evaluating Your Tracked Time Across Projects with a Weekly Crosschart Report

Posted: 06 Feb 2008 09:08 AM PST

Every monday morning we pile into Michael’s Volkswagen Vanagon and head across town to the Beachbreak Cafe for our weekly meeting. After a round of coffee and chilaquiles, we get down to business. The first thing we do as a team is evaluate the previous week using the Intervals Crosschart report. The axis can be set [...]

Time Tracking on Paper

Posted: 05 Feb 2008 08:59 AM PST

Time tracking is a common dilemma for most small businesses that bill hourly for their time, or who need to account for employee time. One popular solution is to track time on paper timesheets. While this practice certainly does get people to track their time, it doesn’t do much more than that. At Pelago, we used [...]

Task Pong, Rally’s On!

Posted: 04 Feb 2008 11:00 AM PST

When we designed the initial architecture for Intervals, we were influenced by our experience with traditional ticket tracking systems (also known as bug trackers). We felt that their focus on getting things done, or fixed, made them ideal for us as web developers; because to get things done, someone needs to own the task and [...]

Managing Intervals, with Intervals

Posted: 01 Feb 2008 08:52 AM PST

We built Intervals for two reasons. First, we need a web-based project management service to track time and tasks, as well as overall workflow. And second, we tried a few of the web-based services and, at the time, found them lacking. The feedback from our clients was so overwhelming, we had to turn Intervals into a [...]

Visualizing Tracked Time and Estimating Forward

Posted: 31 Jan 2008 09:07 AM PST

When we track our time accurately and efficiently, we establish a wealth of data for analyzing past efforts and estimating forward. But we need a way to visualize this data to gain any insight from it. Tracking our time in a web-based project management application like Intervals gives us a distinct advantage in this area. [...]

Tracking Time with Multiple Web-based Timers

Posted: 30 Jan 2008 09:02 AM PST

In a previous post, I concluded that working on fewer projects per day is ideal. On most days, this idealistic goal isn’t much of a reality. The workday is full of interruptions. We built multiple timers into Intervals because we need — as do many other small businesses like us — a way to account for [...]

Why Intervals Doesn’t Clean Stairs

Posted: 28 Jan 2008 08:00 PM PST

We recently bought a roomba for our home. We did our research beforehand to be sure we were making a sound purchase. The reviews were mostly stellar, and now the little round autonomous robot is like one of the family. There was one reviewer, however, who said the roomba would be perfect, if only it [...]

Time Tracking with Modules

Posted: 28 Jan 2008 11:59 AM PST

One of the more advanced and abstract features of Intervals is it’s ability to group time into modules. These can be thought of as buckets, or classifications, of time. They make more sense when addressed from the perspective of a project manager, who needs to track a project in terms of phases, or break a [...]

Simple or Complex?

Posted: 27 Jan 2008 12:04 PM PST

When we first started out building Intervals, we were responding to the lack of applications available that were more than ‘simple.’ We tried running several of these ‘simple’ web-based project management applications, but none of them fit our needs. We need task tracking, time tracking, reporting, and invoicing; the main components of our web development [...]

An Intervals Review

Posted: 25 Jan 2008 11:35 AM PST

Abhishek Rungta has reviewed Intervals and how it compares with a few other web-based project management products. And he makes a good point about choosing a web-based product to best manage your workflow: There is nothing called a perfect project management software. The usage, the users and the desired result determines the one which suits best [...]

Visualizing Workflow with Intervals Timesheets

Posted: 25 Jan 2008 10:33 AM PST

One of the great benefits to a weekly timesheet is that it offers a quantitative perspective of where your time is going. The timesheet helps you visualize how much time you are spending each day on each project, so you can identify which projects are using up too little, or too much, of your time. The [...]

Unconventional Uses for Intervals

Posted: 24 Jan 2008 03:48 PM PST

Although Intervals was developed primarily for time tracking and task management for web development, design, IT, and PR firms, we’ve noticed people using it in clever and creative ways. There are businesses who use Intervals to comply with various industry regulations — because it tracks time, task, and project histories so well — such as [...]

Snow, in Santa Barbara

Posted: 24 Jan 2008 08:19 AM PST

Every few years the snow levels in Santa Barbara drop low enough — 2,000 feet — that we wake up to snow on our local mountains. Here is the view from home today.

Intervals Workflow — keeping track of meeting notes

Posted: 23 Jan 2008 02:31 PM PST

As a developer I work much better once I have a list of tasks in front of me. I’m also required to sit in many meetings, which conclude with me trying to distill action items from the various topics of discussion. I’ve tried notepads, which work well, but rely on me recalling conversations behind numerous, [...]

Lightweight Project Management

Posted: 18 Jan 2008 08:50 AM PST

From the very start, before any code was written, we decided Intervals would be a chance for us to refine our philosophy of lightweight project management; time and task tracking coupled with reporting and invoicing. We’d done the heavy lifting in the past, using microsoft project, wallpapering our office with Gantt charts, allocating resources; it [...]

Mobile Intervals

Posted: 17 Jan 2008 08:53 AM PST

As Michael and I walked back to the car after a late-afternoon client meeting, we got out our cellphones to check our email. It was the end of the day; neither of us needed to go back to work, except that we had timers running. Ideally, we’d have been able to update our timers from [...]

Intervals Improvements – footer overhaul, saved reports, and more

Posted: 16 Jan 2008 04:58 PM PST

Thank you for a great 2007. We saw Intervals grow and evolve; adding document support, invoicing and a ton of minor enhancements over the year. Usage continues to grow daily and Intervals is being used in 61 countries to manage over 40,000 tasks. 1. Footer and Timer OverhaulWe balanced out the footer [...]

Elements of Design

Posted: 16 Jan 2008 09:00 AM PST

The Smiley Cat Web Design Blog has a amassed an impressive collection of web design elements, useful for comparing design treatments from a wide variety of web designers. They are collecting everything from blog comment form examples, to typography. The pricing tables page is notable because the they are relatively new design elements in the web [...]

Getting decisions into action as soon as possible

Posted: 15 Jan 2008 12:58 PM PST

All 30 day trials of Intervals come with one hour of free training included. We have learned a lot during these trainings and questions regularly come up about how we use Intervals to manage our work at Pelago. For example, are there any process tips that might be helpful in addition to how [...]

Developing in the new year

Posted: 15 Jan 2008 09:37 AM PST

2008 is here and we’ve identified our usual resolutions goals; ride our bikes to work more often, telecommute whenever possible, use less, spend less, etc, et al. We know that resolutions often fail, so we need to be realistic with the promises we make to ourselves. The same applies to Intervals. We do not want to [...]

The Sustainability of Intervals

Posted: 14 Jan 2008 09:53 AM PST

Our commitment to becoming a more sustainable company at Pelago is one of the motives behind our development of Intervals. Fortunately for us, Software-as-a-service (SAAS) is naturally a sustainable medium. SAAS circumvents the paper-waste of packaging and shipping an installable product, utilizes the processor power of centralized servers, and enables a flexible work pattern. For [...]

Intervals as a lifestyle product

Posted: 11 Jan 2008 09:23 AM PST

The primary purpose of Intervals is to improve time and task management, and improve or provide a better workflow. Use Intervals for an hour and you’ll see how well it handles the needs of a small business. Intervals was built by us at Pelago, a company who places a high priority on lifestyle, often times [...]

Stringing along programs and APIs?

Posted: 10 Jan 2008 11:02 AM PST

The idea of a mashable web, a woven strand of APIs, is a good one, and we’ve seen a lot of great projects as a result. But how well does this idea translate to running a business? Is it effective to run your business using several different applications that require several different logins? What is [...]

End of Year Intervals Improvements Launched

Posted: 19 Dec 2007 05:19 PM PST

Today we launched 43 improvements and enhancements to Intervals. Many of them were small improvements and tweaks that were immediately noticed by some. Thank you for the feature requests and dialogue about how to improve Intervals. Here are a few of the more noteworthy improvements: 1. Executive User Comments on Tasks Before hitting the panic [...]

Theme Popularity and the ability to change the “Intervals Administrator”

Posted: 10 Dec 2007 06:22 PM PST

We recently launched theme popularity. If you are an active Intervals account owner, browse over to the site settings tab to view the popularity of the various themes within Intervals. We have received requests to expand the visual mix of themes available and plan to add more themes first quarter next year.  If you [...]

Client profile overhauled with mapping and vCard support

Posted: 15 Nov 2007 05:00 PM PST

The client profile page has been renovated to include vCard support to make is easier to export client contact information in Intervals to other information management software (iCal, Outlook, etc.). We also added mapping:

Modification to Invoices based on actual work performed

Posted: 09 Nov 2007 11:17 AM PST

With Invoicing in Intervals there are two ways to create an invoice: Freeform Actual work performed We recently improved the formatting when creating an invoice based on “actual work performed”.   When the calendar is selected days that have billable time for the project being invoiced will turn green: This improvement is meant to help make sure a day with [...]

Video Help is officially live

Posted: 06 Nov 2007 10:43 AM PST

We are excited to announce the unveiling of video support within Intervals.  We have had this on our implementation plan for quite some time and it is officially live.  In the Help section of Intervals all 11 lessons are available for viewing whenever it is convenient to do so. Screenshot of the Help Section: The lessons include: User [...]

Charles Web Debugging Proxy

Posted: 08 Oct 2007 02:37 PM PDT

We recently were debugging issues with our document uploader in Intervals and needed to throttle the bandwidth on our desktops so we could test the progress meter over our LAN (Typically, the LAN is too fast and the progress meter never appears). We settled on using the Charles Web Debugging Proxy, which did a fine [...]

Invoicing Video Demo

Posted: 04 Oct 2007 03:36 PM PDT

Here is a quick (5 minute) overview of the invoicing functionality in Intervals:

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Invoice with Intervals – Press Release

Posted: 03 Oct 2007 09:51 AM PDT

New invoicing functionality helps businesses attain yet another level of productivity (CSRwire) SANTA BARBARA, CA – October 3, 2007 – Pelago announced today an important upgrade to Intervals, its web-based time and task management system. Intervals has added invoicing capability to further streamline the workflow and accounting processes of small businesses, particularly those engaged in the [...]

Invoicing is Officially Live …plus a few other improvements

Posted: 29 Sep 2007 12:53 PM PDT

Today we launched: 1. Invoicing Invoices can be created based on actual work performed or freestyle. Freestyle meaning the line items can be anything you want. At Pelago we tend to do push pre-pay contracts so “Maintenance Contract” could be a line item. Also, Intervals will send an email every Tuesday to all Administrator levels [...]

Invoicing in Intervals Launch Scheduled for Saturday, September 29th

Posted: 25 Sep 2007 05:05 PM PDT

Our window to launch Invoicing and several other improvements is between 8:00 AM (Pacific) and 12:00 PM (Pacific) this Saturday. We do not expect any down time during this window, but performance may be a little spotty. We will send an “all clear” email to all current Intervals Administrators after the launch is complete. Thank you [...]

Additional Intervals Improvements Launched Today

Posted: 11 Sep 2007 05:46 PM PDT

Today we launched another series of enhancements to Intervals. Most of them were minor in nature, but we thought you might like to know about a few of them. 1. – Login link added When an Intervals account is created it comes with its own domain name ( for example). If you are using [...]

Unexpected Intervals sluggishness this morning (Pacific time)

Posted: 05 Sep 2007 09:26 AM PDT

This morning (approximately 9:00 AM Pacific Time) we experienced some unexpected and spotty access to Intervals. The spottiness lasted for about 5-10 minutes as we were working on some database optimizations to handle the growth we have been experiencing. The slowness may or may not have impacted your Intevals account, but in the [...]

Advanced editor with spell check added to emails

Posted: 30 Aug 2007 10:00 AM PDT

Today we launched a set of minor improvements and enhancements (more contextual cross linkage, a character encoding bug, etc.). Also, the advanced editor is available now when using the “send email message” functionality. The Advanced editor allows you to do bulleted lists, bold, italics, etc. It also features spell check which [...]

Apply General Timer to a Task and Profile Photos

Posted: 15 Aug 2007 10:59 AM PDT

Today we are launching a few minor updates to Intervals (14 total). Two of them are directly in response to feedback from Intervals users: 1. Apply the General Timer to a Task Tracking time on tasks is the ideal way of tracking time…especially for reporting. This improvement makes it a little bit easier. When the general [...]

Intervals Tops $10 Million Worth of Work Managed – Press Release

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 01:05 PM PDT

(CSRwire) SANTA BARBARA, CA- July 30, 2007- As of today, businesses across 37 countries have tracked a total of $10,574,054 worth of work performed in Intervals (, the popular web-based task and time management system built by Pelago ( This is the estimated value of the 97,490 hours that have been tracked to date by [...]

Feature Preview :: Invoicing in Intervals

Posted: 26 Jul 2007 12:54 PM PDT

We are nearing completion of the first phase of invoicing in Intervals. Intervals will soon include the ability to create invoices, post payments, and track overdue invoices. You will be able to export them, print them, and easily email them to your clients for payment. Creating an invoice will have two options: Free Form – [...]

Bulk reminder to submit overdue timesheets

Posted: 26 Jul 2007 12:37 PM PDT

Timesheets really aren’t traditional timesheets with the way Intervals handles time tracking. When I hear timesheet I immediately think of a punching in and punching out. Timesheets in Intervals are akin to a weekly view of your time. When we first tinkered with the variety of ways to track time we [...]

Server Maintenance Scheduled for this Weekend :: July 21st

Posted: 19 Jul 2007 11:46 AM PDT

Our window to perform the maintenance is between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM (Pacific). Please expect a service interruption that hopefully will last no longer than 5 minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience and will send an email to all current Intervals customers after the maintenance is complete.

Wired home by LivingHomes

Posted: 28 Jun 2007 03:55 PM PDT

This month’s Wired has a full page spread on the WIRED Home. In conjunction with LivingHomes they invite you to visit this mini site to follow the deconstruction and construction of a simple and efficient sustainable home. The WIRED Home is where green plugs in. LEED® certified and designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, the house [...]

Task email ehancements – BCC, CC, and quick click

Posted: 27 Jun 2007 09:51 AM PDT

We just launched improvements to the “send email message” feature at the task level. Say for example, you are working on a task and want to email your customer but do not want to move away from Intervals and use your email client, you can correspond with them directly in Intervals. We [...]

Calculate your impact on the environment

Posted: 26 Jun 2007 09:33 AM PDT

Two links contained in Are you a carbon bigfoot? I sure am, sad to say by Harry Fuller of Webware are a pretty eye opening exercise.  Think you are doing all you can to limit your impact?  Try these two out and see how you fair: Earthlab – what’s your live impact? Yahoo Green – calculate your [...]

Time Management Tips from

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 11:29 AM PDT

Susan Ward wrote this article on 11 Time Management Tips. Most of us feel maxed out and spread thin these days. I decided to review what she has to say and do a personal assessment on what is working and what is not working in “Managing the chaos”. Susan’s 11 points and how I [...]

Approve all timesheets, Budget email alert, and new “Break it down” report

Posted: 01 Jun 2007 11:43 AM PDT

Today we launched a few updates and enhancements to Intervals. Included in today’s launch: 1. Bug fix with weekly summary report 2. Alert me when % of budget is reached 3. Home page tuning – if only 1 task go directly to that task instead of a filtered task list 4. Project editing – people chunks are collapsible 5. New [...]

Invoicing with Intervals is under development

Posted: 24 May 2007 08:07 AM PDT

We are officially developing invoicing in Intervals.  Our short-term goal is to make invoicing quick and easy.  This is a logical progression for Intervals and we have had this feature in our master plan from the beginning.  If you use Intervals to track your time, manage all your tasks and projects, it makes perfect sense [...]

Staples launches computer recycling program

Posted: 21 May 2007 01:28 PM PDT Starting Monday, desktop and laptop computers and monitors of any make will also be accepted at Staples' customer service desks during store hours, but for a $10 fee for each large item. It is about time that someone did this.  It is a hassle to use local recycling due to the time they are open and it is [...]

Web Based Time Tracking Demo (the web timers used by Intervals)

Posted: 17 May 2007 11:41 AM PDT

Wondering how the web based timers work in Intervals? We just added this timer demo.

Help users help themselves – video support

Posted: 11 May 2007 02:24 PM PDT

With Intervals one of our assumptions is that users would rather find help themselves instead of having to contact us for support. This is part a product of good interface design and straightforward functionality, but sometimes things go bad or some help is needed to show the full benefits. I know that I will do [...]

Live Chat for

Posted: 10 May 2007 10:08 AM PDT

We are going to tinker with Live Chat (via Live Person) on I have a love / hate relationship with Live Chat to be completely honest. Sometimes I find it extremely helpful and other times I feel like I am talking to a bot that is just wasting my time (“Hi, I’m [...] reviews Intervals

Posted: 02 May 2007 04:11 PM PDT is a blog with the tagline of “profitable ideas for business and life”. The blog focuses primarily on money related manners, adwords, blogging for income, and other ways to monetize the web, but it also does a pretty good job of keeping up-to-date with new business ideas and online businesses. Intervals fits [...]

Intervals Maintenance Scheduled for this evening (May 2nd)

Posted: 30 Apr 2007 02:03 PM PDT

This evening we will be performing hardware maintenance that will cause a short outage to Intervals. The maintenance will occur sometime between 8:00 PM (Pacific) and 9:00 PM (Pacific). We are optimistic that the outage will last no longer than 10 – 15 minutes We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have things up and back [...]

Locales supported in Intervals

Posted: 25 Apr 2007 08:53 AM PDT

Non US locale support is officially live. Here are the current locales available in Intervals: ## UPDATED 11/11/2011 ## Afrikaans (South Africa) Arabic (Saudi Arabia) Arabic (United Arab Emirates) Chinese (China) Chinese (Hong Kong S.A.R., China) Chinese (Singapore) Chinese (Taiwan) Czech (Czech Republic) Danish (Denmark) Dutch (Belgium) Dutch (Netherlands) English (Australia) English (Canada) English (India) English (Ireland) English (New Zealand) English (Philippines) English (South Africa) English (United Kingdom) English (United States) Estonian (Estonia) Finnish (Finland) French (Belgium) French (Canada) French (France) French [...]

Support for non US Locales goes live tomorrow

Posted: 24 Apr 2007 09:18 PM PDT

Additional Date/Time and Currency Support Going Live Wednesday, April 25th at approximately 6:00 AM Pacific Tomorrow morning we will be launching support for Locales outside of the United States. This has been a high demand feature and we are excited to get it launched. What can be expected during the launch? Our launch window is from approximately 6:00 [...]

The non English Internet continues to grow

Posted: 24 Apr 2007 10:44 AM PDT

Myspace just launched a Spanish version of its popular social networking service. At Pelago, we have seen a strong push in the last year to localize web sites and applications for our clients. We have learned a lot about character encoding …especially in regards to handling email. In the next week or so Intervals will support [...]

Web 2.0 Expo

Posted: 19 Apr 2007 12:56 PM PDT

Strolled through the exhibition floor of the Web 2.0 Expo in San Franciso this week. The general buzz was a lot different than what I am used to seeing through our mostly online experience. The business world is grappling with what to make of this trend, as was evidenced by some slick and impressive branding [...]

When to add features with Hosted Software

Posted: 18 Apr 2007 05:45 PM PDT

Hosted software has so many benefits that this post is not intended to defend Software as a Service, but rather discuss our process for adding features. One of the amazing yet very tricky things about hosted software is growing and evolving the software without making it bloatware or getting pulled into overly customizing it. Once [...]

Internationalization & Email

Posted: 12 Apr 2007 12:04 PM PDT

Pelago is gearing up to launch International support in our Intervals application. The biggest hurdle, by far, has been encoding emails in a format that supports international character sets. Intervals encodes all of its data in the UTF-8 format because of its language support. However, its an 8bit format that isn’t fully supported by mail software. [...]

Honest self examination

Posted: 12 Apr 2007 10:32 AM PDT has a useful section on How to Green Your Work. What's the Big Deal? A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line. Whether you're the boss or the employee, whether your office is green already or still waiting to see [...]

Patagonia and Google go Solar

Posted: 26 Mar 2007 12:46 PM PDT

Patagonia: Patagonia decided to take the plunge and added 360 panels to its parking lot. It's expected to produce about 12% of their needs at the Great Pacific Ironworks building. 12% isn't much, but when you consider Patagonia already buys 50% of its power from wind energy… it is a remarkable difference. Good job guys. Google: [...]

Document Storage is officially live

Posted: 24 Mar 2007 11:09 AM PDT

Intervals now features full document support, including upload, transfer and version tracking capabilities. The new functionality enables users to work with virtually any file type, retain full version histories, link documents to specific projects and tasks, search for files within projects or universally, and share files with other team members regardless of geographical location or [...]

Document / File Storage going live this Saturday

Posted: 21 Mar 2007 04:54 PM PDT

This Saturday we will be launching the next set of enhancements to Intervals including Document / File Storage. Tags for easy classification of files Add any type of file (no restrictions – contracts, design comps, logos, code, etc.) Add files to tasks and projects Versioning control of documents for easy retrieval of a previous version Access your files from anywhere [...]

Google Alerts

Posted: 16 Mar 2007 02:10 PM PDT

As a small business monitoring what is being said about you or your competition is very important but it can be tricky. Typically each person wears a lot of different hats so staying on top of it can fall between the cracks. Web Analytics such as Index Tools or Google Analytics give you great information, [...]

SXSW schwag bag = the “big bag” is competition for your creative eye

Posted: 14 Mar 2007 05:22 PM PDT

Everything is bigger in Texas. This includes the official “Big Bag.” I wanted to share with our team when I got back to the studio so I thought it would be fun to put up the contents of the “big bag” on the whiteboard. There’s not really a point here I guess, but it’s a [...]

SXSW 3rd Floor Panels – What’s up with that?

Posted: 13 Mar 2007 02:14 PM PDT

I really would like to know why in the world the Austin Convention Center is laid out the way it is. It’s kind of fun going to a usability panel in a building that left the third floor off of the usability checklist. If you are on the first floor or the top floor it’s [...]

A few SXSW tidbits

Posted: 09 Mar 2007 07:41 PM PST

Want to know where everyone is going and what they are doing at SXSW? Try Twitter. (hint: click on a thumbnail on the right) Want to know if you a few after hour events are within walking distance of one another? Try this mashup. Wish you were there and want to live vicariously through others? Try flickr. - [...]

Off to the SXSW Festival

Posted: 09 Mar 2007 12:35 PM PST

I am currently at SXSW on the Interactive path. It is the first time I’ve attended SXSW and it feels like a great event for creative people to get together. The fact that it’s called a “festival” instead of a conference or seminar says a lot. It is a very open and free style environment [...]

Learning more about going “green”

Posted: 07 Mar 2007 03:10 PM PST

As an individual in a small company, I have to admit that I have lived a life of conflict for many years. While one of my greatest passions is taking my family to the Sierras to enjoy the wilderness and creation, my other pattern is to work through paper products without any care or concern [...]

Lessons in “managing innovation”

Posted: 07 Mar 2007 02:28 PM PST

The Harvard Business School publishes Working Knowledge and it often has good nuggets of information for small businesses and entrepreneurs . This article is on Lessons Not Learned About Innovation. Managing innovation sounds like a funny phrase for small business. We tend to just get stuff done and not worry so much [...]

Add time AJAXified and more improvements going live this evening

Posted: 27 Feb 2007 09:10 AM PST

This evening our new and improved handling of adding time goes live. What’s changed? - No more popup windows - Better user experience - Better performance Additional improvements going live include: bug fix with task filter forgetting its saved filter enhanced task and project note searching – this one is very powerful more restrictive “manager” level user canned date ranges for reporting (last week, [...]

Three Leaf Cards launches online cards with an environmental and social justice focus

Posted: 24 Feb 2007 02:40 PM PST

Three Leaf Cards recently launched a digital greeting card service. What’s new about that you ask? Their focus: Our great digital cards serve a greater good. We support environmental and social justice nonprofits because we want to make a positive impact on the world. We donate 10% of the membership fee to the Nonprofit Partner of [...]

Solar Web Hosting?

Posted: 23 Feb 2007 04:18 PM PST

A few months back we switched our hosting company. We considered going with a solar company but ended up not due to the lack of reputation. Our major concern was dependability for you guys using our services. I guess you can say that uptime trumped the environment… sadly. But we are not opposed to [...]

Affordable Solar Dream

Posted: 21 Feb 2007 11:58 AM PST

We have a responsibility as a company and in our personal life to do what we can to assist, conserve where we can environmentally. This is less waste, cleaner energy and a simple way of living. One way we have been exploring this at Pelago is reduce or slow our energy consumption. At the moment [...]

Social Responsibility Defined

Posted: 13 Feb 2007 06:19 PM PST

Here is Wikepedia’s definition of social responsibility. The broad pull quote that stands out: Social responsibility is a doctrine that claims that an entity whether it is state, government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. For us as a small business the “individual” and “corporation” part impact us. Since technically we are [...]

Trying to better people through work

Posted: 09 Feb 2007 05:53 PM PST

At Pelago we have a lot of idealism about work and life. We are striving to be a small business that stays small (hopefully no more than 10 people – right now we’re at 7) and puts our priorities in proper order. This is a very difficult task indeed with how much we [...]

The value of work managed with Intervals tops $5,000,000

Posted: 01 Feb 2007 02:24 PM PST

The estimated value of work managed through Intervals topped the $5,000,000 mark today (volume can be viewed in real-time on the home page). A sincere thank you to all of our customers and the Pelago team for making Intervals an easy to use and robust system for tracking time and productivity. -Michael

Small businesses and one person shops are growing

Posted: 29 Jan 2007 05:15 PM PST

The Institute for the Future put out a research piece on small business, entrepreneurialism and one person companies. The report sets out to show trends in small business and shows a large increase in small businesses and predicts the trend to continue. Small businesses are an important and growing driver of U.S. economic growth and [...]

Weekly Intervals Improvements are live

Posted: 20 Jan 2007 11:16 AM PST

One of the many compelling things about software as a service is the ability to fix and upgrade the product at regular intervals. There aren’t millions of installations floating out there to upgrade. We update our code and servers and the improvements go marching on. This week we fixed several small, yet important items. Sometimes the [...]

Intervals Infrastructure Improvements

Posted: 10 Jan 2007 05:12 PM PST

Infrastructure Improvements Scheduled for this Saturday, 7:00 AM Pacific This weekend we will be increasing the number of servers and changing hosting providers. There is really no good time to make such an important move, but after extensive research into hosting options we are excited about the change. We expect to see big improvements after Saturday. Reasons [...]

First time journey to CES

Posted: 10 Jan 2007 08:58 AM PST

I am back from the CES show with my initial observations: Bring a good pair of walking shoes, you are going to walk until exhaustion.. Be careful when taking pictures…only the press can take photos in some places (learned that one the hard way). UPDATE: Apparently I’m not the only one irked by this. Two cups of coffee [...]

Off to CES – Do small businesses fit into this world?

Posted: 05 Jan 2007 05:48 PM PST

I am headed off to Vegas for the CES show. This is the ultimate mix of a personal and pleasure trip. I have always been a fan of new technology and modernity (I blame Kubrick and 2001). It’s amazing that I haven’t made it to CES yet. Although the trip is very much a personal [...]

Simple Revenue Calculations if you bill hourly

Posted: 27 Dec 2006 02:30 PM PST

Last week I was doing a training for a new Intervals customer and I shared a quick “revenue calculator” spreadsheet with them. They found it extremely valuable for doing quick “what if” revenue forecasting so I decided to share it here on our blog. It doesn’t include costs or break-even, it’s just straight revenue predictions. [...]

Year End Traditions with Intervals

Posted: 22 Dec 2006 10:31 AM PST

When we first built Intervals we desperately needed a better way of getting organized, managing our work, and tracking our time. As Intervals evolved we realized that there was a lot more value created by tracking time and completing tasks. Yes, it helped us get organized, but it also provided us a wealth [...]

AJAXified Emails

Posted: 08 Dec 2006 10:18 AM PST

When sending email from within Intervals (email this page, update a task, email a report, etc.) it will pre-fill the email address if it recognizes what you are typing. It’s a minor change, but it definitely helps with efficiency because you don’t have to go lookup the person’s email address…you just need to know a little bit [...]

The power of “Modules”

Posted: 22 Nov 2006 01:22 PM PST

“Modules” take a little getting used to when you are new to Intervals, but after creating a few projects it makes sense.  Reporting really takes off once meaningful modules are created.  Modules in Intervals are a generic way of saying a “feature” or “phase of a project”.  Since we are a Web Development company our [...]

Document Support

Posted: 21 Nov 2006 04:42 PM PST

We started architecting document support and we are excited about where it is going. We are layering in the new database tables, data access objects, models, and actions. This next feature is really going to tie the app together. Some of the things you can expect to see when we launch document support: Basic document versioning; know [...]

Intervals Updates

Posted: 21 Nov 2006 04:27 PM PST

Pelago has recently upgraded Intervals with several new features, making Intervals faster and easier to use. What’s new? Ajax functionality for adding / editing / deleting the default site settings. Ajax functionality for adding / editing / deleting time entries on timesheets and tasks. Ajax functionality for adding / editing / deleting project notes. Ajax functionality for timers; start and [...] replaces

Posted: 03 Nov 2006 04:52 PM PST

Today we launched the new and improved to replace  After talking to our current customers and supporters the feedback was that was too academic sounding. We presented a list of new potential domain names to our inner circle and the inner circle overwhelming liked  It’s my business, my information, my time tracking….it’s [...]

Web 2.0 Hysteria gone awry

Posted: 20 Sep 2006 09:35 PM PDT

We are big believers in Technology, the Internet, Small Business and the proliferation of web technology.  We believe in Software as a Service and the ever growing maturity of the web.  However, we recently received a nasty email about how our product “will only be a footnote in Web 2.0″. Last time we checked, we [...]

Hosting Maintenance Scheduled for September 20th

Posted: 07 Sep 2006 02:30 PM PDT

On Wednesday, September 20th our Hosting provider will be doing scheduled maintenance that will bring Intervals down for approximately 2 hours.  The maintenance is scheduled to start at 8:00 Pacific Time.  Thank you for your patience.

New Community Launched

Posted: 03 Aug 2006 05:22 PM PDT

The new community launched today. Highlights include: Subscribe to a threads to receive updates (notifications) RSS support Better Interface Advanced Search Spell check a post Rich text formatting Preview a post Much thanks to Jaime for the upgrade…it’s much better :-)

Intervals Launch picked up by

Posted: 27 Jul 2006 04:32 PM PDT

The Intervals launch press release has been picked up by

New Features :: Revised Home Page, Copy a Task, Quick Task Search, Assign person to all projects

Posted: 24 Jul 2006 04:07 PM PDT

The growing, tuning, and improving of Intervals continues.   New Home Page: Better organization of elements Quick links to saved task filters Succinct overview of the week Quick Task Search Copy a Task: Simple way to handle recurring tasks Close a task, then spawn a new one Quick Search: Search on task title, not just task # Quickly find the task you are looking for Assign this person [...]

Project Level Discounts

Posted: 11 Jul 2006 07:59 PM PDT

You can apply a discount to all of the rates for a single project. We use this feature for maintenance contracts to speed up the process of applying a discount and creating the initial project. For example, 10% across all work types. We have more tuning items in the works to make the process of adding [...]

Weekly Summary Report in your inbox

Posted: 10 Jul 2006 11:19 AM PDT

Tracking your tasks and time tells you a lot about your business. This week we started “pushing” information to your inbox. The reporting section of Intervals can show you if you are profitable, if you are doing the type of work you think you are, if your projects are in budget, if your team is working [...]

Emails are now in HTML

Posted: 03 Jul 2006 08:08 AM PDT

All emails sent from Intervals are now in HTML format.  If you have customized your logo and color scheme, the emails will reflect that as well. Here is a sample of the new format:

Intervals Launch Covered by Santa Barbara Newspress

Posted: 26 Jun 2006 12:01 PM PDT

Santa Barbara Newspress – Filing Cabinet June 13, 2006 8:03 AM Local Web development company Pelago has launched a new Web-based service it dubbed Intervals, which continues the trend of “software as a service” — moving applications off your computer and onto the Web (where other people worry about the technical stuff and update the programs more [...]

Reports now include the ability to group by ‘Manager’

Posted: 09 Jun 2006 01:57 PM PDT

This week we added the ability to group by ‘Manager’ for all reports. We have weekly goals for billable and unbillable hours (client work vs. internal projects) and being able to monitor our time by manager allows us to make mid-week modifications to be sure we’re hitting our goals…and not just working on the most [...]

Intervals Launched Today

Posted: 03 Jun 2006 03:24 PM PDT

After a successful three month beta program, Intervals is officially live. Download the Intervals Launch Press Release (PDF | 75k) The feedback we have received from our beta testers has been very positive and we are excited to start working on the next round of features. “We really love this system. We’ve tested others but this one is [...]

Intervals as a compliance tool

Posted: 07 May 2006 01:36 PM PDT

It turns out that if you have strong compliance requirements, marrying Intervals with Subversion is a powerful combination. We have a client that must track not only every change that is made on their site, but also when those changes are pushed live. Considering that we work on the site, one of their internal developers, [...]

Footer Tooltip for Task Timer

Posted: 17 Apr 2006 02:46 PM PDT

We added a tooltip for the task timers in the footer.  If you roll your mouse over the task #, Intervals with show you the task title.  This feature was requested from one of our beta testers that starts and stops multiple timers throughout the day and applies them at the end of the day.  It’s [...]

Scratchpad is live

Posted: 24 Mar 2006 02:29 PM PST

Today we launched the scratchpad.  We found that folks have various ways of quickly taking notes.  For example, if a client calls I quickly fire up Textpad and take notes.  One of my co-workers does the same thing by creating a new email message and saving it as a draft.  Since everyone has a quick way [...]

General Timer is live

Posted: 14 Mar 2006 07:07 PM PST

The general timer went live today.  We received requests for the ability to track time that was not associated with a task.  The general timer is in the footer of every page and works just like the task timer.  

Expect slow performance around 6:00 PM Pacific on Monday, March 13th

Posted: 12 Mar 2006 12:14 PM PST

We will be doing some updates to our servers that will impact performance on Monday night.  Just a heads up that things will be a little slow for a few hours.

Beta officially open

Posted: 27 Feb 2006 05:21 PM PST

Tonight we officially open up the beta program.  We’ll be sending an email to the approved betas with a registration code. Thanks to the development team on all of the hard work!

T-minus 1 week until the beta opens

Posted: 19 Feb 2006 01:55 PM PST

We are one week away from opening up the beta to those who have signed up.  Thank you to all of our beta testers in advance.  We’re anxious to get your feedback. If you need to get a grasp on where your man hours are going, web based task and time management makes a lot of [...]

Interface Tuning Continues

Posted: 10 Feb 2006 03:54 PM PST

We think you’ll appreciate that Intervals is being designed and developed by a firm that knows design and development. We’re not loading it up with tons of cool functionality that’s hard to look at or hard to use, or making it pretty but useless:

Timesheet Management

Posted: 06 Feb 2006 01:57 PM PST

Our own evolution with timesheet management went like this: 1. Painful paper timesheets, entered into Spreadsheet form When we decided that spending weekends data entering and not having a real time view of our projects just didn’t make sense any more, we evolved to: 2. Try third party software Desktop software, web based software, lots of trial and error.  We [...]

What’s up with the Beta?

Posted: 01 Feb 2006 02:11 PM PST

Isn’t Intervals supposed to be in Beta by now? Well, yes and no. According to our official release plan we’re still on target for a “First Quarter 2006″ Beta. Our over zealous Product Manager Michael Payne may have sent a few emails in early December and said something about “5 – 6 weeks away” (which was [...]

‘Account Creation’ and ‘Account Setup’ are complete

Posted: 30 Jan 2006 04:56 PM PST

The process of creating your account and customizing Intervals to your particular company is complete.  We thought a lot about the process and bounced it off several of our early adopters before putting it in motion.  Also, on a random side note, it is the longest task we’ve ever had with Intervals.  Longest in terms [...]

Intervals Beta Program Almost Ready

Posted: 10 Jan 2006 03:07 PM PST

What’s the latest? We’d like to thank everyone who has signed up for our Beta program. We are still developing Intervals and are on target to launch the Beta first quarter this year. For those who have signed up for the Beta, no action is needed at present. When we open up the Beta we will [...]

Client Dashboard …much better

Posted: 07 Dec 2005 05:47 PM PST

One thing we’ve learned with our task tracker (aka baby Intervals) is that we need better ‘client’ level reporting. Some call it ‘companies’ we’re calling it ‘clients’ for now. Our task tracker is great at project level reporting, but say you have the following projects: Pelago Web Site Pelago Sidecar Pelago IT Pelago Sales etc. et al If you want to [...]

Seeking Beta Testers

Posted: 17 Nov 2005 10:18 AM PST

Intervals :: Web based Task & Time Management   What’s the latest? We are actively recruiting folks to participate in our Beta program. Since Intervals is “industry generic”, we decided to recruit a few companies to help us battle test and tune Intervals.  How will the Beta program work? The Beta program will begin the first quarter of 2006 (which is [...]

Project Management vs. Task Management – Is there a “right” way?

Posted: 10 Aug 2005 07:49 PM PDT

So what exactly is Project Management? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask a Developer for the City of Los Angeles or someone fulfilling Defense Contracts, the craft is going to look a whole lot different than say a 6 person web development shop…or a freelancer for that matter. Is it really Gantt [...]

Web Based Timers and connecting time to tasks

Posted: 09 Jun 2005 01:36 PM PDT

With our “task tracker” (the proving grounds for Intervals) we learned a lot about tracking time. We learned that: If you make it difficult to track time…people won’t track time If you track time in “general” ways…you don’t learn too much about what is really going on We’ve learned that tracking time on tasks gives you the best [...]

Site Architecture Continues…..Reports

Posted: 05 May 2005 06:21 PM PDT

We will revisit reports again at a later date to make sure we’ve covered the bases, but we’re big fans of dynamic graphing.  Intervals will be loaded with meaningful graphs. 

Hi-Level Site Map Complete

Posted: 08 Apr 2005 06:29 PM PDT

Today we did the ole whiteboard throw up to make sure we have all of the pieces and aren’t overlooking something that might grenade development later.  We’ve been using our “task tracker” for a few years…aka baby Intervals and are at the spot where we are saying “this feature never really made much sense” and [...]

Intervals Development Officially Underway – Web based task and time management

Posted: 04 Mar 2005 10:47 AM PST

We’ve formulated the plan to turn our internal task tracker into Intervals. Intervals will be web based task and time management. We tried a lot of different products and none of them fit our process so we created our “task tracker” in 2003 as a proof of concept. The proof of concept has been very [...]


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