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I kind of like Joel-On-Software and his opinion that you have to be careful not to make project management systems require/request so much information that you avoid the chore and resume using stick notes.

I agree with Joel! One of the nice things about cpTracker is that you can use as little or as much of it as you desire. I realize we all do things differently and need to track different levels of detail depending on the situation, company, etc.

The main cpTracker files are Products, Customers, Users, Projects, Tasks and Ideas.

You can jump right into using the Task file exclusively without needing to associate the Task to a particular Product, Customer, Project or User. Utilizing the Query, Report and Spreadsheet wizards, you can get at the detail however necessary. There are NO required fields on the Task update screen. The task number is system assigned and the only field you really need to enter is a basic description. All other fields are optional. Don't have a QA staff? Fine, just ignore the "Quality Assurance" fields. Don't need to do any scheduling? Fine, ignore the scheduling fields. You get the idea! The goal of our design is intuitive ease of use. Once you become familiar with our standard set of XP style icons and hotkeys, you can quickly navigate the interface. We will be offering too much functionality to have a zillion big fat text buttons cluttering up the interface! Do you want to print? Ctrl-P Do you want to select or create a Query? Ctrl-Q. EMail? Ctrl-M Visit Website? Ctrl-W

If you are doing product development for your own products, enter your products in the Product file and then create projects related to that product. You may only have one called "Misc. Projects". The Customer Licensed Product file let's you track all of your product sales, versions, purchase amount, etc. This information will be very valuable when generating sales totals for period, versions, etc. Use the Query Wizard to generate a list of users that need to be notified (via email or mail or however) that there's a new version of your product available.

If you are doing custom development or contract programming, add your customer(s), create a project record for each project and then enter all your tasks. Use the customer browse window to enter/access customer and project specific tasks.

Use the Idea file to record all your ideas and potential enhancements. There is a button to transfer the Idea to the Task or Project file if and when the Idea becomes "real". Using the Idea file insures that the Project/Task file does not become cluttered with wish list items. We will also be creating an option to receive email directly into the Idea file. You can then build options into your software so that users can email "Bug Reports" and "Enhancement Requests".

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