I like to think of Project Managers in the same way I do the spies in my favorite fiction novels. Like spies, the best project managers always have a number of slick tools they use to accomplish tricky tasks and fulfill their missions.
Project Management is chock-full of complex tasks and a slew of smaller missions that MUST be successful to complete an overall mission. The amount of details a PM needs to manage on any given day are dizzying at best, amirite?
Bond, schmond. The following tools can help any project manager, entrepreneur, business owner, stay-at-home mom complete her mission, no matter what (or who!) she’s up against.
Here are the top Project Management apps we can’t live without.
I adore Trello. I know its not the standard Project Management tool of choice, but it’s a great, modern way to approach managing teams, tasks and all kinds of documentation and communication. I manage all my various projects on Trello by creating organizations for each of my clients and then boards for a variety of categories within a project that I need to track. Even the big guys we’re required to use, ie. MS Project, Teamwork PM etc etc, don’t provide as user friendly an app as Trello. I use it for everything except budgets, gant charts and the like and it cuts down on the time spent on the boring administrative-type tasks that are a part of project management.
If you need a checklist to help with your day to day, Wunderlist is the one. Share lists with your staff, set custom notifications for completed tasks, clip websites, articles etc into your to-do list, set alarms and much more. I use Wunderlist for my personal and professional life because of its various integrations and quick and easy app. Many sites will have an add to Wunderlist icon as well, plus you can add on Wunderlist extensions for your browsers.
While when it comes to files I am a devoted Dropbox girl, I have to admit, when it comes to team and project productivity – I adore Box. The mobile app focuses on essential functionality but the web app is quite something. You can collaborate on docs (and yes Google Docs are integrated) from right inside Box – and even launch web meetings from within collaborative docs, assign tasks and due dates, tag & search the text of all of your content and much more. Box has a huge suite of add-on apps that can extend it to be a pretty powerful tool for large and small teams alike. As long as your organization doesn’t limit Box’s functionality or require organization-specific authentications, Box is a smooth, productive experience.
Adda Birnir, Skillcrush’s CEO uses Harvest to track clients and manage invoices, timesheets and payments. She can take care of all these time sensitive tasks from anywhere via Harvest’s straightforward app. Want to be more productive? Harvest even has features to help you cut down on distraction and time your tasks. Great to get a more accurate assessment and manage scope creep.
Pivotal Tracker and Hipchat
We’ve mentioned these before but Skillcrush CCO Kate McGee and Developer Emily Davis swear by their ease of use and integration. Pivotal Tracker stories can be automatically updated each time by say, a git commit message and all the activity can be fed into a HipChat room, keeping teams updated without time consuming extra communication steps.
A few of our Twitter Skillcrushers had some great reccs too….check them out below and comment with your faves!
Dee is a fun-loving instructor with diverse tech experience across Fortune 500 companies, early-stage start-ups, government agencies & non-profits. Dee works at mobile product design studio Funsize, in Austin Texas where she lives with her husband, 2 border collie mixes, & 2 cats.