Managing multiple projects and maintaining productivity is not an easy task for a project manager. However, with the help of new technologies this process can be simplified. Several project management tools have been developed, and they greatly help project managers to have all the key aspects of the project controlled in one place.
Most of these tools are free, or have a free plan that can be upgraded with a paid premium plan. Many include the possibility of trying them for free for a period of time (usually 15 days or a month). All are characterized by having a wide variety of functionalities and are usually very intuitive for users, to offer easy and fast handling and not waste time. Of course, the features of the free plans are very limited, but many of them can be fully functional without having to go to premium plans .
Many of these tools are also cross- platform, which means that they can be consulted from a desktop computer, a tablet or a smartphone. This helps the project manager and employees or collaborators always have all the information regarding their projects and tasks at hand.
The most important thing about these tools is that the project manager has at their fingertips all the information they need about their project: tasks, people, resources, times... This facilitates their work and daily management, helping them to increase their productivity and the project efficiency.
Project management tools
One of the best known project management tools worldwide is Trello . Its simplicity and ease of use make it ideal for starting to manage projects with software tools. Its design is very visual: projects and tasks are organized in boards to which you can add colors, labels and delivery dates to keep everything under control, as well as being able to assign tasks to team members. Task tabs can be added to these boards. A very common use of this tool is to have three boards: one for pending tasks, one for tasks in progress, and one for completed tasks.
In this sense of work flow, there is also the KanbanFlow tool , based on the Kanban methodology. This allows you to control at a glance the status of the project and its tasks. But not only that, but it also measures the time spent on each task to later be able to make estimates and better organize projects. It also allows collaborative and team work.
Slack is another type of tool used to create a virtual workspace. With it, employees can collaborate and share information with each other. You can create group or private conversations and send files through them, which saves a lot of emails and keeps your mailboxes clear. This prevents emails and files from being forgotten because other emails have entered later, lowering their position in the queue. It also allows its integration with file management tools, such as Drive and Dropbox, to be able to share and modify documents directly from Slack.
Another of the great ones chosen for project management is Asana . It is a tool that allows you to organize several projects, each one with its list of tasks to do and a progress bar, and that also has the utility of internal conversations. Therefore, it helps to keep projects organized and save space in mailboxes. In addition, it also has a graph functionality to better see the progress in the projects and the possibility of integrating time control tools to see how much time is spent on each task.
Along these lines, there is also the BaseCamp tool , although its use is less widespread for two reasons. The first is because it doesn't allow time management, and the second is because it's only available in English. However, it is one of the most complete, since it allows the integration of project management and communications internally, so that the use of email is unnecessary. The interface has for each project a communications area, a members area, a tasks area and a documents area, and all of them are fully integrated and synchronized.
Another increasingly used tool is Facebook Workplace . The social networking giant launched this tool that looks and functions very much like the social network, so users are already used to it. In this tool you can create public or private work groups, schedule meetings and make voice and video calls to make your work more flexible. It should be mentioned that the profile of this tool is completely dissociated from the profile on the social network, to keep work life and personal life always separate.
On the other hand, there is the Float tool , ideal for agencies and studios. It is also a very flexible software designed for the project manager. It allows its integration with other management tools and is designed to program the work team. Its main function is to manage the workload and schedules of employees and collaborators.
Another great tool for project management is Resource Guru , which allows you to control project tasks with a visual calendar view. It shows at all times what task each employee is spending time on, thus allowing the project manager to know the availability of all collaborators for new tasks. It also allows you to make reservations and appointments for meetings, and to avoid conflicts between them, it includes a reservation waiting list functionality: when two coincide, one of them goes on the list and is activated when the previous one has finished. Finally, each team member has their own dashboard, separate from the manager's, where their tasks and bookings are displayed, to help you plan.
To deviate from calendar view, there are other management tools with Gantt chart view . The first of these is Paymo , which helps manage projects from start to finish. This tool has different modules that allow time management, resource scheduling, perform detailed project reports, and even help with billing. In addition, it allows collaborative work between various people and teams, acting as a kind of social network for the project.
Another tool with a Gantt chart view is Saviom , which is currently used by large companies such as DHL, PxC or Siemens. It allows you to schedule resources in real time and track them, in addition to creating very complete forecast reports. It also includes very varied functionalities: management of licenses, capacity, time and costs. The great advantage it offers to large companies is that it is highly configurable software and can be integrated with a large number of different tools.
Task management tools
The first of these is Wunderlist , which closely resembles Trello in functionality and design. However, it is not considered a project management tool, but a task management tool, because it does not allow assigning collaborators or users to tasks. It's a perfect tool for making to-do lists and setting reminders so you don't forget anything.
In this same vein is Evernote . It allows you to make task lists and schedule reminders, but not only that. It also allows you to send notes by email or capture anything found on the network, to store the discoveries made while browsing the Internet.
Remember the milk is another of the most used task management tools due to its visual interface. Unlike the previous two, it incorporates some additional features: it allows you to share tasks with other users and also synchronize with other tools, such as Microsoft Outlook for email, a smartwatch, or IFTTT (a tool that allows you to automate processes and create alerts).
However, for task and appointment management, one of the best options is to use Google tools. With Google Keep you can make notes and task lists so you don't lose sight of anything, and with Google Calendar you can keep all your appointments, meetings and delivery dates organized. With Google Docs and Google Drive , key documents can be shared with all team members, and everyone can access them at the same time to edit them so that no information is lost during synchronization.
There is a wide variety of project management tools that help increase productivity in companies and workgroups. Choosing one or more of them will depend on the specific needs of each team and each project. The important thing is to find the one that best suits you and start using them soon, in order to benefit from their advantages and increase efficiency as soon as possible.
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