Project management can be tricky.
From the beginning to the completion of a project, there are many differentiating factors that a project manager or department is responsible for.
So how do you keep track of it all?
Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of lists and Outlook task reminders, these tools are not sufficient when it comes to successfully managing a large-scale project in a work environment with a variety of people, resources, and deadlines involved. In these circumstances, project management requires specific tools that increase productivity and streamline collaboration and communication while enhancing efficiency along the way.
Luckily, technology has opened the door for a plethora of new application tools that we can use to increase productivity and effectively manage projects, the key is to know what tools are out there and how to use them together to finish a project.
Obviously, here at TrackVia we truly believe that the most notable app for project management is our online database, which I will outline in detail in a moment. We’ve then highlighted 7 additional applications that can be used in conjunction with TrackVia to create your own personal project management suite. Good luck and let us know what you find!
1. Project Management Database: TrackVia
At the heart of it, TrackVia is a one-stop shop for collaboration between team members with 24/7 web-based access and fully customizable applications that can be built and modified by the user without needing any knowledge of coding (or any help from IT!). TrackVia ‘s cloud based online database solution has interactive data reporting, a prebuilt project management application, the ability to store documents in real time, user notifications, and more.
One of my favorite features of TrackVia is its email/SMS notification functionality. As your project management team proceeds through the steps of the project, alerts are sent to team members when it’s their turn in the workflow. In addition, users can be notified immediately when something important happens to one or more database records. Users can define what would be considered “important” to make sure the correct people in the workflow receive immediate notice when something is changed, alerting them that it’s their turn to take action. Notifications can be sent when a record is ready for the next step in the process, when there is a change in data, when a record is updated or created, etc.
Another really great feature is the ability to set user permissions. You designate who can access your TrackVia account and, based on role permissions, rules can be assigned to users (from 1 to multiple different roles). This way, you can make sure your project management team members are receiving the right information and can eliminate useless notifications for those who are not involved in a particular step in the workflow. In addition, this allows you to protect confidential information while making sure that users have everything they need to get their job done.
Due to its cloud-based infrastructure TrackVia promotes collaboration and project management between colleagues across the office or across the globe. With your entire project management data in one place and real-time reporting, all users are able to learn from it and improve the project as you move through the workflow.
2. Mind-Mapping Software – Xmind
As you begin to lay out the initial brainstorming and process flow of your project, having an app to help you document and manage the mind-mapping process is an excellent tool to have in your toolbox. Xmind provides different options for brainstorming and creating the workflow before putting everyone on the team into action.
With Xmind, you can brainstorm and easily share these ideas with others. The effortlessness of this app decreases extra time spent attempting to clearly communicate ideas so you can get to the meat of the project sooner rather than later. With Xmind, you can import and export in multiple formats and there are a wide variety of templates to choose from. In addition, every template can be further customized to use in the future.
3. Project Management Social Collaboration: Tinder
Collaboration is a critical factor in project management, and, as we all know, finding a way to effectively communicate with the people on your project management team can often be fairly difficult. However, the app Tinder, has figured out a way to organize and simplify communication between multiple people. Tinder allows you to collaborate with people around you by using groups, discussion areas, and file sharing. Users can subscribe to shared folders and groups and receive notifications through this app whenever something happens in real time.
With Tinder, users can keep track of revision history, control who makes changes to documents, and administrate additional access levels. It is easy to share documents with individuals outside of your project management groups, such as business partners and customers. Users can indicate different access levels and the addition of any externals users is free (free is a word we all like seeing, right?).
To add to this, it is free for up to 5 users with 5 GB of storage and no time restrictions.
4. Project Management in Real-Time: Note Taking for iPad with Next!
There are several different levels of project management that aid to a project’s overall productivity. As meetings and conference calls pile up, personal productivity can be improved by maintaining organized notes in project management meetings to remind you of what you may need to research or return to before taking the next step in the workflow. The best way to keep on top of all the things that come up during these meeting and calls is using the note taking app for iPad called Next!
Next! is an app for the iPad that is a go-to app for note taking and storing documents when in workgroup meetings. Keep on top of your personal to-dos through this app to efficiently complete your responsibilities. This will enable you to become a more productive team member.
5. Document Collaboration with Google Docs
Google Docs has been one of my favorite tools for project management for several years, ever since my college days when I worked on group projects. This app is the most reliable and most simplistic tool to use when it comes
to preventing version control issues. Circulating a document among colleagues can be an utter catastrophe at times. You could end up editing the wrong version of a document, resulting in multiple versions of the document floating around causing chaos and disorganization. This ultimately makes you to lose valuable time attempting to salvage the original correct version and re-circulating the document to collect feedback.
With the Google Docs application, any user can make an edit, re-save it, and send it back to the other members of the team. In addition, as you are working on a document in the app, you can see who made the last set of changes and if anyone else is actively working on the document at that point in time. This can help you avoid confusion and will increase productivity within your project management team.
6. Time Tracking for Project Management: fourteenDayz
Time tracking for project management can be difficult, especially when you are working with individuals spread out across the country or the globe. fourteenDays is an app which can centralize and simplify your time tracking requirements. With a flexible online app that can be accessed from anywhere, your team members can spend less time worrying about logging their project hours and spend more time being actively productive.
The fourteenDayz application allows you to export reports in a PDF or excel which pairs wonderfully with TrackVia since the excel files can be uploaded to the TrackVia database and added to project reports. You can keep all of your time tracking reports in one place associated with the correct project. The app also has drag and drop categories which streamline the process so you can do what you need to do within the application itself.
7. Online Time Tracking for Precise Billing & Efficiency – Clockmeister
Tracking the time spent on a project is not the only time you need to track. In project management, you also need to keep up with time tracking to maintain precise billing and efficiency. Clockmeister is an application which can track specific project-oriented tasks.
This app allows users to track time for each project which helps you keep track of different clients and various associated products. Clockmeister provides multiple views, customized reports, and all reports are easily accessible any time you need them. Even better, there is a free 30 day trial so you can test this app to see if it is the right fit for your time tracking needs.
8. Sending and Creating Invoices: Simply Invoices
As you get down to the accounting aspect of project management, you will need to create and oversee various invoices for the services provided. The application Simply Invoices is a great application to use to create and keep track of your these.
The app enables you to create templates which can be used to generate invoices after a template is set. You can also preview, edit, and create PDF invoices, all within the application. All recent invoices are displayed on the dashboard and are easy to download, edit, and delete. With the app’s dashboard, you can also view what invoices are outstanding and mark which ones have already been paid.
Simply Invoices reduces time spent on accounting during project management. There is even a free plan that includes up to 5 invoice templates, SSL support, and unlimited invoices.