Simple project management tools for your business
You will learn
- What features you should look for in a project management tool
- Some of the most popular options you could use
Project management tools can be great for increasing the productivity in your team. Online tools can help your team easily communicate, share documents and updates on your project, delegate tasks and set time scales for completion. When used effectively, simple project management tools can take a lot of the hassle out of large projects and to help you easily track them from start to finish.
What features should you look out for?
As there are so many different project management tools that you could use for your business, we thought we’d give you an idea of what features you should be looking out for when browsing.
Dashboards are great. They give you a breakdown of your key information all in one simple, easy to digest screen. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of your projects given to you in easy to read graphs or charts. They’ll give you information in real time that you can then use to make decisions.
Project and task tracking
You’ll need to have the ability to schedule individual projects and assign tasks to the different members of your team. That way, you’ll be able to track exactly where you’re at with each project, and everyone will know who is responsible for the different elements and when they need to be completed by.
You’ll need to be able to produce reports about the progress and success of your projects. These reports need to be more detailed than your overall dashboard, including things like tasks, timesheets, and expenses.
Popular tools you can use
There are countless project management tools that you could bring in to your business, and you should spend a bit of time researching which one will be best for your business. Below are a few of the most popular tools to help you get you started.
Asana is a handy little tool that is free for up to 15 members of staff. Using Asana, you can create tasks and assign them into three groups to show their priority and create teams for each project you’re working on. It’s easy to navigate and simple to use, so even those less tech-savvy should be able to find their tasks and complete them. It integrates well with Dropbox and Google Drive too, so you can easily share files across your team.
Trello clearly sets out all tasks for everyone to see and allows you to clearly prioritise the importance of different tasks with a simple colour coding system. It’s based of different “boards” that you can name whatever you like and then add “lists” to show the progress stages of each of your projects. You then can divide tasks up into different “cards” where you can assign responsibility to different people, ask and answer questions, give due dates, add images and documents. What’s really nice in Trello is watching your cards move across the screen until they sit in that exciting completed section.
Evernote is an online document management tool. It’s not just a tool for taking notes; it can share the documents you and your team create and allow others to make changes to them. You can attach other files, and can even use the tool to record meetings to listen to again later if you’d rather spend your time listening and engaging than taking notes. It also lets you set reminders on your documents if you need a gentle nudge to get a document signed off or finish a certain report.
Podio brings your team together in one place, lets you organise meetings, create personal dashboards and visually represent your project data. Unlike some other project management tools, you do have to pay right away to use Podio, but you get to customise how you use it a lot more and create really detailed reports off the back of it.
FunctionFox is great to help you keep track of time on your projects. It has a stop watch timer that your team can use to automatically keep accurate timesheets for the work that they’re doing across different projects. You can create to-do lists that trigger email alerts to make sure jobs never get missed.
These are just a small sample of the wide range of simple project management tools that you can use in your business to help take some of the stress out of managing projects. Use these as a starting point and do your own research into different types and see which offers the most useful functions for your business.