Three months into my current job I could feel my grasp on critical tasks slipping and initially I could not pinpoint the problem. I was taking copious notes during meetings, reviewing my to do list on a daily basis, forecasting essential activities for the next day the evening prior – I mean for goodness sake I was using Asana which I had been using for a couple of years, to no avail.
For those of you who have never used Asana – it’s a project management platform that allows you to develop a series of tasks in partnership with your colleagues, it supports collaboration and can apparently be an incredibly effective co-working tool. But when it came to project management for one it failed me – because of the transfer point.
You see, each Monday when I met with my supervisor I would take notes in our meeting in a word document, that I structured like a google doc. As in – I used it to take running notes – so that the document could be searched going back in time. And after each meeting with my supervisor I would manually transfer my tasks from the word document into my asana to do list. And more than once in a while, I missed a to do item that needed to be transferred.
Thus began my search for a solo project management solution. I don’t currently have any direct reports, nor am I situated on a large team. My team consist of my boss and I. And that’s it. She doesn’t use a project management platform – so the collaboration function of any tool is a lost point for me. What I needed was a space that would allow me to “see” all the work that lay ahead of me that week, with some basic categorization and deadline. Occasionally I needed to write myself notes having to do with a specific tasks, but for the most part – it was the ache I had to write all of my tasks down on post-it notes that lead me to the solution.
But I didn’t stumble upon it right away. First I tested did a review of Asana to see if I was maximizing its potential.
- Incredibly user friendly
- Easy to export tasks
- Singular lists which makes it easier to focus and prioritize
- Integrates with Gmail and Outlook
- Good for small teams
- Allows for attachments, notes
- Not visually compelling
- Essentially this is a complex to-do list rather than a project management tool
- App isn’t impressive
Then I attempted to follow my sweet heart into the depths of SWIPES
- Very simple to use and update
- Incredibly satisfying to swipe on the Iphone app
- Integrates with Gmail and Evernote
- Again, not a project management system
- Doesn’t integrate with Outlook
- Not useful for team collaboration
And then, I stumbled upon TRELLO. Facebook started advertising it to me (aren’t those algorithms a little terrifying?) And Trello has become the best tool I’ve ever had.
- Great for people who are visually oriented, replicates the feel of post-it notes on a wall
- Integrates with Gmail, Outlook AND Evernote
- Good for small, medium and large teams
- Allows for attachments, notes
- Ability to duplicate repeat tasks
- Tasks archiving
- Because you can make endless boards, it could easily become overwhelming
- NONE BECAUSE I LOVE IT :)
Want to talk more about how to manage your projects at work? Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) - this stuff makes my day.