Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - The Top 10 Productivity Apps For Project Managers

The Top 10 Productivity Apps To Help Project Managers Streamline Projects

The days continue to escape you. The emails do not seem to cease, meetings are popping up without a moment’s notice, and teams do not seem to have an idea of what they need to jump on next. You are handling it well, but things could be a lot easier. Today’s mantra seems to be “work smarter not harder,” but this is easier said than done when the day does not seem to slow down. How can you continue to be productive? Well, technology does not solve all problems, but it can certainly help you schedule your day and take care of some mundane tasks. Fortunately, we live in a world where apps can help us better communicate, strategize, and move through the day. Here are ten productivity apps worth integrating into your daily routine to better streamline your day as well as your projects.

Asana — Effortlessly Manage Projects

Asana has almost become the standard for online and cloud-based project management programs. Managers can organize work into shared projects, break work into more manageable tasks, create task dependencies, assign users to functions that need to be completed, and create start and finish dates for various assignments. There is even a Gantt chart view for managers to understand better how task duties overlap with one another. Team members can also communicate within the app, eliminating the need for endless emails.

Podio — Customize Your Management Experience

Asana is great, but if you want a little more integration and customization, Podio is the program for you. Not only does it allow for task management and assignments, but it also enables managers to select functions they want from a list of apps to better customize the experience. Managers can add in apps that allow for relationship creation between projects, calendars, contact information, a progress calculator, budget tracking, task duration, and video and audio chatting.

Any.do — Complete Everything on Your To-Do List

How many times do you write out a to-do list only to feel lost in how to complete everything? Lists tend to grow, and it is not always easy to handle it all. Any.do allows users to quickly type out or use speech recognition to create their to-do list. These tasks can be synced across many different platforms, and can easily be shared with anyone on their contact list. It can help managers seamlessly move through the task completion and delegation process by causing them to make choices about what is a priority.

Abukai — Keep Track of Expenses

So, you have had to run to the store multiple times to pick up necessary office supplies, take team members out for a working lunch, or order new software subscriptions. You know you need to take time to enter all of this information in a database, but who has time to do that? Abukai is an expense tracking app that allows users to take photographs of receipts on their phones and automatically create expense reports that are categorized by data and vendor. Even if you need to go back to make some edits, you will have at least started the financial reporting process.

Trello — Visualize Your Workflow

If you need a more visual program to understand what still needs to be assigned and completed, Trello is a perfect way to manage projects in a Kanban-style fashion. Workers can create cards that are appropriately categorized. Tasks can be moved to each card depending on their status. Trello also allows users to customize the cards at the discretion of the user who is managing the project. Cards can include file uploads, project details, deadlines, and comments between those assigned. For those who want a little more of a low-key project management system, Trello could be the trick.

IFTTT — Make Your Programs and Devices Speak to One Another

You know that integrations are crucial to productivity, but it is not feasible to take the time to make all these devices and apps speak to one another. IFTTT stands for “if this, then that,” and the program lives up to its name. The interface is user-friendly, and it only takes a few moments to connect two programs. IFTTT can help users create custom automation. For example, users can trigger a text message if a significant event is coming up on Google Calendar. It is perfect for removing mundane duties from your daily routine.

Edison Mail — Organize Your Email

Everyone can relate to the constant annoyance of an influx of emails. Also, most of us tend to carry around our phones and check work emails even when we are off the clock. As a project manager, your time is precious, and you don’t have time to look through every single email to decide if it is worth the time to respond. This is where Edison Mail comes into play. Edison Mail is an app made for the iPhone and Android, and it looks at your email history to see what emails you deem the most valuable. It categorizes emails and prioritizes them by ones you will likely view. It can even help you quickly unsubscribe from those pesky newsletters.

Dropbox — Store and Share Your Files

A project can easily stall and slow down when team members need to share and send large files to one another or work on documents at the same time. Google Docs is great, but what if everyone doesn’t have a Gmail? The next best alternative is Dropbox. It is basically a digital flash drive that follows those who have an internet connection and access to a specific group of documents. There are customizable link permissions, team folder management, and an easy process for wiping data from stolen devices. If you are a project manager who needs a secure and comfortable way to store and share large documents, Dropbox is it.

Doodle — Easily Plan Meetings

It is time to plan a meeting, but everyone does not feel like going back and forth through email. One of the easiest ways to set up a time for everyone to meet for a project update is to use Doodle. Users can create various day and time options in a visually-appealing table. Once this table is sent to invitees, they can click a check-mark next to the time they are able to meet. Doodle allows project managers to quickly see when everyone can attend, as the structure shows which invitee has checked off the time choice. The system also lets users know those who have not yet participated in the Doodle meeting poll. All users need is a link to send to those they would like to invite. Doodle can integrate with Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCal to effortlessly include the decided-upon time in the desired calendar.

1Password — Keep Track of all Passwords

You and your team are going to be using many different programs and systems, and all of them are going to require login information. You may have everything saved in a Google or Word doc, but how can others access it, and is this really the most secure way to do this? 1Password stores all password information, and only requires one master password to obtain all this information. It can also keep sensitive financial and banking information. 1Password can even integrate with online browsers so it can pick up passwords. This program can save you from having to search through documents when trying to find the information you need to access a specific site.

The Wrap Up

Again, technology is not a cure-all for everything. Strategy and planning is the best medicine for uncertainty and productivity challenges. However, apps can take away some of the ambiguity and handle some of the most problematic tasks that are plaguing your workday. Categorizing emails, managing to-do lists, delegating tasks, monitoring expenses, and storing passwords are all things you should not have to worry about. Let technology take over to ease the load. As deadlines loom, and tasks pile up, you will need a bit of a breather. So, take a look at the above programs and see what you can integrate into your day-to-day activities.

Sources:

20 Productivity Apps You Need to Organize Your Life, www.themuse.com/advice/20-productivity-apps-you-need-to-organize-your-life

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated), www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/the-lifehack-big-list-50-top-productivity-apps-for-iphone.html

The Best Productivity Apps of 2018, www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395938,00.asp#collab