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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
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