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Written by: Richard Bashara on Jan 10 2011, 3:33pm

What Does Your White Board Look Like?

As I go about SoftCity performing my various duties, there is never a shortage of new projects to perform.  Managing these projects from inception to development can be overwhelming if you’re not well organized. 

Project Management in Simple Terms

To be a project manager is to be the person that’s thought of everything.  Project managers are detail oriented individuals, so depending on the type of project you’re undertaking it’s important to track big picture ideas with smaller details related to development.  Already, there are two holes that need filling, but what about managing your resources as well?  Email alone won’t handle everything.

You’ll eventually need new apps… so what does your white board look like?

Evernote

I’ll start with the obvious.  Evernote is nice because it’s a cloud based service to track lots of things like URL’s visited for instance. You can web clip a news story for offline consumption as well, but I’m less worried about consuming content than producing it. 

Why use Evernote?

  • Bullet pointed task list
  • Web clippings
  • Keeping a list of URL’s to be reviewed (reviewing competition)
  • Available Cross Platform

Evernote is what I’d call an idea builder. It’s a place for you to gather URL’s of sites that inspire you, jot down ideas that you can take anywhere you go and store important media. 

Google Tasks

Tasks is integrated into Gmail (yes, that’s where they put it). It’s nothing but a simple task list, if they are calling it an addon, they are really stretching the definition of the term.

Why Use Google Tasks?

  • Turn emails into action items by using “add to tasks”
  • Easy to navigate
  • Minimal space consumption and low learning curve

Tasks is for action items.  Got a ton of email coming in and need to figure out what to do with it?  Open tasks with your gmail in the morning and problem solved.  Within 20 minutes, you’ll know what needs attention that day and what can be put off for a bit longer.  Priority inbox will do the same thing, but Tasks is easier to work with.

A Google Doc

Or a Word doc, or notepad or whatever you want to put it in.  It’s not about getting a paper trail; it’s about tracking big picture ideas and project proposals.  In a Word doc, you have the freedom to be as wordy or succinct as you’d like. 

Why Use Word Docs?

Use docs to keep track of the main idea your project is based upon.  You’ll also find that having a doc on hand will help you quickly change tasks into proposals, ideas into changes and your project will grow.  There’s a good chance that your company utilizes apps for business (a Google Service) so having access to Google Docs is a plus because of the sharing function. 

BaseCamp

BaseCamp is project management software I’ve had a lot of experience with.  The layout feels familiar somehow.  Enter “stories” into your project and assign them to workers.  You can check up on someone’s work by having them upload files directly into BaseCamp, or by simply checking things off of a list. 

Why Use BaseCamp?

  • Create tasks to be repeated and quickly assign them to your employees
  • Allows the uploading of documents making it easy to review work and hold employees accountable
  • Projects can be assigned to more than one person for collaborative work

You won’t be able to hold group meetings over Dim Dim any longer, but having a place for everything and everything in its place is useful.    

What does your white board consist of?