2

votes

Vote

business in Business Channel,
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?

Citizens Comments

Eileen Brown says:

Wow, this could be a challenge.  I've not used Evernote or Base Camp.  I might have to have a whack at those to see what they are like.  *sigh*  So much software, so little time... ;D

Thanks Richard.  Being or getting organized is easy for some folks, not so for others. The right software choice could make all the difference.

0

Votes

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 6:13am | Report

Richard Bashara says:

I doubt Basecamp would work well for an individual, you need something smaller. I'd suggest trying out Nirvana HQ.  They have some interesting stuff set up for someone trying to GTD.

1

Vote

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 12:59pm | Report

Eileen Brown says:

Previewing software (unless it's really costly) doesn't bother me in the least.   But, I certainly see your point.  I would NOT have a use for Base Camp, at all, on my own. 

And actually, I am really organized here, in my Home Office.  It's just a matter of deciding if a software package is worth the time and effort to even preview, as in writing articles, recommendations to clients and so on. There are multiple reasons to preview software.  I certainly don't need most of the software I purchase. :D

0

Votes

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 1:32pm | Report

Richard Bashara says:

It really depends on what you need.  Something like Basecamp is for collaboration.  Nirvana is for tracking what you want to do and organizing those things into smaller steps.  Heck, you could make a task list in Google Tasks or a Word Doc.  Nirvana just gives you a graphical interface to make it more engaging. 

1

Vote

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 2:53pm | Report

Richard Bashara says:

one other note about Nirvana that distinguishes it from other task lists is that you have the option of adding descriptions to your action items.

1

Vote

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 2:55pm | Report

Michael Dossett says:

I've enjoyed Evernote, though I have only really used it to test what it would be like as opposed to using it out of true need. Strong integration between devices and a good user interface.

2

Votes

Vote
Jan 11 2011, 7:16pm | Report

Richard Bashara says:

hah, how many of our citizens are just like Michael?  There are tons of apps that just sit on my computer, unused...

Evernote is one of those things that's nice for every day stuff like a grocery list, chores, daily log.  I have used it to take notes on ideas I've had, but the funny thing is that as advanced as tech has gotten you still can't beat a plain white board.

1

Vote

Vote
Jan 12 2011, 11:10am | Report

Eileen Brown says:

Not to get too far off topic, but this is what I've found with the Toshiba Bulletin Board to be so wonderfully useful.  Just the board (I could change the background to white but have been leaving it gray). Nothing is on it when I start a project but I can fill a board quickly with ideas - refine them and move along.

For every separate note I make, I add a new sticky (it's a simple drag and drop) and of course, the lists you add are in sticky notes too.  The color divisions make it super easy to recognize what's what immediately, if you set up a system for what color note represents what. 

I would not mind trying out some other software, just for the sake of knowing how it works, but I've grown attached to my TBB in an almost romantic way already. It's dreamy software!  lol

Sorry if this runs far afield of Evernote - The TBB is an article of it's own.

0

Votes

Vote
Jan 12 2011, 11:24am | Report

Richard Bashara says:

That looks really pretty.  I wonder if there is anything around that is distributed on all platforms? 

Evernote can do all of that, just without all of the fancy graphics.  I just like it as a cross platform note taker. 

1

Vote

Vote
Jan 12 2011, 11:48am | Report

Eileen Brown says:

Good point Richard.  If I ever stray away from Toshiba or they drop the software from newer computers later on, I'll be in a fix!  I prefer independent software to pre-installed most of the time too.  

I really cannot believe how this little program grabbed me.  Of course, I DO get excited over software, where as most folks don't really care, so long it works like they think it should work.

0

Votes

Vote
Jan 14 2011, 11:38am | Report

Post your comment

default Avatar

You might be interested in these related contributions