Project Working: 5 Tools To Get You Through Your Projects
Projects are a huge demand on an individual, especially if you have personal projects that you want to get through yourself. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard. With so many tools built for you to manage your projects, it can be just as hard choosing the right applications for you. This article covers five tools that I use regularly, helping me get through any project (and what I use them for).
Before we get into the meat of this article, I am covering three types of projects:
- Craft projects
- Programming projects
- Team projects
Some of the tools I use outside of their scope, yet I find them to be useful for the context which I use them.
Great for: Craft projects, Programming projects and Team projects.
Hardly a surprise I’d start with Trello, as I wrote a rather comprehensive guide on the platform. Trello is all about planning, organising and much, much more.
The greatest asset of Trello is its flexibility. You are able to make a Trello board for just about any project, no matter how strange it is. For instance, Kim from Later Levels and I had a board dedicated to our costumes for Kitacon Quest 2017. This was particularly useful when combined with the Trello app, allowing us to keep on top of our cards.
I personally use Trello to keep on top of GeekOut Media related projects, of which there are plenty. We are working on our new website; a Top 10 eBook; different Meetup locations and so on. We also keep on top of a daily article schedule, which is both time consuming and often hard on our creativity. We chat about our articles in advance, we list them in our secret Trello board and we then get to work.
Google Applications (G Suite)
Great for: Team projects
Every week, Joel and I get together to talk geek at one another – Not a big shock, considering that’s the focus of this site. We write Top 10 lists which are chosen by our audience, but we write the article collaboratively. Originally, we’d both write our own bits then upload them to our CRM, WordPress, whenever ready. Then we got creative and we decided to use Google Docs, mostly for the ability of having multiple people editing a document at the same time.
So once a week, we sit down and we chat about the Top 10 we’re about to write. We both put our thoughts up and we’ll just type back and forth to one another, discussing the list entrants. We’ll remove entries, we’ll add entries – and it’s like writing a Word document live. Sometimes, we mess around, but we always know to focus when it gets to it. We’d probably struggle if we didn’t start working collaboratively via Google Docs.
IFTTT (IF This Then This)
Great for: Programming Projects and Team Projects
IF This Then This, or IFTTT for short, is a rather clever little website. It’s full of handy little time savers, all of which can make a project fly by. It allows you to automate a bunch of tasks, by simply utilising the APIs of the apps involved. It can make your own life easier, such as making your coffee machine put on a brew at a specified time. Whatever purpose you have for IFTTT, it’s such a time saver that you might as well look into it.
Don’t like spending an hour updating lots of different documents? IFTTT might be able to do this for you, simply by copying the information from one to another. Don’t like having to tick all of the tick boxes? IFTTT can have it so you simply have to complete an action somewhere, for it to automatically tick the tickbox. Trust me when I say this, IFTTT is one of the greatest time saving tools out there today.
Great for: Craft projects
It’s been awhile since I used this simple phone app, however when I did, I was much better at keeping on top of my cosplay projects. I would spend only a matter of minutes editing some details, such as uploading reference images or adding a description. It asked you for some basic information, all of which is possibly at the front of your mind for a cosplay anyway. Info such as budget, reference shots, to do lists and so much more.
Whilst Cosplanner was made specifically made for a Cosplayers essentials, it works for many craft projects. Say you want to make a vase – store your information here! Say you’re building a chest – Work out costs here. It wasn’t made for this, but similarly to how cosplayers just have to make do with what’s out there, you might find the simplicity of the app appealing. If you think checklist apps are lacking, Cosplanner gives you the tools to make a craft project easier.
Great for: Team projects
We’d be remiss to leave Slack or Discord out of the list, considering how useful they are. Both are effectively the same thing, but Slack is more professional with the ability to add plug-ins. Need somewhere for everyone to chat? Both Slack and Discord offers this. Need video conferencing? Both offer this (as of 05/10, Discord implemented video/screen sharing capabilities). Both are free, both have great sound quality and to be fair, both are highly customisable.
You can create your own bots for your channels, you can add plugins for these, although Slack is easier for adding in plugins. This probably tips the edge for business conferencing, or letting a team know what’s up, as you can install whatever apps you need to with a simple click of a button. Seriously though, if you’ve never used one of these, consider joining the GeekOut Video Gamers Discord. Sure, a lot of us talk about gaming, but you can chat to Chris and myself on there, as well as a lot of the great GeekOut Media friends.
And that’s it for this list, how many of these have you heard of – and how many have you used? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Until next time, I hope your next personal project goes swimmingly!