Try to imagine that you are a freelancer, or maybe not a freelancer… but a web developer or a web designer working in a company of any size.
And now… you are not (or you are) a project manager, you don’t (or you do) need to create schedules or detailed reports, you don’t (or you do) need to confide with your work.
Maybe you don’t need to describe to your client what is ready, what’s not and why not. Or maybe even you need to describe it, but you don’t need to attach any files, specifications or graphs. Maybe you don’t need any proofs… or tons of documentations of someone’s questions and someone else’s answers. Maybe you just want to do, what you need to do… and nothing more.
Of course… as usual, you have a lot of functionalities in your project, a lot of aspects, that you need to take into account. You need to organize your work and do not forget about anything.
In this case… you know what you have to do. You just need to use some kind of tool, some kind of “thing”, that will increase your productivity.
In my opinion: you need to use some web-based app. I think, that I don’t need to say why. However, I will… it’s much cheaper, and what’s more important – it’s more flexible in use. You don’t need to download or install anything, you have an access to this app from anywhere in the world, you don’t need to hire an employee, which know what IT means, how to fix bugs in your app and how to find a solution for your problems. And at last… web-based apps are always up-to-date.
And now… are you decided? I hope so.
First, you must choose, what kind of application will be optimal for your needs. There are three possibilities:
- typical project planner
- bug tracker
- todo list
Choice is not so easy.
Project management tools.
Typical, best known huge apps for project management, such as MS Project are useless. We need to have something that could be easy to use, fast and what’s the most important… will speed up your work, instead of slow it down. Much better idea would be to use, for example basecamp or Zoho Projects. However… I think that in many cases that kind of tools are not so helpful. They are really good, that’s a fact. But a fact is also, that they have a lot of functionalities, that we simply do not need in our work. If you don’t need to collaborate with your team, you don’t need to build complex reports and graphs, you don’t need to document all forms of contact with your client – you simply do not need that kind of application.
Much easier in use than typical project management tools. Web-based applications like mantis or 16bugs most often meet the requirements of people involved in the project. Thanks to these kind of apps you are up-to-date with your client’s requests and your client is up-to-date with a progress of working on project. In most of situations – that would be enough. But sometimes… even this is too much. Sometimes you are your own client, or your client don’t want to report any bugs before you won’t end the project. In these kind of situations you don’t need all these functionalities available in bug trackers. In this kind of situation the best thing you could choose is…
The most easy-to-use tool that you could imagine. And thanks to that fact – the most flexible tool for manage your own time. You just need to put a thing on the list and… tick it when it’s ready. That is all. Tools like Remember the milk, or tadalist are great solution for people who just want to organize things to do and don’t want to forget about anything.
In my case: every day I use todo lists. First, it allows me to organize work on my own projects, on the other hand, it allows me to organize all the other things that are not related to work. Here, the most common choice is tadalist. Because it is simple and free.
In projects with outside client, if I can’t use a todo list…
For a small project – I use one of the bug trackers. Frequently this is mantis.
For a major projects, involving much more people… and I am forced to document the work of the team – I use some tool for project management. Generally it is basecamp.
Now, wisely choose something for yourself.