IV. Project Tools
Uniting your team and preparing them to work as a unit is integral to the success of your projects. But without the proper tools to manage these projects, you may be doubling your efforts instead of optimizing it. By spending time maintaining a dozen spreadsheets and trying to stay on top of an overflowing inbox, you will be missing the opportunity to be strategic with your time. This is the importance of using the right tools for the job.
Below we tackle two general groups of tools that you should use for managing work more efficiently: your work management/collaboration tools and your personal productivity tools.
1. Work Management and Collaboration Tools
Projects come in various complexities. Some are simple three-step processes involving two people, while others are intricate sequences of tasks involving departments that span the globe and can take months or even years to complete. In order to manage projects efficiently and stay on top of the collaboration and teamwork needed for each project, you will need the proper tools. Here are four categories of tools that will help you manage both tasks and teamwork:
A. Project Management and Productivity Software
You will need something that makes teamwork efficient, allows for assigning and organizing tasks/projects, and eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails regarding work. Because this software will be the backbone of your projects and the place where work discussions will take place, it will need to be flexible enough to accommodate the different ways your team works. And of course, it should be a tool that makes you more productive — ideally it’s a tool that helps you manage your work, instead of you constantly having to manage the tool.
There are many examples of software for project management, as competition is fierce in this market. But of course, we recommend Wrike!
- Why and How Small Businesses Choose Project Management Software
- Top 9 Project Management Tool Features on the SMB Wishlist
- 10 Benefits of Cloud-Based Project Management Software
- How I Use Online Collaboration Tools to Run a Marketing Team
- 25 Online Tools to Run Your Startup
- Project Management Basics: Beginner’s Guide to Gantt Charts
- What is a Gantt Chart? (Infographic)
B. Real-time Instant Messaging Tool
You will need a tool that allows people to talk or video chat with remote colleagues in real time. It’s an integral part of any meeting to hear your colleagues, and even better if you can see them (non-verbal communication is just as important).
This is another area where there is intense competition. The instant messaging market is dominated by tools such as Skype, Yammer, Google Hangouts, Chatter, Facebook Messenger, and a growing number of mobile-first applications.
- 5 Best Video Conference & Meeting Apps for Your Team
- 3 Video Conference Horror Stories & Tips for Avoiding Them
- The 5 Ws of Virtual Communication
C. Knowledge Base Tool
This is where you store the combined wisdom of the team, accessible by all members via a searchable database. Think internal blogs or wikis (and Wrike can do this very well too). The knowledge base tool will allow processes to be documented and expertise or best practices to be recorded and shared with the team so knowledge is accessible to all.
- How to Create a Wiki Knowledge Base Using Wrike
- Wrike’s Project Management Features Enhanced with Wiki
- 3 Kinds of Data To Help Avoid Project Management Failure
- Why You Need to Record Your Project Management Lessons Learned: Tips & Templates
D. File Sharing Tool
In order to get collaborative work done, you will need tools to share files. This tool should allow you to easily save, sync, and share files with the team.
Apart from attaching files to emails (which is highly discouraged since it leads to many problems and much time wasted), there are many other options available. Some of the big names in this space include Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive — all of which integrate directly into Wrike. Which means if you use Wrike, you can easily attach all work files from these services to your tasks.
- 5 Virtual Documentation Mistakes You’re Making
- Cloud Project Management Software vs. Online File Storage: What’s the Difference?
- Preview Your Files Before Downloading with Our Box View Integration
- Attach Your OneDrive Files Directly to Wrike Tasks With the New Integration
- Wrike Help: Attaching Files
2. Personal Productivity Tools
The average worker is distracted every 11 minutes. The struggle to fight off interruptions and focus solely on work becomes exhausting if you’re not using helpful tools. Fortunately, there is a great variety of free tools available for the picking. These are apps that can kill alerts and notifications, force you to focus on one browser tab at a time, drown out the general office noise around you, and organize your work. We’ve listed 10 useful tools here: 10 Free Productivity Apps for Getting Things Done.
Other tips are in this Slideshare:
And below, we have a wide variety of articles surrounding focus, distractions, and productivity
- Amazing Online Productivity Resources for Procrastinators
- 5 Reasons Why Your Team Isn’t Getting Stuff Done
- 3 Notorious Productivity Killers and How to Fight Them
- 50 Productivity Tips to Boost Your Brainpower (Infographic)
- 16 Simple Motivation Tips to Get More Done (Infographic)
- Should We Have This Meeting? (Infographic Decision Tree)
- 4 Weird Ways to Trick Yourself into Being Productive
- 5 Inspiring Productivity Tips from the Book Manage Your Day-to-Day
- Email Management: 10 Clever Tricks to Hit Inbox Zero
- Productivity Hacks Turn Procrastination Into Action
Now that you’ve read about the tools for the job, and you’ve prepared the team to work as a unit, we will tackle one more topic that is an absolute necessity for your project’s success: collaboration.
Read on for collaboration tips that will help your team innovate faster.