For the working woman, time is never on our side. Luckily, many tools have been developed for the purposes of facilitating communication, project management, scheduling and production. Learning how to use these tools will make the workplace flow so much easier. Here are some softwares, I recommend you get familiar with.
Google may have all the tools for your needs through their G suite. Google Drive allows you to store and share documents and folders with your colleagues. Within Google Drive, you can also use Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides which are Google’s versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. While it may not have all the Microsoft features, the automatic save and the ability for a team to work simultaneously on a document makes it a great tool for group work. With Google Forms, you can create electronic questionnaires. The application is being adopted more and more for distributing surveys to stakeholders and registration for events/activities.
For all your online meeting needs, Google Hangouts is your best bet. Not only can you do voice and video calls, you can also use Google Hangouts for instant messaging. With Google Calendar, you can schedule events and set reminders and goals. While scheduling an event, you can activate a Google Hangout link, set phone and email reminders, add notes, add attachments, add location of the meeting and send email invitations to your colleagues. You can think of Google Keep as a electronic notepad for the creation of notes and lists that can be be shared with your colleagues. It also enables you to draw notes and create voice notes.
While there are other Google applications, these are the ones that I have found the greatest use for. Now to prevent this article from being an ode to Google, here are some alternative tools you may want to adopt in the management of your everyday tasks.
OneDrive offers cloud storage similar to Google Drive and Dropbox. For the lovers of Microsoft, online versions of Word, Excel, OneNote and Powerpoint are included and co-workers can collaborate simultaneously and see updates in real time. Tasks and Calendar serve the same purposes as Google Keep and Google Calendar, respectively. Skype the ever popular voice and video chat application is also part of the OneDrive family.
Microsoft Sway is in my opinion the application that stands out the most. Sway allows one to combine text, videos and pictures for projects such as presentations, newsletters and web content. The simplicity of Sway makes it a great tool, not only for graphic designers and web developers, but for anyone wanting to tell a story.
Whether it’s an email to your boss or a 10-page application form, spelling mistakes look bad. Check out these Must-have electronic tools to write properly (in French).
Project Management Tools
Trello is one of the most popular project management software out there. It is the software of choice we use with Aime Ta Marque. Tasks are placed into cards. Cards can contain checklists and be assigned to specific team members. One can also attach files, make comments and add due dates and labels to a card. The stages of the project development are visually represented and the cards can be drag and dropped into the appropriate stage. When the due date is up a notification is sent out by email. Trello is simple, yet effective for tracking tasks. The basic Trello is free but Business Class and Enterprise packages are available if more features are required.That being said there are many alternatives to Trello, including Pivotal Tracker and Asana.
Pivotal Tracker uses an interesting approach as they require that teams jot down the story behind the project they are undertaking. Each task is called a story and the stories can be displayed in order of priority. The application calculates your team’s task completion velocity to facilitate estimates of project timelines. The workspace is visually simple allowing one to view all ongoing projects on one screen. Pivotal Tracker also offers basic analytics to represent team work. Among other great features are notifications, mentions to draw colleagues’ attention to a story, story blockers that team members can use to flag project roadblocks. Teams up to 3 people can use the software for free for two projects with 2 GB of storage. They offer startup and pro packages for which the prices vary according to number collaborators.
I started using Asana in 2013. Founded in 2008 by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, the web and mobile app is described as a project management tools for teams of all sizes. The boards allow you to drag and drop the task according to the the status of completion. You can view your tasks on a monthly calendar to identify scheduling gaps. Templates are also offered for different types of projects. Asana offers Free (for up to 15 collaborators), Premium and Enterprise packages.
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Doodle, Slack & Dropbox
Other highly recommended applications are Doodle, Slack and Dropbox. Doodle allows you to poll your colleagues to determine appropriate meeting times. Dropbox’s main feature is cloud storage for documents. The application has a downloadable plugin that creates a folder on your desktop. Essentially, it enables one to save a document into Dropbox in the same manner one would in the folder “Documents” or on your “Desktop”. Once connected to internet, the file automatically syncs into the Dropbox cloud.
Last but not least, there is Slack. Slack primary purpose is to simplify team communication. Its used as the instant messaging tool for many established and growing companies. Channels can be created around teams, topics and needs. Files, pictures and videos can shared easily. Slack also integrates into many other applications providing additional workflow ease.
Most of these applications come in both desktop and mobile forms. They are also quite intuitive. If you need assistance, tutorials are offered. Now this is simply a list of tools that I have used and have been recommended by colleagues and friends. There are other project management softwares such as Pipefy, Wrike and Monday.
And if you do not see your favorite tool listed here, please feel free reach out and let us know what you use.