The Devil in the Details: Project management tools for every business

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Whether you’re a startup or a more established business, project management (PM) is often one of the harder things for companies of any size and age to get their arms around. Shifting deadlines, various dependencies and changing scopes of work can be distracting from the point at hand, which is, of course, to get the project done. That’s why many companies have invested in full-time project managers who focus on the devil in the details, and help all those involved in a project move it forward toward completion.

After talking a reasonable amount about automation campaign efficiency, as part of a short series, we take a slight detour and look at some other ways to improve your overall marketing efficiency.

Nowadays, there are several project management tools that can act as that project manager. We’ve named just a few that we like to use to help you start your search for the ultimate organisational PM tool – another thing off your checklist, right?

Asana

If you’ve got a visual team, Asana is the right PM tool to use. Laid out in a very easy-to-use, visual style, Asana breaks out project deliverables for each party by day and week in an easily accessible calendar format. Another nice feature is the ability to view projects by assignee, priority or tag. That’s right – you can tag different projects with keywords that (if you remember them, that is) can help you filter through all your tasks. This level of customisation is wonderful, and something that competitors Basecamp and Trello lack. The component parts of a project – the ‘tasks’ – are also enabled for tags, notes and comments. If you are a larger team, Asana may be a great addition to your project management suite.

Basecamp

‘Chaos, organised.’ That’s Basecamp’s game, and they do it well, as expected from what is considered by many as the daddy of all PM tools. It keeps everyone on the same page so projects can move toward completion regardless of how large or distributed the team. Basecamp and Asana have similar features, including the ability to set up whole projects with component task, due dates and responsible parties, the ability to attach documentation and the capacity to turn in-app conversations into actionable deliverables. Basecamp allows you to attach Google Drive documents (in addition to traditional desktop documentation) to the platform, which enhances the ability to collaborate in real time. Although its visual branding is slightly less hip than Asana, and its value offering very similar, it’s the small details, such as the ability to give users different access levels, that make it a stand out product. Basecamp is ideal for distributed teams and projects that often change dependency party.

Trello

Billing itself as the platform that gives you the download on what you need to do in a ‘single glance’ Trello has built up lots of expectations for those of us with too much to do and too little time to do it. You can spend lots of time making Trello looks as comfy cosy as you might a room – but don’t get bogged down in the personalisation aspects too much. The flexible, visual nature of Trello is both a blessing and curse. Rather than sticking with projects and tasks like Basecamp and Asana, you can use boards, lists and cards, which enables you to create projects and tasks as and how you want. You might get a little paralysed by choice on how to set up and implement a project. Trello, however, unlike its competitors, can also be integrated with other apps such as Harvest, the time tracking app, and Flowdock, so you can get notifications from various Trello boards. If you have someone who is efficient and knows how to use Trello, it’s a great tool for projects that are complicated, but you can also get bogged down in the set up and implementation.

Don’t worry – it doesn’t stop here! We will be back shortly with a review of personal to-do list apps so you can match your personal and organisational efficiency. Talk about getting ready for your new year’s resolutions!

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