One of my besties had a new non-profit land into her lap the other month. Though she is a kick-ass #ladyboss, even she recognized that her team can’t survive with random OneNotes and post-it to-do lists.
This is when I came in to save the day (kidding, but not really) with the wisdom and knowledge of someone who uses project management apps for a living.
The best app to manage communication: Slack
What can I say about Slack? It is my first true love in the project and team management world.
“Slack gives you a centralized place to communicate with your colleagues through instant messages and in chat rooms, which can reduce the time you have to spend on e-mail” (Technology Review). And if I could stop spending time answering emails, I would be a very happy person.
Another reason Slack is imperative to our work is because of the timeliness of an app where you can do everything from your phone like upload files, edit info on documents and spreadsheets, easily search through past conversations, and, most importantly, send GIFs. “More and more people now get work done on mobile devices, in collaboration with people who aren’t always in the same office at the same time,” like The Idea, Inc. And let me tell you that it has worked out famously. Obviously, I’m a big fan.
The best app to manage tasks: Asana
I’m not as big of a fan of Asana as I am with Slack. Asana is a great to-do list maker and don’t get me wrong these to-do lists will make you THE MOST organized with the color-coding, keyboard shortcuts, hypertext (Simply place an @ symbol before typing the information you want to connect kinda like Twitter), however, the system can be uncompromising. It is an excellent task management system and cannot support much else as well as others, so that’s what we use it for: task management.
*bonus! These apps connect and you can create tasks in Asana from messages in Slack. Praise God.
The best app to manage time: Toggl
Toggl is a dedicated, web-based time tracking tool, meaning it’s specifically designed to keep tabs on your hourly input. Let’s look at the different components:
- Timer: This is typical of every time tracker
- Chrome Extension: Tbh, I rarely use this. But in other reviews, freelancers find it very useful. See here.
- Desktop Application: I primarily use this. Compared to the extension, it has a few more perks like the autotracker (you can set key words that trigger the timer to turn on), reminders, idle detection, and the timeline (tracking website/ that’s in use for more than 10 seconds).
- Organization: This is where you can divide your time in to workspaces (top-level), clients (multiple clients in a workspace), and projects (bottom-level with multiple projects under a client).
- Reporting: There are 3 ways to report your time with varying degrees of detail depending on whether you filter through any of the above organization levels.
- Insights: These are for premium members, which is not me. But you can read more here.
- Pricing: If you are an employer tracking freelancers, the pricing plans are better suited for you. If you are freelancer tracking your time, I don’t see the benefit of paying – for any time tracker.
All in all, these are my fave, but there are a million other ways to manage, keep track, and sort projects. That said, do your research (and some trial and error) to figure out what works best for you! And then let us know! We are always down to try new things.