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7 Top Alternatives for Asana You Must Know

7 Top Alternatives for Asana You Must Know

Getting a project done successfully can be tedious and time taking, and this is why you  need software or tools to help you easily and smoothly organize tasks and become hassle-free.

Project management software are created to streamline efforts and activities and coordinate within a company. When you try to manage a project without any project management software one can end up in a mess. Even having the best strategy and intentions, a wrong step can quickly destroy months of work.

What you need the most in a project management software are the delegation and organization of tasks, as they help enhance the visualization of project processes as well as timelines. In addition to Asana, though a popular project management tool but one that comes with complexity and slow speed, there are a number of project management solutions that have proved to be the alternative solutions for businesses and entrepreneurs. To save your time, here are some alternatives you can check out.

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Trello

Trello uses Kanban method, which helps users to move cards which are the representation of tasks which helps to create a visual representation of project where it is going. This offers unlimited projects and users and offers 10MB of storage on the free trail.

A quick look at the placement of the cards helps users to know how far a project is developed and what the next step is. The front of the card has task label, while the back have other information like when the task is due, who is working on a particular task, and which part of the task have been completed with a checklist. It also offers a calendar function.

Quire

Quire is a collaborative app that helps people accomplish their goals or dreams by dividing them down into small tasks and working with others to complete them. It helps growing and creative teams divide a challenging task into unlimited nested tasks and engage in real-time collaboration and communication.

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Thanks to a simple, clean and intuitive design, you don’t need to train your colleagues how to get started with this app. With each task that’s broken down, one can leave a comment for everyone to participate in real time discussion about that particular task. All the files attached, words added and photos pasted by others and you to the task can be seen instantly.

Britix24

Bitrix24 can be used as host on the company’s own server or on the cloud. The main features of Bitrix24 are layered task options, Gantt charts, employee workload planning, time management and tracking. Bitrix24 lets you make real-time communication by means of group chat, instant messenger, and video-conferencing. It has DropBox which has 5GB of cloud storage for sharing of a document.

Employee Workload Planning tool lets managers plan a number of hours for a task and compare with the actual number of hours spent by those to whom tasks assigned to. It has task templates that contain checklists and subtasks. Bitrix24 project management system is free for 12 users, along with an option to upgrade it for more with 99 dollars per month.

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Harvest

Harvest is a great time tracking tool of employees. This is great for reporting and resource based project management. It has an invoicing system, thus one can bill clients with a button click. The free version is for only one user, two projects, and four clients.

Beyond that, the price is $12 a month for unlimited projects and clients. Harvest has a number of integrations like Google drive, Atlassian Jira, QuickBooks, Zendesk, Zapier. Harvest helps to replace timesheets. One can export tracked time into the system directly and uses it to bill clients directly.

MeisterTask

MeisterTask has various features like issues and time tracking and one can collaborate both with external and internal users. There is no limit on storage, one can exchange files easily. Its project boards are perfect agile methodologies.

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The teams can create Scrum to Kanban and various other forms. Communication is also very easy. It has unlimited projects and users offers, and can be used on iPads and iPhone and gives lets you integrate with any of these GitHub, Dropbox, Google Drive  and Zendesk two at a time.

GanttProject

GanttProject is project management and scheduling tool and is open source. The system can generate PERT and Gantt charts and reports in PDF and HTML format, and have time and scheduling management tools. The system lets users create a structured schedule for a project. It has task assignment option.

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects have a number of features and its interface is compared to Facebook layout. Zoho is for Waterfall projects, having options of Gantt chart, and allows users to set milestones and tasks. Zoho also has scrutinized reporting and timesheets features. Zoho can have unlimited users with 10MB storage limit as the free version.

There are a number of project management solutions available, better choose any to have hustle free activities and devote your time to something productive for your business.

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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Encourage Your Employees

When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

Offer Rewards

Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

Give Autonomy

Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

A To Do Scheduling System

Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

“The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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Ask If They like What They’re Doing

If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

More Resources About Team Management

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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