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Top 5 Project Management Tools for Creative Agencies

Top 5 Project Management Tools for Creative Agencies

When a team at a creative agency is working on a project, they want to worry about the project itself, and not all of the little details that go into managing it. But, project management is an important aspect of any project, and it must be done. So, why not find the best tools that will help make this job a whole lot easier? To get you started, we have compiled a list of the top five project management tools for creative agencies.

1. Paymo

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paymo

    You don’t have to be a project manager to be able to easily take on project management when you are using Paymo. This project management software allows you to take total control over projects so you know everyone is working together and getting things done. You can use Paymo’s many features, which include task management, task assignments, project templates, project planning, progress visual Kanban boards, bird’s eye view of all projects, milestones, and detailed project data. This is going to make project management easier than ever, and you and your team will have a lot more time to concentrate on the tasks rather than managing them.

    2. Wrike

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    wrike

      Use this tool to get real-time information about everything that your team is involved with. You can create reports that allow you to track the performance of your team, track projects and more, and you just have to click on one button to do it. Wrike is ideal for marketing teams, creative teams, project management teams and product development teams that want to take their work to the next level. Your team will have more control over their time, less stress, and be more connected to one another so everyone always knows what is going on in the project, and what needs to be done in order to make it successful.

      3. Workamajig

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      worka

        Here is the best project management software for those working in the creative industry. It can be used both for agencies and for in-house teams, and it is used by some of the foremost creative teams in the world. Use this tool to collaborate on one platform, get accurate data, do away with negative input, improve staff and management visibility, create in-depth reports, and see better returns on investments. This is an all-in-one solution for creative teams that want to spend less time on project management details and more time on actually getting more projects successfully completed.

        4. LiquidPlanner

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        liquid

          This is a tool that allows you to create realistic project schedules for your team. Use LiquidPlanner to schedule multiple projects, track time, collaborate and communicate, schedule the appropriate amount of time for various tasks, and more. This tool is safe and easy to use, and can be used on all mobile devices. This is the tool that technology teams need to have in order to have the speed and accuracy they need. You can request a demo, or try it out now with a free trial. There is nothing to lose, so take a few minutes to see how you can make scheduling a lot easier.

          5. Asana

          asana

            No matter how big or small your organization is, you can benefit from using Asana. This tool lets you track projects from beginning to end, and it makes project tracking easier than ever. Asana is easy to use. If you are able to create an email list, you will have no problem using this tool. You can get started for free, so it really is worth checking out. Every member of your team will be able to get a clear and concise picture of what is going on at any given time throughout projects, so they know what has been done, and what still needs to be done.

            Featured photo credit: Joey Sforza via unsplash.com

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            Jane Hurst

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            Published on November 2, 2020

            How to Use Your Unconscious Mind to Get What You Want

            How to Use Your Unconscious Mind to Get What You Want

            I get my best ideas when I’m not trying—when I’m zoning out in the shower or taking my dog for a walk. Suddenly, something I’ve been racking my brain to figure out seems to just come to me. It may seem like magic, but it’s actually just my unconscious mind coming through for the win.

            What Is Conscious Thought?

            Let’s start by explaining what the unconscious mind is not. I want you to think about what your dream house would look like if money were no object. Then, think about where you were the first time you can remember feeling joy.

            That voice in your head that was talking you through those two tasks is your conscious mind. Simply put, any thought process that you are aware of (conscious of) is part of your conscious mind. I’m using my conscious mind as I sit here and write this article.

            One of the major brain centers for conscious thought is in your prefrontal cortex. This is on the outside of your brain behind your forehead. Some of the downsides of conscious thought are that it’s energetically taxing and finite. What I mean is, your conscious mind can only think one thing at a time, and it burns through a lot of glucose to do so.

            Try to figure out the square root of 2400 while creating a grocery list. You can skip back and forth between those two tasks, but your conscious mind can’t wrestle with both simultaneously.

            Also, think of a time when you were utilizing your conscious mind for an extended period. Maybe you were in classes all day or busy with a tough work task late into the night. You were probably exhausted after such intensive and extended conscious thought.

            What Is the Unconscious Mind?

            That’s why the unconscious mind is such a valuable resource. It isn’t energy taxing, and it is virtually limitless. Your unconscious mind could be trying to figure out thousands of problems right now.

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            The downside is that you aren’t conscious of any of it until you are—until your unconscious thoughts make it into your consciousness.

            That’s why it behooves us to figure out how to create the right environment for our unconscious minds to flourish.

            System 1 and System 2 Thinking

            Daniel Kahneman’s seminal book Thinking, Fast and Slow gives us another way to think about the difference between the unconscious and conscious minds. Kahneman describes two different modes of thought called System 1 and System 2.

            System 1 is quick, emotional, and intuitive, while System 2 is slow, methodical, and logical. System 1 works in tandem with System 2.

            For example, if you see someone looking at you, your System 1 might assume they are upset with you. Then, your System 2 takes over to process information and discern what might actually be going on at that moment.

            Kahneman warns us that System 1 and System 2 are metaphors for how the mind works.[1] It would be an oversimplification to try to explain specific regions where System 1 and System 2 thinking takes place. However, System 1 and 2 is a powerful way of thinking about different modes of thinking. Kahneman calls System 1 automatic thinking and System 2 effortful.

            The idea of focus is key here. In a famous experiment, participants were told to watch a video and count how many times people in the video passed a ball to each other. This required their System 2 thinking. However, the intense focus required for this experiment caused most people to miss the fact that while the people in the video were passing the ball, a person in a gorilla suit slowly made his way through the shot.

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            How to Make Your Unconscious Mind Work For You

            Focusing too intensely can cause us to miss details and solutions better suited to our unconscious mind. That’s why we sometimes have to stop and chill out, instead of forcing solutions.

            Here are five ways to make your unconscious mind work for you.

            1. Manage Stress

            Your unconscious mind is not a big fan of you being stressed out, overworked, or overwhelmed. Managing stress is important if you want to be able to come up with those effortless “aha!” ideas.

            Imagine that you’re under a strict work deadline. Your anxiety is compounded by the fact that you’re worried about losing your job and that your entire family relies on your income. This is an incredible amount of pressure that makes it tough for your unconscious mind to break through with that effortless creativity.

            Think back to the video where the person in the gorilla suit sneaks through all the people passing the ball around. Most people are so focused on the task at hand that they don’t see the most interesting part of the video. Stress and pressure can lead to a kind of tunnel vision that works the same way. Our attention becomes so narrowly focused that we aren’t able to zoom out and connect the dots between broader patterns and ideas.

            That’s why it’s crucial to find ways to manage stress. I recently spoke with humor engineer Drew Tarvin who explained the 4 R’s of managing stress.[2]

            First, try to reduce stress by eliminating stressors from your life. This might mean finding a less stressful job or leaving earlier for work.

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            Next, reframe the stresses that you can’t eliminate. Reframing isn’t pretending that your stress doesn’t exist; it’s trying to think differently and change your perspective about stressors that do exist. This might mean looking at the bright side or trying to see the bigger picture. If I don’t want to quit my stressful job, I can try to reframe by thinking more about the money I make or the times I feel fulfilled at work.

            The third step is to relieve stress. This means finding ways to relax throughout the day. You might try meditating or watching funny cat videos on YouTube to clear your head and relieve your stress.

            Finally, refresh. Find ways to take more extensive breaks where you completely de-stress. Pre-COVID, this might have meant taking a vacation to a beach somewhere. But now, you’ll have to get more creative as you find ways to put your phone down, forget about work, and come back completely refreshed.

            2. Take Breaks

            Part of stress management is taking breaks. But taking breaks is also an important part of tapping into your unconscious mind.

            When I’m trying to figure out how to structure an article or put together ideas for a larger project, I schedule in time to completely put the project down. This allows my unconscious mind the freedom to come up with some truly novel solutions, and unlike conscious thought, it feels effortless.

            This is that experience of the light bulb suddenly going on while you’re showering or driving to work. When you aren’t focused on anything in particular, your unconscious mind has the quiet it needs to bubble up to become conscious thought.

            So, take breaks. One strategy is what’s called the Pomodoro Technique, which is when you stop to take a five-minute break after every 25 minutes of work. This allows you to recharge. Plus, by systematically easing your intense focus, you are giving your unconscious mind opportunities to come up with some truly novel ideas.

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            3. Get Creative

            The unconscious mind is great at effortlessly seeing patterns and finding interesting solutions, but for this to happen, it needs some inspiration. That means creating and consuming as much creativity as you can.

            Pick up an artistic or creative hobby. Paint, write, build, or dance. It’s also helpful to consume creativity. Go to museums, read poetry, and walk in nature. Taking in creativity with your conscious mind will give your unconscious mind all the inspiration it needs to be able to do its thing.

            4. Don’t Force It

            The most crucial takeaway about the unconscious mind is that you can’t force it. You can struggle and strain all you want when you’re using your conscious mind, but the unconscious mind can only bubble to the surface when you aren’t trying so hard.

            Think back to that phenomenon of having an aha moment while you’re showering or walking your dog. The unconscious mind is better able to break through when you aren’t focused so intensely on whatever it is you’re trying to solve.

            So, relax and give yourself some time and space. That’s when your unconscious mind is most likely to breakthrough.

            5. Play

            Finally, don’t forget about the power of play. Play is inherently fun, and a playful mode of thinking allows your unconscious mind more of a chance to innovate. If you turn your task into a game, you’ll be more relaxed, have more fun, and collaborate better with your colleagues. That means you’ll be more likely to riff and get to a more creative “unconscious mind” solution.

            You can also add play throughout your day to tap into this freer, less constrained kind of thinking. Turn your commute into a game, play hide and seek with your children, or join a local bowling league. This will help you get reacquainted with your childlike sense of joy, wonder, and curiosity—all key ingredients to nurturing and fostering your unconscious mind.

            Final Thoughts

            Dealing with and utilizing your unconscious mind is very different from doing so with your conscious mind. Tapping your unconscious mind is a technique that, when done right, can help you get what you want by untapping your potential.

            Featured photo credit: Katerina Jerabkova via unsplash.com

            Reference

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