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6 Project Management Apps No Contractor Can Do Without

6 Project Management Apps No Contractor Can Do Without

Project managers have high burnout rates because they have to cope with so many responsibilities. They must take advantage of different apps to streamline tasks and manage workflow effectively.

Rachel Burger of Capterra reached out to several project managers in the contracting industry. They told her they are pursuing more creative solutions for project management. This includes adapting new technology, such as smartphone and desktop apps.

“The construction critical path method (CPM) is a tool that many project managers use, often with their construction management software, to help figure out the best steps to take to finish a job efficiently. This critical path method, otherwise known as critical path scheduling, is one of the most frequently used construction planning techniques. Critical chain, on the other hand, looks specifically at the longest chain considering task and resource dependencies.”

Here are the best apps project managers will need in 2016. They can help you stay in budget and improve quality assurance.

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1. Asana

Project managers often need to oversee multiple teams with different responsibilities. Asana is a great platform for this. At least 140,000 companies use Asana for project management.

You can create multiple virtual workstations and assign work to members of each team. For example, contractors can have separate workstations for their HVAC, electrical and glass installation teams.

You can provide up to 15 users for free. If you want to manage a team with 15 to 29 users, you will need to upgrade and pay $50 a month.

2. WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax is a specialized project management app for contractors. They allow general contractors and subcontractors to coordinate with each other. It can be accessed from job sites and has a seamless billing tool, which is something most other project management tools lack.

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The interface is customized around the terminology used by most contractors, so it’s highly intuitive.

3. MeisterTask

MeisterTask is one of the newest project management tools. It has a unique GUI interface that allows project managers to coordinate tasks through dragging and dropping lists. You can also generate project frameworks with mind maps, rather than building them from scratch. It’s ideal for contractors that are still in the early stages of planning after getting blueprints from an architect.

Since it’s highly automated, MeisterTask is much more efficient than many of its predecessors. You can add an unlimited number of projects and users with the freemium version of MeisterTask. However, the functionality is limited. If you want unlimited integrations, you will need to pay $9 a month.

4. Clarizen

Clarizen is ideal for managing complex projects where the stakes are high. It has a number of resource management and Financial management tools, which helps project managers complete projects within budget. Clarizen also has a number of document management and social sharing tools, which is ideal for complicated projects that require numerous documents.

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All versions of Clarizen require a paid subscription, which begins at $30 a month. However, it’s definitely worth paying for the service if you want a highly versatile project management interface.

5. Dapulse

First project management solutions rely on a binary task management system. After a task is completed, you simply click the checkbox. Unfortunately, this approach isn’t always very practical, because most tasks are multistage processes.

Dapulse provides a more granular and useful approach. You can keep track of various stages in a task. It’s easier to provide progress updates to your clients and superiors.

6. Basecamp

Tools like Dapulse and Asana are great for compartmentalizing work for multiple teams. However, sometimes it’s better to use a more centralized project management interface.

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Basecamp allows you to keep all of your projects in a single, central location, where all team members can give input. If you have a team that requires a lot of coordination between members of various departments, Basecamp is a great solution.

Basecamp subscriptions start at $10 a month. However, they provide a 60-day free trial, which is great if you want to test the interface before making the commitment.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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