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10 Must-Have Personal Project Management Tools

10 Must-Have Personal Project Management Tools

Project managers are aware of the difficulty in keeping track of various tasks, resources, timelines and risks associated in maintaining a project. But project management is not just applicable for office-related projects but you also require it for personal projects such as planning a vacation, family reunion, birthday party etc.

What it comes down is a simple differentiation – either you are organized or you are not! With so much lying on proper project management, it becomes essential for you to stay at the top of your game.

There are many personal project management tools that can help you to remain organized and prepared at all instances.

To help you with your tasks, we have rounded up on 10 must-have personal project management tools.

1. Asana

A hybrid task and project manager, Asana is available for both iOS and Android devices. It has become quite a tool for helping with individual and organization projects. Through it, you can add multiple projects and track each of them with a sidebar on the left.

Want to know how much you’ve achieved? Structure your project’s goals and milestones as a checklist from start to finish.

You can order tasks by date or when they need to done. You can even create dependencies between tasks so that one task cannot be completed without completing another. Add details for any task such as notes, links, tags and comments.

If you have a combined project, these can be helpful in referencing a task. You can even upload attachments and set due-dates. Cool isn’t it?

Asana

    Asana is free; all you need to do is pay once to get up to 15 or more people working on same project. It’s awesome for corporate projects or tasks and used by even major companies such as Dropbox, Pinterest and Uber for organizing their projects.

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    2. Smartsheet

    Want to manage a sales pipeline, a production schedule, or a team task list, etc.? Try Smartsheet that directly works on the web via Google Apps and with Salesforce.com. The tool helps in recording and organizing data with an unlimited number of free collaborators such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and Livework.

    Smartsheet provides notifications and alerts for any tasks updated/created through the tool.You can also generate Gantt charts and reports to view the progress of the project.

    Smartsheet allows file sharing and Crowdsourcing management at an affordable rate. You can also have a free 30-day trial with no credit card and then can continue the tool at $15.95/month.

    new-smartsheet- Project-Management-Tool

      3. Trello

      Do you like to use cards or post-it notes arranged in categories to help you figure out your thoughts and tasks? If yes, then try Trello.

      This tool is a fast and flexible way of organizing all your project components into various columns and cards by easily dragging and dropping, adding supporting details and comments as well as assigning to various persons in your team.

      Use different boards for each project and set due dates or times for each card. Most of all, Trello is available for both iOS and Android devices with its drag and drop functionality available on phones too.

      Trello- Project-Management-Tool

        Use Trello as your very own personal GTD task management tool. It’s fun and free-of-cost. However, Trello Gold, the premium version would cost you a bit to enjoy larger file attachments, stickers and custom backgrounds.

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        4. OneNote

        The name tells everything – but don’t consider OneNote as another note-taking tool. Instead it can be a powerful personal planner depending on your requirements. But OneNote isn’t for everyone; especially if you are a person who is fond of having top-down view of everything that’s going on at once. However, you can build that type of view for yourself with plugs-in such as OneTastic and keep your files in SkyDrive.

        The only downside with OneNote is that it’s part of Microsoft Office and costs nothing if you buy it with the suite. However, on its own, its price is $70.

        OneNote- Project-Management-Tool

          5. Do

          Previously known as Manymoon and just recently acquired by Salesforce.com, Do is a social productivity tool that helps in sharing seamlessly with other team members. Adding tasks or planning events or even a person to the team can be done by simply with an email.

          Do tool has a very simple layout comprising of a dashboard that helps you in initiating a project, entering its tasks and inviting colleagues to work for the project. To work with Do, all you need to have is a Google account, if you’re already a Google Apps user or just login from the web.

          The best thing is that it’s totally free.

          DO- Project-Management-Tool

            6. Evernote

            Currently, everyone’s favorite seems to be Evernote and here’s why: this powerful project management app is there to help you organize your thoughts not just in form of a series of notes; but it helps you in making sense of a lot of information in the best possible presentation.

            Eventually, you are able to become organized in your tasks and plans. Use Evernote to digitize your pen and paper notes, documents and other files so that you can toss them into respective project notebooks or save them as you like.

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            The best part about Evernote is that it’s supported by a lot of other apps from both iOS and Android platforms.

            Evernote- Project-Management-Tool

              Evernote is free but the premium version costs $45/year. Pricey? Not really, as it offers features such as offline access to your notebooks, collaboration tools, more storage space and improved search.

              7. AgileZen

              Although commonly perceived as a software developer’s tool, Agilezen is not just related for management of software development. It’s also useful for many other office-related tasks.

              HR can use this took for recruiting while the customer services personnel can track issues and response times through it. An ideal way to manage assorted type of tasks in any organization, AgileZen is based on the Kanban concept to help you see the progress of your projects in columns.

              After a free 30-day trial, the app offers free plans for open source projects or it costs $9/month.

              AgileZen- Project-Management-Tool

                8. Azendoo

                Particularly used for hybrid task and project management, Azendoo can also be used for managing your personal projects and tasks. You can even plug it into some popular services such as Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and Box for storage.

                Azendoo provides a little free storage with the services so that you can upload files directly to your projects. You can also assign to-do lists to other people, check their status, make comments on individual tasks, track changes and even have a top-down view of the on-going projects – all with a simple easy-to-use interface.

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                Need we say more? Despite of Azendoo being a web-app, you can take your project on your iOS and Android device with its existing mobile-app version.

                Azendoo- Project-Management-Tool

                  This handy yet powerful tool is free along with a paid premium version. However, what’s important to note is that many people are just happy using the free version with so many functionalities and even 10GB storage alongside the option to connect to all of Azendoo’s supported third-party apps.

                  9. Teambox

                  Marketed with the slogan ”for fun you have a Facebook, for work you need a Teambox”, this is a powerful personal project management tool with the capabilities of combining social networking in your project.

                  You can integrate social networking utilities into a project management dashboard and see activity streams, threaded conversations, comments etc. Manage your inbox, your emails and any other details about your project communication.

                  Free for short teams (from 1-5 members), and adding any more users can cost $5 a month per user.

                  Teambox- Project-Management-Tool

                    10. Basecamp

                    When you talk about project management on the Web, Basecamp’s name suddenly arises as they are the pioneers in inventing the concept of online project management.

                    Basecamp has the competitive advantage of knowing their customers and prospects extremely well. You will be provided impeccable personal project management through this tool that offers a 45-day free trial and a plan that starts at $20/month.

                    Base-Camp- Project-Management-Tool

                      This wraps up our list of 10 must-have personal project management tools. If you are constantly lagging behind in managing your tasks, resources and timelines; then it’s probably time you pick out on a tool that helps you keep all your tasks aligned with the agreed due-dates.

                      Think there is a project management tool that the list has missed out on? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

                      More by this author

                      Faisal Rehman

                      Faisal Rehman writes about work and productivity, trying to help businessmen build their brands and increase sales.

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                      Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                      You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                      But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                      To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                      It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                      “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                      The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                      In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                      Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                      1. Start Small

                      The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                      Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                      Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                      Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                      Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                      Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                      It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                      Do less today to do more in a year.

                      2. Stay Small

                      There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                      But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                      If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                      When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                      I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                      Why?

                      Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                      The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                      Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                      3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                      No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                      There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                      What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                      Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                      This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                      This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                      4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                      When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                      There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                      Peter Drucker said,

                      “What you track is what you do.”

                      So track it to do it — it really helps.

                      But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                      5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                      Peter Drucker also said,

                      “What you measure is what you improve.”

                      So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                      For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                      For writing, it’s 500 words.
                      For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                      For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                      Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                      6. All Days Make a Difference

                      Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                      Will two? They won’t.

                      Will three? They won’t.

                      Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                      What happened? Which one made you fit?

                      The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                      No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                      7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                      Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                      But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                      What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                      It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                      The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                      It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                      It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                      8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                      Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                      Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                      When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                      The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                      Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                      9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                      The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                      Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                      You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                      But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                      So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                      If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                      This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                      The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                      Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                      10. Punish Yourself

                      Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                      I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                      It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                      You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                      No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                      The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                      But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                      11. Reward Yourself

                      When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                      Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                      The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                      After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                      If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                      Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                      If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                      In the End, It Matters

                      What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                      When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                      And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                      “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                      Keep going.

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                      More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                      [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                      [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                      [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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