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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 April 19, 2021

                      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                      The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                      Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

                      The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

                      Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

                      In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

                      When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

                      Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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                      1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

                      When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

                      As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

                      That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

                      The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

                      What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

                      Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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                      There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

                      So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

                      2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

                      When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

                      No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

                      3. Move Your Body

                      A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

                      It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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                      So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

                      4. Connect With Another Person

                      Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

                      One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

                      Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

                      5. Use Your Imagination

                      When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

                      That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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                      And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

                      Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

                      Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

                      More on the Importance of Taking a Break

                      Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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