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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

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.

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                      Last Updated on January 2, 2019

                      Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                      Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                      The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

                      It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

                      To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

                      So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

                      1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

                      We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

                      Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

                      Stop focusing on the material objects

                      Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

                      Plan gifts in advance

                      We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

                      Suggest a better way

                      If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

                      Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

                      You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

                      Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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                      2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

                      It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

                      If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

                      How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

                      Here’s what you can do:

                      Set a healthier pattern

                      For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

                      Get a fitness watch

                      Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

                      Find a physical activity that you enjoy

                      Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

                      Try intermittent fasting

                      This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

                      Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

                      You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

                      3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

                      In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

                      But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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                      These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

                      Leave bigger intervals between meetings

                      If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

                      Plan time to relax

                      As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

                      Try to be a little pessimistic

                      We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

                      Try waking up earlier

                      Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

                      Plan your day the day before

                      Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

                      Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

                      If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

                      4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

                      If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

                      Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

                      Binge-watching TV series

                      Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

                      You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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                      Running on coffee

                      Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

                      As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

                      Procrastination

                      Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

                      Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

                      If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

                      Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

                      5. Stop over-consuming

                      We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

                      Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

                      • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
                      • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
                      • Can I rent it?
                      • Can I make it myself?
                      • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

                      For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

                      Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

                      6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

                      Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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                      But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

                      Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

                      Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

                      For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

                      Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

                      Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

                      Set your phone on flight mode

                      When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

                      Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

                      You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

                      The Bottom Line

                      As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

                      But this year, promise yourself this:

                      Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

                      Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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