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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 September 20, 2018

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

                      You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

                      Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

                      When you train your brain, you will:

                      • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
                      • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
                      • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

                      So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

                      1. Work your memory

                      Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

                      When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

                      If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

                      The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

                      Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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                      Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

                      What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

                      For example, say you just met someone new:

                      “Hi, my name is George”

                      Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

                      Got it? Good.

                      2. Do something different repeatedly

                      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

                      Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

                      It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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                      And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

                      But how does this apply to your life right now?

                      Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

                      Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

                      Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

                      So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

                      You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

                      That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

                      3. Learn something new

                      It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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                      For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

                      Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

                      You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

                      4. Follow a brain training program

                      The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

                      5. Work your body

                      You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

                      Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

                      Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

                      Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

                      6. Spend time with your loved ones

                      If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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                      If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

                      I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

                      7. Avoid crossword puzzles

                      Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

                      Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

                      Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

                      8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

                      Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

                      When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

                      So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

                      The bottom line

                      Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

                      Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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