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A Project Management Tool for Teams That You Didn’t Know Existed

A Project Management Tool for Teams That You Didn’t Know Existed

Some of the first problems busy freelancers & entrepreneurs run into is a time management crunch. As they take on more work, job tracking the tasks for each client becomes more demanding. Having a centralized hub to communicate and share files with team members quickly becomes a necessity when you get busy: it’s deciding the best project management software to use that stops most people in dead their tracks.

Managing Multiple Jobs and Virtual Team Members

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Project Management Software Viewpath with Gantt Chart

    So how do you manage multiple jobs with many other team members that need access to client information and files? A great tool to start with is Viewpath. Viewpath is an online project management software with a free edition that does not expire. This powerful program does not get enough time in the spotlight and deserves a long overdue introduction. This writer uses it every day.

    Though the free version has some limitations it’s a great place to start and see if you can actually get your process down to repeatable steps. Getting your brain down on paper can be very revealing. You can expect to change your process many times as you grow. The experience will also show you what good project management software is capable of without making you rush through the process so you can learn and try at your own pace.

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    With all team members on board it’s easy to track which tasks are on time and late with simple red dots marking the late tasks. Extending due dates or moving project start dates can be done by dragging the project visually or entering the desired date into the correct task.

    Project Management Software Viewpath with project open

      This all ties in nicely with the resource management aspect in the Gantt chart where you can take a quick peek at who is overbooked and who can accept more work. You can create unlimited projects and invite unlimited guests. “Guests” will be your virtual team members and can view tasks that have been assigned to them within a project to access files, mark them complete or a percentage complete, as well as add notes and links.

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      Project Management for Beginners

      Project Management Software Viewpath with timeline

        The beauty of starting with project management software early in the game is that you can get an idea of how much time it takes just to outline jobs and track progress so that you aren’t surprised by it later. You might even find that you dislike this aspect of the work and, knowing that, will help you hire the right kind of people later on down the road.

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        If you are new to project management software there are a few things you should know. These programs are big. They may look simple but they are capable of running hundreds of jobs and tracking hundreds of employees. There is a template creation process, reporting function, separate views, multiple categories and personal logins.

        Being big means they can grow with you but they also require more attention at the start. Many freelancers dive in and find out quickly that to truly utilize all the functions it takes hours of learning and even more time planning. This time investment may feel like a turn off at first but asking hard questions only streamlines the process for later. Of course there is always the option of using it for the tasks you need immediately and learning as you go but don’t expect a quick “end” to the learning curve.

        15 Hacks for Viewpath That Will Save You Time:

        1. When selecting multiple rows at a time, hold shift and don’t click inside the check boxes—click to the left to make a large selection.
        2. You can change multiple dates or resource names at once by selecting all the lines you want and jut typing the first letter of the name or the date.
        3. Confused about making templates? Just create a job, create all the tasks and the next time you want to create a similar job, just choose to “create from existing” job instead of the template option.
        4. The time-tracking clock does not work in free edition so stop clicking it.
        5. Missing a job? You probably closed the tab. Go home, then to the project tab and double click it.
        6. Archiving jobs is better than deleting.
        7. Resources not showing up on a job? Go to a different job with resources in it, select them all, click edit copy and then edit paste into new job.
        8. The little arrows move around everything you select, not just one task. Make sure only one task is selected and then place it in the hierarchy.
        9. Don’t skip the tutorial. It’s super simple and takes about 3 minutes.
        10. Tasks showing but can’t find them on the timeline? Check your year in the date column. Sometimes jobs get entered in for the wrong year and poof! They disappear.
        11. “Duration” means how many days or hours you will let someone attempt to complete the task. “work” is how long you expect them to take and can be found in the dropdown menu of each header.
        12. The home screen requires you hit the continue button in the middle of the screen before revealing the program when you first log in. Yes you are in the right place.
        13. The free version does not expire but if you don’t login for over 4 months you may not have an account when you come back.
        14. If you indent a task (move it to the right with an arrow key) the task above it will become a bold header. You can’t mark headers complete. They will become complete when all the tasks under them have been completed.
        15. Create a task at the end of each project that says “ready for billing”, if the billing date goes past due it serves as a nice reminder.

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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