Advertising

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

Advertising
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

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

        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.

        Advertising

        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.

        More by this author

        cancer Hacks Cancer Hacks: Tools & Services To Heal Your Mind, Body & Wallet Prodcutivity vs Insanity With Project Management Software A Project Management Tool for Teams That You Didn’t Know Existed

        Trending in Productivity

        1 10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021 2 13 Steps to Build a Positive Habit Stacking Routine 3 How to Build New Habits With An Accountability Partner 4 How to Find the Best Keystone Habits to Change Your Life 5 The Psychology of Habit Formation (And How to Hack it)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on September 9, 2021

        10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

        Advertising
        10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

        Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

        Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

        We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

        As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

        Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

        Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

        1. The One Thing Planner

        The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

        As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

        Get the planner here!

        2. The Full Life Planner

        The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

        With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

        Get the planner here!

        3. The Freedom Journal

        Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

        Advertising

        From their site:

        “The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

        Get the planner here!

        4. Full Focus Planner

        Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

        From the site:

        “Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

        This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

        Get the planner here!

        5. Passion Planner

        They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

        From the site:

        “An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

        They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

        They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

        Advertising

        Get the planner here!

        6. Desire Map Planners

        If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

        Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

        Get the planner here!

        7. Franklin Covey Planners

        The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

        From the site:

        “Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

        Get the planner here!

        8. Productivity Planner

        From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

        Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

        It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

        From the site:

        “Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

        Get the planner here!

        9. Self Journal

        Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

        Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

        Get the planner here!

        10. Google Calendar

        You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

        Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

        If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

        Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

        Get the planner here!

        Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

        Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

        The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

        Block #1: Desire

        Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

        Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

        Advertising

        A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

        Block #2: Strategy

        Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

        In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

        Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

        In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

        “What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

        This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

        Block #3: Focus

        With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

        Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

        Block #4: Rhythm

        The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

        Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

        Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

        The Bottom Line

        Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

        Advertising

        As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

        More Tools to Boost Your Productivity

        Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

        Read Next