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Seven Seriously Hardcore Project Management Apps

Seven Seriously Hardcore Project Management Apps

Running your own business can be hard — there’s time-tracking, invoicing, and contacts to keep track of, plus knowing what your entire team is doing (especially important if you manage a team remotely). If you’re trying to use a different solution for each one of these problems, things can easily get overwhelming (and the bill can get high!). These apps can help you stay on top of it all at once, in one spot.

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    Subernova

    Price: $19/month or $199/year for an unlimited account

    Features: Project management, invoicing features (including built-in estimates and invoices, payment via PayPal, automatic late payment reminders, and recurring invoices), email scheduling to clients, the ability to easily store links related to a client or project, iPhone and iPad apps, iCal synchronization.

    Ideal for: Someone who wants a tool with a pretty user interface, but that’s also got a lot of features. Subernova specializes in features that help creative teams stay on priority (which can be a struggle!), with “days left” being easy to view for milestones and projects, and the ability to receive a daily report with progress updates on all projects and their milestones.

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    project-overview

      Skylight

      Price: Plans range from $15/month (freelancer plan, limited to 3 team members) to $125/month (unlimited members, storage, and projects)

      Features: Light CRM features, integrates with Google Docs and PayPal, visual progress bars for projects, stages, and milestones, ability to create quotes and invoices (including generating quotes from scheduled time and resources for a project), discussions and comments at every level, time tracking.

      Ideal for: I see Skylight being useful for teams that need the ability to both see things from the “mile high” view and still be able to drill down to a delicate level of detail for projects, while being able to discuss things at each level. The visual progress bars play especially well into that need.

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        ProjectBubble

        Price: Plans range from $24/month (10 projects) to $99/month (unlimited projects and other perks)

        Features: Drag and drop prioritization of tasks, time tracking, visual views for milestones, file sharing.

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        Ideal for: Someone who has a lot of projects and invoicing to handle, but who also wants a simple, streamlined interface that’s easy to use. Possibly great for those working with online teams that consist of people not necessarily skilled in the usual project management tools (that we all know can be hard to pick up on the fly!)

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          CreativePro Office

          Price: Plans range from solo ($9/month for 3 team members) to team ($49/month for unlimited team members)

          Features: Project and task management, timesheets and job timers, invoicing, file management, desktop and mobile apps available, finance and productivity reporting.

          Ideal for: A team of five or more handling multiple projects, probably best suited for those in a service-based industry (because of the built-in financial tools and reporting). Especially useful if you want to see where your team members are spending most of their time and effort at a glance (because of the job timers).

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            Podio

            Price: Free for up to five years, $9/user/month

            Features: Podio’s main feature is its customizability — you can customize everything about Podio by adding or removing apps, modifying apps, and changing the appearance of your workspace. Using that feature, you can make Podio an all-in-one business management tool at a fraction of the cost of many other similar solutions.

            Ideal for: The team that needs a lot of flexibility with features — Podio’s app market has you covered with everything from project management add-ons, to sales and lead tracking, to job applicant tracking. The user interface is also clean and well-organized, making it easy to use.

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              LiquidPlanner

              Price: $29/user/month

              Features: Priority-based task and project scheduling, best case/worst case estimates, project analytics and reporting, iOS and Android apps, commenting on tasks and projects, time tracking and timesheet submission/approval.

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              Ideal for: Tech-savvy teams and businesses that can make the most of its features and need a robust tool to help them manage complex projects — especially projects with dependencies or the potential to get out of scope quickly.

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                WorkETC

                Price: Plans range from $195/month (for up to three users, $39/month for each extra user, no social media or accounting integration) to $595/month (for up to three users with $89/month for each additional user)

                Features: Triggers and dependencies for projects, help desk software, billing features (capturing of billable events, recurring invoices, and ability to handle tax and discounting rules), project templates, lead capturing tools.

                Ideal for: WorkETC is more expensive than many of the other options here, so it’s clearly meant for a business that’s running successfully with high profit margins, and that’s ready to work on systematization and streamlining behind the scenes, starting with its business management tools.

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                Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

                What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

                If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

                So, what to do in free time?

                Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

                Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

                1. Reading Files

                Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

                Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

                2. Clear out Inbox

                Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

                If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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                3. Phone Calls

                Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

                Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

                4. Make Money

                This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

                If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

                5. File

                No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

                But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

                Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

                6. Network

                Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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                7. Clear out Feeds

                If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

                8. Goal Time

                Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

                If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

                Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

                9. Update Finances

                Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

                Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

                10. Brainstorm Ideas

                Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

                11. Clear off Desk

                Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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                Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

                12. Exercise

                Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

                13. Take a Walk

                This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

                It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

                14. Follow up

                Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

                When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

                15. Meditate

                You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

                Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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                16. Research

                This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

                If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

                17. Outline

                Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

                18. Get Prepped

                Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

                You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

                19. Be Early

                Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

                Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

                20. Log

                If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

                Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

                More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

                Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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