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Project Management Software: Communicate, Collaborate & Conquer

Project Management Software: Communicate, Collaborate & Conquer

Project work is how things get done. If you are lucky, projects move along without too many glitches, but let's face it, things happen. MAJOR pieces, an e-mail or a file, can fall through the cracks, sometimes never to be found again or even worse there is a total communication breakdown. Your project falls behind.

So how can you better manage your projects and avoid such pitfalls? Your best option is to use project management software. It helps keep everything, and we mean everything in one centralized location. We happen to use Basecamp (affiliate link) by a company called 37 Signals, but there are other project management softwares out there. Here are some features from Basecamp that we particularly like and use often. These may be found on other softwares, but may have some functionality differences or they may simply go by a different name.

1) Messages: Communication—The key to getting any project done successfully. Instead of drowning inboxes with emails regarding the projects we are working on, we send messages via Basecamp. What’s great about this feature is that all messages can be found in one centralized location. If you are paranoid that you might miss a message, you can subscribe to messages and have them copied to your email. From your inbox you can reply to them, just like a regular email. This gives you the best of both worlds and lets you stay on top of all those moving parts. By the way, you can also send private messages to your team members.

2) Files: It’s great being able to find all files in one location that doesn’t clutter your Desktop or a folder. What’s even better is that your also team has access to them allowing for more effective collaboration. Files are uploaded via messages or by simply uploading them. So if you are ever scrambling for a file, you know where it is.

3) To-Dos: Project team members have many tasks. Keeping track of them can get a bit difficult at times (where did that Post-it note go?). You may have your own system of tracking to-dos, but tracking them online may free up some desk space and save a few trees.

Using project management software hasn’t just helped us with our internal projects, it has also helped us conquer projects for our clients. Our collaborations with our clients have been really successful. In fact, with some of our clients the main source of communication is via Basecamp.

There are many other cool features and tools out there depending on the project management software you use. Don’t be afraid to make some changes to the way you manage your projects, especially if a partner proposes to use one. Using these tools help make communicating and collaborating easier leading to more success.

How are you currently managing your projects? Do you have any project management nightmares? Please share them below.

Basecamp

Image: net_efekt, "Training day" January 11, 2010 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.

Posted by Eric Garza on 09/30 at 09:47 AM in BusinessTechnologyWeb Design

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