It’s senior project and college deadline time, and from what I’ve seen, many of you are disasters. “I don’t know what to do.”
Yesterday I told someone, “Walk and talk,” while I spouted out steps to tackling complex problems. It occurred to me you need solutions. I have solutions.
Project management software.
Believe it or not there are nerds out there working for you. They want you to be happy–to have the apps and gadgets you need. You can even offer them feedback by going to “contact us” on websites or “feedback.” I do it all the time. It’s like having my own professional developer at my side making me the stuff I want. You’ve used some of the software they’ve produced in our classes.
The bottom line is this–when you’re struggling or overwhelmed with life, there’s an app for that.
Throw out those annoying flash drives! That’s so 2005! Free yourself! So what if Google knows what you ate for breakfast? It’s free. Your stuff travels with you! Between us, we’ve been using Google, Evernote, Piktochart, Google Class, Instagram, Twitter… the list is endless and will get bigger.
So, what’s project management software and how will it save my life?
I tell you to calendar in deadlines, backdating them to today to get the job done. Calendars don’t help you with the steps to completing the task, but project management programs do. You can:
1. Enter in complex tasks like Senior Project or college applications, breaking down the steps into to do lists.
2. Collaborate with friends by creating a project, assigning out the tasks with appropriate deadlines, and share notes that the entire team can see.
3. Change deadlines easily, seeing what’s going on in your personal and professional life in multiple views, such as list view, project view, task view, and calendar view.
4. Send cat pictures to your team.
I said “Professional life.” Yes, indeed, I did. I use this stuff for real. It helps me as a professional. Really, I’m no better than you in life. What separates us is a few extra years of hard work, my five grey hairs, and all the mistakes I’ve made (like too much college debt) that I’m trying to save you from making.
Project management software can help. Get your senior project and college applications in check RIGHT NOW. I already showed you Asana. Basecamp is a good one, too. It’s free for teachers, but cheap for real people. Both of these have mobile apps so you can take them on the run. Asana’s app is improving and functional but not the full platform.
Other things to help your zen workflow:
Slack helps you communicate in teams without email, and the mobile app is amazing. It integrates all your other programs, so you can compile docs, skype right from the platform, or just chat with teams right in one place. You could use it for projects. There is a free and a paid model.
Google solves your “I can’t afford Word” needs while letting you collaborate in real-time with teammates all over the world. It’s so easy, I don’t even feel guilty when I say, “Why don’t you make a spreadsheet, analyze it, and let me know what you found.” Google Hangouts lets you work with your team 24/7.
Twitter helps you find the top experts in the field you’ll be entering. If you’re serious about success, you should be there, your profile should be professional, and you should use Twitter to meet, retweet, and comment on material put up by intelligent people. The ability to do that is a game changer, trust me.
That’s what I have in my toolbox today. Share your must have’s below.