For many ambitious entrepreneurs, one wants to take on as many projects as possible. The more projects you have, the more you can scale your business and stay ahead of your competition.
But there is one possible problem that occurs with so many tasks: entrepreneur burnout. But what exactly can you do?
On the one hand, you must look after your health. But on the other hand, you don’t want your business to be left behind.
The answer is to use project management tools to manage your tasks.
Here’s what you should consider:
Is It Specialized?
You might want to consider using a specialized project management tool. For example, if you run a nursing agency, you can consider project management software for healthcare.
Specialized software is catered to your industry and understands your needs. For example, it’ll help you connect a project with a patient. While it’s not obligatory, using specialized software rather than a generic option is far simpler.
Now let’s look at some of the features you want to look out for when choosing a project management tool.
The first feature to consider is whether you can track an assignment’s progress through the project management tool.
This is crucial for any small business that wants to stay on top of their game. For example, Trello gives you email notifications of a task’s progress. Asana lets your team update their progress through each task.
Another important feature is that your project management tool should allow for file sharing.
For example, let’s say you run a YouTube channel. You might need to hire one scriptwriter, one voiceover artist, one editor, and one thumbnail designer.
Each of them will have to work on a single task and share their files. Once all files are uploaded, the project is finished.
Let’s give an example. In this scenario, you want to make sure that your project management tool can upload the following:
- The script (Docx, PDF)
- The voiceover narration (MP3, AAC, WAV)
- The video (MOV, MP4)
- The thumbnail (JPG, PNG)
You want to make sure you can upload a variety of file types to your project management tool. Make sure you research the storage space ahead of time. Ideally, you should have at least 10 gigabytes available with a free package.
Of course, you don’t want your files to be lying all over the place. One thing that stressed entrepreneurs in the analog days was having their papers piling up on their desks.
This same issue has carried over to the digital world. You can skim through your hard drive and be flummoxed by your files. You haven’t organized them properly and now you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.
You don’t want this same issue with your project management tool. Make sure you test out the file organization system.
For example, you should be able to access individual file types at once. You should also be able to search for a file based on its name, description, date added, etc.
Test out how the project management tool works with file organization before adding your team members. You want to make sure you feel comfortable with it. Only afterward will you be able to explain to your team members how to adapt to it.
If you want to make your projects run more smoothly, you’ll need to communicate often with your team.
Of course, while you can always hop on a Zoom call or an actual phone call (remember those?), this isn’t the most efficient method. You want to choose a project management tool that has an in-built communication feature.
For example, both Trello and Asana let you chat within each project box. The built-in system makes it easy to send quick messages to your team members.
Added bonuses will include speaking via audio and video. You should also be able to print out transcripts for each discussion.
If possible, try to use a project management tool that allows you to conduct virtual meetings with your team.
You should choose a project management tool that keeps a record of all activities. This can range from when a file was uploaded to a comment made by a team member.
The software program should also let you download your activity log. You should be able to download it in PDF, XLSX, and CSV formats.
Best Practices for Project Management Tools
Now let’s look at a few best practices you’ll need to succeed when working with project management tools.
Never pay for a project management tool immediately. you want to first start using the free trial. If there’s a free version with limited features, then use that for as long as possible.
If you upload files to the software, make sure you always download them as well. Different project management tools have different rules on how long they’ll store your files.
You want to make sure that you always have a backup in case the files get deleted.
Make sure you understand how to toggle permissions for different users. You must do this before you add your team members to the project management tool.
This prevents you from accidentally giving admin permissions to all your team members. Take 2 or 3 weeks to master using the project management tool before you start using it for your projects.
If you follow the tips in this guide, you’ll have no problem finding the best project management tools.
Get to Work
Now you know the benefits of project management tools and how they can help you organize your tasks.
Make sure you use a specialized project management tool if possible. This makes it much easier than generic software.
You must also use software that lets you upload files. The software should also have an in-built organization system for your files. There should also be communication protocols and an activity log.
Once you’ve found a project management tool, use our best practices to master how to use the software.
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