Top 5 Tools to Manage Your Project [video blog]

by Jennifer Bridges, PMP (formerly, Jennifer Whitt)

Whether I’m on planes, trains, or automobiles, trying to get to and from projects, it’s all about getting more done with less. The key to my game is portability and agility. Today I’m going to share with you my top picks, my top five tools to help manage your project, some things that I found that have helped me that I want to share.

#1 – Planning and Task Management

Number one. I need a great online planning and task management tool, something that I can get to no matter where I am. I’m rarely in my office. I’m typically off-site, remote, or traveling so I need to be able to get to my planning and task management online. The best tool I found is ProjectManager.com, who can offer everything to manage your projects including tips and techniques. I’m not sure if you are aware or have tried it but they have a free trial going right now if you want to check it out. ProjectManager.com allows me to mange my projects remotely.

#2 – Budgeting

The second one is managing financial spend. I don’t know about you, but a lot of the project management tools today have the data but I can’t manipulate it quickly enough. Specifically, if I am trying to manage financial spend I export the information to something that I can manipulate quickly. I’ve found Excel spreadsheets with macros that I can build and ways to filter information and calculate things quickly. I prefer Excel.

#3 – Communication

The next one is communications. I talk with people all over the world. What I found that everyone can get access to is Skype. You can actually Skype someone from your computer or from your mobile phone. It allows an easy way to communicate internationally.

#4 – Meetings and Presentations

Meetings and presentations. I’m constantly trying to show someone a screen or trying to show someone tasks or activities, or some kind of presentation. The online tool that I like is GoToMeeting.com. You can subscribe there. They have different packages that can allow you to do anything from hosting a small team meeting to a limit of 1000 people on your meetings or presentations.

#5 – Productivity

The next one is for mobility and productivity. There seems to be a fruit thing going on lately. There are Apples and Blackberries, and who knows, there’s probably a Blueberry out there. I chose apples. My favorite tools and my best traveling companion is my iPhone. I love my iPhone. There’s an app for anything. I just go crazy, especially on a plane ride, trying to search for new apps. They truly can make my life easy.

Some of the apps I want to share with you are, of course the calendar; being able to pull up my calendar entries. My camera. One thing that I do, I don’t know if you’ve tried this but I am going to show you here. If I’m in a meeting and someone has put things on a board, instead of trying to frantically write down everything they say, I just take a picture of the board and I mail it to myself or maybe share it with my team members. I love having my camera. I can also take a picture of someone’s notes in their notebook. Have you ever seen that person in the meeting who takes great notes? Instead of typing it up, I just take a picture of their notes. I can have it transcribed or even use it as is.

Also there is an app for traveling. A lot of times I use Delta and they have an app, or TripIt. Of course, you can also Skype. I can Skype from my phone. I can get access to Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. I can access a Kindle app, or any kind of app to read PDFs or books or information I want to read. My iTunes; I can listen to music or I can listen to sessions. A lot of times I’ll record something and listen to it online. And text. The best way to reach me is to text me. This goes with me everywhere and if I need to communicate quickly or rapidly with my team, we just text each other.

If you found these tips from Jennifer Whitt, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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