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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    Using project/task management efficiently

    I use an online project/task management application to help me manage my projects (I am using the free version of ActiveCollab). When I have a small work load I find it is easy to keep the tasks/milestones up-to-date. However when I have a heavy workload I find that it takes too much time and effort to keep the project management up-to-date. This is ironic since with the heavier work load is when I really need the help to keep all the tasks in order. I must be doing something wrong.

    How specific should you be with the task/milestones? Should I task step-by-step or keep it general?

    Do you update the task on the fly (finish a task and tick it off)? Or do you update the tasks daily or only when you get a chance?

    I really need to figure out a way to use these tools more efficiently, any help appreciated.

    BTW - this is for personal project management, this is not for projects with teams.
    "You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around...
    Or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters."
    - Cartman

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    classic web system are way to difficult to slow to use, only now are such systems coming into action that have a quick enough work flow. Fogbugz was impressive, but it didn't fit my service business well, it seems to be catered for a mass software application.

    I like to tick off everything immediately, as it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and also fits into the general GTD (getting things done) methodology.

    So,

    Programming projects, I use a word document for overview planning (indented bullets), plain paper for tasks within the day and an Excel sheet for a project list (hours open bets /worst case/ hours delegateable etc, payment terms etc)

    Service work, marketing and other errands, I use emails in Gmail.

    I have tried Remember the Milk, which is fast as well, but I haven't managed to get enough into it to make it work. My brother swears on it, its very good with IPhone, texts and many other things.

    You should keep reading for a couple of days on www.lifehacker.com, that would help with most of your questions. (Take a holiday for this, its worse than Google Earth)


    HTH, Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
    Websites, On-line Software and everything Internet
    Follow on Twitter | Connect on LinkedIn | Read on Posterous

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict
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    What synchronicity, the latest newsletter #6 on www.stevepavlina.com has an article on "Are You Over-engineering Your Productivity?"

    Couldn't find it on the website.

    HTH, Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
    Websites, On-line Software and everything Internet
    Follow on Twitter | Connect on LinkedIn | Read on Posterous

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist dev_cw's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I end up using paper notes (legal pad) to keep things fast, but with multiple projects this ends up a bit messy. Remember the Milk looks interesting, specially the integration with Gmail/Calender. I will check it out.

    Has anyone tried desktop apps (as opposed to online apps)? I ran into this list of tools and some look interesting. But it seems like it would take the same amount of effort (time) to manage effectively.
    http://zenhabits.net/2008/03/5-amazi...-rigged-setup/

    My favorite old time method is to hang a white-board over my desk and keep everything visible and easy to reach. I liked this because it was always in your face. Unfortunately I am now working in the living room and my wife will not allow me to hang one up.
    "You can just hang outside in the sun all day tossing a ball around...
    Or you can sit at your computer and do something that matters."
    - Cartman

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Roar's Avatar
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    If you take a lot of notes, checkout Microsoft OneNote. Within OneNote I keep a "current tasklist" and then have seperate sections for each different projects for general notes. It's basically like having all your word documents open at once for quick & easy access to all of your information for all of your projects.
    ----
    Nerd Business Blog : for NERDS only


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