Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own project manager? While the management of big projects is better left to professionals, there are some project management tools anyone can use to streamline their workflow. All these alternatives are free, easy-to-use, and put the power of project management at your fingertips.
This online tool allows users to create spreadsheets that are easy to use but powerful enough to act as a database.
Simply put, this means that you can use Airtable to create customized spreadsheets to track the progress of a project. One of the most useful features of this tool are the customized templates it offers according to your industry. For users in the marketing industry, for example, Airtable offers a content calendar and a marketing campaign spreadsheet complete with all the relevant fields and functionalities professional marketers need to keep tabs on their projects.
You can sign up for free for the basic version of Airtable, which offers more than enough features to take your productivity to the next level if you work on your own or are a small business owner.
Once you have learned to divide projects into smaller tasks, you can take things a step further by using a Gantt chart.
Gantt charts are a basic project management tool that allows you to easily visualize the progress of a project. This type of graphic displays tasks as horizontal bars; the longer the bar, the more time it takes to complete it. Gantt charts let project managers track the status of every single task as well as that of the overall project.
Making your own Gantt chart has become extremely easy thanks to the internet. Just Google “free Gantt chart maker” to discover websites that allow you to create personalized charts for all kinds of projects.
“Kanban” means “visual board” in Japanese and, in fact, this system makes project management as easy as reading a sign.
In this workflow method, every task is a card. Cards are arranged in columns typically named “To do,” “In progress,” “Done,” and “To review.”
Ideally, all the people (or at least all leaders) working on a project have access to the Kanban board, allowing them to easily get a visual overview of the state of the project as well as that of the individual tasks.
Trello is the most popular web application based on Kanban. Signing up is free, so it’s ideal for small business owners looking to get their feet wet with project management.
Learn More About Project Management
This discipline is an exciting field with myriad real-world applications. Below are some previous posts you can read to learn more about this fascinating topic.
- Do good design engineers make good project managers?
- 3 Reasons to choose a career in engineering design
- How is engineering design different from other types of design?
- A basic glossary of engineering design: part 1and part 2
- Engineering design for children: 5 useful benefits
Darnell Technical Services is an engineering design firm with extensive experience in a vast array of projects.
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