New apps and tools can keep your project and your life on task.
Without planning and project management, it’s far too easy for a construction project to go off schedule causing frustration that never ends. That’s why it’s important to keep your project organized and on track whether it’s a simple DIY project or a larger job working with a professional contractor. To succeed, you need think like a project manager, but trying to juggling all the dates and deadlines in your head isn’t easy. These tools and tactics will help you stay on top of everything.
If you haven’t already fallen in love with Google Docs, start digging around the site now before the project begins. The best reasons for using Google Docs to stay organized are that it’s easily accessible (on laptops, tablets, phones), it’s free and it offers great versatility. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of free templates you can use to create quick spreadsheets. Visit the Google Docs template site and you’ll find a document template or spreadsheet style that suits your needs. The Project Charter template might be the right fit for your project—you can change and adjust any of the headings and boxes. Everything done in Google Docs is saved automatically, so there’s no risk of losing your information. Plus, Google Docs makes it easy to add photos, notes and share with contractors. And did we mention it’s free?
Sometimes you just want a simple list. While it may seem like a glorified grocery list app, ToDoList is actually a robust and effective way to stay on schedule. The interface was designed with simplicity in mind, showing clear goals for the day, week, month, etc., and will sync up with your computer, phone and tablet. For those who get lost in the options and functions of Google Docs, this is a simple alternative. Swiping a completed task off the list is also an extremely satisfying option that Google lacks.
When you can’t do everything yourself, it’s time to delegate. For those looking to take charge, there’s Wunderlist. This project management app not only allows you to make detailed to-do lists, but you can send out assignments to others on the app and track the progress. For example, you can assign different tasks to members of your family and receive project updates as tasks are completed. This could give you the control and organization needed to see a complicated project finished.
Sometimes there’s no beating paper and pencil. Field Notes have some of the best notebooks, offering different styles and designs. We love the new Cherry Graph notebooks, which feature a real wood cover and are filled with graph paper that makes quick sketching of ideas and due dates easy. Keep it with you at all times, because you never know when inspiration will strike. Jotting a note on paper is still faster than tapping a phone. These notebooks are not only perfect for making notes, but keeping the notes archived for future projects.
There are many ways to manage and organize a project. The most important thing to remember is: Use them!
A properly managed and scheduled project will operate like a well-oiled machine; a poorly organized project will clunk along then putter to a slow death. Find the tool or method that works best for you and stick with it. If you have suggestions for project management tools, please share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!