Let’s Get Organized

Getting Organized

This week I decided to look at some different online software to become more organized with my homework assignments and blog posts. The whole semester I was using the app called CalenDo to record my homework and due dates. It’s very user-friendly, but I feel like it should be used more for my grocery lists instead of my assignments. Rather than looking at list makers and organizers, I started looking at project management softwares online. My goal was to find a software where I could break down each week of class and see all of the tasks that I needed to complete.

To get started, one of my professors suggests that I look at Asana, Trello, and Podio. Luckily, all three PM softwares have a free version that I could use. At first glance, all three websites looked clean, professional, and organized. I got a little nervous because I was afraid it would be hard to decide which one to use, but in the end, I had a clear favorite. 

What is Project Management

Project management allows a person or team to create and initiate every single step of a project. This includes everything from planning to executing a project within a specific amount of time (Phillips, 2003). It is imperative the individual or team meets their goal, and project management helps them get there. Planning and organizing involves a lot of strategy and cognitive thinking (Cross et al., 2001). To come up with the easiest solution, you really have to turn on the creative part of your brain. One way of the simplest methods of breaking tasks down is kanban. This design system pretty much splits tasks into three parts; to-do, in progress, and done. This Medium article, written by Daniel Bohn, does a great job at explaining the concept in greater detail. 

Project Management is helpful in every field. It breaks down big tasks into smaller tasks and allows you to see the big picture. Right now, I am thinking about going into data visualization, and project management is essential to completing tasks and projects on time. This Target Practice article written by Max Steinmetz explains the importance of project management and data visualization. Regardless of what field project management is used, planning and organization are quintessential to success. 

Testing Softwares

Asana

It was easy to set up an account. After entering my university email, I was able to create my first project. Asana starts you off with three boards; To-Do, In Progress, and Done.

Inside each week, it was simple to create tasks and assign due dates. I did not need all of the collaboration features. There were also too many buzz words (like, followers, status updates, favorites) that reminded me of social media.

PositivesNegatives
– simple
– organized
– layout
– user-friendly
– free
– collaborate heavy (better for team use than an individual)
– social media style
– didn’t show progress (how many tasks I have completed)

Trello

This PM software was also straightforward to set up. After entering my email, I was able to create an account and set up my project. Trello also uses boards and task lists just like Asana. With a colorful background, I was immediately drawn to Trello’s web design. Making task lists was very easy, and I was able to add notes and due dates for each module. I had an enjoyable experience using Trello, and I highly recommend the service. 

PositivesNegatives
– organized
– user-friendly
– layout
– clean – simple
– task lists
– due dates
– progress
– perfect for a single user
– add pictures and links
– free
– can’t delete list

Podio

Nope. Right off the bat, I did not like the layout of the site. I found it hard to use, and I couldn’t find a way to make lists like the others. I don’t know if I was being biased after using Trello, but I did not feel very organized. I feel like this website would be better suited for teams and collaborations. 

PositivesNegatives
– to-do lists
– team collaborations
– free
– layout 
– organization
– not for a single user
– colors
– not user-friendly (even with the tutorial)

The Process

I was looking for specific features to breakdown my semester. I needed the ability to create a to-do for my assignments lists for each week, and I needed to make a checklist within each assignment. For example, week one consisted of videos, readings, and skills assessments. I wanted the ability to make a checklist for all five readings for the week. Trello allowed me to do that. I then plugged in each week one by one. Plugging in all of that information was very time consuming, but I felt like this process allowed me to reflect on everything that I had done so far this semester.

In the end, it was undeniable which software was my favorite. I will definitely be using Trello from now on, for everything. I was able to slip up each week into its own individual list, which was very important for me to stay organized. Then I could go into even more detail by describing each task, adding links, setting due dates, and creating checklists. Instead of keeping track of everything in my head, I was able to place everything for the week in one convenient spot. 

 I look forward to using this service for many more projects. 

Sources

Bohn, D. (2016, September 8). Design Kanban: A freeform Kanban system for creative teams. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@danielbohn.de/design-kanban-a-freeform-kanban-system-for-creative-teams-a17350089de5

Cross, Nigel. Design Cognition: Results from Protocol and other Empirical Studies of Design Activity, in C. Eastman, M. McCracken and W. Newstatter (eds.) Design Knowing and Learning: Cognition in Design Education, Elsevier, Oxford, 2001, pp. 79-103. ISBN 0 08 043868 7

Joseph Phillips (2003). PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003. ISBN 0-07-223062-2 p.354.

Taucraft. (2018, August 10). 5 Time-saving ways to use project management visualization. Retrieved from https://www.targetprocess.com/blog/project-management-data-visualization/

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