11: Project Management
Welcome to episode 11 of Permission to be Messy. I'm your host, JoAnn Krall. And today I'm talking about project management.
One question. I get asked a lot. Which project management software do you recommend? And my short answer is always, it's the one that you'll use, but of course, there's so much more to this.
Have you ever seen an item in a store with the bold proclamation? One size fits all. Then you try it on and it appears, they just didn't mean your size. I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me. Whether it's from hats to gloves, to socks, whatever it is. Really there's no one size that fits all in anything in life. to me, that's the ultimate cookie cutter solution. I often see the same language when it comes to the marketing of project management softwares. There's so many options out there and they often will say perfect for any team or individual flexible enough for everybody. the last system that you'll ever need, it will work for you and of course, they believe this at the core but, it just simply isn't true. We need to find what works for us.
Asana, Trello, Monday, ClickUp, AirTable, Hive, Basecamp. Notion you know, the list just goes on and on and on,
In the past. I would use Trello for my personal and Asana for my business. neither one was really effective me. They looked great. They were all set up and they were all organized, but I wasn't utilizing them. And honestly, when ClickUp, came along, I looked at it and it was very overwhelming. So I dropped it. And then about a year later, I was watching some videos of a friend of mine who, and I'll mention her in the show notes, who helps people with ClickUp. And I was like, oh, I see how I could use this and so I gave it another go. And I really liked it. I think part of it is the colors are vibrant, but also it just, something about the way the notifications came to me, just clicked with me.
So before I talk about my four steps that I take people through to help them figure out what project management system will work for them. I thought I'd go through what typically if you were to Google, Which one would work for you? First of all, you're going to see endless articles from all of the project management softwares themselves.
But, to give you an idea of the basics that you need to know, of course we need to know what do we require now, if you're an individual using this for your own personal stuff, or you're using it for your own business and you don't have anybody else than, you don't really need something that works really well with teams.
That said you may want to save room for expansion. Could be for your business if you get a virtual assistant or you start hiring people, or even for personal, if you want to start incorporating your family members into that system. Then you want to make sure that you have that opportunity to grow.
Now let's talk about the four steps that I have for you to choose the right project management system for you.
The first step is to research. And before you start researching, you want to put together a list of all of the things that you need the software to do and what you need to integrate it with, because it's important that if you're integrating with a certain calendar, you want it to work together or other softwares.
That will help you at least eliminate some of the actual programs that don't work with your needs. And as you're doing this, think about things that you've used in the past. maybe you haven't used anything and that's okay too, but, why they didn't work for you?
So step two is asking others what they use and what they use it for is really important. So what kind of tasks they're using it for and what do they integrate with it? But basically this is another piece of your research, but you're just going now to people that you trust.
Step three is to test and run something small. So after you've gone through step one and two you've, hopefully narrowed it down to a few choices. So take some small projects and take advantage of the free trials, or some of them have free levels of these softwares to get a feel for how they work and putting your workflow into them and does it make sense for you?
The last thing you want to do is say, okay, everybody's recommending ClickUp so I'm going to go to ClickUp. I'm going to take everything I have and I'm going to import it in, or I'm going to start developing everything into this one system only for you to find out that it doesn't work for you.
And then the fourth one is to give a time. I really recommend you stick with a new software for at least a month to see if you're using it in the way that you want to and allow yourself to learn it and understand it because they all work a little bit different. And even within each project management system, there's all different ways to manage projects. some people like to look at things like a Kanban board, like Trello, other people like lists. Some people like calendars. I like a combination of all of them.
Sometimes it's not a matter of the platform. It's really about learning how to use it effectively and efficiently for you. This was very true for me with ClickUp. I knew I liked it.
But it was very overwhelming and daunting. So I took the time to learn it. And again, as I mentioned before, I didn't even mention her name, but Yvonne Heimann, AskYvi she has a great YouTube channel about ClickUp. So if that is one that you're thinking of I highly recommend you check that out.
But if you're thinking of other project management softwares, Definitely recommend you head to YouTube and watch some of the ways people use it and see if there's tutorials out there for you. A lot of these companies have their own tutorials but sometimes seeing it from a user's perspective can really change things.
And sometimes this is all just a feeling like when you have a really comfortable pair of pants and they feel really good and you want to wear them all the time. Sometimes it's the same with any kind of software that you're using. If it really makes you feel good you're going to be more successful
Okay, now that I've gone over those steps to helping you find the system that works for you. Let's talk about all the pre-work stuff, because this is where people are always in the mindset of, I need a system.
And they want to start with this system. And I'll compare this to if you're the type of person that says, I'm going to go to the container store and I'm going to go to target and I'm going to get organized.
That is the equivalent of saying I'm going to get organized. Give me a project management software. Let's go for it now. That is not where we start. We start with all the pre-work.
And for project management, the pre-work is understanding your processes before you get them all digital. So sometimes taking a, an, a look at it on paper. Using, post-it notes and a whiteboard, or just, a notebook, whatever it is. Getting your workflows and understanding what your needs are, is always going to have to happen before because we can't take all of our junk and put it into a project management software and expect to be magically organized.
You really, almost need to be organized before you start implementing. I feel like the project management software is the, almost at the maintenance it's the systems and the maintenance stage. So once you've got a process down, you're then automating it with a software.
Get messy. Get a whiteboard, write out all your processes and don't do them all. Like I said, start with something small. Create a process for something. Put it into the project management software. Use it for a month and see if it's actually working for you.
And how do you know what's working for you because you're looking at it. You're getting your notifications from it. You're checking off, and clicking done or in progress. And you're moving through the flow. That's how you'll know it's working for you.
I'm guilty of this. I can, I could open up my Asana right now. I haven't used it in a long time, but. If I was still using it, I could open up my Asana and see a really gorgeous workflow that I wasn't even utilizing. But I can open up my ClickUp and I can see that I say, yep. Check, done, check. Done.
And again, back to it all. It was just a feeling for me, And I know I keep talking about ClickUp, but simply because what I use. I could go back to a Asana today if ClickUp, never existed and it probably looks different and it may work for me. So don't dismiss any of the programs.
Like I said, go through these steps and see what's out there.
And sometimes the answer is no project management software. Sometimes people need to stay analog and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Especially if you're working with just yourself,In this day and age, if you're working with people virtually that gets a little bit more difficult,
Although you can use Google services to manage things It's not going to necessarily flow as well, unless you have somebody set it up for you properly, but there's so many different ways.
So if you've come to this episode, because you're interested in starting with a project management software or maybe switching.
Go through these four steps. And, if you have any blocks along the way and you want to chat about them, you can always book a free strategy session with me. I'll put the link in the show notes. And as always, I'm wishing you much productivity, peace, prosperity, and the permission to be messy. Thanks for listening.