Creative brains are restless processors of imaginative ideas. Our itchy fingers yearn to start creating the next fun project we dream up. Unfortunately, our next big idea rarely waits until after we’ve finished our current endeavor. Progress on our manuscripts, paintings, or screenplays falter. We lose momentum and begin missing deadlines.
Work management software can assist in planning our creative projects and help us stick with a firm schedule.
What is Work Management Software?
Work Management Software (aka task management or collaboration software) is a category of digital tools designed to plan projects and non-project tasks. Their applications can range from single users or small teams to large project management offices. Easy to use and readily available online, these tools are perfect for creative projects.
In other words, work management software is a project management tool for everyone.
Which Tool Should I Use?
I’ve been a project manager for over fifteen years and have used many complex project management tools to track my large enterprise level schedules. Mastering the platforms required extensive training and some technical knowledge. Many times, the tools were cumbersome and made managing the project unnecessarily complicated. It also limited project management tool access to companies who could afford the expense and resources to maintain them.
The new wave of work management digital tools has opened the door for individuals and small business owners who can’t afford the expense and don’t have time for extensive training. Larger businesses are adopting these easy to use tools as well, effectively reducing their setup and training times.
In researching for this post, I’ve discovered a smorgasbord of new tools. Most of them are unfamiliar, so I’m suggesting a few I know are free and reliable. Asana and Trello are both easy to use and have free basic plans.
A Sneak Peek at Trello
I use the free version of Trello. Why? One of my project teams used it in the past. It’s familiar. It’s free. And it’s fun.
Simple Steps to Set Up Your Creative Project
Trello and YouTube have great “how to” videos to get you started setting up your new account and boards. In this post, I want to give you a few tips to help you plan effectively. You have some things to think through before jumping into the tool. What will it take to complete your project? How long will each task take? If I connect these tasks and their due dates correctly, then will I have my project completion date? Finally, who do I want to access my boards? Are there team members I’ve assigned to tasks and do they need to see those tasks?
Step One – Create your board
- Give your board a meaningful and descriptive name, so you can quickly identify which project it represents
- Set it to “Private” (setting located at the top of the board by the name) if you don’t want anyone to see your board
- Invite your team (if applicable)
Step Two – Plan and create your cards
- Think about the task categories your creative project must navigate:
- Create – What steps must you take to create your book, video, etc.?
- Edit – Do you or a team member need to review the work and quality check?
- Publish – Are you sending this to a client? Or will you be producing/ publishing the work yourself?
- Market – Do you need to create marketing tools and advertising?
- Set Due Dates to hold yourself accountable
- Plan carefully to calculate a reasonable and accurate project completion date
Step Three – Track your progress
- Mark your finished items ‘complete’ to gauge where you are in the project
- Review your splendid progress in ‘real time’ for a boost of self-confidence
- Watch potential time slips and mitigate them before they happen
Work Management Tools can help you stay on track. Keep your designs easy and straight forward. You’ll soon see the value of organizing your work.
Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.