Tracking a project may sound simple enough to do but add marketing your own business while delivering on client work or even managing multiple business streams supported by team members located across several time zones... and the old-fashioned to-do list will not cope.
With this in mind, I decided to put together a quick video that talks about two web-based project management tools that have gained popularity in recent years: Asana and Trello. I currently use both- Asana for client-related work, and Trello for my own business.
In this week's video, I go into the different features available with both tools, as well as the user experience offered. Both have their pros and cons, but in my opinion, staying organized and on top of everything starts with finding a tool and system that is right for you.
If you've been following me on the Better Biz Academy YouTube channel here or the Better Biz Academy podcast, you know I love outsourcing and having a really effective, happy, and communicative digital team. One great way to do that is by choosing a central command or project management system where you can keep everything in one place. It makes things easy for you as well as your digital team.
Trying to manage things in notebooks or even email can be a mess. In fact, you'll soon find that you're overwhelmed with emails and just can't keep up with them. I know that was my experience before I started testing project management systems. Today, I want to talk to you about two of my favorites.
Asana - Useful when collaborating with Clients
One of them I like using specifically with clients, the other – with my digital team. Let’s dig into the client based one first – Asana. You can get a lot out of the free version of Asana. I love it because you can have a giant project where you and your team have access to every client project, but you can give specific access to mini projects to your clients. A client can see an update, their individual pieces of content, or the projects that you're working on without seeing the entire board.
If you've created a Trello board, you couldn't really do that – a Trello board with all your client projects on it means you have to add every client to that general board and they'd see what's going on for other people, which is not really effective. On the other hand, Asana is a great place to keep track of things for your clients and give limited access to people for specific projects or tasks. I love it because it's very text based, so for clients it seems to work really well, it's easy to attach things and communicate on it. However, I have found that messages don't always come through with clients, and it can be a little bit clunky if you're more of a visual person. This is why I use it for client-based projects only. I keep all that over on Asana, and share access with people where necessary.
Trello - Ideal for Collaborating with your Digital team
My favorite tool – also free – for managing digital teams, whether that's freelancers that I'm managing for a client's project or my own project management, is Trello. Trello is very robust. Sometimes you're going to have to sort of MacGyver technique it on there to have Trello do more advanced features like reporting; however, Trello is highly visual and makes it very easy to keep everything in one place. For example, we have an entire Trello board dedicated just to my podcast, and as the cards move along the different lists, they're moving towards completion or being published as a podcast. When you have something made up of many different stages that a project needs to go through, Trello works really well – you can set up different lists, even based on the type of project So, you might have a list for social media, a list for YouTube, and a list for podcasts.
My other major project management board has everything but the podcast on it. It's where I put assignments for my team; we attach relevant information, we store the links to relevant freebie offers, lead pages, and spreadsheets where we keep track of all the content we've created. Trello makes it really easy to sign in and see notifications of everything you’ve been tagged in. It also really helps if you're managing people where due dates are an issue; the public nature of Trello, i.e. the fact that the whole digital team can see the board, makes people more mindful of turning things in on time – they don't want to embarrass themselves or have this little red note that pops up on their Trello card and shows that something is overdue.
Trello is a great tool. I love the fact that it's free. Of course, it has some of its limitations as well; for example, you can only upload certain sizes of materials to the Trello board itself. However, I've found that using it for the past three years has met pretty much all of my project management goals for having anywhere from 3 to 10+ people working on an individual board. In fact, I recently completed a project for a client who wanted to streamline all of their content and client creation processes to a Trello board that had 10 full time employees who would be reporting in. It’s really robust and can be flexible based on your needs as well.