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Project Management

Getting Things Done, as a concept carved by David Allen in 2001, has aged fast. Users of the method have been shaping its recommendations to fit their needs, but, most importantly, they did so to catch up on how technology could help them get things done with less friction. Apps have also developed their own ways to support some sort of easy path to achieve productivity and the starting point from Getting Things Done soon deviated into several personal methods.

As a Mac user, I’m very familiar with the dispute between Omnifocus and Things, being a previous user of the latter and considering the jump to the previous until I reached out for the web and found Nirvana, which felt like a better deal coming from Things, which manages tasks with Next Actions and Today lists, rather than Omnifocus with its Forecast and the reliance of due dates.

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As a freelancer and small business owner (you’d probably be surprised at how often those two coincide), I’ve spent some time looking for ways to track how much I’m working and what I do with my days. For me, this has a couple purposes. If my hours are billable (they’re usually project-based, but once in a while I bill by the hour), I can keep track of how much money I’m owed. The second purpose is simple time management — it’s a lot easier to keep on task and on track if you know where your time is going.

I’ve recommended a couple different apps for the latter — my favourite is still iDoneThis — but I haven’t had a chance yet to talk about the former. With Ding, I’ve finally found an app that really hits the spot for tracking billable hours. Let’s talk about what makes Ding worthwhile for freelancers and why you might be interested in adopting it for your own small business.

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Working in large teams creates all kinds of problems. Communication lines are stretched, working relationships are difficult to form and the customer suffers as a result.

Fuseboard is a new team productivity app. Based online, the platform uses social media inspired tools to foster better communication among team members. It also has a range of features for delegating work, discussing files and dealing with customer queries.

Essentially, Fuseboard is aiming to replace internal email as the primary company communication tool. It has an interface that’s familiar to the social media generation and some really innovative business features. They’ve definitely come up with something worth trying. But, will it work for your team or company?

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It was early spring 2011 when the MetaLab team announced their intentions to make a brand new task management app for the web: Flow. With their signature style, the MetaLab team made a beautifully designed web app for managing tasks — only this web app didn’t feel like a web app. It worked so nicely that our former editor compared it to the best native Mac apps and picked it as his go-to todo list app. He wasn’t the only one: organizations around the globe from the likes of Adobe and MIT picked Flow as the app to help them manage tasks.

Along the way, Flow has picked up companion iOS and Mac apps, and even had a personal assistant tool built in for a time. But behind the scenes, Flow was being recreated for 2013 to be the very best task app all over again. The new Flow was just released yesterday, and it’s better than ever. Here’s why Flow can easily compete with the best task apps on any platform.

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When working in a team, what tools do you need? You want a task management solution to keep track of what’s to be done, what’s being done and what’s been done. Of course, you also need a project management space to keep track of the broader goals and teams. And some sort of system to analyse all of this. A calendar would be nice to group all of those important dates in one place. How about a section to share important notes? Obviously, you’ll need a cloud storage account to put important files in, which everyone can access, and some data encryption to keep it safe. Plus, if you have all these things, it just makes sense to chat with your colleagues easily.

Meet Strikebase, your one-stop solution for all your team management needs. And for some reason, it’s eerily similar in design to Facebook. There’s the left sidebar that expands upon scrollover, and even that top bar with notifications and search — both in a colour that seems like an FB-ripoff.

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Project management apps are great for working with teams, both local and remote. They allow for easy communication and sharing of information and assets, and even allow clients to participate in conversations and stay on the same page all through their projects. However, most of these apps have thus far failed to address the need for sharing visual feedback that’s so important for creatives like designers and content developers.

ProofHub hopes to be the solution we’ve all been looking for: the new kid on the project management block offers all the features necessary for planning and executing tasks as a team, with the vital addition of an image proofing tool that allows professionals and clients to mark up images to share ideas and feedback. ProofHub is also competitively priced and features a fresh look borrowing from the current trend of flat design. But is it good enough to take on the heavyweights in this domain? Let’s use it to plan a website build and find out.
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I am a functionality-over-form kind of guy. I’ll use Windows and Android because of the programs I can run rather than the beautiful walled gardens of OSX and iOS. I prefer an LG television set with better USB options than a stunning Sony Bravia. And I’m all for buying ill-fitting pants if it means they offer more comfort.

As long as it’s not downright ugly (and granted, ugly is a subjective term), I will always pick a product that offers more functionality than the one that is designed better.

And that’s what Wrike is. In terms of design chops, it’s got nothing going for it. In fact, there will be many who find it ugly. But it has so much power under the hood that to describe it, I can overlook the looks to feature the features.

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Having to juggle both household responsibilities and work, productivity is always in flux for me. I’d usually sit down and focus for more than two hours, but there are instances when I’d get so distracted that the day ends with so much left undone.

I’ve tried reading up on several productivity systems, one of which is David Allen’s infamous work-life management system, Getting Things Done®. This system works well for so many people to such an extent that they would use GTD apps to fit it into their workflow. Nozbe is a web app that adheres to the GTD productivity system and has since helped thousands of people become more productive since its inception in 2007. What’s more, the app recently got a design overhaul that aims to sharpen its core feature set and introduce new features as well.

Let’s see what the latest version of Nozbe (1.7) has to offer, how it works, and if it is successful in helping users apply and adopt basic GTD principles.
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As the sole proprietor of my own business, I find it can be really hard to stay on task and get work done. In fact, even writing this review, I have other things I want to do. That being said though, it’s important to have end goals set in mind. Lots of studies show that people who work towards something are happier than people who just go to work and try to make it through the day.

iDoneThis is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for me. It’s a free service for individuals, and is a great way for companies to work together to keep each other on track with projects. Read on to find out why I think everybody needs to sign up for this service, whether they’re self-employed or work in a large corporation.

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Calendar apps can often be confusing, and with so much of our lives tracked in social networking apps like Facebook, they’re rarely complete. Monday is the answer to that issue that you’ve got to try. It’s a clean and elegant calendar app where you can create appointments, manage tasks, and track social events within a beautiful interface. It’s beautiful, simple, and convenient — qualities that most calendar apps lack or overdo.

Monday has certainly delivered more than just good first impressions. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and I can say that it’s made scheduling and task management a delight. Though you need an invitation to access Monday, its feature set and the overall pleasant user experience makes the wait worthwhile. Let’s take a look and see why you should give it a try.
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