When working on a project there are often many actions that need to happen. Some items need to happen in sequence (pour foundation, frame walls, skin walls, add insulation, drywall… etc.) and some things can happen in tandem as part of a sequence (bake and decorate cake, hire DJ, rent venue, order flatware, hire caterer… etc.) No matter the project, it is up to the project manager to keep track of these events and keep a sharp eye on the overall schedule. To help do that I have found two tools that come in handy, Microsoft project and Trello. You may find other tools you prefer, but for me, these have been my go-to options for years.
Microsoft Project ( https://products.office.com/en-us/project/project-and-portfolio-management-software?tab=tabs-1 )has been used by project managers almost as long as computers have with its first release available on dos in 1986. This tool allows you to create a digital Gantt chart that shows you critical path schedules and enables users to visualize the project including milestones and quality gates. While it comes at a cost, it can be purchased via Office 365 and often bundled with other Microsoft products.
Trello( https://trello.com/ )is the project board that as they put it, “enables you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.” What Trello basically does is digitizes a bulletin board that you can use to visualize your projects anywhere you have internet access. You can assign projects, work packages, tasks and notes colors as well as assign due dates and watch for critical deadlines. Trello allows you to be as creative with your projects as you want. One of the nice things about Trello is its free for basic use, but there are Business Class and Enterprise versions that provide application integrations, team overviews and more. I personally use Trello every day to keep track of work, school, and personal projects.
So there you go, two tools I like to use for tracking projects and schedules. There are much more out there – but for me, these are the ones I keep coming back to.