I don’t really talk about project management on this blog. I prefer to focus on my fumbling attempts at labouring, carpentry, landscape gardening and so on. But having decided against an architect and / or project manager way back at the start of converting the barn I’ve taken on the project management (above and beyond co-ordination of the original building work) myself. I don’t especially enjoy project management, it’s a part of what I do when in my day job and so isn’t new or challenging, more a necessary evil than anything else. However, I have used some tools that have assisted me and I thought it might be worth writing about them and perhaps making a recommendation or two.
Remember the Milk
I avoided to-do lists for a long time, but as the small, easily forgotten details began to mount up during the final phase of the project they became essential. I needed a solution that would be available pretty much wherever I was and whatever I was doing, I’m prone to leaving notebooks just where I don’t want them to be (in the ‘other’ room, in my ‘other’ jacket…) so a technology based solution accessible from my phone or any PC was what I wanted. After a pretty broad sweep of the available options I settled on Remember the Milk (RTM):
- RTM allows access to to-do lists via the web,
- via dedicated apps (as in the case of the iPad/iPhone application),
- or via interfaces with third party applications such as the Blackberry Task application, Twitter and email
…so ticks all the boxes for me. I can access my lists from any of the various computers I use via the web (with a quick and easy to use Google account based login so no need to remember another password). I use the iPad app for heavy duty planning, updating and editing. I use my Blackberry Task list for checking the to-do list when I’m out and about, ticking items off or adding items in ‘real-time’. All my bases are covered!
You can create multiple lists – I keep separate lists for each project I’m involved in (one for the Barn, one for software projects etc.) and general lists such as my Shoppinglist to which I post all items to be bought which can be quickly referred to when in B&Q or wherever. All items can have text tags added and URL’s or locations associated with them. I use the prioritisation feature to ensure that the most pressing items always rise to the top of the list (& my attention).
You’ll need to buy a $25 per year Pro account to make use of the smartphone / iPad apps, but I think that’s money well spent – certainly carries my recommendation.
In their own words: Remember The Milk is the popular to-do list that’s everywhere you are: from your phone, to the web, to your Google apps, and more. Used by millions worldwide.