There are several different kinds of project management software. Some are for personal use, some are basic and just include task-management, some are more like an all in one app for running your business, some are more for support tickets, and all kinds in between. Two applications that can be helpful for project management are Slack and Google Drive.
Slack is not a pure project management software; instead, it is more of a communication hub that can be used for a lot more than just task-management. Slack is more of a collaboration software than anything else. It is used by student groups, friends, and clubs just as much as it is used by professional groups like businesses and charities. It is possible to use this in conjunction with other management software, or as a primary means of communication. One great thing about this one is that it actually has integration with over 150 other services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello (a task-management webapp), Github, and many more.
Slack stands for “Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge.” That sharing of knowledge that drives its development is one of the reasons that management software should be used. When you can keep detailed notes, if another employee needs to work on the same job then they won’t have to start from the ground. In Slack, the user can create different “channels.” There could be one for “Appointments,” “Customer A,” “Customer B,” or “General.” Having one for each customer means that all communication about that customer and their projects and jobs goes in that channel.
Any appointments for the day can be also recorded for the purpose of availability. A “General” channel can be for announcements and things of that nature. The channels can also be used to record field notes, which should include the hours spent on that customer for billing purposes. For getting full functionality out of Slack, you will likely need to use its integration features on platforms like Google Drive for hosting files, or an outside application for sending invoices.
Google Drive is not a task-management software, but it is great for collaboration on documents and files. Any changes one user makes to a document are immediately distributed to all of the other users that the file is shared with. This is another example of something that can easily be used as a supplement to full-featured software. It isn’t the best option for being your only app used, but even if you use something like WORKetc or Trello, you can use Drive to store files related to the projects you are handling.
Drive can be reconfigured to handle all of the features that a normal project-management app would, but it would take some work creating the processes. However, there is not a system in place for notifications being made to documents other than notice that it has been modified, and no system in place for true communication.
Good Drive could in theory handle appointments and scheduling, billing and invoicing, and project management. You can create a spreadsheet for entering in billed time and costs, and have a template to send to people for invoices. A simple document could be used to take notes for projects and jobs for clients, and a document could also be used to track all appointments. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be easy to show the newest first, and could get cluttered fairly quickly. The best use of Drive is to distribute the files and documents related to projects you are managing through a project management app.
For more information on applications and software that can increase the communication and management efficiency of your business, contact tekRESCUE in San Marcos, TX.