Running your own studio means you’ll be juggling several different jobs at the same time. You’re the one in contact with the client, you’re in charge of sales, you’re in charge of the finances, project management and in my case, design. Design, being my actual main profession and passion, I still need to also be good at plenty of other things to make an actual living, and thrive.
Although many of those other tasks to some extent can be outsourced (I’m not made for accounting so I’ll leave it to the pro’s), you still need to wear several different hats. Something that easily can feel overwhelming, unless you organise. These upcoming weeks I’ll be trying out some of the most popular project management tools out there.
I’ve been using a mix of Trello, Todoist, iCal, a physical calendar, but I’d like to find one single tool for everything and make sure I’m always planning ahead, especially for downtimes.
For me I have no problems being organised while having a client and a set deadline, but when I’m in between projects with no set tasks or deadlines I easily loose steam and kind of lose focus. I’m definitely not as effective.
I should be using downtimes to work on non-client tasks, like updating the portfolio, finding new clients, work on passion projects, read up on those 100+ bookmarks I’ve laid away “for when I have time”.
Tasks that are just as important as the actual clients. But for this to happen I need a solid structure of managing and following up.
When finding a my perfect project management tool I’ll be on the lookout for these features:
- Be able to set out daily tasks
- Set milestones
- Be able to set start and end date to projects and have a monthly overview similar to a gantt chart. (A deal breaker)
- Get notifications, either through iCal, google calendar or their app.
- I want to measure progress on projects
- I want to save notes and ideas
- Collaboration or chat functions not needed. I’ll mainly use it for myself, and for conversations and file sharing during longer projects I’ve been using Slack which works great.
- Interface HAS TO look good, not be cluttered, be easy and quick to use.Easy navigation, highlighting the most popular features only. (A deal breaker)
- A descent price for a solo user.
I’ve been looking at several tools and softwares this past week, registering trial accounts, and these are the ones I’m most interested in..
Project management tools I’ll try out:
- Proofhub (too expensive though, but seems awesome after a quick glance).
I’ll try out each of themand be back with a review. Not like there’s a shortage of software reviews out there… BUT, since I’want to test them I’ll might as well share my experience and conclusions with you guys.
Dear reader, do you currently have a project management setup you’re happy with?
If so, what is it and what are the pros and cons?