Project management software tools are designed to make your life easier, but often we don’t know how to use all the features. Think how much more productive you could be if you knew how to shave time off repetitive tasks or avoid duplicating work.
There’s the fact that an online suite of software tools are going to help you in terms of access and collaboration. But we’re already sung their praises in a previous blog post. There are others reasons why software is essential to managing your project.
Here, we reveal the 7 secrets of software that will speed up your day. We’re using examples from our own software, but most professional project management solutions can help you do those things.
1. Align Your Calendars
No more copying and pasting tasks and milestones into your personal calendar. As great as the Calendar View or Gantt chart is, sometimes you just want to keep your personal
Outlook or Google calendar up-to-date at the same time.
You can align your ProjectManager.com calendar with your own work diary in just a few clicks. Hit the Subscribe button in the top right of the Calendar view to get the webcal link. This is what you’ll use to see your calendar as an RSS feed in another tool. Now navigate over to your other calendar.
In Outlook, for example, simply go to Open Calendar, choose ‘From the Internet’ and paste your link. Confirm, and you’re done!
2. Save Important Emails
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled to dig the relevant email out of their inbox. You don’t ever need to waste time searching through your messages again because you can send important emails straight to your project files in your project management software.
As long as you use your registered email address to send your message, you can copy in “[email protected]” and ProjectManager.com will do the rest. You’ll see the message appear on your My Home Email page. You can also forward yourself essential messages if you want them to appear there.
Link your messages to projects and delete them when you don’t need them any longer.
You’ll need to ask your Account Administrator to turn email integration on in the settings. They will also need to set the access permissions for the team by updating the user roles. That’s all there is to it!
3. Zap Those Tasks
One of the biggest time wasters is having to duplicate information in multiple systems. Look into how your project management system integrates with other apps and set up those integrations to save yourself a load of time.
ProjectManager.com integrates with over 400 apps through Zapier. It works on an “if this happens, do this” basis and can automate a lot of the routine jobs for your. For example:
- Add a new task to your Google Task list
- Create tasks in ProjectManager.com from Evernote notes
- Add new tasks in ProjectManager.com when a task is added to a Google Sheet.
And lots more!
4. Get More From Your Reports
Project reports tend to only typically be used for sharing status updates with management teams. They are a one-way communication channel, but they could be so much more than that.
Want to know all the tasks in a particular project? A report can show you those in a couple of clicks. Need to know what someone was working on? Timesheet reports can be
tailored for individual or groups of users, and particular projects over a specific time period. Worried that someone on the team is taking on too much? A resource availability report can show you at a glance whether someone is over utilized.
Reports also have other uses. If you’re going to the trouble of producing them (even if it is with only one click) you might as well get as much benefit from them as you can. Use them for:
- Providing data for staff appraisals
- Communicating with key stakeholders
- Take screenshots and save them as images to illustrate your presentations
- Use them as real-life case studies in project management training courses
- Seeing the big picture related to team holidays (use the timesheet data for this one).
5. Share, Share, Share
Save time working with other people by letting them see what you see. You probably do that already with your internal team – that’s the whole point of project management tools with collaboration features, after all. But what about sharing with suppliers? With contractors? With competitors even?
ProjectManager.com gives you the option to limit what third parties can see in the tool. You can hide the posts and projects that you don’t want to share. This gives you the option of making certain features and information available to them in a way that means you don’t have to export data, input it into another system or email reports to the external people on your teams.
6. Managing Expenses
Getting the whole picture for a project means understanding the expenses the team has incurred – especially if you want to charge these to a client. Expenses are the things that might relate to the project overall or to a particular activity. They might be incurred by your team members as they travel to client sites, for example.
Keep all your budget information together by managing your expenses from within your project management software. ProjectManager.com lets you add recurring expense like a monthly lease or licence payment, and you can also upload receipts so everything is in the same place.
7. Single Sign-On
This secret might take a bit of involvement from your IT team, depending on how your system works, but trust me, it will be worth it.
Single sign-on means that you log in to your device in the morning and bam! You’re automatically logged on to all the apps you need to use during the day. No more forgetting your password and having to go through the reset process. And it’s 100% secure.
Single sign-on works by providing an extra layer of authentication that sits over your apps, managing all your logins and passwords. You’ve still got the flexibility to change your passwords as you need to and the tools often offer two-factor authentication which is an even more secure process for logging in than the normal username and password combo. You may have used two-factor authentication already, for example using your banks widget or app to generate a one-time passcode to log into internet banking – it’s easy.
ProjectManager.com has partnered with OneLogin to provide single sign-on solutions for all users, and we support single sign-on through Google Apps for Work.
There’s more to your project management software than you thought! Your product may have some of these features: check the software support guides to find out. What, it doesn’t? Making the switch to ProjectManager.com is easy. Check out our Buyer’s Guide and try us out for 30 days for free.