Okay, I’m in a new job with several different types of work: straight up creative, simple grunt stuff, project management, research/consultation, strategy. My time is at the beck and call of units across the organisation. I have several different software packages to learn or re-learn.
Here is what I think would be useful in project management software — does it exist? Are there complementary tools that could do the important bits I need? Is there a book you feel I should read? Please share your project management expertise!
What I’m looking for in project management software:
Low cost or subscription (or Free)
Needs to add meeting requests/appointments to calendar
Should be able to run independent of internet connection, with ability to synch securely so can work remotely as required
Ability to create Projects, tasks and sub tasks, estimate hours for completion, assign due dates, populate a calendar automatically with the results so that I can see how many hours per day I need to assign
Ability to output results of the calendar to Outlook and fit in the hours needed to complete tasks around my meetings
To have Categories of work- Projects would sit under a Category, tasks can be either stand-alone or project tasks
Ability to easily add emails, documents, multimedia and notes to Projects and tasks.
Would LOVE ability to “phone it in” – if I have a brainstorm or remember something, to be able to send audio message
Contact list where contacts can be connected to projects and tasks – and could be connected to multiple projects and tasks
Standalone tasks are 1 off work with no dependencies. For instance, create a banner for the web site is a task if it is not tied to a larger campaign or body of work.
If creating a banner for the web site were part of the work entailed in “Retail stocktake sale” that involves creating a banner for the web site, another for bulk email, changing prices on store items, updating home page of store, scheduling bulk email, etc. – it would be a sub task of the Project “Retail stocktake sale.”
How I envision it working:
During the course of a morning I get three emails for changes to the web site. 1 urgent, the others not so urgent. I get a new project that entails several different types of work, and a request to consult to a project on online marketing that will require research.
I forward/copy all the emails and their attachments to the project management software, putting tags in the subjects of the emails that the system will recognise.
In my time set aside for project management, I log in, go to the newly added stuff, estimate times required, set due dates, populate the calendar, tweak and send meeting requests to my calendar OR be able to view my calendar within the project management software tool and update it with tasks and requests.
I then get calendar reminders as tasks arise, I click on the appointment and then a link to the file populated with all the materials I need to complete the task including the overview and all materials.
For instance, in the planning phase – I open the task to create a web banner. I’d look at the request, link to the image files I’m likely to need (if I know where to look right away), estimate the work needed to complete it and the due date and go on to the next one. Once I have linked up all the tasks to either the files they need or have made notes about what needs to be done – I would then be able to see a big picture view of all the work I have scheduled EVER – then move the view down to month, week, and day and schedule the new work in accordingly.
There should be a view to view tasks and projects with information on where they are at so that other members of my team can check on them. Work in progress reports that could be based on all work at hand (for reporting to manager), category based to ascertain how my time is being used, project based, requester based.
SIGH This is sounding more complex than I originally thought it would. But I need something to help me be proactive rather than reactive. Help?
Went along to Mobile Monday, held by the SA branch of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association. A friend’s company – RadCom 5 – was one of the presenters.
Afterwards, the buzz went on — and Paul picked the brains of Davis from podmo – http://podcmo.com – the free community mobile communication network. As we’ve recently bought two brand new, you-beaut mobile phones we had fun finding out about what was new.
Afterwards, as Paul drove – I tracked our route via GPS on my new phone.
Oh, they keep getting more and more creative these phisher-people.Â Here’s a new one on me – an email that is proported to be from the ATO with details of a tax return.Â Just click on the link, etc.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, phishing involves using technology (usually email or instant messaging) structured to dupe you into providing sensitive information like bank account and credit card details.Â Phishers pretend to be someone else – a friend, a bank, a store.
In this particular email, the Subject is: Australian Taxation Office – Notification and the FROM is firstname.lastname@example.org
However, the body of the email is highly suspect:
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $173.80
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.
A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click here
Regards, Australian Government
and, as with many entry-level phishers, if you hover your cursor over the Click here link (removed for your safety), you see the destination they’ve set up — a Turkish web site. http://bigart.com.tr
As you can link any old words to any old place — always use the hover and if you get an unusual email asking for sensitive information from an institution you use, call them.
I'm KerryJ, an Adelaide, South Australia-based educational technologist.
What I love about my work
Creating visual, authentic, interactive experiences that stretch learners and gives them incidental learning in the information and digital literacies that will prepare them for online learning.
My favourite learner quote
I could barely turn a computer on when I started this course. I am leaving it having presented in a webinar and so much more confident in using technology!
What's this blog about?
Neotenous means to retain a childlike sense of wonder and excitement no matter what your age. This is my space to share my professional and personal learning journey in the use of technology to support learning. Some posts will be nuts and bolts, others will focus on issues, others still on research. All are my own work and my own views.