(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
This post is sponsored and written by Activia Training.
Here are 20 resources and techniques that I use to make my projects more manageable. Let’s get to it.
Resources for your team
1. Instant messaging
I have tried many products, but I settled on Skype. Although I know that Skype is not used to send messages, it works because the people I need to talk to are there. We use Skype quite a bit as a team to quickly confirm facts or get status updates.
My Social Media in a Project Environment research reveals that we are not the only ones using instant messaging at work. Although that study is a few years old, it shows that 56% of project managers use instant messaging at work.
2. A base – even if you never visit it
It is helpful to have a place to call home. While I use the hot desk when I’m at work, I also have a favourite seat. My home office is where I work when I’m home.
A team feels connected because they share a sense of identity. Even if you work remotely 100% of the time, you still share the concept of a workplace base with others.
3. Holiday calendar
Without the holiday calendar, I couldn’t manage my staff. I keep track of all my team members’ vacation dates in my Outlook diary. This allows me to quickly see who is absent today. It also stores repeat events such as birthdays, grandchildren’s births, anniversaries, and so forth.
I also add the holiday dates of the team to the project schedule, so I don’t make the mistake in scheduling them for work when they’re not available.
4. Mailing list for teams
Outlook has distribution lists for my team. This means I don’t have each person’s name to enter every time I get something of interest. Distribution lists are also available for key projects. It helps me to remember who gets which communication on what projects when.
5. Sessions with lessons learned
This is more a technique than a resource. However, we practice customer-centric project administration and continuous process improvement by regularly reviewing what is working on projects and what isn’t. These lessons can be used to improve future projects and in-flight projects.
6. Conference call number
While instant messaging is fine, sometimes you just need to chat. I use my conference call details almost daily. You can communicate with your team by conference calling or web conferencing.
7. Telephone list
I don’t have the phone numbers of everyone in my phone. To find out the phone numbers of the people I need to call, I use the company’s online telephone directory. It’s also useful for checking their job titles and places, especially if we had just a short chat. I was embarrassed to ask again if I hadn’t gotten it the third time.
Technology resources
8. Online software
Dropbox is my favorite tool to sync files between my iPad and desktop. WordPress allows me to moderate comments and update blog posts even when I’m not at work. It makes it easier to have access when you’re out and about. To think, I used to email files to myself to work on while on the road.
9. Smartphone or tablet with 3G/4G
Access to your project files online is only possible if you have something to access them. My laptop is not always with me. My laptop is often in a bag with other people so I don’t have to rely on it being available when I’m on the train.
My phone allows me to check my emails even when I’m on the road or in the office. My iPad allows me to edit interview transcripts, create photos, check my project plans, and update documents while on the train. I can also keep up-to-date on the latest project management news via Twitter and Feedly.
10. Coverage for phone/tablet
My new iPad is just four months old, and already the screen has been scratched. An