Monday, April 18, 2016

My project management tools - April 2016

Early in my post-corporate days I wrote a detailed post on how I expected to do project management going forwards. Since then I’ve experimented with various tools and services.  

Today I updated a Simplenote/nvAlt [1] summary of my project management tools including how I archive completed (or abandoned) projects. All of these tools have multiple substitutes on iOS, Android, Windows and MacOS so I’m hopeful this toolset approach should work for years to come. Sometime I’ll write an update on my methodology, it basically shifts between Agile-Kanban and Agile-Scrum. Lately more Kanban than Scrum, but I go back and forth.

- minimize proprietary data formats and data lock (or at least tool lock) - always have an exit strategy
- archived indexable by Spotlight
- easy backup and restoration [Trello fails here, it’s the tool I’m most likely to replace.]
- integrated with Google Calendar
- scales to single person or team projects
- formal project archiving process

- create a folder in Project hierarchy
- in some cases also have a shared Google Drive folder
- I don’t make much use of Tags in MacOS at this time.
- Mac file folder has aliases to nvAlt Simplenote, Trello (URL), MindNode (in iCloud Drive), may contain Scrivener files if a writing project, presentation files, etc.

Simplenote/nvAlt (iOS, Web, MacOS)
- Create a simplenote entry for the project, tag it with project.
- Simplenote title has prefix “Project: “
- Describe the project and where things are
- Define project tags: use tags in OS X file system
- project tags have prefix p_
- save as text file in project folder when completed

Trello - Agile Project Management (iOS and Web) (review)
- create Board for Project
- 2 lists: Queue, Active
- when Task/Card Done archive it
- Milestone Cards have dates
- Cards can have checklists
- Subscribe to Calendar on gCal
- Print as PDF when completed and export JSON

MindNode (MacOS and iOS)
- release planning, hierarchy, overview of project (alt OmniOutliner)
- store in iCloud drive but create shortcut
- export to PDF when completed

Scrivener (MacOS)
- for writing projects

Google Calendar (Trello project calendar, iOS, MacOS)
- scheduling and time/capacity management
- project calendar to PDF when completed

Google Drive (iOS, MacOS)
- for collaborative file sharing projects

Email (iOS, MacOS)
- Gmail with web interface and MacOS IMAP client.
- Drag and drop selected emails from to desktop (creates standard file) to a folder in MacOS project (“Mail Archive”) 
- Careful use of Subject lines to optimize search, typically I don’t file emails or use tags with emails. 

- fn - 

[1] nvAlt is post-maintenance but it still works on El Capitan. Simplenote still has active development, but search has been broken on the Mac app for over a year. I’m not worried because I keep all my notes in plaintext; I have multiple exit strategies. (Not including Apple, it needs an exit strategy, a backup strategy, and significant updates. None of which I expect from Apple in its current state).

See also:

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