About two weeks ago, Whirler Steve Janoff wrote the email discussion list for suggestions on tools to manage a number of projects he was juggling. The relatively small thread nonetheless peaked our interest… we just love trying out new stuff, and our SWU members will vouch for our willingness to try and toss those which don’t work for us. In fact some of the ones Steve mentioned researching we’re either testing now or have tried in the past. So here’s a perfect opportunity to uncover other hidden gems of productivity, and find out which, if any support the lofty goals that content developers have while pursuing the perfect piece of content.
We imagine there are a few old-school, totally manual to-do list folks, but a whole lot more that fall somewhere on a continuum of steady old friends to the latest socially nifty app. It probably makes a huge difference whether you’re working in Faceless Corporation Inc., Dinky Freelancer, LLC, or something in between.
Some of the newest “flavor of the month” tools center on content planning, either as project management, or editorial/publishing workflow tools. We’ve done everything from ToDoist to Excel spreadsheets to try to manage publication schedules, and are now experimenting with tools that “seem” tailor-made for content producers. However, we all need more than an Outlook task list, and something less than a 1,000 line MS Project plan to track what we need to do, when we need to do it, and collaborate with colleagues that are scattered across the compass. Collaboration and communication tools are essential these days, with a need for instant messaging, alerts, and the ability to track conversations, tie them to milestones, and add all sorts of extra information to support getting the job done.
All of which is a long way of saying it was challenging to try to categorize this poll question, but we tried. Well-known commercially developed tools for planning, prioritizing and collaboration, lesser-known apps, shareware and freeware, or substitutions (e.g. using Excel spreadsheets for project planning). And the ever-popular hybrid. Just as important as answering the question, we’d love for you to post a comment to this article and let us know what other miracles are out there just waiting to solve our every challenge. The entire content community will appreciate your suggestions and the benefit of your experience.