Work Management Tools

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Trends, Work Management Tools

Work management tools are software tools which helps to plan the work, followed by tracking, organizing and reviewing for enriching company growth
Key market trends related to work management tools are collaborating decentralized teams, diving into automation, accurate team assessment, personal productivity tracking, to-do list, advanced task management, reporting capabilities, and file storage and sharing.

Key market trends — work management tools:

Trends impacting work styles and the future of work management:

Trends impacting teams work management:

Trends impacting personal work management:

Research Strategy:

Initially, we started looking for information on market trends related to work management tools in various management reports. Articles such as Capterra, Forbes, PCmag, Reuters, and prnewswire, had most of the information, and contained highly focused project management trends rather than work management.

Trends impacting work styles and the future of work management:

As there is limited pre-compiled information on trends on work management tools, we tried to deep dive into key players of work management tools segment for deriving the common strategies and tools as market trends and could locate that collaborating decentralized teams. Then diving into automation rather manual tasks and accurate team assessment, are the market trends of work management tools which impact work styles and the future of work management.

Trends impacting teams and personal work management:

Later, we searched for trends which are specific to group teams and individuals. Similar to above trends, we have derived the trends which are specific to group teams and individuals from product features and strategies of the key players found, and could locate personal productivity and the to-do list as trends for individual work management, advanced task management, reporting capabilities, and file storage and sharing strategies as trends for team work management.

We have concluded that the above trends are the key market trends, as they are very common across the multiple key players of work management market as such a pre-compiled lists, which were not covered in any industry / market reports.

Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Team Work Management

Some of the tools used by work teams to manage tasks and work include Google Drive, Trello, Slack, Box, Basecamp, and Quip. Setting ground rules, ensuring real-time communication, providing the right tools and resources, and establishing clear instructions are some of the strategies used by work teams to manage tasks and work.

TOOLS USED BY WORK TEAMS

1. Google Drive

  • Google Drive offers collaboration by allowing real-time updates on shared documents as the work is being done.
  • Google Drive shares the most up-to-date version of the document, as other team members are able to edit it in real-time.

2. Trello

  • Trello presents a visually stimulating venue for collaborating and getting amazing work done.
  • One can create boards to visualize projects, comment on associates' work, and much more.
  • Trello makes it easy for everyone to see what everyone else is doing and even help out and provide input where needed.
  • It provides the access necessary for flourishing teamwork and makes it easy for team members to get involved in a variety of projects.

3. Slack

  • Slack brings the casual communication of instant messaging into the office.
  • Employees can send each other quick messages, post attachments, create multi-user threads, make announcements, embed media, and so much more.
  • Slack enables strong connections which is crucial to building a solid team.
  • It gives employees a place to make comments and ask questions that possibly don’t merit an email or desk visit but is essential to workflow and team-building.

4. Box

  • Box appears to be a cloud-based platform for sharing and organizing files, but it offers far more benefits for workplace collaboration.
  • Using Box, one can access files from any device and any location. Invite collaborators to edit or simply view the files.
  • Box ensures users on any team in any location are collaborating on the most current versions of work. Plus, they can see what other colleagues are saying.
  • Box works on a weekly basis to make sure everyone stays on the same page regarding key tasks and takeaways before the meeting even ends.
  • Box makes it easy to work with multiple people on documents, notes, presentations, spreadsheets, and more. It avoids the confusion that can arise from email attachments and cuts the need for collating multiple sets of comments.
  • Box makes group work easy and encourages teamwork and collaboration in the process.

5. Basecamp

  • Basecamp provides an all-in-one project management solution that’s actually easy and enjoyable to use.
  • It helps teams collaborate and work better together by incorporating discussions, to-dos, and schedules into one interface.
  • The tool lets everyone see what needs to be done at any given moment, so it takes away the stress of teamwork and leaves behind only the good things.

6. Quip

  • Using Quip, teams seamlessly meet and communicate. Quip allows users to create a meeting, build an agenda, take and share notes, and even incorporate action items that ensure the meeting leads to true team productivity.
  • Quip makes it easy to get teams on the same page, enabling efficient teamwork.

STRATEGIES USED BY WORK TEAMS

How Distributed Teams Coordinate and Handoff Work?

  • One of the challenges for distributed teams is the time zone. In the United States alone, there are six different time zones. Depending on where employees are scattered across the globe, it’s more than likely that while one employee starts the work, another one finishes it.
  • Therefore, it is important to set expectations and ground rules and use collaboration tools such as Hootsuite, Dropbox, Teamviewer, Zoom among others.
  • Collaboration tools allow for real-time communication, regardless of where employees are located. Although it’s difficult to ensure team members are online, one can opt for schedule overlap.
  • Team members can coordinate through Slack, Zoom or other tools used in communication.
  • Team members can handoff their work through Dropbox, Google Drive, and others because these tools provide real-time updates and their team members can edit them real time.

How Teams Manage and Delegate Tasks?

  • Providing clear instructions to employees on what is needed, when it is needed, and encouraging the employees to ask questions will lead to positive end results.
  • Everyone needs to know when they cross the finish line. Agree on the standards that will be used to measure the success of task completion.
  • Empower employees with the level of authority required to complete the task. This will ensure they finish the tasks without constant roadblocks or standoffs with other employees.
  • Determine the resources (money, training, manpower, advice, etc.) the employees require to complete the task and provide them.
  • Employees will not automatically accept assignments. Therefore, the leader must make sure they do. Reaffirm the expectations and confirm the employees’ understanding of the commitment required for completing the task.
  • Using project management tools such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp allows everyone to see what needs to be done at any given moment.

How Teams Effectively Accomplish Tasks?

1. Give the power to make decisions

  • Giving the team the power to make decisions serves as a great motivation for effective teamwork and to bring about radical change.

2. Share clearly defined objectives

  • Objectives and key results (OKR), a technique used by Google to define and track objectives and their outcomes can be adopted by work teams.
  • When the team has clear goals to achieve and gets regular feedback, their performance and overall effectiveness is improved.
  • Its main goal of this technique is to connect teams and individual objectives with measurable results.
  • Since these goals are kept public and transparent, teams can move in one direction and know what others are focusing on.

3. Promote Efficient Team Meetings

  • According to a survey conducted by Microsoft Office, professionals waste up to 3.8 hours a week on unproductive meetings. Status updates or team gatherings can prove to be fruitless if there is no value in them.
  • Although it may not be reasonable to accomplish teamwork without meetings, making sure these meetings are productive is a step towards effective teamwork in the workplace.
  • One way to promote effective teamwork through productive team meetings is by using status reports.

4. Make individual progress visible to the team

  • To avoid social loafing, make the progress of an individual team member visible to the whole team. To promote effective teamwork in the workplace, the team needs to be aware of the progress made.
  • The more dependent team-members are on each other's plans, the more crucial it is that they keep an eye on everyone's progress.
  • One way to make sure the teamwork is effective is to follow the Progress, Plans, Problems (PPP) tactic. This process is a management technique for recurring status reporting. The PPP process provides a great overview of how everyone on the team is doing.
  • It communicates three essential parts of every team member — the biggest achievements, current plans, and major challenges.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Individual Work Management

Some strategies used by individuals in a workplace to manage work task include scheduling, prioritizing, avoiding multitasking and limiting distractions. Some tools used by individuals in a workplace to manage work task include Slack, Toggl, Paymo, Sanebox, SimpleNote, Freedom, Self Control and Freedom Booster.

FINDINGS

  • Some strategies used by people in a workplace to manage work task include scheduling, prioritizing, avoiding multitasking and limiting distractions.
  • Slack, Toggl, Paymo, Sanebox, SimpleNote, Freedom, Self Control and Freedom Booster are some tools used by people in a workplace to manage work task.
  • Some software platforms or tech items used by individuals in a workplace to manage work task include FocusWriter, RescueTime, Focus at Will, Todoist, SimpleBlocker, StudioCloud, ProWorkflow, Microsoft Excel, DropBox, and Google Drive.

STRATEGIES AND TOOLS

Scheduling

  • Scheduling one's tasks increase efficiency and lessen redundancy and procrastination.
  • A list of daily tasks to complete provides a path for the day's activities and each goal that is accomplished for the day can be easily recognized and crossed off that list.
  • This strategy allows the individual to monitor their own progress and identify areas to improve to meet deadlines.
  • It is also important to set realistic goals.
  • Tools that can help to be more organized in scheduling include Slack, Toggl and Paymo.

Prioritizing

  • Weighing all options and selecting the most important task is one of the best approaches to individual work management since it allows workers to identify tasks of a higher value that should be worked on first.
  • Tasks that are not as important are more likely to drain one's energy and inhibit good performance for those of higher priority.
  • Tools that can help to be more organized in prioritizing include Sanebox, SimpleNote, Unroll.me, Google Keep.

Avoid multitasking

  • Although popular, multitasking is not as effective as it is thought to be so having more structure to the day may help to lessen the chances of multitasking.
  • A psychological study has unearthed that multitasking is not effective and interrupts one's ability to fully concentrate.
  • The structure here could mean having a set time for meetings, calls and analysis of one's work.
  • The idea of multitasking as well as the inability to say no, have resulted in workers, especially managers being overworked.
  • Tools that can help to be more organized in avoiding multitasking include Unroll.me, and Google Keep.

Limit distractions

  • Avoid engaging in activities that will interrupt one's thought process, such as checking emails or social media accounts.
  • Having an external deadline for oneself could also be done to keep distractions at a minimum.
  • Never lose sight of the goal and avoid texting and using web browsers that are not applicable to the job.
  • While notifications cannot be ignored completely if there is a need to check them a set amount of time should be allocated for that and should be short.
  • Tools that can help to be more organized in limiting distractions include Freedom, Self Control and Freedom Booster.

Software platforms

  • FocusWriter is a tool that is ideal for writers since it forces the user to focus only on the task at hand by focusing on the specific information being written. It also allows the user to set daily goals.
  • RescueTime monitors the behaviour of its user on the internet and provides a weekly report including the amount of time spent on specific websites; it also allows for setting goals.
  • Focus at Will is a tool that provides a playlist to help users concentrate and is customized based on the user's personality (completion of a quiz) and was created by musicians, neuroscientists and psychiatrists.
  • Todoist is a tool that provides a daily schedule of activities that can be checked off once completed and enhances effective planning.
  • Simple Blocker is an add-on that can be installed for Google Chrome which monitors the behaviour of users and blocks websites such as social media that can be a distraction.
  • StudioCloud is a tool that syncs all user devices and allows a user to manage clients, work with deadlines, send professional invoices and email reminders and more.
  • ProWorkflow is a tool designed to help users to track tasks, assign tasks to others, monitor the teams' workload and facilitates working on-the-go.
  • More common tools include the use of Microsoft Excel, DropBox, and Google Drive.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We leveraged several sources in uncovering the strategies and tools used by individuals in a workplace to manage work tasks. Sources used include Liquid Planner, ProofHub, Grey Campus, Scoro and Tech Radar. To identify strategies, we selected those which appeared most often across the sources.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Team Culture & Work Management

In the United States, team culture impacts the selection of work management strategies and tools in that an unhealthy culture, one where employees are not open to change, can render the selection and adoption of a new work management strategy or tool unsuccessful. Conversely, a healthy team culture, one where internal visibility is front and center and individual and team accomplishments are duly recognized, can result in the selection of a work management tool that promotes real-time sharing of achievements, best practices, and new ideas.

HOW TEAM CULTURE IMPACTS WORK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND TOOL SELECTION

  • The growing emphasis on internal visibility and an employee-centered company culture is shaping how companies manage work. Companies are now paying attention to how work management technology can make individual and team accomplishments more visible company-wide. Work management platforms that enable real-time sharing of achievements, best practices, and new ideas will be preferred.
  • A team culture where employees are resistant to change can derail the selection and adoption of a new work management strategy or tool. Employees should have the right mindset before any change can successfully take place, Any new tool or technology without employee buy-in will just go to waste.
  • According to the Boston Consulting Group, "a healthy culture provides the guidelines—the tacit code of conduct—that steer individuals to act appropriately and make choices that advance the organization’s goals and strategy."

TEAM FACTORS INFLUENCING WORK MANAGEMENT TOOL SELECTION

  • The team's size and longevity, the tools that are currently used, and the team's history with existing processes influence work management tool selection.
  • The number of employees, teams, and departments that will be using the tool and the maturity of processes are important considerations. They offer insights into the volume of work that needs to be handled and the potential openness of employees to process changes.
  • The tools that the team currently uses matter, as they help teams or companies determine the ease of implementation, integration, and use of the new tool.
  • The employees' experience with existing tools is a concern as well, as it helps inform companies on the aspects that the new tool should improve upon.
  • High-maturity teams or companies are more inclined to use collaboration work management tools. As opposed to 11% of low-maturity companies, 42% of high-maturity companies use collaboration work management tools. In contrast, 81% of low-maturity companies, as opposed to 68% of high-maturity companies, use spreadsheets only for work management.

HOW TEAMS CHOOSE WORK MANAGEMENT TOOLS

  • Teams or companies give preference to work management tools that are intuitive and user-friendly and that do not require substantial training and onboarding.
  • They give preference as well to work management tools that allow for a "single, searchable repository" on data and people across all projects and that can be adapted to evolving business processes.
  • If teams or companies were to switch to another work management tool, they would prefer a tool that improves communication and collaboration across members and projects, real-time project information updates, and the ability to set custom work processes.
  • Questions that are asked when evaluating work management tools include:
    • Will employees use the tool?
    • Can multiple teams, not just one team, use the tool?
    • Does the tool promote clear communication and transparency?
    • Can the tool be adapted to different purposes?
    • Does the tool allow creation of custom reports?
    • Does the tool safely allow for non-internal users and communications?
    • Does the tool integrate well with other existing tools?
  • Features that are often of interest include real-time collaboration, document sharing and storage, cost management, reporting, ease of use, template creation, warning flags, scheduling, time management, resource allocation, customization, controls and governance, integration capability, and unique calendars.
  • There are different tools for different functionalities — communication tools for team collaboration, online Kanban boards for task management, online Gantt charts for planning and scheduling, workload assessment tools for resource and workload management, document control tools for document management, and project dashboards for monitoring and reporting.

Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Planning Fallacy

Work management tools such as time tracking tools and project management software are a handy way to overcome planning fallacy. Gantt Charts and Eisenhower Matrix are two trenchant time management tools that can assist in overcoming planning fallacy. The Eisenhower Matrix which is also known as Urgent-Important Matrix, enhances productivity by helping an individual decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which one should either delegate or not do at all. Key findings are discussed in the next section.

PLANNING FALLACY & WORK MANAGEMENT TOOLS OVERVIEW

  • Planning fallacy is a term used by psychologists to describe the tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. The term was first created in 1977 by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Work Management tools such as time tracking tools and project management software are a handy way to overcome planning fallacy. These tools provide different ways like time-tracking and Gantt charts to record the time duration needed for accomplishing different types of tasks and projects over a period of time. Such historical data sets can be referenced later by teams at the time of estimation to come up with more apt and realistic time estimates around the projects, thereby avoiding planning fallacy.
  • Gantt charts and Eisenhower Matrix are two trenchant time management tools that can assist in overcoming planning fallacy. The Gantt chart is designed in timeline format, so that planned or actual task timing can easily be visualized over time. These can be used to track and display progress of all tasks throughout the project and are the most common graphical format for visualizing project timing.
  • Gantt charts include a list of project tasks, a timescale across the top with user-defined timing intervals (e.g. months or weeks), and bars under the timescale showing task timing. Such a close monitoring and apt display of various project timelines helps in being up to date with the project time estimates, and thereby avert the impact of planning fallacy.
  • The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as Urgent-Important Matrix, helps an individual decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which one should either delegate or not do at all. This helps in enhancing the productivity and making sure that majority of the project time is not tied up on redundant/less vital tasks hampering project timelines. Thus, it truncates the impact of planning fallacy.

WORK MANAGEMENT AND PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS TO MANAGE THE IMPACT OF PLANNING FALLACY

Wrike

  • Wrike combines the features of project management along with time tracking. It allows individuals to create projects and divide them into smaller tasks to develop blocks of work with due dates, assigned people, and any other adjustments that are most suitable for them. This assists project managers in tracking time and cost on individual sub-parts of a project, thereby getting to know about any delays/cost overruns on any part upfront and hence take corrective actions to mitigate impact of planning fallacy. It also allows project managers to undertake resource planning, thereby allocating the most efficient resources on the most critical aspects of the project so that the productivity is not hampered.
  • The time tracking features allows managers to keep a close eye on how team members are tackling projects and individual tasks. Managers can dial resources up or down accordingly, and are always informed of every development. It is used by leading companies around the world, from Amazon to Capgemini.

Asana

  • The tool has the feature to provide managers with real time project updates and any expected delays or hindrances that can act as a stumbling block in achieving the estimated project timelines. Managers can then take timely corrective actions. Thus, it results in seamless communication, enhancing efficiency, productivity and timely delivery of projects.

3) TeamWork Projects

  • This is one of the perfect tools that can be used to handle the impact of planning fallacy. It lets managers and individuals estimate the time that they think they will need to complete the various tasks/work and then log the actual time that they took to accomplish the same against it. The tool, thus through an iterative process, allows individuals and managers to come up with/assign more apt and realistic time estimates for various tasks thereby averting the impact of planning fallacy.
  • Some key features of the tool include task lists, time tracking, file uploads and messages. It's project scheduling feature allows project managers to define project tasks, assign them to people and track in-progress assignments.

Harvest

  • Harvest is another work management tool that helps managers and individuals to estimate time more accurately by knowing the manner in which employees spend time on various activities of the project and bifurcation of all the time spent on the project. The tool has a visual time sheets feature that assists managers in understanding team’s work and to see how much time they actually spent on different tasks vs the expected or estimated time for those tasks. This allows them to have control over the project timelines and to avert the impact of planning fallacy.

Hubstaff

  • This tool tries to address the impact of planning fallacy by focusing on the employees and the time spent by them, the underlying notion here being that the more productive the project team is, the more likely it is for the project to meet stipulated or estimated timelines. Hubstaff helps managers to track the time spent on work as well as the team’s leisure time and hence it is a great option for organizations looking to track all the time spent at work and not just the time spent on tasks. The underlying benefit of the same is to know the actual productive time of each and every employee.
  • Hubstaff provides a flexible calendar view where one can view daily, weekly or monthly time entries of the employees and leverage the same to analyze team’s performance and work progress. Hence, it allows managers to undertake a sort of daily project management. The tool also helps managers to exercise budget/cost controls by allowing them to set weekly limits on the employee working hours and gets alerts whenever the budget exceeds estimates. This way they do not end up facing cost overruns at the very far end of the project thereby minimizing the impact of planning fallacy.

Research Strategy:

We began our research by going through various research reports from Deloitte, Mckinsey, Forrester, and Businesswire, around planning fallacy and the impact it has on the use of productivity/work management tools. Most of these reports elucidated upon the concept of planning fallacy and the various techniques and ways in which the same can be averted. There was no direct information available linking the impact of planning fallacy and the productivity/work management tools.

We then scoured through various media articles from Forbes, WSJ, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Live Mint etc; blogs discussing the concept of planning fallacy such as Plan.Io, Trello.Blog,'Fast Company', 'HubStaff' etc and various surveys from Pew Research, Nielsen, Deloitte etc around the impact of planning fallacy and the productivity/work management tools. Again, all the information found catered around the concept of planning fallacy and how it impacts the various projects and productivity of individuals.

In the absence of any direct pre-compiled information, we decided to triangulate the same. For this, we began with understanding the concept of 'Planning Fallacy'. Since it is primarily centered around the issue of time and cost underestimation in projects/tasks, we tried to look for various time/work management tools that help in better tracking of various tasks, time and cost spent on individual activities in a project, to mitigate the impact of planning fallacy. We tried to use the features of these tools to highlight how their usage impacts planning fallacy. This is also in line with the information required to be presented as per the third research criteria. We tried to include tools impacting various phases of the projects, and specifically those assisting in the time management aspect of a project to manage the impact of planning fallacy. All the analysis has been presented in our findings.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Types of Work Management Systems

Types of work management systems include collaboration work management, scheduling work management, issue tracking, and document management.

Types of Work Management Systems

Collaboration Work Management Software

  • A collaboration work management software enables a team to effectively collaborate. It allows the stakeholders at a workplace to access, share and update documents.
  • These types of software have access control and authentication management that grant access to the project stakeholders.
  • Collaborative work systems are good at improving efficiency, quality, time management, and lowering costs.
  • Examples of such systems include Zoho WorkDrive, Bitrix24, Confluence, and Samepage.
  • This software can be used together with other software like document management, communication, time management, file management, and reporting and analytics software.

Scheduling Work Management Software

Issue Tracking Software

  • The software helps to track and monitor related issues.
  • Issues tracking software help manage work/accounts, prioritize tasks, team collaboration, distribution of workload, getting rid of geographic barriers, deadlines.
  • Examples of such software include JIRA, Trac, Redmine, WebIssues, and Asana.
  • These tools ate compatible with task management, collaboration, document management, project planning, and reporting tools.

Document Management Software

  • The software enables works to access, share, organize, digitize, tag, store, and complete tasks involving files and documents.
  • Document management software helps in reducing storage space, improving security, improving regulatory compliance, and improving collaborations.
  • Examples include M-Files, Noodle Intranet, BizPortals 365, PandaDoc, and eFileCabinet.
  • These tools are compatible with communication tools, collaboration tools, access control tools, and file scanning tools.

Communication Software

Time management

Financial management Tools


Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Personal Work Management

An exhaustive search of the public domain indicates that information on how do people manage their personal work, personal tasks, and how might they parallel the way they manage tasks at work is non-existent, and media coverage on the specified topic is scarce. The most relevant media mention on the topic is; ways someone can effectively manage their personal time to complete tasks at hand. Below we have provided useful findings and a detailed methodology on how we carried out this research.


USEFUL FINDINGS:

The website of New York University presents a compilation of 13 points that help to effectively manage personal time which can be reasonably assumed to be the time allocated for accomplishing personal tasks. These points are as follows:
  • Spend time planning and organizing: This advocates the importance of planning and organizing effectively using tools such as color and pictures, calendars, and planning book.
  • Set Goals: According to this point, the setting of goals is important in effective utilization of personal time. These goals need to be 'specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable'.
  • Prioritize: Effectively managing time which is allocated for the accomplishment of personal tasks, involve prioritization. According to Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, '80 percent of the reward comes from 20 percent of the effort.' However, the main task is to 'prioritize time to concentrate your effort on those items with the greatest reward.'
  • Use a to-do list: Using a to-do list is an effective way to manage personal time. Lists can be either of a 'calendar or schedule', 'type', or a 'running' To Do list which is continuously being updated.
  • Flexibility: The people looking for effective management of their personal time should be ready to handle interruptions and the unplanned "emergency" for 50% of their planned time.
  • Importance of biological prime time: To effectively manage personal time, one should know the time at which he/she is at his best (e.g. whether a "morning person," a "night owl," or a late afternoon "whiz?"). Once one is certain of his/her best time, the priority work should be set at that time only.
  • Do the right thing right: For the effective management of personal time, "doing the right thing is more important than doing things right."
  • Eliminate the urgent: To effectively manage the allocation of personal time, one should try to reduce the volume of urgent tasks to provide importance to tasks which have long-term, goal-related implications.
  • Avoid being a perfectionist: While managing personal time, giving too much importance on detail can result in procrastination.
  • Conquer procrastination: To avoid procrastination in managing personal time, the source provides importance on the effectiveness of "Swiss cheese" method described by Alan Lakein. As per this method, to avoid procrastination, break it into smaller tasks and do just one of the smaller tasks or set a timer and work on the big task for just 15 minutes.
  • Learn to say "No": The importance of saying "NO" is to help someone stay focused on the goals.
  • Reward: It is important to reward oneself for his/her own achievements for completing each task scheduled.


FAMILY COORDINATION:

Personal tasks often include tasks required to be done for the family. To effectively manage these tasks following methods are considered important:
  • If there are young children in the family, it is important to take them to the activities. However, if one is not in the position of accomplishing this task, letters tucked into lunch bags or notebooks is considered as an effective substitute.
  • Along with planning for special days in the family such as holidays and birthdays, it is also important to plan for the ordinary days, to save some time to relax and just be together as a family.
  • Keeping a calendar of upcoming events and special school functions, which fall into the realm of personal tasks, helps to effectively manage these personal tasks by reducing the stress when the day of the function comes.
  • The site My Time Management specifies that reducing time on grocery shopping and reducing TV time can also result in the effective management of the personal family time.


PERSONAL APPOINTMENTS:

  • To effectively manage personal appointment one needs to carefully decide whether to keep these appointments on workdays or on weekends. Often this allocation depends on the type of role the person is involved in and things like whether it involves traveling over weekends or not.


TO-DO LISTS:

To Do lists play a major role in effective management of the tasks. The Zapier website details eight such task management methods each of which have been explained in the source.

  • The "Grocery List"
  • Getting Things Done®
  • Plain Text Tasks
  • Rows, Columns n' Sheets
  • Team-Based Productivity
  • Pen and Paper
  • The Kanban Method
  • String-Around-The-Finger


RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the information pertaining to the request, we began our search by looking into researches done on personal work management by US universities such as NYU, University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign, among others. Then, we looked for similar reports on sources which have academic research and study reports such as Research Gate, Academia, among others. Also, we looked into elaborate academic articles on the topic on websites such as Google Scholar, among others. However, all these sources have information on the management of personal time rather than personal work.

Next, we looked into articles on topics such as successful management of family tasks on sources such as My Time Management, First Thing, Zapier, among others. Also, we looked into articles on sources that contain insights on the management of personal appointment such as Appointment-Plus, Personal Productivity Expert, among others. However, these sources again either have information on the time management or on the management of appointments during work hours.

Finally, we looked into sources which publish articles on lifestyle management such as Medium, Verge, Linedin Blogs, among others. However, articles published on these sources included articles on work-life balance rather than how to effectively manage personal tasks along with finding a parallel with the way tasks are managed at work.

In the absence of information as mentioned in the sources above, the following alternative strategies were deployed:

Looking into literature put out by Task Management apps:

Task management applications are a common phenomenon which includes the use of specific apps such as Todoist, Trello, Wunderlist, Google Task, Remember the Milk, Tick Tick, among others. We looked into these sources for blogs, articles, and other general forms of knowledge resources relating to personal task management and parallelizing it the way tasks are managed at work. However, the information on these sources focuses on the usage of technology in organizing one's day, be at work or at personal life rather than the specific realm of personal work management.

Looking into expert opinions:

We located experts who deal in the domain of personal task management. Some experts we checked include Craig Jarrow and Leo Babauta, also, we looked into the works of Brian Tracy of Brian Tracy International. We searched extensively through their work in websites, blog posts, among others. However, their organization, schedule, and management guidelines are not specific to tasks and majorly concentrate on time.

Industry Research:

We checked into several work-life balance studies done by reputable consultancies such as Deloitte, Accenture, among others which publish reports on the distribution of time in a working executive's life and similar benchmarks. However, although many of these reports talk about the shrinking personal life for modern-day executives, there was no information relating to how they manage their time.

Schedule of Executives:

Finally, we looked into the daily schedule of reputed C-level executives working in the US corporate published as lifestyle features on Forbes, Business Insider, among others. Although some of these contained their personal routine in terms of tasks done across the day, the diversity among the executives was so high that no comprehensive personal work management method or regime could be formed.

Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Microsoft Planner Competitive Analysis

Asana, Trello, Airtable, Wrike and Smartsheet are market leaders for their software and are key competitors of Microsoft Planners. The requested details on this topic are available in columns A through G of rows two through eight of the attached spreadsheet.

OVERVIEW OF FINDINGS


Research Strategy:

To provide additional key competitors of Microsoft Planners, we leveraged existing data from different reports, primarily from Forrester Research and sites that rank Microsoft Planners' alternatives such as a Better Buys and Project Management. Wrike and Smartsheet, like Microsoft Planner, Asana, Trello, and Airtable, both have an annual collaborative work management tool revenue of at least $30 million, along with five or more implementation and integration partners. Also, they both have a global presence.

To provide information about Microsoft Planners key competitors such as Asana, Trello, Airtable, Wrike, and Smartsheets, we first examined and gathered information on their business and products using their respective websites. The data on their websites were used to either analyze or corroborate the data we found through different reviews from multiple sites, including ClickUp, ThinkMobiles, Project Management, Tallyfy, and Better Buys.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Centralized Communication: Many programs also offer capabilities, like comments, notes, and chat features that allow workers to “talk” within the platform. Rather than assembling notes from multiple in-person meetings, email chains, and phone calls, a work management system stores all relevant communication as an easy reference. This functionality supports collaboration among team members as well as between teams and departments. "
  • "Automation: Save time with automatic data syncs, updates, and alerts. Cloud-Based: Gain anytime, anywhere access from any device. Multiple team members can also access cloud-based systems simultaneously. Real-Time Updates: Maintain version control with one central information hub that updates across devices in real time. "
  • "Work management concerns every level of overall business/organizational management, from the individual employee all the way to the processes themselves. Project management, on the other hand, is about individual project processes."
Quotes
  • "In the coming year, we’ll see more work management tools that offer flexibility for teams, while still providing some level of control; in this way embracing autonomy doesn’t mean lack of consistency."
  • " We’ll see more automation in everyday tools to help connect people with people, people with things, and things with things. This type of automation will make work management tools even more useful in replacing the manual work to understand what other people are doing in different organizational silos and the context of their work."
  • "Work management platforms will continue to add functionality where users can share achievements instantaneously – both to boost employee morale, and to share best practices and help generate new ideas. When new achievements can be shared in real time, at scale, organizations can move with agility."
Quotes
  • "Smartsheet, Asana, And Wrike Lead The Pack Forrester’s research uncovered a market in which Smartsheet, Asana, and Wrike are Leaders; Clarizen, monday.com, Microsoft, ServiceNow, Workfront, and Planview are Strong Performers; and Airtable is a Contender."
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Gartner research and advisory firm defines work management as “a set of software products and services that apply workflow structure to the movement of information as well as to the interaction of business processes and human worker processes that generate the information."
From Part 07
Quotes
  • "Learning how to budget your time is important in all aspects of life, especially in a family. A lack of time can lead to conflict. You can learn to budget time so that everyone gets the most out of being an individual and a member of a family team."
  • "By identifying your values or strong personal beliefs, you can gain balance in your life. Those beliefs will guide you as you make decisions around family time and personal time. Spontaneous family times can be just the pick-me-up everyone needs."
  • "When children in the family are involved with activities outside the home, parents and other family members can share the load of "being there" for support. If there are young children, take them to the activities. This is a great role modeling opportunity and a wonderful reinforcement as well. Everyone sharing in this responsibility can build support in a family. If nobody can attend an outside event, letters tucked into lunch bags or notebooks can mean a lot."
  • "Plan for special days such as holidays and birthdays. Make sure, though, to save some time to relax and just be together. Also, plan for ordinary days. If you keep a calendar of upcoming events and special school functions, you won't feel so pressured when they arrive."
  • "Here are some strategies to help your family manage time: --Look for ways to make chores easier --Break down large projects into small tasks --Set practical goals for all activities --Follow your heart when making decisions --Talk to family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Don't be afraid to ask for help. --Fit family needs into daily plans --Take care of each other"
Quotes
  • "--Set ground rules ahead of time. Plan on kids playing one sport per season or limit activities to two afternoons or evenings during the school week. --Know how much time things require. Does your child realize soccer practice is twice a week or more, right after school? Then there's the weekly game. Will homework suffer? --Set priorities. School comes first. If kids have a hard time keeping up academically, they may need to drop an activity. --Know when to say no. If your child is already active but really wants to take on another activity, discuss what needs to be dropped to make room for something new."
  • "--Stay organized with a calendar. Display it on the refrigerator so everybody can stay up-to-date. And --if you find an empty space on the calendar, leave it alone! Everyone needs a chance to just do nothing. --Even if kids sign up for the season, let them miss one or two sessions. Sometimes hanging out on a beautiful day is more important than going to one more activity, even if you've already paid for it."
  • "--Try to balance activities for all of your kids — and yourself. It hardly seems fair to expend time and energy carting one kid to activities, leaving little time for another. Take time for yourself and spend time together as a family. --Create family moments. Plan a few dinners when everyone can be home at the same time."
Quotes
  • "Junior employees may also be expected to use weekends and nights for something like a hair appointment, while senior people and employees who travel extensively during the work week or have business obligations after work often schedule their personal business during work days because the hours they work and travel demands necessitate more flexible schedules. "
  • "How do others handle personal appointments that can’t always be scheduled in the evenings or on weekends? Do people regularly take long lunches or gym breaks without anyone batting an eye? Or does everyone follow a strict policy around time out of the office? Take clues from those around you and ask for their guidance as appropriate."
  • "Workplace needs are often unpredictable, and you can’t be put out by any interruptions to your personal schedule."
From Part 08
Quotes
  • "Make more time for the work that matters most."
  • "Asana has been instrumental in enabling our team to grow by 6X this year and successfully scale our processes."
Quotes
  • "Teams do extraordinary things with Asana."
Quotes
  • "If you’re using Microsoft Planner for the card and board functionality, you might as well go to one of the teams that does it well. That’d be Trello."
Quotes
  • "Trello has a definite advantage that differs from other tools – you copy to-do lists to another card, which is really awesome for repetitive tasks."