If there are two productivity tools that have come to my attention in the past year which you MUST try in 2015 they are Slack and Trello, here I will explain why I use these all day every day to make my work life easier and more organized and at the same time at zero cost.
I will start with the most simple of my two latest tech adoptions “Trello”. Trello is a simple app and website which allows you to create very simple to do lists and project task lists, the beauty is in the design and elegance of their GUI and simple yet full feature list. You create a board for each project you want to manage tasks and to do’s for, and then on that board you create different lists for your different topics or sections. To create individual notes on each list you simply add cards for each point and a card can contain anything from an image attachment or link, to a person who you have invited to the board and assigned a specific task or list of jobs. Each user who has access can add, mark complete and comment on any of the cards in the Trello ecosystem. The tool may not sound ground breaking but the simplistic approach of to do lists on any device and shared with different users truly is a god send when you work on many projects at once like I do and I am sure most web professionals do.
Slack will take a little more explaining but let me just begin by saying it is a “game changer”. Slack basically makes communicating about projects with your team and sharing documents via Google drive with team members or clients tangible, organized and simple. Having all of your project communication in one place where everything is archived and indexed and therefore searchable at any time is a no brainer, easy quick access to your Google Drive/Docs integrated means you can save time by remaining in the same environment. There are also integration tools for various useful services such as DropBox, IFTTT, Twitter, Mailchimp, Pingdom and yes you guessed it Trello too.
Another great benefit here is that if you sync a Trello board properly with a Slack Channel then it keeps a breadcrumb like log of your activity adding and archiving various Trello Cards (tasks) which is good to be able to refer back to when working in a team. I also found it useful to sync certain feeds with your Slack channel, it could be the feed from the website that specific channel is related to or it could be a feed from a website with useful articles related to what you are working on / discussing on that channel.
For the past few years I have tried a plethora of free and premium project management tools, pieces of paper, notepad files in a folder system, and tools integrated into my gmail/google apps but I think Slack might have just won my heart and so far I have found it to make managing multiple projects with several trees of tasks and multiple collaborators a whole lot easier, this way everyone remains in the loop however the experience remains user friendly and casual but without losing any valuable conversations. I highly recommend you try this out with your co-workers and/or clients today, watch some YouTube videos on how to get the most out of the service and thank me in the comments below once it revolutionizes your work space.
Both of the above services are available both in the browser environment and as an app for all the various platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows etc. That way all of your notes, tasks and communications are accessible from your computer or mobile device, perfect for the modern worker or entrepreneur.