Many of us use project management software to collaborate with teams, but when it comes to individual usage, we still rely on sticky notes or several disconnected tools like email and spreadsheets. Most of our information, tasks, and to-dos aren’t in the same place, yet we’re still hoping we can stay organized and manage our project successfully.
Good news – it doesn’t have to be this way!
From home improvement projects to freelance assignments, we can also use project management software for individual usage and reach our goals.
Let’s dive into the benefits, use cases, and specific tools of project management software.
First, what is project management software for individuals?
Project management software is made up of all the platforms and tools that help managers and teams plan, coordinate, and complete projects from start to finish.
Project management software for individuals has the same purpose and many of the same features as platforms built for bigger teams. One key difference is that because these softwares are built for one or two people, it’s a more affordable (or even free!) option for those wanting to keep track of their daily activities, responsibilities, deliverables, and, of course, projects.
Some of the features for project management softwares for individuals include:
- Unlimited boards or spaces to plan and track work
- Unlimited digital content creation for taking notes, keeping track of information, posting images, and more
- Ways to organize your boards (whether that’s by including places to attach links, files, text, formulas, dates, and more
When working with larger teams of three and above, it might be best to choose a software that can scale as you grow, includes more automations and integrations, streamlines team management, and offers advanced reporting and analytics.
So how can you know whether a project management software for individual use is right for you? Let’s take a look at a couple of use cases.
The use cases for project management software include both personal and professional initiatives
There are several ways to use project management software for individuals. We’ll focus two scenarios where you can get the most out of the technology: personal projects and professional scenarios where you might want a customizable workflow to manage a job.
We’ll break down both scenarios and how the software can help you stay organized, manage tasks, and track work.
Managing personal projects
Let’s say you’re moving apartments and you need to complete several tasks and compile certain documents.
Instead of using email to store documents, a notebook to jot down a list of to-dos, an app to help you budget, and your phone to keep track of the contacts you need to call, you can organize all of this information in one place.
Below are a few key features of a project management software that could help facilitate a smoother move:
- Customizable views: A board with customizable columns will help you map out any needed steps. If you’re moving apartments, you may have columns for contacts such as your current and future landlords, the tenant moving in, the DMV, and so on. On some softwares, you can even choose how you view your project, be it a timeline, kanban, calendar, and more.
You’ll also want a place to track any moving expenses. This is where templates come in handy.
- Pre-built templates: Pre-built templates do all of the organizational work for you, you just need to input your information. In this example, you’d want to track any expenses and their due dates, the payment status (whether it’s paid or unpaid), the cost, and what the item is for (moving trucks, apartment furnishings, and so on).
- Work documents: Finally, you may want a place to take notes, store reminders, or jot down weekly checklists. The most robust platforms will let you create checklists, imbed your view into the doc, or attach it as a file so your projects are always accessible. Whether home decor inspiration suddenly strikes or you’re gathering a list of cleaning products for the new home, a work document is a blank slate for you to ideate and execute any task or project.
With access to the above features, you can easily complete a personal project of any size on time, on budget, and as smoothly as possible.
Managing professional workflows
You can also use project management software to manage your professional workflow. You’ll likely need the above key features, but you may also want a few extras to really maximize productivity and efficiency.
These extras will help you keep collaborators in the loop, calculate your rates, and keep an eye on how much time it takes you to complete a given task. Let’s go over a few of these features that will manage your work.
- Unlimited free viewers: If you’re freelancing, it’s important to update your editors on your progress and give them one place to find all of your notes, sources, and assets. Unlimited free viewers allows editors or collaborators to:
- View all of your boards
- Open files and read your updates
- Open any board view
- Receive assignments
- And more
Anyone you work with can open up your boards and immediately know where things stand. Not only will this help smoothen communication by providing a transparent look into your work, but it will also help you and your client save time by eliminating excess updates.
- Time tracking: This one’s great for when you’re working on multiple projects at once and need understand how to best delegate your time and resources. With a time tracking feature, you can track time live by pressing a play button to start and end a timer.
- A formula column: Different projects require different rates. A formula column helps you keep track of your hourly rate for each project. With this Formula column, you can easily calculate the billable amount, which you can then send to your clients.
Effective project planning isn’t just about advanced features. There are other factors you should consider when working with these platforms.
From customization to ease of use — here’s what to look for in a project management software for individual usage
When choosing a software solution to manage project planning and collaboration, you want to look beyond surface-level features and sales pages. Let’s take a look at several factors to consider when choosing your project management software for individuals.
Excellent customer reputation
What do existing customers think of the software? When managing your work, you want a reliable vendor that can fix any bugs immediately.
One way to assess the software’s reputation is to check out third-party review sites like Trustpilot and G2 Crowd. Here, you can get a sense for what customers love about the software and even gain insights into potential challenges as well.
Sifting through both positive and negative reviews will help you get a feel for the platform’s strengths and weaknesses.
Ease of use
There’s a learning curve to using new software, but that doesn’t mean you need to lose days or weeks of productivity figuring out how to use it.
Explore platforms that have built-in templates for a variety of projects and fields (creative, software, event planning projects, and more) so you can use it right away. Platforms with an intuitive user experience also help you quickly get up and running.
Robust onboarding and training videos
No one wants to scramble trying to figure out how to use a platform to its full potential. And you don’t have to! Look for a solution with high-quality onboarding tutorials, videos, and step-by-step documentation so you can easily learn how to get started and make the most of the platform.
Some solutions even have daily live training webinars that help all new users learn how to master the platform.
A low-code/no-code platform
If you’re a developer, “low-code” capabilities allow you to build onto the platform to work faster and more efficiently. But for us non-developers, it’s important we have a no-code tool we can build and use to fulfill out needs.The last thing you want to do is to learn a new coding language just to make the most of your software choice. A project management software tool should make your life easier, not harder.
Any project management tool is only helpful when you’re using it successfully. Support is your fail-safe, helping you fix any potential problems.
You want to work with a company that values its customers and makes you a priority, even if you’re not an enterprise customer.
That way, even when something breaks, you can quickly get back on top of your projects.
We all work differently, so it’s important your software lets you choose how you view your work—whether it’s Kanban boards, Gantt chart, calendar, grid views and more.
You may also want to customize board columns, statuses, how you attach files, who you share your work with, and so on. With a customizable platform, you can truly create your perfect workflow.
A few examples of well-known project management tools
Now that we’ve covered some use cases and delved into what to look for in a project management tool, we’ll briefly touch on a few of the brands you may discover during your research.
While not all of these are project management tools (we’ll get into this in a moment), they will all help you manage your tasks and complete projects. Topping off the list is monday.com.
- monday.com: Alright, we’re actually a Work OS with thousands of users who rely on our platform to manage individual projects. With 200+ free templates and an intuitive UX, users can easily input their project information and get started right away.
- Smartsheet: Smartsheet is an online app for managing and tracking collaborative work. Heavily influenced by the structure of spreadsheets, Smartsheet is especially helpful for those who know their way around an excel sheet.
- Wrike: Wrike helps teams manage projects and ongoing work. Overall, Wrike’s straightforward UX and Spaces system allows users to group projects together, though it is on the expensive side once you start looking at advanced features.
The right software makes personal project management a breeze
Put away those spreadsheets, email threads, and physical notes and become more efficient with a smarter project management system. Even if you are a one person operation, the right platform can transform your productivity levels.
Looking for an intuitive platform you can set up and customize in minutes?
monday.com makes it easy to create the perfect platform for managing your projects, whether personal or professional. Craft custom templates and boards that reflect your unique workflow and visualize every step of the process.
Get started with our single project management template today.