Let’s Talk About Project Management
… in particular Trello and Asana
Firstly, what is project management exactly and how does this work with a Virtual Assistant?
Well, project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. The team, being you and your virtual assistant and anyone else who is a part of your team, such as your webmaster, bookkeeper, graphic designer, etc.
There are a number of online tools available these days to be able to achieve all of the above, where everyone is given access to a platform instead of being bombarded by a ton of emails that tend to get lost or overlooked. These platforms have a discussion area, so you can choose if you want to receive email notifications or not.
What is Trello?
Trello is a free and easy way to collaborate and manage your projects in a very visual way, using boards, cards and checklists. It is loosely based on the KanBan board system developed by Toyota to help with workflows. In essence, they consist of To-Do, Doing, and Completed boards, but, of course, you can also add as many boards as you need.
Here is a sample of a Blog Editorial Calendar Board. You can see that you can also colour-code the boards to show your team members, departments or whatever suits your business. These Boards can be dragged and dropped in any order you like, as are the cards within the boards. So as the task is being done, you can drag that task between boards until it is completed and then you can either put in the ‘Completed’ boards or archive it.
Within these Cards, you are able to create checklists, assign the card to any team member, add a due date and add an attachment, as you can see below:
Trello has a feature called ‘Power-Ups’ which you can integrate with other programs, such as Box, Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, MailChimp, Salesforce, Slack, SurveyMonkey, Twitter, Zendesk, etc. However, you can only have one ‘Power-Up’ per board, unless you upgrade to the paid ‘Trello Gold.’ Until then, Trello is free with unlimited Boards.
What is Asana?
Asana is also designed to help teams of up to 15 people track their work through collaboration, including unlimited tasks, projects and conversations. It is more robust and not as visual as Trello, although Asana has recently introduced boards that are very similar to the ones available in Trello.
Asana also has integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, Chrome Extension, Box, Slack, InstaGantt, Zapier, Wufoo, MailChimp, WordPress, Evernote, Harvest, Campaign Monitor, Zendesk Calendar Sync, and many others.
The free version of Asana is generally sufficient for smaller teams.
Which one shall I use?
It all depends on how you work and what appeals to you more. I love them both and work with both. I’m more a visual personal, so Trello is my program of choice. Try them and have a play and see which one resonates more with you. Your Virtual Assistant my already be using one, so check with them as a first port of call.
Programs like these will make your (business) life so much easier and less stressful, as you’ll be able to see what is done and what needs to be done at a glance It makes good business sense.
Head Goddess at The Holistic Virtual Assistant