Table of Contents Technology ShowcaseBuilding an Engaging Online Student UnionTechnology Showcase: Implications of the Internet of Things (IoT)Technology Showcase: The Natural Limitations of Technology: 4K TVsTechnology Showcase: Students Organize HackathonsTechnology Showcase: LEDs EvolveTechnology Showcase: Beyond Facebook: Social Media 2.0Technology Showcase: The Potential of Virtual Reality GamesTechnology Showcase: What Event Planners Need to Know About WiFiTechnology Showcase: 10 Pro Tips for Using Microsoft WordTechnology Showcase: It's Just a Video in PowerPoint–What Could Go Wrong?Technology Showcase: Competitive Presenting with PowerPoint RouletteTechnology Showcase: Adjusting Procedures to Provide Better A/V SupportTechnology Showcase: Tracking A/V Inventory in DEA EMSTechnology Showcase: Applying Innovative, Inexpensive Technology in a Theatre SpaceTechnology Showcase: Raspberry Jammin'Technology Showcase: Road Test: Apps for NotetakingTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Student Employee Scheduling ProgramsTechnology Showcase: Road Test: Project Management Software10 of the Top Commons Posts of 20152015 Education and Research Fund DonorsNeeds Assessment Identifies Strengths, Room for GrowthCAS Provides Better Tools for Relevant Functional AreasNew Team Provides Educational Tools, Discussion Opportunities Related to Campus ViolenceVolunteerism In the AssociationFrom the President: Who was Your First?From the Chief Executive Officer: Promoting Dialogue About Campus ShootingsMarch/April 2016 KioskOn the JobUnion Spotlight: Linda E. McMahon Commons at Sacred Heart UniversityUnion Spotlight: Andorfer Commons at the Indiana Institute of Technology
Volume 84 | Issue 2
March/April 2016

Technology Showcase: Road Test: Project Management Software

Student affairs professionals have a lot on their plates. Sometimes, keeping track of it all seems impossible. When you add all the other people involved in your projects, it is easy for something to slip through the cracks. Project management systems remove some of the burden from both your individual and team responsibilities.

Most project management systems allow you to organize multiple projects in one platform. All of them include some time-to-task list function, but they are far more than an electronic to-do list. They are a collaboration tool for your teamwork and a silent administrative assistant for those times when cognitive load limits have been reached. Being able to break up responsibilities into chunks can prevent burnout and improve productivity. Having robust online collaboration tools reduces the need for long, unproductive meetings that take time away from other duties.

The number of available project management systems seems to be endless, so we narrowed down the options and examined five popular systems, each a little different based on your particular needs. Perhaps, you will find a tool you cannot live without.

Those who have already committed to other programs to complete tasks will most appreciate Redbooth’s integration capabilities. Among the platforms it integrates with are Outlook, Evernote, and Google Drive. While a free version is available, greater functionality is available with its per-user, monthly services (three pricing levels). Redbooth’s features include integrated HD video chat and screen sharing, team chat, templates for common jobs, time tracking, and the ability to assign subtasks. Mobile access is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, Redbooth offers unlimited workspace, and content can be hosted locally.

Teamwork is a robust system with a lot of bells and whistles, which means it is comprehensive but can be overwhelming if all the features are activated. In addition to the ability to assign subtasks; access on iPhone, iPad, and Android; and track time, users can share notebooks and links, include others outside the organization, and integrate billing capability. The calendar function requires an extra step to see tasks but does allow users to assign date ranges—not just due dates—and view an activity timeline on the practical and adjustable dashboard. Teamwork also makes it easy to modify tasks and switch between projects. Pricing is based on the number of projects and space required and ranges from $12 per month to $249 per month.

Trello is already popular among the unions and activities community, with many using the free version. One caveat is that was designed more for households than businesses, so it can be hard to find what you need unless you know where to look. Instead of projects, tasks are arranged in tiles underneath lists and underneath boards. Each tile includes the option for checklists, descriptions, comments, categorization, due date, and attachments. At times, functionality is not reliable; however, it can be accessed on mobile devices and greater security is offered as part of the paid subscription packages.

One of the oldest web-based project management platforms, Basecamp has been around since 2004 but released a new version in November 2015. While it comes at a price (maximum $3,000 per year), users appreciate its intuitive design and search feature, making everything easy to find. It offers unlimited projects, can be accessed on mobile devices, and its fully functional shared calendar includes event scheduling as well as tasks. Basecamp also has robust communication tools including instant messaging, group chat, an applause feature to let a team member know they are appreciated, the option to separate client discussions from team discussions, and its “Work Can Wait” feature, which turns off emails and notifications outside of business hours. Like Teamwork, you can include those outside your organization and assign date ranges. Other features include color coding, cascading notification, the ability to bookmark tasks, several reporting options, and the option to customize your desktop. One con is that you cannot set tasks to repeat.

Another free option is Asana. While its dashboard functionality could use updating, the system is intuitively designed. Users can assign date ranges, see all “to do” items on the calendar, assign date ranges, and organize tasks and assign subtasks. It also includes a group chat feature, and the program can be accessed on Apple and Android devices.