How often do you get stuck in a rut when working on projects? You might be using the same old tools every time, or even worse, you might be relying on someone else to schedule meetings for you.
Scheduling tools are essential for managing projects effectively. These tools help you to plan your tasks, create projects, track progress, and communicate with other team members.
There are lots of scheduling apps available, but they don’t always offer the features you need. So it is important that you understand what tool suits your need, comes under your budget, and works best for you.
Here are the scheduling tools and techniques that you should be looking for your project management:
How To Get Started With Project Scheduling Tools?
Scheduling tools are designed to aid in project management and streamline tasks. It helps you manage your day-to-day activities on the clock.
If you want to improve your productivity, then you should invest some time learning how to use them properly.
Here are 4 easy ways to get started.
Using Google Calendar
Knowingly or unknowingly, people are consuming a lot of online services from the tech giant Google. One of the most popularly used tools has to be Google calendar which is also free to use.
It offers an extensive calendar feature that includes everything from birthdays to appointments. You can set multiple calendars and view your calendar through your month, day, and year wise as well.
Create a Project Planner
A project planner can help you organize all your tasks into a single place. This way, you will have a clear view of what needs to be done next.
Project planning includes all your relevant tasks under a said project streamlined on the schedule including all the participants with defined roles.
Adopt A Time Management Strategy
One of the best ways to start project scheduling is to initiate a time management strategy for your work and projects.
It is a process and you gradually learn what works for you and what doesn’t but this is the easiest starting point for getting into project scheduling and management.
You can easily set reminders about upcoming deadlines and create tasks based on specific dates. This allows you to stay organized and avoid missing important events.
Communicate With Team Members
The last but not the least thing you need to do before you start using a project scheduling tool for your project management brings your team members on board with it.
You can also collaborate with other team members by sharing calendars or whatever scheduling tool you will choose for your projects.
How to Choose the Best Project Scheduling Software & Tools?
Project management software or tool is one of the essentials that you need for your business or work.
Using this software, you can manage your multiple projects, streamline relevant tasks add participants with assigned roles, track progress, and keep everyone on the same to fulfill a common goal or project.
There are many different types of project management tools available today. But not all of them are created equal. To make sure you pick the right tool for your business, here are some things to consider:
How does Project Management Software help In Project Scheduling?
There are two main categories of project management software
Web-based tools are accessed through the internet, while desktop-based tools require installation on your computer.
Some tools fall under both categories. For example, Basecamp is a web-based tool that requires users to install it as a desktop application.
There are several benefits to choosing a web-based tool over a desktop-based tool. First, web-based tools are easier to access and update than desktop applications. Second, they are typically more affordable.
Third, they provide a lot of flexibility.
For example, web-based tools can integrate with third-party systems like CRM (customer relationship management) software. In addition, you can add custom fields to your data, such as project budgets.
Desktop-Based Apps vs. Web-Based Apps
Desktop-based tools require installation. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t worth using. Many businesses choose to install desktop-based tools because they are familiar with Microsoft Office.
Plus, they often include additional features like file storage or document editing.
Web-based tools are usually less expensive than desktop-based apps. They also offer a lot of flexibility.
You can customize your dashboard however you’d like. And you don’t need to worry about installing anything.
How to Use Project Management Software? Step-by-Step
Once you decide which type of project management tool works best for your company, it’s time to get started. Here are the steps to help you get up and running quickly:
Step 1: Set Up Your Dashboard
Before you begin working on your new project management system, it’s important to set up your dashboard. This includes creating an account, adding tasks, assigning tasks to people, and setting due dates.
Step 2: Create Tasks
Once you have your dashboard set up, create your first task. Add notes to your task. Then assign the task to someone else. If you’re using a web-based app, you’ll be able to see who has completed the task.
Step 3: Assign Tasks
Now that you have a few tasks assigned to you, it’s time to start assigning tasks to other team members.
When assigning tasks, think about what information you need from each person. For example, if you need a budget estimate from one person, ask for that information before assigning the task.
Step 4: Manage Projects
You need to manage your projects throughout until are completed or the deadline is met.
Project management is a process in itself, so it is essential you develop the required skills to manage your projects much more efficiently.
Project management is about creating, scheduling, communicating, setting deadlines and all tasks, and streamlining included in the execution aspect of the project development.
Step 5: Track Progress
Use the calendar feature to monitor your progress. Also, check-in with your team to see if they are making any progress.
Pro Tips To Use Project Management Software
- Start by communicating with others. Use email or in-app chat options.
- Make sure you keep all of your documents organized so you can find them when you need them.
- Get help from experts at your organization. Ask them questions about your project management software.
- Learn more about project management software. There are many different types of project management software available.
- Stay updated regarding the project management and scheduling software industry to get hands-on latest features, software updates, and even better alternatives.
- Share knowledge with others in your organization. The more you share, the better you will become at managing projects.
- Start small. Try a simple spreadsheet. Once you feel comfortable, move up to a more complex program.
- Working on a team is essential to successful project management. Whether you work alone or with a group, make sure everyone knows their roles.
- Update your skills from time to time. Project management skills change over time. Make sure you keep learning.
10+ Best Project Scheduling Software & Tools
Monday.com is a scheduling app with intuitive collaboration features that are easy to learn and quickly understood. It’s an extremely customizable tool that helps you organize your workflow and see the progress and statuses of your projects at a glimpse.
Most of the project planning features on Monday.com are in the “Timeline” feature. Here, you can plan projects, schedule them, assign team members, break down tasks, and set dependencies for each task.
You can reassign any task by simply clicking and dragging it, and you can view all your tasks in different ways.
Monday.com offers the ability for users to create summary charts as part of their projects and then export them into various formats (PDF, XML, etc.).
Apart from that, Monday.com allows you to view your projects in a bigger picture using reporting dashboards that aggregate data from multiple boards, enabling better progress tracking.
Monday.com technically doesn’t allow you to create Gantt charts in a traditional way, nor can you import or export Microsoft Project files.
It’s an easy-to-use task management software tool that helps people see where their tasks are bottlenecking, know who’s currently doing what, etc. It’s even easier to use than WordPress for beginners because it has a drag-and-drop interface.
Monday.com integrates with apps like Slack, Excel, Google Drive (Google Docs), Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub Trello, Dropbox, and more.
Monday.com costs from $10/user/month and includes a 14-day free trial. They offer a free trial for up to two users.
The Asana Project Management App is a great tool for managing your projects. It’s easy to use, has some nice features and it’s free! Let’s see what you think about this product.
It’s a simple project management app that enables you to manage your projects online. You can add tasks, track progress, collaborate with others, share documents, get notifications, and much more.
You can start creating new projects right away. Once you have created a project, you can easily add tasks, upload files, invite other collaborators and receive updates on your projects.
There are many reasons why you should use Asana. First of all, it’s completely free. Secondly, it’s very easy to use. Thirdly, there are no limits when it comes to the number of projects you can create. Lastly, it’s extremely intuitive and straightforward.
There are lots of companies and individuals who use Asana. Some examples include Airbnb, Pinterest, Twitter, Netflix, Uber, Spotify, Mozilla, NASA, and many more.
Asana is a web-based project management tool that allows you to organize your projects, and tasks and collaborates with other team members.
It has been designed for teams who need an easy way to manage their work in one place. The main features of Asana are:
Task Management: You can assign tasks to yourself or others and create sub-tasks within those tasks. Tasks can be assigned due dates, have comments added by the owner and other users, and can also be linked to files and documents.
Project Management: Projects allow you to plan out your entire workflow for a particular task or project. Each project contains multiple tasks which can be organized into subtasks. You can add notes to each task as well as set up recurring tasks and reminders.
Collaboration: Asana supports real-time collaboration through its built-in chat feature. You can share documents, images, links, videos, and more between team members.
Time Tracking: Time tracking is available on every task so you can see how long it takes to complete a task. This helps you track progress throughout the process.
File-Sharing: Files can be shared across all the different projects you’re working on at once. You can upload files from anywhere including Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box.
Asana offers many integrations with third-party services such as Gmail, Slack, Trello, Salesforce, and Zapier.
Mavenlink is a web-based project management software that allows you to manage your projects, tasks, and milestones.
It’s easy to use, intuitive, and has an attractive interface. You can create new projects or add them to existing ones.
There are lots of reasons why you should use Mavenlink. First of all, you can choose to pay monthly or yearly for access.
Second, it’s fully customizable. Third, you can view detailed reports on your projects. Fourth, you can integrate with over 40+ apps and services. Finally, it’s mobile responsive.
Mavenlink offers a lot of features, including task tracking, team collaboration, reporting, invoicing, and more. But most importantly, it’s affordable and easy to learn.
If you’re looking for a project management solution that will work for you, then check out Mavenlink. It’s a cloud-based software platform that lets you manage your projects, tasks, and milestones.
The best part? It’s absolutely free! There are no limitations when it comes to the number of people you can connect to your account. Plus, you’ll get unlimited storage space, access to 24/7 support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Mavenlink provides a variety of features, including:
Easy Task Creation: You can quickly create new tasks and link them to any document or file. You can assign due dates, leave notes and attach files.
Real-Time Collaboration: You can communicate with other team members using the integrated chat feature. You can also share files, documents, and even video calls.
Task Scheduling: You can schedule recurring tasks based on date, time or custom intervals.
Milestone Tracking: Milestones help you keep track of important events during the life cycle of a project. They let you know when something needs to happen and what will be expected of you after that milestone is achieved.
Reporting & Analytics: Reports show you everything about your projects in one place. You can get a summary of your tasks, a list of active projects, a breakdown of your team members, and much more. You can also generate charts and graphs to better understand your data.
Task Management: You can assign tasks to yourself or others and create sub-tasks within those tasks. Today’s tasks can be assigned due dates and have comments added by the owners and other users. They can also be linked to documents and files.
Team Collaboration: Team collaboration is supported through the built-in chat feature. You can send messages to anyone inside your organization, even if they aren’t connected to the same project.
Reporting – Reports help you keep track of everything that happens in your projects. You can generate custom reports based on specific criteria like date range or user role.
Invoicing – Invoices let you easily track expenses and generate professional-looking PDFs.
File Sharing – Files can be uploaded directly from any device using the integrated file manager. You can choose to store them in the cloud or locally.
It’s often hard to get started when using new software. However, this rule does not apply to Forecast.com. This tool is an excellent example of how technology can help you plan projects and visualize them.
It has all the features you need to make sure your team has a smooth sailing experience. The software helps you identify bottlenecks in project planning and tackle them head-on.
It provides a high-level, bird’s eyes view of all project activities. Add more detailed information as needed.
It not only covers all the basics of Project Scheduling Software — but Forecast also provides an end-to-end perspective for your projects, offering a joined-up view of your projects and resources.
And then comes its cherry-on-the-top feature, AutoSchedule, which reduces the amount of time spent on scheduling the project and assigned resources to your tasks to an absolute minimum.
This AI-powered feature will help you plan your project in just a few clicks. Pricing starts at $29 per user per month and there is a free trial available for 14 days.
Project Manager is a project management software that helps you to manage your projects in an efficient way.
It has many features and functionalities which make it easy for the users. The main feature of this software is its ability to create, assign tasks, track progress, collaborate with other users, and much more.
You can easily add and edit tasks, change their status, assign deadlines to them, and even share them with others. You can also send messages to your colleagues about the progress of the project.
The interface of this application is very simple and intuitive. It allows you to quickly find what you want by searching through categories, tags, or keywords.
Moreover, you can use filters to narrow down the search results. The most important thing about this app is that it lets you access everything in real-time. So, if you have any changes to make, you can do so without having to wait until the next day.
The pricing of this application is based on the number of active users. For instance, you can choose between three different plans: Free Plan, Standard Plan, and Premium Plan.
The software is designed to be a single hub for every stage of a project. Designed for all types of businesses, NiftyPM is an online project management tool that helps teams collaborate, automate progress reporting, and manage projects.
The Nifty app makes sure everyone on the team stays on the same page, no matter where they are.
It is an excellent piece of software that will help you manage your projects, tasks, and clients in a way that works well for you. The interface is clean and simple, which makes it very easy to use.
There are many different ways to view your projects, tasks, client information, and so forth. You can see all of this information at once or filter it down into a specific project or task.
This gives you the ability to focus on just the things that matter most to you.
You can add notes to each item, as well as set due dates and reminders. These items can then be shared with other team members or clients. The integration with Slack makes communication easier than ever before.
You can create milestones and break them down into smaller steps. You can also set up recurring tasks and make sure that you don’t miss anything. There are several different views available to help you organize your work.
The reporting features include invoicing, tracking expenses, and generating detailed reports. You can export these reports in various formats including Excel and PDF.
Overall, NiftyPM is a great tool for managing your projects, tasks, clients, and other aspects of your business. It has a lot of useful features and there are no hidden costs.
- Easy-to-use intuitive interface
- Automatically consolidates project communications, timelines and tasks, assets, and project tracking into one place.
- It provides its users with an overview of a team’s schedule and priorities.
- Users can track project milestones, collaborate on tasks, communicate with the team and clients, and update their own progress.
- A central location for storing all of your collaborative documents
Milestones help you visualize your project and automate progress tracking based on task completions. They also show you when tasks are completed and give you real-time status updates.
Project portfolios help teams organize their projects into a single place, which makes them easier to manage and helps them stay organized.
Nifty has four pricing tiers, ranging from $39 per month for the cheapest plan to $149 per month for the most expensive plan.
This tier includes Nifti’s core features, allowing for up to 10 team members. You can have up to 30 people working with you on your project at $124 per month. If you need more than 30 people, you can pay an additional fee.
SmartTask is an easy-to-use work management software that helps organize workflows, projects, tasks, and sales processes.
With the Timeline feature in SmartTask, you can visualize a long project schedule and see when each task needs to be completed.
It also has a Task Auto-Schedule feature which lets you automatically schedule delayed tasks so they happen at the right time.
Along with project management and task management, SmartTask also includes time tracking, CRM (customer relationship management), team collaboration, multiple project view, analytics, and reporting capabilities. It is suitable for any size team.
Here are some SmartTask’s best features:
- Manage tasks with different views such as list view, board view, calendar view, timeline view, etc.
- Use Portfolio view to manage multiple projects at once.
- You can set tasks to be dependent on one another, specify due dates for them, assign them priorities
- Automate tasks directly from your email.
- Real-time communication between team members via instant messaging, video conferencing, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
- Use highly customizable charts to analyze your projects.
It offers both a free and paid plan. The free plan has no limits on the number of users or features, while the paid plan starts at $0.05 per user per month.
The HubPlanner is software that helps you to manage all your projects, tasks, and activities. It has an intuitive interface which makes it easy for the users to use.
The user can easily create new projects as well as add or delete existing ones. They can also attach files to the projects they work on.
This application offers a lot of useful features like task tracking, calendar integration, reporting, and collaboration. Also, you can check the progress of each project from anywhere.
You can see who is working on the project and what he/she is doing. In addition, you can communicate with your team members via email, chat, and phone calls.
Hub Planner has an advanced reporting engine with 70+ predefined templates. If you cannot find a template that meets your needs, you can create reports yourself.
There are four types of plans available in the HubPlanner. You can select one according to your requirements. All these plans include unlimited projects, tasks, and file attachments.
There are three types of plans available in HubPlanner. You may select one according to your needs. All these plans include Unlimited Projects, Tasks, and File Attachments.
Basecamp is a cloud-based project management solution that lets you collaborate with other team members. It supports various platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
You can share documents, calendars, contacts, and notes across multiple devices. This tool is ideal for small teams because it provides all the necessary features.
Basecamp allows you to organize your projects into folders. Each folder contains subfolders where you can keep your projects.
You can add files, and comments, and assign due dates to the projects. You can also set up recurring events for your tasks.
You can easily create new projects, invite people to join your team, and update the information about the project. You can also view the progress of the project from anywhere using its mobile apps.
If you need help managing your projects, Basecamp’s support team is always ready to assist you. They provide 24×7 customer service. Moreover, you can get assistance over live chat, email, and phone calls.
Pricing starts at $10 per user per month. However, there is a free plan available for those who don’t need many features.
Basecamp is also available as a free, open-source project management tool that can help you manage projects of any size, regardless of whether you have a large team or just a few people working together.
It has an intuitive UI and comes with a lot more features than most of the other tools we reviewed.
Celoxis is the best for complex project scheduling.
When it comes to scheduling projects, Celoxis has powerful planning and scheduling tools that let you create dynamic project plans that automatically adapt to changing real-world circumstances.
With its powerful features, including flexibility, speed, and responsiveness, Celoxis can easily handle large project plans involving numerous levels of subtasks, inter-project dependencies, and even multiple resources per task.
It has an automatic scheduling feature that can accommodate almost any real-world scenario to give you a robust and reliable project plan.
Celoxis makes project management easy with features like automatic email alerts and RAG health indicators. Celoxis helps you see what everyone else is doing and lets you track resource loads in real-time.
With built-in file sharing, discussion, and comment capabilities, one can easily share files, discuss, or exchange comments with both his/her teammates and clients.
You can create several best practices and custom reports including drill-down charts that let you gather real-time insights into your projects and resources.
Celoxis integrates out-of-the-box with popular apps like Google Drive, Excel, MS Project, Jira, Salesforce, and Quickbooks Online. It is also fully integrated with Zapier, which allows you to use sync with thousands of apps.
It also has an easy-to-use web-based API to connect with other services and legacy business apps.
Celoxis is one of the few tools that offer SaaS and On-Premise deployment options. Celoxis costs $25/user/month with additional commitment discounts.
It’s the best all-in-one project scheduling platform. Zoho Projects is a powerful project management and project scheduling software from Zoho.
It provides flexibility and customizations to fit the needs of both traditional project managers and agile teams.
You can plan and track the way you prefer – as lists, kanbans, or visually with GANTT charts.
Task tags and custom views and filtering allow you to organize your tasks and find any one of them with ease. You can also use the drag and drop resource usage module to plan your resources effectively.
You can keep everyone in the loop right within projects by using inbuilt chat, forums, and comments, or you can take the social route with project feeds.
Add to that the ability to generate more than 50 different types of charts and reports, plus the ability to integrate with third-party tools for even more reporting options.
The dashboard is fully customizable so that users may customize Zoho Projects to suit their needs.
The interface and modules can be highly customized. You can change every aspect of the user interface from its color scheme to the arrangement and visibility of the different modules.
Zoho Projects offers free onboarding for new customers and a comprehensive online support guide for all users.
It stands apart from other project management tools when there are multiple hand-off points involved.
It is especially popular with IT companies, consultants, educational organizations, and others. It has been used by over three million users and hundreds of big brands worldwide.
Being part of ZOHO’S Ecosystem allows Projects to connect to various ZOHO’s own services including ZOHO Books, ZOHO CRM, and ZOHO’s Finance Suite. The new Zoho Marketplace now allows third-party integrations as well.
Starts from $4 per user per month billed annually. It has a free version for up to three users for two projects and a 10- day free trial. You don’t need any credit card information.
Best Scheduling Techniques For Project Management
Scheduling is the process of planning and organizing work activities to meet a set of goals.
In project management, scheduling is the process of determining when tasks will be performed in order to complete the project on time and within budget.
Here we discuss some of the best techniques for scheduling.
Use a Gantt Chart
Gantt charts are used to visually display schedules. These charts are often referred to as “project plans” because they represent how much work remains until completion. A typical Gantt chart looks like this:
Gantt charts are very useful for visualizing schedules and helping you keep track of what’s going on during the course of a project. However, there are two major drawbacks to using Gantt charts.
First, it takes a lot of effort to create a good Gantt chart. Second, it doesn’t provide enough information about the status of the project.
Schedules can be shortened in two ways:• Crashing: Using more resources than planned on a task• Fast-tracking: Adjusting the schedule so, mindful that tasks depend on each other, more activities are done at once than was planned.
Use a Kanban Board
A kanban board is a tool that helps you visualize a workflow. A kanban board allows you to add cards to represent items that must be done before the item can move forward.
Cards may be moved around the board depending on their position in the workflow.
You can use a kanban board to help you understand where you stand in terms of completing various tasks. Here’s an example of a simple kanban board:
A kanban board provides a visual representation of a workflow. It shows you where you are in relation to other parts of the workflow.
This involves building in time or resource contingencies for tasks considered to be at high risk of overrun.
Use a Resource Planner
Resource planners allow you to allocate resources to specific tasks. They do so by assigning each resource to a particular task.
When a resource completes a task, he/she moves on to the next task. Resource planners are useful for managing large teams, but they don’t scale well if you have just a few people working on a project.
Use a Task List
Task lists are similar to resource planners, except that they focus on individual tasks rather than entire projects. Task lists let you assign specific tasks to specific team members.
Once a task is assigned to someone, he/she can start working on it immediately. Task lists are great for managing small teams.
PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique)
PERT charts differ significantly from CPM charts in terms of how time is calculated for activities. They allow for better handling of uncertainty.
For each activity, we obtain three estimates of time: the shortest time (ST), the longest time (LTM), and the most likely time.
The estimate assigned for an activity is a weighted average between the estimates from the three people who participated in the activity. The formula for expected time is: Expected time= (SP+4(MT)+LT)/6.
Use a Time Sheet
Timesheets are another way to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Like resource planners, time sheets allow you to assign tasks to different people.
Unlike resource planners, however, timesheets only show who is currently working on which task. So, you won’t know exactly when a person will finish his/her current task.
Use a Project Management Software (PMS)
Project management software (PMS) is a type of application that helps you plan and coordinate your projects.
Most PMS applications include features such as calendars, task lists, and resource planners. Some also include features such as dashboards, reports, and email notifications.
Schedule Network Analysis
A schedule network is a visual representation of all logical relationships between elements of work, from initial planning through project closure.
As the project progresses, regular analysis using this network diagram is a way to ensure the project is progressing ‘on track”.
Use a Planning Calendar
Planning calendars are helpful for keeping track of upcoming events. The calendar gives you a visual representation of all the things that need to happen over the coming weeks or months.
You can use them to keep track of deadlines, milestones, and any other event that needs to be scheduled.