Project Management - From tada to todo

I do like and appluade 37Signals for their narrow focus on small but efficient and unbloated online applications and I was probably an early adopter of their tadalists – a tool for managing todolists. While I didn’t use them as actual todolists, they were more like a place to collect thoughs and move them (usually) into project plans which lived elsewere. That has come to an end. I’ve switched to an other wonderful system called Remember The Milk. Remember the Milk is slightly more than just todo-lists. They do add that little extra functionality which makes it a great tool for me, and it seems their system can be used quie effciently as a (small) project management tool.

Let me initially state, that I didn’t go on to explore the many options, and I’ve probably still got a lot to learn about the features hidden within the application.

Here’s a few points on how you can use Remember the Milk (RtM) as a project management tool:

  • Don’t manage too many projects at once (RtM is suited and neither is your brain).
  • Make a list in RtM for every project.
  • Add all milestones as tasks and for every mile stone set the due date. Give the milestones the highest priority (orange – makes them easy to spot). If the one line task headline isn’t enough to describe the milesone use the notes field to add information.
  • Add meetings and workshops to the list and make them the second highest priority (dark blue) and remember to assign their planned dates as due dates. Hint – notes on the task could include participants or the adenda.
  • Add any other interesting or major events in the project (and a due date) – don’t prioritize them.

Now your set to go.

The default page (the overview) gives you a nice overview of todays events, there’s a tab (overdue) which catches events which needs special attention – and for all tasks (project events) you can get alerts on mail, sms or even some Instant Messaging systems.

If you’re using iCal or some other calendring software which supports iCalendars, you can subscribe to the projects and probably sync them from your calendar to the cell phone.

You can also invite your project team to your ”todo lists” (project lists). Remember the Milk as a project management tool will never challenge Microsoft Project or other huge systems, but do you really need all the bells and whistles? – In my book most project management is about real world planning and acting – not being locked in an office trying to map reouces and tasks into a software monster.