Project management tools are awesome, and they will change your business for the better. You’ve probably been hearing people talk about options like ClickUp, Asana, and Trello. Wondering which is right for you and where to start? As someone who loves digital organization, let me be your guide. I’m about to share tips to help you choose the best project management tool for you. Get excited, you’re about to embark on a journey to get organized and feel less overwhelmed in your day to day business!
Before we get into choosing your tool, I want to clarify what a project management tool is used for. Mainly, they’re used to organize the behind-the-scenes of your business – your daily tasks, tasks for larger projects you’re working on (like launching a YouTube channel or a new service), and content planning (for Instagram, your blog, etc.).
Some service providers also like to use project management tools with their clients instead of emailing. I recently started doing this, and it’s been so nice to not have to dig through emails! I currently use Click-Up to organize the backend of my business, and use Trello to communicate with clients.
How do you decide what’s right for you? Let’s get into that next!
Just like with organizing your home, I think that you should organize your business based on what feels natural to you.
Home organizer Cass Aarssen has an approach to understanding organizing styles called Clutterbug. She categorizes people based on whether they are a macro or micro organizer, and whether they like for things to be visual/colorful or minimal. If you’re not sure what your organization style is, take her quiz! I really do think it applies to your business, too.
The three most popular project management tools are Trello, Asana, and ClickUp – and they all have very distinct organization styles. Choose the one that best fits how you like to plan and organize!
(Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I only share about products that I truly believe in!)
If you love making lists, give Asana a try. Your lists can be simple, or you can get more detailed with subtasks.
Pros: The layout of Asana is minimal, with simple lists written on a white background. You can set due dates for your tasks to help you meet deadlines. Similar to Trello and ClickUp, you can also view projects in a board or calendar view.
Cons: This is just personal preference, but I wish that Asana allowed for more color coding to help me distinguish between tasks. I also found looking at a long list to be visually overwhelming.
Do you love using sticky notes in your office? Do long lists stress you out? If so, Trello might be a better option for you than Asana. It’s very simple and visual, with tasks sorted into cards like a Pinterest board.
Pros: I love how easy it is to sort tasks in Trello (you just drag them from list to list). Labels allow you to use color to categorize tasks, and you can use powerups like Calendar view or Google Drive to add more functionality to your boards. You can also add due dates and checklists to cards. Being able to comment on each card makes collaboration easy.
Cons: One major struggle that I had with Trello is that I wished there was a way to see information from multiple boards all in one place. As I got more and more boards, it felt frustrating to have to keep jumping from board to board. There is a Home view, but it mainly shows upcoming tasks. Also, you can’t set due dates for subtasks unless you upgrade to a paid plan.
Don’t want to be put into a box when it comes to planning and organizing? ClickUp blends the best of all the other project management systems to give you more versatility! The platform design and use of color to categorize also make it more visual. This one is my personal favorite.
Pros: For me, ClickUp fixed the things that I felt were missing with Trello and Asana. Categorizations and color coding are more prominent. You can see tasks in a list, board, or calendar view. You have the option to set start and due dates for tasks and subtasks, even with the free plan. One of my favorite things is that if you click a Space, you view all of the tasks from the project lists within it.
Con: Because there is so much that you can do with ClickUp, there is more of a learning curve involved than with Asana or Trello.
All of these options have free plans available, so you could give them all a try if you want! That’s what I did. I don’t think any particular tool is better than another. It just depends on personal preference and creating a set up that works for you.
Once you’ve chosen your tool, it’s time to create your set up! Whether you’re using Asana, Trello, or ClickUp, I recommend setting up systems to organize your:
This is just a starting point, the possibilities are endless! I recommend keeping things simple starting out, and you can always update things as you grow.
If you need help learning your way around your new tool, here are a few tutorials I recommend:
I hope you’re excited to start using a project management tool! Having systems and workflows makes things so much easier. I do want to issue a friendly reminder before you go:
Getting organized is usually fun and exciting at first, then as the excitement wears off it’s harder to stick with the systems you created. I recommend sticking with a particular tool for at least 3 months before you decide that it’s not for you. But on the other had, don’t be afraid to give a different tool a try if needed. I’m all about finding what fits naturally with the way you work, instead of trying to force yourself to fit a different mold. Happy organizing!
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