Home Forums Work Need suggestions for managing project work

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  savink 8 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #158825


    Hello everyone,

    I am new to a position at my job where I am managing several projects at once. (Currently I am managing 8). I had systems in place in my old position for managing my day-to-day tasks, but these same systems are not working for keeping track of what needs to be done for my new position. As with any project, some tasks are on-going, some need to be completed in the near future, and some need to be finished farther out. I have tried using a separate notebook for each project, project-specific to-do sheets, a dry erase board…I can’t even color-code my flags in my inbox because I have more projects than colors! I feel like things are falling through the cracks…does anyone have suggestions as to how to better organize my tasks? Thanks in advance!

  • #172089


    Need suggestions for managing project work

    I’ve actually started using a binder with a view cover for my monthly projects. I print out a calendar from Microsoft Outlook with important dates and slide it into the front cover so I have a quick look of what is coming up.
    I’m also a big believer in using colored paper to organize things. For example – my busy time is at the end of the year – I am doing year end financial projections, tax forms & returns, and corresponding with CPA’s and clients. For this info – I usually use a colored paper so that it sticks out on my desk from my daily work (which has to get done too!). This might work for you – ongoing work could be on regular white paper – immediate projects on a bright color light yellow or pink – further out on another color.
    Finally, even though I know people preach continuously about the goal of a paperless office – I will never get there! I do better with printing emails or documents out – highlighting important dates, phone numbers or contacts, and filing in my binder for that project!
    Hope this helps and good luck!

  • #172092


    Need suggestions for managing project work

    Sounds like binder sets might be helpful, or maybe those small hanging-file racks that stand on a desk or shelf. One set for ongoing, regular work. One set for short-term projects with specific end dates and intermediary target dates. One set for long-term projects.

    I’ve found the only color-coding that really helps me is red, yellow, green. Kind of obvious, but if something has a red flag on it, I know it’s urgent and important. Yellow = important but not urgent. Green = necessary to the project but neither time-sensitive nor to be included in the finished work. (All background research, drafts, correspondence, etc would go in this category.)

    Write or type a header on every piece of paper, and the date received/generated (or set up your word-processing template to automatically generate a header or footer). That way you never have to guess which project it goes with. Each project should have its own “to be disposed of” folder or GTD in-box.

    And finally! If you have Outlook, set up a Task List. Much simpler than paper to-do lists, easy to edit, you can write yourself detailed notes to each task, and you can set reminders to ping you.

    Good luck and congratulations. 🙂

  • #172139


    Need suggestions for managing project work

    Thank you both for your suggestions! I’m eager to try them out! 🙂

  • #172194


    Need suggestions for managing project work

    I have had some success with the alligator files, those expanding pocket files with tabs on the top. The projects had their own slot and then the front slots were used for “today”,and “tomorrow” paperwork, including agendas and pertinent copies from the project du jour.

    As a teacher, I’d suggest you look at organizing systems used by teachers. Usually they have to divide things by class periods or by subjects and that might lead to products that can fit your needs. Let us now how your system evolves!

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