A lot of businesspeople use web-based productivity tools, including project management and document management tools. Sometimes there’s a monthly subscription fee for these tools, and sometimes it’s well worth it.
However, you can often find comparable tools in WordPress plugins. Using these tools allows you to manage projects, documents, and workflow from your company website. It’s a savings in cost, and it also means you don’t have to log in and out of multiple tools during the workday.
We’re looking at a few different options for basic productivity tools in WordPress plugins.
The Cleverness To-do List is a simple list each user can create in the Admin area and display (and check off) on any page or with a widget. You can create individual, group, or master lists of to-dos, and can also sort your items into categories. The example above is a simple list, but you can list priorities, assignments, deadlines, progress, and more.
Shortcodes control the look and contents of the checklist, and shortcodes are also used to place the list in the place where you want it to show up.
The result is a running list of items that need doing, which show as completed once they’ve been checked off. This can be a great way to keep track of tasks that can be done by any team member and avoid doubling up or stepping on each other’s toes.
Project Manager has a nice to-do list with due date and assignment fields, and it’s easy to create separate lists for different projects or parts of a project. That’s just the beginning.
There’s a dashboard where you can see all the current projects, each one with a photo of its creator so people can quickly find their own projects. Once you click into a project, you have an Activity board which gives an overview of everything happening in the project. A Messages page is like a Twitter feed or Basecamp stream. The To-do list organizes tasks. A Milestones page shows upcoming, late, and completed milestones so you can see at a glance how the project is going.
In short, this is very like Basecamp, Zoho Projects, and similar Project Management tools. But free.
WordPress is good at managing documents, but SP gives you more options. As you can see from the screenshot above, users can upload files here themselves, which is very handy for sensitive information that shouldn’t be emailed, as well as offering convenience for clients who need to share files with your company. The page is built with shortcode, so you simply configure the tools to suit your needs and pop them onto a page.
From the admin area, SP has lots of options for configuration:
You can also easily view files from a specific user:
You can organize files into projects:
And if there aren’t enough options in the free version, you can try the Premium, which does much more stuff. Our quick tryout undoubtedly missed many of the nuances of this plugin!
Having used the To-do List and WP Project Manager plug ins for some months, I can say that both are handy, easy, and highly functional. Migrating from one tool to another can be daunting, but if you’re heavily invested in productivity tools already, you might find that your PM/CRM tools already integrate with WordPress — ours do. Once you get used to working from your website’s Admin area, you might find it easier to switch.
If you haven’t sprung for any subscriptions yet, try out this type of software in your website. You have nothing to lose.
If we left out your favorite, please list it in the comments!