Looking at the start of the new year we like to look back at what this year has brought us. Lists of great movies and finest albums appear everywhere, just like our favourite apps and games. But how about the preferred business tools we use everyday? Software that helps us to work better, as organisation — or human? The wonderful applications that improve the use of your smartphone or tablet? Because we at YipYip are great fans of simpel and efficient online platforms that enhance our daily routine, we count down to the new year with some fruity tips for business tools. One diamond every day. The motto: ‘discovering tools that make your business or mobile life more fun’. Go explore them in the new year!
Better Business Countdown #3: Tom’s Planner
Success is in the details. Besides a great concept, outstanding design and solid technology — to name a few aspects of our work — a project also benefits from excellent project management. Because if you know which part is due when, you’ll keep your hands on your output and your team. Logically, of course. But it’s not always simple to clarify this picture. Colleague Paul Bierhaus directed me to Tom’s Planner, an online tool to create project schedules. You can build stunning charts with colored bars (also called ‘Gantt charts’), where you can specify the relationships between components. In an instant you see what needs to happen first before the next step can be done. Completion time and milestones? Check. Setting up a new project? Check. Complex processes are organized into manageable, pastel-colored bits with Tom’s Planner.
Better than using Excel or Numbers, with Tom’s Planner you add deadlines, milestones and interactions instantly.
Because we at YipYip are currently developing a complex serious game involving many parties, with a long development time — where different parts affect each other — I was delighted with the clarity of this tool. It’s extremely easy to use: drag & drop to give all your work a spot, and replace it somewhere else just as easily. The free version provides useful features such as online sharing with your project team. When you go over to the paid version, you get all sorts of options. As with other successful software programs, the core of the action you must perform is clear: ‘The magic is in the right-click’. You hardly have to learn anything to get started — the planner is straightforward.
Because you use intuition to set up your planning, it’s nice when a tool supports that.
This tool exists a little longer already and therefore it integrates effortlessly with all major browsers and operating systems, including iPad, iPhone or your Android device. You can carry your planner anywhere. It’s fine for private use also, to help you monitor the activities of your sports club or to organize a family reunion or wedding.
I only got to know Tom’s Planner this year, but I’m sure I will use it for a long time. I like that the tool was invented by a Dutch guy — Thomas Ummels, aka Tom — who has designed the perfect planner based on his work as a project manager. I am grateful he did that; just like many other users, as you can read on their own blog.