LiquidPlanner

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LiquidPlanner mention · April 7, 2016

How to Manage your Personal Tasks with a Project Management App

When Mike Chan tried to convince his wife, Vicky, to set up a Trello board for their personal life, she was a bit skeptical at first. “You’re gonna make me sign up for another thing?” she asked. As CMO of Thorn Technologies and host of the Go and Grow...read more
Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew GuayLast updated May 16, 2016

One of the hardest tasks in project management is predicting accurately when a project will be completed. It's easy to list tasks and assume you can fit the project in this month; it's far more difficult to figure out if that's possible. All it takes is for one task to take longer than usual, or for a preceding task to hold up subsequent tasks, and the entire project can be delayed far beyond your initial estimate.

LiquidPlanner takes the work out of deadline prediction, by automatically estimating how long a project will take, when it will ship, and how much time early or late it's likely to run. And it's designed around a unique mixture of Scrum sprints and waterfall-style Gantt charts, so you can manage agile projects and still see a timeline of when tasks will be done.

It starts out with your projects—though in LiquidPlanner, they're just a folder of tasks that appears in-line with the rest of your projects and tasks. Add project folders, sub-folders, events, tasks, and milestones to your Projects view, either individually or in bulk. Whenever you're adding items to LiquidPlanner, you can write the tasks, projects, or anything else on individual lines, and add up to 50 items at a time in a plain text list, complete with assignments, estimated time, and more.

Each new item will be added right below where the item you've currently selected, with the remaining time needed on the task listed on the right column and a pane with more info about the task on the right. If you need to focus, just select any item—folder, task, or milestone—and click the target icon on it. Alternately, you can filter your task view anytime to see only certain types of items.

With everything added to your project list, it's time to get your projects planned. You can see a project or sub-project's estimated time right beside its folder icon, auto-calculated by LiquidPlanner. Or, click the Timeline button on the top left and select one of the other views to visualize your project in other ways. There's a Card view for a kanban-like list of tasks and workflows, along with a number of time-based visualizations to see your workload, remaining time, a gantt chart of when projects are likely to be completed, and a date drift graph of how likely due dates are to be missed.

In the Baseline view, you'll see LiquidPlanner's main feature on display: its automatically estimated ship dates. Each task will be shown on a gantt chart-style layout, with an E on the date when LiquidPlanner thinks you're likely to be able to complete it. The accompanying white bar shows the best and worst case, so you'll know how to plan your tasks.

Then, it's time to get to work. On the Timesheets page, you can list time spent on each task, and even track your own personal tasks on the My Work page. There's dashboards to see overviews of your projects, time worked, trends and more, and analytics to see what's holding projects up. Each item uses LiquidPlanner's project intelligence, learning from your past performance to estimate more accurately how long your next projects will take.

If you like to manage tasks in an outline-style list, with folders and sub-folders to organize tasks and options to bulk-add tasks, LiquidPlanner's interface will be sure to fit your needs. Then, it'll help you get even more done, but taking the guesswork out of project planning and giving you clear, achievable due dates. You'll never overcommit again.

Learn more about project management with Zapier's Project Management 101 guide.

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