It’s Project Management, Stupid!

Okay: So as an educator, I am VERY averse to hearing (much less using) the word stupid:   Of course, the post’s title is a play on James Carville’s famous phrase “[It’s] the economy, stupid.”

It’s a fitting post title, though: Recently I was sitting around and reflecting about ALL the stuff I need to MANAGE as a graduate student. There’s:

  • reference management,
  • knowledge management,
  • resource management,
  • time management,
  • research skills management,
  • task management,
  • email management (and communication management in general),
  • contact management,
  • PDF storage management,
  • note-taking management,
  • course management,
  • money management . . .

Management! See what I mean? In that moment, I just sat up straight and thought to myself, “It’s project management, ______.” Well, kind of. It was more like I slowly rolled the thought around in my head, “This thesis is not a task! It’s a PROJECT. And I need to manage it. With all the time and task management ‘stuff’ I have, I’m still not quite managing  this project as well as I need to.”

And thus commenced my “during-downtime-only” hunt for project management (PM) software that would nicely accommodate a research-writing project.

Having been spoiled by fluid, online Java apps like Kanbanflow and Workflowy, I just wasn’t feeling Zoho and other similar PM applications. I fiddled lightly with a few PM apps before stumbling upon AceProject and Moovia.

Aside: There may be other, better, fluid-y, research/writing-accommodating PM software apps out there. I haven’t been at liberty to search a lot, as I must prioritize . . . well, research and writing. 😉 But these two apps–Moovia and AceProject–are onto something, I think.

I don’t have much experience with either, so I’ll be brief and leave you to explore and compare them if you are so inclined. I’m near certain I’m going with Moovia because it’s a (private, if you like) FaceBook-like environment that lets writing meet Google Drive meet Kanbanflow meet burndown charts,” and it is FLUUUID! There is one thing: It lacks the start-and-stop timer that AceProject has. If you’re a student scholar that has explored any writing helps tips, you likely know how important using “that kitchen timer” and/or techniques such as the Pomodoro technique are.

About AceProject: Boy, does it give you a lot of leeway to DESIGN. You can skip over all of the features you don’t need, though. I don’t have much to say about AceProject, though I think it’s pretty neat. Too be honest, once I saw Moovia’s fluidity and simple Google Drive integration, I stopped trying to determine whether I desired to place/organize/link/map documents into AceProject, and I just moved on to Moovia.

Moovia is free (and so is AceProject if you don’t want the paid version).

I comment in more detail about my enjoyment of Moovia in this update to an older blog post of mine. Like I said, I haven’t spent much time in it, but at first impression, I’m truly appreciating it! Just the Google Drive integration ALONE renders it awesome. Not a lot of PM software apps that I encountered accommodated online document editing. But with my  Google Drive docs connected to tasks and such and just a click away for editing . . . I’m EASILY going back and forth between thinking, idea jotting, tips jotting, and writing.

Best wishes for your management of all that you manage! I say we pat ourselves on the back. I bet you didn’t even REALIZE how well you’ve BEEN managing. We’re making it, ya’ll!

Aside: My current researcher-writer mottoes, by the way, are manifold (chalk it up to the stage of the game I’m in! ;)). They are:

  • “Lord, give me a spirit of finishing, following through, and closing things OUT!” – Mickey
  • Attitude:
    • “Hear ye, hear ye, obstacles: I’m winning anyway.” – Mickey
    • “Get through it, not by fighting but by accepting and persisting in each moment. Get through it, not with resentment for what you must do but with gratitude for what you can accomplish.” – Ralph Marston
  • Handling academy problems: “Produce a light. And be/stay one. Darkness cannot extinguish light, but light can extinguish darkness. This is about having your light (contribution, spirit) shine in your field & department.” – Mickey
  • Freedom in writing:
    • “Write fearlessly.” – Frank Pajares
    • “Perfection is the voice of the oppressor.” – Anne Lamott
    • “Flow doesn’t come to those who try to express themselves well. Flow comes to those who express themselves freely.” – Barry Michel
    • “A real outline occasions freedom in drafting. (And this works vice versa at times!)” – Mickey

Take care! And blessings!


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