Project Management (the not-so-sexy but very necessary part of your small business)

The best change I made for our Design Sidekick clients (and my overwhelmed inbox) in 2017 was improving the way we manage our marketing and design projects.

We were using Basecamp for our internal back-and-forth’s on projects and then I would send the proofs to the client. It worked… but it seemed so clunky and messy. Plus, I was getting overwhelmed with so many emails (even though I have them all organized in their separate folders). And I needed a better way to keep track of statuses and deadlines. There had to be a better way! (Basecamp does offer a client feature but it’s basically a glorified email.) I wanted something that could work for everyone involved in a project. Something that could be used for big picture and granular work.

I chose Trello after looking around at various options because:
1) It can be as simple or as robust as you want to make it. Even the free version is pretty awesome.
2) It’s really easy to learn and use – my clients don’t have time to learn a complicated piece of software.
3) People on the “team” can be as involved as they need/want to be. For example, they can get an overview of the project when they want to see how things are going or they can get notified on every change that’s happening.

Since we’ve started using Trello with our clients everyone is happier and projects are way more organized.

No more:

  • Back-and-forth endless email chains
  • Being cc’d on emails that you don’t need to know about
  • Worrying about whether you are including the right people on your email responses
  • Wondering about project statuses or what’s holding up a project
  • Keeping track of deadlines for various projects
  • Digging through emails looking for the most current proof
  • Stressing when you have to fill in for someone when they go on vacation (you can see exactly where the project stands and it’s history)
  • Feeling like your micro-managing people on your team when trying to get an idea of how a certain project is going
  • Confusion about what is needed to move the project forward

I thought you might want to see how we’re using it, so I made this quick overview below. (Excuse my voice, I have a head cold.)

And if you think you might want to use Trello, check it out here(I get extra bonuses if you use my link.)


(Sidenote: I’ve also been flirting with the idea of using Airtable for more complicated project management, but haven’t had the time to really play with it. It looks really awesome though!)

If marketing and design projects are the source of your overwhelm check out my Sidekick service!