How to bootstrap your team’s project with free (or cheap) tools
Free/cheap tools to help you save time and money spent away from your team’s most vital tasks.
Whether you’re launching a small marketing campaign or building something much bigger, finding the budget for projects, even potentially game-changing ones, can be difficult. On average, 85% of all projects go over budget in some way. It’s difficult to predict what your team will need when the setbacks start hitting. Additionally, 44% of project managers don’t take advantage of software – crazy considering how many useful yet cheap tools there are out there!
Anyone can use these free or cheap tools to help cut down on time and money spent away from your team’s most vital tasks. Implementing just a few will help keep you on schedule and within budget.
Cheap tool – UserTesting
Whatever you’re building or working to improve, the end goal is to attract and engage whoever your users are. One of the reasons projects fail, after all the time and money is spent, is that it’s a complete shot in the dark. You have no idea how it’s going to work out until you’ve rolled out or launched the campaign. This is a significant waste of time and money that many project teams experience and it often isn’t obvious until the end when the bill is paid. As soon as you have a very clear idea of what your end result should be, try UserTesting to get live screen recordings and data from actual users who test your product. It’s a small bill that can help prevent a bigger one down the line. Having the knowledge of where your project can be improved is priceless. It’s like paying for a small sample of proprietary data.
Cheap tool – Canva
You’d be surprised how many project teams don’t have a designated designer on hand. Many companies have a design department that is often over run with work. Project teams are often at the whim of the design team for even the smallest details to be updated in order to move forward. Instead, knock out those little design elements yourself with Canva! Canva makes it really easy for just about anyone on your team to create graphics immediately. It’s even better if you can get your designer to give you a pack of general graphics and a color palette to use. You won’t be held back by that unfinished social media graphic or email header anymore.
Cheap tool – Expensify
Their tagline says it all: expense reports that don’t suck. There’s nothing more time wasting or full of errors than expense reports. Again, this is another project aspect that does the most damage at the end. To stay on budget and save hours of reporting and accounting work, try Expensify. It’s incredibly easy to manage receipts, reimbursement, and expense tracking without having to waste time or lose track of your budget during your project. This will save team members hours of work and help get an idea of where your budget can be modified as you go.
Cheap tool – Hibox
Hibox is the ultimate digital platform for project management for teams of any size. Hibox gives company chat in organized streams, task management, file sharing, and group video chat all in the same platform. The user interface is very intuitive and it doesn’t require a learning curve to start working together right away. From right within your chat streams, team members can create and assign tasks so the conversation is always actionable, unlike with email. Your team can plan out projects and deadlines with a task calendar and delegate work with subtasks. Your team can share files from the platforms you already use like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box to have all the most current files available in the same place. All files, tasks, and chat history are searchable to important information never goes missed.
Additionally, there is project management software to help manage your team’s workflow better and save time and money during projects. And it’s not just for the tech-savvy members of your office. Anyone can use it to help cut down on time and money spent away from your team’s most vital tasks.
The way many teams approach project management desperately needs an update. Implementing these few tools into your process for your next project will help in saving you time and money. The biggest savings come when your team is as efficient as possible.