Additional tools for the project manager in 2020 for maximum productivity

Even if you are stuck in the home office during the pandemic, you need to be super organized if you want to be a successful project manager. Not only it is a must to know everything about your projects, but you also have to be accurate and fast when retrieving and processing data to earn the trust of your boss, coworkers and clients.


This post is not about project management software like Jira, Microsoft Project or Redmine, but additional tools that can help you stay organized and on top of your game.

Alarm Clock & Timer

This is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to set up multiple reminders or countdowns to prevent you from missing your next meeting.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/lightweight-alarm-clock-t/mmcdcdolfnjmabjmkkgegfldahfignip

Google Meet Grid View

Altough Meet now has a built-in grid view now, it is not perfect as it still misses the option of showing you in the grid. This is a must-have function if you are self-conscious like me 🙂

Unfortunately, since Google added the grid view in Meet, this plugin doesn’t seem to work properly. Hopefully, it will be updated soon as it is way better than the default grid view.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-meet-grid-view/kklailfgofogmmdlhgmjgenehkjoioip

Google Meet Call Timer

When you are stuck in a really long call, you often lose all measure of time. This extension shows exactly how much time passed, so if the discussion loses focus, you can act in a timely fashion to steer it in the right direction.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-meet-call-timer/pappcjmimkmjekiaiedkhfogpclanicb

Super Simple Auto Refresh

If you have to monitor data on a website that doesn’t refresh automatically, this extension is a godsend. Use it to set how often the page is to be refreshed without manual interaction on your part.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/super-simple-auto-refresh/gljclgacfalmnebgmhknodlplmngmfpi

Highlight This: finds and marks words

It is easy to lose your tasks on a kanban board, especially if you are not the assignee. With this extension you can compile multiple lists of strings that the browser will highlight for you. I use it to highlight the IDs of my tasks on EasyRedmine to find them at a glance.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/highlight-this-finds-and/fgmbnmjmbjenlhbefngfibmjkpbcljaj

Todoist

After trying nearly all other todo lists on the market, I decided to use Todoist as it has features even in the free version that I just can’t live without:

  • Multiple lists (that can be color-coded)
  • Multiple sections in a list (with custom labels to divide them)
  • Ability to schedule and create recurring tasks
  • Ability to add external links to the task name
  • Sharing of lists
  • A really nice dark theme
  • A mobile app

https://todoist.com/

Toggl

Tracking time is not someting I like to do. To tell the truth I hate it, but as time is the basis of how much money I get, I cannot ommit it from the daily routine. Toggl is a quick enough tool to get the job done for my needs, so it deserves to get on this list.

https://toggl.com/

Google Calendar for Slack

Project managers have lots of meetings and people seem to need us most when we are busy in said meetings. Connect your Google Calender to Slack and allow it to automatically update your status, so your coworkers can see if you are in a meeting or not. This of course doesn’t eliminate the messages, but greatly reduces them in number.

https://slack.com/app-pages/google-calendar

Barrier KVM

Sometimes I need to use my desktop computer and laptop at the same time, for example when I’m testing a feature in different operating systems. To make switching between them seamless, I installed Barrier on both of them so I can use my desktop keyboard and mouse to control the laptop as if it was an external screen.

https://github.com/debauchee/barrier

Logitech MK540 keyboard and mouse

To be really effective in front of the computer I need a keyboard and mouse that my hands can use without ever looking down. Using laptop keyboards or switching to the Mac layout really throws me off my game and slows my workflow to a crawl.

My requirements for the keyboard were the following:

  • Full standard (Hungarian) layout, no funny business above the arrow keys
  • Numeric part present
  • Media control (Play/Pause, Previous, Next)
  • Wireless with long battery life
  • No need to press anything to wake up first
  • Well-know, trusted brand

Logitech M705 Marathon mouse

Though I bought the keyboard in a bundle that contained a really nice mouse, I had a few requirements that it didn’t fulfill. Luckily the Logitech M705 Marathon mouse does and it can be used with the same receiver as the keyboard I got.

My requirements for the mouse were:

  • Back and forward navigation buttons
  • Hyper-fast scrolling
  • Preferably can use the same receiver as the keyboard
  • Wireless with long battery life
  • No need to press a button to wake up
  • Well-know, trusted brand