In this guest article Kris Rowlands gives a non-paid review based on her first hand personal experiences of using the free (now requires membership) online project management software, Liquid Planner. Kris Rowlands is the author and creator of Fresh Focus:On Productivity. She discusses GTD, organisation and productivity tips for your daily life.
Being a designer can be a hectic line of work. Clients with deadlines, last minute projects, and huge projects that make you wonder how you will ever get it all done! But you know what? You don’t have to do it alone. I’d like to introduce you to an online project management system that will knock your socks off!
LiquidPlanner is online project management software designed to manage uncertainty in project schedules so all your projects will succeed—just what every business owner wants. Every feature has been designed with that goal, and the way you work, in mind.
Very similar to Microsoft Project, time lines can be viewed as a Gantt chart which is an excellent way to see, at a glance, the status on all your projects at once. With this view, you can clearly see where you will run into delivery issues and what areas you can move forward in order to meet your deadlines.
Task Management is definitely something that any designer needs. LiquidPlanner handles this with ease and finesse, with an attractive interface to boot! I know that myself, if what I’m working in isn’t attractive, I’m less likely to use it and become proficient with it. But with LiquidPlanner, it is indeed useful and good looking!
Intuitive workspace allows easy and efficient organization and prioritization of tasks to help you get things done and delivered on time.
- Two Distinct Task List Views. View, schedule, and update your work by project folder or prioritized tasklist. Switch between the two views with a single click.
- Drag-and-Drop Prioritization. Change the order of your scheduled tasks in a snap by dragging and dropping items as priorities shift. This is a great tools that allows you to use this service much as you’d use an application on your own computer.
- Global Priority Management. Set global priorities for your team or the entire organization.
- Easy Task Entry. Add up to 20 new tasks, complete with owners and work estimates, in seconds.
- Multi-level Organization. Create folders, subfolders, and sub-subfolders so you can view, filter, and zoom in on tasks at any level of detail, no matter how complex the project.
- Task to Project Conversion. Quickly add subtasks and new levels of organization to items in your project plan.
LiquidPlanner is also fluent at Project Collaboration, too! If you sub-contract your work out to other designers, LiquidPlanner will handle this with ease. All you do as send them an invitation via email, and allow them to view that project. They can then keep you updated on their progress without you having to constantly check in on them, which allows you to concentrate on your own tasks-at-hand!
Personalized Dashboards make priorities clear.
With LiquidPlanner, you finally get to see things your way. View what’s on your plate, what’s happening in the project space, and see critical alerts all at a single glance.
- Action Items. See only the tasks assigned to you, in priority order, and jump directly to any of them in the project plan.
- Easy Updates. Mark progress and re-estimate tasks right from your dashboard, so you can get back to work in a snap.
- Workspace Activity Feed. View the latest updates, comments, alerts, and uploads to your items and to the entire project space.
- New Item Assignments. Comments or discussions on tasks assigned to you are surfaced front and center.
- Project Alerts. Readily see red flags, required updates, and other alerts. If any of them are yours, LiquidPlanner makes sure you know.
- Email Notifications. Get changes to your items emailed to you in real time (or daily or weekly).
LiquidPlanner can handle teams of any size. From the single designer to a Fortune 500 design firm, LiquidPlanner can handle it all. They handle both large clients and small, and give all of them the same excellent customer support. Check out the graphic to see the logos of some of their customers!
“The dynamics of our team are constantly in flux with contractors and remote employees contributing to various projects. Collaboration isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. LiquidPlanner has fundamentally transformed the way our team members assign tasks, build their schedules and communicate with one another in a truly seamless manner.”
– Mark Snow, IPexpert Training, Inc.
“Before LiquidPlanner, our teams found it difficult to manage project resources, balance the workload within our organization, and provide accurate work estimates. By allowing our teams to collaborate, share key information, and efficiently manage projects, LiquidPlanner keeps everyone knowledgeable and engaged.”
– Eric Bowers, Butterball Farms, Inc.
“We have to constantly be ahead of the curve in terms of planning in the competitive real estate market. We didn’t have the time, interest or need to master any kind of elaborate project management tool yet we definitely needed something more than Excel. With LiquidPlanner we were up to speed and on top of dates and deadlines in no time.”
– Ben Nordlander, Coldwell Banker Bain
I bet that you are thinking that you can’t afford this. What I’d like to do is make you a bet on that! You know why? You most certainly can!
For small designer firms less than four members, you get all of this functionality for free! Yes, you heard me correctly, for FREE! For larger ones, you can either choose the monthly or yearly payment option. LiquidPlanner aims to please, so if you don’t see a plan that fits what you need, contact them and I’m sure that they will work with you to reach your end goals.
Now I know that all the pictures look so nice and shiny that you may feel intimidated by them and you don’t think you’ll ever figure out how to use use it. But I promise that you will! LiquidPlanner offers FREE (yes, there is that “free” word again) virtual online training. This course is well-planned and succinct, and the trainers always stays online and devote time for questions that didn’t get answered during the session.
But as a disclaimer, let me say this: I do not work for LiquidPlanner. I came here to tell you about it because I am a satisfied customer. I am a single business owner and don’t have to pay a dime to use LiquidPlanner. And they don’t hold back features like other project management sites, either. You get all the features whether you are a paying client or not.
In the past I have had the opportunity to speak with them via email regarding questions I have had and they are always pleasant and get you the answers that you need. I have also taken the virtual training. I recommend LiquidPlanner not only based on the plethora of features available, but all the price and training that you can get to go along with it. You really cannot find anything like this for this price. Trust me, I’ve looked. It’s just not out there in the quality and value that you will get from LiquidPlanner. Try them out you won’t be disappointed!