7 Rules on How to Organize Your Projects

Creating projects in Freelo is not rocket science. Just clicking!

What is not so easy is keeping your projects in order in the long run. To always have an overview of your assignments, we have prepared a set of important rules for organizing individual projects. This article is based on a large amount of useful feedback and real problems from our users.

These rules are particularly valuable if you have a larger number of projects and team members.

1. Use clear-cut project names

No matter how you organize your projects, bear in mind that their naming is very important.  Each colleague will think about the name when they want to open a particular project. Do not force them to use full-text search over and over again.

We definitely do not recommend using an abundance of abbreviations. New or external colleagues will not know their meaning and will have to worry about what it is or what the given project name means. Also, try to keep the names consistent. For example, a freelancer can name each project using a client’s name or brand name, and a web agency can apply the domain name on which the site is running.

2. Do not mix long-term and one-time tasks in the same project

The combination of short-term and long-term projects to a small extent does not matter much, but if you make a habit of it, this can delay users working on larger projects. A number of items that are of no importance and that do not have to be addressed at the moment will be scrolled past to get to the every-day and short-term tasks.

Try to maintain an optimal number of tasks in projects. You can have long-term tasks in a “planning project”. You can put tasks related to an event back into one short-term project.

3. Do not use overly large projects

When talking with users, we have often gotten to the topic of puzzling projects. Usually, it turned out there were too many tasks in one project. For example, customer support, web development, and marketing were all dealt with in a single e-shop project. Each user then had to go through the project for a while, searching for their task, and wasting time.

In such cases, it is much better to set up separate projects – one project for marketing, one for e-shop development, and one for customer care.

4. Do not have a cluttered dashboard

Another good rule of thumb is not to divide your work into many small projects. Continuous switching between individual projects simply delays work. If you have a number of similar projects and there is only a low number of tasks, consider merging them.

Of course, only if it makes sense and you do not mess up a set structure, such as “that client – this project”.

5. Do not distribute projects by person

A common bad habit, mainly for users who are switching from the “offline” job planning system to some form of online collaboration for the first time, is they say: “I’ll put Frank’s tasks into the project Frank’s To-Do List and Charles’ into Charles’ Midnight Oil.”

We are not claiming this cannot work, but after a certain period of time, Charles may take over Frank’s work and once they start assigning tasks to each other, chaos breaks loose. Or, the tasks in Frank’s project may continue being dealt with even if he is no longer responsible for them, and disorientation ensues. This arrangement often arises due to the need to look at what each employee needs to take care of.

In Freelo, however, we can clearly see assignments across the projects right on the dashboard or in the calendar. It is also possible to look directly at the profile of a particular person.

6. Do not distribute projects by date

That is, unless you have impeccable discipline and no task will be left behind. Otherwise, your team will be catching up with March’s tasks just before Christmas.

7. Use planning projects

Create a separate project for corporate planning. In this project, enter only the most important tasks – such as milestones, a company roadmap, important dates, and so on. You will not need to deal with details in said project. Instead, it will be more of a summary report.

Consistently add status updates to the project, and everyone will immediately know what stage the business plan is at. You can easily share the project with your supervisor, for example, as a report.

To better understand our rules in practice, we have added some examples of how the management of projects can work for specific types of teams.

1. Web Agency

  •        Ideally, web specialists have one project for each site and larger projects can be separated by topic, such as domain.com – programming, domain.com – marketing, etc.

2. Freelancer 

  •       A freelancer can have one project for each client, in which they can thoroughly handle duties according to the given partnership.

3. Medium-sized e-shop

  •       For some of our e-shop users, the following breakup works wonders: e-shop development, marketing, company planning, shop design, customer care, logistics, or a project for each supplier if the business relationship is more narrow.

How do we divide projects at Freelo?

  • Freelo devel –  there is not much here, but this is where all the tasks related to the current application development as well as bug reports in need of repair are stored.
  • Freelo marketing – this is an extensive project where we cover all marketing activities, including event attendance, newsletters, and blog and web ideas. We also have some external marketing specialists invited here. We have to-do lists with action plans, brand related matters, marketing ideas, and more.
  • Freelo content – revolves around writing and creating content. External copywriters also have access to this project. We also use individual to-do lists as planners for when articles should be published.
  • Freelo ideas – here we put aside everything we do not want to get in the way elsewhere. We have a to-do list where we log discussion points for future meetings, a Freelo development plan to-do list, and, above all, a number of ideas to improve our application over the next 10 years. 
  • Freelo feedback – we document feedback on the application in this project. Each task being a tip from a user. And if multiple users have the same opinion, we put their names in the comments under the given task.

And a little tip for the end. Do not forget to use templates when creating repeated projects. It will save you a lot of time.

Do not hesitate to consult with us on the arrangement of your projects. No matter how you choose to organize your projects, just make sure to comply with the basic rules.

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Karel DytrychI am CEO of Freelo.cz. I try to simplify business for others. Otherwise lover of sport and healthy lifestyle.

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