Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Project management for writers: an experiment

Aside from being a total spreadsheet nerd (seriously - you should see my set of spreadsheets for 2012) I'm also a web designer by profession.

Actually, that's I was a web designer. I'm now a dairy farmer and proud of it.

As a web designer, though, I was exposed to a whole heap of ideas about project management and I always imagined that they needed to be applied to writing. Even though I'm comfortable writing first drafts without pre-plotting now, the project manager in me thinks there must be a better way than this profusion of notebooks, bits of paper and random text files for keeping track of what I'm doing. The spreadsheets go some of the way towards that (and I'll talk about them in another post), but what I keep wanting is a nice friendly-looking, simpler-to-use version of the project management software I used for web design projects.

Enter Collabtive.
According to the website it does pretty much exactly what I just wished for in the previous paragraph. Admittedly, installing and using it is probably not a task for the average writer. I already had an XAMPP server installed on my computer and I'm happy puddling around in PHP and MySQL, so Collabtive got dropped in the server folder and I spent a while poking around to see if the rumours were true. Would Collabtive really be more practical than my spreadsheet setup?

Anyway, here's a random screenshot:

I've added projects and tasks to get me through FebNoWriMo and the completion of the two drafts I'm going to start during the month, so at the end of February I should have a much better idea of how well this software is going to work for me. If I like it, installation and setup instructions may be coming soon.

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