Best Project Management Tools to Help You Keep On Track With Your Studies
The beginning of a new year of university. You are unpacking your belongings at your wonderful student apartment, putting your clothes away, setting up your desk and study area, and looking forward to the year ahead. It is important that you hit the ground running and don’t fall behind with your studies.
One way in which you can keep control and on track with your studies is to utilise the functionality and expertise of project management tools.
There are some incredible free project management tools and some paid ones, we’ll go through and give you a brief insight into a few different choices.
How to keep on track with your studies
Anything you can do to give you that edge you’re looking for, to make sure you are on top of everything and can juggle the many different demands that are placed on you during university life is a bonus.
Think about the different types of things you might personally struggle with at university and need some help, such as time management, planning ahead, timetable management, accessing files and organising folders, and look for the project management tools that are out there to help you.
Carry on reading to find out how these tools can help you and which ones are the best to use.
How do project management tools help students?
Project management tools can help you in several ways.
From organising your course subjects into easier to manage chunks for you to learn from, to putting your lecture dates, essay deadlines, and exam dates into a system you can understand and that alerts you effectively.
They can also help you keep in touch with your tutors, your course mates, and everything that is happening on your course.
The biggest thing that project management tools facilitate is the solid foundation from which you can work hard and increase your productivity levels around study.
The following features that you find with project management tools will transform how you work and how effective you can become:
Organise and plan
To succeed at anything, you must be organised.
A good project management tool provides you with features that help to organise your time and to sync the tool and your calendar so that everything you need a notification for, you receive in a timely fashion.
You only want to enter data once and it should then appear wherever you need it with good organisation and planning tools.
Every person on your group project is different in the way they communicate.
If you are sick of waiting for someone to reply to an email, or you can’t get through on the phone to that member of the group you’re due to meet for research time.
Then why not switch things up to seamless, in-built communication features within your project management tool of choice?
It keeps things simple, information all in one place, and every person knows where they need to communicate.
Effective collaboration is key within many university courses, whether it is between you and your teacher, or you and a group of fellow students.
A collaborative tool is essential in ensuring that you can securely upload and share files and documents, that you can work together on items even if you are in different locations, and that there is an overarching tool that ensures you are heading in the right direction together.
It is important to say before we move on to specific project management tools, that no matter how many bells and whistles a piece of software has, you can never rely on it to do the work for you.
It should always be a tool that aids you and maximises your performance, but it is never a substitute for the hard work and dedication you must put into your studies if you want to come away from university with a good degree.
The best project management tools for students
Let’s get down to it. What are the project management tools that we would recommend to you as a university student?
This is a fun, friendly, and really easy project management tool.
The drag and drop Kanban board layout makes it visually simple to manage tasks and to see a clear roadmap forward through each individual task towards an overall completion of the larger project.
This is a great starting point, as it isn’t quite as advanced as some other project management tools that you might require for more complex projects the further you move into university, but as a starting point Trello is effective.
You can prioritise tasks however you wish, comment, and collaborate and visualise your tasks.
Available through your browser, or as an app on iOS or Android, Trello is fantastic.
The free plan for Trello includes unlimited cards and members, 10 team boards and 250 automated commands per month.
You can upgrade for unlimited team boards and power ups, custom-fields and 1000 automated commands per month, starting from just $5 per month (though we think you get more than enough as a student in the free plan).
A project management tool that can be as complex or as simple as you make it, Asana pulls out all the stops as a unique tool that prioritises both the team members and the project manager.
Although primarily used for business, Asana is also a helpful tool for students, especially when it comes to creating bespoke project roadmaps with individual incentives and clear guidelines for every single task, feeding into every single aspect of a project.
It gives you control, providing cohesive teamwork options, comprehensive dashboard controls, time trackers, private chat rooms for specific tasks, task prioritisation and warning alerts as part of goal visualisation.
Available on web, iOS, and Android.
The free plan is great for students, including unlimited projects, tasks, and storage, as well as up to 15 members for your group projects.
For £9.49 per month the Premium package includes advance search capabilities, task dependencies, and project timelines.
A free project management software that helps you to manage and complete all your projects in one place.
Whether you want to go into detail planning projects, scheduling tasks, or managing your resources, ClickUp is the tool for you.
The best part of this tool is that it gives you a visual overview that allows you to easily track your time and provides you the detail you need to see how many hours you’ve been studying and where you need to pick up the slack.
The design is beautiful and free-flowing, easy to explore and to keep tabs on the different areas you are using. Each project has 52 customisable features.
Available on web, iOS, and Android, we would always suggest the ‘Free Forever’ price plan as a student using the tool for personal study time.
For small teams and above pricing begins at $5 per month, per member.
Combining Scrum and Kanban boards to great effect, JIRA is the perfect project management tool for agile work.
You can monitor team progress easily, move projects forward, ask questions, track time, join group discussions and utilise visual data reports on assignments and task completions.
Different team members receive notifications for assignments, and these can be modified to aid each group member with focus.
JIRA can be used via an app on your smartphone, where you can delegate tasks and dig in deeper when needed.
This makes for swift and simple collaboration for group work with good communication within the tool.
It is one of the better group management tools with a free price plan.
For some people, organisation means spreadsheets!
It certainly makes everything neat and tidy and easier to manage in a visual way.
Wrike is the project management tool that offers time tracking options, charts, tasks and more, all in a cloud-based collaboration and project management setting.
Where simple columns and spreadsheet-like features provide you with all the information you need to keep on top of your studies.
Wrike provides clarity and purpose – both essential to a successful year at university.
You can integrate WordPress, JIRA, as well as a whole host of Microsoft and Google products to ensure no matter what other tools you use, they are tracked effectively in one place.
The free version of Wrike is great. It has unlimited users and projects. This is all you need for your time as a student.
Once you’ve realised the benefits of getting some software that can make a big difference to how you manage your time and your studies. You’ll soon understand how much better your university life can become!
Choose the right project management tools for your specific needs.
This might change throughout the year, with certain tools used to help with group projects and others used when it comes to crunch time and revision towards the end of the academic year.
We hope we’ve been some help in showing you some of the options for project management tools out there for you to choose from.
Let us know what you think and what tools and software you have used to great effect in the past and would recommend to others.
You should read our blog on The Student Environmental Guide: How To Be More Sustainable next.