How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: How Do You Organize and Track Projects?

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Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, rolling out a new product at work, or attempting to build a model of the planet Endor in LEGO, you have projects of some sort. This week we’re interested in the tools and strategies you use to organize and track your work.

Whether you use digital or analog tools, we want to hear all about it. How do you monitor changes? Keep track of deadlines? Keep projects synced between devices? Sound off in the comments with your tips, tricks, and tools; don’t forget to check back in on Friday for the What You Said roundup.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/7/12

Comments (17)

  1. TheFu

    Redmine – it holds my todo list and if something is really complicated, I’ll build a project plan.

  2. Jeff

    I’ve been using IQTELL ( Pretty good project and task management tools, and integrates with my email, evernote, and calendars.

  3. Dan

    If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  4. kenedy123

    Good to know about the How Do You Organize and Track Projects.

  5. 8G1014

    I use FreePlane mind mapping software.
    1. It’s free
    2. You can do some simple number crunching with it. Most expensive commercial Mind Mapping programs that I am aware of can’t do that.

  6. r

    I usually have a few beers and sleep on it.

  7. Chris

    I use with its nice iphone app. calendar integration of deadlines is missing but said to come…

  8. Kevalin

    Q: How Do You Organize and Track Projects?

    A: Pretty much by the death of my pants–which, in turn, are often on fire. I’ll definitely be checking out some of the things other folks here answer…

  9. Dozza

    I second redmine.. We use it on a company wide basis.

  10. Jim

    I’m old-fashioned. I use MS Project & Open Workbench for more complex projects and a simple excel Excel spreadsheet for simple proejcts.

  11. Marc Caballero

    I use CLOCKINGit ( — opensource and offers both download & hosted solution.

    It’s close to Redmine, but I find the interface & tools helpful with team productivity (timer, graphs, reports, team chat on all pages, files, wiki, users/clients management, …)

  12. Christian Sheehy

    I use TiddlyWiki for just about everything ( Daily journals, project tracking, and reference items. It’s searchable and extremely powerful once you add some plugins (advanced search, time tracking, checklists).

  13. Wade Sprague

    Ever see,”A Beautiful Mind”? I have so many projects going on that sometimes lead to new projects and deeper , that I have lot’s of postits and different stacks of papers. I found that putting them in doc’s or schedules led to them falling into an abyss. So… I keep a paper trail in a logical sequence so that when I say to myself,” okay what was I trying to do here?” …The previous pages provide the clues to what I started doing in the 1st place.

  14. SStallings

    I use GreenFolders for the company, and I can set up sub accounts in it for my personal stuff. It integrates with Outlook, has robust search and sort features, multiple ways to organize documents, great to-do list

  15. Bart

    I use tatoo’s for long projects that will take years to complete. For short projects permanent marker. and post-its on the things i need to do asap.

  16. Richard

    One of the best FREE time tracking programs I’ve found is called Grindstone. It provides daily/weekly/monthly tracking as well as detailed pie-charts and can be reviewed and downloaded here:

  17. komal

    I use active collab to manage my projects

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