Stephanie Evergreen on Project Management Tools

My name is Stephanie Evergreen and I work both at The Evaluation Center and at Evergreen Evaluation, LLC. I juggle a lot of projects and I’m always looking for ways to make life a little easier. Here are some of my recent discoveries.

Rad Resource: With multiple contracts, it is important to keep careful track of time. I use yast.com. The service let’s me list multiple projects and assign each a color. When I start work on a project, I just click an arrow and the timer creates a bar across the screen. I can click on the bar to make notes about what task I was doing during that time. A separate counter tells how much time I’ve spent on an individual project over the week. My basic account is free – https://www.yast.com/

Rad Resource: Maybe it’s a pet peeve, but I really dislike scheduling meetings over email – all that back and forth about the best day and time. I now use whenisgood.net. First, I select the days and times that work best for me. The service generates a custom URL that I email to the rest of the folks I’d like to convene. They simply click the link and highlight days and times that work for them. When I log back in, the service lets me know which times work best – and the second-best times that work for most of the group. Happiness. Also free for a basic account – http://whenisgood.net/

Rad Resource: Two words – Google Wave. This new product is like instant messaging, document writing, and video conferencing in one email. Where typical report writing with colleagues takes lots of emailing multiple versions of the document, Wave lets everyone work in one place at the same time. That’s right – you can see the other people typing. Web-based, I have it wherever I go. Colleagues and I have used Wave so far to develop instruments, write reports, enter and analyze data, and plan webinars. A playback feature allows review of what others have contributed while I was away. Its possibilities are more expansive than I can fairly represent here, so I encourage you to… Google it. Wave, though free, is still only available by invite but invites seem to be everywhere (I have some, so feel free to ask – stephanie.evergreen@wmich.edu or on Twitter at @evalu8r).

One precautionary note: Yast and Wave are in “beta” mode, meaning their parent companies are still developing the products as we use them. Could they change something that wipes out your work? Maybe. But if my desktop computer crashes, I also lose everything. If my work is web-based, I’m less at the whim of a single machine.

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

30 thoughts on “Stephanie Evergreen on Project Management Tools”

  1. Greetings from Australia

    I too am in search of an invitation to Google Wave having watched the archived webinar yesterday.

    Hope someone can help

    Jon

  2. For members only, the screencast and recording of the Coffee Break Webinar
    Stephanie Evergreen offered on Using Google Wave may be accessed here http://bit.ly/EvergreenWaveweb.

    Not a member? Her handout on resources for learning more about Using Google Wave
    may be found in the AEA Public eLibrary here http://bit.ly/EvergreenWavehand. I encourage you to consider joining and thus gaining access to AEA’s webinars archive library (as well as journals, professional development, thought leaders discussions, newsletters…). Join now online at http://www.eval.org/membership.asp.

  3. Stephanie Evergreen

    The way to export to a PDF is to add this to your contacts:
    pdf-wave@appspot.com
    Then add it to your wave. It will produce a URL you can click that will download your wave as a PDF.
    Hope everyone is enjoying Wave!

  4. Stephanie Evergreen

    I SO enjoyed the webinar and following up with many of you by email. I have exhausted the invitations I have right now… but anyone here who has received an invitation should now have 8 to share with others. Can you spare one for another colleague who has requested an invite here?

  5. Judy, I’m sorry that you couldn’t join us!

    Yes, each webinar is recorded and available in the webinars archive for AEA members. The one from yesterday should be up by the end of the day today. You can get there from the “Members Only” menu on the AEA homepage.

  6. Hi,
    I missed the webinar today as I had a client meeting. Just a suggestion – is there any way these presentations can be archived to be viewed later? It seems they may be a valuable resource.
    Kind regards,
    Judy

  7. Great presentation on Google Wave! It looks like a wonderful tool for collaboration.

    Please add me to the list to be invited to Google Wave.

  8. Colleagues, I have fulfilled the following requests for invites from the invitations I have available, sending each to the email on file with AEA for membership:

    Kimberly Taylor
    Stephanie Sloan
    Jeff Wasbes
    Jane Morrow
    Suzanne Le Menestrel
    Kang Yue
    Kim Lamers-Bellio
    Susan Connors

    Now – we need only to wait for the google elves to actually send the invites. What we can do as add people to the invitation request list, google then decides when actually to send the invitations. Fingers crossed for soon!

  9. Kim Lamers-Bellio

    Hey Stephanie,

    Big thank you for sharing your Google Wave experience with us this afternoon. I would like to learn more of this intriguing tool. It would be great to receive an invite if you still have one.

    take care and thank you
    Kimlb

  10. Hi, Stephanie —

    Please add me to the list for an invitation to Google Wave. Thank you for the presentation!

  11. Stephanie, thanks so much for presenting today’s AEA Coffee Break Webinar on Using Google Wave for Evaluation. For those who attended the webinar and wish to receive a wave invite, please post a note in the comments here and we’ll work to use the ones that we have available to send one to you. I have already sent out a few based on people writing me post-webinar, but have a few left.

  12. Stephanie, I’d like an invite to Google Wave. Thanks so much for sharing this resource today at Coffee Break.

  13. Your coffee break presentation on Google Wave was great! There was a lot of info to take in in 10 minutes and I’d like to know more about Wave’s possible applications, so…

    Would you pass along a Wave invite to me? Thanks very much!

  14. Hi –
    I enjoyed your webinar this afternoon. I would be interested in an invitation to google wave. But, this is not high priority so if you only have a few invitations or if other people need it sooner I can wait.
    -Jane

  15. Thanks for the webinar today. I’d love to get a Google Wave account and would greatly appreciate an invitation. Thanks!

  16. Pingback: Stephanie Evergreen on Project Management Tools – AEA365 | CS3 Solutions LLC

  17. Stephanie Evergreen

    For us non-Mac users, I’ve also recently found MakeSomeTime, a web-based free time tracker that generates invoices.

    I also lurk on Lifehacker.com, a blog that has many resources listed daily to support project management and freelance work.

  18. Hi Stephanie,

    Lots of great resources!

    Regarding time tracking, there’s software on the Mac which does this and which automatically generates professional invoices for clients (for those who freelance)–“Billings”

    In light of meeting scheduling, my personal fav is Tungle.me, because it not only has the intuitive interface of whenisgood.net, but it also offers more integration (with your local calendar + social networking).

    And I’m curious to hear more about Google Wave. I think it has such great potential, but many people are still a little confused as to how they can best leverage it. I’d love if you could contribute to our tech forum with more details as to how you integrate it with your daily workflow. Also within our tech forum, I’ve recently highlighted some Google Wave notifiers, as one of my biggest pet peeves with Wave is that it doesn’t integrate well w/ existing Google Apps (i.e., Gmail). So, you have to leave Wave open in order to know if you have existing waves. http://bit.ly/dgFd8g

    Thanks!

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