Why I Hate Project Management Software

Jul 9, 2012

I use a lot of different project management apps, and it seems another one gets thrown on the pile with every new project I take on. Each client has a different internal process and different software to use to track everything. My current to-do list is spread across Basecamp, Target Process, Zoho, 5 Google calendars, and a private wiki. (I’ve even worked with some moron use Skype for bug tracking.) I personally use Trello because it’s pretty painless and I can keep a handle on the madness in a single place.

But for the most part, it seems the only thing PM software is good for is making more pointless, un-billable work for me to do. These apps are just a time suck. Finding the note you added to the bug for the feature that was a to-do of a task to build an element of a sprint for a version takes 30 minutes. It’s insane.

So, believe it or not, I added a new app to the mix to keep the important items within a few clicks: Fetchnotes. It’s simple. It’s searchable. It automatically syncs. Fetchnotes is the least painful app I use to manage my work. I take the super important things like tracking numbers and addresses and promo codes, and create a new note with a tag for that project/client. Then I get to close the app and go on with my life. When I need it, I click on the name of the project and it’s right there. That’s it.

So I guess my point is, if you’re making PM software do us all a favor and build something almost transparent. Let users focus on something other than your app and work on shipping stuff. It’s kind of a paradox: If you do that successfully I might actually wind up spending more time on your site.