Updated: Feb 2, 2021
As higher education professionals we are all participating in a diverse array of projects. One thing that really surprises me in academia is the lack of access to project management training and tools to help us succeed. I would say project management is one of the most critical skills for success in your academic career. Just imagine the gains if you improved your pertomance by just 10% without spending an extra second working? The possibilities are infinite. Here's one tool that can help you do just that... let me introduce you to Monday.com
Image source: Monday.com
What is Monday.com ?
Monday.com is a work management tool to help you actually manage your academic projects with a little more ease and a little less struggle. It doesn't matter if you are teaching rocket science or fashion - it works for all. While there will always be a place in my heart for whiteboards, excel spreadsheets and my trusty notebook - working remotely has meant that I need tools that are as remote as I am. With Monday.com you can track the status of projects, collaborate, communicate and delegate. Plus it's much more aesthetically pleasing than my messy scribbles.
I jumped into the tool while studying for a recent qualification and found that I needed help to juggle this alongside some other professional projects that I had on the burn. I have found it great in the classroom too, helping students get productive at the beginning of the academic semester and manage their academic workload effectively. If my students are approaching their projects with the same mindset that also has a knock-in effect for my colleagues... it reduces those emails. It also great for course management - you know completing those annual set-up and shutdown tasks that you do every semester or academic year.
How does it fit in with other tools I have talked about?
My other tools are really helpful for looking at the big picture of my personal and professional life over the year and the general direction of where I am headed. I also still like to plan the embryonic stages of a research project with the other tools I have talked about. But I think of Monday.com as my second brain for current and upcoming projects - to keep the day-to-day plates spinning. For example, a lot of my journal papers follow a similar path to completion so I have set up a board where I can check off the completion of each stage of work once its in motion. I can view it at a glance and immediately see where I need to pick up next time I jump in. This is better rather than scrapping around looking around for old diary notes. I also use Monday.com for any outsourced work I do whether that be a workshop or guest lecture sessions from the beginning through to completion. It’s a good way to keep on track with any invoicing if you do independent work too. Admin is certainly not my strong point.
Good to know
There are a whole host of integrations you can use such as outlook.com to automatically ping emails when projects change.
There are endless options - with all sorts of widgets you can bolt-on as well as Monday.com apps.
You can add collaborators and if you upgrade you can add team members to really cut down on that email traffic.
The boards are fully customisable.
It’s a great space to see at a glance what’s coming for the week/ month ahead as part of your regular planning. You can assign timelines and see upcoming tasks appear in your inbox.
There is also a dashboard tool for analysing your performance with your projects which you can access with an upgraded membership.
There are a host of templates you can use as well - even ones for education and research. Look out for my template soon!
Download to your Mac as an app (if you’re one of those Microsoft types, respect - I struggle to find my way around a MS desktop these days), your iPhone, your tablet and if all fails, you can access online via the Monday.com website.
There are a whole host of membership pricing options with monday.com. In a nutshell:
Free access options
- The student program offers a free of charge access to monday.com if you’re a student yourself or an HE education professional working with students and are using the tool to support them.
- Education pricing offers a heavily discounted access on the full-service tool.
Access a free trial with my link https://mondaycom.grsm.io/drsamlynch
Try it out, see what you think. I'd like to know what you think and how you are using it. Either drop me a line via twitter @drsamlynch or DM me via insta also @drsamlynch and let me know how it's working for you. If you have any tips of your own please share.