I’m working on a summer research project with a student and I’d like to try out a shared project management software. I already use Trello with another group and am familiar with it. I haven’t used Basecamp for anything in the last 10 years.
We’ll be researching, analyzing, and designing. Each phase will take two weeks. Your recommendations for either tool or some other option I’m missing are most appreciated. Thanks!
Sidenote: the student is using a PC.
I’d recommend using Trello and Jira.
Trello for the Kanban options and Jira for project backlog and sprint planning (the 2 week stages)
That you’re familiar with Trello already will help.
Trello is now also an Atlassian product like Jira, so they operate nicely together.
I just started using Trello to manage a collaborative project with a student. I find it to be incredibly intuitive. I already recognized the concept of Kanbans from my own internal project management approaches. One aspect that I find helpful for the project management is the ability to set up columns this way:
[Dropped] (On Board) (Student) (Me) (Discussion) (Done)
This layout helped emphasize that getting portions of the work to the stage of being “done” requires my review and our joint approval. It also recognizes that some things may start and end up just being dropped.
I had considered Notion but found it too overwhelming. I sensed immediately that I would likely be spending more time managing the tool than using it.
With a student project, I also recommend that you set up guidelines about using a sanctified cloud storage location rather than email to exchange / store documents. Here it helps that Trello can link through PowerUps to Google (hint: I prefer attaching Google documents on cards as links rather than using the rather the PowerUp, and the PowerUp does not work to access Google Shared Drives which are great in their own right). Also insist that all correspondence be through professional email accounts (e.g. university email only) with NO text, twitter, or other non-certified tools. Finally, you might tap into your university LMS system to see whether they have any extra tools (but you may also find that you are better to avoid the university LMS because it only adds to the clutter / duplication / overhead).
I think you could have a great time expanding what you already know how to do with Trello and teaching a student how to think about project management in an over-arching way.
I’m going to third the suggestion to use trello. I find Jira and pretty much every other system trying to handle every use case and failing to handle most (in a way it’s users actually want to use).
I’m keen to try out
But both are minimalist project management particular focused towards the software development cycle.
So I keep working through all these different project/task management apps/programs. I’ve actually settled on Asana and Trello for different reasons. I think it’s important to think about how you would manage the projects and then you can decide which program fits your flow and not the other way around. They can all be fairly robust and I found that I kept playing with the different implementations. Honestly, I’d start with excel or google sheets to see how you want to manage the projects and then you can find the best to fit.
I tried Asana for a similar setup once (managing students, not working on code). They have a nice education package. However, I felt I had trouble getting use to stick. Simpler seems better, especially for a short-term project. (Ergo, Trello seems like the best choice.)
Thanks all for the very quick and thoughtful analysis/recommendations. I’ve decided to go with Trello. To JJW’s points, I want the student to gain some experience with project management frameworks without that getting too much in the way. I also discovered the ability to attach a board to a card, effectively adding the ability to drill down into one board from another, which never occurred to me and will work really well for what we’re trying to do.
I think this should apply to any project, not just student ones (says the guy who’s frustrated with his inability to get colleagues to use any method of document sharing other than email attachments).
@beck One other to consider is that if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription you may also have Microsoft Planner (depending on your plan). You have probably already made the best choice with Trello though as I think it is probably the leading one out there for Kanban style project management.