Episode #209

Project Management Tools vs. Skills (Part 2)

In a previous episode, I underscored the importance of cultivating project management skills before investing in a project management tool. Today, I shift focus to those who need to implement a tool into their workflow. I give tips on how to know if you are ready to use a tool and guidelines for selecting the right tool for your needs.



A project management tool can be instrumental if you oversee multiple projects with diverse collaborators. It provides a centralized platform for communication, resource organization, and progress tracking. As you navigate the world of project management tools, consider simplicity and alignment with your specific needs. Whether opting for established platforms like Trello or Asana or leveraging basic tools like spreadsheets, start with a solution that complements your requirements. Remember, the journey to effective project management involves a strategic blend of skills development and tool selection. 

Are you ready to learn more about project management tools? Tune in to continue the conversation about project management tools vs. skills!

How to Know if You Need a Project Management Tool

  1. You are the “block” while collaborating on a project because the team is consistently stuck waiting on a critical item/task from you.
  2. You work on multiple projects with various people simultaneously and struggle to keep track of progress, milestones, and assignments.
  3. You have mastered project management skills and are ready for the next step.

How to Pick the Right Project Management Tool

There are hundreds of different software options for project management. I will not suggest a specific one but offer tips on discerning which tool is right for you.

  • Confirm mastery of project management skills.
  • Find a tool that solves problems you experience managing projects.
  • Make sure the tool’s process aligns with how your brain works.
  • Consider whether you will collaborate with others while using the tool or independently.
  • Ask colleagues for recommendations, watch YouTube videos, and research.


Project management tools don’t have to be complicated. Spreadsheets and bullet journals can be equally effective as expensive subscription-based software. If you are considering adopting a project management tool, listen to the previous podcast episode: Project Management Skills Versus Tools – Scholar’s Voice by Cathy Mazak.


“Do not invest in a project management tool – time, money, or both – until you have reached a certain level of mastery of project management skills.” 


“The (project management) tool doesn’t have to be super complicated, but what it does have to do for academics is to first, match your problem areas with project management and second match the way your brain works. Third, you need to get the people around you on board with using the tool.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist here.



  1. Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Get on the waitlist here!
  2. Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
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