Some years ago I worked as a project manager. I developed skills that have helped me manage several projects with my wellness business including things like writing an ebook, creating a membership and several stand alone programs.
But I know that the idea of managing projects can seem overwhelming for many health coaches. Using a project management tool can help.
What is project management?
Project management is exactly what it sounds like - managing of projects. For a health coaching business, a typical project would be the launch of a new program. You have a end date in mind and your project management plan would include all of the pieces that need to get done to finish your program on time.
Project management vs task management
Task management is managing of tasks that may or may not relate to a project. You may have a task of completing lesson 2 slides for a particular project, but you may also have a task of posting in your Facebook group which is not related to any project.
What is a project management tool?
A project management tool allows you to keep track of all the moving parts of a project. You can set due dates and get reminders. Some will allow you to set dependencies.
Why you need a project management tool
For a simple list of tasks you can use pen and paper to keep track and just cross things off as you finish them. But when you start having multiple due dates or even dependencies, you need to use some kind of project management software.
Project management software will allow you to break up your big project into a number of small tasks which can be done quickly. It makes the whole project seem less overwhelming when you break in up into these small manageable chunks.
For example you could break lesson 2 down into several tasks - create slides, record slides, create handouts, load to course platform.
Once you start to outsource a project management tool also allows you to set tasks for your virtual assistants and other subcontractors. You can use the project management tool to communicate with the virtual assistant and you can assign them tasks without the back and forth of email.
You could probably make do with task management software for many things. You can even use the Reminders app on your phone to keep track of many tasks. But many project management tools can also be used as task management tools.
Which project management tool should you choose?
If you look up project management tools you find hundreds. But many of these are designed for large corporations and are overkill for your small health coach business. And they are way to expensive and complicated for what you likely need. I’m going to provide you with 3 options that I’ve used to help you choose.
I’ve used Trello for years. And if you are getting started with project management this might be your best choice. Trello is highly visual so is ideal for the visual person.
In its basic form Trello uses what is called the Kanban approach to project management. This is a system where you categorize each task as to do, doing and done. But there are many other ways you can use Trello to organize your business, create standard operating procedures and content calendars. You can download a Trello board pack to get you started here.
What I like about Trello
Like I said Trello is very visual and you can set things up with a nice background so the workspace is comfortable to work in. You can easily get an overview of a project at a glance. It is also very customizable. So you can likely make it do what you want.
What I don’t like about Trello
Trello was my project management system of choice until I started working as a virtual assistant. Trello does not easily give you a big picture of everything you need to do. You’ll likely have multiple boards and taks do across these boards. There is no easy way to get a summary of your outstanding tasks on all projects.
You can add tasks to a Calendar view in Trello, but this will be on a per project basis. It is also not easy to assign tasks to someone. So if you are working with a VA you might find this limiting.
Of the three systems I am discussing I’ve had the least experience with Asana. Asana allows you to display tasks in multiple views - list, board or Calendar (additional views are available on the paid version). You can communicate with team members and easily get an overview of your tasks.
What I like about Asana
Asana is easy to set up projects and can be used as a simple task manager. It’s also a great tool for collaboration. The multiple views are also very useful. It seems to be a robust system that runs smoothly and quickly.
What I didn’t like about Asana
If you like the customizable board view of Trello, you’ll find the board view in Asana to be limiting. It also has several limitations compared to Clickup.
ClickUp is the system I’m using now for project management. I’m still learning all the features. On the surface it looks very much like Asana. But it is much more powerful than Asana. It also has the list, board and calendar view options. But you can also look at timelines and create custom dashboards even on the free plan.
What I like about ClickUp
One of the best features of ClickUp is it’s hierarchy. I admit this did take a bit of time to work out, especially if you are coming from another platform. But the hierarchy allows you to create multiple areas of the business and put projects in each. You might have a space for Clients, a space for group programs, etc.
ClickUp is easier to customize which part of a project other team members have access to. You can also send a view to someone who is not on your team.
I like that ClickUp has a generous free plan that gives you time to make sure this is the right tool for you before committing to the paid plan.
What I don’t like about ClickUp
ClickUp has a bigger learning curve than the other 2 systems I mentioned. I’m also not sure I like the fact that features keep getting added. This means that the software can occasionally be slow and buggy.
This table summarizes the pricing for the three options I mentioned.
Monthly (least expensive)
Hard to find this option
Fewer options on free plan than ClickUp
Annual plan much cheaper
A project management tool is an important part of your wellness business. I suggest trying out a few different ones to see which works best for you. If you want to get started with Trello, I have a free board pack to help you organize your business.