Webb on the web: project management tools for journalists

byAmy Webb
Jul 9, 2010 in Media Entrepreneurship

If you're a journalist working for a newsroom or media organization, you've likely discovered that project management can be a persistent, nagging problem.

[Image:81, right, medium] If you're a journalist working for a newsroom or media organization, you've likely discovered that project management can be a persistent, nagging problem. Your team members miss their deadlines or forget to read/send an e-mail. Perhaps you've had to remind the same few people about getting a first draft to you...and now you're ready to print! Or maybe you're a journalist who is charged with helping to plan a training event or conference, and you're finding more and more logistical tasks that need to be assigned and completed.

If any of the above describes you, a web-based project management tool would definitely help keep you and your team organized! There are a number of project management tools available now, and most of the modern applications aren't aimed at any one industry. Instead, they offer a wide variety of options to help groups manage their projects. You can easily specify who is allowed to see and edit the workspace. Some of the tools also let you see how recently someone logged in, so that you can track those on your team who aren't contributing as much as they should.

Below are three tools to try:

Basecamp

Basecame is a very robust project management and collaboration platform. You can restrict users to only those you approve and even designate individual committees or subgroups within the system to further control access. Inside of Basecamp, members can send messages to each other about projects, create to-do lists, set milestones, upload and share files and create "writeboards," which are spaces where approved users can add and edit content in a shared environment. Basecamp is wildly popular among all kinds of organizations, and it does come with a price -- $24 per month for a basic plan.

PBwiki

You may already be familiar with the term "wiki," which is a simple website that can be easily created and edited for personal note-taking, creating collaborative worksites and managing projects and events. Like Basecamp, PBwiki allows group editing, the ability to upload and share documents and multimedia, document management, to-do lists and milestones, and a number of security settings to restrict (and grant) access to others. In addition, you can also use PBwiki to make conference calls. PBwiki has a free option as well as premium plans.

Google Wave

Finally, the newest collaborative tool available is perhaps one you already know: Google Wave. Wave is Google's all-in-one social communication service. It combines email, instant messaging, blogging, document sharing, wikis, and multimedia content to provide a very robust, real-time communications platform. Wave is free for anyone to use, but you must be invited by a friend to join. For more information on how to use Wave click here to download a free copy of our guide.

While these are just three of the many collaborative tools available, keep in mind that most offer a free trial period before you decide to fully use any service. I would encourage you to try Basecamp, PBwiki and Wave to get a feel for how they can help you and your organization.

Amy Webb is a digital media consultant and the CEO of Webbmedia Group, LLC. She has also launched Knowledgewebb, a new website for multimedia training. You can follow Amy on Twitter. Webbmedia Group is a vendor-neutral company. Any opinions expressed about products or services are formed after testing, research and interviews. Neither Amy Webb nor Webbmedia Group or its employees receives any financial or other benefits from vendors.

If you're a journalist working for a newsroom or media organization, you've likely discovered that project management can be a persistent, nagging problem. Your team members miss their deadlines or forget to read/send an e-mail.