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Simple project scheduling software?

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  • Simple project scheduling software?

    Hi, all--

    I'm the publications director for an academic division of a large university. At any given time I'm tracking (and usually directly responsible for) 10-15 book projects in various stages of acquisitions, editing, production, etc. Traditionally, I've done all of my tracking using simple layouts in Excel. But since I've "gone GTD" I've realized how inefficient the whole thing is. (So inefficient that I dread updating my schedules, and often end up just handwriting on printouts because the formulas are so hard to work with and such a PITA to adjust--I'm not very sophisticated technologically, I'm afraid.)

    I'm now looking for some good, intuitive project scheduling software. Most of my projects are fairly linear, the task structures are replicable, and they only rely on a few people (mostly freelancers). So I don't need the horsepower (or the expense and steep learning curve) of MS Project. But I haven't found anything else out there that seems to be a good alternative. Project KickStart is nice for what I need, but it doesn't allow for dependencies. Since I can't typeset a book that hasn't been edited, if the editor is late on a project I want to be able to run out the rest of the schedule automatically (or tweak it), which PKS doesn't do. It's absurd to have to go in and adjust 65 tasks by hand because something at Task 2 gets delayed.

    Does anyone know of a program that might do what I want? Gantt charts are nice but not essential. Compatability with MindManager is nice but not essential.


  • #2
    Simple Project Planning


    I wouldn't actually call Effexis Software's 'Achieve Planner Pro' a simple planning software package... but I wouldn't classify it as heavy duty project planning software package... It is worth a look... with a 30 day full trial... I recently purchased the Pro Package... Good luck, hope this helped.


    • #3

      You mentioned that you have MindManager. So have you tried JCVGantt Pro. This might do what you want, with enough grunt, and a lot less hardcore than MS Project. Not sure give it a burl.

      The other option might be combining ResultsManager with MindManager. If these projects you could create a typical template for a book project in MindManager and then import it as each new book project arrives. Ive been using a similar technique just recently with this program for structural drafting projects I have.

      I believe you can get a trial version of each program. Download them and try applying them to your situation

      Scott V


      • #4
        JVCGantt Pro 3

        Since you are using MindManager you may want to take a look at JVCGantt Pro version 3.0 that was recently released. It can be used as a standalone application or with MindManager 7. JVCGantt Pro 3 does allow you to set dependencies and is very easy to use. For a quick overview you can take a look at my post at:



        • #5
          Thanks so much for the helpful replies. The Achieve Planner is very cool, but since I'm doing pretty well with Outlook + MindManager, it might be more than I need. It looks pretty comprehensive, though.

          I think JCVGantt Pro will do exactly what I want--I'm not sure how I missed it. And after an hour playing with it last night, I can say that it IS quite easy to use. Many thanks!


          • #6
            There is an application call ConceptDraw Project found here


            combined with the MindMap application form the same site as a very effective toolset for working on projects.


            • #7
              Microsoft Project could be your answer. Great for gantt charts. Works with MindManager.

              You might be interested in this article:
              MindManager and Microsoft Project


              • #8
                And for the Mac environment?

                JCVGanttPro looks pretty cool...but is Windows only. Any recommendations for something similar for the Mac?




                • #9
                  I believe PlanningForce would be option for you.


                  • #10
                    I'll have to agree with Jblack, Microsoft Project is the best in the industry. It's really easy to use and you can track multiple projects at once. If you're interested, check out the latest version of their project management software for more details!


                    • #11
                      Employee Scheduling

                      I suggest you have a look at Saviom employee scheduler (