Tools for Monitoring Your Project
For small projects and personal projects, you can use notebooks, graphs, diagrams, day planners, personal organizers, or other tools to post your schedule and project updates. Don't make things more complicated than necessary by using high-tech tracking devices for simple projects. You don't need an elaborate software system to run a bake sale, plan a wedding, set up a small business, or build a jungle gym for the kids. The tracking system should match the scope of the project. Many software products, such as those offered by Microsoft, are designed primarily for corporate or large-scope projects. (Several are listed in Chapter 15.) You can always use a spreadsheet program, such as Excel, on your PC if you want to track a simple, small-scope project on your desktop.
The easier the monitoring tools are to understand, the quicker you'll be able to explain them to others and read (and analyze) them yourself. A tool is only useful if it serves a productive purpose. If monitoring means being able to easily gather, read, and utilize information for comparisons, you need a tool that does this without distractions.