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Use Both Sides of your Brain!

Many of us are trying to be innovative with one half of our brain offline.

Picture the scene — you grab a pen and your favorite notebook and start sketching out that great new idea. Ideas keep flowing as you pen your thoughts by sketching out your ideas that seem to pop up out of nowhere!

Then you change settings and continue to work on your computer — writing down your ideas using the keyboard, but you don’t feel as creative. Sure, you can type away and build out some of the ideas you had before, but now you feel more detailed, mechanical, and less creative.

What is going on here? The answer lies at the heart of fostering creativity — the ability to use the right brain and the critical hand-brain connection facilitated by using a pen- the reason why 99% of the computer software you use is doing nothing to help you be creative.

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Managing Multiple Projects Successfully

As a project manager you are most likely managing multiple projects, and as a result you need to rely on a project management information system as much as best practice project management processes. Unfortunately there is surprisingly little information about this real world topic!

Sure there are lots of 'project management' software tools and methods, but when you are in the real world and need examples of projects management information then things become a bit harder and project managers end up creating or stumbling into their own systems to use. This is not the stuff taught at the project management institute or on an agile project management course!

In this article we will explore, from one information management project manager to another, how to mentally and visually organize your day to day projects to remain at maximum productivity. We will explore the key elements of an effective project management information system and what you need to know as you put yours together.

The world is everchanging, and many of us are easing back into "normal" life after over a year of uncertainty. But some things don’t change - it is nearly impossible to manage all of your thoughts and ideas without writing them down in one place. How do we get back into the groove of handling our time and multiple projects?

What is a project management information system (PMIS)?

Simply put, a project management information system is a set of tools and methods, along with a documented way of using them to organize your thoughts. You might have a physical planner or notebook or you might have a website for this purpose. Either way, it's your personalized system that helps you as you manage multiple projects.

A project management information system is a "living" tool. It's not a one-time thing, it's an ongoing process you have to maintain and use over time. Because your organization is always changing the structure of your projects, you will need to add tools, add notes and add pages to your PMIS as well! All in all, it's a very powerful tool for you as a project manager to stay on top of things and keep the projects moving.

Project management information systems don't have to be fancy or new or super-technical. You can make your own notebook with a spiral, stapled binding. All you need is something that helps you organize your thoughts and tools!

The PMIS is the cornerstone of good project management, good control and proper communication. You can't be an effective project manager if you don't have one.

An article by Lori Bregman published on says that 1 in 5 projects fails due to lack of effective project management information systems. That's scary!

The Role of Project Management

Project management itself is a process that enables an organization to plan and carry out projects efficiently and effectively. There are many things that project managers do, including:

-Planning each project

-Evaluating risks

-Obtaining resources for the project

-Delegating tasks to team members

-Communicating with stakeholders

The Importance of Regular Meetings

Regular meetings are critical to keeping the momentum and communication going in a project. Scheduling a regular meeting is a crucial element to monitoring productivity. Whether it be a video chat, phone call, or face-to-face, select one to form a habit. It not only provides a guaranteed check-in but also provides a mechanism for expecting progress. Once you decide on a regular meeting time with your team, stick to that schedule to keep up to date. You will be pleased with what you can accomplish by having an allotted time to collaborate. During the meeting, focus on the goals to be achieved and the challenges that are arising.

Elements of a Project Management Information System

There are many different elements of a good project management information system, but some of the most important ones include:

-The ability to plan each project

-The ability to capture new information from meetings and research in an organized way

-The ability to quickly access information

-The ability to share information with project team members

-The ability to archive the information after the project finishes.

NoteDex is our tool that can help boost your productivity and organization. In this article, we will use NoteDex to show how to manage projects efficiently using NoteDex and how it supports each of the 5 elements above.

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How to Ace your Studies with Handwritten Digital Flashcards

Welcome back to school. How are you going to make the most of your new shiny Surface, iPad or Galaxy Tablet device and study the best you can? Put down that game controller for a start! :) Seriously, let's start using the device to create your study notes and make some of your own online flashcards with a flashcard app and start learning your foreign languages, sciences, or other memory intensive subjects!

This article is focused on students that are adopting ‘digital’ technologies, and I will provide a simple three step path for successful studying. If you are reading this, you have already chosen what are perhaps are the most capable and useful devices for studying — a Microsoft Surface, Apple iPad Pro with stylus or the Samsung Galaxy S7 tablet with S-Pen. It might be that you have this, or a similar tablet - or something newer! Hopefully you got the digital pen with it.

Your new tablet will allow you to use apps to take great study notes, and then sometimes the same, but usually a different, app will allow you to create your own flashcards for your study. What you will see in this article, and in other articles on our site, is that the pen you have with your tablet is great for helping in creating flashcards that you will remember, especially for complex flashcards like for learning foreign languages and sketching out foreign character symbols etc. More on this later!

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