Use Professional Project Managers To Organise Your Own Life

Use Professional Project Managers To Organise Your Own Life

Can’t find the right tool to get your own life organised? The pro-level software you use at work might prove to be the optimum solution.

Lifehacker reader James R wrote in with this advice on getting yourself organised:

Many people may find this overkill, but I find an issue management package such as Atlassian JIRA very useful for organising my tasks and personal projects. Traditional list based task management, such as that in Outlook, is very limited and provides no real tracking or collaboration ability. Using JIRA I can have lots of different projects (e.g. home renovation, hobby projects, general home admin, general work tasks, home movie projects etc) and collaborate with other friends or family members on them with individualised access to different projects. My wife can raise tasks for me (!) and know that even if I ignore them for a time, they won’t be forgotten and will continue to glare at me from my dashboard until I take care of them (plus I’ll get an email notification).

The ability to prioritise, link and search for various tasks and issues is also very handy. As I say it can appear to be overkill, but as an extremely busy, creative and absent-minded person, I find it invaluable for tracking all the things I need/want to do and prioritising them accordingly. For $10 (which goes to charity) for a truly professional level product, it’s pretty hard to go past JIRA. As a lot of people have a 24/7 fileserver at home (e.g. a Windows Home Server box) it’s pretty simple to run up the software on that and have it securely available to you from anywhere in the world.

While it’s true this might be overkill if you’re already naturally organised, or find yourself happy with a to-do solution like Remember The Milk, there’s something to be said for adapting enterprise tools for your own needs. That’s especially the case if you can duplicate what you use at work and at home, since you’ll have one less solution to memorise.

Have you adapted a business-level tool for personal use? Tell us about it in the comments. Thanks James!


  • I find that using a powerful project management system like JIRA to manage my personal tasks is extremely effective. My wife and I have been planning for our first child and, as far as I can tell, are well ahead of the curve because we’ve used a project management system. One key enabler for us was Tasktop which provides a nice desktop application that makes it simpler for non-technical users to use project management systems.

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