Project Management Tools

Lucid Chart - Online Visio Replacement

First off, I love Lucid Chart which is why I am writing this piece. I firmly believe that using this tool if you need to create, manage and share workflow diagrams, use case, project plans or just about any other visual communication aid, that LucisChart is an exceptional option. They have a free version that is great and has most of the features. But you are limited as you would expect to things like the number of diagrams, and number of objects in a diagram. The paid versions are pretty cheap if doing things like what are listed below are important to you day to day like it is for me.
I purchased the team version for 3 users. We can share the diagrams with anyone( does not have to be a lucid user). Print to PDF, download images. They also have this really cool feature called Presentations. This is where you can mark around objects on your diagram, and basically make a slide show with motion using a static document. See the example I have below. you have to create a Lucid chart account (Don't worry its free) to view the diagram. If you have Google or Yahoo, you can skip the account by using their Single Sign On trust authentication.
Some Use Cases for LucidChart



IT / Engineering




Product Management & Design

Real-time Polling Tool

At events like chapter events, it can be a very engaging experience for attendees to provide real-time feedback to the speakers using their smart phones, and DirectPoll is a free tool allowing you to do just that.  The Attendees see questions on their phones, and the speaker can have the poll data displayed on a projector showing voting in real-time.

Here is how you get setup

  1. Go to 
  2. Click Create your Poll Now button
  3. Enter your Questions you want to poll at a later date
  4. Enter the administrator or presenters email address and click Save poll and send me the links
  5. Now you should receive an email like the one below. And have a Control panel to start your poll


You can start your poll now if you want, or embed into a power point presentation. There are different ways to vote also, either by text message or by a web screen on the mobile phone. I prefer the mobile phone web screen

How to start Polling

  1. The presenter should open on their smart phone the link that says Cockpit
  2. The presenter should open on the presentation computer the Result Link
  3. The Attendees will open the link called the Vote link for your audience. 

How do you get them the link?

You can either have them manually type in the short URL, or email it to them, or have them use a QR code if they have an andriod phone, its very large and be put on the presentation screen. * Iphones you need a special free app to read QR codes called "QR Reader for iPhone" to read the QR code.

Short URL example:

QR Code Page:


Ideally you should have the poll created ahead of time, and have sent out to the attendees the Vote link the day off so it is easily accessed in their email.


Dear DirectPoll User,

Thanks for creating a poll with us. Please keep this e-mail in case you want to edit your poll or re-run it at a later time.

Your Cockpit link

This link will always bring you back to your poll cockpit. Make sure not to lose this link. Losing it means your poll is lost.

Vote link for your audience

Forward this link to your audience and ask them to load it on their (mobile) devices. We're offering a QR code too to assure an easy access for your voters. The QR code will be shown on the result page before the poll is started.
Please note that the poll expires 30 days after you last saved your poll. You'll receive a notification before this happens. Just save your poll again to get another 30 days.

This is the actual full link to your voting-page. Use this if you setup your own redirect for your audience.

Result link

This link will always show the real-time results of the current question. You can use it to display the results on a big screen to let your audience enjoy the live-experience of answers coming in. 
The result-screen shows the QR code before the poll is started. This guarantees easy access for your voters.

Don't hesitate to contact us at if you have any additional questions or feedback. 
Thanks for using DirectPoll - a service brought to you by Netcetera

SmartSheet Project Management Collaboration

Smartsheet’s online project management templates allow you to seamlessly manage your team, time, and tasks. From a project management chart to project tracker, a project management spreadsheet improves visibility and keeps your project on track.

Project with Schedule & Budget Variance




How to work with Alerts and Notifications plus automatic updates

Basic Project with Gantt & Dependencies

This sheet helps you manage your project, and provides an easy-to-grasp visual timeline for your team and clients. Update tasks, manage dependencies, track progress, and store project files — all in one shared sheet.

Change dates & set dependencies
Click and drag the edge of a Gantt bar to instantly change dates. Drag one bar onto another to set a dependency.
Set milestones
Enter zero in the Duration column to set a milestone. To work tasks back from a milestone, set Start-to-Finish (SF) dependencies on preceding tasks.
Use the Zoom buttons to shift between Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly views.
Gantt settings
Click the Gantt chart's gear icon to change settings like dependencies and workdays.


Sharing with different access levels

Share your project with your team
Select the Sharing tab to share with your collaborators. Add collaborator email addresses and select a permission level.
  • Viewer: can view and export the sheet, but can't make changes
  • Editor: can edit information in cells, add attachments, set alerts, & create comments
  • Admin: can add collaborators, edit columns, & change dependency settings
Share multiple sheets in a Workspace
Create a Workspace to share multiple sheets with the same group of people, with consistent sharing permissions on all items in the workspace.
Prevent edits with locked rows & columns
Lock any column or non-blank row to prevent others from changing or deleting key information. Only sheet Owners or Admins can lock, unlock, & edit locked columns & rows.

Customizable Columns 


Collaborative Features

File Attachments - Store documents & links on any row
Alerts & Reminders - Set alerts for due dates & sheet changes
Comments - Log conversations, emails, & notes
Gantt Chart - See task dates & dependencies
Calendar View - View & edit tasks in a calendar
Row Hierarchy - Organize tasks into collapsible sections
Sharing - Collaborate in real-time with your team
Update Requests - Request updates on task status
Web Forms - Collect new rows & take action
Mobile App - View & update your project on the go