One of the most important project-management assets you build up during your project is documentation of all kinds of things -- how you broke down estimates, how much work you completed each work-period, what kind of risks actualized, etc. etc. and this is all useful because it will help you in future projects that are similar, whether greatly or slightly similar.

As mentioned in previous questions, I work primarily on one-man software projects using agile methodologies. I don't have the benefit of a PMIS, a "Project Management Information System" that consolidates, archives, and indexes my documentation so I can search through past documents quickly; nor do I have the cash reserves to purchase or implement one.

How, then, do I usefully archive all past project documents that may be valuable? I'm trying to keep all my documentation online as Google Docs, breaking down projects by folder, and having an "archive" folder of completed projects.

3 Answers 3


If we think about one-man project I think keeping everything in Google Docs may not be the best answer. Google Docs is still pretty infant in terms of features you get. Of course you may upload there a file of any kind but then if you plan to edit/change documents it's better to have just Google Docs version which means you have rather basic set of features.

In one-man project it can be safely assumed that for most of the time there's only one person interested in accessing documentations. From this perspective I think it would be hard to find more convenient solution than keeping everything on local disc and organizing it in some structured way (folders etc.) Any desktop office suite gives way more features than Google Docs and also there's no problem when internet connection is dropped - one still has access to all the data. In terms of search, novel operating systems do pretty good job here. As an alternative Google Desktop Search can be considered.

This kind of approach has a couple of drawbacks: documentations might be available from different computers, e.g. when developer is working on different machines, and others might need to access documents on occasions.

These issues can be solved with Dropbox which may synchronize local folder(s) between a few machines, keeping a copy in the cloud which can be accessed not only by the owner of data but also by others if needed. Also it works nice as a backup if something bad happens with a local hard drive.

So, considering I have MS Office license I'd go with MS Office with locally stored documents synchronized with the internet, and potentially other machines, by Dropbox. If I had no MS Office license I'd go with some alternative, like Open Office.



Best document manager ever.


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