A Toolkit for Product Managers

Managing a product in an agile environment is like juggling flaming torches on a unicycle crossing a trapeze line being yanked by a maniacal clown. It’s fast, chaotic and demands relentless focus. Luckily for us, in 2017, there is a proliferation of tools (most of them free or at least freemium) that help to tame the chaos.

Unfortunately, a parallel phenomena nowadays is tool overload. A feast of options, along with the usual content marketing noise by people promoting their own products often makes people give up in despair and go back to using Word, Excel and Powerpoint (which are pretty awesome too if used properly).

Here’s the list of tools I use in my day job as an actual Product Manager. (I’ve only included tools that would be available across most companies rather than tools that would depend on each company. This meant dropping CRM tools like Salesforce and CSM tools like Zendesk)

Design

I look for tools that will help me quickly try out ideas and designs but I also want something that will help me build a proper mockup that I can use to start a conversation with my design or development teams.

Task Management

I look for tools that will help me keep track of my tasks, send alerts/reminders when required and enable me to share my tasks with other people.

Note - I have deliberately excluded Asana from the list. I tried and didn’t like it. Just a personal choice.

Product Analytics

I look for tools that will help me keep a track of how the product is doing performance-wise, how people are using the product and to learn if specific features are getting/not getting adopted.

Product Roadmap

I look for tools that help keep a track of feedback, requests and helps in priotization and building of an easy to present roadmap.

Document Management

I look for tools with helpful defaults, that ease collaboration and sharing while maintaining security.

Utility

Tools that consistenly make my work day better.