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Using WordPress For Project Management

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At WordUp Minneapolis 2014 I gave a talk on using WordPress for project management.

In this session I talked about building a simple project management app with WordPress using the P2 theme and a handful of plugins. With this app you can create to do lists, check off those tasks, and mark posts as unresolved or resolved.

The base of this tool is the P2 theme, which allows you to easily make new project posts from the frontend of the site. This theme is extended with P2 Resolved Posts, P2 New Post Categories, and a custom plugin of mine called P2 Projects. I also use the Members plugin to make the site private.

With the P2 Resolved Posts plugin posts can be marked as resolved or unresolved, P2 Projects marks new posts as “unresolved” automatically and adds a category widget for filtering unresolved or resolved project posts. The P2 New Post Categories plugin adds a dropdown to the front end post editor for selecting a category for the project posts.

Setup Video Tutorial

Watch this screencast and learn how to build this app step-by-step.

I have used many different tools for project management over the years: a legal pad and a pen, ancient FileMaker programs, and pretty much every web app out there from Basecamp to Trello. Ultimately these are all, aside from a pad and pen, overkill for my own use as a freelancer.

By using WordPress I was able to cut out another monthly expense and build something that was tailored specifically to my needs. This solution might not be right for you, but the beauty of WordPress is that it doesn’t have to be, you can get in there and build your own perfect app!

Meteor Slides updated for WordPress 4.0

I just released Meteor Slide 1.5.2, a plugin update which includes a new Slides icon and other styling adjustments to match the admin in WordPress 4.0. This update also includes some new and updated translations, bringing the total number of translations up to twenty-five!

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Building Better Widgets

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At WordCamp Milwaukee 2014 I gave a talk on Building Better Widgets.

In this session I talked about how to design interesting and useful WordPress widgets. I covered designing for a wide range of widgets, exploring different widget designs, planning responsive widgets that scale well, thinking about animated and interactive widgets, and upgrading your widgets with plugins.

Download the slides to learn more and grab the links from my talk.

Building Your First Widget

I spoke today at WordCamp Chicago, talking about building widgets. In my session we learned how to build your first WordPress widget and went step-by-step through the best practices for building a simple widget. We discussed when a widget should be built into a theme or plugin, and when a widget should be its own plugin. You can check out the slides if you’d like to.

The plugin that I used as an example is a simple plugin that allows you to add your name to a sidebar.

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The example code is up on Github for themes and plugins.

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Hopefully everyone who attended is ready to avenge their fathers, or unleash their own widgets out into the world!

Speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis 2014

wordcamp-mpls-2014-badge-speakerI’ve been so busy lately with client projects, helping organize WordCamp Minneapolis, and getting settled into my new office, that I almost forgot to write about it on my own blog!

WordCamp Minneapolis 2014 is this weekend, April 26-27th, and I’ll be speaking on Saturday. My talk is called Don’t let your site jump the shark, it’s in the design track and I’ll be talking about using animation on websites successfully.

The schedule is full of awesome talks, this is going to be the best WordCamp Minneapolis yet, so if you haven’t already, you should get a ticket!

WordCamp Season

This summer’s WordCamp season will be off to a slow start. I’m taking the train to WordCamp Chicago in June, WordCamp Milwaukee in July, and hopefully one more WordCamp in August to round out the summer. I was bummed to hear that WordCamp Winnipeg won’t be happening this year, my passport is burning a hole in my pocket. But it sounds like there might finally be a WordCamp Omaha in 2014, which is great news since it fell through last time!

But it should be a busy summer; I’ll be speaking at another WordCamp(stay tuned), releasing a big update for Meteor Slides, rebuilding this website, launching a new personal sci fi blog, doing some camping and canoeing with my family, and hopefully finally making it to Gen Con for the first time!

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