Whether you are an experienced business person, or you are starting a new business, managing tasks can drain your money, manpower and energy. Each project comes with new challenges, and often, you’ll feel as though you don’t have enough time to beat your deadlines. Not to mention, as you get more clients or more work, getting organized can become a challenge.
If you have not used project management software before, your default move might be to rely on tools like spreadsheets, one-note and sticky notes to manage your work. While these tools have their place, they are not automated. Software like MS project has a learning curve, and you might not have the luxury of time to learn new software. Additionally, these traditional tools are not intuitive, and they lack tracking and analysis capabilities. As well, if you want to send reminders to people, you cannot. They also do not integrate with other tools…i could go on and on, but you get the point.
Before you despair, we have a solution for you. New tools have emerged that can handle all your project management needs, with very little learning time.
While there are so many project management tools available in the market today, in this article we discuss 5 of the best tried and tested software that we recommend for managing your projects:
Project Management Software # 1. Trello
Trello is a useful tool for managing simple or complex personal and business projects. Though for large companies, business class and enterprise packages are more recommended. If managing business projects, Trello has something for each of your departments:
For your sales team, lead management will become a lot easier with the sales pipeline. Your sales people will no longer lose sight of leads during customers’ buyer journey.
The editorial calendar makes blog writing and publishing more efficient, thus your marketing team will never miss a publishing deadline.
Product roadmaps are built into Trello, so everyone can access the status of all products without having to pull the products team into meetings.
Trello also has an onboarding section for new team members, meaning you can onboard a new resource and have them working within minutes.
Trello organizes all projects into boards to give you a snap-shot view of all your projects. It also has some amazing features that allow you to:
- Keep tabs on team members and the tasks they are working on
- Collaborate with teams through sharing files, including images and videos.
- Delegate tasks
- Add comments on tasks
- Create to-do lists within task cards
You can deploy Trello on multiple platforms including cloud and web, Android and iOS mobile.
Paid versions come with added features, most of which increase efficiency and ensure added security. You can for instance restrict membership and control who creates private and public boards. The enterprise package offers 2-step authentication and file encryption to keep data exchange safe. Customer service is also available, with one-day response time either by email or phone.
Sign up for Trello NOW
Project Management Software # 2. Asana
Enterprise: Call for quote
Asana is a team working and project management tool that is great for tracking tasks from start to finish. Airbnb, Deloitte, The New York times, Red Bull, NASA, USAID are some brands that use Asana to keep project teams aligned on tasks.
The software can work on multiple platforms including android mobile, iOS mobile and web. With asana, you can increase project management efficiency using features like:
- Reminders that allow you and team members to meet deadlines
- To-do lists so you’re always on top of your tasks
- Ability to add instructions for each task created. This way, deliverables are clear.
- You can comment on tasks and items.
- Add due dates
- Assign tasks to team members
- Share/import items directly from other apps through to asana
Asana is also great as a collaborative tool and for handling project milestones. With it, you can assign different people for each milestone, which allows the project to move forward as a whole. At a glance, you can view all activity for every project on one dashboard.
You can also keep your teams on track with the graphs that summarize progress of each project.
With the free package, you can manage unlimited projects, but access is limited to 15 members. More features such as increased security, dedicated customer support and customization, are available in the paid packages.
Sign up for Asana NOW
Project Management Software # 3. Podio
Enterprise: Contact team for quote
Podio is a project management tool great for handling tasks, enhancing communication, getting teams to work in sync and for tracking your company’s deliverables. You can manage all your external and internal projects through Podio, thus eliminate the need for sending countless emails. It integrates dropbox and google drive, so teams can share and work on files without leaving the platform.
With Podio you can:
- Run reports in the format you like
- Create tasks, assign responsibilities and deadlines
- Track your tasks
- Delegate responsibilities
- Share ideas through instant messaging
- Communicate with teams and get feedback all within the app. No need for emails.
Additionally, if you work with global teams, this is the tool for you because it supports six different languages. Podio is very customizable; you can add and delete features of the software to suit your unique team, task, or way of working.
The software has been designed with the busy professional in mind, who multi tasks and works in an idea-filled environment. In fact, a lot of noteworthy brands use Podio, some of which include NFL, Volvo and Sony.
Sign up for Podio NOW
Project Management Software # 4. Basecamp
Pricing: $99 per month + free 30-day trial
A lot of people trust basecamp because it has been around for over a decade. In 2017 alone, basecamp signed up more than 2.5 million new accounts. The software works on iOS, android and web and is suitable for managing projects of all sizes.
Basecamp makes collaborating on projects easier, by managing everything from one place. It is a great system for keeping your team accountable, tracking all your project deadlines and for reducing the number of unnecessary meetings you attend. Because it is centered on reducing email communication, it keeps project teams focused on real work instead of wasting time writing or answering emails.
Some features that will make you love basecamp include:
- You can have quick discussions by sending direct messages
- Group chats feature which allows you to collaborate better with team members and clients
- Schedule the app to send you notifications during certain hours
- The applause button lets you tell your team members you appreciate their work
- Reports feature to track project progress
- The ability to track feedback and approvals from clients
- Discussion boards for tracking discussions on one topic from one place.
Most of these features make basecamp a ‘full-suite’ project management software capable of replacing most software that handle one task.
Sign up for Basecamp NOW
Project Management Software # 5. Teamwork Projects
Enterprise: contact team for quote
Teamwork projects is an easy to use, intuitive software for managing projects. It is cloud based, which allows you to access your information from any place at any time. Teamwork comes loaded with features designed to lighten work load, increase efficiency and reduce effort-overlap. Some of these features include:
- Task prioritization
- Recurring tasks
- Workload breakdown through subtasks
- Project reports and gant charts
- Project roadmaps
- Built-in templates
- Task dependencies
If you are already using other tools, you can integrate them directly into teamwork projects and continue working on your projects without interruption. You can also edit files within the software without having to leave the app.
Though you can get teamwork projects for free, you will be limited in how you use it. For example: you can only have up to 5 users, you’ll manage up to 2 projects, your task boards will be limited, and you won’t have a lot of leeway to customize.
The paid packages allow you to access more features such as increased security, customization, integration and better customer support
Sign up for Teamwork projects NOW
Each company has some pain points that can stand in the way of project completion, and that need to be addressed. For example,
- Difficulty coordinating work with team members working in different time zones.
- Poor time management
- Broken channels of communication
- Lack of visibility in project progress
Based on the tools discussed above, it is a foregone conclusion that investing in a good project management software will solve these pain points and increase efficiency. This in turn can have far reaching benefits such as;
- Reduced errors/ better work and data quality
- Increasing accountability
- Client satisfaction
- Increased business revenue
With these kinds of benefits, there is no need to keep managing your tasks manually or with software that is inefficient, time consuming and difficult to use. It will only make a bad situation worse and cost you a lot of money in lost revenue.
So, resolve today to change how you manage your projects and sign up for one of these 5 simple yet effective project management tools.