Project management is an important element for every successful business. Keeping track of your workflow, deadlines, productivity and anticipated issues can save your company time and money while clearly outlining the expectations of every member of your team. Technological advancements have created incredible options for small businesses to track their projects, but it can be overwhelming to sift through them all to find the right fit for your company.
Pricing, functionality, user limits and ease of use are all important things to keep in mind. If your standard calendar app is lacking in features and you’re on the hunt for the best project management software to bring into your organization, here are five proven options to consider.
Although not classified as project management software, Basecamp is an excellent tool for keeping track of all the files and emails that get shuffled back and forth while working on a project. The program acts as a central hub for sharing and communication, giving shared access to team members and offering message boards and group chats to keep conversations organized. Tasks can be arranged into simple to-do lists, and the software allows you to set milestones and deadlines to ensure projects are completed on time. An integrated calendar gives you an overview of your long-term schedule, and automatic check-ins let you know which team members are contributing. The business version is priced at $99 per month but includes every feature and offers unlimited users and projects, allowing the software to expand with your business.
Asana is an excellent option for budget-conscious businesses. Offering a free basic account for up to 15 users, this tool is a great introduction to project management software so businesses can see the impact it has on productivity. Basic Asana includes unlimited tasks, projects, activity logs and file storage of up to 100MB files. Projects can be viewed as lists, boards or through the calendar, and tasks can be given due dates and assignees. Android and iOS mobile apps ensure the team can stay connected, and Asana can integrate with over 100 different apps, including time tracking apps to manage the efforts of individuals on a project. Additional functions are available for paid accounts, starting at $10.99 per month for each user if billed annually or $13.49 if billed monthly. The company offers a 30-day free trial for these paid options.
Teams that prefer visual organization over standard lists may be happier with a tool like Trello. The free version of the program allows users to create unlimited boards, lists and cards. Boards can be created for individual projects, while lists can break down the components of that project. Every item added to the list is a card and can be dragged and dropped between lists to keep track of progress or responsibility. For those new to the program, users have created hundreds of templates to get started, taking much of the guesswork out of the initial setup. The free version also allows files of up to 10MB to be attached to items. If Trello seems like a good option but you need something a little more robust, a Business Class account costs $9.99 per user per month when billed annually or $12.50 when billed monthly.
Apollo project management software sets itself apart with an integrated contact management feature. As a complete project management tool, business projects can be visualized on Gantt charts, allowing you to see tasks and milestones on your project timeline. Categories can be assigned to organize active projects, and the tool gives you the option of silencing or archiving projects that are completed, paused or abandoned. Templates are offered for projects and task lists, and projects can be merged when necessary. Although there isn’t a free option, Apollo does offer a 30-day free trial. After that, subscriptions start at $23 per month for unlimited users, 18 projects, 5GB of storage, 7 customer relationship management (CRM) users and 5000 contacts.
Freedcamp is the most complex budget-friendly option. The free version offers unlimited projects, tasks, users and storage. This includes time tracking, setting milestones, a discussion board and a calendar and allows you to create tasks with assignees, due dates, privacy and priorities, also offering the option of managing them on a Kanban board. Upgrading to a business account gives you access to CRM tools, a Wiki creator, invoicing, project templates, Gantt charts and generating reports. The business plan starts at $7.49 per month per user when billed annually or $8.99 when billed monthly. Freedcamp also offers a 14-day free trial for any of its paid plans. Upgrading to the Enterprise plan at $16.99 per user each month gives you access to a white label feature, creating a custom URL and displaying your company logo for clients.