Project Management Apps: One ‘Size’ DOESN’T Fit All

Dig deep to find your specific needs in a project management system to avoid the heartbreak of implementing failed processes.

If you have project management duties – Regardless if you’re working on your own or as part of a team, your top priority is to monitor productivity by managing projects efficiently and coordinating tasks. These days, project management tools help entrepreneurs, small businesses and consulting teams remain productive by collaborating, communicating, tracking tasks, and allocating resources all on one platform.

Your workspace in any project management (PM) program are broken down into individual tasks, with timelines for completion, so you can easily manage individuals, deadlines, documents. Many have overlapping features, however, some PM tools do have unique functionalities that help you achieve specific goals. Not all PM programs are alike! Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known and highly-regarded programs.

Asana

At the top of our alphabetical list is Asana. Asana is a web-based project planning tool with a focus on team communication. Due to its functionality and simplicity, it is a favorite among many small to mid-sized companies. It prides itself for enabling “teamwork without email” – it looks and acts as an email inbox but with ability to add due dates, task lists, priorities.

Why users say “Yesssss!” to Asana:

  • Custom views – you can view projects based on status, tasks, due dates, and percentage completed.
  • Design appeal & custom color organization: use this function for prioritization, team designation, and more.
  • Drag & Drop functionality: move between projects or users easily.
  • Understanding your performance of complex projects at a glance.
  • Integration with other third party sites such as Google Drive, Slack, and WordPress.

Why users say “Nooooo!” to Asana:

Still, a notable drawback is that the mobile version is clunky, making it difficult to use for remote/on-the-go teams. Due to a large option of features, it takes a bit of getting used to and can sometimes be overwhelming for those looking to have an intuitive system that can launch quickly.  If you and your team members like fewer notifications? Fo getta bout it! The notification emails can become tiresome to manage in themselves.  Loading times are also another issue Asana has fought for some time, though recent updates have eased some of this.  Detailed prioritization has to take a backseat due to the bulky UI sometimes, but it is absolutely a useful tool for the right end-users.

Basecamp

Basecamp is often described as straightforward without being too simple. Its simplicity lets you easily streamline your workflow. Its strength lies in allowing real-time communications among teams. This secure online space lets you and your teammates work together to discuss and track activities. Everything’s nicely organized in Basecamp – from tasks and discussion to dealines and files.

Why users say “Yesssss!” to Basecamp:

  • Its interface is familiar to most users – forum style similar to Facebook
  • Excellent PM capabilities, including to-to lists, file and document sharing, notifications, discussions. Calendars and light reporting keep everyone on the same page.
  • Basecamp can be synced with your Google App or Gmail account, and you can then create To-Dos directly from your Google mailbox.
  • The Me screen is a neat feature, showing you your activity at a glance, including tasks, messages and files you added. It is a powerful tool that lets you easily monitor multiple projects.
  • Time Tracker: this feature allows each team member to track the time they spent working on a certain project or on a single task. It is then possible to run reports and analyse results (how much time a group has spent on a project, etc).
  • Pricewise, it is easy on the pocket.

Why users say “Nooooo!” to Basecamp:

It can be a good option for project management alone. However, it does not provide many unique features (i.e. colors, priorities, etc.) and recurring tasks. If you are looking for more collaboration and communication options, Basecamp lacks those functionalities. Some third-party apps (Google Drive, Dropbox) require additional services to connect and tasks cannot be allocated to multiple people. 

Redbooth

Redbooth is an advanced collaborative program preferred by many remote workers and clients that are “on the go”. Not to be confused with “Redbook,” the iconic red telephone booth logo, works to make the expectations of those with a focus on communications. And it delivers: this cloud-based PM is excellent for team collaboration and task tracking.

Why users say “Yesssss!” to Redbooth:

  • Its communications highlights include built-in HD video conferencing and an easy to navigate user interface.
  • Works great on desktop or mobile device, making it preferred choice for heavily-traveling or virtual teams.
  • Screen share: discuss tasks and projects in real time while sharing a screen, group chats to avoid unnecessary meetings.
  • Bonuses include functions to track budgets for your tasks and powerful search tool that enables you to look for files or conversations. Reporting capabilities allow you to easily analyze all aspects of your project.
  • Want your clients to login to the system to see the status or check their own tasks? Sure!
  • Many users refer to Redbooth as the new “Teamwork with more mobility and less complexity.”
  • You can test Redbooth with up to 10 team members and 10 workspaces (projects) without submitting billing details.

Why users say “Nooooo!” to Redbooth:

Somewhat of a drawback is that is that the company has yet to enable recurring task schedule and dashboard customization for customers (your color schemes, layouts), though you can create task templates to cure some of these ails. The UI is not as complex as other players in the market, which may be a drawback for some, but a blessing for others. The reporting, though improving, may not be robust enough for some larger teams.

Teamwork

Used by over 120,992 companies throughout 147 countries, Teamwork is great for companies large or small. Its contemporary and user-friendly interface allows you to keep an eye on tasks and deadlines. Often in neck to neck competition with Basecamp, it offers more features such as possibility to give priorities to certain tasks and create invoices for clients.

Why users say “Yesssss!” to Teamwork:

  • Integrate with other apps like Gmail and Dropbox, allowing you to keep everything under one roof.
  • Stay on top of everything by checking the calendar or display your projects in an activity log format.
  • Gantt chart capabilities.
  • Free 30-day trial with no credit card requirements.
  • iPhone and Android app.

Why users say “Nooooo!” to Teamwork:

Teamwork falls a bit short and feels a bit tedious in regards to creating and managing tasks. It is also a bit overwhelming for users and requires a learning curve. User interface is functional but could use a bit of more user-friendly features. Some users reported that this PM crashes in certain browsers and operating systems. 

Trello

Another fantastic way to manage project is on Trello. Trello is a more lightweight task manager, visually superb and very intuitive for users, you can start using it right away without any training. Think of Trello as a giant whiteboard, where you can post sticky notes, ideas and assign tasks. This tool will work great if you are a visual kind of person. Trello is divided up into boards, columns and cards. Each card represents a task that is part of a project. It gives you a clear picture at a glance. This flexibility and clean interface make it a favorite among freelancers. 

Why users say “Yesssss!” to Trello:

  • You can see all your items on one page (a board for a project)
  • Just drag and drop each card from board to board, and track your project progress easily.
  • Cards can be assigned to team members, commented on, assigned due dates, moved to lists. Assigning is simple and easy.
  • Trello works great for collaboration with team members, users can jump in and comment on cards, help each other.
  • Easy to view on any size of screen.

Why users say “Nooooo!” to Trello

  • If you are working on a huge project and need more reporting on the metrics and budgets, this tool has limited capabilities.
  • Collaborative features are priced at a premium price. Group chat and video messaging requires a paid account
  • Not a typical to-do wesbite, it is a robust workflow program if you are looking to just jot down a shopping list
  • No calendar

Conclusion

Virtually any business that relies on employees to organize projects needs a project management software. Choosing a project management software can be overwhelming, in particular with so many options to choose from. While there is no perfect solution, and each PM has strengths and weaknesses, the simple question to ask is which PM is right for you. You have to consider your acute business needs, project complexity, team size, collaboration needs and other factors. If you are serious about upleveling your business, you need a serious PM approach. Let us help you make that decision. Sign up for a quick 15 minute audit, and we will assess your needs. We can give you a more detailed assessment of the programs and also recommend a good strategy that will help increase your productivity.

Need assistance? Book a Strategy Session.

LJ Seeger

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