Today's workplace is challenging, with complex marketing tasks becoming the norm.
You're expected to manage a variety of projects, like website maintenance, blogging, email marketing, and automation. Not to mention handling traditional deliverables, special events, and so on and so forth. It seems like you're doing more for your clients than ever before.
It's understood, though, that taking on and managing work-based projects can be a drain on resources. Often, you'll have multiple projects for multiple clients, and getting it all done can be difficult to effectively organize.
The traditional methods of project management just don't cut it anymore. Typing information into a spreadsheet or using word processing software to compile notes takes too much time away from actually completing projects.
Thankfully, we now have project management tools to keep us organized and out of deep water.
What Are Project Management Tools?
As much as we all would love to think that we're capable of keeping ourselves organized and accountable for our individual workloads, both personal and professional, that wish is very rarely a reality.
That fact is multiplied when you examine self-guided productivity across entire teams or departments.
Project management tools are lifesavers when it comes to easing this pain. Designed to minimize the friction that comes with transitioning from one to-do list item to the next, a lot of features are built into the software to make managing tasks easy and standardized.
That isn't to say that these tools are going to fix all of a user's problems. That depends on how effectively the individual or team uses it. But when you take full advantage of all its gadgets and features, you'll be blown away by what project management software can do for you.
Top Features of the Best Project Management Tools
When looking at what these tools can do for you, you'll find that their best features are built for the specific purpose of making you and your team more efficient.
Checking tasks off a list is one of the small joys in any office's day to day. What a little kick of dopamine.
These features can help you burn through your projects faster, making you feel great about what you accomplished:
- Planning: Most project management tools centralize all of a team's tasks onto one dashboard where team members can delegate and schedule each individual task as necessary.
- Collaboration: Communicating within a team is made so much easier with tools that allow for commenting on task files, reviews and approvals, and organization. That means less email clutter or multiple trips back and forth across the office.
- Documentation: A lot of software today has cloud storage, making file management a cinch. Upload, share, and download documents, spreadsheets, and other important files and take comfort knowing that it all exists in one place.
- Tracking: This feature is great for projects that move across departments or for leadership members that need to monitor progress, productivity, and reporting.
10 of the Best Project Management Tools and Software
If your team is juggling deadlines, resources, and deliverables, we have a list of solutions for you. Dedicated project management software is available to keep everyone on your team on the same page and moving forward.
Let's take a look at some of the best project management software out there that can help you stay organized, get the job done, and make you look like a rockstar to your clients.
1. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is an online project management software built to help users plan and execute projects with ease through collaboration and planning.
Part of the Zoho Business suite, you can communicate in the platform with team members and clients, share documents, keep timelines, and generate reports.
Any and all active projects are stored, tracked, and recorded on one central dashboard. The software is cloud-based, making communication and documentation easy and safe. You're able to customize functionality based on the size of your team and projects, adding more features as needed.
When used in tandem with Zoho's other software programs, your team is virtually unstoppable when it comes to taking your business to new heights.
This tool has a 5 star rating on PCMag.
Price: Zoho Projects Standard plan pricing starts at $18/mo.
Teamwork is an online suite of three individual project management software tools that can work separately or together to streamline project management.
There are three separate modules designed to work individually or together so you can add functionality as you need it. Teamwork Projects is the project management app, Teamwork Chat is a communication module that allows team members to keep in touch as a project moves through the company, and Teamwork Desk is a help desk function that is invisible to your customers.
You're able to increase a project by assigning tasks, communicating, and tracking progress all in a centralized place. The suite of products “talks” to each other so you can handle all aspects of your project without leaving the application.
PCMag gave Teamwork a rating of 4.5 stars.
Price: Teamwork offers a free plan with limited functionality. Larger plans begin at $45/mo.
Asana is another free, cloud-based project management application that offers a ton of features to boost productivity.
It is also cross platform compatible working on Android and iOS devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers. While there are productivity boosting tools, Asana's focus in on tracking project tasks.
Asana allows you to create to-do lists and reminders so you don't miss deadlines. Plus you can add colleagues to the team, instructions to tasks, due dates, and comments.
It allows sharing of images from other applications and tracks everything you and your team are working on to make sure your project is running smoothly and on time. The program includes a list of teams and individuals on a project and includes a functional search option to find completed tasks easily.
PCMag rewarded Asana with a 4.5 star rating.
Price: Asana has a free basic plan. Premium plans start at $13.49/mo.
Basecamp is a project management software platform that organizes all of your communications, projects, and client work together to provide you with centralized information and planning. It brings everything your company is working on into a single resource.
Organized, centralized, and clear, everyone can keep track of each element of every project and always know what needs to get done, where things stand, and where to get what they need.
Your dashboard gives you a complete overview of everything that's happening in your business. You get an HQ section for company-wide communication, dedicated areas for teams to work together, and private areas where you can manage projects.
Seeing everything on a single screen can put you back in control, as well as to-do lists, automatic check-ins, and more.
PCMag gives it a rating of 4 stars.
Price: Basecamp has a flat fee of $99/mo. and a free program for those who are ok with limited features.
Wrike stands out with its unique combination of request forms, customizable dashboards, and automation capabilities within its work management platform.
This tool has similar tracking and reporting features as the others on this list, but there's a particular focus on providing teams with the ability to be competitive and productive at the same time.
Users can leverage pre-made solutions for specialized needs. For example, Wrike for Marketers possesses tools designed to help the efficiency of marketing teams with customizable workflows, fields, and data storage structures.
Wrike also allows for integrations with most CRMs, messaging tools, and other software.
PCMag rates Wrike 4 stars.
Price: Wrike has a free plan. Upgraded plans start at $9.80/mo. per user.
Trello is a cross platform project management software product that is cloud based and compatible with Android and iOS devices. This tool offers a version specifically optimized for the iPad Pro as well.
One of the most popular project management applications, Trello allows users to organize and plan their work projects through a smartphone, tablet, or computer, making it perfect for mobile teams. It's a free download with added functionality when you upgrade to a premium plan.
Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a flexible and rewarding way. It's easy to use and allows you to dive into a projects's details.
You can add comments, attachments and more to cards so that they're accessible to your team, allowing them to collaborate on a project from inception to completion. Trello can be integrated with apps you already use and is always in sync across devices so you can access and work on a project from anywhere on any device.
This tool received 3.5 stars from PCMag.
Price: Trello is free to use. Premium plans start at $12.50/mo.
Jira is a project management software specifically for planning and tracking software development projects from concept through release. It's most functional when used for agile marketing of products or implementing Scrum (an agile framework for completing particularly complex projects).
Jira allows you to plan projects, distribute tasks across your team, and track your release in full context, with complete visibility in real time.
A customizable project management app, it allows you to create custom workflows based on either the product in development or how your team works. While it is a standalone product, it also integrates with other tools you may already use, like Confluence, Bitbucket, Stride, and hundreds of other developer tools.
Jira allows for flexible planning, accurate estimations, and value-driven prioritization to your projects.
PCMag gave this tool 3.5 stars.
Price: Jira is cloud based with plans starting as low as $10/mo. for small teams of up to 10 users. Over 10 users, it moves to $7/mo. per user.
FunctionFox's project management software offers visual, interactive, and customizable dashboards that assist with tracking projects to improve productivity.
With unique features like milestone tracking and budget comparison, users can receive a comprehensive overview of their projects and their team's efficiency and effectiveness. With a built-in timesheet tool, users can track how long individual tasks take, allowing for the accurate billing of projects.
Although its functionality isn't as robust as other software, it makes for an ideal tool for teams that don't require a hefty program to get work done.
PCMag gave FunctionFox 3 stars.
Price: Plans start at $4/mo. per user.
Projectmanager.com is a cloud-based project management solution for teams of all sizes with features that increase collaboration and productivity. With Gantt chart capabilities, ProjectManager.com welcomes teams that are seeking a tool for both simple and complex projects.
You'll have real-time dashboards, the ability to create project plans online, task management, instant report production, and timesheets that take the headache out of project management.
You can also manage team workload and organize multiple projects at once. The program possesses GSuite integration, online file storage, chats and discussion, and to-do lists.
Price: ProjectManager.com starts as low as $15/mo. per user.
Scoro works to streamline your workload with communication management, billing, reporting, and collaboration functionality. With a centralized portal, you can oversee all of your projects and tasks in one place.
The tool was created to help bring teams together in one system, increasing productivity by providing individual team members the ability to collaborate, rather than working in isolation.
Scoro provides a pretty wide deck, including time management tools, customer or client overviews, and reporting on sales and finance documents. You can plan, schedule, track, and record every aspect of your team's workload.
Price: Pricing starts at $28/mo. per user.
If you manage complex projects for your clients, project management software is a must have for your business.
These recommended project management tools are a great way to get your team organized and help you plan, execute, and track every task that comes across your plate.
Put down the pencil, step away from the whiteboard, and enter the 21st century of project management with these easy to use project software management packages!