Nowadays every single company that manages multiple projects needs to have some kind of system in order to keep track of everything; otherwise it will be really hard to run business. In addition to that if a company provides different services, has a decent amount of subcontractors and employees, using a special system to collect all the data and track the tasks is the only way to succeed.
Fortunately at the moment there are a lot of different project management tools available, which were created with the only purpose to help your team collaborate, stay on task and succeed at the project. Generally they can be divided into two major groups:
- Online Project Management Tools represent software as a service and can run from both your company server or manufacturer’s one (in this case you pay for monthly subscription)
- Offline Project Management Tools are installed on individual computers
In the given review we will discuss the online solutions due to the fact that they are much more popular and have quite a significant amount of advantages in comparison with the offline ones.
Here are the main advantages of the Online Project Management Tools:
- the opportunity to access the project from anywhere you have access to the Internet
- no need to install something on your PC (no backups, no reinstalling and etc.)
- any online solution can be used with any operational system (Windows, Linux, Mac OS and etc.)
- a better customer support service (you can use online chats)
- remote capabilities (you can use PDAs and iPhones)
There is no doubt that Online Project Management Tools are very multifunctional; thus by using them you can fulfill a lot of different tasks among which the most important ones are the followings:
- delegating the tasks to team members
- scheduling deadlines
- tracking expenses
- regulating and managing resources
- monitoring progress
- calculating costs
- assessing risks
- monitoring budgets
- examining results and etc.
Most likely a decent part of you have already encountered some of the solutions we are going to discuss in a while; you might even come up with some options that seemed to be very useful and convenient for you. Of course, everything depends on the way you work and it’s really impossible to find absolutely the best project management tool. However I’m more than sure that this review will help you a lot in finding the right tool that suits you the most because we are going to compare nothing, but the best ones.
Before we start I would like to mention something: there are 15 solutions we are going to discuss and the order each of them is reviewed means absolutely nothing, i.e. being the first in the list doesn’t mean being the best one. Here is the list of the Online Project Management Tools:
- Easy Projects
- Daptiv PPM
- ZOHO Projects
- 5pm Web
- GoPlan 2.0
- Action Method Online
- Teamwork PM
Easy Projects represents very decent web based application for managing and tracking different kinds of projects. On the developers’ official web site it’s emphasized that given solution “was specifically designed to make project management hassle free and straightforward”.
Let’s take a closer look at the interface of the given solution.
Here is the way Projects Page looks:
Another example is Project Details Page:
As you may see it has quite a simple and intuitive interface, so you can hardly encounter any problems with using this tool. Here you can find more screenshots.
Despite the fact that given application is pretty easy to use, it has a lot of features and functions which allow you to manage and track very large and complicated projects.
The next important point mentioned by the developers consists in the fact that by using Easy Projects you get not just project management, but time, issue, and request tracking tools as well. So in fact you get a multifunctional all-in-one project management tool.
In addition to that Easy Projects has two types of licenses: in-house and hosted. Hosted package represents software as a service and is run on the manufacturer’s server. In-House (self-install) is run on your servers.
Finally we need to check what the main characteristic features of this solution are:
- Desktop Application: an application that lets you view updated stats and information on your project without actually logging into the online project management service.
- Opportunity to use Gantt Charts: charts that let you manipulate and update the data directly on the chart, rather than going back to the task list and entering the information manually.
- All-in-one solution: portfolio management, project management, task management, request management, issue management, time management, and resource management
- Integration: QuickBooks, SmarterTrack, Dbxtra, and synchronization with Easy Time Tracking
- Customizable lists, filters, statuses, categories and priorities
- The possibility to use FREE package (though it’s very limited in features)
- Drag’n’droppable Items
- Comparatively low prices and etc.
If you would like to learn about all the features this tool possess, please visit this page. Moreover in case you find given solution pretty convenient for you, I would recommend you to register a 15-day trial account here.
Comindwork (Collaborative Mind Work) is a well-known project management tool that was created in the beginning of 2007. It integrated and improved the best features of MediaWiki, Trac, Jira, Basecamp, Clearquest, Weboffice and MS Project. The main idea of the given solution is to provide rich visualization of data for faster mind-perception, understanding and attention to accept the knowledge work with huge amounts of data and information.
It combines different functions of team collaboration and management among which the most important ones are:
- Tasks, cases and execution control
- Reports and aggregated data for managers
- Managing project plans and requirements
As regards the interface Comindwork has a really simple, user-friendly, and fully customizable one. It can be easily customized for both organizational and personal needs. Let’s check some screenshots in order to understand the way it looks.
Here is the Dashboard of the User Account:
To-Do List Page:
If you want to see how the other pages look, please check them here. Moreover you can create a FREE account here in order to see Comindwork in action.
Now let’s check how functional this tool is by describing its main features:
- Integrated chats and video conferencing solutions (Userplane or Webex)
- Data Import/Export from other collaboration systems (Basecamp, SalesForce and others)
- UI Customization: fully customizable interface
- The opportunity to get a self-hosted application
- Platform: ability to manage several companies at same time
- Multilingual: Support for more than 25 languages
- Usability: the opportunity to link everything to everything
- Open authentication model: you can login with OpenID or your Gmail/Yahoo accounts and etc.
The full list of the features can be found on this page. Taking into consideration all the above mentioned features I would say this solution should be considered as one of the best online tools for project management, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
To be continued…
Why is Vertabase not on here? http://www.vertabase.com
It’s robust but easy and intuitive to use…
Another great tool for time and task management is SantexQ http://www.santexq.com
Open source and web based project management software
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Take a look at the webforum project management tool (www.webforum.com/en) if you are interested in a very powerful analysis tool where you can drag and drop fields to create project reports. It also has a very nice interface for on-line document management.
That was a fair list. I use PlanningForce’s project management tool which solves most of the tasks in PM and I can simply concentrating on the improvements of the project. You can test drive it at http://www.planningforce.com/ if you like to.
Nice software, but it doesn’t seem to be online tool, but a Windows software. I think we will review Project management software a bit later.
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Another great tool for time, task and project management is Moonlite. It’s powerfull tool
hassle free project management pay as you go
no need to install any additional software
runs on all systems, most commonly used web browsers
all data are securely cloudhosted in the top datacenter
accesible from any computer connected to the internet
no additional costs of development
no additional costs of maintenance
no additional costs of updates and feature upgrades
I don’t see Dooster on here – it would be great to add it to the list. Our company started using it for large-scale project management requiring multiple users, mobile access, and low cost and we couldn’t be happier!
I came across this PM tool,BootStrapToday at http://www.bootstraptoday.com. I have been using it since few weeks and found it very useful for high end developers. It adds intelligence to the processes and automation and integration are yet unique features. Apart from the cloud based model it is also available as In-house set up. I am planning to install one. Would you give me suggestions on installing In-house set up.
The way you have put together images for each of the products under review, I am sure users/visitors will benefit & vendors will be happy to see it. Nice work.
We at Zilicus, use our own tool ZilicusPM (http://www.zilicus.com) A comprehensive online project management software for project planning, Gantt Chart, project tracking, issue/bug management, risk management, document management and time tracking.
A screenshot tour is available here: http://www.zilicus.com/tour/