Project Management Tools Overview

Project Management Tools Overview

There comes a time when a piece of paper is not enough to control current tasks. If you are reading this post, it means that you do not need to be convinced of the benefits of using tools to support planning and project management. Choosing the right tool is difficult and affects the quality of our work and the quality of our team. Get to know the selected project management tools and decide which is best for you!

The most important functions of the management software there are many applications on the market, both paid and free, from simple lists to real combines that support the management of teams, projects, and entire processes in the company.

Time management

  • creating to-do lists
  • prioritizing
  • Kanban boards
  • GTD
  • working time tracking
  • calendar

Project and team management

  • creating projects
  • schedules and dates of implementation
  • task statuses
  • workflow in different statuses
  • dependencies between tasks and the ability to create subtasks
  • assigning people to tasks
  • planning and monitoring the workload of the team
  • Gantt, the critical path
  • Waterfall and Agile support
  • reporting and forecasting

Collaboration and remote work

  • exchanging information, commenting on tasks, assigning people
  • file exchange and storage
  • notifications
  • possibility of cooperation with clients

Automations and integrations

  • the ability to import and export data
  • integration with e-mail, instant messaging, and other tools
  • the ability to configure processes, notifications, and automatic reactions to events
  • mobile application
  • possibility to set recurring tasks and notifications

How to choose the right management tool?

When choosing management tools, we should take into account many factors. First, we need to consider what tasks we want to carry out with its help, what functions are key for us, and what goals we want to achieve. In the beginning, I suggested five issues that are worth considering when choosing a tool.

Question 1. What exactly do we want to manage?

We will consider other tools depending on whether we are only interested in time management, organization of team and project work, or maybe comprehensive support for remote work. It is worth considering it carefully so that we do not end up with the “scarecrow cannon” or, on the contrary, with something insufficient. So – do we need an entire management platform, or is a simple checklist enough?

Question 2. What additional tasks do we want to carry out?

What, apart from project management, should the application do? Do we need support in communication, collaborative work, or advanced tools for remote work? Do we want to base all important project-related communication on this tool ultimately, or do we only need a place to write and assign tasks?

How is the introduced solution supposed to support our processes and improve work? Do we expect the automation of specific processes? Do we expect the selected application to be able to integrate with other applications that we already use? Or maybe we want to replace some current solutions? Is it essential for us to grant the client access to the project?

Question 3. How big are our projects/teams, and how do we work?

What scale are we talking about? Are these small, several-person projects, and do we need an application not to forget anything? Or maybe we work in a very complex environment; our teams are numerous and often dispersed? Do we need reporting or forecasting functions? Will we need Gantt charts or Agile support? Let’s also consider whether this tool is intended only for managers/managers to control tasks or whether team members will also use it. I will recommend a different solution for a small company, another for individual projects, and another for a corporation.

Question 4. What is our budget?

We can look for completely free tools or allocate a certain budget for them. Many good applications in free versions limit available functions, several team members, or projects. However, this does not mean that we will not find a satisfactory solution without a huge budget. We need to pay attention to what the selected tools offer in free versions and whether they will be enough.

Question 5. What are the “digital abilities” of the people who will use the tool

This will determine how complex a tool we can choose. When implementing a new tool, we must remember that each change takes time and that people, as a rule, do not like changes. It is also often problematic to develop habits of using a new tool. The more complex the tool we choose, the higher our users’ entry threshold.

We need to balance this well so that the tool is really supportive and not frustrating. If it is too hard, people won’t use it or use it as punishment.

Types of access to the application

Desktop

Those apps, that require installation on your computer. Depending on the solution, data may be stored on local servers, on the manufacturer’s servers, or only on a local disk.

Web applications + mobile applications

With access via a web browser. You just need to create (or buy) an account on the manufacturer’s website, and you can use the application. Many of these tools also allow access via mobile applications.

Data from the application and information about users are stored on the manufacturer’s servers.

On-premise

In the case of such a license, the application is installed on our local servers, and only users from our organization have access to it. You can even restrict access to the local network only.

Review of free and paid project management tools

The following list includes free, partially free, and fully paid tools. You will find here those in which you can do quite a lot even on the free versions and will certainly allow you to organize the work of a small team and powerful platforms for managing almost everything in the company. Sometimes, especially with larger projects, it is worth paying for access to the application so as not to worry about the limitations of the free versions. I will try to present the advantages and limitations of each of the tools to make it easier for you to choose.

Asana

The features available in the free version are sufficient to manage time and to a private list is for. It is also possible to collaborate with other people to successfully manage the work of a small team. However, consider the paid version if you have a more significant venture planned and want everything under control. The lack of a timeline view and correlation between tasks (available in paid versions) may make it difficult to manage a team of many people on complex projects.

Features available in the free version:

  • task management
  • list view
  • board view
  • calendar
  • assigning responsible persons to tasks and setting the end date
  • cooperation up to 15 people

Paid version cost: from $ 9.99 per user per month

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is not only a project management tool. The platform offers a complete system for company administration along with CRM, a contact center, or the possibility of creating pages. Its strengths are the extensive functionality already in the free version – not only in the field of project management. In addition, the built-in marketplace allows you to expand with additional applications. The availability in Polish and the mobile and desktop application are a decisive advantage. A blog in Polish is also available for users. However, if all you need is a project management solution, this could be the scarecrow cannon for you.

Features available in the free version:

  • kanban
  • planner
  • Gantt chart (timeline)
  • projects
  • notifications
  • checklists (checklists)
  • reminders
  • delegation
  • task time tracking
  • task templates
  • e-mail to the task
  • task to e-mail
  • rate the task
  • task control
  • report wizard
  • CRM, workflow, calendar, integration with the disk
  • a limited number of tasks for one day / for the entire period of work
  • the ability to create dependencies between tasks (up to 5)
  • bin

ClickUp

Extensive functionalities for managing processes, time, and tasks. They seem effective both on a micro-scale for small projects and sufficiently powerful for large projects. In the free version, we have 100 MB of space and an unlimited number of users.

Features available in the free version:

  • the task, status, and responsible management
  • dependencies between tasks
  • Agile boards, kanban
  • sprint management
  • different views, Gantt chart, task priorities
  • synchronization with the calendar, working time tracking

FlexiProject

It is a Polish solution for comprehensive project management and entire project portfolios. It is a tool supporting the work of managers in many dimensions: task and project management, communication, and the exchange of information and project documents. Thanks to the functions for defining strategic goals, risk management, and periodic project reviews, unparalleled in other tools, Flex Project is also a useful control tool for stakeholders and project sponsors as well as organization management boards. It is intended rather for project management in medium and large companies, but it can also be adapted to smaller organizations. It also gives you the ability to automate certain activities that a PMO usually performs.

The most important functions of the application:

  • Project management
    • Project schedule and progress monitoring
    • Relationships between tasks, Gantt chart
    • Delegating and grouping tasks
    • Adding attachments
    • Internal communicator
    • Linking tasks with budget items
    • Personalization of the interface
    • Templates for repetitive projects
  • Risk management
    • Possibility to define risks and their links with tasks
    • Defining the impact of risk on the project and budget
    • Ability to define an action plan and assign an owner
    • Risk reports
    • Dashboards
  • Resources
    • Defining the project resources
    • Monitoring the workload of individual employees
    • Possibility to define the rate, availability, and vacation plans
    • Reports
  • Project card
    • Possibility to define a project card
    • Project closure tab
    • Printing options
    • Card acceptance process
    • change history
  • Budget
    • Defining a budget and the possibility of associating it with schedule items
    • Forecasts and reports
    • Monitoring of incurred costs
  • Project products
    • Possibility to define products that are to be created in individual tasks
    • Document management
    • Creation of design patterns and good practices
  • Project plan
    • Ability to monitor differences between the plan and the current schedule
    • change history
    • Acceptance paths
  • Project reports
    • Customization of the appearance and the ability to export to Excel files
  • Acceptance paths for various design elements
    • Possibility to define any approval paths
    • Possibility of giving opinions on decisions
    • History of decisions
    • Notifications to process participants
  • Project portfolios
  • Managing goals and strategy
  • KPI monitoring
  • Assessment of the attractiveness of projects
  • Design reviews

IC Project

 It is a tool designed to organize the work of teams, project management, and support productivity. Additionally, it is integrated with CRM – it also enables invoicing, supports document flow, calendar and service.

Features available in the free version:

  • up to 3 users
  • up to 5 projects
  • calendar
  • communicator
  • disk up to 100 MB
  • working time tracking
  • full management of tasks and projects

Features available in the paid version:

  • dashboard
  • CRM
  •  calendar
  •  communicator
  •  help (mail)
  •  data backup
  •  invoicing
  •  reports
  •  ticket system

The cost of the paid version: from 49 euros per month

Meister Task

It seems like a nice free version of the application to manage small projects and teams. As in most free versions, there is also no possibility to configure dependencies between tasks, which is very important in complex projects.

Features available in the free version:

  • projects and tasks without limits
  • unlimited team members
  • customizable design board
  • limited integration possibilities
  • attachments up to 20 MB
  • mobile application

The cost of the paid version is EUR 8.25 per user per month.

monday.com

Monday.com is a tool with which we can manage at almost every level of our company. It will work well in managing the work of the team, planning complex projects, and automating company processes. It will be used in IT, HR, and sales projects.

Monday.com combines enormous configuration and customization options with simplicity and intuitiveness. It is constantly developed and has great support. Although the manufacturer does not offer a free version, anyone interested in buying a 14-day trial can try the 14-day trial version to avoid buying a pig in a poke. Monday.com, apart from the 14-day trial version, does not offer a free version.

The most important functions of the application:

  • task management
  • organization of teamwork
  • project management (boards, task lists, Agile, waterfall)
  • process automation (automatic notifications, tasks, integrations)
  • working time tracking
  • support for remote work (communication platform, notifications, the ability to work together, forwarding attachments, etc.)
  • integration with known tools

Paid version cost: $ 8. per user per month

Nozbe Personal

Nozbe places great emphasis on supporting productivity; this has grown from a simple application to a time and project management tool. However, the authors maintain that – despite the enhanced functionality – they have retained the simplicity and lightness of use. It is not possible to add new people to the team; there are no productivity reports. The possibility of views is also limited – there is no option to see all your tasks in one view. It is possible in paid plans – in each of them, we can use a 30-day free trial version.

Features available in the free version:

  • up to 5 projects (private and shared together)
  • 100 MB of space

Nozbe Teams

This is a new version of the Nozbe application. It was created to support the work of teams. It allows you to create and delegate tasks, add comments and attachments. You can manage priorities, tags, create different lists, and much more. Unlike Nozbe Personal, it is a tool that is fully adapted to teamwork.

Features available in the free version:

  • up to 5 projects
  • up to 5 people

The cost of the paid version: depends on the number of people and starts from PLN 99 per month when paid in advance for the entire year.

OpenProject

OpenProject is an open-source solution. In the free version, you must download, install and configure the software yourself. The downside, however, is the need to install it yourself. Premium features are also not available, including Agile boards, customization of the appearance (own logo), task workflow, or single sign-on. Despite the limitations and the lack of premium features, OpenProject offers a lot of possibilities.

Features available in the free version:

  • Gantt charts/timeline
  • backlog (Scrum)
  • working time tracking
  • cost reporting, budgeting
  • bug tracking
  • user and access management

The cost of the paid version is from: 4.95 euros per user per month

Trello

Trello is a straightforward and intuitive tool, perfect for controlling your own working time or small projects. We manage tasks on kanban boards that can be freely configured. You can also add many people to create a team, and with the help of plugins, you can prepare, e.g., a project schedule and present it on a Gantt chart. Only one board extension can be installed in the free version, but the number of boards is unlimited.

Features available in the free version:

  • unlimited number of boards
  • unlimited number of cards and lists
  • one extension per array
  • attachments up to 10 MB
  • up to 10 board users

Paid version costs as low as $ 9.99. per user per month.

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