15 Little Known Tools for Project Managers Suiting Team Needs Perfectly
Today a huge line-up of apps is available for managing projects. You can find absolutely any software suitable for company and team needs. The problem is, of course, knowing which program to choose. In this article I am not going to cover such well known and sophisticated software as Microsoft Visio, Gantt Pro, Jira and others. But let’s take a look at some less well known apps for project managers. Although they may be unknown to you, some have great features and may suit your team perfectly.
Smartsheet – one of the first services for project management on the market. It allows you to create Gantt charts for your projects, open tasks and assign them to project stakeholders, set deadlines, monitor implementation progress, attach files and carry out numerous other functions.
Pros: a serious tool for project management, which should be considered as a long-term investment for your company.
Cons: unsuitable for small teams; slow tech support; take too much time to learn to work with the program.
Wrike – a unified system for working on projects with extensive functional features. It allows you to assign roles and create a workspace for each department to formulate and discuss problems, monitor their status and progress, share files, display project tasks on Gantt charts and receive weekly reports.
Pros: suitable for both large and small teams; possibility of creating separate folders for different projects.
Cons: with so many branched in multi-level projects the user could get lost in the navigation.
Zoho Projects – a project management program that allows you to plan your project in collaboration with team members; also to create and assign tasks, monitor updates, export reports and analyze their effectiveness, commenting and discussing the challenges while obtaining a summary of discussions for each task.
Pros: except for Zoho Projects, you can also use Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM, Zoho documents, depending on the your company’s needs.
Cons: too many features make the software too complicated; slow file download.
Insightly – a CRM system and project management tool with integration with Gmail, Google Apps, Outlook 2013 and Office365. It allows you to quickly manage tasks and monitor the status of marketing and sales.
Pros: simple and friendly interface; easy to set up; has iOS application.
Cons: suitable only for tasks involving customer relations.
Redbooth – an online PM program available on any platform. The service is especially convenient for developers because it allows you to track bugs, plan activities and projects, manage resources and assign tasks to colleagues, set deadlines and monitor project expenditure as well as share files. It also can be synchronized with Gmail, Google Drive and Outlook.
Pros: simple and user-friendly interface; tags and chats; ability to create reports and integrate with other services.
Cons: no possibility for prioritizing tasks; does not show billing percentages upon task completion.
Easy Redmine – Open Source software for planning and managing large projects with extensions for resource management, finance, CRM, etc.
Pros: the software can be installed on your own server; great for serving big teams
Cons: no general visualization for projects; inconvenient navigation; planning design sprints quickly is not possible
Freedcamp service – an organized workspace for immediate viewing of the whole project, billing and assigning tasks with the use of “stickers” and a calendar. Freedcamp provides add-ons for CRM, preparation of invoices, bug tracking, and creating wiki pages.
Pros: ability to prioritize tasks; convenient tabs to separate different projects; easy to use; fast with responsive customer support.
Cons: no ability to view progress and percentage completion of tasks.
Merlin – software to create Gantt charts for Mac with the ability to monitor costs and project budget.
Pros: software can be installed on your own server.
Cons: no unique features; low mobility; available for macOS users only.
VSDX Annotator – an application to view and annotate Visio files on Mac. While Microsoft Visio is widely used by project managers, there is a problem when Mac users want to view vsd, vsdx and vdx files. VSDX Annotator helps to solve this problem and provides the possibility of annotating files, exporting in PDF and even saving back in .vsdx for editing the files later in Visio.
Pros: high resolution when displaying huge Visio files; wide range of annotation tools; easy to use; low price
Cons: no possibility for editing files; no version for iOS devices.
Podio – an application that allows you to work on projects simultaneously with the team as well as manage projects or tasks for storing and sharing files. The application can be used as a CRM system or as an intranet in which team members can share ideas.
Pros: flexibility and customization with most products; ability to assign resources and track numbers (budget, expenses, etc.)
Cons: inconvenient for navigation.
Acunote – a task manager app for developers, which allows planning sprints, making tasks in the backlog, assigning tasks to team members, putting up estimates, following up on task implementation, and even performing a Review of codes.
Pros: one of the most popular and reliable SaaS solutions to manage your tasks, with instant notification and the possibility of analyzing your efficiency.
Cons: with no mobile applications or optimization, UX/UI is far from being user-friendly.
SprintGround – a task manager supported by Agile/Scrum. It allows planning sprints and releases, tracking progress of projects, reporting bugs and requesting new features based on user feedback.
Pros: free for small businesses; optimized for Agile.
Cons: no synchronization with Mail or Cloud services.
ISETIA – a project management service that combines the Kanban board, a hierarchical structure of tasks, with Gantt charts. It allows users to share documents and files in the system.
Pros: simple interface; ability to visualize data in various forms.
Cons: seems to lack service support.
eXo Platform – a service that connects all employees, developers and customers. It is a kind of combination of all communication channels, from the intranet, mailboxes to social networking and blogs.
Pros: an impressive extended functionality.
Cons: can be difficult to initiate this service; frequently hangs.
RunMyProcess – the service is not only focused on app integrity and integration but also interfaces with other services. Its main aim is to build your own solutions, connecting with services already in use and communications channels.
Pros: convenient, especially for those who cannot find a service that meets all the needs of a team or company.
Cons: despite its apparent simplicity of use, creating applications based on RunMyProcess could be time consuming.