Top 5 Project Collaboration Tools for SMBs to Try for Free
Most projects, big or small, require collaborative efforts to be successfully carried out. It is, therefore, imperative that the collaboration tools you choose to implement don’t get in the way of effective communication, accurate reporting, file and document sharing, time tracking, and a host of other things.
To get started on your team-based projects, here are five project collaboration tools you might want to take a look at:
AceProject is a browser-based project tracking software that allows you to create projects from templates, visually view your project’s progress using Gantt charts, track and enter time in timesheets, generate and view reports through a unified dashboard, access documents securely in the cloud, and stay in control of your expenses – all this and more via an intuitive and convenient user interface.
AceProject’s API capability allows you to take full control of your information and tailor your experience to your specific needs, whether that’s automated or specialized reports and extended functionalities. You can even develop your own plug-ins and add-ons.
AceProject has a tiered pricing strategy that starts at free for five users and two projects. The $19 per month Standard package allows a maximum of 10 users and 1,000 tasks.
Free for a team of a maximum of 12 members, Bitrix24 is a social collaboration platform that takes care of a whole slew of activities, not just project execution and task management. It comes with a fully functional CRM system to record transactions and update your sales pipeline, a time tracking feature so your team members are paid what they are due, a real-time activity stream so everyone knows how the project is faring, chat rooms that can either be public or private, instant messaging, video conferencing, photo galleries, announcement boards, recognition badges, among other things.
For larger teams comprised of more than 12 people, the Standard Bitrix24 Cloud subscription is priced at $99 per month and can support an unlimited number of users.
If you love Post-it notes to help you remember a task or two, you probably also love white boards to keep you apprised of the bigger picture. Using cards, lists and boards, Trello is a free organization app that systematizes your day-to-day work activities, side projects, life’s plans – from the littlest detail to the big picture, essentially.
Simple to use and intuitive, there is no learning curve to worry about. As well, everything is done in real-time, and when used for collaborative purposes, aside from the whole team converging on a project board within seconds, you no longer wonder who’s doing this or that. Trello even keeps track of everything that has happened on a card – changes, additions, comments – so never again will you wonder how something came about.
For additional stickers, board backgrounds and larger attachments, an upgrade to Trello Gold costs $5 per month. You can also get it free when you invite your friends to become new members. For Google Apps integration, bulk export and extra admin privileges, Business Class is set at $50 per month.
Email is a powerful communication tool, but email isn’t necessarily the best collaborative tool to grace the world of work. Projects and tasks can get lost, collaborators may inadvertently be left out of threads and discussions, finding pertinent data and information can become a real hassle, and instructions can be taken out of context.
Free for teams of up to 15 members, Asana is a powerful collaborative task management application that puts all task-related information in one place, significantly cutting the time you spend on email and other avenues to find everything you need to get things done. With Asana, you can easily create and assign tasks that team members can also comment on, giving you a better handle on who’s doing what and what has already been done.
For more than 15 team members, an upgrade starts at $50 per month.
Huddle is a simple yet feature-rich project collaboration software that goes beyond content and file sharing. Aside from supercharged productivity, Huddle is about document and knowledge management, effective and seamless task execution, mobile collaboration, complete content version control, and branding and customization. It also fosters better working relationships with external partners, suppliers and customers, transforming the way everybody gets things done.
Web-based, Huddle gives you the freedom to work anywhere and anytime, and on any device. Workspaces are secure, even when they’re shared with external partners, and workspace access is controlled through role-based assignments and permissions. Huddle’s intuitive dashboard automatically recommends content that matters to you, and its real-time activity stream shows you relevant activities carried out by teammates and other stakeholders. Automatic reminders are also sent out for looming deadlines.
Huddle offers three pricing editions. Workgroup, which you can try for free, is pegged at $20 per user per month.