5 Great (And Free) Project Management Tools
Once you start a business, it gets more and more difficult to manage all the different tasks that keep popping up and keep track of when things should get done and when they’re finished (or not). The easiest way to get everything organized is to use a desktop or web-based app fit for your needs and, preferably, to be low-cost or free until you get on your feet.
There’s a plethora of task and project management tools floating around the web and tons of them are really good. We’ll focus on 5 tools that we have tested and think are the most practical and, to top it off, they’re free – at least up to a point. Most of them offer monthly subscriptions that allow more than a few users to collaborate on projects, along with many other features.
An excellent task management tool with the basic features one needs to manage projects and tasks – you can start projects, assign labeled tasks to teammates, set deadlines and reminders, as well as comment on projects.
What’s great about it is that you have unlimited users and unlimited projects, all for free. There are no other plans, what you see is all that you can get. For this reason, it also doesn’t have any fancy features, storage space or an eye-catching design, it’s very very simple. If you need nothing more than the basics for managing all your daily tasks, this is probably the best tool.
Wedoist is a fairly simple task and project management tool with not too many features, but very practical when working on new projects with small teams. It’s free for teams of 3 members working on up to 3 projects. Unlimited projects and members, as well as 5 GB file storage for every project, go for $24/month – at this moment, 22nd of January, it’s actually free after the trial period!
Wedoist allows the creation of 3 projects (that you can color-code) with unlimited tasks and you get real-time notifications for every project update – at least this applied for the free plan and the 3 projects maximum would be a downside, but their new offer trumps this. You can assign tasks to other members, there’s a little Project Chat where you can talk to members in real time and you can upload files from your computer or straight from Dropbox or Google Drive.
Its user interface is clean and simple and the tool is very easy to use. A nice tool to start managing your projects and tasks.
Asana is the little app that we have been using for the past few months. Its free plan allows you to add unlimited projects and up to 15 members – for more than 15 users, Asana is priced in tiers, for example for 15 to 30 members it’s $50/month.
It’s great for managing just about everything – you can color-code projects, add tasks with comments and assign them to members, you can see the tasks and priorities of each member and you can set priorities and due dates.
It has an excellent user interface and it’s very practical, it just takes a little getting used to as it looks a bit packed at first. I also recommend using the shortcuts whenever possible, I found it easier and much faster to add a task by pressing Tab+Q or delete a task with Tab+BKSP than looking for the buttons.
Azendoo is what we want to try!
Unlimited projects and up to 5 members for free – as opposed to other tools, Azendoo has the concept of Workplace where the projects are named Subjects – for more than one Workplace, Azendoo is $5 per user/month. It has the basic features one needs from a project and task manager (projects, tasks, due dates, assign to members), along with 10GB of storage space for files and a real-time timeline where you can post updates to your members that they can comment on.
It connects with Evernote, Google Drive and Dropbox and, with the large storage space it provides, Azendoo seems to be a perfect fit when your work requires your teammates to regularly share files and documents with other members.
BamBam focuses on customizing your workflow – when you create a project you can decide if you want to use a simple to-do list or one of the 3 extended workflows provided, the most common being the one used for issue tracking (Open, In Progress, Resolved, Closed).
BamBam has a 14 days free trial with unlimited users and projects and up to 10 members free of charge after the trial period – for over 10 members, BamBam charges $7/member.
You can create projects, assign tasks to members, set deadlines, priorities, milestones and an estimated time of completion. It also has a timeline, every member can set a status or comment on other statuses, and a customizable layout, fun to try out and see what looks best.
BamBam is great for bug tracking, making it perfect for programmers.
Choosing the best project and management tool for you small business is more a matter of taste and preference for certain features, since all these 5 tools do a fine job with helping you manage your tasks – and for free if you have a small team!
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Copywriter and graphic designer with a creative spirit and a good disposition. Just don't take her Kindle and comic books away.