Laurentiu Bancu
Laurentiu Bancu

An In-Depth Look at the Top 8 Modern Project Management Tools

Top Project Management Tools

Project management tools have come a long way in the last few years. We thought it was about time for a detailed article about the modern tools designed to support the ways teams work today.

Modern project management tools are a mix of strong functionality, intuitive features and a clear user interface.

We scoured the market to come up with the top 8 tools. These are products that scale with you, let your team manage their projects the way they want to and have a user experience that isn’t… horrible.

The tools that made the shortlist are, in no particular order (click on each one to jump directly to the review):

We’ve extensively tested these tools and we’ve got loads to share. You’ll find out what the benefits are, whether they are right for your team, and what you need to get going. Plus we’ve assessed what you might find missing from each tool so you’re going into your decision with your eyes open.

But first, let’s look at some of the key criteria for choosing any project management tool.

Key Considerations for Choosing Project Management Tools

Here are 6 key considerations for choosing any project management tool:

  1. Features: Top of the list for your decision making should be the features. Consider what your team needs, and match this to what the tool has to offer. Think about what they must have to do their work, what would be nice to have, and what you’d be delighted to have. In other words, if you’re saying yes to a feature, what am I saying no to elsewhere?
  2. Cost: What are you really paying for? Many products charge more for additional users, so you’ll need to consider how many people are going to be logging into the app once you’ve rolled it out to the whole team. Look for transparency around the pricing, especially if there’s a minimum number of users you have to sign up to. Also consider your internal costs: what would you need to invest for onboarding new team members, transferring your existing project documentation and schedules or training the team?
  3. Support: However good your team is at picking up new tools, you’re going to need to tap into the support network at some point. How can you access support for the product? How do customers rate the support? If hands-on support is important to you, consider the vendor’s opening hours, the languages that support is available in and whether you can have a dedicated customer success or account manager. This level of support might only be available with the larger plans, so weigh up what’s on offer with what you think your team will need and what you are prepared to commit to financially.
  4. Speed: No one likes waiting around for their schedule to save. Whatever product you’re going for, test out the speed with as much data as you can to simulate real life projects as closely as possible.
  5. Reviews: Read what other people say about the tools. Look for reviews on independent platforms like Capterra and G2Crowd. Pay special attention to people who have reviewed the product and work in the same industry as you, or who have similar workflows and business models to your organization.
  6. Awards: The best products win awards! Have a look through the tool’s website and see what accolades they have picked up over the years.

These were the main factors we took into account when reviewing the products.

OK, now let’s get into the detail about the apps in our project management tools list.

 

Basecamp

Basecamp is regularly in the lists of best project management tools, and for good reason. Available on web, iOS, Android, Mac and PC it’s a popular, solid choice for large and small businesses, and everyone in between.

Launched in 2004, it’s aimed at giving you a better handle on your business and the work your teams are doing. It combines task management features with file storage and a native chat app – the idea is that everything is in the same place so that you can feel more organized and in control.

Basecamp project
An overview of a project in Basecamp

Best For:

Small to medium sized businesses that are growing.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

Basecamp organizes your communication, projects, and client work together so you have a central source of truth.

Top 5 Features

Basecamp is made up of multiple boards grouped by Team and Project, with a central HQ board for company-wide communication. Each project includes:

 

  1. To Do list: Assign your team members to tasks and check in on their status.
  2. Message board: Post updates, solicit ideas, gather feedback and more. The idea is that it replaces email threads and keeps the conversation out of your inbox.
  3. Campfire: The in-app chat room for casual conversations with the team. If you have Slack already, you probably wouldn’t need it anymore if you switched to this.
  4. Automatic check ins: Take the team’s pulse with a quick feedback question at the end of the day.
  5. Schedule: Set your important dates and sync them with your Google calendar, iCal or Outlook.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

There’s no Gantt chart feature, so project managers used to scheduling work visually like that will definitely miss having this option.

There are no options for Kanban boards either, so teams used to Agile approaches could struggle.

Project management tools today are often heavily integrated with resource scheduling and time tracking so that they can help you effectively manage the people on the team and their workload. Both of these are missing, so if you have a big team, or you are using resources from multiple areas and need to stay on top of what they are doing, you could find that a challenge.

Basecamp doesn’t have an invoicing module, which probably isn’t an issue if you are working on in-house projects and don’t charge your customers, but could cause problems in a client-facing environment.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

It’s easy to register for an account, and once you do so you get a signed letter from the CEO, which is a nice touch.

There are 7 videos as your initial training sequence but no knowledge base if you just want to browse what the tool can do. You can find user-generated content on YouTube but as with all cloud-based systems, the product is frequently updated so be careful if you choose to rely on third-party created user guides as they might not be up-to-date.

Review Round Up

Basecamp is a mature tool that’s been around long enough to collect thousands of reviews. The reviews on both Capterra and G2Crowd average out at 4 out of 5. Basecamp and Asana were the two products with about equal numbers of reviews (at the time of writing) in our survey, far outstripping the number of reviews for any other tool we looked at.

They are also a favourite with the judges: they have won accolades from Forbes (Small Giants 2017) and G2Crowd (Summer Leader).

Pricing and Plans

Basecamp doesn’t have per user pricing, which makes it either very cost-effective, or very expensive, depending on how many people you have using it!

At $99 month for your whole business, it’s certainly a transparent price structure.

Basecamp is free for students and teachers and offers a 50% discount for NGOs.

 

Paymo

Paymo takes the headache out of being a service-based business because it’s aimed at supporting project delivery professionals for the whole lifecycle, and that includes the part where you have to get money from customers for doing the job.

It stands out for helping you keep your work in one place and simplifying your workflow. With users in 50 countries, Paymo is an established and modern app that around 4,000 companies (~100,000 users in total) rely on to help manage their projects from start to finish.

Paymo Task Details Task details in Paymo

Best For:

Individuals and SMBs.

Why We Say It’s Awesome

A modern and intuitive app for project-based businesses that helps your team manage projects through their entire life cycle. Plan and schedule your projects, collaborate with your team, share files, track time and make sure you stay on budget.

(And btw, we know it’s great because we made it!)

Top 5 Features

Paymo is made up of a series of modules, each one specifically built to deal with a certain function of managing projects. The top five features we thought were most valuable are:

 

  1. Time tracking: Track your time through the web timer, a mobile app (on iOS and Android), a desktop app for automatically track work time or add time through the Timesheets area.
  2. Accounting: Generate invoices based on the amount of time spent on a task or project, track your expenses and create accurate estimates for clients.
  3. Project management: Four different views let you see what you need at any point during the delivery phases of the project. The Simple view lets you add and edit tasks, Table View provides a way of sorting activities, the Gantt Chart shows you the project schedule in a more traditional layout and there’s also a Kanban view for Agile teams.
  4. Team scheduler: Manage your resource allocation easily through the automated scheduling tool that books your staff against the right tasks based on what they’ve done in the past. Yes, it learns from your resource scheduling to give you a headstart! You can simply approve the resource bookings or change them as needed.
  5. Vacation Planner: This absence planner works for more than just vacation time and lets you know when your team members are going to be available for work.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

Paymo doesn’t have an integrated chat feature, so if you are used to using Slack or other IM tools, you’ll need to stick with them.

There’s also limited access for guest users, so you might not be able to share the inner workings of your project with all your customer groups.

While the task management features are good, there isn’t yet a way to prioritize tasks to show your team what’s the most important use of their time at the moment. There aren’t custom fields either, which means you are limited to the modules that are included.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

There’s a lot of online help to get you started with Paymo. The initial onboarding process links you into 8 How To videos to get you running quickly. There’s a detailed Knowledge Base to explore the more advanced features.

You can also get personal help from the Paymo clients community, which is currently a Facebook group but will soon be a dedicated forum. With 100,000 users worldwide, there’s bound to be someone who can help you!

Review Round Up

While Basecamp might have the most reviews, Paymo has the best reviews. And we’re not making that up! Capterra’s review score is 5 out of 5, and G2Crowd’s comes in at 4.6. Overall those are the best star ratings of all the products in this article.

The Paymo team has also won 6 awards this year including Most Usable PM Software (G2Crowd) and the Great User Experience Award (FinancesOnline).

Pricing and Plans

There are 3 Paymo pricing plans:

 

  1. Basic Plan: $4.95 per user per month, for up to 5 users.
  2. Business Plan: $11.95 per user per month.
  3. Professional Plan: $24.95 per user per month.

 

There is a 10% discount offered for annual payments.

Non-profits are eligible for a 50% discount on any of these plans.

Read next: Why automatic time tracking is a must-have feature

 

Wrike

Wrike bills itself as an online collaborative work management system, so it’s not simply targeting project managers – it’s something all team members can use. However, it’s definitely got a strong project management following. Founded in 2006, Wrike has grown to an international team of around 500 people serving 14,000 companies and over a million users.

Wrike Task
Advanced Task View in Wrike

Best For:

All kinds of teams.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

Cloud-based collaboration and project management software that scales across teams in any business.

Top 5 Features

Where shall we start? Wrike users see their work organized in various views and also through personal dashboards. Wrike is definitely packed with features. Here are 5 we think are worthy of calling out:

 

  1. Custom Fields: The product is customizable through custom fields but also task statuses, report and bespoke dashboards, so it’s highly flexible.
  2. Approvals Workflow: Review and approve digital images, videos and documents, and invite guest users to do the same, so feedback on your assets remains in context.
  3. Analytics: The performance chart shows the ratio of planned and completed tasks, as well as how far behind a team is with their work. The baseline chart lets you compare progress to what you originally thought you’d be able to  achieve.
  4. Integrations: Over the years the Wrike team has added integrations to lots of commonly used applications, including Google Drive, Dropbox, Github, JIRA, Salesforce, Office 365 and Adobe(R) Creative Cloud ®.
  5. Enterprise Class Security: Wrike has two-factor authentication and includes encryption & data backups as standard. Their data center allows for 99% uptime while still meeting SOC1 certification criteria and more.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

Most project managers will recognize everything they need to manage a project from start to finish, but there are a few extras that you might miss.

There’s no web timer, for example, so if that’s the way you prefer to track time you’ll have to get used to using their alternative methods.

Wrike doesn’t have an invoicing module, so if you bill clients for your work you’ll need to either make use of one of the integrations or run your invoicing outside of the system.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

When you sign up to Wrike you’ll hit a welcome video, and the process to create an account is easy. As you get started, you can work through the walkthrough tutorial. There’s live in-app and phone support 24/7 and a detailed knowledge base as well.

The team runs regular webinars and there is a community forum.

If the standard offerings aren’t enough, the company also offers consulting services to help you get ready to launch Wrike to your teams.

Review Round Up

With over 500 user reviews on Capterra, Wrike rolls in at a solid  4 out of 5, and scores slightly higher for G2Crowd users at 4.3 out of 5.

Wrike’s commitment to its staff is as good as its commitment to customers: it’s won Best Place to Work in the Bay area twice in recent years (as awarded by the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal).

Pricing and Plans

There are 5 pricing plans, each adding more features:

 

  1. Free: This is a limited account enabling task management, file sharing, a real-time activity stream, Android and iPhone apps and basic integrations with 2Gb of storage for up to 5 users. This is a good choice if you just want to see what it can do.
  2. Professional: This plan is for 5, 10 or 15 users and gives you everything the Free plan does but with Gantt charts, subtasks and advanced integrations, shareable dashboards and unlimited team members. You’re limited to 5Gb of storage and 15Gb of video uploads per month.
  3. Business: If you’re aiming to get 5 to 200 users on the system, this is a good plan for you. It introduces more functionality include report templates, resource scheduling, time tracking, user groups and permissions and your own branded workspaces. This is the plan where Salesforce integration kicks in, and it comes with 50Gb of storage.
  4. Wrike for Marketers: A plan designed for creatives with Adobe Creative Cloud extension, document and video proofing workflows and a tailored workspace. You need to sign up a minimum of 5 users on this plan.
  5. Enterprise: All the other features, plus enterprise-grade functionality like password policies, network access, IT controlled admin permissions and 2 factor authentication. Comes up with 100Gb storage or more and unlimited users (requires a minimum of 5 accounts).

 

 

Asana

Asana is a popular choice amongst creative businesses. It has an interface with a low learning curve making it simple for people who haven’t used project management tools before. If you have used project management tools before you’ll recognize the Board view as essentially Kanban.

Access is based on your shared email domain, so it relies on people in the team having the same email address structure. Within an organization, you can break your users into teams to work together on projects and tasks.

Asana Kanban
Asana has a Kanban Board view

Best For:

Small and medium-sized teams.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

With tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards, Asana enables teams to move work from start to finish.

Top 5 Features

Asana teams come together through a shared calendar, conversations and a projects area. As an individual user, you have views on tabs that allow you to monitor your tasks, inbox and dashboard.

The whole app is designed to be easy to use and here are some of the features you’ll find.

 

  1. Project Progress Tracking: This chart measures how many tasks have been completed out of the total number of tasks. This isn’t quite the ‘percent complete’ that more complex project management tools work with, but it gives you an at-a-glance understanding of how far through the work you are. You can also flag whether a project is on track or not with the Red, Yellow, Green buttons on the same chart.
  2. Conversations: Comment directly on tasks and projects through the built-in conversation functionality.
  3. Inbox: Asana’s inbox feature puts the tasks that matter front and center (as long as you flag them as ‘followed’), so you can stop searching for what’s important.
  4. Custom Fields: Track what’s important to your team with custom fields, whether that’s task priority, hours worked or something else.
  5. Design: Finally, Asana is fun! When you complete a task, a unicorn/phoenix/yeti/narwhal leaps about to help you celebrate. In Board view, when you move a task to another column, a little monster peeks out at you and prompts you to pop another task in the newly-vacated space.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

The big thing that’s missing in Asana is Gantt charts, but if you prefer to manage your work through To Do boards, or you don’t have experience working with Gantt chart scheduling, then you won’t miss it that much.

There’s no resource scheduling feature either, which is why Asana is one of the project management tools that works well for smaller teams where you have fewer subject matter experts juggling their time between multiple projects.

Asana is also lacking time tracking and the ability to invoice directly – again features that larger teams and more complex projects would benefit from, especially in a client-facing organization.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

Asana has a low learning curve and you’ll see a welcome video on signing up which will help you get started. There’s a knowledge base (the Asana Guide) which is split into 3 parts so you can go straight to the topics that are relevant to your familiarity with the app.

You can also browse how other people are using Asana with their customer user cases page, and head into the community for more. The community area covers integrations (including those for your developers and API tips and tricks), helpful hints, team onboarding, feedback and announcements.

Review Round Up

At the time of writing, Asana has nearly 2,000 reviews on Capterra, averaging 4.5 out of 5. It scores slightly lower for the G2Crowd community at 4.2 out of 5.

In 2016 Asana was placed at #2 in the 10 Best Apps of the Year by Fast Company, and in 2017 it got an accolade from Forbes for being six in the round up of top best company cultures for large companies. Quite a feat!

Pricing and Plans

The 3 plans offered by Asana relate to your business’ scale.

 

  1. Free: This option is for up to 15 users and gives you unlimited tasks, projects and conversations with a basic dashboard and search features.
  2. Premium: More features – unlimited dashboards, advanced search, reporting plus custom fields, task dependencies, private teams and projects, and admin controls. This plan is $9.99 per user per month but teams of less than 20 are entitled to a discount and only pay $7.99 per user per month. This plan also gives you access to customer success webinars, priority support and single sign on options.
  3. Enterprise: The plan for the largest teams, available in groups  of 5 or 10 people. Pricing is tiered and you’ll have to contact them for a quote for your organization. The benefits of the Enterprise plan include premium and advanced admin controls like service accounts, secure data exchange, a dedicated customer success manager, support service levels within 2 business hours, data deletion and cross-regional backups. Plus you can add custom branding, which might be important to you.

 

Read next: Do you really need Kanban boards or will a task list do?

 

Scoro

Scoro might be the best project management tool you’ve never heard of. It’s a comprehensive work management software solution for professional and creative services teams. Its strengths are in being a seamless workflow app for managing everything from the initial tendering to the final invoicing. The range of features, and the tool’s robustness, put it up there with the best project management systems we’ve seen.

With offices in the UK and across the Baltics, the team photos on their website show that they have a lot of fun putting their tool together. They even have an office dog.

Scoro Projects

A list of projects in Scoro

Best For:

While all teams could easily use Scoro, some of the features wouldn’t be useful for in-house project teams who don’t bill externally for their time.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

A single place for everything you need to know and do. From the first “Hello” to the final invoice.

Top 5 Features

Scoro has modules that cover project management, billing, planning and CRM.

 

  1. Project portfolio management: Manage your work through configurable statuses (Complete/In Progress or whatever you want to set these too) plus tags. Activity is shown on tabs that relate to the different modules.
  2. Planner and schedule: Define the workload for each user. You can sort by task priority, deadlines or by user.
  3. Billing automation: Create budget scenarios against actual revenue, costs or profit and get forecasts based on scheduled invoices and your incoming work pipeline. Multiple currencies can be set per user, team and per project, while recurring invoices are automated with built-in reminders.
  4. CRM and quoting: Get an overview of your sales funnel and create quotes as PDF documents.
  5. Customization: Configure your menus so the most used items are easily accessible. Create bookmarks for custom views and reports, make PDF templates for your invoices, quotes and orders to truly tailor your experience.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

Scoro is light on collaboration features. While it’s designed to give your team a single view of the truth, there’s no chat, gamification or some of the other features you might expect to see to help teams actually do their work.

There’s also limited document management features, although it does integrate with Dropbox for file storage.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

There’s a large support portal online, and from within the app itself there is contextual help based on where you are. You can also ask for a guided 15 minute demo tour. Choose the date and time, and the next available account manager will hop online to show you around.

If you’d rather learn by doing, there’s a trial site filled with demo data so you can play without accidentally billing one of your clients.

Review Round Up

Scoro is flying under the radar. Investor-backed, it’s a fast-growing startup but that means reviews are a little lacking. At the time of writing Scoro had only racked up 7 reviews on Capterra, averaging 4 out of 5.

Pricing and Plans

Scoro’s features mean it places itself in the more expensive bracket for project management software tools. There are 3 plans.

 

  1. Plus: The smallest plan is priced at $22 per user per month for a minimum of 5 users. For this you get a business dashboard, calendar and task management functionality, basic project management options, the CRM and quote management features, invoicing and expenses, and financial and work reports. On top of this you can access the integrations to Outlook Calendar, Toggl, Dropbox and MailChimp.
  2. Premium: In addition to everything listed in the Plus plan, you also get the planner, work-time billing, advanced task management and project management features, scheduled invoicing, late invoice reminders, advanced and comparative reports. It also comes with low-volume QuickBooks and Xero integrations. This plan is $33 per user per month, again for a minimum of 5 users.
  3. Ultimate: The most expensive plan includes all the features in the other two, plus advanced resource planning, budgeting and forecasting, a commission calculator, FTP server integration, and unlimited customization options. If you have a high volume of transactions this is the plan for you as it includes high volume QuickBooks and Xero integrations. This plan is $55 per user per month, for a minimum off 5 users.

 

Onboarding for all these plans starts at $899. There are also three onboarding extras that you can purchase to get your team up and running more quickly.

 

  1. Essential: ($899): Includes help on setting up the site, creating your success plan, help with importing data and setting up basic integrations. There’s also access to the PDF template library. This is designed to onboard one team.
  2. Standard ($1,699): This adds to the essential onboarding experience by helping you with advanced integrations and configuring 5 email templates. It’s designed to onboard two teams.
  3. Custom (from $3,399): Personalized onboarding for your business.

 

Podio

Podio is a customizable work management solution. The company prides themselves on being a solution that leaders can trust and that employees enjoy using. The unique features of Podio center around the customization of any workflow. The idea is that whatever you are doing in your daily work, you can put it into Podio so that the context, conversations, tasks and everything else are all in the same place.

Podio is part of Citrix so you can be confident in the system’s uptime and durability. They are also transparent about their rigorous security standards.

Podio Meetings
Podio has a dedicated “meetings” section

Best For:

All kinds of teams.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

With content, conversations, and processes structured and together on one tool, Podio creates the focus and clarity your people need to get their best work done.

Top 5 Features

Podio is made up of items that could be anything: from pipeline projects, sales leads, meetings, and more. Anything that might come into your daily work processes can go into Podio, and that item is then tracked through the Dashboard. The 5 features that stood out for us are:

 

  1. Customization: As you’ve probably figured out, Podio probably has the most advanced customization features of all the project management software tools we’ve looked at here. The Apps tab adapts to any kind of activity and transforms the platform into project management software, a CRM solution or whatever you need it to be. If you spend the time customizing, Podio can be an incredibly personalized experience for your users.
  2. Workspaces: These represent a project that connects a group of people together. They can be open (available to everyone), private (based on invite only) or for all employees (these bring everyone together based on a common email domain, so would be great for company announcements).
  3. Integrations: Create and comment on tasks directly from emails, eliminating duplication of effort. Podio integrates with GoToMeeting, Sharefile, Freshbooks and Zendesk.
  4. Integrated chat: Messages include text, images, files and links to keep everybody in the loop. Video and audio calls are available too to complete a real time collaboration experience.
  5. Guest users: You can bring in external parties to eliminate email chains and share files.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

Podio has got a lot of features, but there are some things that a project management professional might find it it hard to work without. Specifically, this is another tool that doesn’t offer Gantt charts as a way of displaying scheduled work. It’s also missing invoicing functionality, which is helpful for service-based teams, and time tracking – another useful feature for those working on projects for clients, or who simply want to understand how effort is being used on projects.

Finally, there’s no resource scheduling.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

Podio, as with many of the project management tools in this article, has an online knowledgebase. There are quick start guides, a guided tour and more. The online help is heavy on customer use cases so you can see how other companies are making the tool work for them.

It’s worth reviewing the online help because the learning curve is relatively steep. Podio works on apps: you turn your processes and work items into apps to track and manage them. Once you understand the concepts and building blocks behind the system it’s going to make sense, but the jargon and features take a little while to get used to.

Review Round Up

The reviews from Podio users place this tool  at 4.5 out of 5 (Capterra) and 4.1 out of 5 (G2Crowd) but the numbers of reviews are low in comparison to other solutions.

However, you can draw some confidence in the solution because it won the PCMag Editors’ Choice Award for The Best Online Collaboration Software of 2016.

Pricing and Plans

Podio offers four plans:

 

  1. Basic (a very reasonable $9 per user per month): This plan offers task management, unlimited external users and the user management features you’d expect.
  2. Plus ($14 per user per month): Offers all the functionality of Basic plus read-only access, automated workflows, and the option of a ‘light’ user role for those who don’t need all the features.
  3. Premium ($24 per user per month): Everything in the lower plans plus advanced workflow management, interactive sales dashboards, the ability to sync contacts, and visual reports.
  4. Enterprise (custom pricing): All the features plus priority support and training, unlimited e-signatures and document sending, encrypted file sharing and storage for large files.

 

Read next: 4 ways that project management software accelerates your productivity

 

Redbooth

Redbooth is a collaboration and communication platform that offers teams a central hub for shared tasks, conversations and file sharing. The software is simple to use and has been around a while (in collaboration tool terms). Founded in Barcelona in 2008, Redbooth is now headquartered in California and supports the work of thousands of companies globally.

Redbooth task
A list of tasks in Redbooth

Best For:

Busy, modern teams.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

Redbooth is designed for teams to get their best work done, together.

Top 5 Features

Redbooth has an intuitive design which will appeal to creative and technical teams. Projects are grouped under workspaces and there’s a dashboard that shows your personal tasks and the latest updates. Having evaluated the software, here are the top 5 features:

 

  1. Workspaces: It’s great to be able to group your information together in a workspace for projects, clients or departments.
  2. Task priorities: Not all project management tools have the ability to mark tasks as urgent, so this is useful.
  3. Gantt Chart: The Gantt Chart is easy to use with a drag and drop feature that lets you add tasks to the  timeline. You can also assign users to tasks. You can filter by user to get an overview of that person’s tasks as well.
  4. Project templates: Pre-defined templates for Marketing, Sales and Design, and IT teams give you a headstart.
  5. Turn emails into tasks: Through the Outlook and Gmail integrations you can assign an owner, a deadline, and even mark the task as urgent status right from your email inbox.

Project Management Features You Might Miss

While you can filter your Gantt Chart on the name of a user, this isn’t true resource scheduling. You need more than that to be able to manage time across multiple projects, so if you are used to doing detailed scheduling for your team members then you’ll definitely miss that feature.

Redbooth doesn’t have an invoicing module, which might be important to you in a client-facing environment.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

There’s a really quick overview video to welcome you to the tool when you get started. There’s also a help centre with tutorials, troubleshooting guides and general ‘get started’ information.

It’s all self-directed, but if you still need help you can submit a ticket request and someone will get back to you.

Review Round Up

Redbooth won Product of the Year in the 2014 International Business Awards for Best New Cloud Platform, receiving the Gold award, and the team also took home a Silver award for Best Collaboration Software. The product is regularly mentioned in the media.

Despite that (and praise from customers), users haven’t been that forthcoming: there are fewer than 55 reviews across both Capterra (4.5 out of 5) and G2Crowd (4.1 out of 5).

Pricing and Plans

Redbooth offers 3 plans:

 

  1. Free (for up to 10 users): Up to 5 workspaces and 2Gb of file storage space. This plan lets you assign tasks and due dates, use Gantt charts and reporting, and is compatible with the iOS, Android, and Apple TV apps. You can have unlimited comments and conversations, and you get the project templates, email support, and integrations with Google Drive, Slack, and Dropbox.
  2. Pro ($5 per user per month with no user limit): Everything from the Free plan plus unlimited workspaces, a total of 5Gb of file storage space, the ability to add subtasks, pro reporting features, time tracking, private tasks and workspaces, guest users for your external colleagues, and integrations with Evernote, Cisco Spark, and Box. That’s quite a package!
  3. Business ($15 per user per month with no user limit): Everything in the Pro plan with a total of 50Gb of file storage space, assignable subtasks, business reporting, priority support, and integrations with Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Okta, and OneLogin.

 

Monday

monday (formerly “dapulse”) raised investments of $25m in April 2017, and the company is growing. Headquartered in Israel, the firm has over 10,000 paying customers and is dedicated to making project management software that you’ll actually want to use.

The tool is highly visual with a low learning curve (their clients claim it to be inexistent). In the CEO’s welcome email you’ll see them say that “Monday stands out because it’s easy to use, creates a visual language and is the only tool that allows you to track your high level overview and daily tasks in one place.”

So, is it really that good? We took a deep dive review of the product to find out.

dapulse boardMonday is a very “visual” app

Best For:

Business and operational teams.

Why They Say It’s Awesome

Project management is better when it’s visual. Manage your workload, communicate with your team, and celebrate success.

Top 5 Features

Monday is a visual work management tool so you see your work organised in boards with rows (called ‘pulses’). The features that stood out to us were:

 

  1. Single customizable boards: Everything is manageable through single boards which give you the option to assign users, track task progress, set due dates, check statuses, and add custom columns.
  2. Visual timeline: This is similar to a Gantt Chart and resource scheduler combined. You can see the elements of each project on a timeline with users, teams and task statuses all on the same page. It’s hard to explain how helpful this is, but check out our screenshots to get a better idea of how the interface looks.
  3. Visual communication: Can you see how Monday is big on visual? You can mention people from directly within the task (pulse), give them a thumbs up for their work, and subscribe to task updates which will send relevant notifications to your Inbox.
  4. Search: Powerful search allows teams to find everything they ever worked on, including images, updates, projects, and assignments.
  5. Shareable boards: Your work boards can be private or public, giving you the flexibility to share your projects with guest users.

 

Project Management Features You Might Miss

There’s no time tracking in Monday, which might be an issue for you. It’s also a surprise to find that reporting seems to be a feature that’s missing. You can see your work progress visually through the boards so your real-time snapshot is there, but there’s not much more than that.

Finally, you can’t add dependencies between tasks on the timeline, or link timelines together. If you’re managing a portfolio of interconnected projects or a program, that’s going to be a big issue for you.

How Easy It Is To Get Started

When you sign up, and after you’ve gone through the welcome video, you are prompted with five predefined board examples to illustrate what you can do with the tool depending on your workflows. One of those lets you start from scratch so you can have a go before entering your ‘real’ data.
The project management tool offers 24/7 support for everyone and VIP support with an account manager for Enterprise clients. There are daily webinars to help you get started too.

Review Round Up

Capterra reviewers love Monday, and it’s scored 5 out of 5 with over 440 reviews. The G2Crowd reviews a bit more mixed although there are fewer of them and the average is 3.9 out of 5.

Monday has earned a clutch of awards as well, bringing home trophies for Supreme Software and Expert’s Choice in the 2016 FinancesOnline Awards and Great User Experience in the 2017 Awards.

Pricing and Plans

There are 4 plans available from Monday once your free trial is over. The pricing feels complicated (albeit flexible) as there are different prices for teams of 5, 10 ,15,25, 50, 100, 200, and 200+ users. There are discounts available too: save 18% when you sign up for a year and 32% if you subscribe for 24 months. The following prices are monthly fees for a team of 5 users:

 

  1. Basic ($29 per month): This gives you basic features as you’d expect. You get 5 Gb of storage, unlimited boards, simple search functionality and the ability to filter by person, iOS and Android apps and 24/7 support.
  2. Standard ($48 per month): Get 50 Gb of storage with this plan, powerful search features, timeline, the ability to filter by anything, the ‘add updates via email’ feature, and external integrations. You can share boards with a limited number of guests, but you do get access to the API.
  3. Pro ($72 per month): This is the plan that is the most popular for Monday users. It comes with unlimited storage, private boards, detailed activity stats, Google authentication and user profile customization.
  4. Enterprise ($144 per month): Enterprise users receive a higher API rate limit, VIP support with an account manager, one-on-one training, two-factor authentication and advanced security features, plus an audit log.

 

And… that’s it, congratulations! You made it through our tour of the top 8 modern project management software tools.

Ultimately, choosing a project management app is a uniquely personal experience. The right tool for you is going to best meet your business requirements, deliver what you need to get your work done and be easy for your team to use.

We recommend that you use this deep dive list to create your own shortlist of products that would serve your purposes and sign up for some free trials to really test them out. You’ll find two or three that make you feel like you’ve found the workspace that is right for you and those are the ones you want to investigate further.

Choosing a project management tool is a big decision for a team. We hope this article will help you choose wisely.

Read next: How can project management tools benefit small businesses

No Comments on An In-Depth Look at the Top 8 Modern Project Management Tools

Paymo Blog Home

The official Paymo blog - learn how to become a better project manager.

Join our Free Newsletter

From time to time we're going to send you our best tips, ideas and articles that will help you improve your project management skills.

Leave a Reply

You need to pass the CAPTCHA test to submit the comment