If you own a small business, then you know keeping track of all the tasks involved can be a crazy experience. It’s easy to lose track of things and to leave projects halfway done.
Thankfully, there are many project management tools on the market.
Most of the new cloud-based versions are fairly easy to use, and many of them have very friendly price points – some are even free!
It’s worth taking a look at the different features of each project management tool so that you can make a decision based on your personal style and knowledge of project management practices.
I’m going to go over several project management tools here so that you know the pros and cons of each and can make a decision for yourself and your business about what is right for you.
7 Popular Project Management Tools
Google calendar is not an official project management tool, but it’s a great way to keep track of what you’re doing––especially if you are a solopreneur or partnership with a service business.
I use Google calendar extensively in my business to keep track of recurring appointments and where I need to be at what time. I live by my calendar. And it’s my primary project management tool.
Google calendar also has the benefit of being able to sync to nearly any smartphone and it’s free. You can even sink multiple people’s calendars together so that everybody knows what’s going on.
Trello is an intuitive project management tool that’s built for people who aren’t project managers. It’s very visual and easy to use. It’s basically like using virtual Post-it notes for your computer. These virtual “Post-its” are called cards and are very versatile.
They can be moved from column to column so that you can see where you’re at with a specific project.
One of my favorite features about Trello is that you can create checklists within a card. This makes it easy to do linear projects where one step follows another.
Casual turns projects into workflows. It’s perfect for people who think visually. It’s a simple tool but has a lot of power.
Casual is perfect for teams of more than two people where the manager needs to visualize the workflow. It particularly works well for workflows that move between team members and are dependent on one team member getting things done for the next team member to move forward.
Basecamp gives you a place to put all your stuff.
It ends back and forth email chains, lost files, and other clutter and chaos. If you are used to running lots of meetings and communicating by email then this might be a good solution for you.
Basecamp is particularly good at helping growing companies keep projects and the stuff that goes with them organized.
What it doesn’t have is a visual project layout. So if you need more than message boards, calendars, and places to store your files you may want to check another program.
If you like to organize with to do lists, then Todoist is a great project management platform for you. It creates organized to do lists with due dates and assignments.
This tool is incredibly simple to use and is available on 10 different platforms via extensions apps. That means teams can collaborate with each other while still using the devices they want.
Asana works similarly to Trello with cards that can be moved from column to column. But Asana also has a few more functionalities. You can create tasks in Asana that are dependent on each other and team members can sign up for email updates for the progress of tasks that they’re waiting on.
In addition, because it’s a visual management system managers can easily see where their team is at on any given project.
Apple fans tend to love this projects management tool because it integrates extremely well with other tools that are on the Mac. It’s simple to use and the interface is fun.
But OmniPlan is only for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone so if you have other devices in your company this will not work as well for you.
Picking the Right Project Management Tool
Picking the right project management tool often comes down to your style. Do you prefer lists? Or a super visual interface? Or do you need a place to store lots of documents?
Answer those questions and you’ll have an easier time deciding what software will work for you to save more time, be more productive, and ultimately make more money.