In 2017, it’s hard to imagine doing anything at all without technology. And while our dependence upon it can sometimes feel a little tiresome, it’s also true that there is much advantage to be gained with the click of a mouse (or the tap of a finger, as it were).
With almost every imaginable profession or pursuit, there literally is “an app for that.” That includes project management, and all that comes with it. No matter the method of project management you intend to pursue (waterfall, agile, etc.), there are apps available than can help you organize, strategize, and cast vision for your project and your team.
However, as you already know, there are sometimes too many apps for that, and seconds into searching for a good one, you give up trying to assess which ones are useful and which ones to pass by. Well, take a deep breath of relief, because your search stops here. Here are the top 14 apps to consider as you seek the methods and systems that will work best for you.
Allthings features easy to use to-do list features and Kanban boards. It eliminates the need for emails (which, let’s admit, can get confusing and messy), and allows everyone to see project progress in real time.
With this app you can really customize your to-do lists, assigning them to team members, and adding due dates and unique features, such as whether the task is a repeat one (i.e. every week or once a month).
Another great feature is that you can either group or stack your tasks. Grouping will allow you to view them as a to-do list, and stacking will turn the list into a Kanban board, sorted into columns. This will appeal to teams where people work differently; they can use the organization that feels easiest to them.
Allthings is free for individuals (for up to 5 lists), $3.99 per person per month for the pro version, $9.95 per team member per month for the team version.
One thing you’re likely to notice as you look through project management apps is that most tend to be either all encompassing (looking to address needs of all aspects of a project), or simple (addressing one or two aspects of project organization).
Asana is great in that it really can be used on both levels. Whether your project is large and complex, involving multiple teams and tasks, or smaller with a single team, Asana is a great choice.
With it you can create an account for the organization, and then add projects, teams, team leaders, tasks, deadlines, and so on. Each individual can look at their own tasks, the tasks of his/her team, or even the progress of the project as a whole. This eliminates the need for constant status update emails or task assignment messages. It’s all right there in one spot.
Asana has a free version for those just getting started in project management, for up to 15 people. It’s $9.99 per member per month for the premium plan, and offers an Enterprise version which offers even more, and is priced to fit individual companies.
If you’re looking to manage client projects, Avaza is a great choice. With it you can send estimates or quotes, and then immediately turn that into a project once it’s given the green light. You can keep track of expenses and send invoices with it as well.
Not only does it streamline your communication with your clients, it has everything you need to manage the projects, with to-do lists, timelines, and workflows, which can be updated to keep your clients informed. Clients can use a questions tab to enter queries about the project, making the communication process seamless for project managers and customers alike.
Avaza offers a free version, a startup version for $9.95 a month, a basic version for $19.95 a month, and a business version for $39.95 a month.
Basecamp has been around for a while and is one of the most well-known and utilized project management apps available. It can be used for pretty much every aspect of a project, from to-do lists to adding files, to taking and sharing notes to communication.
One great thing about Basecamp is that it comes with a 60 day free trial, so you can safely find out if this is the right app for your project without any cost to yourself or your company. After that, it’s base rate is $20 a month. With it’s reliable track-record as a catch all project management app, this should definitely be a contender if you’re searching for the right app.
What makes Bitrix24 unique is that it seeks to combine collaboration tools with project management tools. If you’ve got multiple organizations or teams working on separate projects that share some combined goals, this is a great option.
Bitrix24 offers a Gannt chart view which you can use to keep tasks on track and stay informed about the progress and status of tasks. It also includes in-app video communication capabilities, making it easy to organize meetings between collaborators. Another bonus? You can keep track of each employee’s workload, which can protect those employees from getting overwhelmed or taking on too much.
Bitrix24 is free, but can be upgraded to include some custom features for $39 a month.
Casual is pretty unique in that it uses a simple flow chart to organize tasks and projects. If you’re someone who prefers a cleaner, simpler approach, this is definitely a great option. Everything is entered as a flow chart, and can be viewed on one page. This app is best for smaller or individual projects, and is a good option if you are a project management novice.
It includes a 14 day free trial. After that, it offers five different versions which are tailored to the needs of individuals all the way up to large corporation.
Evernote is probably one of the most well-known free apps available. Although it is not technically intended for project management (it’s more of a life-management app), many use it for projects as well.
One of the great features of Evernote is it’s organization of notes, making it easy to use as a simple way to jot down or add information quickly before you forget it. In fact, it could easily be used in conjunction with another project management app, if only for the notes feature alone.
Evernote is free, with premium service available for $5 a month, or $45 a year.
Huddle is a pretty big name in the project management app world, and is one of the larger, more complex organization systems. According to its website, “Huddle brings together content management, social collaboration and mobile productivity to unlock the true potential of secure anywhere, anytime working.”
Huddle prides itself on its high level of security, so if you’re concerned about your content remaining private, this may be a good option. Aside from this, Huddle offers a customizable workspace, task management, simple file collection, and progress tracking.
Like many other programs, Huddle offer a free 14 day trial.
What sets KanbanFlow apart is its focus on time management. Users can track how much time is spent working on a project, as well as make sure they take breaks between sprints. This can be important, especially for an organization that encourages self-motivated work and accountability.
KanbanFlow offers simple Kanban board visuals, simplified productivity, risk and stress reduction, and real time collaboration.
The basic model is free, but the premier membership, which includes analytics and reporting, as well as integrations, is only $5 a month, so it is well worth the investment.
Like KanbanFlow, Meistertask is a Kanban board app. It’s a bit newer, but with some really interesting features that make it a viable candidate. Namely, that it converts mind maps into tasks on your Kanban dashboard. If your projects start as mind maps, that’s a pretty helpful feature.
It also features exciting, colorful wallpaper options, which will appeal to some.
Meistertask is free, with a pro-version available for $7.50 a month. A business version for larger companies is supposed to be coming soon, so stay tuned.
Omniplan is a popular choice, and with good reason. It features an easy-to-use interface, smart scheduling, simple task management, critical path, and impressive Gannt timelines, which is a definite draw.
After beginning with a basic project outline, you can use the intuitive app to help you work through every step of your project.
A standard OmniPlan package is $149.99 for Mac, and $74.99 for iOS. The Pro version is $299.99 for Mac, $149.98 for iOS.
Podio has been used by larger corporations, such as the NFL and Volvo. One of its unique features is that it is customizable, and enables the user to create the product that suits them best by adding the form and fields they desire.
Within the app, the user can use a search tool to find specific items, as well as a built in social network to keep up with colleagues and employees. You can also decide whether to view your tasks as lists, cards, or calendars.
Podio is free for the first 5 users, then increases in cost as more users are added. See details here.
Producteev is a great option for a company seeking to organize its various departmental projects in one space. The app uses “networks” to divide projects into departments, teams, products, and any other distinction you may want to add.
Other features include: task organization and labelling, priority setting, dividing tasks into subtasks, adding deadlines, and using filters to sort by whatever criteria you choose.
Producteev is free for up to 100 users. A pro version is available, which includes 24 hour support and customizable logos and colors for $99 a month.
Trello is another Kanban board app, and has an easy to use, customizable interface. Everything is contained within the visual lists, where tasks are added with all the pertinent information (deadline, details, labels, checklists).
Trello syncs easily with many other apps and systems, making it extra appealing if you’ve got partial organization already. It might just be the thing you need to round out what you’ve already got in place.
Trello is free use, with a “Business Class” version for $9.99 per user per month, and an “Enterprise” version for larger companies for up to $20.83 per user per month.
As you can see, there is no shortage of options out there if you are looking for an app to help you organize and strategize your project management. Thankfully, many of these are free, and even if they aren’t, contain a free trial. So get out there and try a few, and see what works best for you.
Yada is not just the leader of the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI). He helped to write significant portions of the project management standards worldwide. He is helping PMI right now in reviewing, directing, and leading the development of the 7th edition of the PMBOK(r) Guide to incorporate the most monumental changes to project management standards in 35 years. He shares his wisdom with readers via the PMTI blog.