Project management tools can help individuals or teams organise and keep track of projects and tasks related to that project. The tools are usually project management software that you can use for free or purchase online. Usually, simple projects only require pen and paper and a simple checklist. However, if you are keeping track of multiple projects and collaborating with team members on a project, a comprehensive project management tool will help the team to properly plan, assign tasks, set deadlines, and make sure everyone is on track.
The benefits of using project management tools are endless for businesses that plan to scale. As a business owner, you usually have multiple ongoing projects or have projects planned in the pipeline. You need to keep track of social media and digital marketing activities, customer service, but also attend to internal business operations. With so many things to keep track of, you can’t rely on just your project management skills. There is software that can help make things easier for you as a business owner and your collaborators.
If you have a small team you may not need all the bells and whistles of a full scale project management solution. You can start with the numerous free project management tools that can help you start managing projects right away. Once your business scales, you can decide if you need to purchase a full scale solution.
Here are 10 project management tools to help you get started on project management.
Most of these have free versions:
- ClickUp: has a free forever version with 100mb storage, unlimited tasks, unlimited members and 2-factor authentication.
- Wrike: the free version has centralized team management features for teams of up to five members for simple project management.
- Asana: their basic free forever plan has robust features and is enough for getting started on project management.
- Trello: free plan available for small teams.
- Workzone: no free plan as it is geared towards teams of five or more users.
- ProofHub: also doesn’t have a free plan but has a robust features list that can support fast growing businesses.
- MeisterTask: the free plan includes task management capabilities for upto 3 projects.
- Monday.com: the free forever plan can host up to 2 seats and unlimited boards.
- Teamwork: the free plan can support up to five users working on a maximum of two projects.
- Podio: the free plan can support up to 5 employees.
Should you decide to get a paid plan, business owners should consider these 5 aspects in order to get the best value:
- Task management: this includes features that can help you create, assign and track tasks as they move along the pipeline. The tool should also have a project scheduling feature to set timelines and deadlines for deliverables.
- To-do lists: a good to-do-list is a must have feature. This enables team members to see all the tasks they need to accomplish associated with their respective projects.
- File Sharing: this feature eliminates the back and forth emails and organises your information or knowledge base into one single repository for each project.
- Communication: the ability to tag and mention team members in a discussion thread is handy for urgent requests and reminders.
- Reporting: not essential but a good-to-have feature on any project management tool to make sure allotted resources (time, budget) are being used accordingly. Some even come with Time tracking tools to make sure that team members know how much time is spent on doing a task.
Also, ask yourself how many users do you see using the project management tool. Factor in personal assistants and remote working collaborators such as freelancers or VA’s who need access to the tools as well.
The dashboards available in these project management tools enable you to visualise projects (via GANNT charts and calendar views) and identify what to delegate to a virtual assistant and what tasks need your personal attention. Should you decide to hire a virtual assistant, a comprehensive project management tool will make delegating tasks easier since you have an overview of everything that involves the project. The Filipino VAs at Virtual Elves have extensive experience using these tools as they have been using them while working on multiple projects for different clients. Ask us how they can help you with project management.