Whether you’re working with a small business or a major corporation, chances are you need some productivity tools to help you and your colleagues keep up with pending tasks and project deadlines. However, there are literally hundreds of task management apps on the market today, and many of them aren’t actually as useful as you’d think, especially for teams of various sizes. With that being said, we’ve collected a list of seven project management tools we feel like offer features and practicality regardless of your team’s size or the industry you work in.
Asana is a highly flexible task management tool that makes collaboration amongst teams of any size simple. It’s flexible, modern design makes it easy for team members to monitor deadlines, keep track of project workflows, and communicate about specific projects. While there’s a bit of a learning curve when figuring out the nuances of Asana, many companies find it to be one of the best options out there in terms of project management.
Asana Project Management Features
Asana is a fairly versatile project management tool that can easily be adapted to work for businesses of any size regardless of what industry they’re in. The app allows you to set up multiple workspaces within your organization (company), then you can add any number of projects within each workspace.
Asana allows you to break down projects into individual tasks and even add subtasks within a task so that you can break things down into easy-to-accomplish pieces. It also allows you to add descriptions in for each project and each individual task, plus you can add in comments and other communications (like links and attachments) within the project itself or under each individual task.
Team members can also view project tasks in four different layouts: boards, lists, timelines, or calendars. This can help each team member visualize each task in a project in a way that makes the most sense to them, depending on if they need to see the big picture or look at tasks in order to understand workflows.
Asana offers a robust lineup of app integrations that can help teams automate tasks, share files, and more. In fact, Asana offers over 200 app integrations in total, which makes it compatible with nearly any other business app you may ever dream of using. Additionally, Asana includes something it calls Hacks, which are essentially a series of keyboard shortcuts you can use to accomplish things quickly or add some flair to your day.
Pricing for Asana
Asana offers three different tiers, plus an enterprise level account. Even with the free version, you can add up to 15 users on your team and map out unlimited projects and tasks. However, some more advanced features like timelines, rules, milestones, some integrations require one of the paid tiers, which start out at $10.00/month per user.
Asana is available as a web-based tool, a desktop app for macOS and Windows, as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Monday.com offers award-winning project management software. The program can help companies manage multiple projects, track the amount of time spent on tasks, and evaluate performance with reporting features. Monday also makes collaboration between team members easy because of the communication features built into the app.
Monday.com Project Management Features
Monday’s simple, colorful interface and drag-and-drop capabilities makes it easy to use for anyone on your team. Teams can list out their projects, processes, and tasks then assign individual team members to parts of the project. You can also create timelines, track exactly where each team member is on their task, and view deadlines in a calendar view.
The interface includes templates and layout options so your team can decide which view makes the most sense for you. In fact, each user can choose a different views for each project which they’re assigned. Each user can also establish multiple work spaces and multiple boards within the workspace, which can be handy for those who manage multiple clients or oversee multiple teams within a company.
Monday also makes communication between team members easy. Within each task, you can add a description, share files, send messages, and even mention others with a simple tag. This keeps all communication about a specific project or task in one space, which makes it easy for everyone collaborating on the project to keep up with the team’s progress.
In terms of integration, Monday.com easily connects with other apps that businesses use, such as Google Calendar, Slack, Dropbox, Jira, Typeform, and GitHub. Furthermore, businesses can use Zapier to integrate Monday with even more tools to maximize task management. Monday can also be accessed via any web browser, or through a downloadable app for both Android and iOS devices.
Additionally, users can automate some tasks within Monday (assuming you’ve purchased a plan tier that includes automation). These automations are fairly easy to schedule and don’t require any coding. You just simply visit the Automation Center to set them up based on timing, status changes, or other features.
Pricing for Monday
Unfortunately, Monday isn’t the most affordable project management application on the market. While Monday.com does offer a free version, it only includes access for two users, and only provides the most basic features. Otherwise, pricing starts out at $8/month per user, and pricing increases based on the features you need.
Trello is a simple Kanban board-style project management tool. It allows teams to create boards where tasks can be moved across various list labels as members make progress. Although its simplistic design doesn’t make it great for complex projects, it’s great for simple workflows or teams who enjoy the Kanban approach to task management.
Trello Project Management Features
Trello works through a simple system of boards, which most people utilize to track progress on a task or organize tasks based on the type of work. You can add as many boards as you want to your workspace, then add individual tasks, or cards.
Within each individual task card, users can add a detailed description, assign start dates and due dates, or even attach files. Users can also add color-coded labels to help team members clearly identify what’s going on with the task or even mention team members in the comments to provide updates.
Furthermore, teams can add automations that help move the tasks through the system more easily. These automations can automatically move individual tasks to a different list after a label is added or another action is performed, or they can achieve cards entirely once specific items are completed. You can also set rules for tasks that are added by specific individuals on the team or tasks that are added via email.
Unfortunately, Trello does come with numerous limitations, especially in comparison to more complex project management tools on this list. For example, Trello doesn’t offer swimlanes or any other views that make it easy for individuals to keep up with their own assigned tasks. The free version also doesn’t allow integration, and many of the add-on features of Trello also require you to pay for a more premium version.
In addition to the free plan, Trello offers three tiers of paid versions: standard, premium, and enterprise. Each paid tier adds more features and view capabilities, plus additional storage space and other features. These paid tiers run between $5 and $17.50 per user per month, depending on the level you select. Trello also runs through your web browser, a downloadable desktop application, or a mobile app.
Wrike is a powerful project management app that is filled with features and options for customization. In many ways, Wrike is user-friendly and an ideal option regardless of company size or type of work you use the task management tool for.
Wrike offers a multitude of customizable dashboards that can include widgets, notes, or other resources to promote collaboration between team members. This main dashboard also helps you see which tasks are most pressing, so you can prioritize tasks based on their due date or other factors.
Aside from the main dashboard, you can create workspaces to store projects and individual tasks. Each workspace allows you to set up projects or folders with multiple projects inside of them. You can also communicate with other team members within individual tasks or projects, attach files, and add necessary details for team members to work together effectively.
While many or Wrike’s features are similar to other project management tools on this list, the variety of views you can use to look at projects and tasks is a huge advantage. Within a project, you have the option to view tasks in a list format, as boards, in a table view, as a Gantt chart, or through other specified criteria. This can really help each team member see all the pieces of the puzzle and either focus on their own individual tasks, or see how their tasks connect to tasks assigned to others on the team.
Unlike most of the other task management apps on this list who only offer two or three pricing tiers, Wrike offers a total of five different plan options, plus customizable options for marketing teams and professional service companies. The free plan does allow for unlimited users but does limit some features. Each additional tier works on a per user pricing, and starts at approximately $10/month per user.
As the name suggests, Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-style project management app that can work for businesses of any size. While it looks very different than many of the other options on this list, that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective in task management.
Smartsheet is essentially a spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or Excel, but with additional features and tools that help teams manage tasks collaboratively. The system requires a bit more of a learning curve than other tools on this list like Trello or Asana, but anyone with a basic understanding of spreadsheets can quickly figure out the nuances of this project management tool.
Because of the spreadsheet format, advanced reporting and data analysis is easy with Smartsheet. With these reports, teams can spot issues within projects, evaluate trends in task completion, and make necessary changes. Reports can also be updated in real time, which means you’re always working with the most up-to-date info at any given moment.
Additionally, Smartsheet offers a wide array of automation options. Through the simple drag-and-drop system, you can set up automations based on basic logic, conditional paths, and triggers, or a combination thereof. Smartsheet also integrates with over 70 other common workplace tools, which can help make your workflows even more effective.
With that being said, Smartsheet can be difficult for newbies to learn the ins and outs of, so it may not be an ideal solution for every business. It’s also not ideal for teams who prefer different view options, since the set up for Smartsheet is quite limiting.
In addition to the complicated set up, Smartsheet is also one of the most expensive options on this list for project management. In fact, Smartsheet only offers a free trial for 30 days, then pricing starts at $7 per month per user. Depending on the features you need, however, you’ll likely need the business tier, which costs $25/month per user. This can really be a turn off when there are so many cheaper options out there for task management tools.
Hive advertises itself as “the first project management platform built for users by users.” In fact, the company takes feedback through a forum and uses it to release updates to the task management platform as its user base continues to grow. With a wide array of layouts, and a lengthy list of included features, it’s easy to see why Hive is gaining momentum as a project management tool.
Hive is a complete project management tool that provides users with everything they could possibly need in one place. It offers expansive task management capabilities, plus lots of great analytics tools that can help managers and other leaders really measure their team’s success.
In terms of task management, Hive offers users a multitude of layout options to choose from when viewing projects or their to-do list. In fact, there are options for Gantt charts, Kanban boards, table, portfolio, and calendar views. Furthermore, there’s even an option for what Hive calls a team view, which can help managers see if workloads are evenly distributed between various team members.
However, Hive really shines when it comes to analytics tools and time management. For example, Hive analytics features allow teams to build as many as three dashboards to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and team member productivity. With this, project managers can identify issues with workflows or individual team members and take immediate action. Similarly, teams can use timesheets to measure how many hours are being spent on various tasks or projects, which can help plan ahead for the future and solidify deadlines.
Unlike many other project management apps on this list, Hive actually allows you to utilize communication tools like Slack or even email within the application itself by linking your existing platforms. Otherwise, you also have the option to use Hive’s own messaging platform, which also makes communication between team members quite easy.
Hive does offer a free for life package they label as Hive Solo, but it only allows for 2 users, which hardly makes it possible to use for any sort of small business with more than a couple employees. Otherwise, Hive offers their Hive Teams package for $12/month per user, or for enterprise use you must contact customer service for specific pricing.
For teams who need a unique app that combines project management tools with note taking, Notion may be the app to try. This web-based task management application works a bit differently than most, but it’s great for a small team who needs a way to boost productivity.
Notion offers several basic, yet important task management features within a simple design. The software organizes everything into workspaces, then allows users to add what it calls pages to the workspace for individual projects or tasks. These pages almost feel more like a wiki than a task management app, but this allows users free range when setting up the tasks since blocks, checklists, and even file attachments can all easily be inserted.
From there, you can add pages into your task list, and view them in multiple ways (depending on your preference). In fact, you can view tasks in Kanban boards, list views, calendar format, or even on a timeline.
However, Notion doesn’t offer more sophisticated options like many of the more elaborate project management tools on this list, like Gantt charts, time tracking, or app integrations. While this means that Notion isn’t well suited for larger companies, it does help keep the price points fairly low.
Notion offers a total of four pricing tiers, including a free option. With the exception of the enterprise level (which requires you to contact Notion for pricing), you can actually get any of the other tiers for less than $10 /month per user. This can be a huge advantage for small businesses who want to start out with a basic task management app and scale up at a later date.
Which Project Management Tool Will Do The Job For You?
Each of the task management apps listed above have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For most teams, it’s just a matter of deciding what features you need and which layout will work best for your projects. However, sometimes individual team members need extra help with productivity, which is where productivity apps like Microsoft To-Do may come in handy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a project management app?
Project management apps are specific software systems that help collaborative work teams organize, plan, and accomplish work tasks, especially tasks which may be part of a larger project.
2. What is a Kanban board?
A Kanban board is a popular tool for project managers that allows teams to visualize their work that is currently in progress to maximize efficiency. Kanban boards place individual tasks on cards that move as tasks go through the needed steps to become completed, and many of the most popular project management tools use this system.
3. What is a Gannt chart?
A Gannt chart is a sophisticated table that outlines all the elements of a project in timeline form so you can see overlaps, dependencies, and possible issues in your workflow before they cause delays.
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