10 best web-based project management tools to boost business productivity
If you have ever worked on a complex project, you probably already know about the tremendous value that quality project management software can deliver. Using a suitable project management tool facilitates communication, better coordination and improved tracking – all of which can boost productivity and help you achieve your project goals on time. There are many great project management tools out there, each with different features and tools.
The project management tools at a glance:
- Gantt Project
Basecamp is a platform that allows you to manage multiple projects, set up discussion groups, manage and use to-do lists, share documents and much more. Its user-friendly interface for team and client collaboration makes it great for managing remote teams and employees (they even wrote a book about it). No wonder it’s considered one of the top online project management tools available!
For students and teachers, Basecamp is free to use, and there are heavy discounts for non-profits. For businesses, Basecamp is currently priced at a flat USD$99 per month fee for unlimited projects and users. They also offer a free version with limited features for personal use.
Asana is a hybrid task and project management platform, and it’s a popular choice for remote workers, freelancers and onsite teams.
Teams will often use Asana primarily for its easy-to-use kanban boards that help people track and monitor projects. But Asana is also great at enabling managers to set and track goals, get real-time insights and reporting, as well as setting up calendars and timelines to keep to deadlines.
One core feature of the platform is that it bypasses reliance on email and allows teams to collaborate on work, share files and define actionable tasks without email. This can be handy for introducing people who are outside to the company, such as external marketing agencies.
Asana is available on iOS and Android as an app and is free to use for teams of up to 15. Premium and business accounts are available with extra features, starting from AUD$14.99 per month per user when billed annually.
3. Zoho Project
Zoho is a powerful online project management tool that offers a full range of project planning and business function tools. It manages all business functions from sales, marketing, HR and hiring, finances, security and IT management, analytics, team collaboration, and, of course, project management. There’s even a toolkit suite to help remote employees collaborate and communicate with their team.
Some of the apps that Zoho offers include help desk software to deliver customer support, a CRM to manage and convert sales leads, social media management, marketing automation software, inventory and stock management, invoicing and payroll, and much more. It also offers easy integration with Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, and many others.
Businesses may even choose to run their full end-to-end operations using Zoho’s unified cloud software.
Because Zoho lets businesses customise the suite of apps that’s right for their needs, pricing is dependent on which pieces of the puzzle you select. This also allows businesses to find solutions to fit your budget and scale up or down as necessary.
Orangescrum is a platform for businesses who want a high level of customisation and are happy to invest in coders who can personalise the system to meet the organisation’s or department’s specific needs. This is both the platforms upside and downside, as having a fully customised project management tool will greatly improve productivity, but getting to that point of fully integrated customisation is more time-consuming.
The Orangescrum platform is highly versatile and designed for further development to suit your organisation’s needs. It comes with clear and concise graphics, time logs, invoicing, task groups and much more. It also integrates with other software your organisation might be running, like Slack, Github, Zapier, Zoom, Google Drive, and more.
Orangescrum offers both cloud-based and on-premise self-hosted plans. For cloud plans, Orangescrum is free for three users with unlimited projects and tasks. Then prices start at USD$9 per month for up to 10 users.
LiquidPlanner is a highly specialised virtual workspace that’s designed for small to medium-sized IT businesses with no more than 200 employees. It’s a unique project management solution that uses predictive scheduling to dynamically adapt to change so teams can better plan and manage their workflows, particularly in times of uncertainty.
With a range of time-focused features and reporting tools, LiquidPlanner is a great platform if you’re an IT services company that bills by the hour. Teams can use the platform to prioritise hundreds of separate IT projects, collaborate at the task level, manage day-to-day activities and set milestones. It also integrates with other platforms such as Dropbox and Salesforce.
But it’s the platform’s smart estimation and predictive scheduling functions that make this project management tool really stand out. These functions helps teams to mitigate risk at every step of the project, and it can forecast when a project will be completed using adaptive modelling.
LiquidPlanner is free with limited features for up to three people, six resources, 10 projects and 300 tasks. For additional users, functions, and projects, plans start at USD$15 per user per month when billed annually.
Freedcamp is another leading project management platform. Freedcamp’s features include a single dashboard view for the whole project, task setting, CRM, invoicing, issue tracking, forums, milestones, user permissions and much more.
Like other online project management tools, Freedcamp offers kanban board and Gantt chart views to better view and streamline team workflows. It’s also able to easily integrate with third-party platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive (among others) so you can seamlessly link up your projects.
One particularly great thing about Freedcamp is that it’s free for unlimited users, projects and storage. And although the free version is fairly comprehensive, you can upgrade to higher tiers for extra and more specialised features and support, with plans starting from USD$1.49 per user per month when billed annually.
Apollo is another great easy-to-use project management platform that comes with a full range of features.
Using the platform you can set up multiple projects to track, manage contacts, add users and set tasks and milestones. There are also tools for tracking time and billing by hour, virtual whiteboards for collaboration, email integration, and mile management and sharing.
Apollo’s pricing currently starts at USD$23 per month for up to seven users.
Trello is a project management platform that will appeal to users who enjoy arranging their ideas in a visual manner.
The platform uses boards, lists and cards for the user interface, so you can easily share ideas, update tasks and set due dates or deadlines as required. Trello makes it easy to find tasks through the platform’s filtering and labelling functions, and it integrates with third-party systems such as Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive and Evernote.
Trello is available as an app as well as cloud-based form. It comes in a free version and offers paid business class and enterprise versions with additional features.
For specialist or expert users, there’s GanttProject – an open-source, free platform for project scheduling and management.
GanttProject can be used to create Gantt and PERT charts, produce complex and detailed reports, and manage project schedules. You can use the platform to assign tasks, track milestones, and monitor workflows.
Due to its complexity, this platform is probably best for advanced users.
Projecturf is a real-time collaboration workspace and web-based project management tool designed more for small to medium businesses but there is also an enterprise version for larger companies.
The platform comes with an extensive range of features and functions such as the ability to manage tasks, start discussions and analyse project data. There are also interactive Gantt charts, options to customise the look and feel of the platform for your projects, and the option to link to other services like your Slack and Google accounts.
Projecturf is available on three pricing tiers starting at USD$50 per month for up to five users and five open projects.
There are many web-based project management software solutions out there that could help you boost productivity in your business. Ultimately, the best project management tool is the one that your employees want to use without getting in the way of them doing their actual job.
For most businesses, the challenge is finding the right balance of tools that align with their budget, unique requirements, usage, and the user skill levels. As long as you take these factors into consideration, the right platform will save you time and support your organisation’s goals.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Jan 16, 2017 and has been updated and refreshed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.