The 10 Best Online Project Management Tools to Increase Business Productivity

January 16th, 2017 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe

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.

1. Basecamp

Basecamp is considered by many to be the top project management tool available. Featuring a user-friendly interface for team and client collaboration, the platform allows you to manage multiple projects, set up discussion groups, manage and use to-do lists, share documents and much more. Free to use for students and teachers and half price for non-profits, Basecamp is currently priced at USD$99 per month for businesses, regardless of how many users you have.

2. Asana

Asana is known as a hybrid task and project management platform, and it’s a popular choice for many remote workers, freelancers and onsite teams. One core feature of this platform is how it bypasses reliance on email and allows you to collaborate on work, share files and define actionable tasks without email. Available also on iOS and Android as an app, Asana is free to use for teams of up to 15.

3. Freedcamp

Freedcamp is another leading project management platform, and it’s completely free for unlimited users, projects and storage. The platform offers paid versions for those that need extra features. 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.

4. Orangescrum

Orangescrum is a platform for businesses who want a high level of customisation and are happy to invest in coders who can customise the system for them. Highly versatile and designed for further development to suit your organisation’s needs, Orangescrum comes with clear and concise graphics, time logs, invoicing, task groups and much more. Currently Orangescrum starts at USD$9 per month for up to 10 users and unlimited tasks.

5. Projecturf

This project management and collaboration platform allows you to add team members for instant access via the web, and it comes with an extensive range of features and functions such as the ability to manage tasks, add events to the calendar, 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 such as Dropbox, Google Contacts, Outlook Calendar and Google Drive accounts.

6. LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner is a highly specialised virtual workspace that’s designed for small to medium-sized IT businesses with no more than 200 employees. With a range of time-focused features and reporting tools, it’s a great platform if you’re an IT services company that bills by the hour. You can use the tool to prioritise hundreds of separate IT projects, collaborate at the task level, manage day-to-day activities, set milestones and integrate with other platforms such as Dropbox and Salesforce. LiquidPlanner starts at USD$9 a month for a team of five users.

7. Zoho Projects

Zoho is an online project management tool that offers a full range of project planning tools. There’s a project-coordinator tool that allows your teams collaborate effortlessly, a timesheet tool that can be used to generate invoices, and advanced analytics and reporting features. Zoho also has easy document management and integration with other platforms such as Google Apps, making it even easier to track projects and progress.

8. Apollo

Apollo is another great project management platform that is easy to use and comes with a full range of features. 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 currently starts at USD$23 per month for up to seven users.

9. Trello

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. Filtering and labelling makes it easy to find items, and the platform is designed to integrate with third-party systems such as Salesforce, Slack, Google Drive and Evernote. Used by companies such as The Verge, Tumblr and The New York Times, Trello is available as an app as well as cloud-based form. Trello comes in a free version as well as paid business class and enterprise versions with additional features.

10. GanttProject

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.

There are many online project management tools out there that could help you boost productivity in your business. For most businesses, the challenge is to find something that aligns with their unique requirements and user skill levels so that training is minimised for adoption. As long as you take these factors into consideration, along with any customisation requirements, you should be able to find a platform that saves you time and supports your teams in doing the best job that they can.

About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Aussie Broadband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.