A good idea is only worth something if it is put into practice. The how plays a crucial role here, and project management tools can be of great help here. We show you services that optimize your project and your daily work.
From the freelancer to the enterprise, no business functions efficiently in the long term without proper planning. Either you waste a lot of time because tasks are not adequately coordinated and prioritized, or you leave many business potentials. For example, employees quit in frustration who like their tasks but perceive the communication and coordination processes as the only catastrophe. The following project management tools help to get structure in the hut so that everyone can work more effectively, time-saving, profitable, and – not insignificantly – happier.
Asana is arguably one of the most popular universal tools for project management. For freelancers and small teams of up to 15 people, the free version is sufficient, which includes a digital Kanban board and task lists with deadlines and a calendar and file storage. Integrating well-known services such as Slack, Dropbox, G Suite tools, and a lot more is also efficient. From the paid premium version, projects can be tracked in timelines and given milestones. If you are overwhelmed initially, you can use templates that are rare in the basic version but already create a structure with examples that you can then adapt to your needs.
Todoist is a to-do app, but it can also be used for project management. With all the classic features that Google Keep, Any, Wunderlist, or comparable apps have, projects can be organized in lists in the form of to-dos and given deadlines. A graphical evaluation then shows the progress of completed tasks and projects and integrating the usual suspicious tools from Google or Dropbox. The use of Alexa to dictate the tasks is also possible. In the premium version for companies, tasks can be given labels, and templates can be created. So if you only need a simple tool to coordinate everyday freelance work or small projects with others, Todoist is a good solution.
The top dog among Kanban boards is certainly Trello, which focuses on this famous principle, especially in agile software development. Admittedly, Kanban is part of several project management tools. The clean and minimalist design of the Trello surface makes getting started with this type of status overview delightful. Trello also offers a range of automation that handle routine tasks by themselves or synchronize data with other tools. For paying customers, there is still a sack full of features that, above all, significantly expand the automation and make it very powerful; In addition, there is extensive rights management for user administration so that not everyone can fool around in there.
If Trello were Windows, Wekan would be Linux. Therefore, the famous and free open source version of Trello is more for people who want to expand and host the tool themselves and who can also do it on Raspberry Pis, with Sandstorm or Docker. In terms of features, Wekan is also a Kanban board with user administration, but in terms of its interface, as is so often the case with such projects, it is “more functional.” So be prepared for a bit of tinkering, should you have your eye on Wekan. The possible variety of functions is then limited to your ingenuity.
Basecamp has set itself the task of packing the entire communication and management of projects under one hood. In addition to to-do lists, which show the project’s current status as a percentage, Basecamp wants to eliminate the often inefficient traceability of e-mails and task assignments through message boards. Imagine a fancy forum where projects can be discussed, and if things have to be more personal and ad hoc, the integrated chat can help. At Basecamp, it is also interesting to display automated status reports on projects and be able to invite customers into the system quickly.
The aim is to minimize the mail chaos and ensure that critical information is accessible to all project participants and not just to Uwe from IT. The user interface at Basecamp is particularly appealing, as it graphically displays the particular areas in boxes, which also include a kind of bulletin board where internal information can be announced to all employees. Basecamp can be used free of charge for one month, after which the pricing model is straightforward: $ 99 a month for everything with no user restrictions.
Like Trello and Confluence, Jira belongs to Atlassian and is primarily aimed at agile software development teams. Surprise: Jira also has a Kanban board, also available as a Scrum variant for agile working methods. Thus sprints can be planned in Jira, the projects prioritized and tracked in the context of others in the startup or company. A visual representation of roadmaps and an overview of the release versions ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening in the teams. Jira also brings workflow planning with templates.
In addition to integrating numerous developer tools, the Jira naturally offers an interface to other Atlassian applications such as Confluence. Overall, Jira is not a comprehensive tool but rather specializes in the requirements of agile software teams. After a seven-day test phase, 7 or 14 US dollars per user per month are due, depending on the support, storage, and uptime guarantee you need.
Even if, according to Microsoft’s figures, Slack was overtaken by their competing tool, Teams, in mid-July 2019, the collaboration and project management suite is undoubtedly the most popular. Slack is particularly suitable for startups and medium-sized companies because the tool focuses on direct exchange in chat rooms. If anyone remembers IRC: Slack works similarly and allows the creation of rooms for specific users, projects can be discussed. Direct messages are, of course, also possible.
By integrating all-important communication, file sharing, and the previously mentioned services such as Trello and Asana, Slack has more or less blossomed into the industry standard. The chat rooms can be fired with news from RSS feeds or expanded with CRM suites from Salesforce or Zoho, and a lot more can be brought under the great roof of Slack. The service is free of charge, even if this information can be found a little hidden in the help center, but is then severely limited. It is enough to try it out, but if you want to work sensibly with Slack and link the service with other tools, you can get it from 6.25 euros per user and month.
The popular Evernote note-taking tool not only brings paper, bookmark, and brain management under one roof and structures them with tags. The suite can also be used as a project management tool if you want to plan your work with the help of an information hub. For this reason, Evernote or the extended version Evernote Business is probably more suitable for content creators, smaller agencies, or semi-professional blogs who want to put their links and ideas in the app and then organize them to use them as articles, videos, or in another form to implement.
For this purpose, the Notes can be assigned to specific people; deadlines can be created, and, of course, other services can also be integrated with Evernote Business. A premium version is available for 6.99 euros, but the version that is about twice as expensive is only possible to work with all features and in larger teams. If you want to save yourself the flakes and are interested in using the tool effectively as a freelancer or uncoordinated private person: install Evernote and implement the GTD approach (Getting Things Done)