Editor’s Note: This post was written by a guest blogger. Learn more about them in the bio below this post.
In business, managing your staff and their individual tasks can be one of the trickiest jobs you’re faced with. Even more challenging can be keeping track of those group-run tasks, wherein multiple employees can be working on the same outline from different locations and viewpoints. Bringing clients into this loop is a good idea to get some external feedback, a fresh eye and important consumer advice.
But all of this was very difficult to implement until the development of great project management software, which has seen a boom in sales and increased productivity in the workplace tenfold.
Here are three examples of the best project management tools you can use in your business:
Conceptboard is billed as a “virtual whiteboard” for international project management. Hosted on the cloud, this piece of software is accessible by anyone with an internet connection. This means that the CEO can check on the progress from his iPhone on his private jet, whilst the new intern can work furiously from his laptop in his apartment.
The virtual whiteboard is live in real time, meaning multiple users can interact together and see the drawings of their teammates and colleagues. It’s not just shapes and drawings that can be shared, this project management tool lets you directly upload documents, files, photos and videos to share with one another. Editing tools included give you the ability to edit documents as if you had a pen and paper. Mistakes can be circled, scribbled out, editing made with handwriting, and arrows to highlight problems.
Guests can be invited for temporary access, so perhaps you want to include your client during an integral part of the process. Conceptboard gives you the ability to do that as well.
Pricing plans range from free to Enterprise level and all have a 30-day trial period.
Basecamp is the market leader and definitely the most widely known cloud project management tool. It allows teams to collaborate and establish working and personal relationships with the consumers. Popular among web developers, it creates a mutual platform where ideas can be explored and defined. Clients can have intimate access with those performing work for them and have a solid input to the process.
This is a very professional, multi-user contact client that ‘s very unlike the colloquial and convenient aura of Conceptboard. Corporate-friendliness is at the top of Basecamp’s list as one of its key designs is involving the client with the work. Groups and forums can be established for different discussions, so you can have inter-work, intra-work, client involvement, client exclusion. Just be sure not to badmouth the client in the public forum!
Day-by-day history of your projects allow new members to instantly recap on what they’ve missed, while custom task lists and a Facebook-esque timeline lets you stay up to date on the project as a whole including your teammates progress.
Pricing plans range from $20/month to $150/month depending on your project load, but all plans come with a 60-day trial.
Toggl is an innovative time management suite, designed to help you keep track of all those lost minutes and utilize them in a productive and efficient manner. If you’re a tracker and a quantifier, you’ll be shaking with excitement about Toggl, a tool that is designed both for time-keeping number crunchers and those who just can’t get their head around managing their workloads.
Freelance workers are avid fans of Toggl, as they can solidly keep track of their progress by the hour and produce more accurate reports. The concept behind the software is a simple start-stop of a clock, but the ability to produce graphs, charts and comparisons allow you to quickly identify your misspent time. Managers can even induct their employees onto the system and clamp down on wasted minutes.
Excel enthusiasts will love the .CSV export in Toggl, while those on the move will love its portability as both a standalone .EXE file and automatic syncing when it encounters an internet connection. Toggl can be synchronized with a number of other project management software including the infamous Basecamp. Liaising internationally has never been easier with support of all currencies and time zones, meaning you don’t have to quibble over foreign clients about those extra few pennies that seem to disappear in the currency changeover.
Toggl charges $5 per user per month that you can try free for 30 days, and they also have a free plan with basic features.
Have you tried any of these tools? What are you using to manage your business projects?