16 Project Management Tools That Make Juggling Easy

By Alyssa Gregory
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Managing multiple projects can be cumbersome and chaotic if you don’t have some kind of system in place to keep track of everything. That challenge can be compounded when you add in multiple services, subcontractors or employees, and various team members on the client side. I have found that my business runs most efficiently when I have a system driving data collection, tracking tasks, and facilitating collaboration with all of the people that need to be in the know on a specific project.

I’ve tried many project management applications in my search for the perfect system and came up with a short list of options that seemed to have the most potential for me. Of course, the way each person works is unique to them, so finding the right tool for you may take some individual research. But here are three of my favorites and a handful more to give you a starting point.

1. Intervals

Intervals is listed first because it’s the application I currently use, but don’t let that sway you. This is a powerful tool that would be a worthy addition to any project management list. It has a task-based setup, which suits me perfectly, and it has (almost) all of the features on my wish list, including:

  • Task management
  • File storage
  • Reporting functions
  • Client access
  • Subcontractor task assignment
  • Time tracking
  • Security

Intervals also has invoicing and a whole slew of budgeting functionality built in, although I don’t use those features…not yet, at least. They have great customer service, respond very quickly to my many feature requests, and are consistently adding new functionality. Plus, the company behind Intervals is a web design/development company who struggled to find a perfect project management tool for their business so they created their own.

What Intervals is missing for me is an option for recurring tasks, a notebook/whiteboard space, and a few other minor features. It may be a bit pricey (the plan that comes with SSL protection is $100/month), but if you work in a task-centric flow and need expansive functionality in your PM application, this is a great option.

intervals project management

2. Basecamp

Basecamp is a very popular project management system touted as being useable by everyone. And it’s true; it’s very easy to use. Sections are broken into To-Do’s, Milestones, Writeboards, Chat, Time, Files with a Dashboard, showing you all of the highest priority items across all of your data. It’s a great tool for collaboration and interaction, with features including:

  • Multiple projects
  • File sharing
  • Project-based to-do’s
  • Time tracking
  • Commenting and message boards
  • Writeboard (notebook-like functionality)
  • Security

It has a good range of monthly plans, with a mid-priced plan of $49/month for features comparable to Intervals $100/month plan. Basecamp provides an exhaustive list of extras and add-ons sold a la carte, which brings the cost closer to Intervals. Some of the useful add-ons include invoicing, time tracking, desktop widgets and some iPhone apps.

The downfall for me is that it is a bit too simple, and I just couldn’t get it to bend to my needs. And, of course, I have my task-oriented focus to support, which Basecamp didn’t. But it is a great option, and if you’re looking for a quick and straightforward tool with virtually no learning curve that everyone on your team can use, this is it.

basecamp

3. Teamwork Project Manager

Teamwork Project Manager offers a robust set of features in a very intuitive format. It has a look and feel that is reminiscent of Basecamp, but is just a bit more extensive. Some of the features include:

  • Task lists
  • Time tracking
  • File sharing
  • Milestones
  • Message boards
  • Notebooks
  • E-mail integration

Like Intervals, Teamwork Project Manager is another very strong project management tool with a responsive company behind the wheel and great customer service. They reply quickly to questions and feature requests and have a roadmap of the up-and-coming enhancements available online. They offer a number of monthly plans, ranging from free to $150/month. Their lowest plan that offers SSL (throughout the account, not just upon login) is $24/month. If you like Basecamp, but need a little more built-in functionality, this is a great option.

teamwork project manager

Some other project management tools worth a look:

4. @task
5. 5pm
6. activeCollab
7. CentralDesktop
8. Clientspot
9. Deskaway
10. GTD Agenda
11. Huddle
12. OnStage
13. Projjex
14. Smartsheet
15. Wrike
16. Zoho Projects

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