My top 5 Project Management Tools


Looking for the best project management software for your team? Finding a tool that suits the exact needs can be a very difficult task.

That’s why I’ve spent over 5 years experimenting with different tools and I’ve found my favourite one! – I’ll review my 5 best project management tools in this article & I’ll recommend which you should consider adopting.

Here’s what I‘ll cover

  • What Should You Look For In A Project Management Tool?
  • The Top 5 Project Management Tools In 2019 (includes features, pros & cons, and pricing)
    • Trello
    • ClickUp
    • Wrike
    • Asana
    • Monday

Let’s get started…

What should you look for in a project management tool?

What attributes should you use to figure out the best tool for your team? Here are the top five aspects…

1. Team Collaboration

How well your team collaborates determines whether your projects meet deadlines or not. Effective teamwork is the core of every project management process – agile, incremental or waterfall. Good project management software lets your team communicate easily and effectively. They need to easily share ideas, opinions, resources or even files to get work done. Therefore, if team collaboration isn’t at the absolute forefront of your project management software, it’s not really worth considering.

2. Innovative Features

Project management is a dynamic process. New process innovations and breakthroughs happen all the time. But is your tool keeping up with these innovations?

That’s why you should choose a project management app that keeps regularly rolling out innovative features. These could be things like an integrated wiki feature, a notes app, an in-built Gantt chart – the list goes on!

If not, you’ll be stuck with a Stone Age tool in the Space Age.

3. Customisability

Every organisation is different. Every workforce is different. Every project is different.

Your project management tool must adapt to this reality. It needs to be customisable.

You should have customisability over layouts, themes, views, milestones – everything!

Your project management tool must adapt to your company and team. After all, you should be running the show right? Not your project management application!

If your tool isn’t easy to use, it just isn’t worth considering.

It could have a million different features, but if they’re not user-friendly, what’s the point?

Your team will waste hours figuring how to use it and it’ll drain their productivity levels.

You might as well stick with Stone Age MS Project!

5. Customer Focused Product Roadmap

Great project management software always has a vision for its future.

There has to be a set of ideas and objectives that it’s planned for the future. If there’s no project roadmap, this isn’t a tool looking to achieve much.

Moreover, this roadmap should be based on what the users want. So go for a tool that keeps customer inputs and feedback at the very core of its innovation and product roadmap.

Choose a project management tool that challenges itself to be better and push the boundaries of what’s expected.

It’s what you expect from your team, right? Why not hold your software to the same standard?

My top 5 Project Management Tools…

Trello

Trello is a simple user-friendly Kanban project management tool that’s very popular these days. Here’s some of its best functionalities…

Simple Task Management

Trello assigns a “Board” to each task. A project manager can access these boards from their dashboard and make any changes they want. They can add tags, custom fields, and priorities – all with one click!

Drag and Drop Functionality

Trello lets you drag and drop tasks (referred to as cards) around your dashboard. This makes rescheduling and editing tasks and projects an absolute breeze!

It’s Kanban project management at it’s finest – uncomplicated and effective!

Power-Ups

Power-Ups are Trello’s take on features. Each task can be assigned a power-up depending on what’s needed. Most of these power-ups are free and have paid upgrades for more functionality.

Some of these power-ups include features like calendar views, Google Drive integrations, and file sharing.

Trellos most popular power-up is their “Butler” feature that lets it automate a preset group of tasks!

Trello Pros

  • Simple, user-friendly interface
  • Easy task management and scheduling
  • Useful power-ups for additional functionality
  • Unlimited storage on the free version.

Trello Cons

  • No views other than Kanban views
  • No reporting features
  • Cannot manage complicated projects
  • No advanced features like native Mind maps, Docs and Gantt charts.

Pricing

Trello has three variants.

  • A Free variant for small teams
  • A Business variant ($9.99/month per user) for large teams
  • An Enterprise variant ($20.83/month per user) for larger teams.

Missing Features

  • No list or box view – you just have Kanban board view
  • Cannot add multiple assignees to a project
  • Cannot assign comments to team members
  • No native spreadsheets.

Learn more about Trello

ClickUp

ClickUp is a (b)leading edge project management tool. It’s got loads of features that you just won’t find in any other project management software.

Here’s a closer look at some features that put ClickUp in a league of its own.

  • Custom Views
  • Custom Statuses
  • Assigned Comments
  • Gantt Charts
  • Spreadsheets
  • Time Tracking
  • Reminders
  • Inbox
  • Custom Fields
  • Docs
  • Mind Mapping
  • Integrations

A) Custom Views

Most vendors use different tools for different teams.

Tech and engineering teams usually want a kanban/agile style tool. However, sales and marketing teams prefer a list-based tool.

Since most project management tools just have one type of view, you are forced to use multiple tools throughout your company.

But not ClickUp! ClickUp gives you four different views for your dashboards/projects.

That’s not all! ClickUp is one of the few tools that let you toggle between views on the same project…

Board View

Perfect for easily moving your project’s tasks around. It’s a great option for SCRUM/Kanban enthusiasts!

List View

Want to view all your projects in a GTD-style (getting-things-done) list?

No problem! With the list view, you can check off project tasks and subtasks with ease!

Box View

The box view shows you all the tasks each team member is working on. Project managers love this work view as project tasks are broken down by assignees!

Me View

Want to only focus on tasks that concern you? The Me view only shows projects and task lists assigned to you. No more unimportant tasks clogging up your dashboard.

Adjusting workspaces to fit your needs has never been easier!

B) Custom Statuses

ClickUp lets you add statuses to your projects and tasks to keep everyone informed of what stage it’s in. The best part of ClickUp’s statuses is that they’re customisable. You’re not limited to standard statuses like ‘Open,’ ‘Closed’ or ‘Review.’

You can get as creative and detailed as you want! Add statuses such as ‘Issues Found’ or ‘Check Back.’

C) Assigned Comments

Ever have an important comment go overlooked by a team member?

With ClickUp, you won’t face that issue.

Whenever you want someone to address a comment, you can assign it to them. ClickUp will send them a notification to ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked.

They can then address the comment and mark it as resolved when they’re done.

D) Gantt Charts

ClickUp gives you state-of-the-art Gantt charts to track and manage your projects. You get a bird’s eye view of your project progress and can make changes to your plan in no time. It’s perfect for project portfolio management. ClickUp’s Gantt charts come with tons of automation to make them super powerful. ClickUp’s Gantt charts can:

  • Automatically readjust your task dependencies when you reschedule items
  • Calculate the project progress percentage based on tasks completed/total tasks
  • Compare expected vs current project progress
  • Calculate critical paths to identify which tasks you must prioritise
  • Help with workflow management.

E) Spreadsheets

Loads of companies still use Excel and Google Sheets to manage project spreadsheets. While there’s nothing wrong with those tools, it’s not an efficient way to work.

Why? You’re working on separate spreadsheet apps and will have to manually transfer that data to your project space. Moreover, juggling multiple apps is always a real pain.

Luckily, ClickUp allows you to embed your MS Excel or Google Docs spreadsheets right into your project space.

F) Time Tracking

ClickUp has a powerful native time tracker to keep your productivity levels at their highest. You can start recording how much time a task takes with just a click.

ClickUp also gives you a Time Tracked Report which can:

  • Calculate the total time each team member has spent on tasks
  • Calculate how much time each task/project took
  • Export this data for reasons such as generating invoices.

G) Reminders

ClickUp’s reminders are some of the most powerful reminders I’ve ever seen.

You have access to:

  • A reminders inbox – to keep track of all your reminders in one place
  • A next tab – to see what reminders are coming up
  • A done tab – to see what reminders you’ve finished
  • An unscheduled tab – to see which reminders don’t have due dates yet.

H) Inbox

ClickUp’s inbox is your project management HQ.

It’s got everything you need…

  • You can view your current projects and reminders.
  • You can create new projects and tasks.
  • You can view and edit your calendar.

It’s the perfect place to take stock of what needs to be done and get it done!

I) Custom Fields

ClickUp lets you add custom fields to your tasks to make them richer and more detailed.

You can add fields such as:

  • URLs
  • Dropdowns
  • Emails
  • Phone numbers
  • Currencies

You can also use these custom fields to easily filter your projects and tasks.

J) Docs

ClickUp Docs act as a powerful wiki tool for your company.

You can:

  • Store valuable company documents in a safe, accessible space
  • Easily find each doc as they’re stored alongside each concerned project
  • Nest pages within documents for easy categorisation
  • Access rich text formatting options to customise documents
  • Edit access rights for each doc for additional security
  • Let Google index your doc to appear in search results.

K) Mindmapping

ClickUp also gives you a mind mapping feature to brainstorm ideas and strategies for your project. You can create detailed mind maps to visualise possibilities and opportunities before starting a project. Having an integrated mind mapping feature can be a real lifesaver. As your mind maps are part of your project management software itself, you can seamlessly transfer that data to your project space.

L) Integrations

ClickUp has one of the most exhaustive integration lists out there!

With ClickUp’s public API, you can also add as many custom integrations as you want! As new integrations are added every month, you’ll have no trouble switching to ClickUp.

Some of ClickUp’s current integrations include:

  • Slack
  • Github
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Outlook
  • Evernote

ClickUp Pros

  • Custom Views with saveable layouts
  • Detailed reports
  • Gantt charts to manage your projects task dependencies
  • Time tracking capabilities
  • Loads of integrations
  • Feature-rich free version.

ClickUp Cons

  • New to market
  • So many features – can take a lot of time to learn
  • Free version only offers 100Mb of cloud storage space.

Pricing

ClickUp has three pricing options.

  • Free – Unlimited projects and users with 100Mb of cloud storage space
  • Unlimited ($5/month per user) – Unlimited projects and users + unlimited number of integrations + advanced reporting
  • Business ($19/month per user) –  Unlimited projects and users features + two-factor authentication + Google SSO

Learn more about ClickUp

Wrike

Wrike is an award-winning web-based application for project management.

Here are some of the features that make it special…

Three-Pane View

Wrike has an intuitive three-pane interface geared towards accessibility and productivity. Here’s what it contains:

  • Left pane – contains the project hierarchy to edit and adjust subtasks
  • Middle pane – contains all your current task lists for a project
  • Right pane – contains detailed information about your tasks.

This interface makes it easy to manage everything from one workspace. You can monitor task dependencies, team communication and project progress reports easily.

Analytics

Wrike has powerful analytics to give project managers detailed insights about their project and team. Here are two of their most popular analytics reports:

  • Global report – Analyses task data from your projects over eight different categories. It’s useful for expense tracking and calculating future resource allocation.
  • Performance chart – Graphical representation of your project’s progress over time.

With Wrike, detailed insights are just a click away. It’s visual project management at it’s finest!

Forms and Requests

Wrike eliminates the need for countless email threads and text notifications. With their forms and requests feature, you can assign tasks and communicate information easily.

Everything you need to know is on the form itself. You won’t need any other follow-ups!

Wrike Pros

  • Enterprise-level project management capabilities
  • Tons of in-built features such as time tracking and file sharing
  • Detailed reports and insights to calculate deliverables.

Wrike Cons

  • Mobile apps lack functionality.
  • Not user-friendly – especially for beginners.

Pricing

Wrike has three variants to choose from.

  • Free tier – for teams of up to five members for simple project management
  • Professional variant ($9.80/month per user) – for teams up to 15 members with advanced features
  • Business variant ($24.80/month per user) – for teams up to 200 members with top-of-the-line features.

Missing Features

  • Cannot add multiple assignees
  • Cannot assign comments to team members
  • No advanced features like Docs and Mindmaps.

Learn more about Wrike

Asana

Asana is an incredibly popular project management tool used by companies all over the world. Here’s what makes this project management tool so popular…

User Interface

One of the best things about Asana is its user interface. It’s simple and easy to use.

You get tons of flexibility over how it looks and can move task lists around very easily. You also have access to an activity feed on your dashboard to keep up with what your team members are up to.

Visual Project Timeline

Asana’s visual project timeline feature is a Gantt chart of sorts. It highlights your task due dates, assignees and progress over time. You can get a bird’s eye view of your progress with this visual project timeline and can make scheduling adjustments easily!

Loads of Integrations

Asana can integrate with loads of applications to become a hub for all your business activities. Here are some popular apps it can integrate with:

  • Slack – for quick team communication
  • Google Calendar – to manage your activity schedules
  • Dropbox – for easy file sharing.

Asana Pros

  • Project timelines for simple workflow management
  • Tons of helpful integrations
  • Drag and drop functionality for task management.

Asana Cons

  • Limited features on the free version
  • Team members will find it hard to collaborate over a plan
  • Not meant for heavy project management.

Pricing

Asana has four variants to choose from

  • A basic free variant
  • A Premium variant ($9.99/month per user) for smaller teams
  • A Business variant (1$19.99/month per user) for loads of features
  • An Enterprise variant (price on request).

Missing Features

  • Cannot assign comments to team members
  • Cannot add multiple assignees to a task
  • Cannot switch between views on the same project
  • No custom statuses
  • No “Me” tab to only view tasks that concern you
  • Does not support native mind mapping.

Learn more about Asana

Monday

Monday is another good online project management solution. Formerly known as Dapulse, here’s what makes Monday special…

Third Party Collaboration

Most project management tools only allow team members to access their workspaces. This makes working with freelancers and third-party agents difficult.

With Monday however, you won’t face any such issues. A project manager can add as many third-party agents as they want!

You can customise their access rights to ensure that they only access projects assigned to them. This way, your security isn’t compromised!

Easy Communication

Monday is a good project management collaboration software because of its comment sections. Teams can use it to share ideas, project tasks and files with no difficulty!

Monday also lets you follow Twitter and Linkedin threads in the app to stay updated!

Loads of Integrations

Monday can integrate with Drive, Dropbox and many other platforms.

As Monday is built on an open-source framework, developers can add custom integrations as well!

Monday Pros

  • Open API architecture allows you to add custom integrations
  • Detailed reporting capabilities
  • Ability to add freelancers and third-party agents.

Monday Cons

  • Cannot handle complex projects
  • No free plan
  • Mobile apps are not very intuitive (need work).

Pricing

Monday has four plans.

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Pro
  • Enterprise

Missing Features

  • No free plan
  • Cannot toggle between views in the same project
  • Cannot set up recurring tasks
  • Does not support automatic time tracking
  • No mind mapping capabilities
  • Cannot assign comments
  • Cannot monitor task dependencies.

Learn more about Monday

Conclusion

Finding the perfect project management software isn’t easy – especially when you’ve got tons of great options available today.

While all these tools are great, ClickUp is the most feature-rich project management and collaboration software in 2019. Even its free version has more functionality than the paid versions of most other tools. The problem is it takes a lot of time to learn and use its features properly.

By far my favourite is Trello – it’s not as feature-rich or (b)leading-edge as ClickUp but it’s super intuitive and user-friendly and almost anyone can master it within an hour. The free version allows you to create up to 10 boards and offers unlimited storage & members. It’s the only project management tool that I keep reverting back to & use this to manage work projects as well as my personal ones. The web app and the mobile app are just so awesome, it syncs instantly like no other & works flawlessly all the time. 

Why not sign up for the free version and experience it for yourself!

 

Nazrul Hoque – 1 November 2019