Business is changing with the power of the Internet. With employees all over the world and emails swamping us every day.
Businesses are seeking ways to kill the email overload and yet keep on top of the needs of the client and the employee team.
The best project management software providers are seeking to meet the needs of businesses by providing a place where teams can collaborate without getting slowed down.
Having a project management software platform that allows a business to control projects, share information, and to stay on budget is key to effectively managing a team and succeeding in business without being swamped by email.
Finding the right software platform that can handle the size of your team and generate the reports that you need, while still being user-friendly and fast is vital.
Our #1 Pick: Smartsheet
Smartsheet is our #1 choice due to all the features that they offer their clients while still being user-friendly.
Overall, they have excellent customer servic and learning resources.
Smartsheet started in 2006, and since then they have made consistent improvements to their project management platform to meet the needs of their users.
Top Project Management Software Choices
Why Smartsheet Is Our Top Pick
Smartsheet works with different pay groups based on the number of users that you need.
If it is an individual who is the administer, then it is $14 a month if billed annually.
For a team or business, it is $15 and $25, respectively, with a minimum of three users. If a business needs a larger platform, then Smartsheet can customize the users and plan to meet that need.
The Smartsheet platform has gain popularity in recent years and has many of the Fortune 500 companies on their client list.
Not only is a Smartsheet user allowed to share various data sheets over the platform but also the user can work with software outside of the platform such as Google Suite, Evernote, and Dropbox’s strong point is their mobile app.
Full versions of the software are available even on a smartphone.
Team members are able to respond to notifications, new posts, and upload files from their phone or tablet. You are even able to take photos from your phone directly from the app.
Through Smartsheet the team manager can view the work load of different team members and determine if they are over loading the team member’s schedule towards various projects and tasks.
The resource management view can show the user who else is available to work on other projects and help plan any future projects.
Team members can track notes, comments, and suggestions throughout a project or receive notifications when someone has made any changes to a project. Change notifications help your team by removing any surprises.
Reminders will be sent to team members as a deadline draws near. Alerts can be set by the team manager if needed. The remainder will appear via email or directly through the software platform.
With the Smartsheet platform, users can publish information directly to the web in read-only mode or even editable files to reach the maximum number of collaborators working on a project.
This is especially helpful to allow clients to review information on project drafts. Allowing clients to see a project as it develops saves you and your team time and money by not having to redo projects.
Smartsheet is committed to having the lowest learning curve for both you and your team by providing a wide library of videos to help users learn the software and provide reference points for team training.
Live webinars, community forums, and phone assist are also available for continued team development and troubleshooting.
Smartsheet does not have a view for budget or financials of a project outside of a typical spreadsheet. However, if your team does not have to worry about budget line items, then the financials are unnecessary.
As stated, Smartsheet is our number one pick for project management software. Smartsheet would be a perfect fit for businesses that have assigned tasks and clear steps to a completed project.
The overall cost is low, and it has an app allows users to be on the go while still fully connected.
The Runner Up: Mavenlink
Mavenlink works within their platform for effective team collaboration and integrates other apps for a streamlined workspace.
The Mavenlink platform focuses on delivering projects with two major emphases; time and budgets.
Users can view all projects within a streamlined visual layout that couples project tasks with a Gantt chart of the schedule and budgets listed out on the top of each project.
For a five-person team, Mavenlink is $19 a month. If you would like to add financials and budgeting to the project management software, then it is $39 a month per user.
A variety of other packages are available for larger businesses and groups, but Mavenlink needs to be contacted to develop the perfect platform for those businesses.
Overall, Mavenlink works with a vast amount of data for wide range of reports and to allow the user to stay on top of all their projects.
Mavenlink has a library of over 200 reports that a user can run at any given time, however, if you are in need of custom report then you can reach out to the staff at Mavenlink, and they will build the report for you.
Mavenlink’s strong point is its incorporation of the budget items into each project or task. Users can clearly see the expectations of both time and resources they are allowed to use.
Clients can have access to the Mavenlink platform as well. When clients see that projects are on budget and on time could put their minds at ease.
Users can put in notes and project files into tasks within the platform. Team members can work and communicate with each other in real time and tag each other in notes and comments.
Tags operate much like what a user would apply on Twitter.
Team leaders can assign team members not only by the time that they have available but also by their role in any given project such as graphic designer or account manager.
Over time, successful projects could become templates for future use as an easy project set up.
Mavenlink’s mobile app is not as robust as Smartsheet, but it will allow users to track time spent on any task, keep up to date via the activity log, and management expenses by allowing users to log them on the go.
Mavenlink has a steep learning curve because the platform is data driven. Users can get help with the software whenever they need by 24/7 live help chat, video library, and an article library.
The Mavenlink platform is very detail and data driven. The software platform may prove difficult for team members to learn.
Building a custom item such as reports are complicated and difficult to understand. Custom reports are available, but you may have to reach out to the Mavenlink support to create the report that you need.
The Mavenlink may be useful for businesses with very large teams. The mobile app is primitive but effective for logs like time or expenses.
However, your team may feel micromanaged. There is a steep learning curve to this platform, but there is 24/7 live help if needed.
Team members may require some time to learn where they can drill down in the program to access their tasks.
Another Great Project Management Software Provider: Wrike
Not only does Wrike provide project management software but they have twists to their main platform by having extensions for marketing teams, creative teams, product development, or a general platform for all teams.
Working with Wrike will allow users to use their time more effectively by increasing communication within a team and give users a tool for prioritizing tasks.
If you are looking for a simple task list, then Wrike is available for free for up to 5 users. For full project planning for up to 15 users is $9.80 per user per month if bill annually. The choice comes with 5 GB of storage.
With Wrike, you can build custom report easily. Once reports are generated, then you can send scheduled reports to team leaders, team members, and clients.
Wrike users can sync emails and calendars, easily transforming emails to tasks and then making scheduled milestones in any calendar program just as Google, Outlook, and iCalendar.
Wrike has an activity feed that allows users to stay current when they follow specific projects or post what they are currently working on. Users can edit documents online without having to download or upload the document.
Once a change to a project or a document has been made, Wrike will make versions of the document automatically and save them to the project.
Each user gets a personal dashboard that allows the user to manage daily tasks and prioritize items for “Today,” “This week,” or “Later.”
The platform can integrate with a variety of different software platforms to include Google Apps, Zendesk, Evernote, Wufoo, and Salesforce.
Wrike provides several free e-books with useful manuals and tools for success. They also provide free live webinars, online community forums, and support by phone.
While the software platform does have a time log and team members can keep track of how much time they have spent on a specific project, there is not currently a way to effectively export or integrate information for payroll.
Once the software platform is learned, then team management can be easy. But, there is a strong learning curve as well as it can be difficult to see an overall, big picture, view of a project.
Wrike was built with the team member in mind with communication that reflects social media via the activity feed, so there is a familiar level to the software.
Bt may prove difficult for the team management to follow due to the amount of data they would be required to sift through.
Project Management Software for Marketers: Workfront
Workfront started in 2001 and was previously known as AtTask.
Their current project management software layout is in response to their survey that they completed in 2015.
The survey results stated that four out of five employees experience stress due to lack of team communication, clarity towards tasks being completed, and lack of direct communication with leadership or leadership teams.
Pricing for Workfront is based on roles in a business and how many people need a specific authority level.
For one work license for one user per year is $360. Reach out to Workfront; they will help you determine which plan is right for you and your team.
Workfront regularly works to improve their platform. The software platform has over 80 different reports that it can provide to a user.
In recently years Workfront has grown 50 percent annually and receiving contracts from Cars.com, Craftsy, and Cisco.
Recently, Workfront has partnered with ProofHQ that allows creative teams to approve work and keep creative content on time.
Depending on which pricing plan that you select with Workfront will determine what integrations your team can use. Basic integrations with Outlook, Box, Dropbox, and Google apps come standard with all plans.
Workfront’s mobile app allows your team to work on a project via a smartphone or tablet. Specifically, the mobile app lets users update tasks or provide feedback to uploads.
Real-time dashboards and Gantt chart for budgets, schedules, and resources, makes managing a team and keeping up to date as simple as possible.
Workfront also allows team leaders to drag and drop assignments and work shifts to ensure that your team is meeting deadlines.
Teams can report their working time and schedule on their Workfront profile. Timesheet reminders can be sent out to team members. However, the data needs to be exported to complete payroll.
If team members are working on multiple work requests, then they can see all work requests on one screen and drag and drop them inside of the list to prioritize them accordingly.
Workfront can help with team learning by providing live chat help as well as a community forum, help articles, and training resources.
Email integration and an unlimited number of reports are not standard to all pricing plans. Storage and system support hours come at a cost. If your team requires more storage or support, then you may have a higher cost per user.
The software is expensive, especially for small businesses. Some of the editions of the software platform have limited support hours.
Which could cost a business in both time and money if a team member is unsure what problem qualifies for reaching out to the Workfront support staff.
A Project Management System with Many Features:Easy Projects
Easy Projects claims that it can pay for itself in 3 months or less and its key focus is to develop a level of transparency among the those who are using their platform.
The software is hosted on the Microsoft cloud, and if you would like the most enhanced security, then you would need The Enterprise version of the Easy Projects program.
Most of Easy Projects’ features are available on their “Pro” level of access. The Pro level of access is $24 or less per user per month. If you are looking for time log approvals and enhanced security, then you would need to contact Easy Projects for pricing.
The Pro level of access has 50 GB of available storage. The Enterprise version can be hosted on the company’s private servers.
Easy Projects are able to integrate with Evernote, Gmail, Quickbooks, and Zendesk. Users can give clients login information so clients can easily follow up on their status of their project.
Many businesses bill clients by the number of hours spent on a project, and Easy Projects has a number of reports and time logs available to assist team leaders with approving time and payroll as well as correctly charging clients for time spent.
Team members are able to use the “My Assignments” to view tasks that are pending and in progress with the user’s entire message history and files for the projects that they are assigned to.
Easy Projects are able to build custom web forms and has a report generator for easy access to information at any time.
One of Easy Projects best report is the Resource Loading report that allows a user to view the time each team member is utilized in a single screen.
Users are able to drill down to specific tasks or projects to adjust the time for the team members. The Resource Loading Simulation helps plan for future projects.
The Business Intelligence tool within Easy Projects works with company executive teams to provide them a large amount of data to make the best educated decisions for their company.
Within the Easy Projects platform, users can follow an issue or trouble ticket while it is being completed. Customer support is available through the Easy Projects website via their knowledge base, video lessons, help tickets, or by phone.
Easy Projects are only able to integrate with a small list of programs compared with their competitors. Within the Easy Projects platform creating projects, tasks, and subtasks are easy, however, once a project is created the user interface is not as graceful as it could be.
Overall, Easy Projects is a good project management platform that provides most data that is needed for a business to function with team collaboration. If you require enhanced encrypted security with your project management software.
Then you could work with Easy Projects to get that option available to you. Easy Project may be considered perfect for a mid-sized business that is looking for a no fuss project management software.
Our Final Review on Project Management Software
When considering the best project management software for your business, first determine your needs.
What are some pain points with your current team, and what kind of permissions or access do team members need to get a project approved or released to the client.
The majority of businesses that are looking for project management software are those who wish to increase team communication, or they are attempting to streamline operations away from email.
Luckily, all of the project management software described above allows for potential clients to use a free version of the software while you are making their decision.