Sometimes the hardest part of a project is just keeping everything organized. With an online project management service it doesn’t matter where anyone on the team is located. Having an easy-to-use application that covers everything from schedules, budgets, reports and task managers means that you don’t have to worry about the mechanics of organization but can instead put more time and effort into the actual project itself.
When looking for online project management that will best fit your business, first decide how you want to interact with the program. Do you want to use it on your server or the manufacturer’s server? Also, decide who will use the service. Some online project management services charge per user per month. If you have international team members or a mobile work force, this is essential to know for budgeting purposes.
Online Project Management: What to Look For
Collaboration is the way information and issues are communicated, and the most popular collaboration tools for business include email, conference calls, web meetings and company-hosted intranets. Collaboration tools should be simple and intuitive. The best online project management services will give you powerful collaboration tools that enable and encourage constant communication. You should also be able to access the application within your company network even if you don’t have internet access. That way even if the internet goes down you can keep working.
Being flexible means being successful. It’s tough to be flexible when team members don’t all have current project updates. Project management services help your team delegate tasks, schedule deadlines, monitor progress, assess risks and track expenses. The best project management services help members from across the globe communicate and collaborate. Capable project management services have remote applications remote applications for smartphones and other handheld wireless devices, and some manage global schedules.
A project management program should manage and control the limited resources needed to run a project, such as people, money, time and equipment. When working with any project, the hardest part can be making sure that you don’t overbook any of your team members or resources, so having a scheduling assistant makes your job a whole lot easier.
Project management services manage all resources – people, talents, money and time. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of who is on your team and what skills they have. Effective resource management lets you build member profiles so you can assign the right task to the right person to get the job done.
This section covers the processes, practices and specific activities needed to perform continuous and consistent evaluation, prioritization, budgeting and selection of investments. This provides the greatest value and contribution to the strategic interest of the organization. With the interactive schedules you can keep on the critical path as help you keep track milestones. Having an application that lets you effortlessly oversee every aspect of the project will mean you can easily create the reports you need.
The best project management services monitor each step of a project, from costs to individual employee responsibilities, to help foster personal accountability and keep projects under budget. Most project management services provide statistics and tracking, graphs, feedback, timesheets, Gantt charts, milestones, critical work paths and task assignment. Effective project management services also track expenses, monitor budgets, regulate resources and calculate costs.
Ease of Use
All online project management solutions have a learning curve, but the best software products have features and instructions that are easy to find and simple enough for anyone to use. Some of the services available are patterned after other commonly used applications, such as Microsoft-based programs.
Help & Support
Project management services should offer a comprehensive user guide and help system. The manufacturer should offer a customer service email address or telephone number so you can get answers directly from the technical support team. You should also be able to find online tutorials that can step you through some of the more complex functions of the application.
Top free online project management tools
Basecamp is the a web-based project collaboration tool that allows teams and their clients to share files, track milestones, assign tasks, and centralize project feedback.
iManageProject is an online (SaaS) project management software that makes team collaboration very easy. iManageProject features include task management, file sharing, collaboration, project management, notifications, time tracking.
Zoho Projects is an online tool that helps you track and manage your projects. Features include Tasks/Milestones Management, Centralized Document Management, Project Calendar, Gantt Charts, Reports, Timesheets and more. Unlimited Users. Free for one project. Pricing starts at per month.
activeCollab is a web based collaboration and project management tool. Allows teams and their clients to collaborate on active projects. Formerly open source and free, not a commercial project.
Teamwork Project Manager features include: online project management, collaboration, file sharing, calendar, events, milestones, tasks, reports, messages, email integration, time tracking, contacts, risk register, notebooks, version control, multiple languages, timezone support and more. Free version available. Monthly paid plans with annual payments accepted.
Huddle is a network of secure online spaces that combine powerful document, project & team tools with the simplicity of a social networking site. Collaborate on documents (with access control, version management and approval workflow), create project milestones and share ideas online. Fully hosted, no special software required. Free package (1 project huddle, 5 users, 25MB of storage) and several paid subscriptions available.
Includes group calendar, project management, time card system, file management, contact manager, mail client.
ProjectSpaces is an online workspace tool to help project teams and other groups share documents, manage tasks and coordinate activities. ProjectSpaces is fast and lightweight and focuses on simplicity and ease of use.
PlanDone, an on-demand wiki application, offers online planning, corporate communications and detail management in a centralized interactive location for all team members working on a project. PlanDone retains the core project management features associated with task management and workflow in a simple format and offers a priority ranking system to assist with daily planning and a deadline analysis tool to aid in timely project completion.
TeamEffect is a very interactive and visual online Project Scheduling and Management solution. TeamEffect allows you to Schedule staff, Forecast, Track Progress and assign Task Ownership all in a single drag and drop interface. Visit the site for a free copy of our latest version.
10x the horsepower of Basecamp, just as simple and without the attitude. Central Desktop – Team/Project Tools that just work.
Free for small teams of 5 users with an affordable unlimited user package available. The software has been redesigned lately. Tons of project management features for the buck.
Smartsheet uses a flexible, spreadsheet-like interface for online project and task management and it also includes sub-tasks, Gantt charts & dependencies, file attachments and discussions on any row, notifications and reminders, and summary reports across projects. Smartsheet offers a free trial and plans starting at .95/month.
Includes Calendars, Contact Manager, Message Forums, Knowledge Base, Pop Email Reader, Link/URL Sharing, File Sharing, Chat Room, Phone Message Pad and Task Manager.
ProjectPier is a free, open-source app for managing tasks, projects and teams through a web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate and collaborate. It includes an import function to assist in migrating all your existing data away from BaseCamp. Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows self-hosting.
ProjectOffice.net is a free online project management tool that provides all-in-one functionality: managing projects and tasks, time management, issue tracking system and increased team collaboration through wikis.
Free with no limit on the amount of activities you can keep track of.
phpCollab is an open-source internet-enabled collaboration workspace for project teams. Modeled on Macromedia Sitespring, phpCollab allows for the consulting team to share information and publish information in one space and, when desired, to another space for the client. phpCollab encompasses task planning, document sharing, and hooks into other open source applications for bug tracking and content management.
A hosted service that enables you to centralize and manage your projects, streamline your tasks, and track time in a personalized online space. This application generates timesheets, reports and invoices and calculates real-time budget vs. the actual budget. Also, you can upload documents and files pertaining to specific projects and assignments.
OnStage is a web based project management workspace and collaboration tool for groups of people. OnStage includes features such as: messaging, document storage and version control, tasks and milestones, project calendar, Gantt charts, SSL encryption, and time zone support.
LiquidPlanner is online project management software that offers teams a project environment with social networking features.
QFile by Qonsort is a flexible web based business management solution that supports huge attachments and flexible workflow, so you can change it to work the way you do. You can store Contact Information and integrate it with your projects, for example.
The Open Source Project Management tool. dotProject is a volunteer supported Project Management application. There is no "company" behind this project, it is managed, maintained, developed and supported by a volunteer group and by the users themselves. The software is free to anyone who would like to download it. Day to day support is provided free by volunteers.
Powerful and clean interface. Gantt charts included. Euro-friendly.
Individual users are assigned rights and permissions. Users can also be put into groups with controlled rights and permissions. Projects and tasks progress and approaching deadlines are graphically highlighted. Changes are personally highlighted for other users to see. Changes and new items can be emailed to affected users.
Copper is a web-based project management software tool designed to help organizations collaborate and manage client information, projects, tasks, files, contacts and calendars. With Copper you can create projects and tasks, review timelines and progress while your staff, clients, and subcontractors actively contribute to this information. You can purchase the software and host it yourself, or subscribe to a hosted version for a monthly fee.
Online project management and knowledge sharing. Includes project workspaces, tasks and reports; enterprise wiki, permissions and roles; ticketing and bug tracking; communication and knowledge sharing; simple and intuitive interface.
TeamWork Live is an intuitive, secure, web-based project management and collaboration tool. Use TeamWork Live to run your projects more efficiently, increase collaboration and accountability among team members, and make your clients happier through greater transparency.
Easy to use, web-based project management software. Software as a service project management or host it yourself. Create templates, import projects, track time and manage schedules. Full featured customizeable reporting. Visit the site for a Free Test Drive.
PipelineDeals is a simple web-based CRM solution with automatical data backup. Pay as you go pricing with no storage limits. Teams can manage and organize deals, documents, contacts, and a calendar. Application supports Reporting on Deals, Leads, Lead Sources, Milestones and Notes with customized filters.
Features unlimited projects & tasks, milestones & due dates, time tracking & reports, tags & search, project timeline. No ads, no fees, no restrictions
Wiggio is a dead simple productivity toolkit that makes it easy to work and communicate within private groups. Started due to the need for a simple all-in-one way to make working in groups easy. Wiggio provides access to the tools groups need most, including real-time communication via text, email and voice, live phone and video-conferencing, file sharing and editing, surveys, shared calendars and discussion topics.
5pm is the new version of the project management tool we’ve been using for years. The
customizable interface was designed to make the maximum use of screen space, and everything is within a click or two. Check the visual timeline for an alternative view of your projects/tasks.
Enterprise Project 2.0 allows team to complex projects. Emphasis is placed on privacy and data security. Functionality includes Clients, Leads, Project Information, Tasks, Calendar Entries, Trouble Tickets, Resources, Shared Files, Forums, Invoicings, Gantt charting, Hour and Progress logging, Scheduling events, Email updates, and Monitoring project progress.
A suite of integrated, Web based modular applications for project management, time and expense reporting, purchasing, invoicing, personnel management, CRM and reporting. Source code included with licensing. A free demo site is available for a hands-on
smartQ is a workflow visualization software. It’s based around a customizable visual board (also called Kanban) where tickets can be moved through the defined process steps from left to right. smartQ can be adjusted to fit a wide range of workflow – help
tickets support systems, task management, bug tracking, etc. If you have an whiteboard with post-it notes in your company – smartQ can be used as its online version.
Share and track tasks, time, files, and calendars for multiple clients and projects. Support for fully customizable lists to track contacts, sales leads, or other tabular data. Designed for virtual professionals and small businesses.
@task is a web-based project and portfolio management software application. @task has
worksheets, interactive Gantt charts, customizable templates, portfolio overviews and they claim to welcome and incorporate customer feedback. @task is also database, platform, and browser independent and can communicate with existing systems.
24SevenOffice is an ajax-based ERP/CRM-solution that includes a project management module. It is integrated with the CRM, invoice, accounting, e-mail, timesheet and document management modules. No activity limit. Offers web-services for integration with
Celoxis is a web based project management software. It offers project templates, Microsoft Project import, time sheets, expenses, web folders, discussion forums and more. It offers a workflow system where you can model and track your business processes
like issue tracking, help desk, etc. Celoxis is cross platform and cross browser (supports Safari on Macs) and is available as a hosted service or as an installable version.
Web based project management software, with time tracking, team collaboration tools
and a shared archive for the projects documentation. Designed for professionals and for small and medium firms.
DeskAway is a project & task management software for small creative firms. DeskAway allows people to create, manage and track multiple projects from one window. With DeskAway, you can easily get all requirements from your client, assign tasks, share files
and see a report of who is doing what. Try the 30-day free trial. No credit card required.