Different projects require different tools – we have already established that at the beginning. But what should future project planners pay particular attention to? And according to which criteria should they best choose? First of all, it certainly makes sense to make a pre-selection based on the cost factor – the spectrum of software solutions ranges from open source to freeware to high-priced, but the expensive tools are only sometimes the right ones. Some recommended tools, which are also available free of charge, at least for a limited time, are presented in more detail below:
In Fact: Intuitive And Simple
The project management software factro convinces me with many valuable functions, thoughtful details, and practical project views. In addition to the Kanban board, Gantt chart or Gantt diagram, and the table, the tool impresses above all with the project structure tree, which does not exist in any comparable software solution. Despite the wide range of functions (incl. performance recording & controlling), the fact is intuitive and light as a feather: you can start directly without training, create your own projects quickly and work on tasks in virtual teams. Facto was specially developed for modern management and teams:
- In facto, meetings can be reduced by up to 80%.
- The flood of emails can be combated.
- Capacity can be saved by up to 40%.
The PM software can be used free of charge in the Basic Cloud with ten users. The fee-based Team, Business, and Professional tariffs can also be tested for 14 days free of charge and without obligation.
Asana: A Development From Facebook
Asana, which a Facebook co-founder developed, impresses with an exceptionally clearly designed user interface: All essential information is divided into columns – current projects, associated tasks, time limits, and project participants can be identified at a glance. The focus is collaboration and communication, fast data exchange, and teamwork. Many additional functions make Asana an ideal tool for creative people: checklists, individual project goals, and “milestones” can be created without problems.
Important information is available to each team member in a well-structured manner. Asana works web-based. The functions are available on PC, tablet, or smartphone as required. Plus point according to self-description: Asana helps to avoid chaos – anyone who has ever worked on a project will particularly appreciate that. Organizational matters can be easily outsourced to the various Asana functions, leaving plenty of room for creative activity without distraction. A significant advantage is an essentially smooth integration into apps like Google Drive, DropBox, and Evernote. Teams of up to 15 people can use Asana for free.
LibrePlan: Everyone Does Everything
LibrePlan is open-source project management software based on the belief that hierarchical structures are unnecessary to complete projects successfully. Collaboration is, therefore, a top priority. This makes LibrePlan a particularly suitable tool for organizations where teamwork and personal responsibility are essential. LibrePlan allows anyone to slip into the role of project manager and create a project plan. And that without losing transparency and accountability.
It’s suitable for organizing multiple projects that share resources and stakeholders, precisely what it was designed to do. The web interface is based on folder structures. It looks a bit bulky at first glance – but after a few clicks, the purpose of this arrangement can be understood: Access to large amounts of data and documents is easier this way without losing the overview. The basic version is free of charge, and extensions such as support, training courses for users and administrators, or the LibrePlan Cloud can be purchased as required.
Clarizen: Secure, Scalable, And Robust
Clarizen is a cloud-based project management solution that focuses on security and scalability. Practical planning, evaluation, execution, and monitoring are in the foreground and do not necessarily make Clarizen a prime example of democratic approaches, but all the more for stability and reliability in the often hectic everyday project life. Clarizen offers project managers an ideal tool for more efficient management during project implementation. Tasks and resources always remain in view. An extensive calendar function supports time management. Unfortunately, Clarizen is only available free of charge in the 30-day trial. Several tariff models are available for longer-term use, and individual services can be purchased.
Kanban Tool: Agile And Playful
The Japanese term Kanban comes from manufacturing technology and means “signal card.” Initially, this was used to control the production flow at the car manufacturer Toyota. The term and the associated working methods have long been established, especially in software development. The central element of the Kanban tool is the so-called Kanban Board, on which tasks are visualized. The Kanban board exists in a virtual and in a physical version. Although the virtual one is far more common, teams can still set preferences and, if necessary, use an actual board with countless accessories such as task cards and magnetic emoticons. The Kanban tool divides the workflow into three steps: “to do,” “in progress,” and “done.” Essential principles are:
- Optimizing the capacities of teams.
- Concentrating on the task at hand.
- Kanban Tool is paid but offers a 14-day free trial period.
Base Camp: Clear And Friendly
Basecamp is particularly suitable for fast team communication. The straightforward design, reminiscent of social media interfaces, ensures good usability. A dashboard, to-do lists, messages, and control functions for completed tasks are helpful tools. Due to its simplicity, Basecamp is particularly suitable for beginners who want to gain initial experience with project management software. There is no need for complex implementation and time-consuming training. Basecamp is also web-based, so there is no need to download and install it separately. After a 30-day free trial period, a monthly offer can be booked per team.