Running a Small business is like running a one-man show. You have to handle each and everything on your own. When it comes to managing tasks and project a traditional post-it note will not help. You will need to figure out a way to a system to work or else you will be doomed. Just kidding! However, a good system will help a lot to ease off the work from your shoulders. A traditional post-it notes system might work in the beginning but as the work grows you need to be smart and be digital. It’s like working with bullock carts in the age of spaceships.  In this post, I will be sharing with you 7 of the most powerful project management tools that you can use to manage your small business in 2018.

Criteria for selecting the project management tools

There is a general trend seen where buyers prioritize and give importance to below 5 criteria while selecting the tools.

While there are loads of options available on the market some are free. Others come with a small monthly subscription fee. The following are some of the tools that I personally use and

Document
Block


Status & Visibility
Visibility
Public
Author

Move to trash
2 Revisions

Permalink

Categories

would highly recommend, keeping the above criteria in mind.

Basecamp Logo

Basecamp is about bringing all your stuff under one roof Organized, centralized and clear so everyone knows what to do, where things are, and what they need without asking anyone around.

The home screen gives you a birds-eye perspective of everything that happening across your whole business. You get an “HQ” for company-wide communication, dedicated spaces for your teams to work together, and private places to manage your company’s projects.

Pros:

  • A simple way to collaborate on tasks and documents / attached files
  • It’s easy to use, keeps us organized, boosts productivity, and is integrated with our Tick account.
  • The visibility into everyone’s business – it actually motivates participants to be timely (a huge factor in project collaboration) because everyone can see who is late.
  • The simple layout of projects and tasks – Clients can be trained easily. Collaboration is so simple.

Cons:

  • It does not have the ability to directly track time.
  • The cons are probably more about the things it doesn’t do. There’s not a straightforward way to track the time management of a project.
  • Lots of emails (which you can adjust I know) but if you want to have everything reported to you – there is no way to get around email notifications.
  • It doesn’t allow you to assign to-dos to multiple people. Also, projects might become an endless list of tasks & discussions if not managed properly.

Asana is a tool that can be used for small business and can be scaled to very big business too. You can clearly see it on their customer list which includes some big players like Uber and Zappos. It comes with some cool features like Team calendars, project checklists, kanban boards and much more. And besides this, it is relatively very easy to use.

Pros

  • Ease of use, Price, Functionality
  • I like just about every facet of Asana
  • The ease of use and specific customizable features for each task.
  • Ease of use Customization Options Price Project and Task copying

Cons

  •  Some items can be improved (see my full review)
  • Limit of projects for team calendar. There is a workaround but it does become cumbersome.
  • I love almost everything about it! The only feature I wish it had was the ability to create a calendar that is not attached to specific tasks, i.e. a calendar with large project deadlines.
  • There is not a lot that I don’t like about Asana. They are always rolling out new features. There are some small nitpicky things, like no ability to add your own sorters in “My Task” view, but those are way overshadowed by the positives.

Trello Logo

The best thing about trello is that its totally free and hence becomes one of the top choices for the startups and small businesses. The visual appealing board is highly suitable for those who prefer to see all their tasks laid out on a screen

It has the feature to create the board easily with one click. You can drag and drop items between lists to show progress using  KANBAN method. Simple and effective, its one of my favourites and I use it with many of my clients.

Pros:

  • It’s free! You can use right away after signed up at Trello.
  • You can use trello on about any size of the screen. Its interface is much more different from other services. Trello looks like an App, not a site.
  • Real-time updates are amazingly fast! Almost right away!
  • A board for a project and you can see all the items on one page.
  • Creating issues and assigned someone to those issues are simple and easy.
  • Adding new member is easy. You can not only add existing user to your board but also invite new users by type in emails.

Cons:

  • Limited Labels
  • Difficult to run Sprints
  • Can’t write documents or wiki about boards, only simple description.
  • No calendar.

Active Collab Logo

ActiveCollab helps your team stay organized when you outgrow email. But it’s so much more than that — with plenty of neat add-ons, it’s a one-stop solution for all your business needs.

It is very simple and intuitive to use. It comes with power-packed features like task management team collaboration, time tracking. Finally, it also has inbuild invoicing feature.

Pros:

  • The range of options in the Dashboard is great for any Start-up.
  • Covers almost everything you need for team workflow and managing (digital) project for a small business or organization.
  • ActiveCollab is very easy to use. With just a few clicks, you can have a new project created right away. Time tracking, invoicing, payment processing and many other features add an already large depth of features.

Cons:

  • One thing is that the ‘Search’ option is not very detailed.
  • I wish there was ‘Subscription’ driven Hour Tracking. So we could balance Time against an Account that Renews every Month.
  • After over two years, I see that lack of simple CRM is probably only missing the feature. You can use internal notes, but I don’t feel it now.
  • Lacks a dashboard/cockpit, reports should be more flexible and easier to use, the design of estimates and documents should be more flexible, billing options should be more flexible

 

Paymo Logo

If you are willing to pay and looking for the most optimal billing then paymo is the solution you should go for. Especially with a ton of functionality and multi-tiered pricing model you can customize the plans to nearly any business.

The tool includes features like Gantt charts for project planning, resource scheduling, kanban boards, time tracking, and more.

Pros:

  • Works well, does what it says it does.
  • Easy to use. Intuitive Dashboard customizable and with the principal information
  • The interface is super easy and fun to use, and the unlimited project feature fits my needs perfectly.
  • The biggest advantage for me is budgeting features. Cool UX/interaction Easyness Even lazy team members are using it.

Cons:

  • Price went up recently, but still value for money.
  • Can’t add external stakeholders/clients. You have to pay for every user
  • I can’t think of any other than maybe that it doesn’t have a cup of coffee ready for me in the morning 🙂

 

Zoho Logo

It is one of the project management tools by ZOHO. It brought my attention
especially when it got featured as an editors choice from PC Mag, as one of the best systems to use in 2018. This is a perfect tool for small business owners or agencies who work with the time or project milestones. Especially using Gantt charts you can track the progress visually. Besides it also has the features for assignments and time tracking.

Pros:

  • 1. Pricing. 2. Collaboration is easy. 3. Easy to track.
  • Works well for project management. Can be accessed via mobile app and also the  Timesheet management is good.
  • User-friendly interface. Easy of use. Nice graphics. Good charts. And most of all provide an easy access tool for reports.
  • Easy to learn interface. Adaptable to our business needs. Very good for cooperative or individually-based environments.

Cons:

  • Have some small bugs.
  • No privacy between users no privacy for clients from users
  • Emails can be marked as spam but it would be nice if there was a feature to block unwanted emails.
  • Wish it had more Automation and Notification rules. Would like to send some updates to certain users.

Liquid Planner Logo

The liquid planner is also an editor pick of PC Mag’s best Project Management software for the year 2018. The best thing about it which I like the most is that it eliminates outdated plans, missed deadlines, and surprises so your team can get more done. With this, you can focus on priorities, adapt to change and most importantly visualize the impact.

Pros:

  • Ease of use, intuitiveness

 

  • Share information among all parties.

 

  • The very large feature set, great support.

 

  • Ease of use and flexibility of scheduling

 Cons:

  • Notification system Mobile app

 

  • No EU-based servers for our data USA only.

 

  • I liked the previous layout as it was more user-friendly.

Note: All the pros and cons are referred from getapp. Please visit their site for more reviews and feedbacks.