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Project management tools that boost a team’s productivity

Having to handle too much information is a problem of any project manager. An efficient control on what the employees are working on is crucial for on-time project delivery: an unclear process impairs discipline and productivity, jeopardizing deadlines and agreed delivery dates.Many project management tools are available on the market, so we made a review of the best ones that offer a simple and uncluttered management process.

Having to handle too much information is a problem of any project manager. An efficient control on what the employees are working on is crucial for on-time project delivery: an unclear process impairs discipline and productivity, jeopardizing deadlines and agreed delivery dates.

Many project management tools are available on the market, so we made a review of the best ones that offer a simple and uncluttered management process. We intentionally did not include such widely used tools as Trello, Basecamp etc. in this review, because we have to admit: we doubt that there’s something new to share about them. So here’s our list.

1. actiTIME

Initially designed as a time-tracking tool, actiTIME is now turning into a robust work management tool that provides various helpful features. With it, you can assign projects to the employees, set up time estimates for tasks and then compare actually worked hours with these estimates, and monitor project budgets.

Rich reporting functionality allows project managers to review all necessary details on works performed within a project. Both time and billing data are available, so the tool if helpful in managing work progress, planning project costs, and issuing invoices for customers. You can see the reports in the program’s interface, export them into CSV, or create colorful charts based on the report data.

Unlike many others, this solution is available both as an online service and an on premise application. And if you often have to work when you’re not at the desk, use the native mobile app for iOS and Android that connects to the server application and synchronizes all data between the server and your mobile device.

2. Taiga

The creators of this simple, functional and beautiful tool admit that before they created Taiga, they had tried many other project management solutions but found them clumsy, unintuitive and ugly to look at. That’s why they went ahead and created a tool that they dreamt of. The result is this powerful, intuitive and elegant solution. And – it’s open source, so you can download and use it for free.

If you keep projects in other tools, that’s no problem. Multiplatform importers allow to bring all project data from major project management tools into Taiga and manage them there.

The authors say the tool is free, but paid plans for private projects are also available – to keep them off the streets, as they explain. So if you’d like to support them with something more than a kind word on Twitter or just don’t want the community to see what you’re doing, this might be the right option for you.

3. Waffle

Waffle is a tool for software development teams that automates project management on the basis of GitHub issues and pull requests. Automated status update eliminates manual work when notifying your colleagues that your work is started, ready for review, or finished. The tool has in-built metrics feature with milestone burndown and throughput graphs that helps managers keep track of the project progress.

For up to 10 users, the tool is free (you can donate to the team, of course). For more users, paid plans are available. If you are not sure that you want a Waffle, you have 45 days to try it out for free – with as many teammates as you wish.

4. Overv.io

This tool helps connect GitHub and your project management process. It provides lists of issues, a Kanban board, collaboration features, and custom statuses for your issues – to keep track of what’s going on between the “open” and “closed” states.

If you need more than just tracking project progress, the tool offers time estimates for issues, document attachments, and special filters for early identification of possible problems that could ruin the project. If the desktop application is not enough, an Android app is also available on Google Play.

5. Gantt Pro

Gantt Pro is an online solution for managing projects and tracking the progress on interactive Gantt charts. Add comments and attachments to the project tasks, export your charts in different formats, and get notified on the latest changes. Team management, costs estimate and resource planning are also included in the functionality of this tool.

In Gantt Pro, you can connect tasks with each other and review their influence on the project in general. The Critical Path feature allows a project manager to see the shortest time to accomplish the project and highlight the most important tasks that require special attention.

6. Liquid Planner

This project management solution is designed to create realistic project delivery plans – and automatically adapt to recent changes. Any project manager knows how difficult it is to adjust project completion date when specific tasks’ priorities shift or resources unexpectedly change. With Liquid Planner, you’ll instantly receive an automatically updated project schedule, so you’ll be able to focus on your immediate work instead of re-planning.

The tool allows to create informative charts that visualize project progress, budgets, and other data. Other visibility features include dashboards that you can share with your customers and Kanban-style card view that provides an insight of the project workflow.

7. FreedCamp

FreedCamp is a hybrid of a to-do manager and a simple project planner: it combines tasks, milestones and events. The tool provides a to-do list view, a Kanban board (that looks more like sticky notes) and a calendar view where all important things are shown. Or, if you’d like to unclutter your schedule, the tool can show only selected type of events.

This easy but helpful functionality helps hundreds of thousands stay organized at work and at home. It’s free – for unlimited users and projects. Paid plans also include advanced features, such as integrations, quicker support response, project templates, and invoicing functionality.

8. MeisterTask

The creators of MeisterTasks claim this is the most intuitive project and task management tool on the web, and it seems that they did their best to build a functional instrument without cluttered interfaces and hard-to-learn functionality.

The tool integrates with MindMeister, the mind-mapping app designed for brainstorming new ideas and creating project plans. Once the new project is created in MindMeister, you can transfer its tasks into MeisterTasks and collaborate with others to complete them.

9. 2-plan

2-plan is positioned as a free alternative to MS Project software. It is free and open-source, available for desktops and iOS mobile devices. The application allows to plan projects ahead, create mind maps, build graphs, and define dependencies between specific tasks. This helps understand project scopes, distribute workload and allocate resources wisely.

As an additional element, Work 2-gether task management system is available. It visualizes the project structure on the Kanban board and helps create an efficient workflow to deliver your projects on time.

10. BamBam!

The tool offers a convenient way to work on projects and manage them. It is flexible and configurable for any user role – client, manager, regular employee, or power user. Use simple to-do lists or create complex workflows, get all important updates from the news feed, and use milestones to run long-term projects.

BamBam! provides many features that speed up project management process. Smart updates, mentions, easy email-to-task conversion, estimates and much more save managers’ time, simplify collaboration, and keep everyone posted on the latest news and updates in the project.

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