Get Collaboration Done: Our Project Management Picks

When you’re running a business – a powerful project management platform that makes short work of juggled deadlines, freelancers, shifting priorities and the other tools you use is world-changing. There are lots to choose from. Let us help. Here are our top project management tools and comparisons to help you decide what may work best for your business.

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Basecamp

The McNary Marketing & Design team uses Basecamp, so we don’t hesitate to recommend it to friends, colleagues and clients. It’s powerful and has a great interface for project managers as well as team members who may only be working on one or two tasks here and there. If you have ever been a client, you will probably be aware of this tool. We give clients a view into project planning and progress via Basecamp’s client access feature.

Price. The immediate con? There’s no free option. But Basecamp is priced reasonably, starting at $20 for ten projects, 3GB of storage and unlimited users. We really like the unlimited users part.

Integrations. Basecamp has a longer list of integrations than just about any other comparable tool out there. Seriously – check this list out. This product will communicate in some way with just about anything else you’re likely using, including a host of time-tracking, invoicing and accounting apps as well as a few data management tools and CRMs. This is a huge reason we use it.

Calendars. Basecamp offers a team-wide calendar as well as allowing the user to create project-specific calendars and custom calendars for just about anything you can imagine. The downside? These don’t sync easily with other calendar systems, so you’ll need to either be logged into Basecamp every day to ensure you and your team stay on target, or duplicate some deadline and key data entry. Then again, if you’re going to make your project management tool really work for you… you’re probably going to spend your days there anyway.

Mobile. Basecamp is available on both Android and iOS devices. Functionality on mobile devices is somewhat limited, and we don’t necessarily like giving up the birds-eye-view features that make us love the web version—but when you’re on the go or away from your desk, it gets the job done.

asana logo

Asana

We have several friends who use Asana and love it—including one of our consultants who uses it to keep the several teams she’s a part of on point! Asana is clean, nice to look at and offers some serious Basecamp competition in functionality with one big perk.

Price. Asana offers a FREE option. Yep, that’s right – free. With the free version, Asana allows up to fifteen collaborators and users enjoy no less functionality from all standard features than with the premium upgrade. Should you decide you need a little more privacy, or need to work with more people, Asana’s premium option starts at $42 a month with ten users and extra support features and privacy built-ins for collaborating with front-facing client teams.

Integrations. Asana’s integrations list is growing every day. One of the things we love about Asana from a marketing technology standpoint is that they’re constantly evolving to meet the distinct needs of their users—as in, if you let them know you need an integration, they’ll get to work on it.

Calendars. Asana does not offer the calendar customization of Basecamp, for example, but does communicate with Google and Sunrise products—making it easy to see deadlines and important dates from your project management platform in your daily calendar.

Mobile. Your team will be able to use Asana on both Android and iOS devices and those apps are highly functional and easy to navigate. Similarly to Basecamp, you’ll miss out on some of the upper level project management dashboards, but be able to navigate through projects, communication threads and tasks with ease.

trello logo

Trello

Trello is unbeatable in terms of ease of use. It also is easy to incorporate if you are using an Scrum project management approach. We don’t find it to be as complex a project management tool, but it’s certainly powerful as a list coordination platform and collaborative space for many projects and users.

Price. Like Asana, Trello offers a free version and offers a lot of bang for zero bucks. The free option allows for unlimited projects and unlimited users, with restrictions on privacy settings and visual customization. The paid options opens up a few more resources and goes for $5 per user per month.

Integrations. To find Trello’s list of integrations, you’ll need to actually hop on over and use Trello. Scroll over to the list “Integrations/Utilities.” Most of the integrations you’ll find will be simple, just like Trello’s approach to project management.

Calendars. Sadly, Trello just does not offer a calendar function. You do have the option to assign due dates, however, and users will receive reminders via email. In our experience, we’re often prompted to add these due dates and tasks to our calendars within that email for example—so it’s not a massive downside. The lack of calendar functionality supports our view of Trello as a secondary tool, not a primary project management platform.

Mobile. Trello offers a host native clients as well as mobile apps on iOS and Android devices. A major bonus? Because Trello works so simply online, it’s not much different on the mobile devices—so you’ll enjoy a very similar experience.

So, what’s the bottom line? We like all three of these tools. They are all a bit different in their methodology, so you’ll need to consider your workflow and how you (and your team) best works.

If you’re on a budget, give Asana a try with just one or two team members and see how the group of you like it. If you don’t love it, consider upgrading or trying a Basecamp test drive. Both are powerful, multi-functional, sophisticated systems.

If you just need a simple way to coordinate to-do’s amongst a large number of people or want a flexible solution from scrum planning, we definitely recommend trying Trello. You may also consider using it alongside something like Asana or Basecamp to have the best of both worlds and never miss a beat (or deadline).

Now get planning and start doing!

Showing 2 comments
  • Mickey

    We used Asana for a while and loved it, and it’d be a great choice for a lot of teams. We since moved on to Teamwork, which is a lot like Basecamp. The things we liked about it over Basecamp (at least at the time) were recurring tasks and a better “what do I need to work on across all projects” kind of screen. Other pieces like task templates pushed it over the top. It may not be for everyone, but it’s a pretty solid platform.

    • Joshua McNary

      Thanks Mickey. Yes, I have heard good things about Teamwork and hope to test it sometime soon. We also use TeamGantt for some of the Gantt like features I know Teamwork provides.

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