How to Choose a Team Project Management Tool

If your to-do list is growing, and you are trying to coordinate with a team, it may be time for a project management tool. You’ve probably heard a number of recommendations thrown out among your colleagues or in ads online, but how do you know where to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices, let us help you take a step back and look at a few of the options we have been happy with.

  • Basecamp – This is the tool we started with and it’s a great entry level project management tool.There’s a low barrier to entry, meaning you can sign up and get started pretty quickly. It’s relatively simple to start creating tasks and assigning them to team members. If you’re not sure where to start and just want to dive in, this might be the way to go.
  • Teamwork – This is the tool we use most often now, after moving from Basecamp. We have found that Teamwork has more robust and detailed options that let us slice and dice tasks more specifically. There are also more features that let us look at task data in different ways. In essence, Teamwork takes it to the next level – which is great if you need more features, but may be too much for the beginner.
  • Trello – Trello is a little different in its structure. This is the column-based or scrum method. Think of it like a series of post it notes that you move from column to column. This is another great tool to just dive into if you’re just getting started, provided you like that card-based visual. It’s great for individuals or small teams. We use it for some specific projects internally or with contractors.

Some Honorable Mentions

The tools mentioned above are the ones we use or have recently used and had some success with. We highly recommend them when people ask us. But there are other great ones out there including:

If you’re not connecting well with the first three we mentioned, you may want to try one of these.

What It Comes Down To

The whole point of a project management tool is to serve you and your goals. You may not actually need one. If your current process is working well, stick with it. Maybe you’ve got a whiteboard, post it notes, day planner or notebook. If you’re keeping up with projects and are easily communicating tasks with your team, then keep it up. But if you’re:

  • Overloaded with a growing number of tasks that are hard to keep organized or
  • Are trying to communicate with an ever-growing team that needs to know what’s expected of them,

Then it might be time to explore your options. While there are so many features and opportunities, we highly recommend jumping into one of the simplest ones above and just start creating tasks. Let your workflow guide how you use the features – rather than getting bogged down by them.

Remember, when you’re working better, with your whole team, you’re better able to meet your goals. And that’s the whole point.

Looking for even more time in your schedule? Here are some tips on automating your tasks. And if you’re working with contractors or a team, here is how we recommend coordinating with them.

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