Project Planning Software: How to Choose the Right Tool

Choosing services aimed at boosting working efficiency and productivity, we’ve gathered a list of different time management services and project planning software for planning, coordination, building online resources, etc.

Initially, there were more than 100 services, but the list has gradually shrunk and ended up with the three software solutions that best satisfy our needs: Slack, Jira, and GanttPro. Below is a description of these tools and of other options that may be useful for you. If these services aren’t likely to help you with project planning tasks and working with a team, we’re always ready to create a bespoke solution for you.

Choosing the Right Project Planning Software

The process of choosing project planning software is often complicated by the fact that all solutions promise "The best service to help turn your ideas into reality and realise your projects. Today." So, how do you choose the right one? To help answer this, we’ve listed the pros and cons of the most popular software on the market.

Slack is a web-based service (also available for desktop, iOS and Android applications) for creating chats and individual groups for discussion with teams, clients or users.

Why we like Slack:

  • Simplicity and speed of the software (Slack was chosen as an alternative to Skype)
  • Cross-platform: can be used from any device.
  • Ability to create separate groups.
  • Fast file-sharing.
  • Quick search for messages.
  • Free of charge until you exceed the message limit.

Inconveniences faced:

  • All the main features are scattered and hidden in drop-downs
  • No interface customisation options
  • No option to turn off notifications

Jira is a powerful online service that allows development teams to plan their work, assign task executables, plan sprints and collect tasks in a backlog and set priorities and deadlines.

What benefits we see:

  • Drag & Drop tasks in a backlog or in a sprint
  • Visualisation allows quick navigation and changes in the sprint
  • A large number of filtering settings
  • Ability to select reasons for closing tasks
  • Easy to manage
  • Detailed reports
  • Simple and convenient time tracker

What we don’t like about Jira:

  • Due to the huge number of settings, it takes time to understand them - it’s often difficult to simply find the answer to the question of interest and the FAQ fails to describe problem-solving options in detail
  • There is no option to assign multiple team members to one task
  • Applying certain filter settings that are useful for the command can block those settings already in use

GanttPro is a Gantt chart that allows you to plan and manage work online, visualise processes, create tasks and assign them to participants, set deadlines and completion percentages for individual tasks and the project as a whole, add milestones and share the created Gantt schedule with the team and with customers with the right to view or edit.

What’s important for our team:

  • Availability of automatic planning
  • Add files to existing online charts with the ability to comment
  • Drag & Drop for dragging tasks, setting the execution percentage, etc
  • The option to display working days and hours for better management
  • Automatic recount of tasks and their durations
  • Setting of dependencies
  • Ability to create complex, multi-level projects
  • Assign roles to team members and access rights
  • Good user support

What the difficulties are:

  • No option to prioritise tasks
  • No notifications
  • Lack of integration with Jira and Slack

Asana

Asana is a web application also available on iOS and Android, allowing you to assign tasks, monitor task status and the status of projects as whole sets of priorities and deadlines.

  • Pros: ease of use; the option to manage several projects within the same team; tags for tasks; efficiency analysis.
  • Cons: no option to assign tasks to several participants; no import from / export to MS Project; impossible to evaluate a project as a whole.

Trello

Trello is a popular online service that allows you to systematise your tasks, to-do sheets, discussions and ideas on one board.

Redbooth is a web-service, also available on iOS and Android, which allows you to track errors, plan projects and activities, manage resources and assign tasks to participants, set deadlines and project milestones and monitor costs. The service also offers file-sharing and synchronisation with Google Drive, Gmail and Outlook.

  • Pros: simple and intuitive interface; chat capabilities; integration with other services; tags for tasks; the ability to create reports.
  • Cons: no indication of task accomplishment or overall progress monitoring; no option to set priorities.

Basecamp is one of the most popular online services for collaborating on projects, allowing you to share documents, discuss with your team, create to-do sheets and add comments to them and send and receive email.

Easy Redmine is an Open Source planning software solution for task management and large-scale project control with extensions for managing resources, finance, CRM, etc.

  • Pros: the option to install software on its own server; great for large teams.
  • Cons: no general visualisation; awkward navigation; no way to quickly plan for sprints.

Zoho Project is a software solution for project management that allows for planning within a team, creating and assigning tasks, creating and monitoring reports for performance analysis and commenting on and discussing every issue.

  • Pros: aside from Zoho Projects, you can also use Zoho Mail, Zoho CRM and Zoho documents, depending on the needs of your company.
  • Cons: due to the large number of features, users may simply be unable to find the ones they really need; starts to slow down after downloading files.

Wrike is a single system for planning and working on projects with a team with advanced features: it allows you to assign roles and create a workspace for each department, set and discuss issues, monitor their status and progress, share files, display tasks via Gantt charts and receive weekly reports.

  • Pros: convenient for both large and small teams; option to create separate folders for individual projects.
  • Cons: creating ramified multi-level projects, you can easily get lost in navigation.

Insightly

Insightly is a CRM software system solution for planning and management with integration of Gmail / Google Apps and Outlook 2013 / Office365. It allows you to quickly manage tasks and monitor status within the marketing and sales department.

  • Pros: simple setup, adding contacts and using the system; there is an app for iOS; simple and comfortable interface.
  • Cons: not suitable if your work is not tied to customer relationships.

Task Manager is software for desktops (Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP), which is an easy task scheduler. It allows you to divide projects into tasks, manage issues and delegate them to team members.

  • Pros: notifications and quick templates; free 45-day trial.
  • Cons: time needed to deal with full range of functionality; quality of technical support depends on the manager; conditional mobility of the system.

Merlin is another software solution for creating Gantt charts for Mac OS X with the ability to monitor costs and budget.

  • Pros: the opportunity to install software on its own server.
  • Cons: like most desktop applications, low mobility; available only for Mac OS X users.

ActiveCollab like all planning services, offers the opportunity to work on projects within a team, manage tasks and monitor progress. But besides this, ActiveCollab offers the option to download current expenses and invoices, allowing you to instantly pay them by PayPal or credit card.

  • Pros: ease of use; convenient filtration; option to exchange comments with project participants; joint content writing; offers an own-server installation solution.

Podio Podio is an application that allows you to work on projects within a team, manage projects and tasks and store and share files. The application can be used as a CRM system or an intranet in which your colleagues can interact.

  • Pros: flexibility and customisation options of the product; ability to assign resources and monitor numbers (budget, expenditures, etc.)
  • Cons: uncomfortable navigation

Can’t Find a Solution that Suits You?

There are many software applications available with which to manage your projects. The problem is choosing a suitable one. How can you tell if a service offering "to organise relationships, people and projects easily, right now" is the project planning software you’re looking for? You can try them all - or make a list of your needs and requirements and contact us. Together we can create your dream tool to drive all your projects to success.

Still have questions? We are ready to help