Working in teams can be a challenge, even more so when you, or your colleagues, are located remotely. While many companies still rely solely on email to coordinate teamwork, web-based project management tools are becoming increasingly popular and are taking collaboration to a new level. There are literally hundreds of options out there to choose from, but here are three of our favorites.
By Jane Hosking
Formerly known as Teambox, Redbooth combines task management features, file sharing, and live collaboration tools into a simple and easy to use interface. Despite its many features, the simplicity of design allows users to quickly learn how to operate the platform, using the dashboard to check project updates in real time and reply to tasks or conversations. Redbooth is integrated with Google Docs and Dropbox, and is also linked to users’ emails, providing them with automatic notifications of any activity they are following. Users can also reply from their email to post updates about a project. These tools, as well as video conferencing and the group chat feature, can significantly enhance a team’s level of communication and efficiency. As for security, Redbooth claims to be the only vendor able to provide a secure project management platform for highly regulated industries, such as financial services and government.
Cost: Free 30-day trial for up to 50 users. Plans start from $49 per month for up to 10 users and unlimited storage.
Basecamp consists of a centralized dashboard that contains all discussions, information, scheduling, task assigning, and updates related to a project. Each user also has their own profile similar to Facebook, which adds a personal touch and allows users to know who they are collaborating with, as well as their contact details and time zone. Team members on Basecamp can be internal to the company or external, and project leaders can manage who has access to all the information available. Email integration also allows these users to be alerted by email when there are any relevant updates or when someone completes an assigned task. One of the handiest features of Basecamp is the catch-up button, which provides a page that summarizes the latest activities of your project. While Basecamp does have limited features in comparison to some of its competitors, it implements these features excellently, making it very simple and easy to use.
Cost: Free trial for 60 days and plans from $20 per month for 10 projects and 3 GB of storage.
Teamwork brings some of the best array of features to the table out of the simple project management tools available on the market. These include high-level collaboration tools, easy to edit Gantt charts, as well as simultaneous communication between the application and email, which also allows you to create tasks from your inbox. But the standout feature of Teamwork is its central file sharing system that can be linked to Google Drive. What sets this feature apart from others is that you can access all files from one location as well as being able to attach files to specific tasks. While Teamwork’s rich feature list might come at the cost of simple functionality, if team members are given time to learn how to use the platform effectively, and if you don’t have multiple teams, then it can be the best value option out there.
Cost: Free for 2 projects and 10 MB. Plans start from $12 a month for five projects and 1 GB.