4 Project Management Apps to Organize Your Nonprofit Life
This week I went to a Project Management training at CompassPoint. There were a lot of great ideas and lessons learned from the training. Interestingly, though, there was a significant gap in the discussion when it came to specific tech tools that you can use to be an effective project manager. From the group, I discovered that the only tools people were using were either spreadsheets, gantt charts (on a spreadsheet) or their calendars. I spoke a little on Do.com and BaseCamp, both of which we use for various purposes here at ZeroDivide. Here are a few details on both of these tools and a couple of others you may want to try.
This newer tool is web-based and integrates with Salesforce. You can assign tasks to individual team members and manage multiple projects simultaneoulsy. There is also a user-friendly companion app for mobile phones. Do.com also integrates with Google Apps (email, calendar, docs, etc.). This is useful if/when you receive tasks into your Gmail inbox, you can easily add them straight to Do.com. This product is free.
BaseCamp is a favorite of project managers. This tool is also web-based and has similar functionality to Do.com. The layout view makes it easy to see the tasks for an entire project on one page, so this tool may be more appealing to visual learners. BaseCamp also has a discussions section and lists your to-do’s in an easy to scan list format. There is also a document repository so you do not have to share files with team members via email. Pricing starts at $20 per month, with a 60-day free trial.
For those holding on to using spreadsheets, SmartSheet may be your top choice because its interface is very similar to that of a spreadsheet. It is also web-based, can store files, produce gantt charts and has a mobile app. It has higher functionality than your typical spreadsheet and can be tailored to each project manager’s needs. The added bonus: it integrates with GoogleApps and Salesforce, as well. They have a free trial and pricing plans starting at $16 per month.
This web-based tool has a similar functionality to BaseCamp, but includes time tracking for billing and a project chat that some may find valuable. It also integrates with a project wiki and generates reports. This tool has document sharing and can produce gantt charts. Pricing is as little as $20 per month, depending on how many projects you have. They have a free plan if you only have one project.
You may read this and think "My organization doesn't have time to learn another new system." To that I counter that your organization doesn't have time to not learn a new system. By investing a little time on the front end of a project to learn how to use a project management app, you will likely save a significant, and very valuable, amount of time during project execution.
Does your organization use a project management app or tool? I'd love to hear about your experience. Please comment below.