The whole point of project management software is to make running your small business easier.
So what’s the point of complicated, unintuitive tools that take months to learn? When no one on your team uses it nor wants to learn how, everyone loses.
There is definitely a place for advanced project management software with every feature imaginable and scalability up to teams of thousands, but that place is probably not your small, expanding business.
It’s like needing a baseball cap to keep the sun out of your eyes, but when you go to put it on you find out that you need to first read a 100-page manual, go through online training, and install three patches.
Sometimes all you need is a hat.
And sometimes all you need is a basic, easy project management tool that helps your team communicate and plan. Almost a quarter of project management software buyers said that ease of use was the single most important factor in their decision.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled some tools to look at if you just need something simple, can be implemented right away, and will actually get buy-in from your team because it isn’t overly complicated.
Easy project management tools
To come up with this list, we scoured Capterra’s comprehensive project management software directory for established options that had a perfect 5/5 “Ease of Use” rating based on at least 50 reviews. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Some of these tools are not only easy to use, but also have free options. However, if cost is your biggest consideration and you’re okay with limited or no support, check out our Top Free and Open Source Project Management Software list.
Have you tried dapulse? Leave a review!
dapulse, launched out of Tel Aviv in 2012, has seen rapid growth in the last few years with no signs of slowing down.
It is designed to be both versatile—for teams of all shapes and sizes—and simple, using a colorful visual interface. “The name of the game is trying to turn everything green,” said East of Normal founder Nicolas Ramirez in a testimonial on dapulse’s site.
dapulse integrates with G Suite and Google Calendar, among others, and starts at $25/month for teams of five.
Have you tried Freedcamp? Leave a review!
Freedcamp is the only tool on this list to qualify for our Top 20 Most Popular Project Management Software list AND earn a perfect 5/5 rating for Ease of Use. Like Basecamp, Freedcamp puts team collaboration first, and is a well-rounded project management package.
But unlike Basecamp, the Santa Barbara based company offers their product for free for unlimited users, storage, and projects.
That’s free, as in free. For $4 per month, users can add Google Drive integration and subtasks.
Growing businesses that want to take advantage of Freedcamp’s advanced features have several options, and schools and non-profits can even apply for special discounts.
Have you tried Paymo? Leave a review!
Paymo may sound like a knockoff version of a certain mobile payment service, but don’t be fooled.
The app, which was founded in Romania about 10 years ago, is designed for project-based SMBs like creative agencies, web services, and architecture/construction firms. Paymo bills itself as a catch-all task management, planning, scheduling, time-tracking, collaboration, invoicing, and easy project management tool. Reviewers confirm that Paymo balances many features while maintaining an intuitive interface.
Paymo offers three different plans: Basic (up to five users, 10 GB storage) is $4.95/user/month; Business (five or more users, 50 GB storage) is $11.95/user/month; and Professional (five or more users unlimited storage) adds Gantt charts and is $24.95/user/month.
Have you tried Samepage? Leave a review!
Samepage calls itself, interchangeably, collaboration and project management software. In short, its purpose is to get your team on… common ground.
The intuitive tool uses features like simultaneous page editing and video or text chat within the platform to keep remote teams connected
Samepage doesn’t skimp on the project management features either, offering everything from task and time management to file sharing, even in the free version for unlimited users. It also has a bunch of integrations and the Pro version is $7 per user/month, with discounts available for nonprofits.
Have you tried TimeCamp? Leave a review!
No, not TimeCop, silly.
As the name implies, TimeCamp is primarily a time-tracking tool. But it also has all the project management features that your growing team needs, like budget and task management, and collaboration tools.
It’s missing some more traditional project management features, like Gantt charts, but that could actually make adoption easier if your team hasn’t worked with them before and doesn’t need them.
TimeCamp is free for one user. The Basic plan, for small teams, is $7 per user/month. The Pro plan, which adds invoicing and other features, is $10 per user/month.
Have you tried Wimi? Leave a review!
Wimi, a product of Paris, is an easy, affordable, all-in-one project management tool specializing in collaboration and file-sharing.
Wimi lacks some advanced project management features like budget management and Gantt charts, but what it lacks in bells and whistles, it makes up for in collaboration tools. Wimi allows clients to have access rights to contribute to projects and join video conferencing with their unified workspace feature, and their Wimi Drive feature lets everyone search and access shared files from any location.
Wimi offers a free account for small teams, and their paid plans top out with the loaded Enterprise plan for $12 per user/month.
Have you tried WorkOtter? Leave a review!
The adorably named WorkOtter not only has an approachable interface and attractive pricing (starting at just $10 per user/month), but also boasts a ferocious set of features, including document management, resource management, financials, messaging, time sheets, program management, and dashboards.
Founded in 1998 in St. Louis as VCSOnline, WorkOtter has evolved to land on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for PPM for its cost effectiveness, flexibility, and ease of implementation.
Beyond the $10 per user/month starter plan, WorkOtter’s upgrade for growing team is $20 per user/month, and their full-featured executive-level plan is $35 per user/month.
All plans include unlimited data and support.
Your thoughts on easy PM tools?
Is your project management software easy to use? If not, what makes it difficult, and what would you change about it to make it easier? What’s the easiest project management tool you have tried? Please share your experiences in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter @CapterraAC.
You can also help other small businesses find their perfect project management software by leaving a review!