The Internet has afforded an incredible number of people the opportunity to start their own business. A record number of entrepreneurs are popping up across the United States—and they are opening businesses to pursue opportunity, as opposed to out of necessity.
But with the advent of the Internet and booming online business, entrepreneurs are quick to discover that finding project management software to manage their business is more difficult than it sounds. There are literally hundreds of project management software options that claim to be the “best” for entrepreneurs (and if we’re honest, a lot of them aren’t worth their own website hosting fees). Trying to pinpoint the best solution for your business is a huge time sink—unless you have help.
I’ve waded through the hundreds of project management apps and software solutions tailored to entrepreneurs, and below I’ve picked out the cream of the crop based on price, scalability, and features.
10,000ft gives entrepreneurs “the big picture,” or an overview of who’s working on what task, how much budget is left for what project, and reporting tools to better your project efficiency. 10,000ft is great for managing your entire company as opposed to zeroing in on specific projects. Their support team adds, “[10,000ft] focuses on important information like project profitability and team utilization to help entrepreneurs make better decisions about their business.”
The cost is mid-level at $49+ per month (the fee varies on the number of users). I would recommend this solution for entrepreneurs who want a high-level view of what’s happening at their company.
According to Capterra’s own research, Asana is one of the most popular project management tools available. And for good reason: Asana is an intuitive project management system. This project management option is best for teams looking for a strong collaboration tool. I personally like Asana because of its layout—you can pick it up as easily as Facebook. Best of all, Asana is free for up to 15 users. If your company is a little bigger, Asana charges $50+ per month depending on the size of your office.
Want a system that’s designed to amalgamate all of your work processes, communication, and project information on an easy-to-use cloud system? Shawn Dickerson, GTM Director from AtTask explains, “AtTask provides entrepreneurs with a cloud-based work management solution that combines all of their essential work processes and tools in a single platform. Unlike traditional project management software, AtTask helps entrepreneurs prioritize work across multiple projects, eliminate excessive status meetings and collaborate more effectively – all within a unique dashboard they can tailor as their own.” Those are some pretty big claims, but I’ve found that AtTask is up for the job.
AtTask boasts that it’s “the only complete work management solution,” intuitive, and supported by excellent customer service representatives. AtTask is a bit pricier at $30 per user per month, but it offers more functionality for experienced project managers such as Gantt charts, compatibility with Agile and Waterfall project management approaches, and workflow automation.
Want a project management system built to handle complex projects? Is your startup managing multiple projects and in need of a system designed for heavy lifting? Podio is great for high-responsibility, high-freedom entrepreneurs who like it when their staff takes charge of their own tasks. Your employees’ tasks will be entirely transparent to you and the rest of the company. The software is incredibly flexible and customizable, and you can even build custom apps to make Podio just right for your company.
The only drawbacks to Podio are that it doesn’t save your completed projects and its time-tracking feature is elementary. Podio is free for up to five users and charges $9 per user per month after that.
This cloud-based project management system is known for its outstanding ease of use. Reviewers have claimed again and again that the software has “Little to no learning curve.” ProofHub is particularly good for project communication—internally and externally. It’s also loaded with features—from Gantt charts to time tracking to to-do lists, ProofHub has plenty of functionality to grow with you and your business. ProofHub starts at $49 a month.
Redbooth is a great deal for small companies. It’s free for ten users and five active projects, then scales up starting at just $5 per user per month (when billed annually). With plans at that rate, Redbooth offers 5GB of storage, free Evernote and Box integration, and a host of incredible features like workload view, iPhone and Android apps, and role-based permissions. Users also regard Redbooth as a trustworthy project management system—the chances of your information getting stolen from their cloud database are very slim.
Redbooth has a simple user interface that’s particularly good for collaboration; teams can discuss tasks in real time while sharing a screen, and they can comment on each other’s’ tasks with notes. It not only allows you to connect with your team internally, but also with external clients, which increases the transparency of your company and (hopefully) helps build greater client relationships.
If you run your life through spreadsheets, look no further. SmartSheet is an innovative product that gives a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening at your company. SmartSheet gives users easy collaboration tools (with end results in mind), Gantt charts, and extensive reporting options.
In fact, SmartSheet excels at reporting. It creates editable summaries as you’re working through projects that can pull from as many sheets as you’d like.
For businesses with more than three people, SmartSheet starts at $39 a month and allows for unlimited collaborators.
Like its namesake, Teamwork offers incredible collaboration features. It features an intuitive social networking tool that allows users to post “statuses” about where they are in their work. Teamwork also offers more features than most entrepreneurs can normally afford—for example, the project management software offers milestone tracking, Gantt charts, messaging features, file management, time-tracking, calendars, mobile integration, and critical risk analysis.
Teamwork is also innovative in that they don’t charge per-user—instead, for $24 a month, a business owner could get 15 projects and 5GB of storage.
A favorite from my list of free project management options, Trello is a Kanban-based system that any user can pick up immediately. Its simplicity means that users can glance at the dashboard and know where projects stand. Unfortunately, its simplicity means that if you’re looking for a project management system loaded with features, Trello isn’t for you. For example, Trello doesn’t offer any sort of calendar or the ability to hone in on the details of a project. But since it’s free and intuitive, this software is a great starting point for entrepreneurs just beginning to explore tools to manage their projects.
Are you hoping to integrate lots of apps with your project management software, like email marketing, file sharing, and accounting? Wrike is perfect for you. Wrike works with a variety of applications including Box, Zendesk, and most major email systems. Wrike earned its name in project management from its emphasis on task management. Users can easily edit and update tasks as they move through their project. It displays all the information a user needs on its dashboard and keeps users updated through the newsfeed.
Wrike is also reasonably priced. It’s free for up to five users. After that, it’s $49 a month for up to 15 users, and $99 a month for 15 users or more.
Getting your business off the ground is tough—don’t waste time wading through hundreds of project management software options that are designed for huge companies and prohibitively expensive.
Have you chosen a project management option for your business? How did you choose which product to use? What are good project management software solutions for entrepreneurs? Leave your answers in the comments below!
Looking for Project Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Project Management software solutions.