Top 3 Simple Project Management Software Solutions

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What do we mean by simple? These tools have above-average scores for ease of use compared to other tools in our project management directory.

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How quickly can you find the information you need? What’s the learning curve for new users? Does the interface help or hinder your workflows?

What is a Sentiment Score?

The sentiment score is a rating based on how positive or negative users are when they review a product. On a scale from 1 to 10, rave reviews get a high score, unfavorable reviews get a low score, and lukewarm reviews get a score in between. Review scores are then averaged to determine the sentiment score for the product.

These important questions about ease of use can dictate the success or failure of your software investment. The bottom line: if it isn’t dead simple to use, you risk poor user adoption and engagement.

To help you identify simple project management (PM) tools, we analyzed thousands of reviews for products in our PM directory and calculated an ease-of-use “sentiment score” for each product.

In this article, we’re highlighting the three products with an above-average sentiment score for ease of use that came out on top.

Top 3 simple project management software solutions

Product (click to jump to that section) Ease-of-use sentiment score (out of 10)
Hive 6.45
Kanbanchi for G Suite 6.36
Orangescrum 6.18

For more on our methodology, click here.

Hive

Ease-of-use sentiment score: 6.45 (out of 10)
Mentions of ease of use in reviews: 23
Percent of mentions that are positive: 86%

Hive is cloud-based, collaborative work management software designed for teams of all sizes. Key features include task management, workflow management, and time tracking, as well as basic resource management and reporting. Users can choose between Gantt, Kanban, spreadsheet, and calendar views to suit their workflow.

Hive offers native integrations with content management tools such as Google Drive and Dropbox, and as well as over 1,000 integrations through Zapier so teams can connect to their other tools as well.

Hive also placed second on our July 2019 top 20 report, earning an overall score of 87/100.

Here are some of the positive sentiments reviewers shared about Hive’s ease of use:

  • Intuitive design
  • Flexible interface
  • Simple navigation
  • Easy to organize data and manage tasks
Kanban board interface in Hive project management software

Kanban board interface in Hive (Source)

How do users feel about Hive’s ease of use?

Users praise Hive’s ease of use; 86% of reviews are positive, and just three percent are negative. In comparison, the share of positive sentiment around ease of use for the PM category as a whole is 77.1%.

Percentage of positive, negative, and neutral reviews regarding Hive

How does Hive compare to the category average for ease of use?

Hive ranks above the category average for ease of use. Out of a possible 10, Hive’s sentiment score is 6.45, while the category average is 6.03.

Hive

Read user reviews of Hive


Kanbanchi for G Suite

Ease-of-use sentiment score: 6.36 (out of 10)
Mentions of ease of use in reviews: 31
Percent of mentions that are positive: 97%

Kanbanchi is a cloud-based, collaborative task and project management app built specifically for G Suite. This means it’s available on the G Suite marketplace, and users sign up with their Google account, utilize Google drive for storage, sync with their Google calendar, etc.

Key features include task management (e.g., Kanban boards), collaboration, and time tracking, as well as basic project planning (e.g., Gantt charts) and reporting.

Here are some of the positive sentiments reviewers shared about Kanbanchi’s ease of use:

  • Intuitive design
  • Quick to set up
  • Requires minimal training
  • Blends seamlessly into G Suite environment
Kanban board in Kanbanchi for G Suite project management software

Kanban board in Kanbanchi (Suorce)

How do users feel about Kanbanchi’s ease of use?

Users praise Kanbanchi’s ease of use; 97% of reviews are positive and zero are negative. In comparison, the share of positive sentiment around ease of use for the PM category as a whole is 77.1%.

Percentage of positive, negative, and neutral reviews regarding Kanbanchi

How does Kanbanchi compare to the category average for ease of use?

Kanbanchi ranks above the category average for ease of use. Out of a possible 10, Kanbanchi’s sentiment score is 6.36, while the category average is 6.03.

Kanbanchi
Read user reviews of Kanbanchi


OrangeScrum

Ease-of-use sentiment score: 6.18 (out of 10)
Mentions of ease of use in reviews: 22
Percent of mentions that are positive: 93%

Orangescrum is a project management solution designed for Agile teams that can be deployed in the cloud or installed on Mac or Windows OS. The vendor also offers an open source self-hosted edition for enterprise teams.

Agile capabilities include backlog management, sprint planning and execution, and reporting for retrospectives (e.g., velocity charts). Key features include task management (e.g., scrum boards), collaboration, resource management, and time tracking, as well as project planning and reporting.

Orangescrum offers pre-built integrations with several popular apps including Slack, Dropbox, GitHub, and G-Suite.

Here are some of the positive sentiments reviewers shared about Orangescrum’s ease of use:

  • Easy to navigate
  • Quick to set up
  • Intuitive design
  • Good balance of value for effort (i.e., robust yet still user-friendly)
Time log dashboard in Orangescrum project management software

Time log in Orangescrum (Source)

How do users feel about Orangescrum’s ease of use?

Users praise Orangescrum’s ease of use; 93% of reviews are positive and four percent are negative. In comparison, the share of positive sentiment around ease of use for the PM category as a whole is 77.1%.

Percentage of positive, negative, and neutral reviews regarding Orangescrum

How does Orangescrum compare to the category average for ease of use?

Orangescrum ranks above the category average for ease of use. Out of a possible 10, Orangescrum’s sentiment score is 6.18, while the category average is 6.03.

Orangescrum
Read user reviews of OrangeScrum


Looking for a different, user-friendly solution?

To be included in the above analysis, products had to meet our PM market definition as well as meet our review count minimum and ease of use criteria.

The following products fulfilled the latter requirement, but did not meet our PM market definition (either for lacking core features or not being the target user):

Dashpivot: Construction management software for data collection, document assembly, form builder, and workflow automation (designed for AEC professionals).

  • 45 reviews
  • Mentions of ease of use in reviews: 28
  • Sentiment score = 6.44 (out of 10)
  • Percent of mentions that are positive: 94%

Widen Collective: Digital asset management software for content lifecycle management (designed for marketers and creatives).

  • 278 reviews
  • Mentions of ease of use in reviews: 32
  • Sentiment score = 6.36 (out of 10)
  • Percent of mentions that are positive: 89%

You can also check out our 2018 ranking of the Top 20 Most User-Friendly PM solutions for additional options.

Methodology

To be considered for this report, products had to meet our PM market definition, meet our review count minimum, and have a high percentage of positive mentions for ease of use compared to other evaluated products.

  • PM market definition: “The category of project management software encompasses a range of solutions, from lighter task/work management tools up to robust project management solutions.
    • Task/work management tools help non-technical business professionals organize tasks and activities, collaborate in a shared workspace, and capture work execution.
    • Project management software helps project managers and organizations execute projects—unique initiatives with a set scope/deliverables, a set timeline, and set resources/budget. Key features include task/work management, reporting/project tracking, and project planning (define scope, timeline, and resources/budget).”
  • Review count minimum: Products had to have 20 or more unique reviews mentioning “ease of use” or related terms.
  • Percent of mentions that are positive: Products listed in this report had the highest percentage of positive mentions of ease of use among eligible products.

To calculate sentiment score, we looked at specific mentions of ease of use in each review (i.e., “snippets”) and analyzed the language used to describe the product’s usability. We then scored the language on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most positive, five being neutral, and one being the most negative. The score for each snippet was the sum of all descriptive terms in the snippet. Snippet scores were then averaged to determine the sentiment score for the product.

When comparing a product’s sentiment score to the average score for the entire category, the product’s score was removed from the category for accuracy.

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About the Author

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Eileen O'Loughlin

Eileen O’Loughlin is a Senior Project Management Analyst for Capterra. Her research helps small businesses leverage the latest technology and trends to solve key business challenges and achieve strategic goals. Her work has been cited in various publications, including CIO.com, ProjectManagement.com, ProjectsAtWork and DevOps Digest.

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