Start your 2012 projects organized and efficient. There are a plethora of software products that
will help you define your project, assign responsibilities, develop due dates for each step, calculate
expected and actual cost, and calculate your success rate with anything from spreadsheets to
charts or graphics.
1. Ace Project
An online web product, Ace Project, is designed primarily for project managers who need to
assign and track projects across teams. An incentive to use the service is their mobile version
for smartphones. All of their monthly packages have fees less than $100. The basic package is
free with 250 MB of storage and supports five (5) projects. Ace Project has been rated as user
Podio was designed for project managers and organization leaders. Dashboard software, it
organizes projects by task, individual assignments including definitions, and milestone dates.
An additional bonus with this popular product is the capability to attach digital files to a task,
which enables the manager to share information with offsite groups. Podio offers communication
tools to help team members stay abreast of organizational changes and project deadlines. An
unlimited storage package is free along with premium packages with additional bells and whistles.
The new web based project management tool, Projectial, currently offers free signups. Aimed at
project managers, it has the flexibility to add team members and project assignments. Special
formatting packages are included. Inserting categories for filtering and analysis both during and
at the close of projects aids in assessing efficiency. The site maintains project statistics which is
a bonus to the evaluation process. www.projectial.com
This web service for project management permits three users on the project site at once, increasing
usability and decreasing frustration. BrixHQ has both a free account and premium accounts. There
is no limit on the number of projects that can be posted, which includes project descriptions, tasks,
and their corresponding timelines. Team members can see their task progression on a Gantt chart,
pie chart, line chart, and table. The graphics can be time focused. www.brixhq.com
5. PlanningForce Free Planner
PlanningForce Free Planner (PFFP) is a dollar-friendly desktop service with apps for Mac and MS.
Designed to get managers organized and stay on point for project creation and implementation,
PFFP will combine task lists with Gantt charts as well as list projects and assigned tasks with
milestones. Report generation from projects and milestones are an additional benefit. Newbies to
project management software will have a slight learning curve, but seasoned project software users
should find it easy going from the beginning.
Created for project managers charged with the responsibility for large teams, Flow.io is group
oriented, project management, online software. Its organized, succinct basic worksheet includes
columns for project listings – completed, in progress, backlogged, and to-do tasks. Paid packages
are available along with two free packages: personal and open-source. The personal service allows
the user to create one private and one public project; the open-source service allows the user to
partner with others. Tracking time within each task and accessing project data graphically are other
This project management tool is intent on making the life of project managers easier with a drag and
drop interface for booking resources. Free, this multi-task software offers the standard task assignment,
milestone, setup, and file storage through its dashboard layout. Skylight’s Resource Scheduling feature
lets you do multiple tasks simultaneously. As part of their initiative to simply things, Skylight’s service
includes tracking quotes and annotating files. They are adding accounting, invoicing, and report
generating tools to their list of features in the near future. www.skylightit.com
TomsPlanner was created for professional project managers and is currently in beta testing. During
that time, the software is free. When they add fees, already established free accounts will be continued
for another year. Colorful schematics offer drag and drop interface, Gantt charts, project development
with private and public schedule sharing – all easy to update. Collaborating with other companies and
sharing information is easier with online publication of projects and schedules which can be viewed
without establishing an account.
Taskbarn specializes in collaborative online projects, utilizing a feed similar to twitter which enables
users to easily invite and update clients and team members. It includes 100 MB of free storage for
uploading files. Multiple options for project communication with team members are part of the package.
When a user opens a new project in Taskbarn, a private sub-domain is generated. The user can then list
tasks, create reminders, and upload attachments.
Project2Manage keeps projects organized with a wide-ranging dashboard of features. Free to users, there
is no limit on the number of projects managed in each account. The usual array of task management features
– project name and description, team members, assignments, and milestones – are included along with the
ability to authorize levels of usage for clients and users and update projects from any computer. The feature,
Spot2Jot, creates a collaborative environment to keep team members informed and exchange ideas. Another
extra in Project2Manage is the capability to monitor project progression via RSS feeds.