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5 Project Management Tools Your Agency Shouldn’t Be Without

As a digital agency, there’s an inevitable need to manage projects in an efficient manner which makes it easy to keep track of progress internally but also which make it simple and straightforward to communicate to clients. In recent years, we’ve seen a wealth of SaaS products come to market and, quite predictably, many of these have been marketed as project management tools. Whilst not all specifically intended for use by web agencies, we’re still to see anything released which ticks every box for every agency (however we have had word that a start-up dubbed Zimdi is coming in early 2016 which may change this). That, of course, means many of us need to use multiple tools to carry out our day to day tasks and, as such, here’s 5 project management tools that your agency shouldn’t be without:

1. Basecamp

Perhaps one of the more popular project management tools on the market, Basecamp is now in version 3 and they themselves have stated, “We’ve taken our best ideas, layered in years of customer insights and feedback, invented a bunch of new stuff, and put together the best version of Basecamp we’ve ever made.”

Using a simple visual interface, Basecamp is regarded by many as ‘the’ project management tool out there. With plans starting from just $29 per month, it’s certainly at the affordable end of the pricing spectrum as well. It offers a great solution for tracking work, discussing projects, storing files and setting key deadlines and milestones. A great tool!

2. Trello

Trello is well known as the ‘card-based’ project management tool and allows you to easily and quickly set up tasks and share boards between the team. The best news? Unless you want to ‘go-gold’ and use the premium features, this tool is completely free to use.

Whilst in some ways a little basic, if you simply want to create lists and tasks, it’s perfect. There’s a great mobile app to accompany the web-based version and it’s great for teams wanting to put together a simple ‘to-do’ list.

Many use it for the basics but, at the end of the day, it does what it says on the tin and it works!

3. Freedcamp

Whilst perhaps not at well known as Basecamp, Freedcamp offers an innovative approach to project management with, as you guessed it, the base platform being completely free to use. The only time you’ll be asked for payment is if you want to bring in one of their nifty ‘apps’ to turn the platform into a full-on CRM system and the like. Many of the apps, however, such as a platform to store password or hold discussions, are included in the free platform.

As an example, if you want to turn Freedcamp into a CRM, it’ll cost just $12.99 per month and to add in invoicing, it’s just $6.99. A bargain when compared to many!

4. Wrike

Wrike is dubbed by themselves as ‘your online project management tool’ and combines this with a real-time workspace for collaboration, document sharing and discussions. The basic plan is, again, completely free (for up to 5 users) and paid plans start at $49 for the professional plan with an enterprise version available upon request.

Wrike claim that they’ll help you work smarter and get things done faster and it’s certainly something that we’d say is true! A great tool if only one of the lesser-known ones on the market.

5. Smartsheet

If you’re moving to a project management tool from Excel, you’ll LOVE Smartsheet! Instantly familiar, everyone on your team will “ets it” and hit the ground running. With one centralised, always-available tool, you’ll work smarter, not harder with Smartsheet.

The basic plan costs just £7 per month whilst the team version costs £10 per month, both when paid annually. For many, they love it’s ‘familiarity’ and the fact that such a great tool is so simple!

Do you feel we’ve missed any? What are your preferred PM tools? We’d love to hear!