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Start-Ups

5 of the Best Project Management Tools for Small Businesses

By Jessica Valdez   |    May 28, 2019   |    10:34 AM

Whether you rent a dedicated office or sign up for an hourly desk rental, the best project management tools help leaders oversee team collaboration with transparency and delegation, while working from anywhere. This makes it easy to keep track of all the important details of a project… and are not buried in your inbox.

The following top tools are all cloud-based, which means you can access them anywhere you have an Internet connection. Some are straightforward and simple, others have a powerful set of features for more complex business needs. Every tool has a free version, which means it’s possible to try on project management tools until you find the right fit.

1. Trello

As most entrepreneurs know, organization is the key to running a virtual business. And Trello is a reliable tool to help achieve this with boards, lists, and cards. It provides a user-friendly experience that simplifies the way your team collaborates and manages projects. Trello even uses automation tools such as Butler to simplify and streamline team workflows.

The free version will give you access to unlimited personal boards, cards, and lists. Paid subscriptions include features like unlimited power-ups, which let users add calendars, custom fields, automation, 3rd party reporting, and more to their boards.

2. Basecamp

For larger teams, you can also organize projects into individual to-dos, track conversations using message boards, store documents, and files, and create schedules with Basecamp. This tool is an industry favorite according to many client service businesses because you can choose exactly what clients see within a project.

Many companies also like Basecamp’s billing — it’s $99 per month, no matter how many users work at your company. The free trial is slightly more restrictive at 30 days, but that should be more than enough time to get a feel for how it works.

3. Airtable

Are you managing a virtual team that works on mostly visual projects? Airtable is great for teams who like visual collaboration, and it is especially popular amongst developers. Your team can view tasks on a spreadsheet-like grid, calendar, Kanban board, or gallery. The tool essentially combines the functionality of spreadsheets and databases, allowing users to manage tasks, collaborate, track projects, create reports, track time, and more.

The free plan includes unlimited bases (a collection of related tables, often reflecting a single project, process, or workflow). The plus, pro, and enterprise plans add additional features charged on a per-user basis.

4. Asana

Like Basecamp and Trello, Asana is an easy to use project management tool without a steep learning curve. The free version of Asana is ideal for managing tasks and to-dos. It allows for collaboration with up to 15 teammates, but the capabilities are limited. Asana’s paid plans start at $9.99 per user per month when billed annually and include features like team project tracking, advanced reporting, custom templates, custom branding, and more.

5. Wrike

Whether you run a large business or rent a small virtual office, use Wrike to organize everything you need to keep a project in one place. It’s a feature-packed tool that’s popular amongst small and large businesses alike, and it can easily be scaled as your company grows.

Gantt Charts provide real-time visibility into project progress and custom dashboards provide the information you need at a glance. Resource management tools even make it easy to balance your team’s workload, so you can avoid burnout.

The free version supports up to five users and is perfect for small businesses with a few simple projects. Plans that offer full project management planning and collaboration capabilities start at $9.95 per user per month.