Your agency’s top graphic designer is based in London, your creative director is on a business trip to Tokyo, and your account team is headquartered in New York City. Sounds like a logistical time-zone nightmare, right? Thanks to web-based project management software, that’s no longer the case.
Whether your project team members are five time zones away or in the cubicle next door, affordable web based project management and collaboration tools are empowering agencies to manage diverse teams and complex projects. Here are four of my project management tools for maximizing productivity no matter where your team members (or clients!) are located:
Best for larger agencies: Basecamp
With more than 15 million users, Basecamp is arguably one of the most popular web based project management tools with unique benefits for each employee in your agency. Your agency CEO receives a “big picture” overview for all ongoing projects, what’s up next, and who is leading what.
Project managers use basecamp to define and delegate tasks, review and approve work in progress, and prioritize what’s left to do. Project members can track current tasks and check off assignments as they’re complete. You can also store work for review and project assets, like logos. Plus, their customer service is fast and friendly. A free two-month trial is available.
Best for managing complex to-do lists: Producteev
This virtual workspace functions like an online to-do list, providing real-time project status updates via email or text. Team leaders can create a virtual workspace, add collaborators, create and assign new tasks, manage deadlines and run status reports. Producteev is great for keeping projects on track that have many different components and managing complex to-do lists that would otherwise turn your in-box into a black hole. Plus, it’s entirely free.
Best for creative projects: Redbooth
Wish you could gather the whole team together for an in-person brainstorming session? Now you can, thanks to Redbooth’s virtual workspaces. Connect with team members via HD video meetings, eemotely share ideas and brainstorm, and then turn these ideas into actionable tasks with a single click.
As an added bonus, you can stay up to speed and collaborate on tasks directly from your in-box thanks to Redbooth’s Outlook and Gmail plug-ins, Redbooth’s smartphone and tablet apps, and full integration with Google Drive and Dropbox. Pricing starts at just $5/month for smaller agencies; a 30-day free trial is available.
Best for managing freelancers: Active Collab
ActiveCollab streamlines internal communication and makes it easy to delegate tasks, share files, and chat in real-time about projects. Preview all your projects using ActiveCollab’s Timeline function, keep an eye on project costs and deadlines with automatic time and expense reports, stay organized with drag-and-drop scheduling, and keep all your files in one place. Manage user permissions to control which team members, freelancers, and clients have access to what. Plus, you can invoice directly from ActiveCollab.
Which web based project management tools do you prefer to use? I’d love to hear from you – share your favorites below!
Erin M is a freelance writer available for projects at WriterAccess.