Simple Project Management Tools That Boost Productivity

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Having to handle too much information is a problem of any project manager. An efficient control on what the employees are working on is crucial for on-time project delivery: an unclear process impairs discipline and productivity, jeopardizing deadlines and agreed delivery dates.

Many project management tools are available on the market, so we made a review of the best ones that offer a simple and uncluttered management process. We intentionally did not include such widely used tools as Trello and Basecamp in this review since we doubt that there’s something new to share about them. So here’s our list.

1. actiTIME

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Task management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Insightful reports

actiTIME is a robust work management tool that provides various helpful features. With it, you can assign projects to the employees, set up time estimates for tasks and then compare actually worked hours with these estimates, and monitor project budgets. Rich reporting functionality allows the review all necessary performanc details.

This tool is available both as an online service and an on premise application. And if you often have to work when you’re not at the desk, use the native mobile app for iOS and Android that connects to the server application and synchronizes all data between the server and your mobile device.

actiTIME is pretty easy and understandable. Simple user interfaces and stylish reporting became vital factor in making a decision on the application. It helps us a lot in data analysis, client billing and international reporting. There has been a tremendously positive impact on the process since we’ve been using the product!

2. ClickUp

Key features:

  • Workflow management
  • Task planning
  • Templates
  • Progress monitoring

ClickUp is a simple project management tool that allows to efficiently organize work on projects. The tool offers convenient prioritization, filtering, search, sorting, and different views to manage your projects’ tasks easier. Recurring tasks is a convenient feature for those who are working on similar and repeating work assignments. Templates can be created for anything: projects, tasks, lists, etc. This speeds up work and simplifies management processes.

ClickUp frees up managers’ time for actually managing and provides them with efficient tools for monitoring their team’s progress. On ClickUp’s dashboards, it’s easy to see personal and team’s current results, and plan work for the future.

3. Hitask

Key features:

  • Team collaboration
  • Task management
  • Notifications
  • Progress tracking

Hitask offers project and team managers an easy way to adapt the new project management tool and onboard their teams. The tool allows creating tasks by sending emails to a Hitask account, allows to set up several reminders per task to prevent employees from missing deadlines, and helps managers understand progress and dynamics by running reports.

Hitask integrates with Outlook calendar and with Google calendar, allowing to synchronize events and tasks. It also supports data export in Excel and other popular formats for data processing in other software.

4. TeamGantt

Key features:

  • Progress tracking
  • Task management
  • Scheduling
  • Team collaboration

For reviewing results and estimating time remaining for current and future tasks, customizable views are available. You can use them to conveniently represent tasks in daily mode, calendar view, as a plain list, or in a Gantt chart. This speeds up monitoring and helps reduce steps required for efficient work management.

5. ProjectLibre

Key features:

  • Project and resource planning
  • Cost management
  • Gantt charts for progress review

ProjectLibre is a free and open source product for project management. It is one of the leading alternatives to Microsoft Project and it supports MS Project file formats. The tool suits for Linux, Windows and MacOS.

ProjectLibre allows to organize projects conveniently and keep all necessary information in one place. It helps managers review project progress on Gantt charts, plan resources for future work steps, create workflow diagrams and find optimal workflow procedures, and manage project costs. The tool is translated into dozens of languages and is used worldwide by companies of different size.

6. RationalPlan

Key features:

  • Resource planning
  • Budget management
  • Team collaboration
  • Progress monitoring

RationalPlan is a powerful project management tool that is built according to PMBOK guidelines. It helps managers create project plans, allocate available resources, stay updated on the progress, manage project costs and budgets, and much more. The tool features visual planning and tracking project tasks with Gantt charts, and provides collaboration functionality. This way, RationalPlan enables active and efficient communication within the team and ensures clear and transparent work progress.

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7. Taiga

Key features:

  • Project planning
  • Scrum and Kanban boards

The creators of this simple, functional and beautiful tool admit that before they created Taiga, they had tried many other project management solutions but found them clumsy, unintuitive and ugly to look at. That’s why they went ahead and created a tool that they dreamt of. The result is this powerful, intuitive and elegant solution. And – it’s open source, so you can download and use it for free.

If you keep projects in other tools, that’s no problem. Multiplatform importers allow to bring all project data from major project management tools into Taiga and manage them there.

8. Waffle

Key features:

  • Streamlined task management
  • Insightful graphs

Waffle is a tool for software development teams that automates project management on the basis of GitHub issues and pull requests. Automated status update eliminates manual work when notifying your colleagues that your work is started, ready for review, or finished. The tool has in-built metrics feature with milestone burndown and throughput graphs that helps managers keep track of the project progress.

For up to 10 users, the tool is free (you can donate to the team, of course). For more users, paid plans are available. If you are not sure that you want a Waffle, you have 45 days to try it out for free – with as many teammates as you wish.

9. Overv.io

Key features:

  • Project planning
  • Kanban board
  • Team collaboration

This tool helps connect GitHub and your project management process. It provides lists of issues, a Kanban board, collaboration features, and custom statuses for your issues – to keep track of what’s going on between the “open” and “closed” states.

If you need more than just tracking project progress, the tool offers time estimates for issues, document attachments, and special filters for early identification of possible problems that could ruin the project. If the desktop application is not enough, an Android app is also available on Google Play.

10. GanttPRO

Key features:

  • Project planning
  • Cost estimation
  • Gantt charts
  • Notifications

GanttPRO is an online solution for managing projects and tracking the progress on interactive Gantt charts. Add comments and attachments to the project tasks, export your charts in different formats, and get notified on the latest changes. Team management, costs estimate and resource planning are also included in the functionality of this tool.

In GanttPRO, you can connect tasks with each other and review their influence on the project in general. The Critical Path feature allows a project manager to see the shortest time to accomplish the project and highlight the most important tasks that require special attention.

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