As remote working continues to rise in popularity, project management tools have become crucial when it comes to managing projects and staying connected with team members. But with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is best suited for your remote team’s needs. And that’s why we’ve created this post.
Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, having the right project management software can make all the difference in keeping your team organized, productive, and connected. So, let’s dive in and discover the best project management software options for remote teams.
Monday is a highly recommended option for managing projects, particularly for teams working in content, creative, software, manufacturing, and related industries. Having utilized it for nearly a year across two brands in the nutrition and food niche, I found it to be a dependable tool for enhancing team productivity, visibility, and accountability across departments.
While it may initially appear similar to ClickUp, Monday boasts a distinct set of features that cater to intermediate to advanced users. However, even novice users can quickly configure automation with its built-in automation capabilities.
For instance, you can easily automate task creation or assignment transfers when the status is changed from X to Y; its possibilities are endless.
One standout feature of Monday is its ability to mirror items across different boards, a functionality not commonly found in most project management tools. Regardless, I recommend giving Monday a try!
PipeDrive is primarily recognized as a sales management tool, serving as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that enables businesses to track and visualize their customers’ journey – from prospect to lead to customer and beyond. Nonetheless, many individuals also employ PipeDrive as a project management tool.
What makes Pipedrive an attractive option is its ease of use, along with its integration capabilities with other tools.
For instance, you can conveniently link your mailbox to PipeDrive, allowing you to engage in conversations within the CRM with individuals in your pipeline.
For context, I used PipeDrive for a US construction company and a UK design agency. Initially, I was under the impression that using it as a project management tool might not be the best of ideas, but the tool is so versatile that you can easily use it for managing your projects.
For example, it uses Pipelines and Stages as its main keywords. So you can use Pipeline for Project during Stage as the Status of your project. And yes, Lead is to Task. Easy, right?
I may be biased toward ClickUp when managing medium to large-scale (and ongoing) projects because I’ve been using it actively for three different startups and have referred it to several others. But I’ll do my best to be balanced in my views here.
ClickUp is a project management tool with a wide range of features; it comprises all of the features of typical project management tools in the market and features that are unique to them.
For example, if you are a small team – or just an individual with a lot of projects – using ClickUp will provide you with all of the things you need, from keeping track of tasks, deadlines, leads, and the like.
But here’s where ClickUp actually shines – it’s versatility. And here are some of the things you can do with it (at least what I’ve done with it) aside from adding lists and Kanban for tasks:
- Workloads: Visually see everyone’s workload, assign work, and see if they are underutilized or overworked.
- Customer support center: This is a built-in ticketing systems with features like Freshdesk or Zendesk etc.
- Company Wiki: ClickUp’s built-in document feature, so you don’t have to use tools like Notion or Google Docs for note-taking purposes.
- Goals and Milestones: a unique feature that allows you to set goals like they are folders, set the numbers, and see which goals are being hit, which ones need to be retargeted, and the like.
And of course, it also has a lot of automation recipes, and if you are an advanced user, you can boost its superpowers using Zapier or Integromat, too.
If you are a huge fan of spreadsheets, then you need to give Airtable a shot. At first glance, it looks daunting, even for spreadsheet enthusiasts. It might even look like a database to some.
But in reality, it’s a powerful tool that can be used for project management, among other functions.
With Airtable, things can be built in the following views:
- Kanban: Just drag and drop cards from one column to another.
- Table: Like a regular spreadsheet, but with more features.
- Calendar: perfect for teams who are always on tight schedules, like content creation teams.
- Gallery: Focuseson the visuals, perfect for creative teams.
Integrating it with Zapier or Integromat will help make things easier, too, along with other apps like Slack, Gmail, and other tools that are crucial to remote teams.
Asana is still one of my go-to project management tools for managing different clients. It is another powerful tool that any team can greatly benefit from, from content and web design and development to photography and eCommerce.
Using Asana is pretty straightforward – it has two main views: Board and List; and you can switch between the two. For the tasks that you create, you can set dependencies – if a task isn’t completed, the next dependent task can’t start – so it is easy to spot the bottleneck.
One of the reasons why I still use Asana is because you can literally create a new organization in just under 10 seconds, and you can create dozens upon dozens of organizations as you want for free and invite up to 15 free members too.
Trello is yet another straightforward project management tool that many people can’t leave behind, even if there are already newer tools with more robust features. And there’s a reason for that, of course!
Trello is perfect for people who want to increase team productivity. And the reason why this is the best feature of Trello is that it’s so…clean. There are no unnecessary features, no clunky features that will make you want to read the knowledge base and the like. It is very intuitive and simple, too.
Drag cards across different columns, or use the table view, update a task’s deadline by simply dragging it across the calendar — things like that are very well-thought-out; little things that can make your life easier.
There are other views that you can use within Trello, including Timeline, Table, Dashboard, and Calendar.
For most of its grandfathered users, back when it was just a Kanban, many of these users still use Trello for just the cards – including me!
7. Toggl Plan
Toggl Plan is a project management tool that captures the eyes. It has a very aesthetic feel to it, and to be honest, that is the one thing that many tools don’t have, which I think is a shame because having a good UI can help in being in the “flow”.
Toggl Plan focuses on these three main things.
- Project Planning: This is where you can create tasks and drag them along the timeline, etc.
- Workload Management: Since one of Toggl’s main products is time-tracking, it is natural to have a feature that tracks the workload of your team. In this case, I believe the combination of task management and time tracking plays well with the tool. You can easily see if someone is overworked or needs more tasks!
- Task Management: Create, edit, assign tasks to your team members, and have each task time tracked.
Honestly, if you are a small remote team and looking for ways to fully utilize your team and make sure that you are paying them correctly, Toggle Plan is probably the best tool that you can use. Give it a shot with their free trial!
Basecamp is a classic project management tool, and I’ve added it to the list because of how widely it is being used even today. It’s a simple tool that teams working on software development, content creation, etc., can benefit from.
It also has a nifty tab for all activities within the organization, so you can know at a glance who is working on what.
One thing I like about Basecamp (and I am sure that many will agree with this) is that its pricing structure is straightforward. Unlike other tools that charge you per user, Basecamp allows you to pay a flat rate no matter how many users you have.
ActiveCollab helps collaborators through its time-saving and easy-to-use features. Project leaders can set milestones for the team, add team members, assign tasks, and get notified via e-mail for updates on the project. Also, when replying or posting a comment, you don’t need actually to log in to the system. You can reply and post comments via e-mail.
With ActiveCollab, team leaders can provide real-time updates to their contractors/clients by giving them access to the system. I’ve personally used this, and I’ve seen that it is pretty flexible in giving users permission on what features to use.
Assembla has a ticketing system where teams in remote places are given tasks via tickets. I’ve used this, and personally, I find it a little confusing at first, but after spending some time with it, I get exactly how it works. It is like one of those online forums where people talk about things; only here, the project leader is the one who controls most of the game.
There are built-in wikis to help new users navigate their way through, and Assembla encourages its users actually to read and follow instructions.
If you’re a wiki user, then Confluence will be easy for you to use. Although it is not your usual wiki, it still incorporates many similar features like content creation for all users, intelligent search, discussion, and many more. File sharing is made via drag and drop.
Unlike other project management software, Confluence is more focused on documentation and information sharing. For big projects, proper documentation is definitely the key to a more organized execution of things.
Like WordPress, there are also several plugins that users can install for the system, each having its own purpose. And as people say, the best feature is its ability to integrate with Microsoft Office. That, in itself, says a lot.
Kapost is a publishing management software perfect for bloggers and writers in collaboration. It is a virtual newsroom where users can present a concept and have it approved by an editor. There are three types of users here, editors, contributors, and subscribers. Editors can approve, assign, and reject ideas to contributors.
Kapost also has a built-in feature for payments per post; although I haven’t tried it, I think it is a very cool feature, especially when working with a diverse team on an output-based payment.
The thing about Kapost is that it makes its users focus more on the concepts, increasing the quality of content. It’s like a real newsroom where people brainstorm together.
Bonus: Time Doctor
Time Doctor had me at dramatically reducing wasted time, as in the world we are living in now; time can make or break an entire company.
Its main features include optional screenshot monitoring for remote employees (which is a little invasive, in my opinion, but will do the job), automatic generation of daily reports, keeping track of what websites and applications are used, and many other features that track every possible action of a user on his computer. I must say, if you want to be strict with every penny you pay, Time Doctor is what you’re looking for.
I sincerely hope that my review of these tools I have personally used can help you in making a decision. One thing I am sure of is that if you pick any of these and just keep on using them, your productivity will shoot to the roof.
What I recommend is to take time, use all of these tools for a free trial, get a feel of how it works, discover the pros and cons for yourself, and then finally make a decision. Decide on one with the intention of using it for several years to come.
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