They say “there’s an app for that!” like apps can solve all our problems.
I say, “More apps, more problems.”
I’ve got a serious hunch that each content marketer only needs one single app.
If you’re still using a collection of apps in unison, then you just haven’t met your perfect match yet.
And if you’ve invested in a new software solution but have ended up with a new set of problems and an unrelenting headache, I feel your pain.
That’s the kind of pain that starts the minute you walk through the office door—or log into your remote office—and lasts long after work hours have ended.
When it comes to project management apps, you can skip the aspirin.
You just need to start off on the right foot by learning about eight highly-rated project management apps that won’t disappoint.
And, of course, you need to choose well for your content marketing needs and goals.
It’s highly likely that one of the following recommendations will help you propel your content plan forward and leave the pain of failed app acquisitions far behind you.
But first—did you know that there are different types of project management apps?
We’ll explain what to look out for, and then dive into our recommended apps.
The 4 Main Types of Project Management Apps
So, there are four main categories of project management software: cloud-based, individual, on-premises and open API.
Which one is best for you?
Check out the below descriptions to get a feel for how each type works and then decide what will be the best fit for your needs.
- Cloud-based — Cloud-based software is located and maintained on servers off-site. The cloud-based software provider manages all the backend tasks on secure servers. Subscribed teams then pay a monthly or per-use rate to access and use the app. This is typically a very affordable, subscription-based option, and doesn’t take up precious space with downloads and updates.
- Individual — With individual apps, you sign up for a plan and the service is available to you through the company website. You’ll log into your account and use the app online (in your browser), on your desktop (with a downloaded software) and on mobile devices (with a downloaded smartphone or tablet app). This is perhaps the simplest type of app to work with.
- On-premises — This is software that’s hosted on your company’s servers behind a firewall. Files, access to reports and analytics are all managed by your team. The developer behind the app will often help you install everything and get set up via remote conferencing or an on-premises visit. This may be the more costly type of app.
- Open API — API is an acronym for “application programming interface.” This refers to the subroutines, protocol, functions and objects that programmers use to create project management software. Open API means the snippets of code are public and can be accessed by any developer, so it’s highly customizable for teams with tech know-how.
Keep in mind that there’s a little crossover in categories, as some project management tools offer more than one type of service.
For example, one app might offer both a cloud-based and an on-premises solution. Another might offer an on-premises app and an individual app plan. In fact, all of the apps on this list have an API—we’re all about flexibility here.
8 Killer Project Management Apps for Competitive Teams That Are In It to Win It
Cloud-based Project Management Apps
Your team has outgrown the “email-as-a-solution” style of project management, where everything is coordinated in series of back-and-forth group email chains.
Your inbox is starting to get out of hand.
You’ve been knocking your head against your desk trying to find a replacement without needing to hire new software developers.
Available features with this app include Gantt charts, resource management, project templates, Android and iOS apps, plus a report wizard you can use to share data and schedule notifications.
The software and data files are warehoused on locked servers located in the U.S. and Europe. You don’t do the technical back-end setup and maintenance—they do. Pay for access and get to work. And be sure to see what you can accomplish with the API.
There are five different subscription plans: A limited free version, three paid plans with monthly payments going up to $34.60 and an enterprise plan.
Your marketing department has been complaining and they’re starting to get more persistent.
The outdated software you installed on employee computers three years ago doesn’t have the functionality needed to get the results they—and you—want.
Features include customizable dashboards, capacity planning, Gantt charts, analytic reports and enterprise-grade security.
Now your team managers will have the visual tools they need to track workflows from start to finish and address problems when they arise, not weeks later after progress has already stalled to a standstill.
There are four plans available: Team, pro, business and enterprise. Pricing isn’t listed on the website, though, so you’ll need to contact them and request the information—they’ll base the pricing on your team’s needs.
Individual Project Management Apps
As an office manager whose team just expanded from five employees to 15 in a matter of a few months, you’ve become overwhelmed.
Your days feel like an endless cycle of opening and closing your inbox with less and less getting done.
Basecamp is an affordable, online cloud-based collaboration tool used by individuals and teams. You can communicate with all your team members to organize and assign tasks in one location instead of working within endless email threads.
Popular third-party integrations available include Everhour time tracking, Ganttify, which is used to convert projects into Gantt charts, and Bridge24, which is used to export data to Excel or CSV files. And what most users don’t know is that Basecamp has an API that can be utilized by anyone.
The app is free for teachers and students. Regular pricing is a flat rate of $99 per month regardless of the number of users.
If you’re on the fence, there’s a free 30-day trial period available that you should take advantage of!
Are you so swamped with tasks that you feel like it’s taking a real toll on your mental—and physical—health?
Hello superstar organizer, goodbye stress pains.
With this app, projects are managed on Trello boards that contain lists with cards. You can upload files, create checklists and add comments on these boards. Team members are easily held accountable for assigned tasks and, when something is left undone, you’re one of the first to know about it.
With this software, it’s possible to link files from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive accounts.
Trello also has an open API. If your ambitions run high, your development team can use the API to integrate functionality with other apps or to create new applications.
Pricing is free for file uploads up to 10MB. For more security and file attachments up to 250MB it’s $9.99 per user per month.
On-premises Project Management Apps
Not everyone trusts housing confidential team data in offsite warehouses and you’re one of them.
Network security is a main concern of yours and you’d prefer to keep client project files inside the company firewall.
Features of the app include a time log, Gantt charts, task groups, mobile app, reports, analytics, plus an interactive graphical and Kanban view. It can be integrated with Dropbox, Slack and Google Drive.
You can try out the app during a free trial period, then purchase the software for $259 to $1,789.
The five available plans are priced according to the number of users. The startup perpetual license for 10 users is $259, basic license for 20 users is $439, standard license for 35 users is $709, professional license for 50 users costs $969 and the enterprise license for 100 users is $1,789.
You’re embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true.
You simply didn’t want to make the final call about investing in a project management software. Or you wanted to save money and avoid pouring cash into project management tools.
So, you left your employees to their own devices to figure out how to best get things done.
Not surprisingly, project failure rates are high and morale low.
With Celoxis you can choose an on-premises version and let your development team manage the hardware and software. Alternatively, you can choose the online SaaS service that’s hosted in the cloud and leave that hassle to them.
Features of the app include resource and project portfolio management, reports, analytics, manual scheduling, Gantt charts, revenue forecasting and multiple resource assignments to tasks.
The online SaaS service costs $25 per user per month. The on-premises version price is $450 per user, but it’s a glorious one-time fee.
Open API Project Management Apps
Your team is killing it with sales.
New customers and outside investments are rolling in.
You want to keep the momentum flowing.
You’re willing to provide whatever’s needed to keep projects moving from start to finish at breakneck speed.
Have your development team test MyCollab, then work with your marketing team to create any special features they need but can’t find in other apps.
MyCollab is a project, document and customer relationship management software with on-premises and hosted-in-the-cloud versions. It has an open API on GitHub and there’s a large community of open source users you can consult.
Some great features available from the start include Gantt charts, milestones and time tracking. Your development team can then go to town with the open API and create many more.
There’s a free trial period you can play with. After that, the cost is $19, $49 or $99 per month depending on features and the level of security needed.
You know head-banging at the office is unprofessional. If someone walks in and sees you sitting at your desk with your forehead bumping the top of your desk, they may become concerned.
But you can’t help it.
You’ve researched every available project management app under the sun and none have the functionality, features and important third-party integrations you need.
And you don’t want to sacrifice the various apps and programs that your team has come to love. They’ve got to get integrated into your newest project management app somehow!
Asana was named best workflow management app by editors at PC Magazine in September 2017. It’s effective for task management and as a collaboration tool to help team members stay connected outside of email chains.
You can keep daily track of workflow, tasks, goals, milestones and use the open API to develop whatever else your team needs to work at an optimum level. Oh, and it allows for plenty of slick integrations with popular third-party tools that you might already be using.
Have you considered hiring a few brainiac software developers to work with Asana’s open API and create the tool you’re looking for? This might be exactly what you need.
The app is free with limited functionality for teams of up to 15 people. The monthly rate for full access includes custom fields, advanced reporting, tasks and admin control, and it’s a mere $9.99 per user per month when paid annually, $11.99 when paid monthly. There’s also an enterprise plan to take care of larger teams.
Whatever project management apps your team may need now or in the future, test out and consider more than one version before deciding on a solution. Ask yourself:
Will your team be completely happy with this tool?
Does the tool have too many or too few features for your team?
Is the mobile version easy to learn and use?
Is the pricing model right for you?
Does the API make the tool flexible enough to tackle any new task that arises?
If all of the above checks out, you’ve probably found the right app for you and your team.
Make your move!