There’s a big, wide world of content marketing tools out there.
Wish you could just pick and choose the features you need à la carte?
A little of this, a little of that.
One order of project management, one half-order of invoicing management on the side.
A small container of social media management to go.
Meanwhile, the crowded SaaS marketplace literally makes you shop til you drop.
One of the problems with project management software, in particular, is that there are so many darn tool options. And every tool claims to “have it all” in their offered subscription packages. You have to decide to choose from free, basic, pro or enterprise plans—the pro plan might have something critical that you need, but have five other things you really don’t.
It can be absolutely overwhelming to figure out what the best options are and which of their subscriptions offer precisely what you need and nothing more.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a simple tool that lets you pick and choose what you want?
With Zoho Projects, you can avoid the whole shop-til-you-drop situation. Pick yourself up off the floor and stop shopping around.
It’s all here.
You got this.
Zoho Projects Review: How to Know Fo Sho If You Should Adopt Zoho
Zoho Projects is a pretty comprehensive system.
Meaning, it comprehends your struggles as a content marketer.
Zoho can manage all of the key aspects of your content marketing work, including project management, content creation, social media management, CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software), bug tracking, invoicing and messaging.
Just look at how I’ve got it set up to manage a variety of tasks here:
The project management app itself has the usual bells and whistles: , tasks and subtasks (although these subtasks are only available with paid subscriptions).
It’s designed for teams in particular, as opposed to individuals, so it has prioritized having tons of integrated time management features that sync up with the project management features.
I’ve played with Zoho a number of times over the years, and it ended up being the wrong solution for me personally. As an individual content marketer, I’m looking for a tool with a free plan that offers everything I need.
With this tool, you need to upgrade and pay for the goodies—but they’re pretty great goodies. It might be more than I need on my own, but could be just the right fit for a small, mid-sized or large content marketing team.
Let’s explore the Zoho Project’s main features, and especially those features that make Zoho stand out from the pack. I think this will give you a clearer idea of whether or not you want to go with Zoho.
The Most Outstanding Features of Zoho Projects
Without a doubt, my favorite Zoho feature is the Gantt chart.
It’s completely integrated and customizable. While not a necessity, being able to evaluate your timeline visually can make a real difference in your progress.
Want to gamify your work? Now you can.
Gamescope is a unique feature that allows team members to set up individual competitions with each other and keep track of the rewards.
Even more impressive is that it allows users to set who can see the competition, meaning that upper management doesn’t have to be privy to the competition going on down below.
At the team level, Zoho Projects offers some amazing upgrades, like resource allocation.
This allows you to track each individual employee’s time spent by project (and see overall time spent at a glance).
You’ll easily be able to schedule tasks based on who has the most time available, rather than loading up one person.
Team members can track time spent on each individual task, not just the overall project.
As you can see, it makes itemized billing a breeze.
Zoho’s Wealth of Integrated Tools
This is where Zoho shines.
In addition to having incredible project management software, Zoho also has its own custom software for managing pretty much everything.
I’ll shine the spotlight on several noteworthy tools that you can add on.
This feature grants you the ability to assist customers with remote computer access and has a free plan available.
Accounting software with teeth.
This feature covers contact management, time tracking, invoices, inventory management, expenses and tax management among many other features, with plans starting at $9 per month.
If you sell anything, you really should have a CRM.
Being able to track potential customers and their place in your pipeline is incredibly important, no matter what you sell.
The free version is pretty robust for what it is, but paid plans start at $12 per month.
Another sales-based solution, this one is a comprehensive support ticketing system for customer service representatives.
This feature has an impressive free version, but the options available on the paid plans are pretty remarkable (starting at $12 per month).
A full-fledged cloud storage system, Zoho Docs would give Google a run for its money if it had better integrations (like, say, Google).
Writer, Sheet and Show have clean interfaces, with intuitive design and keyboard shortcuts. You’ll get 1GB of storage for free, and paid plans are available starting at $5 per month.
Books manages all your accounting needs.
Invoice is just that—invoicing, estimates and payments, plus advanced time tracking. Free for five customers, and paid plans start at $7 per month.
Before you say you don’t need another email account, just hear me out for a second.
Ad-free, baby. Even on the free plan.
Projects, CRM and other integrations come into play here, too, along with a super eyeball-friendly night view (show below). You’ll get 5GB of storage for free to boot. Paid plans start at $3 per month.
A top-down overview of all your raw data.
At this point in time, it should go without saying that it integrates with all Zoho products, but it definitely integrates with all Zoho products—and just about everything else you have that creates data.
Free plans are available and paid plans start at $25 per month.
Zoho’s Best Third-party Integrations
Google: Gmail, Calendar, Tasks, Drive, Spreadsheets, Apps Marketplace.
Microsoft: Excel, Project, OneDrive, Outlook, Office365.
Others: JIRA, Basecamp, Dropbox, Box, Bitbucket, GitHub, iCal, Slack.
Where Zoho Could Step Up Its Game
Some of the essential features (subtasks, reminders, recurring tasks) are only available in the Premium Plan or higher, which is ultimately what keeps me from taking the plunge.
However, the integrated nature of Zoho is a powerful draw, and it’s going to be worth it for a lot of different marketing teams.
The other caveat (and it’s a big one) is a lack of diversified security. Because Zoho isn’t an American company, it’s not required to carry certain security certificates.
It does appear to have security locked down tight, but if those certificates are a necessity for you, you may need to look elsewhere.
Zoho’s Plans and Pricing
Zoho Projects has four different pricing tiers. Like most software as a service, if you pay annually, you get a significant discount.
As a bonus, you’ll also gain access to unlimited users and projects at the lower price tiers—this automatically makes it much cheaper than competing services that charge you per user.
- Free forever
- Unlimited users
- 1 project
- 10MB storage
- Includes access to mobile apps, Google Apps integration, document sharing and basic customization
- $25/month or $249/year
- Unlimited users
- 20 projects
- 10GB storage
- 8 project templates
- Includes all features from the Free Plan as well as time tracking, invoicing, expense tracking, timesheet approval, and a sync with Google Tasks
- $50/month or $499/year
- Unlimited users
- 50 projects
- 100GB storage
- 10 project templates
- Includes all features from the Free and Express plans as well as subtasks, task reminders and recurrences, task durations, Dropbox and GitHub integration
- $80/month or $799/year
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited projects
- 100GB storage
- 20 project templates
- Includes all features from the three other plans as well as custom fields, custom email templates and Zoho Desk integration
Who Zoho Projects Is Best For
No matter what plan you choose, with Zoho Projects, you’re billed for the features you use, not the number of users you have.
The same is true for all of the other integrated tools. And all of them have some kind of free or basic plan, so you’re only paying for the upgrades you need.
So, on every level, the Zoho system can be customized to work for you.
Let’s say you’re a freelance app designer. You can use Projects and Bug Tracker to keep track of your work. You can use Contact Manager to keep track of clients. Invoice to manage your billing (free for 5 clients). You can even use Creator to do all your programming (plans start at $5 per month).
Or you might be a lifestyle blogger with a small staff and an e-commerce store, who also does some public speaking on the side. You can use Social to manage all of your social media posts. Campaigns to send out your newsletter. Docs and Writer to manage blog posts. Books to manage sales and speaking fees. And Projects to manage all the to-dos.
If you’re a mid- to large-sized marketing team selling anything, then Zoho is probably the best system you could ever ask for. It does everything, integrates everything, and if you can’t figure out what you need, the helpful folks over at Zoho will tell you.
Final Thoughts on Zoho Projects
Look, Zoho is probably worth trying, no matter what your business is. It has so many different features that integrate within its own system.
Getting that kind of communication between all your business applications is practically impossible, and there are countless services that attempt to make that communication between systems possible.
Skip the middlemen.
Try one system for all your business needs.