The Non-Project Manager's Guide to Project Management Tools

May 28, 2019
Post Masthead

Does this sound like you?

You realize your team needs a project management tool. Your team is working in silos, communication is disjointed, and projects are delivering late. In fact, you aren’t even sure what your team is working on half the time!

As a result, your team is stressed, you are stressed, and your clients are upset.

So, you adopt a project management tool. This will fix everything, right? Wrong. Your team continues to use their own systems and methods for managing work, and the team members who are using your tool are using it inconsistently or incorrectly. You also discover that the tool doesn’t quite provide you with all the functionality that you need. You still need several different tools to try and manage a project.

All in all, it’s not working.

So, you try a different tool—only for the same thing to happen.

You and your team are constantly switching project management tools. You have tried more tools and software than you can count.

Every time a new system becomes available, you try it, only to discover that it doesn’t help your team function or work any more efficiently.

After sifting through different task management apps, to-do list apps, and project management tools all designed to help busy entrepreneurs and teams, how can you possibly choose which is the best for you and your team?

In this guide, we will provide you with the top project management tools today, and some tips on how to choose the best one for you and your team.

How Do You Know If You Need a Project Management Tool?

In addition to a lack of team collaboration, alignment, and software adoption, here are some other signs you might need project management software:

  • You feel stressed before you even sit down at your desk, or just thinking about work.
  • You and your team are constantly missing deadlines.
  • You can’t find project documents, files, or assets.
  • You are paying a ton of project management or SaaS fees for multiple systems that don’t integrate or that aren’t working for your team.
  • Communication between team members (in-house and remote) and customers is disjointed and no one is on the same page.
  • You’re having trouble sleeping at night.

What Makes a Good Project Management Tool?

If you already know that you and your team need a solution, but you aren’t sure which one to choose, a robust project management tool or solution should provide you with the following features and capabilities:

  • Task management
  • Resource management and time tracking
  • Scheduling and project timelines
  • Communication and status updates
  • Third-party app integrations
  • File sharing and document control
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Visual workflow capabilities
  • Help and support
  • Mobile apps

Furthermore, when reviewing and considering possible project management tools, it’s also important to ask yourself and your team the following questions:

  • Is this tool simple to adopt and use?
  • Is this tool flexible and scalable?
  • Can this be customized to our needs, if necessary?
  • Does this tool support our workflow needs (i.e. visual workflows)?

Perhaps what makes finding the best project management tool for your team even more overwhelming is choosing one with the best UI. For example, do you and your team prefer a task-based tool, such as one that presents tasks in a list format? Do you and your team prefer to see the “big picture” view of the project, with all your projects at a glance?

5 Project Management Tools to Consider

Now that you are likely thinking about your team’s different project management tools, which ones are the best to consider?

Here is a list of the top five most popular and best project management tools available today:

1. Rindle

Rindle adds a twist to typical project management by adding workflow and task automation.

It provides users and project managers with everything they need to manage their projects, but it also introduces ways to "automate" their processes and workflows through Rindle's Automations and Mirrors.

Founders, team leaders, managers, and accidental project managers can eliminate several hours from their work week managing the project management tool.

2. Trello

Many teams love using Trello because of its simplistic view and visual workflow. It is easy to create boards for individual projects, add columns, assign tasks, label and categorize cards, and move them in between columns.

Trello also has some integrations and add-ons available, but they are somewhat limited, especially with the free version. However, Trello is supported by Zapier. So, you can build automations with other tools and apps as necessary to simplify and streamline your workflows.

All in all, Trello is a great tool, but it is best for small, simple projects. So, if your projects are more complex and involve multiple milestones, deliverables, and moving parts, then you may want to consider a different tool.

3. Asana

Asana is one of the most popular project management tools available today. One reason why is that it supports many different project types, styles, and methodologies. So, whether you and your team prefer a task-based tool or a visual workflow, Asana easily supports both. Asana is another tool that is relatively easy to set up, learn, and use but it has more advanced features than Trello.

If you aren’t sure which project management style will work best for you and your team, or if you aren’t sure how to effectively set up a new project, Asana offers a wide range of templates for product development, marketing projects, events, support requests, and more.

4. Wrike

Wrike is another popular project management tool that provides more structure and helps balance workloads among team members than Trello and Asana. Wrike helps project managers with resource management and optimization.

For example, Wrike’s views can easily be customized to see each team member’s workload across multiple projects. This helps to avoid overloading one team member and to improve the accuracy of project timelines.

5. Jira

Software, SaaS, and web development teams love Jira. Jira is best for teams that work in an agile environment simply because of its visual workflow, level of customization, and easy integration with other tools, apps, and systems. Yes, Jira has a similar look as Trello, but it offers more advanced features, such as reporting, integrations with GitLab, and also helps agile teams manage release plans.

With Jira, teams can easily create a backlog, which is important for agile teams. When creating a backlog, teams should consider: Who does the work? What are the practices for identifying and defining backlog items?

Creating a backlog not only helps keep tasks, features, and priorities straight, but it also avoids paving cow paths. This means automating business practices as is without thinking too much about whether or not said practices are effective or even efficient.

Consistency is the Ultimate Productivity System

We get it—consistency can be difficult to achieve when you are constantly trying to figure out which project management tool to adopt.

However, by taking the time to consider where you and your team need the most help as well as your priorities, you can then review each project management tool and weigh the pros and cons of each.

Yes, this process might take a little time, but it will save you a ton of time trying and paying for multiple tools that only fall short. You can also ask a team member to help you with this process and get his or her feedback.

After all, consistency is the ultimate productivity system.

Right Your Projects with Rindle

Believe it or not, even with the vast number of project management tools and technology available, projects continue to fail at a staggering rate. In fact, most organizations report a 70 percent project failure rate. Without the right project management tool in place, teams will constantly struggle with working efficiently and delivering quality projects on time.

As we reviewed above, Rinde is an all-in-one project management tool with multiple features and functionalities that have proven to be incredibly helpful for teams. With its stellar visual workflow, robust features, and easy set-up and implementation process, Rindle has become a top choice for many teams.

The search is over. Give Rindle a try today.