I wanted to tell you about 9 Essential Software Apps and online resources I have used in the past, everything I am going to talk about is free.
Managing client expectations, project management, work allocation and tracking is not an easy, in fact, it’s down right hard to do it right especially if the job is complex and the client is difficult.
Transparency is the way to go and you want to do it right. Part of good project management is having your finger on the pulse of the project, scheduling the process, looking for things that could go wrong and planing for all contingencies and on top of all that keeping everyone involved informed and up-to-date with where you are at any given moment on any of your projects.
Doing this right can impress the hell out of your client if the process is easy to use and the software does what you want it to do, this all comes down to choosing the right project management software.
I have just gone through the process of moving over to online (cloud) project management and here is what I came up with. I did not have to go far, I tried about 6 different platforms and in most cases they where similar to Basecamp.
Basecamp came highly recommended from many people and the hype is that it is the best online project management platform available, so It was my first stop.
They don’t have a free version or a free trial plan so I needed to fork over my credit card details with the promise that if I don’t go beyond the 30 day trial my card would not be billed. I don’t call that a free trial but as I had heard so much about Basecamp I signed up.
Basecamp has a good interface but the problem is that it is not very intuitive. The help section is not that helpful and does not correspond to the section you want help with. The order of the stages is just wrong and again not intuitive. This is coming from someone who designs online applications and is very adept at working through thought processes.
After half a day off setting up and testing I was on the hunt for something that had to be better. If this was the top rated project management platform I was going to have to write my own because Basecamp just does not cut the mustard for a intuitive, good project management platform.
I came across Copper as one of the 6 platforms in my quest and they had a free trial for a month, yes, that’s what I like, try before you buy.
From the start I was impressed, the site is a users wet dream, written in HTML5, it is slick and intuitive. As a website designer I was impressed and instead of taking half a day to work it out I was up and going in 30 minutes.
The set up of users, groups, and clients was just too easy and the process ordering was in accordance with what I have in mind for managing projects.
Copper includes everything Basecamp charges extra for, wow, what a bargain.
If you are a Basecamp user, have a squiz at Copper, it will cost you nothing but time and the learning curve is a fraction required for Basecamp plus you get a heap of additional must haves included.
There is no choice between the two, Basecamp comes a poor second to Copper.