Six great apps for team projects

When you are trying to run a small team in today’s workplace, a whiteboard and diary just won’t cut it anymore. There are a swathe of tools available to you online — but which to choose? We’ve put six cloud leaders to the test: Trello, Asana, Solve360, Insightly, Scribblar and Podio.

1. Trello
Platforms:  Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Web, Windows 8
Price:

  • Basic — free for an unlimited time
  • Business — $45 per user per annum. Includes admin control, 250 megabyte attachments, Google apps connection and data export

The low-down:
Trello is a visually appealing, easy to use project management system based on Kanban, a Japanese project management method still used by most fast food restaurants. Create a Trello board, and you’ll get three lists: “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”. You can rename the lists and add more.

Using colour-coded cards, you can add due dates, checklists, text, photos, links and all sorts of information about a task. Attach cards to any list — and move them around. A builder’s Trello lists might include Enquiry, Quote, Order Materials, Book Job, and To Invoice, with cards including photos of the site, hyperlinks to materials and checklists of tools. Change card priorities by moving them up or down the list, and share boards with multiple users.

In short: Shared project management that is quick, easy to use and gives an instant visual overview.

2. Asana
Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, Web
Price:

  • Free – Unlimited projects and tasks for up to 15 members
  • Premium — Ranges from $50 per month for 15-30 members to $800 per month for 100+ members

The low-down:
Asana is all about ‘teamwork without email’ and focuses on shared task management. Teams have their own workspace, which contains projects, divided into tasks. You can add text, links, tags and attachments to any task, and team members get updates when items are changed. Tasks have due dates and can be assigned to one or more team members, with others ‘subscribed’ to receive updates. Each person has an Asana inbox, which is where notifications appear from all the teams and tasks they belong to. Tasks can easily be checked off as completed.

In short: Team Project portal minimises emails and manages task assignment and scheduling.

3. Solve360
Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, Web
Price: 

Plans start at ‘Basic’ ($39/month) for up to 3 team members through to ‘Everything’ ($100/month for more of everything) with additional per-month costs for each person.

The low-down:
Aimed at small customer-focused teams, Solve360 combines project management with customer relationship management (CRM), letting teams share contact information — and more importantly — current actions on thousands of common contacts. Fields can be customised, and templates and forms are simple to create. The system revolves around project-based ‘blogs’ that can be selectively shared with non-users and include tasks, links and attachments, and which also integrate well with Google Apps, calendar and Gmail. 

In short: Team-based customer service will integrate customer care with everything else you do.

4. Insightly
Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, Web
Price:

‘Free’ plans is for up to 3 users while ‘Standard’ is at $9 per user per month

The low-down:
Insightly is a very easy to use cloud application designed to integrate with Google Apps and Gmail, Office 365, Evernote and Mailchimp, and combines contact and project management features including email histories, custom fields and filters, project overviews with activities and milestones, auto reminders and file linking.

In short: Quickly get a small team up to speed with combined customer and project management.

5. Scribblar
Platforms: Android, Web
Price:

Plans start at $9 per month for up to 3 users, to $39 per month for 50 users.

The low-down:

Scribblar is a collaborative whiteboard with live chat and live audio built in, real-time updates of the central board and concurrent access for multiple users. The system incorporates image upload, editing and live shared drawing tools including shapes and lines, highlighting, colouring and live text. Integration with image platform Flickr and a calculation plug-in from Wolfram Alphra makes the platform suitable for anything from live artwork and design revisions to budget planning. Scribblar is widely used in online training.

In short: The next best thing to a live team meeting.

6. Podio
Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPad, Web
Price:

Free for up to five users, then it’s $9 per user per month

The low-down:
Podio is a series of online workspaces that can include files, group chat and commentary along with task and project management features. Anyone (including contractors and clients) can be added to a workspace, and the system is fully customisable, with over 700 free add-in apps for functions such as projects, CRM, recruiting,  public relations, event management, legal, finance, R&D, recruitment, human resources, training and many others.

You can also build your own customised App using drag-and-drop fields. The program also integrates with a wide range of cloud programs including Google Drive, Dropbox, Zendesk, Evernote, Sugarsync, Campaign Monitor and OneDrive, and emails can be sent directly into a project or a task. Podio is widely used in online training.

In short:  Customise everything about your work and collaborate via Podio.

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