June 9th, 2008 2 Comments

Manage your projects with the right tools

We’ve been using Microsoft Project for years to organize resources and create time lines for our projects.  It’s a good tool, but for $1000 (only $600 for the non-professional version) I could never recommend it for small companies, or small project teams.  Now there are a couple of really good tools for managing projects that fit even the smallest budget.

One desktop program that we recently started using is called OpenProj .  As the name implies, it’s an open source application and seems to have a fair amount of support.  They ask for donations, but basically it is completely free.  (Please consider making a donation if you end up using the program.  We should do whatever we can to encourage the open source community.)  You can find the program here:

http://openproj.org/

The Web site has versions for Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux.

The other option we recommend is Zoho Projects .  Unlike OpenProj, this is a hosted application, meaning there’s nothing to download or install.  Just go to the Zoho Web site, make a free account and start your project.  Besides being easier to set up (nothing to install) the big advantage of Zoho Projects is that your project files are available on any computer with an Internet connection.  So you can start working at the office, bring it up on your notebook at Starbucks, then use your home computer on the weekend without missing any files.  You can also share files and collaborate with other team members using the built-in forum feature.

The first project is free, with an unlimited number of users.  Try it out for yourself here:

http://projects.zoho.com/

With these low cost, easy-to-use tools your project schedules and resources shoud be much better organized.

2 Responses to “Manage your projects with the right tools”

Aravind

June 10th, 2008 - 10:38 pm

Robert : Thanks for recommending Zoho Projects to your readers!

moderator

August 24th, 2008 - 12:41 pm

Quick followup on this post. We have been using Zoho Projects for about a month now on a significant project involving about a dozen people in four different states. We’ll write a complete review in a few weeks, but so far Zoho Projects has been a great tool. It’s easy to use, comprehensive without being overwhelming, fast, and completely reliable.

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