As consultant and author Jim Rohn put it
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”Jim Rohn
And without the right bits in place, it can sometimes feel as though the day is runig you over with a steamroller!
When running a business, there is a lot to manage. Finances, onboarding, inductions, to do lists, client projects, not to mention all the marketing you need to manage as well as the little things that pop up during the day.
This can cause a lot of issues with time management, falling behind in tasks, lack of transparency, overloaded workflows, and simply not knowing who is doing what or when it is due!
The three most common recommendations we see these days for Project Management tools are Asana, ClickUp and Trello. So let’s take a closer look.
If you are looking for maximum flexibility and a stack of features that cost next to nothing, then ClickUp is the one for you. Whilst fairly new to the market in the big scheme of things, with ClickUp, you get a to-do list so you can execute your projects and a host of customisable features. Some of ClickUp’s free features include:
- Custom statuses and smart notifications (so that you can see the information that is most important to you)
- Rich task editing and notepad
- Multiple assignees and custom fields
- Task tray for quick retrieval
- Time tracking and natural language processing
- Docs, spreadsheets, conversations, chat – think of these as replacements for Slack and OneNote and are a great place to store your internal processes!
- Inbox, profiles, and custom views (my inbox is now my boss!)
- Templated projects and tasks (so that each part of your business can be turned into a repeatable, consistent process) 0 ClickUp also provides some templates to help you get started to!
- Two way integration with Google so that managing due dates and their associated tasks is as simple as click and drag.
- Due dates that are recaluclated within each template (total time saver this one!)
These are all offered with the free edition of ClickUp. With all these features, it’ll be much easier to schedule your time for your work and projects with other people. ClickUp also makes it easier to collaborate with your team in their way so that everyone can work within their preferred style (lists, kanban, calendar). And if and when you decide to upgrade, their low cost plans provide extra security, more features including reporting, forms, and more fields. PLUS they have plans to roll out Automation ASAP as well as exceptional customer service (slight ClickUp fan over here). The only downside to ClickUp is that it can be a little overwhelming when you first start to figure out what goes where and how to build it out (nothing a little strategy can’t fix!). ClickUp does integrate with Zapier and are constantly working on what you can do with this integration.
Asana offers to take your work to the next level. They want to help you plan better projects, track essential items, and get your whole team on the same page. This will help you work faster and produce more and better work. If you’re just getting started, Asana will work as their basic features include:
- Task management and a list view
- Board and calendar view
- Assignees and due dates
- Collaboration of up to 15 teammates.
- App integration like Chrome, Adobe, and even Microsoft.
While this may be enough for smaller projects, you’ll quickly outgrow the basic features, and upgrading to premium may not be in your best interest as ClickUp does all this for free. Asana is very limited in the way that you can use the platform however is a great place to begin when starting your project management journey. Asana has great integrations via Zapier which allows you to streamline your processes.
The paid version of Asana starts at $12AUD per user per month (paid annually) and does open you up to some more features including custom fields. Asana is loved by many but personally I find it frustrating to use and organise.
Trello is another incredibly popular project management tool that uses the Kanban style system (columns where you can drag and drop your tasks). It offers a freemium model and cost-effective upgrade plans for businesses and a power-up function for app integrations. It will help you collaborate with your teams to keep all your projects organised. People love Trello for it’s ease of use with getting started. It’s incredibly easy to open a Trello account and start brain dumping.
Some free features of Trello include:
- You’ll get an unlimited number of lists, boards, and cards
- Power-Up each board for further integrations (you are limited to the number of powerups you can use on the free plans) such as repeating tasks, calendars etc.
- Unlimited collaboration with other Trello users.
While Trello is useful, its free version is relatively limited and requires multiple integrations. If it’s not within your budget to upgrade, then Trello will lose its effectiveness as your project management needs to grow. Also, unlike ClickUp, Trello will only you to see one board at a time. This isn’t much help if you need to see more boards at once to get a clearer picture of your project and/or workload. Trello is however great for those just starting out who need a clear, visual way of viewing what is going on.
To upgrade Trello, you are looking at around 10USD per user per month if you pay annually. This does give you access to a whole bunch of extra features and unlimited powerups. Where Trello is really restricted however, is the viewing capabilities. While you might be able to see due items on your home screen, getting an overview of your organisation and all projects as a whole makes things a little more complicated. It also comes with very little customisation in terms of gathering data and the fields / sorting that you can do.
In the end, project management is an integral part of every professional’s job. While ClickUp, Asana, and Trello are similar, ClickUp closes the gap by offering an abundance of free features that would require upgrading your plan in the others as well as combining tools that you would need on top of the other platforms, and exceptional customer service. We are yet to find anything better!
BUT in saying that…..
The right project management tool for YOU AND YOUR team is only right because it works FOR YOU. Regardless of all the options out there, whatever you choose needs to have specific features that are going to help YOU, not every other Tom, Dick and Harry down the street.
Though there are some fantastic ways to perfect management of your business, the app market offers some of the best project management tools. When it comes to choosing Project Management tools, there are some questions we suggest asking yourself first.
- Everyone is different with what they like and how they function (if you were to put up a question on Facebook for everyone’s recommendations, you would have 50 different answers with why people prefer different platforms – they all work for them individually so there is no right and wrong answer) so have a think about how you like to work. Do you like lists? Do you like Kanban style where you have columns? Do you want to see everything overall or do you want things in very different parts of the platform with no overlay?
- Know what your budget is as it may affect your choices straight away
- List out everything it must be capable of doing as some are capable and some are not
- List out the things that would be nice to have in an ideal world
- List out every other piece of software you are using. Does it need to integrate with any of these (if you put yes, is it a ‘must’ or a ‘nice to have’)?
So work out how you best work, what you need it to do, and then go from there!