Project management software for freelancers or small businesses is a vast field that can often be overwhelming. You want to make sure you’re covering your task management and working methodology, but that’s only the start. Once you scratch the surface, there’s an endless list of features that may sound good, but aren’t too important for your needs.
So in this sea of confusion, we’re here to help you identify what is essential when you're choosing a project management software. We'll cover methods to help you understand how to avoid expensive traps, how to get a tool that suits your style, and how to implement project management software.
Project management for small companies is fairly tricky as a lot of businesses simply can't stump up the cash. Traditionally, high-performance tools came with a high price tag, and with free software, you often got what you paid for.
However, times have changed and standards have been raised. It is possible to get solid tools at no cost, which is a fantastic boost for small companies.
Not only that, when you're working out how to implement project management software, you can also install a lot of other applications, from communication and CRM tools to HR and invoicing capabilities.
For a full range of free features that it’s possible to get with your free project management software, check out the Bitrix24 package.
One of the biggest factors to take into account when considering how to manage software projects is how you go about your work.
Nowadays, more and more companies are moving toward agile working methodologies like scrum, and if you're one of them, you need tools that allow you to do it. However, not all the project management software for freelancers and small businesses has caught up, so be sure the platforms you're looking at have all the features you'll need.
Kanban boards are among the most popular project management views, as your whole team can see the progression of all your tasks. If you want to focus more on timing, Gantt charts combine with your calendar to give you a clear view of each team member and task.
Monitoring your time can be a drag. With so many variables that can affect the time of a project, it can seem impossible to say precisely how long a task should take. However, managing time well is at the heart of all successful projects.
When choosing a project management software, check if it comes with built-in time tracking software so you can analyze how long tasks take and better schedule in the future. Once you have your timing sorted, you can scale up your projects with confidence and really start to grow your business.
Time management isn't something you can ignore if you're a freelancer. If you're working by yourself, choosing a project management software with in-built time tracking is just as important for solo workers as it is for companies. Without structures in place, you find your working hours blur into your free time and you’re on a one-way track to burnout.
The technology is already out there to give your boring repetitive tasks to the machines. It's called automation and unless you've been hiding under a rock, chances are you'll already be using it in some form — even your alarm clock is automated.
However, when choosing a project management software, you need to be looking for tools that go far beyond the capabilities of a repeating alarm clock.
Your projects will need constant adaptations, and complex automation can really help you out. For example, you can launch one task as soon as another has finished, or even add a delay of a few hours to give you time to review before assigning the next step. This more intricate automation depends on certain circumstances before being triggered and is a major productivity booster for you and your team.
A key aspect of project management is organizing your documents well. Part of that is storing them in a logical, easy-to-use way in an online drive, but reducing the number of versions you keep of each document cannot be ignored.
The best project management software should come with integrated document collaboration software. This will allow you and your team to work on the same documents and presentations simultaneously, without leaving a messy trail of old files. Sure, you’ll have some sensitive documents you don’t want to share, so make sure your software comes with access restrictions.
To double down on your collaboration, an instant messaging service can help your team send rapid-fire queries to each other. This comes in especially useful for remote teams who can’t speak to each other in person in the office.
When choosing a project management software, a lot of managers overlook one crucial feature: a mobile app.
Let’s face it, we’re living in a fast-paced world, and our technology needs to be available as and when we need it. Sometimes you’ll need to make a quick change and you can’t wait to get back into the office to set it up on your desktop. Furthermore, if you have traveling sales teams, they won’t have reliable access to their computers throughout the working day.
Therefore, any project management software worth its salt will come with a fully functioning mobile app that you can use on the go. Make sure that you have both Android and iOS versions to cater to everybody regardless of the smartphone they have.
There is nothing worse than switching between 34 different apps a day: one with your emails, another for your video calls, one for your project management and so on.
However, on the other side of the coin, it can seem that most universal tools are lacking in substance and can be more of a hindrance than an advantage.
Wouldn't it be lovely if you could find one that just worked?
Bitrix24 is a complete, 360-degree business platform that includes everything you'll need in one handy place. No more flicking between tabs for the right program or overloading your phone with countless business apps — just one user-friendly tool that does everything you need. It's not surprising that 9,000,000 companies have already switched to Bitrix24, so don't be shy, sign up today.