Project management in the digital age is a beautiful thing. Your smartphone or tablet means that you are no longer chained to your desk updating your online databases. Instead you are mobile, able to update in real time, have access to all your data and all of the players on your team can reach you no matter where they are. With cloud computing, all your online data is accessible to your team, any time, any place. With the right project management app you are leaner, meaner and faster on the draw. You don’t have to spend a fortune on project management software; with these free apps, the playing field is leveled!
Project Management App Nirvana
TaskJuggler: This integrated project management tool covers everything from conception to execution. It’s a really effective platform from which to manage your project, team and online data. TaskJuggler is designed to tackle larger project management tasks. If you want to create a pretty Gantt chart to impress the board, then this is probably not worth the effort. TaskJuggler is exceedingly comprehensive and, consequently, will take some time and effort to master. The functionality isn’t as intuitive as you would like and you may actually have to read the instruction manual. However, once you have the hang of it, this is project management on steroids!
jxProject: This is a 100% Java-based project management app that runs on most operating systems. Its free version is a great tool for quick installation and use and all you will have to endure is a couple of adverts on the top corner. It’s not as complex or as detailed as TaskJuggler, but it is easier to use. jxProject is great for smaller projects and teams, and is a really neat project management app for small to medium businesses and will help you to manage all aspects of your project from one easy console.
GanttProject: Like many free online apps, GanttProject is an open-source tool created by the online community for effective project management. The scope of the app is wide and varied and it covers all aspects of project management. Generate Gantt charts and PERT charts, or assign human resources to specific tasks. You can import your current project management information from Microsoft and share your online databases with others using WebDAV.
Retrospectiva sets itself up as direct competition to Microsoft Project. While this project management app is open source and free, it is designed to help specifically in the software design realm. It offers a wealth of features including SCM integration, goal planning, story management, code review, issue tracker and Wiki.
Collabtive: This cloud-based project management app is easy to master with very intuitive functionality and seamless integration into your current project management system. You can import your existing tasks, and it has all the features you could possibly want to effectively manage your team. Collative has a number of plugins that enable you to enhance its functionality while only getting the features that you need.
OpenGoo: This fun, free project management app that has over 800,000 users worldwide. According to their website: “Feng Office is a Web-based software that integrates project management, client relationship management, billing, financing, among other features that help you efficiently run your professional services business.” This makes it perfect for the small to medium business person who is multitasking. You can manage your projects and your associated business and accounting tasks all in one easy interface.
Redmine: This open-source project management app operates across platforms and online databases. It can be difficult to master for those who are not tech-savvy. If you are technically minded, then this app really gives registered users a lot of freedom to set up their project management software in a way that they find most functionally astute for their particular needs. You can also contribute to the open source project management software site, even if you don’t have software-writing experience.
ProjectPier: Also an open-source project management app, ProjectPier is a little easier to use and more intuitive than some of its open-source contemporaries. ProjectPier is a great tool for collaborating, tracking your projects and provides you with really effective communication tools.
The truly great thing about free and open-source apps is the resource-sharing that goes into the online community. When you try out these free project management apps, you are taking on no risk and can shop around until you find the tools and functionality you are looking for in a project management software tool. These free apps are especially helpful if you are a small to medium business, as it helps you level the playing field with your larger competitors without requiring huge investments in project management software.