Effective digital marketing is a team sport. It requires collaboration between skilled writers, graphic designers, content strategists, SEO experts, PR professionals, social media specialists, and marketing analysts. Every individual on the team needs a clear view of their deliverables, deadlines, and all the information they need in order to complete their tasks.
Such coordination can be challenging even when all team members work in the same office. It’s far more so in the more common situation today where team members include employees, contractors, and agencies, spread across multiple locations and even time zones.
That’s where online project management tools provide value. While specific feature vary among tools, most offer task management, scheduling, real-time communication, and a document repository. Some offer advanced features like alerts, document editing with revision control, integration with email and calendar platforms, time tracking, and project financial reporting.
Check out these seventeen top project management tools to help keep your digital marketing, product development and other project teams on task, on time, and on budget.
1) JIRA Software
Google Review Count: 317
A software development project management tool for agile teams. Use scrum, Kanban, or mixed methodologies, accurately estimate timeframes for project milestones, and prioritize tasks.
Sample review: “JIRA is a project planning and management application that brings structure and logic to your workflow. JIRA makes it easy for large teams to collaborate on projects by logging tasks, tickets, and other issues – and to assign them priorities. You can attach files and other data to help solve issues quickly and restrict who can and can’t see tasks. For large organizations, JIRA is a very effective project management tool.” — AppStorm
Pricing: $10 or $75 per month
Showcase reviews: AppStorm, SnapApp
Google Review Count: 267
A tool to organize projects, internal communications, and client work in one place. Basecamp includes six core tools. To-dos for tracking work, a Message Board for posting announcements and updates, a Campfire chat room for quick casual chats with the team, a Schedule for posting deadlines and milestones, Docs & Files for organizing all the assets and notes everyone needs to do their work, and Automatic Check-ins to keep team members on track.
Sample review: “While there are many Project Management Tools, Basecamp tends to be the most suited for B2B marketing agencies. With its robust functionality in the cloud, Basecamp is the perfect tool for large marketing teams within an agency.” — Oktopost
Pricing: $99 per month (free for students, 50% off for non-profits and charities)
Showcase reviews: Oktopost, Marketing Insider Group, Robbie Richards
Google Review Count: 264
A simple voice and messaging app, Voxer lets you talk, send text, and share photos instantly to one person or a group. Recipients can listen live or later. Works with iOS and Android devices and on any cellular or WiFi network.
Sample review: “These top project management tools will help you grow…(use) Voxer for team communication.” — Marketing Insider Group
Pricing: free or $4 per user per month
Showcase reviews: Marketing Insider Group
Google Review Count: 245
A messaging app for teams. Create channels to organize projects, topics or conversations; send direct messages to individuals or selected team members; launch voice or video calls from within a text conversation; share files; and maintain a searchable archive of team conversations.
Sample review: “If your company isn’t on Slack, stop what you’re doing and get it now. Right now. Seriously. Slack has brought our distributed team together and become our virtual cafeteria. It’s cut down internal emails to nil and has raised our productivity. It’s just wonderful. We love Slack.” — Hunter & Bard
Pricing: free, $8 or $15 per user per month
Showcase reviews: AppStorm, Hunter & Bard, Katie Lance, Marketing Insider Group, StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count: 231
MindNode helps you visualize your ideas. Start with a central thought, then brainstorm, organize and share your mind maps. Apple only.
Sample review: “Ideal for keeping your brainstorm sessions organized and on-schedule, MindNode helps you understand what’s working in your content strategy and what’s not.” — Express Writers
Pricing: $10 (iOS) or $30 (Mac)
Showcase reviews: Express Writers
Google Review Count: 210
Organize project tasks into shared lists or boards for your initiatives, meetings, and programs. Create and assign tasks, add workflows using pre-made templates, upload attachments, comment on tasks, track conversations related to any project, create to-do lists, dashboards, calendars, and more.
Sample review: “A collaborative tool designed to streamline the operations of your marketing team. Asana is task-centred, with each project being split into specific tasks. The software lets you create tasks and assign specific personnel to run and manage them. Dashboards provide an overview of your marketing projects, with facilities to log and track goals and milestones, as they’re met. Collaboration is assisted by discussion streams which are associated with each specific task.” — 201 Digital
Pricing: free; $8 per team member per month; or enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: 201 Digital, Marketing Insider Group, PR Daily, SnapApp
Google Review Count: 188
A flexible collaboration and project management tool for teams of all sizes. Create projects, request forms, manage and edit files, produce Gantt Charts, manage resources, keep track of time and budget, collaborate, create to-do lists, and sync with popular calendar and email systems.
Sample review: “Wrike is all about better project management and getting an idea from paper to production as quickly as possible. Wrike is powerful but easy to use allowing you to organize projects logically and efficiently. You can breakdown large goals into manageable pieces and then label, attach files, set due dates, track progress and track the contribution individual members are making so that you can make better use of your team resources.” — AppStorm
Pricing: free; three levels from $10 to $35 per team member per month; or enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: AppStorm
Google Review Count: 180
A collaborative online mind mapping tool that lets you capture, develop, and share ideas visually. Discuss changes using integrated chat, convert mind maps to presentations, and manage projects. A very useful too for event planning, taking meeting notes, brainstorming, project planning, or visualizing conference/class notes.
Sample review: “If you need to brainstorm ideas, but creating a list just isn’t for you, then this solution is for you. Go back to the 90s and map out your ideas so that you can get a clear (and visual) understanding of your ideas.” — StoreYa Blog
Pricing: free or three levels from $6 to $15 per team member per month
Showcase reviews: StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count: 170
Scrumy is a project management tool for software developers, loosely based off Scrum. It’s basically an online sticky-notes project management application with a few extra features. Their About page (and video) is worth visiting even if your role has nothing to do with software development.
Sample review: “Organising a group of people to work on a project can be complex, difficult, time-consuming – or you can just use Scrumy. There’s no registration involved, just enter a project name and you’re off. Scrumy is basic, but also simple to use and very effective. You have to be careful about what you put on your page, though – it’s public and can be viewed by anyone who enters your URL. If that’s a problem, check out Scrumy Pro, which adds password protection and a number of other useful extras for $7 a month.” — TechRadar
Pricing: free or $7 per month
Showcase reviews: TechRadar
Google Review Count: 139
A unified project management tool for project accounting, resource management, task assignment, time management, business intelligence, project financials, and team collaboration.
Sample review: “Mavenlink is an online project management solution that’s designed to integrate with multiple other platforms to extend its functionality. Mavenlink integrates with platforms such as Google, Salesforce, JIRA, NetSuite, and more. Mavenlink uses a Gantt timeline to schedule and monitor projects and provides several templates to help structure your first few projects.” — AppStorm
Pricing: $19 or $39 per month; enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: AppStorm
Google Review Count: 137
With Teamwork Projects, your team members will know what they have to do, when it must be done and who needs to do it. They’ll also know where to find and store project-related files and documents (and so will clients). It can be accessed from any desktop browser as well as Android, iPhone, and iPad apps, so your team can do their work wherever they are.
Sample review: “Teamwork is a project management software solution built to scale with your organization. By assigning tasks and multiple projects to you and your team, you’re given the opportunity to see all of your deliverables in a checklist type format, keeping your daily, weekly, quarterly and yearly deliverables on track.” — SmartBug Media
Pricing: $49, $149 or $249 per month (unlimited users); enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: SmartBug Media, StoreYa Blog
Google Review Count: 115
A project management and communication tool that lets you message individuals or teams, provides real-time updates for important tasks and status changes, lets you save important updates, and search for any project-related item.
Pricing: four levels from $5 to $24 per user per month
Showcase reviews: SnapApp
13) eXo Platform
Google Review Count: 110
A unified platform for an employee/project portal, calendar, project dashboard, wiki, internal social network, and communication forum, with document management capabilities.
Sample review: “eXo Platform is a business collaboration tool that includes a very capable content management system. eXo is based around a social dimension that provides a platform to bring together companies both big or small. eXo Platform is open source and so you can plug it into several other major business applications to extend its functionality and improve efficiency, communication and productivity in your enterprise.” — AppStorm
Pricing: free; $96 per user per year (minimum 25 users); enterprise pricing by quote
Showcase reviews: AppStorm
14) Kinetic Response
Google Review Count: 91
A special-purpose project management tool for creating a “virtual war room” in crisis management situations. Ideal for bringing together ad hoc groups of internal experts and outside resources to resolve time-sensitive issues like network outages, security breaches, or supply chain disruptions. Includes online chat (web and mobile), document uploading/storage, task management, and archiving of resolved issues.
Sample review: “Kinetic Response is a virtual war room tool focused on collaborative multi-vendor incident management. Stakeholders can assemble and share information online to more quickly solve complex problems.” — ForwardGeek
Pricing: contact vendor for quote
Showcase reviews: ForwardGeek
Google Review Count: 90
Reminds you of important events by email: birthdays, tasks, meetings, renewals, calls–any event you’d like to set an alert for.
Showcase reviews: Siasat
Google Review Count: 90
A simple document management tool that adds a “smart layer” to existing documents which can include version control, notifications and real-time alerts, notes and comments, permission management, encryption, and activity reporting.
Showcase reviews: Siasat
Google Review Count: 41
One of the newer tools in the market, Slope is a collaboration, workflow, review and approval platform for producing business content. It helps content marketers, creative managers, agencies, graphic designers, and video producers plan, manage, monitor, and deliver collaborative projects.
Sample review: “The video creation process can often be complicated…There are a multitude of project management and workflow challenges that put a premium on having an efficient collaboration mechanism in place. Unfortunately up to now there has not been a single online software program that can handle this for video creation…(Slope makes) the video creation collaboration process more efficient and cost effective.” — Video Marketing 2.0
Pricing: $30 per month or $300 per year
Showcase reviews: Video Marketing 2.0
This was the 27th post in the Best Online Business Tools series.
#1: Best Online Business Tools Series Kicks Off Today
#2: The 12 Best Competitive Intelligence and Benchmarking Tools
#3: The Nine Best Facebook Marketing Tools
#4: The 14 Best Content Planning and Research Tools
#5: The 23 Best Content Ideation Tools
#6: The 24 Best Online Writing Tools and Apps
#7: The Six Best Google+ Marketing Tools
#8: The Four Best Online Education Tools For Business Pros
#9: The 14 Best Marketing Automation Tools
#10: The 17 Best Keyword Research Tools for SEO and SEM
#11: The Seven Best File Sharing Tools
#12: The Five Best Infographic Creation Tools and Services
#13: The 28 Best Influencer Marketing Tools
#14: The Five Best Pinterest and Instagram Marketing Tools
#15: The 24 Best Visual Content Creation Tools
#16: The Six Best Online HR, Payroll, and Employee Scheduling Tools
#17: The 20 Best SEO Rank Tracker Tools
#18: The Six Best Screen Capture Tools
#19: The 15 Best Special-Purpose SEO Tools
#20: The Four Best Online Survey Tools
#21: The 26 Best All-in-One SEO Tool Suites
#22: The 32 Best Twitter Marketing Tools
#23: The 29 Best Web Analytics Tools
#24: The 24 Best Email Marketing Tools
#25: The 28 Best Web Design Tools
#26: The 29 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools
#27: The 17 Best Project Management Tools