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Review : Best mobile (and free!) Project Management apps

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From construction to government and IT to start-up sectors, the practice of Project Management has evolved over the ages in its application - and correspondingly, the tools and technology. If there’s anything that we can be certain of, it is that any project management task can be easy to attain when you’re using the right tools. You want to make sure however that you chose the tool that best fits your organisation and project.

 

We’ve decided to write a review based on our experience of using two commonly used apps that are mobile and ideal for any Project Manager, regardless of experience: Freedcamp and Asana. Oh, and did we say...Free!?



A. Freedcamp

https://freedcamp.com/

I’ve used this tool in 2016 while managing a team of three creatives as we developed a website and ran an entrepreneurship challenge across five universities. It was a bootstrap environment and needed a tool that was economical. In this scenario, the priority was to:

  1.  Distribute the workload efficiently
  2.  Understand and monitor task deadlines
  3.  Adapt quickly to changing external priorities
  4.  Minimise training on the tool and have an easy user interface

The project was dynamic with a very fluid external environment and thus we needed a tool to create order out of chaos so to speak.The challenge on this platform was that it catered to task management and not scheduling (unless you’re on the paid plan). So I prepared the schedule on Microsoft Project while setting up tasks on Freedcamp. Once these tasks were entered, it became very easy for the team to understand and prioritise them.

The interface is very easy to use and the Kanban board is a great tool to monitor the activities that are being progressed in a live manner.

The tool was well accepted with the team that were not used to PM processes or tools, as it gave them structured flow of when and what tasks need to be finished. Additionally, it gave them an idea on where we should be heading even with a lot of change.

Pros:

- Excellent interface, easy to communicate, easy to create tasks

Cons:

- Scheduling wasn’t straightforward

B. Asana

www.asana.com

Essentially used to simplify team-based work efforts, this web and mobile based app is one of the most preferred apps used by Project Managers, as it guides project teams with organizing and managing  tasks that are both simple and complex in nature. Its intuitive interface makes it easy for both tech and not-so-tech savvy individuals to collaborate and stay abreast of the ongoing stages within a project.

Having used Asana to manage the work efforts of the design and development of learning solutions in the past, this app offers a wide selection of features, adding more versatility in how work efforts are managed compared to others. To begin, there is a great appreciation of how easy it is to set clear priorities when assigning tasks / sub-tasks, identify and communicate dependencies / hand-offs, provide status updates and define clear due dates. One of the best features of Asana, is its integration with Gmail. Check out the Portfolio capability to create create and customize reports via Google Sheets!

Asana can also be used for brainstorming. Project members are able to contribute their ideas and can be kept updated as new ideas are added throughout. Ideas can be converted into tasks, which can then be assigned and actioned.



Additionally, this app can help you get the most out of your meetings, as attendees can join as Project Followers, allowing them to add notes and create discussions, which can then be reviewed and prioritized in preparation. Asana combines all the necessary and much needed elements to help you facilitate a successful meeting such as an agenda, follow-up and action items, as well as a component for references.

Pros:

 - Great tool for team collaboration.

 - Can be used to manage goals both professionally and personally

Cons:

 - Social app, but no chat option.

The evolution of Project Management has also changed the way we communicate and collaborate, which is something you should also consider when using a Project Management App. Both Freedcamp and Asana provide interfaces that are intuitively designed and come with a bundle of cool features to assist with managing both people and process aspects of your project.

 

Give it a try and let us know what you think. And while we’re on the topic, let’s also talk about the other tools you may be using and what you like and don’t like of them.

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