Choosing the Right Cloud-Based Project Management Platform
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Whether you run a thriving small business or mom-and-pop shop, doing it successfully requires time management skills, resources, and proper staffing to keep critical projects on track.
While there's no shortage of cloud-based project management platforms available to help you do this, you might find choosing the right one for your business challenging, given the many available choices. We'll break down the options here to help you choose the right platform.
There Is No One Size Fits All
There's a reason you can ask a dozen small business owners what project management platforms they use and get a dozen different answers. That's because every business has different needs that some platforms meet better than others.
As this piece on cloudwards.com states, "every company is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution." So, what does this mean for your small business? It really does pay to shop around, test them out and see what works for yourself.
And it all starts with a bit of self-reflection.
Define What You Need From a Platform
Some small businesses need a low-to-no-cost option to help them with the basics. Others may want more, such as the ability to view reports that distill key data points to gain insights into project management efficiency.
Consider what you want from a platform before you adapt. Start by reviewing past project management successes and failures to identify what challenges a system will solve or which ones might create issues.
Whether you simply desire to save money on a system or have higher aspirations, knowing before you shop gives you a benchmark for choosing.
If You Want to Save Money
According to cloudwards.com, Asana is 'the best free project management tool' available, offering a basic free option that costs nothing and accommodates up to 15 users.
While additional tiers provide more features, the free option doesn't skimp, providing a colorful intuitive interface and more than generous unlimited free storage. If you're willing to spend some money to get more, Asana's Premium, Business, and Enterprise packages might appeal to you.
If You're Budget Watching
If you're looking for a plan that doesn't set you back too much, cloudwards.com recommends nTask. According to the software & privacy tools reviewer: If you need a solid project management system that will cost you very little, then nTask is probably the best choice.
Where other pay-for platforms can charge double-digit per-user fees, nTask's Premium option costs just $4 per user per month. For this, you get access to a project management system that's "filled to the brim with all kinds of features," including a kanban board and Gantt chart.
If You Like Things Easy
Adopting any new system entails a learning curve of sorts. According to cloudwards.com, the easiest curve to navigate belongs to Airtable, which "seems aimed at people who are uncomfortable using new software." In addition, "it's easy to use and everything is explained in a very basic way."
Even the pricing is easy on the budget. Airtable offers a robust free option and a Plus plan that costs $10 per user per month. Considering all these factors, it's understandable that cloudwards.com would say that Airtable is "a great way to get started with project management."
If You're Into Reporting
Analytics can be a godsend to business owners navigating commerce at a breakneck pace. If you're the type who thrives on real-time data about the state of your company, Wrike might be just the platform for you.
It combines the best of old and new to give data geeks what they want in a familiar format. If you're old school, the spreadsheet view is a throwback to the early days of project management. It also offers list, board, and Gantt chart options for those who prefer them.
Pricing is similar to other platforms, with a free option and Professional Plan just under $10 per user per month.
If You Just Want Quality Across the Board
For superior project management that checks all the boxes, you can't do better than monday.com, according to cloudwards.com. They praise the platform for its "great feature set and colorful, easy-to-use interface."
Add to this competitive pricing—free or $10 per user per month with its Standard Plan—and you have a "great pick for any small business." To enjoy the platform's benefits, which include list views and filtering, they recommend the Standard Plan.
No matter what you're looking for in a project management platform, you have various options that can help you run your business smoothly, making choosing the right platform a project worth pursuing.