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Project Management Software

By Char

Organizing your projectsOnce you take on more that one client or more than you can keep track of in your own mental filing system, it is time to take a look at project management methods. For many years I have been able to get away with a combination of a MS Excel spreadsheet, paper to-do lists, and good communication. However, that is no longer the case and it is time for me to shop around for a project management system that will best serve my needs.

Microsoft Project is one product I have experience with and it gets rave reviews, however, I am not willing to pay the price, especially when there are much more affordable (free) products out there that will accomplish the same thing.

BaseCamp is a very popular collaboration and project management tool, and they do have a free 30-day trial, but by the looks of it, you really need to go with the Personal ($12 per month) or Basic ($24 per month) plan in order to get the type of functionality that will make the product valuable.

But everyone likes FREE, and those of us who are accustomed to web-based, open source applications like WordPress, tend to gravitate to similar products.

ActiveCollab is a free, web-based, open source collaboration and project management tool. Plus I can’t help but love a company that has learned the value of a blog and has the sense of humor to title a post “Eating Your Own Dog Food.”  There is no limitation to the number of products you can manage, you install it on your own server, and get this, it’s portable! You can install it on a flash drive and take it with you. I think I am going to give it a try. (Thanks to Liz for letting me know about it.)

How about you? What project management tools are you using? What would you recommend, what would you avoid? I’d love to know!

Categories : Doing Business



Char, I’m still using Ms Excel – for everything! Project management, lists, accounting… thanks for the tip on ActiveCollab. :)


well, i’m doing project management as my day-job and personally, no software seems to be as good as Excel. Basically, project management is all about being organized and disciplined and no software can ever help you if you yourself do not religiously update and capture the information. Thus, IMHO, save the $$$ and work on being disciplined and systematic :)


ActiveCollab looks interesting… I’ve used a simple system of mapping my projects visually (I wrote about it here), and paper to-do lists (two or three items a day). But I still have the nagging suspicion that some things may be falling in the cracks…

But Lifesperspective is right on, I’d say. Eliminate inefficiences before investing (time, $) in a bigger system to handle them!


Kian Ann – do you have projects going that involve multiple team members with tasks or is it just your stuff? Excel has worked well as long as it has just been me, but I’m not sure if I can make it work for project management going forward.

Lifesperspective – another vote for Excel. You are right, even the best tools won’t help unless you actually use them consistently!

Adam – let me know if you try ActiveCollab. I am going to give it a go – but probably not until September.


I use Huddle for project management. The totally free version allows you to share project documents with up to 5 people in one team. The paid packages store all document versions so you never lose track of work and allow more projects, users and storage space. Great tool, give it a try!


Hello, first of all let me give you my congrats cause your blog has a lot of usefull a good information (now i´m a feed subscriber) I only has use MS Project but now i will try the AactiveCollab

Thanks for your writing!


Uh, free? Not anymore. $199 minimum. Bummer!


One product that has not been previously mentioned yet yields great results is Communiclique. I have been using this VoIP PM software in my office and it has really worked wonders in terms of organization and personnel coordination.


I agree with Charlene in this article… managing so many things with informal tools like Excel gets really messy really soon.

We also felt the same frustration while trying to manage our job applications through e-mails, Excel, etc. We decided to shift to Simplicant, which made our life much easier, by giving us the same amount of organization with hiring as BaseCamp did with project management.


there are other proyect management software called primavera but is more use in the construction sector, but looks better than this one… both are international but the best one came from microsoft

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