Project Management · Social Media

Collaborative Tools for your Agile and Distributed Teams

For managing projects in general and agile projects in particular we need to collaborate with project team members, communicate milestones, interact with clients, solve problems, and share folders, project documents, reports and tasks in real time. All this even being distributed around the world. So, the questions are how to manage such a project in real time? How to do the daily project management work without being available 24/7?People Networks

While searching for the best software tools for managing projects, we discovered a long list of tools that help address problems, tasks, timeline and other relavant project management topics.

To simplify -and based on our own research- we have created a classification scheme with four different types of tools for project management, depending on its main focus. The boundaries between the different types are partially blurred, though:

  1. Task oriented
  2. Collaborative/people oriented
  3. Collaborative/document oriented
  4. Product-oriented, including problem and error
Task Oriented Main Focus
  • Project management solution for teams
  • Create, assign and comment on tasks, add due dates, tags, notes
  • Teams plans, files and conversations in one place
  • Starter for free; upgrades upon payment
  • One of the first team project management tools
  • Create tasks, projects, discussions, due dates, tags, calendar
  • Integrates  with email
  • Free for 60 days; after that period upon payment
  • Share notes, web clips, files and images
  • Collect information from anywhere into a single place
  • Collaborate on projects
  • Business and personal notebooks
  • Centralize company’s knowledge; search expertise across company
  • Free or premium upon payment
  • Plan and execute projects with teammates
  • Manage tasks (create, track, drop, arrange tasks), have discussions
  • Share files, capture ideas
  • On the Web, Android, iOs, Mac
  • Free trial for 30 days; six options upon payment
Mind Meister
  • Cooperation in real time
  • Applications: data structuring, brainstorming with colleagues, create business plans
  • Works on every browser
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Three options upon payment
  • Includes projects, tasks and collaborators in one interface
  • Tasks can be assigned, labeled, prioritized, tracked, commented on, and set as a recurring reminder
  • Labels allow you to categorize tasks with a custom description and color
  • Set priorities, deadlines, filters, shortcuts
  • Basic for free; Pro upon payment

Ordered alphabetically

Collaborative – People Oriented Main Focus
Active Collab
  • Delegate tasks, share files, discuss important topics on one page
  • Tasks with due dates, category labels, priorities, etc.
  • Track time and funds; timeline view
  • Drag-and-drop scheduling on calendar
  • Files in one place
  • Free trial; then cloud-based or self-hosted upon payment
  • Hybrid task and project management tool with strong focus on teams and collaboration
  • Offers also task management, file sharing, due dates, search function
  • Starter option for free; Premium and Business options upon payment
iMeet Central (formerly Central Desktop)
  • Connects people, content and customers in the cloud
  • Social collaboration, build communities
  • Document management, real-time access to filesOnline databases, calendar and web meetings
  • Free trial; then upon payment/month
  • Information sharing and CRM
  • Project, task and event management, online file server and document management
  • Data exchange and synchronization
  • Incident tracking, website content management
  • Free for 30 days; after that upon payment
  • Content marketing in a single platform
  • Operate and coordinate your content marketing within a strategic framework
  • Manage content types in one central location; publish content to all channels
  • Analytics: Understand what is working, what isn’t across content operation
  • Marketing Automation
  • Basic, Pro and Enterprise upon payment
Planview (formerly Projectplace)
  • Manage and execute projects in one single tool
  • No installation – cloud-based
  • All in one collaborative, agile and easy-to-use execution and project planning tool.
  • Free trial; different pricing for Team, Multi or Enterprise
Redbooth (formerly Teambox)
  • Status updates and conversations
  • Task management: time tracking, delegation and due date properties for tasks
  • File and Content management, integrates with: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive
  • Real-time communication, status updates and conversations
  • Integration with other systems (CRM, ERP, etc.)
  • Free trial; 6 different pricing plans: Starter, Pro, Plus, Enterprise, Elite, On-Prem
Social PM (doesn’t exist anymore)
Only Office (formerly Teamlab office)
  • Multifunctional online office including CRM system, document and project management toolset, Gantt chart and email aggregator
  • Started out as a simple collaboration platform that encompassed several social computing features (blog, forum, wiki, bookmarks).
  • Modules: Community/CRM, Projects, Mail & Documents
  • Free trial; The subscription is based on the amount of portal users
  • Uses  cards to jot down nuggets of information: to track progress, categorize things, etc. Lists are customizable
  • Files can be attached to the cards
  • Collaborate in real-time; email notifications and activity log
  • Assign tasks
  • Free web-based basic project management application; Trello Gold and a Business Class upon payment

Ordered alphabetically

Collaborative – Documents Oriented Main Focus
Confluence (by Atlassian)
  • Discuss ideas, define requirements, report on projects, run retrospectives, publish docs
  • Share, find, and collaborate on information the team needs
  • Add-ons to fit your needs, e.g. custom themes, diagramming tools, workflow management
  • Free trial; different packages upon payment
Google Docs
  • Create and share your work online and access your documents from anywhere (cloud computing)
  • Manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, and more all in one
  • Storage service replaced by Google Drive
  • Google Docs is free for individuals, but has fees for business
Drupal (formerly Open Atrium)
  • Create, attach, store, share, and collaborate
  • Manage upcoming events with integrated calendars
  • Embed, store, and access files, images, & videos
  • Create, publish, and access anywhere. No app required
  • Monitor projects, milestones, & deliverables
  • Open collaboration solution (no fees)
Project Open
  • All project information in a single repository that can be shared across your organization according to access rights
  • Tracking project progress, finance and resource consumption
  • Produce executive reports about projects and portfolios
  • Integrated modules (PM, PD, HR, BI, KM, etc) that can be tailored and extended
  • Community edition for free; Professional & Enterprise Editions are commercial versions
  • Integrate intranet, content management and document management
  • Web tools are intended for non-technical users
  • Provides collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence
  • It has system integration, process integration, and workflow automation capabilities
  • Free trial; plan 1 & 2 for buy

Ordered alphabetically

Product-oriented (incl. problems & errors) Main Focus
  • Organize releases, squash bugs, and manage your development process
  • Launch, collaborate, collect information and code
  • Activity Stream to have a timeline of the project
  • Track team members time expenditures on project related tasks
  • User groups have the desired permissions: no access, view only access, edit access, or full access for each too;
  • Personal plan for free (1 project, 2 users); Professional & Enterprise Plans upon payment
JIRA (by Atlassian)
  • Issue tracking product, developed by Atlassian.
  • It provides bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management functions
  • Tracker for teams planning and building products
  • Capture and organize issues, assign work, and follow team activity
  • At your desk or on the go with the new mobile interface
  • For free to open source projects (meeting certain criteria); As commercial software pricing depends on max. number of users
  • Flexible project management web application written using Ruby on Rails framework.
  • Multiple projects support
  • Flexible role based access control and issue tracking system
  • Gantt chart and calendar, time tracking
  • News, documents & files management
  • Feeds & email notifications per project wiki & per project forums
  • Custom fields for issues, time-entries, projects and users
  • Free and open source
  • Enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects
  • Minimalistic approach to web-based software project management
  • Wiki markup in issue descriptions; commit messages, creating links and references between bugs, tasks, change-sets, files and wiki pages
  • Timeline shows current and past project events
  • Roadmap listing upcoming milestones
  • Open source

Ordered alphabetically

We do not pretend to list all the existing software tools for project management. However, we show that the common denominator is making team work and collaboration possible, no matter how complex the project nor how large the project teams are.

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