Implementing a Project Management tool

I’ve been researching online project management tools that we could use to better manage our many tasks and projects. I’m keen that we try out a tool for a few months, and see how we get on with the whole concept - it might be a roaring success, or we might learn some valuable lessons that help us pick a different tool/approach.

I’ve delved into 3 popular tools with “free forever” plans - and selected ClickUp as the best of the bunch (thanks to @laurent_muchacho for the original recommendation). The free version has no limit on users or tasks, has plenty of flexibility in how projects are structured, and manages sub-tasks and dependencies nicely. If you’re interested in the full rationale, please see my notes below.

2 questions to all members:

  • Is anyone opposed to trying ClickUp? Open to other suggestions, but also keen to move forwards with a trial.
  • Any experienced Project Managers (or those keen to learn!) who’d like to help set up/manage a PM tool over the next few months?

Looking forward to hearing from you - feel free to reply to this post or DM me/the Directors.

For reference, my full notes:


  • SLMS has begun a major project - Arch 1130
  • SLMS regularly has small-to-medium projects - eg. events, infrastructure (tool control, new website), introduction of a new type of making, etc.
  • SLMS has a number of regular or semi-regular tasks that need to be completed - eg. inductions, tool maintenance, meetings, reporting, etc.
  • Currently, SLMS is not using any tool other than Discourse to manage projects


  • Discourse is a forum tool not a project management tool - as such, it is not practical to manage tasks
  • Both members and Directors have expressed frustration with the the difficulty of monitoring the status of tasks and issues
  • Both members and Directors would like to make it easier for members to identify tasks they can help with, and track which members are involved in a task

Suggested solution

  • Implement a project management tool


  • Accessible to all members (preferably with some permissions control)
  • Free or very low-cost
  • Easy to use for those updating - should save more time than it consumes
  • Easy visibility of progress on projects/tasks
  • Ability to group tasks into related groups
  • Ability to split large tasks into smaller sub-tasks
  • Flexible/able to adjust to meet the changing needs of SLMS

Tools explored

1. Trello


  • Very easy to use
  • Free-forever version
  • Very large number of optional “PowerUps” (optional modules to add additional functionality)


  • No ability to create sub-tasks - multiple ‘boards’ can be created, each with a separate list of tasks
  • Free plan only allows one PowerUp per board
  • Free plan only allow up to 10 boards

Too simple for the moderately complex needs of SLMS.

2. ClickUp


  • Free-forever version - which includes full usage of almost all features
  • Ability to create sub-tasks
  • Flexible interface which can be customised to a good extent
  • Effective Gantt-chart as well as Kanban-board views
    • Gantt charts are only a 2-week free trial. Alas.
  • Recurring tasks built-in as standard
  • Recommended by a member - Laurent


  • Not the simplest user interface

Excellent range of features, under ongoing development. Slightly more of a learning curve than is ideal.

3. Zoho Projects


  • Easy to use


  • Limited functionality in the free version - including cap of 5 users
  • Paid version unaffordable

Limit of 5 users is not sufficient, and the paid version is unaffordable.


  • Trial ClickUp for 3 months:
    • Use for Arch 1130 project
    • Use for Tool Control rollout (if not completed already!)
    • Use for tracking miscellaneous “todo” tasks around the space
  • Invite members with experience of Project Management to help set-up and manage the tool
  • Review after 3 months and decide whether to fully implement ClickUp, try a different solution, or abandon the project

Next Steps

  • Create SLMS ClickUp account (using Directors email address)
  • Invite members to join a PM team (Discourse post)
  • Directors and PM team members to set up initial structure and populate with some initial tasks
  • Directors and PM team members to prepare some basic documentation/how-to steps for other members
  • Invite a group of members to access and give feedback - make any necessary tweaks/adjustments
  • Invite all members to have access (can be done in bulk by uploading email addresses as a CSV)

Cool, good effort! I will use whatever is settled upon, can put the CNC project in as a trial / test…


1 Like

Strongly in favour of this. Visibility for those not involved in work, clarity for those waiting for delivery to start their own work packages, accountability for those working on things.