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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
Gantt-chart as well asKanban-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
- 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)