It’s a new year. It’s time to shake things up in your company. If you’re looking at project management options that’ll let you and your employees/colleagues work more quickly. Here are five of the best.

Asana

  • Communication and task manager
  • Free for up to 15 people and five projects
  • iOS and Android apps

By merging your team’s communications and tasks, Asana sells itself on eroding the time we spend trawling through unkempt inboxes. “Teamwork without email,” in the company’s own words.

With updates contained within a single project feed, teams can review tasks together in realtime, and the fool-proof interface allows users to add and manage their projects easily from the left sidebar. You can also send tasks to email addresses so outside contractors aren’t required to get an account. It’s especially useful for small, loosely structured companies and collaborating freelancers, with companies like Pinterest and Dropbox counted among their clients.

Podio

  • Flexible task manager
  • Free (with minor limitations) for up to five members
  • iOS and Android apps

Podio doesn’t attempt to supply a task-managing panacea for all its users, but instead provides multiple apps to choose from in order to customize a structure that works best for you. Naturally then, it has fans from freelancers to corporate CEOs.

Create a workspace, assign tasks, share files, and even leave comments. All the basics are there, but Podio can also handle CRM, leads, and recruitment. It has great potential to operate as the hub of your business.

If you’re looking to simplify the way you work, rather than revolutionize it, then Podio might be ideal. That said, there’s a drag-and-drop development tool that allows you to create your own app, so who knows what’s possible!

Evernote

  • Note-taking tool and organizer
  • Free with limitations
  • iOS, Android, and WP apps

Evernote lets you write notes, develop them, find and collect others, and present your finished work all from the same place. I use “notes” here in the broadest sense of the word. In fact, I use it beyond even that!

Truth is, Evernote isn’t brilliant for any specific task and many of its features, if used individually, pale in comparison to other apps. It really comes into its own, however, when you start using it as your default for everything!

As well as typing notes, you can accumulate photos, video, and audio, as well as take “clippings” from the web. It’s more of a beautifully organized, multimedia scrapbook than a simple note-taking tool, and the best part is that it works better and better as you add more and more to it! It’s a simple way to keep that slippery soap-bar of jobs, thoughts, and social commitments within your grasp, whether you’re compiling data for a business presentation, planning a romantic weekend away, or writing a novel.

Trello

  • Intuitive task organizer
  • Free with limitations
  • iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire apps

This fast, flexible, and fun app builds upon Personal Kanban methods like post-its and whiteboards to offer a drag-and-drop “list of lists” that helps you keep abreast of your ideas and assignments. It works equally as well for personal to-do lists as it does for keeping colleagues and employees up-to-date on tasks and projects.

You can also upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. The basic interface is incredibly easy to use, and allows “power-ups” for users keen to expand the possibilities, rather than burdening everyone with features they’ll never use.

Flow

  • Streamlined task manager
  • Free 30-day trial
  • iOS and Android apps

If Trello’s simplicity sounds likely to win you round, give some thought to Flow. The minimal interface keeps things tidy without sacrificing the features that make other apps difficult to rule out.

You can delegate, track, and prioritize tasks within your team, and automating assignments can save you from tedious repetition, as well as setting up tasks to be assigned while you take that Christmas vacation! Many project managers, however, might find its accessibility tools most appealing. Flow allows outside contractors in on a team’s workspace while letting you retain control over what they can and can’t see.

 


This is a guest post by:

Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has  contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

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