It is no secret that startups are cash-strapped and strive to be economical. When you are bleeding money on daily basis you tend to look for tools that are free and in the worst case-scenario, cheap. Project Management is a vital job in any startup and a project manager will want to keep his house in order in a systematic fashion with software that is easy to use. Fortunately for startups, there are applications available at a low cost that have these features.
Basecamp is an old player in project management software with the first versions of Basecamp getting rave reviews. The newer versions are even easier to use than their predecessors with a simple, user-friendly interface. Main features of this software include to-do lists, ability to have discussions on the platform, uploading and sharing files (text-only documents though, which is a limitation) and calendar management. However, the new Basecamp updates are not seen as improvements as such on the older versions because the new updates do not give a wholistic solution to the project management problem and Basecamp has to be partnered with 2-3 other applications to accomplish the task which is nothing but a hassle. But never fear, Collabtive is here.
Not a typo, Collabtive is a FREE project management software. Yes, all of its features require zero cost to use making it the dream software and a bullet dodged for startups. It is the perfect alternative to the new but hardly improved Basecamp. What makes this software even more endearing to high-intelligence startups (especially tech-savvy ones) is the fact that it is open-sourced and can easily be modified and programmed to suit the specific needs of your company. It may not be as user-friendly as Basecamp but you will get the hang of it soon enough. There are also additional plugins available for a one-time fee which allows you to put in comments on tasks, Gantt charts and project templates.
GQueues is a project management app that is on the rise and one of the reasons for this could be because it is designed to complement companies working with Google apps, which is something that most if not all startups use. The app is in a price range of $0-25 per year which makes it an almost negligible expense for the company. It is especially good with scheduling task, deadlines and organizing calendars all down to the minute. It is however not as all-encompassing as Collabtive.
QuickBase allows easy access to shared data between all the project managers where everybody can monitor the status of the project(s). Additional features include customizable dashboards, task management, milestones and bug-tracking capabilities. I would however quickly veto this as a possible option because it costs a whopping $299 and in light of the other software available, is not the right tool for a start-up.
Author : Lisa Findlay