Project and task management solutions used by the most successful remote teams
Setting up a project with a remote team requires a different set of tools that would allow assign tasks, share files, set up deadlines, and track the progress, ideally all within one platform.
In this article, we make a review of some of the best project management tools used and loved by distributed teams. We also take a closer look at how successful implementation of these tools helped to boost productivity at companies like Invision, Buffer, and Survey Monkey.
Tagline: ‘Asana helps you coordinate all the work your team does together. So everyone knows what needs to get done, who’s responsible for doing it, and when it’s due.’
Description: Asana is a workflow management tool that enables teams to track tasks, projects, conversations, calendars. Its main benefit is that it allows users to manage all workflows online without using email. Asana also includes a Board view, which gives teams the ability to manage work using the Kanban methodology.
Asana has a number of useful add-ons and integrations, such as Dropbox, GoogleDrive, WordPress, Everhour time tracking, and more.
Asana is available on web, as well as iOS and Android apps.
Used by: Companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, IDEO, Lyft, Zappos, ClassPass, BirchBox, and many more.
Testimonial: ‘Asana allows me to simultaneously manage teams across multiple markets, so I’m able to ensure all of my projects are on track.’ Christopher Ballard, General Manager, Uber
Price: There is a free option for up to 15 users. The Premium plan starts at $9.99 per member per month and provides many customization options.
Pros: Extremely customizable; use of Kanban methodology; calendar synching.
Cons: Not reported.
Tagline: ‘Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.’
Description: Trello is a visual planning tool for tasks and projects, based on the Kanban system. Trello consists of a system of boards, lists, and cards, that allows teams to track a project and collaborate on it. It is the simplicity and flexibility that makes it a great project collaboration tool for remote teams.
Trello is available for web, iOS, Android, and Mac.
Used by: Adobe, Google, Redhat, Kikstarter.
Testimonial: ‘At EmailMeForm, we couldn’t imagine functioning as a remote team without Trello. From project releases to social media planning and beyond, we use Trello to stay organized across our entire workflow.’ Aiza Coronado, marketer at EmailMeForm.
Price: There is a free plan and a Business plan that includes more App integrations, for $9.90 per user per month.
Pros: Simplicity; visual Agile Kanban Boards; real-time collaboration.
Cons: Not reported yet.
Tagline: ‘Basecamp helps you increase accountability, communicate more efficiently, and keep everyone on the same page.’
Description: Basecamp provides a way for teams to keep track of projects and tasks with such features as to-do-lists, calendaring, and file-sharing. This project management tool has a simple interface in which users can create projects, document progress, manage tasks and communicate. Its message board and group chat functionality allows fostering internal communication in the team. It also includes a large document storage system that helps to organize all of the files.
Basecamp has over 50 third party integrations that allow to customize the app and add exactly the functionality that your team needs.
Basecamp is available on web, iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.
Used by: 100,000+ companies around the world.
Testimonial: ‘Coordination and work delivery have improved as a result of having a centralized to-dos’. Irving Rivas, Designlab.
Price: $99/month for unlimited users and unlimited projects
Pros: Stability, availability, and speed.
Cons: Not reported.
Tagline: ‘Jira Software is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software.’
Description: Jira is a project management software used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. With Jira, teams are able to manage the whole process of software development, based on their individual workflows. It allows to create user stories, plan sprints, assign tasks to team members, and create real-time data reports. Along with an extensive feature set, Jira also provides integrations with over 3,000 other apps.
Jira is available on web, Android, and iOS.
Used by: Teams at Square, Spotify, Airbnb, and more than 50,000 customers around the world.
Testimonial: “Jira Software is instrumental in building and maintaining the best software on the market.” Daniele Farnedi, CTO, Trulia.
Price: $10 per user per month for small teams (up to 10 users), $7 per user per months for growing teams.
Pros: Customizable workflows, dashboards, and numerous integrations.
Cons: Can be complex to learn for new users.
Tagline: ‘Cloud-based collaboration and project management software that scales across teams in any business.’
Description: Wrike is an all-in-one project management and collaboration software that gives teams complete visibility of any project. It allows team members to prioritize their tasks and connects the tasks with files, comments, and more. Email collaboration is one of Wrike’s main features which help to centralize teamwork.
Wrike integrates with most of the popular business applications, such as Slack, Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, Evernote, Zapier, and more.
Wrike is available on web, Android, and iOS.
Used by: Airbnb, SurveyMonkey, Verizon, Ogilvy, Stitch Fix, Hootsuite, Fitbit, and more.
Testimonial: “Wrike enables my team to deliver all of our projects on time and with a standard of excellence.” Lydia Baillergeau, Senior Art Director at SurveyMonkey.
Price: Starts from $9.80 per user per month for small teams; $ 34.60 per user per month for larger teams.
Pros: Easy collaboration, multiple integrations, Gantt chart.
Cons: High price.
Tagline: ‘The customisable work management solution leaders trust and employees love working on.’
Description: Podio is a powerful project management software that allows teams to create custom applications based on their unique business requirements and workflows. It is centered on the concept of workspace and is a good fit for teams that require a high degree of customization. The App Market gives access to hundreds of free apps, such as task management, customer relationship management (CRM), data visualization, Giantt charts, meeting scheduling, and more.
Podio is available on web, Android and iOS.
Used by: More than 500,000 companies, including Companies like Volvo, Deloitte, NFL, Sony, and Sotheby’s.
Testimonial: ‘”The implementation of Podio has completely revolutionized the way we work.” Rocky Walls, CEO at 12 Stars Media.
Price: Podio has a free plan for teams of up to 5 people. It also offers several pricing plans on a per employee per month basis: Basic plan for $9, Plus plan for $14, and Premium plan for $24.
Pros: Highly customizable.
Cons: The platform is pretty complex and hard to learn for new users.
Case Studies: Remote Companies Using Project Management Tools
Asana and Invision
Invision is the world’s leading product design platform used by more than 3,5 million people. It lets users research, design, review, and test products, providing tools for design prototyping, presentation, and commenting. InVision is a remote company with employees in 25 countries around the world. Being a fully remote team requires specific tools and processes to keep everyone on the same page.
According to Mike Waecker, the Marketing Project Manager at InVision, “Keeping your team aligned and on track doesn’t have to be a mess of status meetings, phone calls, or missed deadlines. Using a tool like Asana to track all of your work can help the team launch better campaigns, faster.”
Trello and Buffer
Buffer is a fully distributed team, spread across 15 countries, 11 time zones and 42 cities. Scaling remote working has been a challenge as the team has grown. To keep their remote team productive, the company uses the best tools and resources to manage all kind of projects.
According to Kevan Lee, Director of Marketing at Buffer, “Trello is one of our favorite tools for project management. This visual planning tool has a huge number of flexible uses for our team. We use Trello boards for creating a product roadmap, editorial process and content calendar, running growth experiments, for retrospectives and reflections, and more.”
Jira and Autodesk
Autodesk is a software company that develops 3D design software for use in the architecture, engineering, construction, and media industries. Autodesk is a distributed team with more than 40 offices around the world. Autodesk employs over 2,000 software engineers, working in more than 100 teams. Every team has a unique process for developing and releasing software, which makes it very challenging to maintain consistent documentation and an effective process flow among so many teams. According to Jennifer Johnson, senior manager at Autodesk, With so many engineering teams located around the globe, it’s really beneficial to have a single tool that we can rely on. Jira makes it easy to centralize this information.”
Survey Monkey and Wrike
SurveyMonkey is an online survey development of cloud-based software as a service company. Survey monkey has 700+ employees working throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia Pacific. As the company keeps growing, the team was looking for a tool to help prioritize, schedule, and scale their projects. According to Lydia Baillergeau, Senior Art Director at SurveyMonkey, “Wrike is a comprehensive project management and collaboration tool that helps ensure that we complete projects on time while juggling multiple priorities.”