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Top 10 project management applications of 2011

This year is starting very well for the world of project management with some great additions to the arsenal of applications offered. Here is a list of the top 10 we think are worth your time!

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This year is starting very well for the world of project management with some great additions to the arsenal of applications offered. Here is a list of the top 10 we think are worth your time!

First of all let’s start by explaining what our criteria for a project management application are. The application needs to have a sleek and smooth interface that is easy for the user to navigate and use. The application must have a reasonable price tag, or be offered free. To make it in the top 10 the application needs to run fast and allow you to quickly do all your tasks. We have tried all of these applications so we are not just reading their press releases and feeding you with their bs marketing language.

Let’s get started!

  • Freedcamp

    Freedcamp offers one of the cleanest interfaces and smoothest interactions (only competitors in that area goes to ApolloHQ who also have a very visually pleasing interface and very good interactions smoothness). The application offers the regular tools like To-Do’s, Discussions, Milestones, Files, Time Tracking, and Invoices. Where it really stands out is its Basecamp Import and the Meebo Chat bar which enables you to chat with all your existing messengers with your colleagues who may use Gtalk, ICQ, Facebook Chat, and many more. The application is young but it has a rapid growing feature list. The very best thing actually is not the features, or the beautiful interface, it’s the applications’ price tag… FREE! That’s right, this application launched a little over a month ago and has announced that it will remain completely free forever with unlimited users and projects! Something the rest of this list won’t offer.

  • BasecampHQ

    Basecamp is the oldest and most trustworthy in this list. They have been around for a long time and have proven to maintain their application as simple as possible. Some find this quite annoying as they want a lot more functionality out of the system, others find it pleasing as it never gets too complicated. I will remain impartial to this, but will say that I think there are ways to add more features without burdening the users. The application has a very primitive design, same argument stays. So if you are ready to spend a whopping $20-$150 a month for a project management application this should be your first choice.

  • ApolloHQ

    Apollo is a rather new project management application but it has quickly gained our respect with a decent set of features and a great interface. The biggest issue is they have blatantly offering the application for free, to soon release a set of payment plans that may kick their users out… who knows. Otherwise the application is worth a check, but personally i would wait until they annonce their plans. For a company to take months before releasing a price tag, it’s just scary to start using it.

  • GoPlanApp

    GoPlan is a nice simple application with a nice interface. Their pricing is pretty fair, seems like the only draw back is the simplicity of the app which actually has offers less than BasecampHQ. But the application is definitely worth a mention.

  • Huddle

    This application also holds a very special place in the PM world, I for one still find it hard to see the appeal. Especially at a price of $15/user/month, i find it almost slightly repulsive (not the website, but the actual application). It has some customization options that I can see are nicely setting them apart. But otherwise the time it takes you to learn to use this software is a cost i find much more gruesome than the $15 for every team member that joins.

  • Central Desktop

    This application is scary familiar from BasecampHQ. What is worst is the price plan… that’s right i said price plan because it’s only one and it’s $99… that is quite confusing to me, but i’m sure they have some reason behind it. Other than that the design is much less appealing that most other apps on this list (except write… which is just awful). The main benefit of this application is the vast amount of features it has, so if you are looking to get a bunch of features into one application without a choice of having them or not this may be a great choice.

  • Wrike

    I have tried using this application on multiple occasions and it makes no sense to me. The design is poor, the workflow seems confusing, and overall i’m really not sure how this is rated as one of the better project management applications. The only reason I have included this is because it holds a great respect in the pm world. I will continue trying to use it to find that WOW factor some are finding!

  • 5pmweb

    This application reminds me of the Python programming languages. I have heard that you either love it or you hate it and no middle ground. And from my experience with it that is a correct statement. Personally i find it rather confusing, and overwhelming. And again there are a lot of people who find this application extremely useful and it works for them. The interface is so bold and in your face that i am a little worried to break something. The demo page took 4 minutes to load, and after a few refreshes it actually started working… so that wasn’t a great third experience withe app. But where this app really meets the rest is its pricing sheet which is no smaller than that of Basecamp or other competitors. Overall this may be the choice for you (if you like Python).

  • TeamWorkPM

    This one is a little less known application, but not completely unknown. It has very similiar features and interface to that of Basecamp (just like a lot of the other apps on this list). It’s bold and in your face, but not in a good way. It works, but with that price tag you are better of wasting your money with basecamp. But overall it’s not an awful application or anything I just don’t see the wow factor.

  • Teamly

    I hope no one gets mad about including this one. I personally don’t agree that this is a project management application… but they seem to say they are. At any rate, this overly simple application offers a very funky version of Task management. As far as i can tell they are free… but so are most other task applications around the web… at any rate i thought there may be people interested so i shared.

I would like to say that these are solely my views on these applications and if you disagree than that is your view and you are more than welcome to post them in the comments. Also feel free to suggest any other apps you think were worth making it in this list.

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  5. Tuesday Freebies – Free Icons Sets by VisualPharm and CKEditor

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  • Rule.fm my personal favourite. I’d like to check out apollo

  • Good list! Another one you can also look at is DeskAway. Its a simple tool which I came across with rich features. It has some of the amazing features like DeskMail, Timer, Timesheet etc. It is also well integrated with FreshBooks, Google Apps, Google Docs etc. http://www.deskaway.com

  • super cool list.

    Thank you a lot. Freedcamp is looking a lot like basecamp, right?

  • Hi there,

    My name is Tony Mobily. I am one of the people behind Apollo, that you mentioned here in this post.
    I personally think that a review on the “Top 10 project management application of 2011″ should be written with care, and with an independent point of view. You guys at web.enavu make Freedcamp, so it’s fair enough that it was first in the list; but then, the article seems to dismiss the other solutions rather (too?) quickly. I can only speak for Apollo… you wrote:

    “The biggest issue is they have blatantly offering (sic) the application for free, to soon release a set of payment plans that may kick their users out… who knows. Otherwise the application is worth a check, but personally i would wait until they annonce (sic) their plans”

    I feel the need to clarify that we came out in July last year (2010) and have been running our beta for 8 months. That’s not exactly “soon” after releasing Apollo for free. Also, we answered every user who asked us about plans, and basically explained what our price structure would be. Please feel free to do the same thing to know more about Apollo’s pricing!

    A definitely sticky point was:

    “For a company to take months before releasing a price tag, it’s just
    scary to start using it.”

    We actually take pride of this! We were not willing to start selling Apollo till we knew that it was _really_ ready. I have to tell you, we are literally forcing some of our staff to consider it at least “ready enough” — if it were up to them, we’d release Apollo in 2013! We haven’t released the plans yet because we simply didn’t know what they would be. We have a pretty good idea now, and in fact are just about to release them.

    When you asked for the invite code, and used it to create your workspace, you must have missed missed the big box that says this:

    “At the moment, we are immensely busy developing Apollo. We will eventually sell plans. However, for now we are here to listen to our early adopters, our testers, and create a unique product. So, no plan is set in stone for now. Feel free to use Apollo! When we release Apollo, we will email you and will offer you a plan that works with what you have already.”

    I am not sure I should add this, but I have to say that at least our pricing and business plans are clear. In a blog post of yours, you mentioned that Freedcamp will be free forever and ever, but then when people started questioning how practical that is, you added that a *basic* set of features will be free, but others won’t.


    Tony Mobily

  • Hey Tony,

    I am rather surprised at your dismay with our review as it was mainly geared towards saying that your application is rather the best “soon to be paid” option. No i didn’t read disclaimers at your site, and no I don’t need to know your price plans. The fact is you are giving something away for free, and you will be charging. This has happened to the world of Project Management a few times now and has made people very uneasy, a lot of our customer base is pretty uneasy as you mentioned but I will address that later. ActiveCollab, Project Bubble, and many others released a project management application for free only to sell out and start charging (pretty ridiculous plans in my opinion) so you can see how I would be uneasy for you to offer the same only to potentially scare some users away.

    As far as our business model and your mentioning of “In a blog post of yours, you mentioned that Freedcamp will be free forever and ever, but then when people started questioning how practical that is, you added that a *basic* set of features will be free, but others won’t.” the set of features we currently offer is greater than that of Apollo, I am not going to get into details of who does it better because that’s for the users to decide not us :) . But these features that are definitely matching and beating most project management systems out there will remain free. We will be potentially rolling out more applications (fzilla.com file sharing application) that will be offered to our users, as you may have seen enavu offers quite a bit for developers, we offer the first HTML5 and CSS3 framework (52framework), we offer this awesome blog that has taught a lot of people how to develop websites, and many other awesome offerings completely free. So you can see it’s in our business nature to offer people amazing things for free.

    Anyways thanks for spending the time and writing a reply to the post, even though we attempted to be as fair as possible apparently people are always going to complain, and that’s fine. I do wish you the very best of luck with Apollo and your pricing plans.

    Angel Grablev

  • Another great project management and social productivity tool is Manymoon (www.manymoon.com). Manymoon is the #1 installed application on the Google Apps Marketplace and make integration with Google Apps easy. Manymoon is a free tool that simplifies your work life by letting you organize conversations, group projects, tasks and documents all in one place for your whole team.

  • You forgot Planbox mate!

    http://www.planbox.com, kickass Agile Product and Project Management tool

  • Not sure why you didn’t include AtTask in this list. With customers like Apple, Adobe, Toyota, GE, and HBO, AtTask is clearly one of the top applications in the industry. http://www.attask.com.

  • Hey Jesse, uhm i’m not sure if you’ve noticed but there is absolutely no way for me to sign up and try this service… which is very irritating. I just spent time looking over your video, looks nice but until I can actually use it this can’t make it on this list, or any other list for that matter. I get that you guys only deal with big corporations, but it would be cool to focus on the little guy as well, a small team, a single user project and so on.


  • My favorite is scrum based:

  • My favourite one is Doolphy (http://www.doolphy.com) . It’s easier than other alternatives I have tried!

  • @John have you tried freedcamp?

  • There is also a new one that just came out of beta called Birdview: http://www.birdviewprojects.com

  • It’s applications like birdview that are lowering the standards for web applications today. The design brings design chills and flashbacks from 1999-2001.

  • Yes, I’ve tried it but I really prefer Doolphy because it also includes reports (the most important one for me is the financial report) and a better timesheet that includes all my tasks from different projects at once

  • I’m always on the lookout for a clean, decent and well-priced or free projects and invoicing app.

    I began trying out Basecamp (obviously) and Zoho Projects, but both are way too complex and in the end way too pricey.

    Currently I’m loving NirvanaHQ (no invoices though) and RoninApp (very slick and rather attractively priced). Invoicemachine is what I currently use for billing since they have great international support and custumization.

    In any case, don’t want to add my own set of reviews here; just chiming in to say I’ve just discovered you and as far as projects go, it’s looking good. Very easy to use and manage so far. Invoicing is still a bit murky and under-featured but hey, can’t have it all from the go.

    I’ve not decided on one final solution yet but I’m keeping an eye on you. Good luck!

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