Business rookies or accomplished entrepreneurs, those bold enough to launch a company of their own usually face the same troubles. However knowledgeable and vigilant the individuals around them, there’s never a guarantee that carefully chosen employees will make an effective team. Staying connected is the first step towards fruitful teamwork, which is why an efficient collaborative platform is what makes or breaks an aspiring startup. Still, not every project management tool is suitable for those entering the business. Even when potent enough to raise productivity, spare time and keep everyone on track, a PM software systems can be quite expensive. Conversely, free online tools often lack appropriate features, possibilities for integration and convenient interface designs that costly ones offer. What startups need is a solution that’s worth their money – an easy project management software tool that’s acceptable in terms of budget, office dynamics and overall objectives. Here’s a selection of 9 project management solutions that doubtlessly promise that. 1. Move Work Forward: Asana Used and loved by many, Asana is a comprehensive collaborative tool that project heads can use for managing tasks and employees, while teams are offered an intuitive interface that streamlines communication and optimizes transparency. A project breakdown cycle is never better organized than with Asana. With tasks easily created and assigned to others, prioritized within lists and boards and structured with sections and columns, tidiness and great visibility are guaranteed. Real-time communication is assured with discussion boards attached to individual tasks and project overviews, while due dates, file attachments and integrations with Dropbox and Google Drive are included for increased workflow. 2. Software for Creative Thinkers: 10,000 ft There are plenty project management tools for creative designers available online, but when affordable solutions are in case, 10,000 ft is certainly among the best. For startups in need of organizing ideas and content, it offers structuring features that go beyond basic project management. Being a piece of software for creative thinkers, 10,000 ft supports a variety of format types – notes, documents, presentations and links are not only easy to store and manage, but this web and mobile-based tool allows them to be captured on the go as well. 3. Roadmap What Matters: Aha! The brains behind Aha! understand that creative business projects don’t only need a visionary idea to start with, but a foolproof strategy to develop through as well. But, what separates this tool from others is its focus on mind mapping, which brings creative visualisation to a whole different level. Apart from all that, Aha! is created specifically for startups that are still in the early stage of development. Though excellent, workflow management boards are only one of the features – the whole package includes business model and product roadmaps, project goal tracking and competition monitoring. 4. Your Workflows, Structured & Smarter: Podio Contrary to Aha!, Podio specializes in complex, multi-faceted projects that are simply unmanageable without structure, transparency and perfect coordination of everyone involved. As such, it delivers both comprehensive project overviews and in-detail insights as individual subtasks. Though simple and easy to navigate through, Podio’s interface allows amazing visibility through tables and card boards. Other project management features, just like those added for the purpose of seamless team management, promise real-time status reports, communication, tracking, and document sharing. The software is developed for mobile use as well, and extends to multiple online sources and collaborative tools. 5. Plan, Collaborate, Organize and Deliver: ProofHub As far as project management features go, ProofHub is close to all-inclusive. As explained on the website, the idea was to make an all-in-one solution that different kinds of organizations could employ, regardless of their niche, size or concrete objective. An ambitious goal yes, but certainly an achievable one. From effortless task management to integration options, ProofHub offers it all – features for project management time tracking, chats, discussion boards, and team calendars for staying aligned, Gantt charts that make project progress graphic at all times, fast reporting system, notes for attaching, storing and sharing valuable content, project logs for managers to stay on top of every detail, in-app notifications for deadlines that shouldn’t be missed, and more. 6. Gain Control: ProProfs Project It’s time to move on from spreadsheets, as ProProfs Project suggests, and they’re absolutely right. This simple project management software goal was to empower busy people to spend more time getting things done instead of wasting valuable work hours on allocating roles, managing tasks and tracking progress. And they’ve certainly achieved that. A powerful asset for monitoring your projects at a glance, assigning tasks to team members, increasing productivity by tracking time, creating status reports for stakeholders and clients and generating invoices, ProProfs offers another great feature that most of their contenders provide at a significant cost – Task Dependencies is a much-needed solution that manages recurring tasks and includes project templates that save time, effort and money. 7. Work Better: Smartsheet Smartsheet is another great tool to visualize your tasks and save time. Whether it is a small project or a complex one, smartsheet can take the workload off of you and your team by helping you organize with ease. With its updates and reports features, project managers can focus more on the tasks at hand rather than worrying about the timelines and coordination with different teams. 8. Streamline, Connect, Collaborate: Teamwork Instead of providing a Swiss Knife for project management, Teamwork offers three individual platforms – Teamwork Projects for PM, Teamwork Desk for customer management and Teamwork Chat for real-time messaging. Together, they make a powerful machine for enterprising startups. Moreover, Teamwork is remarkable for companies with large teams that need to be carefully coordinated. Harmonized workflow is achieved through cloud-based, centralized system with task management and collaboration features that swiftly integrates with dozens of other tools when needed. 9. Work More Collaboratively and Get More Done: Trello Trello is not only effective, it’s endlessly fun as well. There’s a reason for its widespread popularity that goes beyond managing tasks – when spending so much time working hard and trying to succeed, startup managers need full work-life integration, which Trello’s interactive boards definitely help them achieve. Visually appealing as it is, Trello is not a usual project management tool. Project tracking and billing, for instance, are not included in the offer, but this platform still lends a spot on our list for being a great tool for creative collaboration, organizing thoughts and ideas in a productive way, and being totally free. 10. Keep Your Team Busy & Balanced: GanttPRO If you are a freelancer or small business owner working with a remote team, it can be difficult to manage projects. You need a tool that will help you manage the project start to end, and that’s when Gantt chart software is an answer. In GanttPRO all the tasks are structured and prioritized. A team leader can set roles, assign tasks, discuss the ideas and track progress – all in a single workplace. Managers can easily make time and budget estimation, coordinate workload and even arrange online collaboration: leave comments, attach files and get notifications. Really cool for startups considering the fact that GanttPRO is among the top 20 most affordable software according to Capterra. The Takeaway Whatever your business model, team dynamic or objective, these tools will certainly help you get organized, reach both short and long-term goals with the utmost efficiency and deliver long before the due date, without ever spending more than you can or have to. Written by David Miller David Miller is an educational researcher who has several years of experience in the field of teaching, online testing and training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. Currently, he is pursuing research in online knowledgebase software and is also a contributing author with ProProfs.