The Best and Worst Project Management Apps

Jon Gosier —  February 8, 2009 — 59 Comments

In “Global Web Apps Failing the World Market” I looked at a number of web tools that claimed to be universal but failed the market in offering functionality that truly made them universal. Lately, I’ve been trying to configure some type of Project Management Intranet for my start-up Appfrica Labs. In my search I began to notice how few self-hosted server options there were. While a lot of the existing apps are great products, many have effectively shut themselves out from being adopted in emerging markets or by anyone who doesn’t have access to the web all the time.

Why This is a Poor Decision

Of course, this makes sense. Most of these companies are going after the biggest well-connected corporate groups in the most well-connected cities of the most well-connected counties. But there are a number of organizations that command large amounts of cash who need to procure project management systems for their divisions around the world. This includes NGOs, Government Agencies, International Schools, Non-Profits and more. In these harsh economic times, businesses should be looking for ways to tap into new markets. Most emerging economies still have nearly 100% room for growth, if only developers take into account their needs and circumstances.

Do any project management products exist that are ready to serve this multi-billion dollar sector?

I did some research, scouring the net for project management systems and painstakingly trying them all so you won’t have to. Here’re my results with a pretty basic scoring system. What I needed was simple, an open-source or customizable self-hosted system that would allow for internal messaging, group knowledge sharing and task assignment. 1 is the lowest score, 5 is the highest. I did use 0 to illustrate just how bad one app in-particular was, in comparison to everything else. Also, for things that were free, they got 5’s on pricing for not excluding anyone.

Picture 3.png

1. Basecamp

In the US, Basecamp is my favorite PMS. I’ve used it for tracking recording sessions, grocery lists, planning software development, even organizing my thoughts around a move cross-country. It, in my opinion, ranks high simply for it’s usability and accessibility. The pricing is fine and 37 Signals’ other Apps are equally useful. There’s only one problem: it requires bandwidth. Although I still use Basecamp (albeit sparingly) in Africa, I’m really disappointed that there’s no self-hosted offline server version. Also, it’s always been annoying that each of their products is billed separately, when there could easily be a cost-effective upgrade to all 37 Signal Apps.

So Although, Basecamp is probablly the best PMS on the market, it’s also the one I’m least likely to spend money on. As a jet-set entrepreneur living a region of the world starved for fibre, I need access to my project management system both at home, in the office, when I’m ‘out of the clouds‘ and even when the power is out. With no attempt to offer anything remotely friendly to offline users, Basecamp is not an option for me.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 4 (of all Products)
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 1
Ease of Installation: 5 (custom domains is easy to configure)
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Basecamp Score: 3.7


zoho-home-page.jpg

2. Zoho

Zoho offers more sheer PMS and Office related products than anyone else on the list. They offer CRM tools, spreadsheets, documents, databases, wikis, surveying, invoicing and all kinds of other stuff. Most of their products have a free tier so that no one is shut out of using their services, the idea being that those users may potentially go on to become paying customers. Still, no offline version makes it useless in my neck of the woods although they are using Gears to give offline access to many of their apps.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 5
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 2
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Zoho Score: 4


43B61BEA-A212-4414-952F-F26AE907A0BC.jpeg

3. Google Apps

Google Apps is useful for storing a lot of stuff in the cloud, and even offline with Google Gears. However, it’s built more for individual project management than groupthink. The near ubiquitous Gmail now has Tasks, gCal now supports Gears and gChat is great for communicating with an organizations. Unfortunately, while you can point your DNS name servers to Google’s servers to run their Apps suite, you can’t actually self-host any of the software. Again, useless for those of us not blessed with bandwidth.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 5
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 1 (limited offline support)
Ease of Installation: 5 (for custom domains)
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Google Apps Score: 3.9


Picture 8.png

4. Zimbra

When it comes to offering something for every possible scenario of customer, Zimbra is on it like spiders on silk! They’ve got custom builds for every common OS, a hosted version, self-hosted versions, open-source versions, closed-source versions, enterprise versions and more. Unlike many apps aimed at the corporate market, it actually looks good, isn’t too difficult to install and goes far beyond the functionality of most of it’s nearest competitors…

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 5
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5 (something for everyone!)
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Zimbra Score: 5



Picture 7.png

5. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab was originally the first and only open-source Basecamp clone. Then, the creator must have decided he wasn’t making enough income from his labor because he ceased releasing open-source updates and introduced tiered pricing. ActiveCollab has since tried to define itself as a PMS alternative to Basecamp. It’s a pretty good one, and at an introductory price of $99, not a bad deal for even the smallest of organizations. Unfortunately, ActiveCollab no longer distributes it’s open source edition. I’m not sure why, after using the knock-offs ProjectPier and OpenGoo, I actually wanted to pay for the advanced features of ActiveCollab. Hopefully they reconsider this aspect of their new business model.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 5
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 5


ActiveCollab Score: 4.4



Picture 16.png

6. ProjectPier and OpenGoo

When ActiveCollab decided to go closed-source with new pricing that no longer included anything with a price of $0, there was a huge backlash from loyal users. Some of those users went so far as to create their own forks of ActiveCollab using the final open-source version. ProjectPier is the most widely known of those forks, OpenGoo is another version that integrates extra features like chatting. Unfortunately, what they are both missing is the cutting edge aesthetic and some newer features of ActiveCollab. Also, both of them are missing the calendar view that I love so much from Basecamp and ActiveCollab.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 1
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 3
Design: 2


ProjectPier Score: 3.7



Picture 18.png

7. Dot Project

Dot Project is an open source PMS and what it lacks in visuals, it makes up for in features. Definitely not an app for creatives, looking at…it…puts….me…to…zzzzzzzzzzz

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 3
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 1


Dot Project Score: 4.1


DAEB1F86-6CA8-4679-91AE-DB4E96AB072F.jpeg

8. Cyn.in

Cynapse is an interesting initiative. They offer a free self-hosted open-source edition, a hosted SaaS (software as a service) version at $99 and a self-hosted enterprise edition that offers unlimited users and the option for doing things like running it behind company firewalls or cloud storage systems like EC2. The functionality goes a step beyond all the other products on this list by offering things like mind-mapping, instant messaging, and blogs. Beyond, that it’s hands down the best looking of the whole lot. The one tricky thing about Cynapse is that it requires VM Ware to run, something that will scare off groups who are intimidate by tinkering with things. Using virtualization allows them to play with some cool architecture that allows for widgets and great looking messaging clients.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 5
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Cyn.in Score: 5


Picture 17.png

9. Confluence

Confluence is a community wiki that allows members of a team or work group to share files, documents, notes and ideas. It looks like it’d be great for intranets, schools, small organizations and non-profits. I could see the UI getting a little chaotic in big organization. Still Confluence provides a number of options and prices to try and reach everyone. Unfortunately, the self-hosted version starts at $600 (Educational Institute) or $1,200 (Everyone Else)! That completely shuts out smaller international groups like my own! And again, their ‘hosted’ option is useless here as there are no locally peered servers.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 3
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 2
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 4
Ease of Installation: 4
Usability: 4
Design: 3


Confluence Score: 3



Picture 6.png

10. Rockclimbr (Drupal based PMS)

Rockclimbr was made in 48 hours to show off the functionality of Drupal. Impressively, it’s a pretty darn good attempt! Although it will require a lot of additional hacking and coding to make it *just like* Basecamp, it’s close enough to satisfy someone who needs a basic PMS. But the real asset this one has is that it uses Drupal’s CMS as the backend. This allows users to take advantage of any feature or extension available to Drupal’s expansive community. This means things like IRC integration, Chat, SMS, Aggregation, have already been done for you in the form of their hundreds of extensible modules. Just download them and add them to a version running on your server and they’re pretty much integrated! The only thing this requires for install is PHP5, MySQL and some sort of Web Server like Apache and you’re done. I had it running locally on OSX in two minutes. I did some major hacking on this and I’m convinced that in three or four days I’d have come up with the perfect Basecamp clone, with many more features and add-ons.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 4 (can literally be anything you want, but hacking isn’t for everyone)
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Rockclimbr Score: 4.9



Picture 15.png

11. Yammer / Noodle / Present.ly

I’m reviewing the following three apps as one because they’re all basically trying to be Twitter for the workplace. Yammer is the only one that I’m scoring because Noodle doesn’t really even compare and Present.ly has been overshadowed by the success of Yammer. Yammer is often called the ‘Twitter for the enterprise'; and it is but it’s also much, much more.

Noodle is a self-hosted PMS that’s a decent attempt and highly functional. Unfortunately it looks like it’s half finished with not-quite-right CSS choices and boring design. The site doesn’t mention pricing, instead it asks you to call them to get an ROI Estimate which I, personally, think sounds like B.S. This seems more like someone’s side project than a genuine business, still ll the functionality of a good intranet are there with things like micro-blogging, instant messaging and wikis so I wouldn’t be adverse to trying it out…for the right ROI.

You know how Hollywood releases movies that are uncannily similar to each other right around the same time? You know like ARMEGEDDON and DEEP IMPACT? Well that’s what Present.ly is like to Yammer. It’s the other one.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 4
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 4
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 1
Ease of Installation: 4
Usability: 5
Design: 4


Yammer and Friends Score: 3.3


Picture 11.png

12. Collabtive

Collabtive feels like a really cheap doppelganger of Basecamp…from 1999. If Walmart made Web Apps, this one would be on sale next to the underoos. It’s lightweight, installs easy and is super intuitive. However, anything this drab has no place in anyone’s office. It’s got all the basic functionality like messaging between users, task assignment and a calendar. Could be cooler if someone spent a little time rethinking the look and UI. One thing is does have going for it is that it’ll import Basecamp files. Another cool thing is that it allows you to add Milestones and attach a budget to them. That’s an incredibly relevant feature that I wish some of these other apps added! Collabtive also count’s down how close you are to a deadline or how far past it you are, for those of us who need a kick in the pants. I also stumbled across this link to instructions on how to install Collabtive on Ubuntu Server, which is exactly what I’d need to do if I chose this for my Intranet. Still, I’d be bored to tears if I had to look at this app everyday.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 4
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 2


Collabtive Score: 4.4


Picture 10.png

13. Trellis Desk

Trellis Desk by Accord5 isn’t so much a PMS, it’s actually a help-desk solution that installs very easily locally or on your web server. Ideally, it would be used for service and sales based groups like web stores, design companies, software groups. It automates things like escalation where emails are coming in from your customers, but aren’t getting resolved by your staff in a timely manner. It looks incredibly clean and fluid, and operates faster on MAMP than my custom Drupal solution did. If you really wanted this to become a PMS, a few days of hacking could make it so which is why it’s on this list.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 4
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 5
Usability: 5
Design: 4


Trellis Desk Score: 4.7


Picture 14.png

14. Achievo

Installing this Achievo is annoyingly difficult. The instructions send you directly to the command line, asking the user to make all these permission changes and changes to the database. I’m a fan of looking behind-the-scenes of my favorite apps but this curbed my enthusiasm right away. I shouldn’t have to hack just to get something to work. The screenshots look good but that’s all I can see because I didn’t bother trying again after the first attempt failed. Instead I went to the blog to try the hosted demo where I was met with this unfinished page…

Picture 12.png

The white on light blue is incredibly hard to read and hot pink text? At this point I gave up on Under-Achievo, maybe I’ll come back to try the next release.

Open-Source: 5
Functionality: 1
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 5
Ease of Installation: 0
Usability: 0
Design: 0


Achievo Score: 2.3


Picture 1.png

15. Product Planner

Of all of these apps, Kissmetrics’ Product Planner is the only one that really attempts to rethink what project management should be. Instead of focusing on things in rigid, date-planner format, it focuses on visual workflow. Even better, after you layout your workflow and save it, you can then embed it on wikis, websites and blogs to allow people to dynamically your workflow or thought process like a presentation. It’s like collaborative mind-mapping and it’s surprisingly useful and simple to use. Although it isn’t useful for what I was hunting for, I wanted to highlight it for originality.

Open-Source: 1
Functionality: 4
Multi-Tiered Pricing: 5
Self-Hosted/Server/Offline Edition: 1
Ease of Installation: 2 (no custom domains?)
Usability: 5
Design: 5


Product Planner Score: 3.3


And the Winner Is?

Zimbra, Cyn.in and ActiveCollab are definitely the top scorers and the two best self-hosted project management systems I could find. They all look good and have the features I need. What really sets the latter two apart is pricing, ActiveCollabe is $99 per year while Cynapse asks $0.00 for their open source version which isn’t quite as easy to install. But if it saves me $100, I have no problem with that. So the winner, in my book, is Cyn.in (Cynapse)!

Runner-Ups

Zimbra was worth considering but with so many options I don’t know what I’d be missing out on by choosing one thing over the other. They get the Paradox of Choice Award. ActiveCollab gets the She’s A Looker Award for being the most-well designed of the lot. Rockclimbr, has the ability to integrate with any Drupal modules gets the Most Customizable Award.

Jon Gosier

Posts

Founder of Apps4Africa, Appfrica, and D8A

59 responses to The Best and Worst Project Management Apps

  1. 

    Jon, this is brilliant!!

    Last year I badly needed a PMS because our projects/staff allocation were getting hard to manage. I scoured the web and downloaded so many so called PMS tools. Being design oriented, I needed something that looked good and worked well. At the top of the list was BaseCamp, but being strictly online made it useless for us. On this list, I've tried Achievo and Dotproject, because I could download them, and I agree with your verdict. Looks and intuitiveness do matter…

    We actually ended up combining about three different Joomla components and threading them into one system, but it still wasn't good enough, too many bugs, too much hack time…

    Anyway, before I mini blog, I'm seriously grateful for this. Let me go download some and I'll let you know which worked for us.

    Cheers!

    Solomon King – Node Six [http://www.nodesix.com

  2. 

    Glad I could help, Solomon! I highly recommend Cyn.In but if you want, I also have the heavily hacked version of Rockclimbr/Drupal that I can send you.

    • 

      Great list! I have been reviewing most of these myself or some time. I think your spot on. However, one of our requirements is timetracking and expenses. I haven't found the perfect system yet… I'd love to see what you did with rockclimbr. On our rockclimbr install, I upgraded some modules and now get sql errors. bummer. We can't get it current.
      I wish I saw this sooner!
      thanks!

    • 

      Any chance you could send that hacked version my way (mrice at mattrice dot org) ?

    • 

      Jongos,

      I'm currently working on a startup that is in need of project management tools. We initially planned on using only Basecamp, but recently decided to try altering Rockclimbr. Any chance you can send your version over, so that we can tinker further – be glad to share our version with you later on.

      -Ben

    • 

      Hey Jongos,

      Could I give your hacked Rockclimbr setup a spin? We could really use the headstart :)

      Also, do you know if Rockclimbr can be setup to run offline and sync when connection to the net is available again, just like Google Gears?

      Thanks kindly!
      op (dot) onsitemanager @ gmail.com

    • 

      Interesting study, could you please send me your hacked version of rockclimbr/drupal version.

  3. 

    Jon, I'm back.

    Couple of things I've noted immediately:

    1. ActiveCollab actually starts at $199, the $99 is for Support and Upgrades. Please crosscheck that, I may be wrong.

    2. Trellis might actually help our ticketing for our hosting department.

    3. Collabtive seems to have all the stuff we need so far, despite its barebones features/look. Also, the default blue template breaks massively, but the classic template works well. We're masters of theming, so we might tweak this.

    4. Cyn.in may eventually work for us, but it's a little on the complex side, and we might have difficulties with Client collaboration, seeing as we need ours hosted on the net.

    Still trying them out, will be back.

    You have my eternal gratitude for this article.

  4. 

    1. You're right, ActiveCollab is $199 per year with support but read the fine print. They give you the first year free, thus making it $99 or to be entirely accurate $100.

    2. Trellis is awesome. If I had more time I'd hack it to do both PMS, ticketing and CSR.

    3. I'd love to see what you come up with. It's got all the basic functionality, unfortunately I'm so vain I can't use anything that doesn't look good. ;)

    4. You can host Cyn.in on the net. You just need a server and to download the source-code of the Server version. They also have a binary that will run on VMware with only a few clicks…unless you're on a mac. Then it takes a few more clicks.

  5. 

    1. You're right, ActiveCollab is $199 per year with support but read the fine print. They give you the first year free, thus making it $99 or to be entirely accurate $100.

    2. Trellis is awesome. If I had more time I'd hack it to do PMS, ticketing and CSR.

    3. I'd love to see what you come up with. It's got all the basic functionality, unfortunately I'm so vain I can't use anything that doesn't look good. ;)

    4. You can host Cyn.in on the net. You just need a server and to download the source-code of the Server version. They also have a binary that will run on VMware with only a few clicks…unless you're on a mac. Then it takes a few more clicks.

  6. 

    I've already encountered a few issues/limitations with Collabtive regarding user/task management.

    I'm pulling down the VMWare server right now, at 580MB, might take the whole day/night. Sigh. Meantime, let me look into the possibilities of hosting Cyn.in as well on one of our servers.

    Oh, I wouldn't mind that hacked Rockclimbr/Drupal thing. I was actually heading over to the Drupal site to pull it down as well, so your version may give me a headstart.

  7. 

    For an SaaS application, would you give a 5 for a solution that uses Google Gears for full offline access ?

  8. 

    I think you forgot Mixpanel, http://mixpanel.com

    Really awesome metric tracking stuff to do any sort of project manage and analysis.

  9. 

    @Sylvain No. Gears doesn't help my situation at all (at least none of the apps that I've ever used running on it indicate that it could).

    I run a start up software business in Uganda, I need a hosted solution that can run off a server and that multiple people can use from different computers for things like messaging, file storage, task assignment. The perfect solution, once installed, would never need to be on the internet. It would just need to run on a local server. A lot of these are great apps, but they weren't designed for people who lack first-world connectivity.

  10. 

    @Sylvain No. Gears doesn't help my situation at all (at least none of the apps that I've ever used running on it indicate that it could).

    I run a start up software business in Uganda, I need a hosted solution that can run off a server and that multiple people can use from different computers for things like messaging, file storage, task assignment. The perfect solution, once installed, would never need to be on the internet. It would just need to run on a local server (intranet).

    A lot of these are great apps, but they weren't designed for people who lack first-world connectivity.

  11. 

    Hey Jon You'll never believe which tool I've settled on.

    Achievo. I'm running a test install on WAMP. The installation was actually fairly simple, took about 5 minutes to get up and running.

    And truth be told, it's fairly robust. CRM tools inclusive. The project management features are very extensive. And surprisingly, the default theme is not as ugly as I remember. They must've changed something.

    If you want to, I can post for you a follow up review in a week or so. With practical usage and screenshots.

  12. 

    Nice comparison of the PM apps, i was wondering if it was possible to include our free web based project management app http://www.comindwork.com to the list?

  13. 

    Maybe I'll give it another shot. At 4am when I was attempting to install and review it, I admit my judgment was impaired. =)

  14. 

    @solomon Okay so I did get Acheivo up pretty quick. (Reviewing all these apps back-to-back after midnight wasn't the best idea ever.) I'll revise my review of the app but I still don't like it. It lacks a chat feature and internal messaging. I may consider using it for managing hours and payroll but that's not what I'm going for. I want something that everyone can use instead of our normal communication tools like Skype, IRC and email…for when the power is out.

  15. 

    Jon, i will never thank you enough for this article. We've been looking for a self-hosted online PM software for more than 2 months, and I have to say that we hadn't even come up with half this list yet. You have probably saved us another few months of frustrating tests, thanks again for sharing this with us.

  16. 

    Another great project management to consider for your list is Intervals. It's strengths are in time tracking, task management, and the fact that it supports over 50 international locales.

  17. 

    http://is.gd/hS00 is a list of web-based PM apps I compiled. Might be useful to you as other options.

    Regards,
    Rick

  18. 

    Hi Jonathan.

    This is a very impressive research, and a great resource for anyone looking for a PM/Collaboration tool. Congratulations!

    Yet, I have to tell you that the facts you state about OpenGoo are incorrect.

    – OpenGoo does not look like ProjectPier at all. In fact, many articles praise OpenGoo aesthetics.
    – OpenGoo has a calendar.
    – OpenGoo does not integrate chat, but it does integrate many other features that greatly facilitate Project Management tasks.
    – OpenGoo was not initiated as a fork of activeCollab. It was a coincidence aC was used as a framework just before it went closed-source.

    I am sure that you would appreciate giving OpenGoo a try.

  19. 

    I haven't heard about Zimbra and Cyn.in before (and I run a Project Management Website so I tend to see a lot of such applications). There are some tools that I wish you mentioned, such as Wrike ( I actually published an article on the ideal project tool written by Wrike's CEO. There's also proworkflow.

    Btw, I think a huge factor on these tools (that you're not mentioning) is the customer care support (responsive or not) and reliability. A lot of people make up their choices depending on these factors.

  20. 

    Thanks for the useful reviews. One contender I'm surprised you didn't include is the STORM module for Drupal. It's been around a relatively short amount of time and is still a work-in-progress, but it's being actively developed and is already very useful.

  21. 

    Excellent post!

    Your point of view is very welcome. And the same applies to publishing platforms / content management systems, which is what I've been looking at lately. The easiest (hosted) options are out for the same reason as here and while there are a good number of full-fledged CMSs and wikis out there that meet the local installation and free / open source criteria, which of all these would be best suitable for the typical usage in developing countries (both technically and other perspectives such as usability)?

    Surely it all depends but comparison reviews and user experiences would be most welcome.

    Thanks again!

  22. 

    thank you, jon, for this valuable resource! like others who have commented, i find it a very useful list. and thanks to those who have also offered their ideas for effective collaboration/PM tools.

    in addition to the criteria you've put forward, i'd love to know which (if any) of these applications can be translated into spanish. the NGO i work for is looking for this type of application, but as we and our partners are based in latin america, we would need something in spanish. any ideas would be most welcome!

    thanks again for your help.

  23. 

    @Kevin @ John @Rick @Conrado @Matt Thanks for the feedback!

    @PM Hut Customer service is a big one but more important for us here in Africa is to never need CS to begin with. It's never cheap calling in from here and Skype is often too flaky to rely upon. I really value software companies that use consultants or partners who are local to the continent.

    @Frida You may want to look into services like Amazon's Mechanical Turk (https://www.mturk.com/) that allow you to crowd source various tasks. Since most of these apps are open source, the ones that are can theoretically all be translated into Spanish, you just need someone to do it. If you're going for ease and no-hassle. I'd take the Drupal theme, add Storm, and use their free translation Modules.

  24. 

    Impressive post. There is a lot here and I will have to test out some of the systems I had never seen until now. Personally, for me and my organization nothing beats basecamp. We've experiment with our own system, activecollab, google docs/apps, and zoho (love Zoho's CRM btw), but basecamp is the best for our team and particularly our clients. I just wrote a more in-depth article on the pros and cons of Basecamp.

  25. 

    You should have also checked out DeskAway (http://www.deskaway.com) – mentioned in Mashable's list of 270+ tools for business last year.

  26. 

    Really helpful review.

    I'd be interested to know what you and other people find most useful for collaboration between a small group of volunteers, who are often limited in time.

    It can feel like by the time things are set up, people are busy with other things. At least Google Apps is quick and easy to set up, and it's possible to use Google Sites to provide some structure to the content – that's what we're using for now, anyway, and I'm not sure I want to go through the effort of setting something else up. Adapting to a new system is enough of a challenge – but getting other people to adapt to it is a real challenge. There'd need to be very compelling reasons.

  27. 

    great review – found it very helpful. I'm just downloaded rockclimbr and have started hacking away at it – would be great to get a copy of your hacked version if thats possible. As i'm running and building drupal sites rockclimbr makes a lot of sense to me.

  28. 

    +1 to your review, we’ve been struggling to make a decision on the right PM tool and your comments are very helpful.

    Like Ali, I’m hacking at rockclimbr and would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of your hacked version.

    Best regards!

  29. 

    Thank you for such thorough and insightful reviews. I have been looking for an open source pm software for a few days now. Very helpful.

  30. 

    Hi! This list is very useful! THanks! You might also want to check out group-office.com and open-xchage.com. and some projects which seem to have stalled but still worth checking out are php-collab.com, opengroupware.org, phpgroupware.org.

  31. 

    Hi,
    This list was very useful. Like other people on this thread I am hacking Rockclimbr into something a bit more user friendly and I would be very appreciative if you could send me your heavily hacked copy. It would also be great if you could say what aspects of it you hacked and how it improved its functionality. Might be a nice topic for a followup post as being open source and free it would be a useful tool for us to all build on.
    Thanks very much

  32. 

    For some purposes, Redmine may fit the bill, others may find it lacking. We were using Basecamp and Redmine. There is some feature overlap and we ended up dropping Basecamp. http://www.redmine.org

  33. 

    bweiss at gmail

  34. 

    A little late to this thread, but thanks for your comparison :-) I went throught these too, last couple days and i agree on Activecollab being very nice, and as self-hosted solution, one of the better looking ones. In the same pricing category i stumbled on http://www.group-office.com. They also offer a (scaled down) open-source version. Try the demo or download the free version i'ld say. I'm probably settling for one of these two.

    I don't know Drupal and Joomla enough (and not happy to learn to hack every other CMS from scratch). HOWEVER i'm holding off a bit also on these because, like wordpress, they do have some sort of history with security risks, especially with third-party add-ons and modules. For medium-sized teams, with no dedicated sysadmin, that would probably be a valid bullet-point on the feature-list of paid solutions.

  35. 

    You missed the HyperOffice Online Project Management Solution, a well known online collaboration and project management system. Theyve been offering web based solutions since 1998, and offer amongst the most comprehensive solutions in the market with integrated project management, collaboration, messaging and conferencing features.

  36. 

    Try ProjectGoo … it's free and integrates MS Project and the Google Cloud.

  37. 

    Be good if you guys could look at my app called Project Bubble – http://www.projectbubble.com – it's free and really easy (and fun) to use. Let me know your thoughts.;

  38. 

    Thank you very very much for this. I been looking over and still can not settle. I have to say I agree on some of those it seems like people forgot about GUI and maybe wanting to attract people to use them vs. a retro trip into gray.
    Cynapse looks ok…but more so as a social portal then PM tool.

    Do you REALLY trust Open Source to be the tool for your clients and files/projects?
    Thanks!

  39. 

    Hi,
    I am a cautious newbie. I have been interested in trying out an intranet for my businesses, and was lookingn to try out open source. really interested in cyn.in. however do not know how to install. I have my own webserver.

  40. 

    Collabtive only a 3.3! Ouch! I love the security of the app when its on my server and not on some other server with a 50 page TOS.

    http://timskaggs.net/blog/2010/01/collabtive-coll

  41. 

    I also recommend checking 5pm (<a href="http://www.5pmweb.com).” target=”_blank”>www.5pmweb.com). It has a great interface but is also pretty powerful.

  42. 

    Thanks for this awesome post and other suggestions from comments!

    I am interested in trying Cynapse and wondering what your verdict on it is now that you have had more time to try it out.

    Thanks again!

  43. 

    I know its bad form to pull up an old post, but wanted to thank you for all this great info. I would be curious to know what you'd recommend now…a year or so later. I was initially interested in Cynapse after reading this…but it appears they've gone VERY commercial. The paid version now starts at $500 a month. The free version looks pretty good, but not terribly easy to install/host. Thanks again!

  44. 

    Hi there

    I have been comparing some business tools providers and came to a solution that Workforcetrack suited me the most, for it has lots of tools such as CRM, Project Management, Accounting and Finance, HRMS and many others. If you have a look there around you will find many other interesting things. The best part is the price that it is affordable and also it has discounts. I would recommend you to visit this site and the link is placed above.

  45. 

    How to install and integrate redmine into cyn.in on Cyn.in – Community Edition v3.1.3 (on debian 5.0.4 i38) ?
    for bug trackers, bug tracking, request tracking, etc..

  46. 

    We are a small marketing firm and I am happy to be using Google Apps but with a Project Management tool such as GroupCamp Project http://www.groupcamp.com/online-project-management-software on top of it. It works magic for our team and the freelancers who work with us the synchronisation with our calendar is great and the way we can use Google Docs from within GroupCamp is also very efficient.
    JF

  47. 

    Hey,

    In business/project management app, I’d like to recommend a great one which integrated an interesting concept; saving time from your notes. This app, Beesy, generates automatically a ToDo list from a smart note taking. Also, the advantage is you can esasily send your minutes by email. I love testing new business/ productivity apps such as Evernote, Penutilmate, Omnifocus, Awesome but it’s the first time I see an app so well done. I recommend Beesy for people which often have meetings.

    (http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-ipad-to-do/)
    Great post :)

    Samia

  48. 

    Excellent information has been helpful for me, greetings

  49. 

    Still a very relevant article. Thanks for sharing.

  50. 

    Such a great and thorough review that I’m still seeing it linked to from new discussions on project management software. I’m very curious as to what you use now, almost 4 years late.

  51. 

    Hi Jongus, thanks for putting up comprehensive article on Project Management software.

    It would be great if you update this article. There are so many new additions to the market.

    Did you try any new platforms? Are you still using Cynapse?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s