If you own a design business, you know what it’s like.
When you’re working on a client project, it can get hectic pretty quickly.
Between project plans and timelines, keeping the client in the loop, and organizing your team, there are dozens of pieces of the puzzle to keep track of. If you’re not organized and strategic about the way the project is planned, things can easily slip through the cracks.
That’s why finding an online project management software that works for designers can seem like such an important task.
We’ve compiled the four best project management programs for design companies out there. Now it’s just a question of which you will choose!
Basecamp is the granddaddy of all project management software for designers. The company started as 37signals, but changed its company name to match their most popular product, which was Basecamp. This software was actually made for designers and programmers.
Used by companies like Etsy, Twitter and Nike, the software is comprehensive and it seems as if the company thought of absolutely everything. Because its workforce works remotely, Basecamp makes client and team communication super simple, allowing you to organize your projects easily.
Basecamp allows you to invite clients to the project so they can see progress, but limit the access to only what you want them to see. It also allows you to make to-do lists, upload and share documents and view the progress being made by team members on each project.
It’s a cost effective program with prices starting at only $20/month and the company offers two months for free when you first sign up.
Asana markets its software slightly differently, in that it doesn’t come at it from a project management point of view but rather a “teamwork without email” angle.
Like Basecamp, Asana enables you to keep in touch with your team, create and assign to-do lists, upload files and images and plan project calendars.
One of the best features of Asana is that you or your team can add comments to each task or project rather than have them in email, which lets you see everything all in one place.
Popular companies like AirBNB, Pinterest and Zazzle use Asana, and it makes sense! The program is very cost effective and the basic version is free.
If you want to opt-in to its premium version, the cost depends on the size of your team, but it’s on par with Basecamp.
Wrike is an alternative to Basecamp and Asana, and takes a more traditional approach to project management.
Wrike is used by companies like MTV, Stanford University and PayPal to manage projects, and is often used with businesses that sell physical products, as well.
Wrike allows you to channel your inner project manager and map out the project on a timeline. It also allows you to download handy reports to display the project’s progress and milestones, share documents and integrate with email.
Because of the comprehensiveness of the software, the paid version of Wrike is a bit more expensive than the other two alternatives, starting at $49 per month, but the basic version with up to 5 users is free.
Trello is different from the other three programs in that it looks very basic at first glance. Trello almost looks and functions like an advanced Pinterest.
If you’re visual in that you work well with post-it notes and vision boards, Trello might be the perfect program for your design business.
With Trello, you post each leg or portion of a project to your main screen, and then each section can have notes, comments, documents uploaded, due dates, and checklists.
Trello has a great notification system when something important happens, and the basic version of the program is completely free.
Project management softwares of the past decade have left a lot to be desired, but luckily over the past few years a corner has been turned.
Instead of clunky user interfaces and difficult sharing capabilities, you now have your pick of these simple and easy-to-use programs.
Any of these four programs will make your life as a designer far easier.