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Organize Your Life with Project Management Tools

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

These days, it seems like everyone is stuck in the conundrum of how to squeeze more usable hours out of a day.  There is simply more to do than we have time for.  Whether you’re a mom who works from home, managing a business and children at the same time; you run a small business with just a handful of employees; or you’re the COO of a major corporation that employs thousands of workers spread across multiple continents, you’re probably looking for a software solution that will help you to manage projects and employees, and ultimately provide you with more time.  Luckily, there are programs available for every size of business and just about every conceivable problem.  Here are a few ways in which project management software might just provide the time-saving solution you’ve been looking for.

For one thing, there are a couple of options when it comes to project managers.  A few, like Microsoft Project, can be purchased outright.  You simply buy the package that’s right for you and install the software by disc or download.  But there are a couple of caveats with this type of software.  For one thing, even though Microsoft Project claims to be for any size business, it really seems to be geared at larger corporations.  This is evidenced not only in the tool kit, which provides for way more bells and whistles than a smallish operation would require (accounting for simultaneous management of multiple projects, milestones, and so on), but also in the price (the software can be found on sale for around $600, but it generally retails for closer to $900).  In addition, they provide for licensing if several copies are needed.  So if you’re managing multiple projects and teams of employees, this type of software will offer a great boon.

If, on the other hand, you’ve got a smaller business going, you’ll probably want to opt for the SaaS (software as a service) option instead.  These programs operate entirely online so that you don’t have to download or store anything.  While a larger corporation might worry about security risks with such an undertaking, smaller businesses don’t generally share the same concern and will find the safety provisions adequate.  A couple of great choices along this line of programming include Basecamp HQ and Sugar CRM.  

Basecamp HQ is a great place to start for both freelance and small business operations. Basecamp project management software is simple, straightforward, user-friendly, and geared towards those who manage only a few clients and/or employees.  The main thing that recommends this product is the focus on compartmentalization that allows users to separate and catalog data to streamline the referencing process.  Sugar CRM also delivers along these lines, but it may be more suitable for businesses looking to expand since it offers marketing, sales, and customer service tools in addition to project tracking.  Basecamp HQ has plans starting at $24/month while Sugar CRM offers a free 30-day trial, after which you’ll pay a minimum of $360/year (per user, with a minimum of five users).

Breana Orland writes for Project Management Software where you can find open source project management software and an assortment of other software for your personal or business needs.

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