Marketing August 13, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 606 Reads share

How 3 Project Management Systems Stack Up

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With so many options for project management, comparing the best can be tough. Take a look at the features you care most about—customizability, features, and cost—to determine the best fit for your needs and wallet.

# 1. Insightly

Leading CRM and small business project management in a single solution.

  • Customizability: Insightly has simple integration with Google Apps & Gmail, Google Drive, and Office 365® & Outlook®, so you can work with the apps you already use most. You can set email reminders and also view completed tasks to make sure deadlines are being met.
  • Features: Within projects, you can create milestones, pipelines and tasks, plus attach files. You’re able to view completed events and tasks or event and task reports. Insightly also lets you manage specific roles for contacts and track email correspondence. Use mobile apps on either major mobile operating system or access an optimized mobile site to work on projects on the road.
  • Cost: Because project management and CRM go together with Insightly, the pricing plans are standard. Depending on how many users, storage, and contacts you need to manage, plans range from free (for up to 3 users) to $299 per month for as many as 200 users.

# 2. Podio

Built similarly to social media websites, Podio encourages communication in projects and workspaces.

  • Customizability: Apps in Podio’s own app market let you integrate features you need without swimming through tons you don’t. You can easily build custom apps to fit your own needs, and create workspaces that include only the people who need to be there. Podio has seamless integration with GoToMeeting, ShareFile, DropBox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive. Allow as much or as little client involvement as you want by setting permissions.
  • Features: Within workspaces, users can chat, share, like, and comment on items just like they would on social media sites. Accounts for both employees and non-employee users allow communication with relevant people on projects who are not within the company. Use drag-and-drop file sharing to make uploads quick and painless.
  • Cost: Podio also offers a free plan, Podio Lite, but it lacks features like the ability to assign permission levels to team members. It includes support for up to five employees and five external accounts. For $15 per month per employee, you get access to all of Podio’s features, plus unlimited external accounts. Podio offers discounts on the per employee rate for larger companies.

# 3. Basecamp

Single-page project display is the claim to fame of this option. It keeps every item, file, person, and discussion associated with a project on that project’s page.

  • Customizability: Many 3rd party apps are available that integrate with Basecamp to automate actions like timekeeping, invoicing, sick days, view tasks, create charts, and share files. You can control which users access what content, plus whose activity they can see. Access a calendar that includes all users, so you can coordinate easily.
  • Features: Basecamp gives unlimited user accounts with any package, plus encryption and data backup. Use the optimized mobile site on your phone or tablet, or download the iPhone® app to work away from the office. Archival of completely projects, and all the data involved in them, lets users revisit entire projects when needed. You can reply to conversations in Basecamp straight from your email, and they’ll be posted to the proper place without requiring you to log into the site. It also has drag-and-drop file sharing, plus recovery of accidental deletions.
  • Cost: You get up to 15 projects and 4GB of storage for one dollar a day, up to eighty projects and 30GB of storage for three dollars per day, or unlimited projects and 500GB of storage for $10.00 per day.

Each of the three project management systems uses a slightly different base for their pricing structure, which can make them seem impossible to compare. When you look closely at features and customizability though, you can begin to see which system provides the value your company needs. Features like integration with apps you already use regularly, plus a pricing package that fits your company size, will be two of the deciding factors in finding the best match.

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Megan Wright

Megan Wright

Megan Wright is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media. When she’s not publishing a weekly newsletter to educate small businesses on the vast importance of building up their web presence, she likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, apps and other reviews. She also keeps tabs on the foremost events for small business owners to attend. Megan spends much of her time building partnerships and establishing new relationships on behalf of ChamberofCommerce.com. With a strong suit for managing business partnerships and developing partner relations, she often cultivates topics around the partnerships she’s established by reviewing and highlighting what makes each business unique. She prides herself on keeping up with the diverse variety of services each business specializes in to spotlight new offerings. With her extensive repertoire, Megan regularly contributes to a growing number of publications, like Business.com, Disability.gov, Vistaprint, Yext, Infusionsoft, among many others. She can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.

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