8 Remote Project Management Tools for Dream Teams

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Project Management Tools for Remote Teams

Remember the struggles of managing projects with in-person teams? I’ve got news for you. It’s literally ten times worse when you have projects to run while managing a remote team! This post will review 8 of the top-rated remote project management tools to make it easier for you to take your pick!

In my experience transitioning from in-team to managing teams remotely, I realized that structure is all the more necessary for remote teams, whether the number of members is 10, 100 or running into the 1000s. This is why the tool you go for should

  1. Be easy to get onto and absorb everyone onto it seamlessly.
  2. Encourages members to experience the features as they explore.
  3. Keep remote teams connected, productive and collaborative throughout their workday.

In this post, I’ll be rating these remote project management tools in terms of the features and benefits specific to remote employees working in a distributed set up.

Before going into it, I thought it’ll be handy to list out each solution’s pricing packages. This way, you know what you’re signing for after your free options end:

ToolPricing Plans per user per month
1. ClubhouseFree 1-10 users
USD 8.5 – 11+ users
Custom- 11+ users
2. TrelloFree
USD 9.99 -Business
USD 17.50 -Enterprise
3. AirtableFree
$ 10 -Plus edition
USD 20-Pro
Custom- Enterprise
4. IDoneThis$35- Enterprise
USD 40-Plus
USD 25-Standard
5. Monday.com$8 Basic
USD10 Standard
USD 16 Pro
Custom -Enterprise
6. ZohoSprintsFree plan for five users, 5 Projects
USD 8 Professional for 12 users
USD 500 for 200 users
[move the slider for accurate estimates against the number of users to be onboarded)
7. WrikeFree- 5 users
USD 9.8  5, 10 and 15 users- Professional
USD 24.8  5-200 users – Business
Custom- Unlimited users  Enterprise
8. Sococo$ 13  -Suite
USD 12   -Floor
USD 11- Building
Custom – Campus

 

Let’s get to it!

Office Tools for Remote Work

1. Clubhouse

ClubHouse Productivity Management tools

Clubhouse was launched in 2016. It features solutions for engineering, product and remote teams. Marker.io, Nubank and Dataiku are a few names that use Clubhouse to empower cross-collaboration and for product prioritization.

Clubhouse’s’s purpose

Clubhouse is one of several such remote project management tools that includes a knowledge base to document reviews, retrospectives and lessons learned.

How it helps remote teams

Clubhouse’s’s dashboard offers a compact and precise view of the project journey no matter where your team sits. Team members can pick up where they left off and check in on their teammates” progress. There’s an hourglass function that indicates how much more time they’ll take.

Why does it merit being included here

The process of creating a project and revisiting it at any stage once it’s underway should be easy on project management tools for remote teams. In Clubhouse, the collaboration is quite nimble and enables virtual members to add stories, edit tasks and sort through documentation and reports with advanced filters. This makes progress visible, reducing the chances of rework.

Feature Analysis

  • Epics: The epics feature lets you expand on a user story and add details to it, such as the sequence, hierarchy and dependencies involved.
  • Milestone: The milestone feature turns on when a sprint starts and turns off automatically once the decision-maker reviews and approves it.
  • Githelpers: This feature forks code from repositories in Github automatically.
  • Event handlers: Link Stories to commits, branches, and pull requests. Automate processes when you open or merge a branch.
  • Followers: Tag people on epics so that members can follow and keep track of comments.
  • Spaces: The visibility of what goes into the shared workspaces makes sure that project members know where to retrieve the project schedule and its particulars.
  • Iterations: The iteration feature displays how the story is distributed across sprints and ensures all priorities go into sprints.
  • Projects: The project workflow can be customized by team size, composition and dynamic so that teams work in comfort.

What we liked about it

Clubhouse is lightweight, scalable and very easy to jump right into, sans intensive tutorials. We like the labels because it helped us organize the stories and epics better.

Product limitations

Having seen expense-related features on other remote project management tools, it surprises me that this tool doesn’t come with invoicing and budgeting.

2. Trello

Trello task management dashboard

Trello is a web-based platform to create kanban boards online. It was originally created in 2010 by FogCreek Software and later acquired by Atlassian, the project management software giant in 2017. Clients include TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and Forbes.

Trello’s purpose

Trello is primarily a task management tool that helps teams manage work better.

How it helps remote teams

Trello’s’s cue card system helps you prioritize. And when you work remotely staying on top of priorities is important so that you’re’re not ultimately spending more time on a lower priority. It has a task management dashboard with in-built conversation channels to connect teams throughout work hours.

Why does it merit being included here?

Trello’s’s interactive platform lets both distributed and remote teams dive into a project and collaborate across the board in real-time. Members can add up their progress and see how close they are to reaching a particular milestone,what remains to be done, the next task to pick and who they’ll’ll be sharing this workload with. In addition to playbook board templates for engineering, creative design, marketing and even wedding planning, it has one for remote teams to help teams bond better virtually

Feature analysis

Trello depicts various stages of progress across the board by arranging work into columns using cards. These cards mark work as done, in progress, or to be completed. The core features within a Kanban styled Trello board include

  • Rule-Based Triggers: Triggers are activated based on the urgency of an event-based rule. It can be set to remind team members of pending work or update them of alterations made to existing work.
  • Custom Card & Board Buttons: Ecards contain due dates, labels and customizable fields according to the composition and dynamic of the remote team. It lets contributors keep track of their work by week, month or any other time-based parameter.
  • Calendar Commands: Power-up, a calendar feature lets you roll up tasks by deadlines and pins it onto a virtual calendar. It separates one-off, recurring, ongoing and future events by dates so that activities on a schedule are organized by priority, deadline and workload.
  • Due Date Commands: Sends out advanced and automated notifications close to originally drawn up task estimates

What we like about it

Undoubtedly the team hub, which is a one-stop shop for resources for remote teams. It lets members share experiences, pull up work discussions and collect questions to review in subsequent follow-ups.

What we liked best about Trello was their take on the brainstorming board. It makes participants out of everyone by assigning them cards on which they can propose their solution. The ”winner” is then moved to the next round. There’s’s also the provision to summarize what the session will be about before the actual brainstorming starts.

Product Limitations

Trello users report that outside the calendar feature, the remote project management tools are missing a timestamp feature to mark the approximate completion time for a project. Also, I found it tricky to divide cards against a single user. Cards get permanently deleted, so you have to be really sure that whatever you are archiving doesn’t’t contain information you’ll’ll find yourself needing later on!

3. Airtable

Airtable Design Project Pipeline

The Airtable prototype was first launched in 2013. Founders Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad and Emmett Nicholas describe it as a spreadsheet with the power of a database. The tool is in use by an impressive clientele, which include HubSpot, Netflix,BoilerRoom and the New York City Ballet company.

Airtable’s purpose

Airtable is a remote project management tool with a spreadsheet database. It gives you the freedom to arrange and access your work any time, anywhere.

How it helps remote teams

Airtable is multi-device friendly, and syncs changes across all platforms so that members can trace the last action. It enables remote members to jump in on conversations, provide inputs and collaborate in real-time.

Why does it merit being included here

Airtable comes with powerful filtering, sorting and grouping capabilities that help you customize your view to an interpretable format. Rightly-loaded information clarifies expectations and produces results in less time. In addition to the standard templating options for marketing and creative design, there are several specifically built to keep track of events and log comment threads.

Feature analysis

  • Templates: The templates for remote work encompass asset tracking,daily check ins, a hub (similar to the Trello hub),event tracking and internal communication.
  • Blocks : Blocks feature a palette that can be formatted and moved around till the workflow you’re’re creating makes sense. You can capture insights with visualization tools using maps, geocodes, Gantt charts, graphs and 3D explorers.
  • Countdown: This is a timer, world clock and tracker all rolled into one. It refreshes schedules according to the time zone of the location the remote worker is in and keeps the context of discussions the centre focus.

What we like about it

The airtable algorithm can handle any type of content, from checkboxes to barcodes, letting you stay in charge of what goes into the database, and how it looks after everyone’s’s inputs are fed in!

Product limitations

While airtable supports a number of third party integrations, the block feature is only available on the paid plans and users report it not being as well integrated as it should be. I found that the sorting function takes three or more clicks, where it could just as easily be done in one on other tools.

4. IDoneThis

Personal Calendaring Function

IDoneThis was developed in 2011 by Walter Chen and Rodrigo Guzman, and was based on the latter’s’s insights on productivity, human behavior and lightweight practices. Clients that are a fan of keeping their teams productive and happy include Accenture Consulting, AirBnB, Shopify and Daimler.

Purpose

IDoneThis is a productivity management platform that lets virtual teams stay in sync before, during and after a daily check-in or stand up.

Why does it merit being included here?

IDoneThis cleaves through busywork and parks it in a different stage from project task lists so that your virtual team isn’t’t distracted when there’s’s a deadline coming up. This helps them work with data that is contextual and current.

Feature analysis

  • Progress reports: No more guessing games. The reports are clear-cut and tailored to each individual member’s’s workload and progress, helping you measure both effort and performance.
  • Note taking: Record notes on the fly and save them to analyze later.
  • Email journaling: This is a daily journal similar to hard copy diary entries that help you chronicle what you’re’re been working on, setbacks faced and action plans.

What we like about it

We like how it keeps work transparent and in turn, remote teams cohesive. I particularly liked the note taking feature that records status updates on a daily basis and ensures no task is unintentionally left out or completely forgotten.

Product Limitations

IDoneThis is a bit slow on feature development, despite being in business for close to ten years. It’s rated a ⅗ on Capterra, with most users finding fault with the email reply feature. The User Interface is also reportedly slow at times. Surprisingly, the trial period only lasts for 3 days unlike other apps that offer newbies the standard 7-14 day trial.

5. Monday.com

Event Planning Virtual Project Management Services

Monday.com is a project management tool that keeps work and members in a distributed and remote network visible, connected and engaged. Founded in 2012 ,the Monday platform recently bagged the Webby 2020 award for productivity under the apps category!
Clients today include Adobe, Schneider Electric, OutBrain and VISA

Monday.com’s Purpose

Monday.com is a workflow automation platform that keeps remote teams aligned and empowered throughout business hours.

How it helps remote teams

It gives complete visibility to all tasks and prevents members from having to repeatedly clarify or hash things out on frequent calls and meetings. They can then focus on completing the work pinned up on the schedule.

Why does it merit being included here?

Everyone in a remote team can hit the ground running with a reliable library of workflow
template designs and drag-and-drop blocks. You can focus on individual work while having the big picture in front of you at all times.

Feature Analysis

  • Workload:Here, you can assess the workload and correct imbalances so that no member experiences early burnouts from overwork. Or worse, left untapped from being benched.
  • Timeline: This is a time tracking tool for remote teams that creates timelines for all project deliverables. Your week will be more productive when you know which task is up next.
  • Charts: Match people and activities to durations for realistic estimates on the project schedule.
  • Dashboard: The dashboard is a central login point that gives you a birds” eye view of everything happening across any dimension-geographies, team or project.

What we like about it

It’s’s quite easy to create a work board and add members to it. Once they join in, users can upload their tasks, tag other collaborators whose inputs they’ll’ll need and mark work progress as they go along. I also like the smorgasbord of integrations the paid plans come with!

Product Limitations

We observed that as more users get on, the interface slows down considerably due to the load. If you use a larger sized board to export data from excel onto the platform, the information doesn’t’t reformat itself to always end up in the right places, so it can visually appear a bit scattered.

6. ZohoSprints

ZohoSprints Library View

ZohoSprints was founded in 2010. It helps leaders integrate and manage plans so that work items are trackable no matter whether your office is partially or 100% remote. Many notable clients have signed on to ZohoSprints, including the Pexion Group, Auro and Digient.

ZohoSprint’s purpose

Zoho sprints are one of the remote project management tools that facilitate virtual sprints.

How it helps remote teams

Zoho Sprints contains the sprint to reachable goals. It runs the sprint such that members can move forward in a single file until they complete and close the project.

Why does it merit being included here

The secret to staying agile while remote lies in informing and involving every member in the team. And ZohoSprints users can be so with product backlogs and customizable boards and templates that store feedback from previous sprints, thereby helping them review and apply changes before moving on. The sprint reports offer insight into the success of all sprints held, helping you organize future meets.

Feature analysis

  • Boards- This work area lets you personalize the status of tasks and keep your board lean and understandable.
  • Epics- Epics are a storyboarding feature within the project that helps you link relationships between tasks by creating a hierarchy.
  • Timesheets- Dashboards plug timesheets so that you know how and on what your teams are working on. You can also recognize if the work they’re’re on is, or isn’t’t making you money.
  • Reports- Sprint reports help you record the number, time, relevance and outcome of sprints carried out in order to assess what works and what to improve on.
  • Dashboards – The project opens up onto a dashboard viewing area that contains all key performance metrics needed by your business.

What we like about it

What we really like about it is how the data is organized sensibly, despite mine and the team’s’s boards looking visually different. In other words, you can apply unlimited customization without worrying that it won’t’t make sense to anyone else looking over your work! Also, the community space is very active and responsive, so you’re’re sure to find answers very quickly if you’re’re stuck with any particular feature.

Product Limitations

While easy to get onto with no mandatory training, a few users on G2crowd report that there’s’s no provision for a meeting log to check in on a particular discussion and its outcome. There is also mention of how you cannot move tasks that do not belong to a story into a Sprint.

7. Wrike

Wrike Remote Project Management Tools

No list of project management tools that remote teams can get onto would be complete without Wrike. Founded in 2006, Wrike has 2.3 million active customers around the globe and has bagged several awards for the best software and customer experiences. Notable clients who use Wrike for keeps include Aerotek, TeamViewer, Hootsuite and Ogilvy!

Wrike’s purpose

Wrike is a collaborative work management platform that supports projects carried out by marketing, creatives,professional services and business operations fields.

Why does it merit being included here

Wrike has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade. Its strength lies in adapting to change.  Now with remote work on the rise, the interface and integrations added to it have enhanced its capabilities to empower remote and distributed teams to work in tandem.

Feature analysis

  • Shared spaces: A shared workspace is where everyone can convene for virtual meets, follow-ups and watercooler conversations.
  • Approval acceleration: Wrike’s’s decision sciences enable remote project managers to review the project cycle against a contextual backdrop. This fast tracks approvals for collateral.
  • Request handling: The request handling feature allows you to collect questions and turn them into information that your teams can get started with.
  • Task collaboration: This feature lets you, group members, onto project tasks by competence and availability so that edits and comments are made in real-time

What we like about it

Despite needing to go through a few tutorials and demo to get a hang of Wrike, we all like the workspace feature that works similar to google doc collaborators. It is very easy to see all the comments and replies left on the schedule.

Product limitations

I didn’t’t really find the tool missing any critical feature. However, the email function is a bit slow. I have to agree with one Capterra reviewer’s’s feedback on the scheduling feature too which gets a little haphazard if you try to add more projects and interdependent subtasks to the primary task.

8. Sococo

Sococo Virtual Chatroom View

Sococo is an online workspace that was founded in 2007 to help distributed teams be remote on the go. As a distributed team themselves, Sococo thrives on a culture of collaboration. Their clients are remote to some extent, such as JetBlue, Iguazu corporation and ICAgile.

Sococo’s Purpose

Sococo is the digital substitute for in-team interactions within a physical office.

How it helps remote teams

Sococo’s’s visual office map lets you locate remote team members online and see what they’re’re working on. You know when to check in with them. Even the productivity levels can be monitored without disrupting the flow of work.

Why does it merit being included here

Imagine being able to close the physical distance between yourself and a coworker you’re’re looking for! The Sococo map lets remote workers convene in virtual rooms, work side by side and recreate the vibes as if they were all in the same room back at the office!

Feature analysis

  • Floor plan: This feature is literally a virtual blueprint of the office with a satellite view of the workers as they move around the office digitally!
  • Teleconferencing: you can bridge the communication gap over timezones video or voice calls and share presentations on screen.

What we like about it

The satellite view, no doubt. When we got onto the tool, I felt like my coworkers and I were on a board game rather than a product platform. It is a fun and immersive experience with colour-coded dots indicating people who were joining or leaving!

Product limitations

The tool is primarily a meeting and conversational platform to keep workers connected with each other. Don’t expect more functionalities such as planners and time-tracking like the rest of the tools discussed in this post. Think of it more as a place to have your office drop-ins, group meetings and hallway conversations.

Takeaway

The one feature that all these remote project management tools have in common is collaborative task management. This feature helps work stay on track for completion. Remote teams no longer have to guesstimate what they and their coworkers are on.

Sampling all these tools through their free trials helped me pick out my favourites, which are Trello, Clubhouse and Sococo. I liked Trello for its simplicity in arranging workflows onto the boards. The prospect of adding tasks onto a Kanban board was daunting to me. However, the boards were very user friendly and easy to get onto. I lean more towards office tools for remote work that are interactive, because it lets members come out of silos and stay in control of how often and with whom they converse with.

So tell me, which of these remote project management tools have you onboarded your virtual and distributed teams onto?



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