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ProjectManager.com - Review 2020 - PCMag India


ProjectManager.com is an online project management app that gives you multiple options for how to manage tasks and projects. It includes classic, fully interactive Gantt chart views; kanban-style boards; task lists; and calendars. You get light budgeting tools, three role options for your team, and a wide range of app integrations, although that last one requires you to pay for the highest tiers of service. The first two tiers of service don’t give you enough to be really worth your time, in any case. We also like that ProjectManager.com is quick to set up and easy to learn.

In terms of who should use it, small businesses or very large ones, this app falls smack in the middle. Small businesses should stick to tools that cost a third of the price, and very large organizations will want something that’s better at resource management, can make automated adjustments, and so on. For those in between, ProjectManager.com is a fine choice.

How Much Does ProjectManager.com Cost?

ProjectManager.com offers four tiers of service: Personal, Team, Business, and Enterprise. You can get a free 30-day trial of any plan except Enterprise, although you must provide a credit card number when you sign up and then cancel the subscription before you get charged if you decide not to continue.

Personal plans cost $15 per person per month for a minimum of 5 people, which means the starting price is $75 per month. This tier of service includes tasks lists, calendars, Gantt charts, and kanban boards, plus standard support. You can’t integrate with other apps. You don’t get tools to manage teams or juggle multiple projects, however, although there’s no limit on the number of projects you can create or store. Considering how little you get for the price, we don’t recommend this tier of service.

The next tier is Team, which costs $20 per person per month, with a minimum of 10 people. With Team, you get everything in the Personal plan, plus features for managing a team: timesheets, skills, team grouping, and the ability to automatically adjust for holidays. You still don’t get tools for managing multiple projects or the ability to integrate with apps, however. Again, this tier is difficult to recommend. If the Personal and Team plans offered more, we would have rated ProjectManager.com at least half a star higher.

The Business plans cost $25 per person per month, with a minimum of 15 people, putting the starting price at $375 per month. You get everything in Teams, plus unlimited projects, unlimited storage, overview dashboards and roadmaps, advanced reports, workload management tools, the ability to create and manage project groups, real-time availability, timesheet approvals, expenses and budgeting tools, and the ability to integrate apps. You also get product training from the company when needed. Considering what’s included, this is the only tier of service from ProjectManger.com that we would recommend putting on your shortlist.

For Enterprise account pricing and details, you have to reach out to the company directly.

ProjectManager Gantt selection actions

How Do ProjectManager.com’s Prices Compare?

ProjectManager.com falls in the middle of the pricing pack, pricing-wise. Looking at prices isn’t always an apples-to-apples comparison with this type of software—for a few reasons. First, companies have drastically different pricing models. Some charge per person per month. Some have a flat monthly rate for a group of up to a certain number of people. Some have a flat monthly rate for unlimited users. Even when we calculate an average cost for an app, the cost for you and your team may vary.

Second, there are different grades of project management software. Those that are appropriate for small businesses cost less. Those that are built to handle hundreds of projects and thousands of team members with constantly shifting schedules cost more.

Looking at the extreme ends, we have apps that cost less than $10 per person per month (Zoho Projects, Teamwork, GanttPro, TeamGantt) and apps that cost more than $40 per person per month (LiquidPlanner, Mavenlink, Clarizen). There is a middle ground, which is where ProjectManager.com lies. Other products in this mid-range pricing tier are Smartsheet, EasyProjects, Celoxis, and Microsoft Project.

Tools on the high end of the price scale usually can handle hundreds of projects and thousands of team members. They can often automatically adjust schedules when a deadline slips or a team member is unexpectedly unavailable for work. These high-end platforms sometimes include budgeting tools, too. The apps on the low end usually don’t have those features, but they might still be just fine for small businesses. For all the apps in the middle, you really have to look closely to see just how many features they offer and whether they are the right ones your team needs.

For example, ProjectManager.com does give admins and managers some tools for resource management. They can view a list of all team members and see how many tasks are assigned to each one, as well as who will be unavailable in the coming days. They can then search for available members based on team affiliation (engineers, designers, etc.) and assign them tasks that need to be covered. Something missing, however, is the automatic redistribution of deadlines when changes occur. If you add a holiday that will apply to the whole organization after you’ve already created projects, then none of the project dates will change. Your organization may not have originally planned a holiday for Election Day, for example, but perhaps in light of COVID it became a day off for everyone. Or you might have to give everyone a day off in light of rolling blackouts, internet outages due to storms, or other unexpected situations. In those types of cases, ProjectManager.com doesn’t offer you the option to automatically shift all deadlines forward by one day. You’d have to do it manually.

ProjectManager choose which columns to display

Getting Started With ProjectManager.com

When you first create a ProjectManager.com account, the app walks you through a few setup screens. You choose a background image for your account. You opt to start with either a project template or a blank slate. The options for the templates are IT Project Plan, Construction Schedule, Agile Sprint Planner, Product Launch, and Marketing Campaign.

Once you land inside the account, you see a few pop-ups with information to guide you through the app. Whenever you need help, you can click on a question mark icon at the top right to access a Knowledge Base (text), view video tutorials, or request a free training session. You make the request by filling out an online form or calling the listed phone number.

ProjectManager.com does list an email address for support questions. In our testing, it took six days and one follow-up email to hear back after we sent a message with general questions. The reply included answers to only two out of five of our questions.

Interface

ProjectManager.com’s interface is organized similarly to other apps in this category. Across the top of the interface is a list of tabs so that you can navigate to different sections of the app: My Work, Projects, Team, Time, and Overview. 

Depending which page you’re on, you may see a secondary list of tabs. For example, under Projects you can jump to Gantt, List, Board, Dashboard, Calendar, and Files. The Overview page has tabs for Projects, Dashboard, Reports, Workload, and Roadmap. It’s all quite easy to navigate.

Generally speaking, the site is intuitive to use. When you think you can click on something to edit it, you usually can. Filtering and sorting are simple, too. It’s easy to take for granted the ease of use of the user experience; it’s only ever noticeable when it’s less than perfect. That was our experience recently with ProofHub. ProofHub is a very good project management app that’s especially adept at helping teams collaborate on visual assets, but it takes more clicking than you’d expect just to navigate the site and make simple edits. We appreciate that ProjectManager.com is a little smoother in that regard.

Many team members will spend a good deal of time on the Projects page. Here, you see at left a list of the projects that you’ve created or that you are assigned to work on. Any projects that you mark as favorites stick to the top of the list and get a star next to them for easy access.

Another view that comes in handy more for managers is Dashboard. You get a dashboard for each project as well as an organization-wide dashboard where you can see all projects, or only projects that are in progress, or however you want to filter the view. The dashboard uses graphics to give you a high-level view of the status of your projects.

ProjectManager dashboard

What Does ProjectManager.com Offer?

ProjectManager.com has a good range of ways you can view your projects and interact with them. There’s a Gantt chart view, which is interactive. You can group tasks together (as if a set of tasks were one phase of the project) and color-code those groups. The Gantt view has a good set of filters for seeing only what you need to see on screen.

A list view may be better for writing down and managing tasks in projects that aren’t too complicated. It might also be useful when you need to jot down your tasks without thinking about all their details.

Speaking of task details, you can add quite a bit in ProjectManager.com, a whole panel full in fact. These include planned and actual start and end date, baseline start and finish dates, percent completion, priority rating, time estimate for completing the task, assignees, dependencies, and more. You can assign a task to more than one person and even indicate how many hours each person should spend on it. You can’t assign them percentages, however. 

While you can type in these details for each task, you can also enter and edit some of them interactively by adjusting the spanner bars in the Gantt chart. The Gantt chart also shows percent completion of each task, another element you can edit by dragging the task completion bar.

ProjectManger.com has a Board view, too. It’s useful for projects that are better visualized on a kanban board. The included templates are very rudimentary, but you can customize your board by changing the name of the columns and adding more once you have it on the page.

There are some included features for managing budgets related to projects, but they are not so thorough as to include expenses beyond hours worked. You can create a budget for your project, although it’s only as simple as entering a single figure into a text field. You can’t break it down by team or any other factor. Every team member on the project can have an hourly wage associated with them, or you can have a default hourly wage set for all the members of a project. ProjectManager.com tracks the logged time each person puts into the project and tallies it up in Dashboard. Time worked is always entered manually, as there are no included time-tracking widgets. You can integrate with Toggl Track or TimeDoctor if you want an app for tracking time on task. Very few project management apps have a timer widget natively built in, although Celoxis does.

ProjectManager Gantt task info

Members and Roles

Adding people to your ProjectManager.com account is fairly straightforward. You type in their names and email addresses and send an invitation. 

For every person you invite, you must choose a role: admin, manager, or member. You also add them to the appropriate projects, assign them to a team (you create the teams), and if relevant enter an hourly salary for their time worked.

You can create a link to share your project, but when you send it, the recipient needs a ProjectManager.com account to see it. There’s no way to generate a view-only link.

There is an option to create a custom role, but it isn’t included with ProjectManager.com off the shelf. To find it, an admin user must click on their profile picture and select Security, then look for the option called Custom Role, at which point a prompt appears to Contact Sales. It’s a little frustrating because several other project management apps let you easily create ways for guests or clients to have a limited view of the progress of their projects. LiquidPlanner, Easy Projects, and TeamGantt all offer some kind of guest role. Basecamp does, too, although it’s not a traditional project management app.

ProjectManager tasks with file attachements

Connecting With Other Apps

ProjectManager.com supports a healthy number of integrations with other apps. Bear in mind that only Business and Enterprise accounts are eligible to use them. That’s partly why we don’t think the lower tiers of service are of much value.

You can connect to Microsoft Office data and apps, including Microsoft Project, Excel, Exchange, and Microsoft Office apps, such as OneDrive and Outlook for its calendar and email. Google office apps are similarly supported.

You can also connect to Salesforce for managing sales opportunities and customer contact. It supports QuickBooks and Xero for accounting. You can connect to Dropbox to retrieve files and share them to ProjectManager.com easily. It also works with JIRA, Zendesk, Slack, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Evernote, and other apps.

A Good Mid-Level Project Management App

When considering ProjectManager.com, we would encourage prospective users to eschew the two lowest tiers of service, as they really don’t have much to offer, especially for the price. If the Business or Enterprise account sounds right for you, we think you’ll appreciate the ease of use you get with the app. Team members should have no problem getting logged in and figuring out how to use it. We are slightly concerned that the support team took so long to return an email and didn’t answer all our questions when they did. We also see room for improvement in offering guest access to partners and clients. The rudimentary budgeting tools may come in handy for some, and the app integration options are plentiful.

If your needs are more modest, look at Zoho Projects and Teamwork instead—our top picks for small business project management. And if ProjectManager.com sounds like it comes up short, then try LiquidPlanner instead, our Editors’ Choice winner for project management at larger businesses.

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