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How to choose the right computer equipment for your business to increase your productivity and efficiency without it costing the earth.

Business software helps you complete a range of tasks. Choose the right software, provide support and train your staff with our introduction.

It is highly likely that you depend on the internet for some aspects of your business. Find out how you can use the internet more effectively.

Good communication with customers, partners and suppliers is vital for business success. This summary explores business communication methods.

How would you cope if your IT system failed or was breached? We cover the main IT security issues and how to protect against them.

Good IT management can help you choose, use and implement IT. Our overview helps you manage IT in a way that maximises the return on your investment.

IT support is vital if you rely on your IT system. But how can you set up an effective safety net in case things go wrong? We explore the options.

Getting the right IT is just the first step. Appropriate training, policies and working practices can help you maximise return on your IT investment.

The best project management software in the UK

Project management software can help your small business improve planning, collaboration and delivery of results. Entry-level (or even free software) can help with team and task management, while more sophisticated packages can help you cost projects, manage resources, report progress and more

Here’s our quick guide to what to look for in project management software, and our review of the UK’s most popular project management packages to help you choose the right tools for your business.

What is project management software?

Project management software helps you plan and control a project, for example:

  • Identifying what tasks are involved
  • scheduling the people and other resources needed
  • managing timetables and budgets
  • tracking and reporting progress

The kind of project management software your business needs depends on how large and complex your projects are. A sole trader, for example, might need little more than a to-do list to keep track of the jobs that need to be tackled. Larger businesses, with long-term projects involving many people, will want much more advanced options.

So before looking for project management software, it's worth thinking about what sort of projects you take on and what would enable you to manage projects more effectively. You should also think about your existing IT systems and tools, and how project management will fit with these.

For example, key parts of project management can include controlling project documentation, and improving communication and collaboration between project team members. Do you want an integrated package that includes these, or will you want the software to link in with your existing systems?

Project management software can have a fairly steep learning curve, particularly if you choose one of the more sophisticated packages aimed at larger businesses. Most small businesses should be able to find a low-cost package that hits the right balance between features and ease of use.

Find out more about:

Microsoft Project

Integration with the Microsoft 365 family of software and powerful features make this a market leader – but it’s not an easy option for smaller businesses.

Key benefits:

  • easy integration with Microsoft Teams for collaboration and Microsoft 365, OneDrive and SharePoint software
  • lower-cost, entry level package will be enough for many smaller businesses

Disadvantages:

  • need to invest in training to get started and make the most of the software
  • difficult to integrate with non-Microsoft tools
  • no free option and not as competitively priced as most competitors

Pricing:

  • £7.50 - £41.50 (plus VAT) per user per month

Find out more about Microsoft Project.

Trello

Intuitive design makes this one of the most popular task management tools – but it lacks the full project management capabilities of more powerful competitors.

Key benefits:

  • easy to use tool for organising tasks within a team
  • free starter plan could be enough for small businesses with simple requirements

Disadvantages:

  • lacks full project management functionality such as costing, resource management and advanced reporting
  • paid plan allowing added integrations / ‘Power-ups’ needed to deliver more powerful collaboration functionality

Pricing:

  • free starter package with limited functionality
  • $10 - $17.50 per user per month

Visit the Trello website.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet will appeal to spreadsheet enthusiasts, while it also offers powerful features at a competitive price.

Key benefits:

  • ability to go beyond project management to creating a platform for running your business
  • wide range of customised templates for different activities and industries
  • powerful automation tools

Disadvantages:

  • over-powered for many smaller businesses
  • may need to invest in training to make the most of sophisticated functionality

Pricing:

  • £11 - £19 per user per month

Find out more about Smartsheet project management tools for small to medium businesses.

Airtable

Another spreadsheet-related tool, Airtable could be a simpler alternative to Smartsheet for smaller businesses.

Key benefits:

  • quick start with relatively easy learning curve
  • strong for collaboration, particularly marketing projects
  • bold visual design and useful visualisation tools to help track progress

Disadvantages:

  • lacks full project management planning and reporting functionality

Pricing:

  • free package offering reasonable core functionality
  • $12 - $24 per user per month, discount for annual subscription

Learn more about Airtable workspaces and apps.

Asana

A flexible work management tool, the free version could be worth trying out if you don’t need fully-featured project management capabilities.

Key benefits:

  • solid collaboration tool and task management, ideal for remote teams
  • free plan can be a good entry-level route into this kind of software

Disadvantages:

  • lacks full project management functionality
  • paid plans a little more expensive than some other tools

Pricing:

  • free plan limited to 15 users and core functionality
  • £11.59 - £25.69 per user per month, discount for annual subscription

Find out more about how Asana helps you manage your team’s work, projects and tasks online.

Wrike

A powerful alternative to Microsoft Project, Wrike is most appealing for larger businesses.

Key benefits:

  • free version offers extensive task management functionality
  • paid plans include powerful task request and resource management features

Disadvantages:

  • powerful features and customisability make this a little complex for many smaller businesses
  • most integrations with other apps are a premium add-on

Pricing:

  • free version offers effective task management
  • $9.80 - $24.80 per user per month for project management

Read more about versatile and robust project management software from Wrike.

Celoxis

An all-in-one package offering strong resource management and reporting - ideal for mid-sized and larger companies.

Key benefits:

  • great for managing multiple projects with good range of reporting tools
  • project accounting features give clear visibility on costs

Disadvantages:

  • no free plan
  • limited file storage included (extra cost for additional storage)

Pricing:

  • $22.50 per user per month, minimum 5 users
  • $10 per $10GB additional storage over included 2GB/user

Find out more about project management software by Celoxis.

monday.com

Pricing and features hit the sweet spot for smaller teams, but larger businesses with more complex project management requirements may want to look elsewhere.

Key benefits:

  • full team management platform
  • quick start with easy set-up, ready-made template library and good range of integrations available
  • lower cost than more fully-featured competitors

Disadvantages:

  • lacks more powerful project management capabilities
  • lower-priced ‘Pro’ package excludes timeline feature

Pricing:

  • Free for individual or two-person team
  • £7-£14 per user per month (minimum three users)

Read about how monday.com can help you manage your team and projects.

MeisterTask

Visually appealing and easy to use, adding the optional MindMeister makes this a strong choice for creative teams.

Key benefits:

  • clear focus on core functionality makes this one of the easier packages to get started with
  • integrations offer the flexibility to build on additional tools if you need them
  • optional MindMeister tool for brainstorming ideas

Disadvantages:

  • visual design may not appeal to everyone
  • pricing is a little aggressive given the lack of full project management functionality

Pricing:

  • Free basic package for managing up to three projects
  • £8.25-£20.75 per user per month
  • £0-£12.49 for MindMeister, discounted pricing for MeisterTask/MindMeister bundle

Find out more about MeisterTask task management for teams.

It’s worth checking up-to-date information on pricing and features for individual project management software packages before making your choice. Ease of use and visual appeal are key features to get employees using the software, so it’s worth taking advantage of free trials to get a hands-on feel.

The pricing details in this guide do not include VAT, any introductory discounts or free trials, or the more expensive ‘enterprise’ plans for large businesses.

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