Best collaboration and project management tools for small and medium teams.

There are many recommended project management tools out there. They tempt to be the best solutions for your team to work better, together. No matter if you type/code/click from home, office or a coffee shop with a good Wi-Fi and great coffee. They all sound great, but what about tools that actually WORK?

’m not talking about life hacking apps, I mean tools that keep your company functioning at the highest level. Ones that help navigate through challenges and make them transparent just to see what is done and what needs to be done next, in a daily basis.

The experience of our Software House has shown that we can live happily and survive with no more than 6 tools that fulfill our every need. As some of you might find it useful, let us present:

Short but enough:

List of the best tools for collaboration and project management that work for us.

1 - Slack - “Be less busy”

Stay synced with distributed teams, wherever you are.

Platform for team communication. A real-time chatting tool that organizes team conversations. Drop a message or file via an open channel (#general), dedicated channel (#project, #marketing, #random) or reach your pals directly via secure private room (#Johnny) or groups.

Slack claims to be “free to use for as long as you want”. Still, the free version offers some great features that fulfil needs of the small teams. Bullseye!

2 - Trello - “Organize anything”

Virtual Pinboard - paradise for order lovers.

Free web-based application that helps in project management. In the beginning there is only… board. Use it to organize your work just as you (probably) used to do it with sticky notes. Trello lets you create lists, add cards, drag, drop and arrange them in the way that suits you the best. Keep an eye on the big picture, at a glance.

EDIT: We have a new article about the Trello workflow on our blog. Working with an Agile software development team for the first time? Read more on how we use Trello for project management at Prograils, and how your product's development can benefit from it!

3 - Teamlens - “Organize chaos your team makes everyday. Smoothly”

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of data your team makes every day? Information overload sounds familiar?

That’s the best time for Teamlens - activity and time tracking collaboration tool.

It works simply - every day, each team member posts a status. Short info about his work progress and what he has been up to. Teamlens gathers this info and sums it up in daily email notifications. Teamlens brings transparency by showing what everyone did the previous day. And respects your time.

The big picture is finally clear.

Thanks to built in time-tracking and invoicing options, the app shows how much time one spent on each project. Plus, it solves problems with an hourly rate charging.

4 - Skype - "Free calls to friends and family"

Sometimes things need to be said loud and clear, the arguments crossfired immediately and decisions done as soon as possible. Or great new joke has a sense only verbalized. This is exactly the time when we use Skype.

Make a voice call or video chat via the Internet. Talk. Say it out loud and come to a conclusion as fast as you can. Additional function we often use is the screen sharing option - helpful for deeper analysis.

5 - Google Drive - Free cloud storage

Google Drive, cloud storage data, organizes our files - simple as that.

6 - Hackpad - Create and organize

Real-time brainstormer. Share a document with your team and work together, at the same time.

This tool helps us organize, write down, note, summarize, make a to-do lists, write letters, create documents, reports etc. One place, same time. Capture the big picture, see who wrote what and what changes were made in the text you’re preparing. Oh, your documents are close at hand everywhere as they loved living in the cloud.

How about your must-haves? What collaboration and project management tools help you in your everyday work? Feel free to share!

photo by: Todd Quackenbush

Check our latest product - it's based on our experience of managing over 50-people strong company. The tool we're missing as a small company and not an enterprise. is an employee and performance management software. It's an unique tool allowing everyone to be in the loop - by having up to date info about co-workers, time-off, benefits, assets, helping with one-on-ones, being a go-to place for company-wide announcements.

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