11 free collaboration tools and project management applications 2016
Get the most out of your team and your budget by taking advantage of these free collaboration and project management tools.
Rich Hein and Christina Mercer
Collaboration is one of the keys to success whether you're a small, medium or large organisation and it's easy to see how important the right collaboration tools are to keeping your teams connected and moving in the same direction. The collaboration tools listed here will help you do just that, whether you're in the home office or a Starbucks in Paris.
We've listed 11 top free collaboration tools and project management application you should try this year.
Freedcamp is often used for scaling up a business. It offers countless (and free) features from 200MB of storage, fully synced calendar and task lists to multiple paid-for add-ons making more features available as you go.
Trellois a free project management tool with a simple and intuitive interface. It uses a model known as Kanban, made famous by Toyota in the '80s. Projects are represented and organised using what the company refers to as boards or cards that contain task/to-do lists that users share in real-time.
Cards can represent an ongoing technical issue, project specs, people, architecture or anything else you can think of. Organise them any way you like and keep track of progress using its progress meter.
Harvest is a free project management and task tracker that offers time tracking, invoicing and report creating capabilities. It has a free service for small businesses that have around four clients/two projects a month.
Harvest is available for web, mobile and there is a plugin for Twitter and Gmail.
Asana, created by Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook, and former Facebook tech lead Justin Rosenstein, is a project management and workflow management tool that lets users customise their interface to whatever configuration makes them most productive. It works on most platforms, offering the flexibility to assign tasks and to-dos, set milestones and deadlines and keep track of it all on work on tablets, smartphones or desktops.
One caveat: Asana doesn't offer an internal chat, a feature found on many of the products on this list.
This free task management tool is completely free for an unlimited amount of users with the option to unlock extra features by upgrading to enterprise level. Producteev offers real-time updates, push notifications, assign, mention and add followers to tasks, tasks and reminders and project tracking.
Everyone knows Google Apps, but many of us are using them in a one-off fashion. However, used as a suite, Google provides Gmail, Hangouts, Calendars, Docs, Sheets, Slides and more many of the features project management and collaboration software offer. Like some other apps it requires a connection to the internet, but it's accessible on most devices.
Users can work on the same document at the same time and see changes in real-time. They can also create hangouts for group chats or video conferencing.
Redmine offers a highly customisable project management platform that can support numerous projects at one time. Some key features include feeds and notification system, issue tracking, time tracking and forums to discuss projects.
In 2012Microsoft bought Yammer, an enterprise social network, for £752 million to bolster its social networking shortcomings. Yammer is a great tool for communication and collaboration among employees and offers many features for free. Its ease of use is often compared to Facebook, making it a great way to enter the collaboration software arena.
Users can create a personal profile page, create and join groups, share and like comments, upload images, and attach files. However, its strongest attribute is communication - there isn't much there in the way of project management.
If you need a place for all your employees to meet, chat and collaborate, but you don't need much else, considerHipChat. This multi-platform communications tool allows you to create virtual rooms for your teams to meet and communicate as well as share files and photos. Members can quickly create one-on-one chat rooms on-the-fly, organise virtual meetings and catch up on a project's history.
You can also set up for push notifications ensuring that everyone stays well-informed.
If project management is your thing,GanttProjectmight be for you. This free open source project management and scheduling app was first created in 2003 and has gone through many release cycles. It allows users to create and organise tasks and milestones. It can also create Gantt and PERT charts as well as reports in HTML or PDF formats.
On the downside, it doesn't offer any of the social features that others on the list do. But if your business doesn't need those features, this free app may be appealing.