Web developers are often guilty of devoting too much time to their core work, at the expense of effective project management and admin. It is all very well building an amazing website, but if it is not delivered on schedule and within budget, you are going to end up losing money and repeat business. Project management apps are key to streamlining your operations and improving productivity.
The invaluable apps explored below detail below are all of great use to web developers specifically, although many were not designed with web developers in mind. Some are ideal for freelancers who tend to work alone, others are great for those who work in small groups, and others still are suitable for bigger web development companies with a large, decentralized, often project-specific workforce.
Keeping close tabs on your projects can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially if you are working on several simultaneously. These 16 apps will save you hassle, heartache and numerous wasted hours by performing a range of useful functions, from planning to document sharing, time and expense tracking, communication and reporting.
Assembla offers the whole package: repositories, ticketing, collaboration and management tools. Assembla’s repositories, stored in Amazon EBS, keep your code safe, while allowing specified users to view and edit it in a secure fashion. Tickets, which can be posted and assigned to team members within seconds, help users accomplish tasks more quickly and efficiently.
Using Podio for online project management, everyone involved is always on the same page. Keep team and project discussions in one centralized place where all relevant files and information is created and securely stored. Use the unique Podio App Builder to fully customize your project management apps to fit your work flows – no technical skills needed! Get out of your inbox. Work the way you want with Podio as your web-based project management software.
With Podio managing projects is easy and intuitive. Simply set up your project alone or together in your team within minutes. Stay on top of deliverables and deadlines with the built-in task manager, and use Podio reporting and the intelligent calendar to easily keep track of milestones, meetings, budgets and work progress.
@task is web-based project management software that helps companies get work done. You’ ll love how easy it is to get more from your teams and bring your projects in on time and on budget. Use @task to plan your project life cycle and provide your teams with the project management tools they need to succeed.
5pm is a project management tool suitable for any web developer, regardless of team size. This web app consists of two instantly understandable panels. The panel on the left lists your projects. Once you’ve selected a project, any files, discussions or other activity related to this project is displayed in the right panel. It couldn’t be easier.
5. Ta-da Lists
Ta-da Lists is perfect for those who write so many “to do” lists, stickies and notes that they can hardly keep track of them all. It’s far superior to an ordinary text editor that you may or may not keep open on your computer while working, as Ta-da List information is on the cloud and accessible from anywhere.
Basecamp is the world’s leading project collaboration tool, with thousands of very satisfied web developer customers. Write communal and personal “to do” lists, store and share files (up to 75GB) effectively between team members, write on your group’s message boards, add milestones to keep track of what’s due and who’s responsible, and track your own and others’ time.
Designed specifically for web developers, SpringLoops enables groups to code together and safely share code between each other. It ultimately saves time by eradicating repeated activities performed on a day-to-day basis. It even backs up old versions of code, allowing users to quickly undo poor decisions.
Tenrox is perfect for web developers who not only have to manage their own work, but that of a small workforce, which might even spread around the world. Tenrox eliminates time wasted constantly constructing and circulating emails, letting a whole team view and edit all necessary documents. With Tenrox, you can keep track of time and expenses, perform cost and revenue accounting and track everyone’s progress.
Genius Project helps users manage every stage in the web development process, from project selection to execution. Group, compare and rank actual and potential projects, plan with interactive Gantt charts, maximise utilisation of human and other resources, track time and expenses, manage costs and budgets, generate invoices and much more.
Eclipse is a web application which deals with three key areas: portfolio management, project management and resource management. It lets you consolidate information from various projects in one accessible place, organise your schedule and prioritise every activity, track and report in a consistent manner and keep detailed tabs on all resources. Eclipse is simple to use and can be integrated with existing project management software.
workspace.com provides eight distinct applications, useful for all web developers, especially those who work as part of a team. These eight applications include “Requirements”, which ensures that you’re constantly working with the most recent version of a project; “Plans”, for planning schedules, budgets and resources; and “Tests”, which tracks and manages your testing process. The price you pay depends on which of the eight applications you require, as well as the size of your team.
Ever find yourself performing unnecessary tasks just to fill the time? Does each project end in a mad rush to get things finished? If the answer’s yes, then Klok is the app for you. It’s a simple work timer which lets you time manage each project in fine detail. Compare recent with past projects to make sure your efficiency is improving.
13. Less Time Spent
Another time tracker, Less Time Spent does exactly what its name suggests: it enables users to organise themselves more efficiently, saving hours and minutes which, after all, equate to potential dollars and cents! It tracks your operations in real time and supports Google ID login.
Nozbe is a great time and project management web app suitable for individuals and small teams. It lets users arrange their tasks into projects, focus on what needs to be done next, group tasks by context (home, office, phone etc) to maximise productivity, and collaborate with a team. What’s more, you can send notes to Nozbe from Twitter and Gmail, and manage Nozbe from your Mac dashboard.
15. Google Apps
With all the excellent project management apps currently available, it’s easy to forget that Google Apps offers a range of tools for web developers who want to move everything to the cloud. Google Groups and Google Sites can be used in conjunction to ease communication and encourage secure sharing of calendars, documents, videos and lots more. Admittedly, Google Apps is unlikely to be as suited to your needs as some of the other apps in this list, but it is highly accessible, well designed and completely free to use.
Redmine offers a host of really useful tools. At its simplest, it lets users manage a great number of projects simultaneously, defining personal roles and assigning tasks to specific team members. At its more complex and customisable, it lets users manage tasks as subprojects of main projects, automatically creating Gantt charts and calendars.
17. Central Desktop
Central Desktop offers users an online workspace where they can share files and documents, manage tasks and discuss projects in a group without the need for constant email writing and checking. It’s free to use in a limited capacity.