So I’ve been using project management software for the past few years. When I started programming I quickly began to realize that it became difficult to keep track of my ideas and remembering the bugs in my app. I began noticing on social media that other professionals were using some sort of project management software and that’s where my quest began.
I was new to programming so I was looking for tools on a budget. I was hoping to get something free or reasonably priced. I’ve gone through many pieces of software, many of them bringing something different to the table. Since then, my productivity has increased immensely. I have a sub-par memory so making the effort to organize and document my thoughts pays off in the long run. I can also go back and reference things should I need to.
Things that are important to me are: Integration with 3rd party apps, Graphical User Interface (user experience), ways to create and view tasks, how to edit and update those tasks, notifications, built in features and the mobile app.
I’m not going to discuss every detail, rather I’m going to quickly go over what I like/dislike about them, but I encourage you to try them for yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments. All but one do well with most of what I want, but only one of them does it all really well.
So I’ll start with the one I dislike the most from this list (which also seems to be the most popular), which is Trello. Trello was recently aquired by Atlassian who built Jira, which is one of the most popular (but paid) issue tracking software. Trello uses a Kanban board and has a commenting (on the card) system. The application is rock solid but the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the worst of the group. That might seem trivial and is certainly subjective, but it makes the cards difficult to distinguish when you have a large amount of them. I feel like things get cluttered easily.
Asana is my 4th pick. It’s famous for its commenting system. Their intention is to get rid of emails (which I love, and it does well). It’s free and there are a great deal of zaps and integrations that you can include to enhance the software. It also performs well, but much like Trello, when you have a large list it becomes difficult to distinguish the difference between each task. Asana now has a Kanban option available, but again it feels incomplete.
MesisterTask is basically Trello but with a better GUI. I used MeisterTask for about a year until I required more from my project management software. MT is a superb basic customizable Kanban software. It also works with it’s mind mapping software MindMeister. Together they allow you to organize your thoughts and accomplish your tasks with customization and style. It’s mobile app is also excellent.
FreedCamp tries to be the affordable version of Basecamp. Freedcamp’s free version gives you almost everything except for calendar syncing. It’s description area has a great WYSIWYG editor to provide detailed descriptions for notes. It allows you to switch between a list and Kanban Board. Albeit the Kanban board only allows you to have three columns: Open, In Process, and Complete. To me, this is not fully Kanban. But if that’s all you need, FreedCamp is a great choice. It also has a dashboard to view your daily tasks and it’s GUI is fantastic. I also enjoyed using it’s mobile app.
Clickup is my winner, and the current piece of software I use for projects. Clickup is perhaps the newest of the group, but that seems to mean very little as the developers have done a phenomenal job in releasing new features and updates. The team also has a voting app on their site so that users can request and vote on potential features, and it shows you what they plan on building, what they are building, and what has been done. And they seem to develop these features at an impeccable rate. Clickup has the option to view tasks as a list (clickup to get the task to the top), or you can view them in a customized Kanban layout, a calendar view, commenting and tagging system, great mobile app, it’s free, they have a $5 pro plan, their description area has syntax highlighting for code snippets, and much, much more. Clickup seems to release new features every two weeks or so. If it were a public company, I would invest in Clickup. Meaning I think this app is going to be an amazing (affordable) tool for developers now and in the future.
Note: None of these apps are paying me to write this, I just wanted to share my thoughts.