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Choosing the Best Project Management Software for Small Teams

The Flow TeamLast Updated: June 2, 2020

Being a small team doesn’t diminish the drive for big results and, as such, we shouldn’t brush aside the need for strong tools to help get us there. When you’re looking for the best project management software for small teams, don’t immediately assume that you’re searching in a different pool than larger teams are. The best all-around option is both scalable and affordable to meet the needs of smaller teams too.

Let’s take a look at some of the other important features—like transparency, productivity, and integrations—that help define the ideal project management system. As you gauge your team’s particular needs, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate the software options out there.

Project Management Features for Small Teams

We can help you boil down some of the most powerful features of today’s best project management software:

Project Visibility

Transparency is often underrated, but there are clear benefits to keeping your team in the loop:

  • It keeps the larger vision in sight even when the end date for a project is far ahead. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is critical to a team’s success.
  • It inspires and motivates individuals to take important next steps—to not only fuel their own progress but also their team members’ success.

To bring visibility into a project, you need a centralized system where team members can collaborate and important resources are stored. Activity dashboards, task lists, and Kanban boards are all great options for tracking progress together, and calendar views keep project timelines top of mind so team members can stay focused on high-priority work.

Task Management

Flexible task management tools streamline day-to-day workflows. By displaying actionable steps with soft or hard deadlines attached, they give team members more agency over their schedules. Not only is this useful for increasing productivity, but it’s also an effective strategy for reducing stress.

But in order to really be helpful, the tool has to do more than just break up projects into smaller tasks. File-sharing capabilities and a comment function are added benefits so that all information about a task is stored in one central place. Having the option to subscribe to a team member’s tasks so you can stay in the loop with real-time updates can also be very useful. And having an easy way to manage recurring tasks saves your team time and headaches. 

App Integration

The best project management software for your small team is the one that can integrate with your favorite and most-used apps. If you use time-tracking tools like Harvest or use Slack to chat with your team, make sure these options are compatible with your project management platform. Additionally, it’s important that your tool connects easily with cloud-based storage tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box without having to navigate away from your centralized workspace. Flexibility is key. If you’ve found a tool that really works and your team loves, you shouldn’t have to drop it. Adopting new project management software is much smoother when your team members can continue using their favorite apps without any added stress.

Easy Learning Curve

Your project management software should be easy to learn and intuitive to use. This is a point we can’t stress enough. When a platform is overly complex or difficult to navigate, it ends up becoming more of a liability than an asset. If it takes hours of tutorials to get your team up to speed, discouragement will crush engagement. With project deadlines always on the horizon, a new system needs to be intuitive and easy to adopt even as teams continue with their existing workflows.

Scalable Pricing

Your team may be small now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t grow. This is where purchasing project management software for a flat rate could work against you. Businesses, teams, and projects naturally expand and contract. The pricing model of your software should reflect this reality. Scalable pricing gives you the flexibility to add and remove users as needed—all while staying within a manageable budget.

Evaluating the Best Project Management Software for Small Teams

Now that you’ve started to examine your team’s needs more closely, it’s time to get a good handle on the range of great platforms available. This list of project management software options breaks down their approach to visibility, task management, integrations, onboarding, and pricing.

Todoist
Todoist keeps simple projects organized and to-dos straightforward. Its functionality is limited, but its simplicity makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, for more complex projects with a lot of moving parts, this platform isn’t ideal.

Project Visibility: Minimal
Task Management: Limited
App Integration: Limited
Learning Curve: Easy
Pricing: Tiered based on number of projects and users
Trello
Trello is a lightweight tool that offers modest project management features. If your needs are minimal for a very small team, Trello won’t overwhelm you with features. On the other hand, if the platform ends up being too simplistic, you’ll need to add a lot of paid plugins to bring it up to your speed.

Project Visibility: Adequate
Task Management: Moderate
App Integration: Decent
Learning Curve: Easy
Pricing: Scalable
Wrike
Wrike is a feature-rich project management system aimed at improving efficiency and facilitating communication. It does a good job of both and has been heralded over the years. But public acclaim doesn’t always mirror how products actually serve teams. Since Wrike takes a long time to learn and offers few integrations, many users have abandoned it.

Project Visibility: Solid
Task Management: Strong
App Integration: Limited
Learning Curve: Steep
Pricing: Tiered based on features and number of users
Flow
Flow is an all-in-one project management software solution that prioritizes user experience alongside strategic functionality. The result is a visually appealing platform that is powerful and intuitive. Small teams love using it because it helps manage workflows without imposing a single work style.

Project Visibility: Comprehensive
Task Management: Powerful
App Integration: Extensive
Learning Curve: Easy
Pricing: Scalable

The right software can open up the doors for transparency, efficiency, connectivity, and scalability. But remember that productivity and performance are just pieces of the whole. You round out your team’s success by also cultivating collaboration, motivation, and passion. Keep in mind these more colorful elements as you search for the best small-team project management software to meet your team’s needs.

Your team will do their very best work not because they have to but because they want to. Flow isn’t just an all-in-one tool that helps small teams perform better; it’s a beautiful workspace your team will feel inspired to use. To explore how it can bring out the best in your team, try it free today!