It’s no secret that project managers are increasingly being hired as virtual or remote employees or even freelancers. There are benefits to both the employer and the employee for working remotely. Employers hiring freelance project managers don’t have to provide benefits, computers, or even office space for virtual project managers. And virtual project managers are allotted a certain amount of freedom and a relaxed work environment- think Starbucks or the couch in the living room.
So as you’re in the process of beginning your career as a virtual project manager, you may be able to work at home in your pajamas, but you are still required to successfully manage your projects. We’ve put together a list of tools that might make your life easier, and allow you to better virtually manage your projects and your business.
Top 5 Project Management Tools
While many other Project Management tools offer a complicated interface that requires some time to understand how they work and what they can do, TeamBox offers a different approach. TeamBox is an open source project management tools offering users a Twitter-style simple, yet highly effective interface that integrates with social media platforms. Users can create up to 3 projects for free and can devote less time to figuring out the software and more time to managing the project at hand.
If you’re looking for an alternative to SalesForce that offers a good interface and a really great mobile experience, check out Landslide CRM. Landslide offers the basics in CRM like sales forecasting and lead management, but also boosts some nice additional features like web conferencing (courtesy of GoToMeetings for a fee), email marketing. And when you tie in the Landslide activity management and task tracking so you can see what your team members are working on from no matter where you are.
Box is a great alternative to Google Docs. Box offers users a scalable cloud based platform to upload, share and save content with. Box allows users to easily share content with coworkers as well as clients, and allows others to share, edit, and comment on your documents. Box allows you to upload, download and edit content from anywhere- your mobile, your laptop or your desktop. Starting at $15 per user, per month, Box is well worth the investment for virtual workplaces managing large amounts of content and documents.
Basecamp is a popular project management tool, but when you’re working from a virtual office with a large group of employees who have different skill sets, it’s a must have. Basecamp allows users to create tasks, leave comments, upload documents, and brainstorm on individual or group writeboards. Basecamp also integrates seamlessly with the other 37Signals products like Highrise, Backpack and Campfire. Basecamp keeps things simple, but well organized and easy to manage.
Feng Office is another great open source, web based collaboration tool. Feng offers a combination of project management, CRM, and communication tracking for teams. Feng can be either entirely web based with Feng Sky or for larger businesses, can be installed directly onto a company’s servers for full control. Feng is easy on the eyes and simple to navigate, even for those without tech skills.
These are just a few of hundreds of great tools out there for virtual project managers. Are you a virtual project manager? What tools do you use to make your work more efficient? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear your suggestions!