Business and project management software platforms share a lot of features with their social media relatives: user profiles, messaging, relationships, apps, etc. The difference is that instead of using these features to stay in touch with friends, these programs use them to communicate and collaborate in the workplace.
Podio is one of the most well known examples of these online business tools. It’s an expansive piece of software which is almost infinitely customizable. While that makes it extremely flexible and powerful, it also means it takes a lot of set up, can be overwhelming to new users, and you might not be able to get the most out of it.
Luckily, Podio isn’t the only option when it comes to project management. Here are some of the best Podio alternatives, ranging from even more powerful tools, to systems that prioritize simplicity and ease of use. There’s at least one solution here for every situation.
Best Podio Alternatives For Project Management
For a simple solution, Basecamp is it. It’s well-known in the industry, but doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.
It’s easy to learn. You can quickly add projects, people and teams and start listing out tasks.
Cost: $99 per month for unlimited users.
Workzone has specific personalized to-do lists across multiple projects, custom intake forms to streamline project requests and high-level reporting for budget allocation, time estimates and project statuses. You can also get a quick, high-level view of where every project stands, and offer access to managers and C-suite execs who need to just check in.
You can also message colleagues and comment on projects right inside Workzone.
Cost: $24-44 per user/month
Instead of trying to create a social media-esque hub like Podio, Asana keeps the focus on project management, offering the basic features like tasks and subtasks, file sharing, and messaging, all packaged inside a very smooth design.
4. MS Project
Pricing: $7-$55 per user/month
Podio tries to do everything. LeanKit does one thing and does it well. It uses the Kanban Board system (similar to Trello) to give a visual presentation of all the tasks which make up a project, and allows you to drag and drop those tasks between various stages of completion. LeanKit calls these stages ‘lanes’ and allows you to easily modify them however you like to best represent your work processes.
One great feature LeanKit offers is the ability to make tasks on one board dependent to tasks on another, thus allowing you to split large projects over multiple boards or plan for people working across multiple projects.
Like Podio, Avaza’s goal is to give you everything under one roof. Unlike Podio, Avaza doesn’t require extensive set up to calibrate the system to your needs. Everything is already there, waiting to be used: file sharing, budgeting, billing, time tracking, analytics, the list goes on.
And when it comes to all inclusive project management systems, there aren’t many as intuitive and easy to use as Avaza. The interface is clean and uncluttered, with everything just where you’d expect to find it.
Wrike is one of the most popular project management solutions because of how easy it is to set up and begin using. It may not be as powerful as some of the software on this list but you can sign up for a free trial and be creating projects and assigning tasks in less than an hour. Wrike also has a great build in document editor which allows you to edit files and mark up images/PDFs without opening another program.
MOOVIA puts the focus on the people in your team rather than on the project itself. It doesn’t provide all of the higher end project management features, but it makes up for that by being a top notch communication system which creates an open, friendly working environment. If your team is split across several different locations, MOOVIA is a great option to keep them connected and on the same page.
Excel can only take you so far, but don’t worry you can still make it the rest of the way using spreadsheets, you just need to switch to Smartsheet. Smartsheet takes spreadsheets to the next level, allowing you to do almost anything with them, as long as you’re willing to put in the work to set it up. And that’s the downside, Smartsheet takes a lot of setting up. If you want something that works out of the box then this is not the solution for you.
5pm’s motto is ‘Get more done by 5pm.’ It’s strategy for achieving this is to make everything as simple as possible. They boast that everything is accessible ‘within a click or two’ and that it’s easy to get your whole team using it without any training.
This stripped back approach works well for small teams and people new to using project management software, but it doesn’t hold up for bigger organizations in need of more powerful systems.
The name says it all really, Liquid Planner is extremely fluid and adaptable. It molds to your projects like water in a glass. For instance if the deadline for one task changes, Liquid Planner will automatically update the deadlines of all its dependent tasks. You used to have to do that all manually, letting everyone in the team (and people outside of it!) know how they were effected by the change. Now you can just go with the flow.
iBE does its best to make sure your business never uses another tool again. It has modules for every aspect of your organization from project management to human resources to customer relationship management. While it may not be the best in any one field, none of iBE’s modules are substandard in any way, making it a great fit if you’re looking for an all inclusive platform for your company.
Insightly is primarily a CRM solution, but it also offers some slick project management tools that shouldn’t be overlooked. Insightly’s file sharing system is top notch, allowing you to assign files from Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and One Drive to specific projects, or even just upload the files to Insightly directly.
But my favorite feature Insightly offers is its automatically updating due dates which not only keep tasks inline with milestone dates but also keep due dates off of weekends, avoiding the confusion of Friday at close of work vs Monday morning.
Yes, I know Freshdesk isn’t really a project management solution. But it has one key feature that I think every project manager should take the time to check out. That feature is Freshdesk Arcade. This feature turns work into a game. For every task they complete, your team members score points which they use to compete for trophies and badges. If this doesn’t boost productivity and make the work environment more enjoyable I don’t know what will.
Scoro presents itself as more than simply a project management tool, it boasts ‘end-to-end work management’. Like Podio, Avaza, and Zenkit, Scoro attempts to offer everything under one roof so that you won’t have to use any other software, and does a pretty dang good job of it. Scoro also has a particularly useful mobile app, meaning even when you’re on the move there’s still only one program you need.
Redmine is an open source project management solution. It is completely free, endlessly customizable, and uses a wiki-based platform. Unfortunately, it also takes a large amount of set up and isn’t as clean and easy to use as most of the other (more expensive) options out there.
Not only does Replicon have the coolest name of any project management solution (seriously, it sounds like some sort of evil robot straight out of a sci-fi movie), it also automates a bunch of processes that are usually major time drains like project time costing, employee time tracking, resource scheduling and more.
Pricing: Starting at $60 per month for up to 5 users
Vorex is great for getting a bird’s eye view of all the different projects your organization is working on at any one time (and what you have coming up). It let’s you easily view who’s working on what, who needs more work, and where more staff are needed. It’s also a great tool for determining which types of projects are the most profitable for your company. There’s no point investing in sectors that provide sub-par return on investment.
Pricing: Available on request
19. Teamwork Projects
Working as part of a team can be difficult. That’s why group projects were everyone’s least favorite at college, and yet Teamwork manages to make project management feel easy. Being web based means you don’t need to download or install any software and the interface integrates seamlessly with all the apps you already use like Dropbox, Google Drive, Hubspot, and more.
My favorite thing about Planio is how it acts as an information hub. The process of completing a project always generates a huge amount of information, from briefs to emails to concepts to Powerpoint presentations. Planio puts all of that information in one place and makes it searchable, which is useful not only for managing your current project but also if you ever need to refer back to it for future work.
Some project management solutions that try to offer everything under one roof end up overwhelming users with more functions than they know what to do with. Zenkit’s slogan, “A project management tool that grows with you,” offers the perfect solution to this problem. Zenkit has features for project management, collaboration, CRM, human resources, and more, but if you don’t need them, they simply won’t be included in your version of the software. If they become necessary further down the line, it’s easy to add them in.
FunctionFox is a pretty straight forward project management solution but it caters specifically to creative companies. Oh and it’s timesheet feature even has a stopwatch timer, making it easy for your team members to record exactly how long they spend on any given task.
Want to use Gantt charts but not a trained project manager? Find most project management software too complicated and intimidating? Say hello to TeamGantt. With great UX and no set up required, this software makes Gantt charts easy for anyone to use. The flipside is that if you need more than Gantt charts, there’s probably a better solution out there for you.
If your company focuses on agile development, then VersionOne is worth looking into. It has a huge suite of integrations and scales well from tiny two person teams to huge enterprise organizations. I’m a big fan of all the different modes in which VersionOne allows you to view a project.
Pricing: Available on request
Choose Your Platform
So, which solution is best for you?
Does Podio live up to the hype, or is one of its competitors like Workzone a better fit for your organization?
Do you like the all inclusive approach, or do you prefer something more simple and easy to use? Let us know in the comments what features are most important for you and which of these platforms sound best for your situation.