How to Choose a Planning tool

Project management and collaborative work play a major role in business nowadays, and a wide variety of planning tools are available on the market. These software tools are designed to enhance businesses’ or individuals’ performance. You can choose either free or paid planning tools, depending on what you want to use them for.

Usually a free planning tool, or the “freemium” version, offers basic, general features, while you get way more features when you pay for the software.

The following basic features are the most common to free planning software.

1. Planning and scheduling

For managers, it is important to centralize everyone’s duties and responsibilities so they are clearly assigned and displayed in the same document. This helps to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings among staff concerning their tasks and roles. Within a planning tool, you should also be able to prioritize your activities. Every planning tool comes with a function of time slot scheduling, which is useful so you can be prepared when an emergency occurs. It outlines all the upcoming and assigned activities. These tools allow you to specify the priority level of each task, and add a reminder so you will get an automatic email alert at the deadline of each action.

2. Collaboration

Teamwork has to be transparent. Every project member should be able to access each other’s work whenever they want, in order to help or complement an incomplete task. Communication is therefore essential. This is why project management software usually includes features for file uploading, a shared calendar, and comments. Every team member is free to upload all the data or documents they want.

To encourage team communication, some collaboration tools include a messenger feature, which allows team members to communicate instantly. This feature adds a strong team dynamic and facilitates the exchange of information and ideas.

3. Centralization

Free planning? This rhymes with saving time! We all know that organizing tables, inserting columns, or other spreadsheet actions might not be the most enjoyable tasks, especially when you have a lot of content to add. But it is a must and what better solution than a free planning tool to address all these difficulties? Manage your team’s list of assigned tasks collaboratively while facilitating progress and monitoring your projects. Find all your documents in one and same place. You will have quick access to all the shared data.

4. Reporting and customization

The best free planning tools come with a reporting option. This means you will be able to export your plan as a form, to get a quick overview of what is going on. You can insert a graph or chart on the form to illustrate all the data included in your plan.

As you can see, it is important to find a project management tool that includes all the features that matter most to you. The free tools are great for basic use cases, but if you want to do more, you will have to get a premium software or pay to get more features.

On the same topic, discover how to make a plan.

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