The Quest for Easy Project Management Apps

So there I was, half way through 2015 and thinking,”Dang, I need some better collaboration tools.” Does anyone remember Astrid? I loved Astrid because it did EVERYTHING. It even pestered me to get stuff done instead of slacking off. Hey! I said “slacking.” Sheesh, people.  But then Astrid imploded, and I went on a journey for project management tools.  They didn’t even have to be free, just easy to use.  My mantra these days.

I have tried OneNote, Evernote, Zoho, TeamBox (now Redbooth), SmartSheet, and a bunch of others, but I still just wasn’t impressed.  Stuff was either TOO simple, or TOO complicated.  Or it did one thing well but not another. Today, just for giggles, I signed up for LifeHacker. Why Not? And then I found this article.  Why Not? So, it turns out only 3 of the suggested tools were viable for me, personally (be my guest to try any of the ones I have mentioned…), and of those, two products really caught my attention: Trello and Azendoo.  Both of them have a solid free tier.

What I liked about Trello was the “Scrum board on crack” approach.  I mean, it isn’t Scrum, so let’s not kid ourselves.  But you create a board and slap a bunch stickies on there (attachments get preview icons) and then everyone dogpiles that board until all the crap is done.  That’s a pretty cool concept, so I signed up to try it out.

What I liked about Azendoo was the overview video.  I mean, it wasn’t the best video on earth, so let’s not kid ourselves.  But it showed, in about 5 minutes, how to deal with workspaces, subjects and tasks. Azendoo has a lot of features, so I signed up to try that out, also!

I am excited to try these products.  I just needed some stronger grouping functions, and I think Trello and/or Azendoo might doo the trick. Both products also have iPhone and Droid apps.  Azendoo also has a desktop app for Mac, Linux and Windows 8 – that’s interesting.  What’s more, if you decide to pay for the products, they are not that expensive…as of this writing between $5-10/mo.

Maybe I will follow up with some results… happy Project Managing!


Farewell Astrid…Hello TeamBox?

I just recently found out that Astrid has been acquired by Yahoo! and from what I can tell, it looks like it is going the route of Gizmo 5.  Remember Gizmo 5? Yeah, so anyway, maybe they will let Astrid coexist, but from what I can tell they already have a Get It Done application (supporting Get Things Done, which is so popular it is called GTD by smexy people in the know).

I looked into Get It Done, and well… Astrid was free, and this was $39/year, and I wasn’t hip on it.  So then I reviewed some other apps like Any.Do, Nozbe and ToodleDo.  There was also this interesting LifeHacker post which adds Wunderlist and a few others to the list.

I didn’t do any serious comparison – I just kinda poked around and compared stuff to Astrid, including the price points… I moved my search into “collaborative tools” and looked at Citrix Podio, MindManager, SmartSheet and ZoHo as well.  What I settled on, for now, is a product called TeamBox.  It seems to fill the Astrid niche, at least for my purposes and the free version supports up to 5 users, it integrates to Google Docs, DropBox and Box.  Give it a go:

Now, in honesty, does the TeamBox mobile app shake a stick at the fluidity of Astrid’s task management GUI?  Nope – not even a little bit – so if you find something close, be sure to leave a comment (people nag me because my comments are moderated, but just be patient…they will show up!)