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The 3 Best Online Project Management Utilities

written by: CaryStuart • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 7/6/2011

Looking for a great project management online solution? We review three of the top contenders and see where they rank in terms of overall usefulness and capabilities.

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    Project Management Software Online Suites That Make the Grade

    If you have been considering using project management software online, there are a few things that should be addressed before jumping in. First and foremost, it is important to work with a software solution that is not only capable of meeting your project management needs but will also provide you with security and room to grow.

    The three best online project management tools stand out from the crowd by supplying project managers with everything they need to keep a team on-task and organized. While some are more suited to smaller companies, all provide a high level of overall usefulness and capabilities.

    Basecamp – This is easily the most well known project management software online. Created by the team at 37Signals, this suite integrates with several of the companies tools, including Campfire. This suite is best suited for small to mid sized companies and excels at providing means for team communication and scheduling. The strong points for this service include the ability to upload and share files (with the paid version only) as well as the ability to keep updated on project status through customized RSS feeds. The milestone utility is very useful and provides email updates when deadlines draw near.

    The weak points center around the writeboard utility and the fact that many of the functions are a bit simplistic at times. This can be a good thing for team members that are less technical, but may frustrate more advanced users.

    Central Desktop – Another strong contender in project management software online. Central Desktop came in a close second, only due to the fact that their collaboration tools are not quite as easy to use as Basecamp. Their strongest feature is the ability to create spreadsheets online, as well as their real time collaboration features.

    The main weak point for this service is a lack of user friendliness. Some team members may find the learning curve a bit steep and the UI is not as functional as it could be. This is still a good choice for many companies, but may not be suited for those that are less technical.

    24SevenOffice – This project management software online suite is geared more towards managing relations with customers and enterprise level planning. We picked this one simply due to the fact that it does have a great interface for keeping in touch with clients. This is a necessary component for any project management suite, especially when deadlines are drawing near.

    This suite scored very strongly when it came to promotion and marketing options, but it could stand some improvement in the overall presentation. Some areas of the application are needlessly complex, while others come up a bit lacking.

    Overall, these three could all considered the best online tool for project management since any of these products get the job done. iTeamwork was one that came close to being the best solution, but just failed to make the cut, mainly due to the fact that it has not been updated recently.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and the capabilities of the entire team to decide what's the best online tool for you and your team's project management needs.