How To Choose The Right Project Management Tool

Imagine software that makes planning, executing, and monitoring projects within your business a walk in the park. It helps your whole team–whether it’s a team of one, +1, or 100–know who is doing what and when. That’s what project management tools are all about.

Even if your business only has one signature offer there are always many projects to keep track of, especially if you want to prepare your business for easy, sustainable growth and scaling:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Delivery
  • Customer Retention
  • Customer Service (and inside that: support, onboarding, offboarding)
  • Finances
  • Product/Service Development
  • Hiring and Human Resources

…and more! Each of these projects is equally important in moving your business forward. 

If you’re not yet using a project management tool to oversee all of these simultaneous projects, it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to keep everything moving in a straight line at the same time, never mind building momentum to grow and scale.

The benefits of using a project management tool in online business

I can wax nerdy about the benefits of using a project management tool for days. And, if you work with me as a client or a student inside Scale Society, I definitely will. Here are just a handful of reasons why all my clients and students who scale their businesses from 5 to 6 (even 7!) figures use the heck out of their project management tools.

Your project management tool creates a streamlined workflow.

Knowing which tasks come next help you feel in control, calm, and prepared. Who doesn’t like knowing what’s happening next?

Your project management tool provides peace of mind.

Fewer things slip through cracks because everything is written down, documented, and has another set of eyes on it. No more waking up at 3am because you remembered that one tiny thing you forgot to do when you scheduled your blog post two days ago.

Your project management tool documents a common language.

When everything is accessible from one hub, your entire team is speaking the same language in terms of dates, deliverables, processes, and metrics. This means increased accountability and fewer conflicts.

Your project management tool reduces clutter and keeps everyone current.

By sharing files and assets inside your project management tool, all team members can access the most current versions of assets at their convenience. Bonus: fewer emails to sift through!

Your project management tool grows your team smoothly.

Client and team member onboarding and offboarding is smooth because all the information they need is all in one place.

Your project management tool helps you stay on budget.

Knowing the timeline and deliverables of each task helps eliminate wasteful last-minute rush charges…or worse, redo charges because you missed a step somewhere along the way.

How to choose the best project management tool

Whether you’re working inside a client’s system or adding a client into your own, make sure your business is set up with its own project management tool.

When choosing a project management tool, the most important thing is to choose and build a system that works for YOU. The right project management tool will help you feel more focused and productive.

Project management tools come in many shapes and sizes, but they all do one thing: keep you and your clients organized! Most project management tools have at least these features in common:

  • Assign and track tasks. If your project management tool doesn’t have the ability to assign and track tasks across their life cycle, it’s probably not a project management tool.
  • Parent and child projects and tasks. Parent projects are bigger projects that smaller projects fall under. Child projects are smaller projects that fall under the parent project. Parent and child tasks work the same way. Your project management tool should be able to easily categorize project and task dependencies so everyone can see how each project flows.
  • Collaboration and communication. From chatting in individual tasks, to private messaging, to group messaging, to sharing documents, to tagging, your project management tool should have a few different ways for your team to collaborate.
  • Attachments and document sharing. To complete tasks and projects, you’ll likely need to be able to share and work together on materials and resources. Make sure your project management tool can share the types of files you’ll be working on in a way that works well for you.

Which project management tool should I use?

To be honest, it might still feel a little like herding cats when you’re learning how to use your project management tool. Stick with it and ask for support from your VA, team members, and your project management tool’s help desk while you’re learning. Your future self, team, and business will thank you for it!

Most project management tools offer free versions with either a limited number of projects or lite features, so don’t be afraid to try a few different ones.

Instead of giving you a great big list of project management tools here (which pretty much every blog on the web does), I’ll just tell you which one is my favourite: Teamwork Projects* (not to be confused with Microsoft Teams – yuck! ????????).

I love that Teamwork allows me to bring clients into my projects for smooth collaboration at no extra licensing costs. I can set permissions and visibility so that clients only see what they need to see.

Teamwork’s time tracking functionality is easy to use not only to track team members’ hours, but for auditing time spent across client-specific tasks and projects when you quote project pricing versus billing hourly.

Teamwork’s intuitive templates helped my team save time and improve processes while scaling our best practices and reducing manual admin.

I also love that Teamwork is constantly adding features and upgrading and optimizing their service. Their development team is very responsive to feature requests and they communicate new releases in a timely manner.

Try Teamwork Projects for free

Teamwork Projects offers an unlimited free trial for 2 projects so you can get familiar with all its fabulous features before you have to commit financially. Click here to try it out 

*That’s an affiliate link. If you ever upgrade, I may receive a small financial thank you for sending you their way.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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