Digital Marketing Tools pt. 2: Project Management Tools


System Success: Project Management Tool Review

A smart guy once said, “we need a system for this!” If you are familiar with our team at 21 Handshake, you might know immediately who that smart guy is (hint: it is our agency owner). And while we do like to joke about how often this word “system” is tossed around in our office, there is a ring of truth to it. A system allows your team to work more efficiently and effectively. With a system, projects don’t get delayed because someone forgot to do it…or it fell ‘through the cracks’ when something else became a higher priority.

How do you manage a ‘system’ though?

All you who dislike organization just shivered. And that is okay, because I am sure there is someone else on your team who thrives on organization and will love inputting a management tool company wide. That employee is Type A personality to a tee and loves planning, lists, orders and forms (any clues to who I am talking about at 21 Handshake?).

Do you need to recreate the wheel to stay organized? No, you don’t. There are so many helpful project management tools out there that can help your team plan, stay organized and get things done in both a timely and efficient manner.

At 21 Handshake, we have tested many of these tools. That is why for part 2 of our Digital Marketing Tools review, we are sharing a review on each platform we tried on the path to finding one that works best for our team. Check out this list to save you time and determine what is the best fit for your organization.

Teamwork Projects Management – 21 Handshake Used and Approved

This platform is exactly what you would think when you hear the word teamwork! It allows teams to input, collaborate, assign due dates and more based on project lists/categories. Users can also quickly create a message/feedback right in the project tab, so all notes are kept in one place. The only downfalls I experienced using this platform was that the dashboard can be a bit ‘busy’ and distracting as well as the Gantt chart feature is not really intuitive and a bit harder to use for quick project overviews at a glance. 

Asana – 21 Handshake Used and Approved

Asana while free still has many management options which is great for those still deciding if their business needs to adopt a project management platform. Create project lists, tasks, assign team members due dates and collaborate within the project. Uploading documents directly within the task list or comments keeps things from getting lost in emails. Overall this platform allows users to gain an overall feeling for a project from creation to completion. 

Redbooth – 21 Handshake Used Briefly but Did Not Adopt

This review will be short and sweet as we briefly used Redbooth. While it did have some great features that other platforms do not offer (a visual project timeline) the interface and layout were a bit confusing which slowed adoption on our team.

Mavenlink – 21 Handshake Used Briefly but Did Not Adopt

Another tool that was only briefly used due to it having too many bells and whistles for
what was required at the time. The user interface was a bit complicated in our opinion.
We recommend reading other reviews, such as on G2 Crowd where teams fully adopted the platform and can give a better scope of the tool.

Smartsheet – 21 Handshake Trialed

The best way to describe Smartsheet is Google Sheets on steroids. If your team loves spreadsheets, this tool is for you! Easily assign projects, mark projects as complete and more within the platform. Our main dislike was when you inputted Google sheets it would only important one tab at a time. I also did not feel it was the best execution of project management.

Basecamp– 21 Handshake Team Member Used and Approved

Our Social Media Coordinator, Ashley Mamula has used Basecamp in her two years working on a student-run public relations firm. The following is her review of the platform: “Basecamp is great platform to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page at all times. It is essentially a cascading to-do list in which you can assign a task to someone, assign a due date, upload files and communicate all on one task thread. The project based files make the platform feel organized and minimal. My favorite feature is the to-do reminders. If you have due dates coming up, basecamp emails you to remind you the day prior to check-in, or upload a finished product. I would reccomend this easy to use platform to anyone looking to utilize a new project organization system!”

General Management Tool Insights

With any project management platform two things are important:

  1. Team commitment to adoption. If no one commits to learning the new platform, it will become just another ‘thing’ you are paying for but not using.
  2. Training your team so everyone is using the platform the same way. Start with a standard way to use so no team member gets lost in subtasks or project input.  

We would love to hear what tools your team uses and why! Shake hands with us on any of our social platforms and let us know.

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