Teamwork Review – Project Management Software
For the longest time, I managed projects for my jobs or freelance work with a combination of tools and Teamwork Project Management Software was not even on my radar. For the most part, the majority of project coordination was handled by email, text message/phone calls, and a mix of Google products for scheduling and file sharing. It wasn’t until recently that I found the need to find a more professional solution to handle project management as I was responsible for coordinating a website design with a 3rd party developer, myself and a client.
I have to admit, I can sometimes be stubborn when it comes to adopting new technologies and software, but when it comes to project management, I’ve been kicking myself for not using project management software like Teamwork in the past. In this Teamwork review, I’ll be diving into the pros and cons of Teamwork project management software, and hope to provide some insight to those who haven’t had a chance to work with it yet.
Teamwork Review – Overview
Teamwork Project Management comes to the table with a ton of team and project management tools to keep your projects organized, all within a reasonably easy to navigate user interface. Teamwork allows you to create projects assigned to a specific clients account, invite users to work on the project, delegate specific tasks to each user, upload files, send messages and nearly endless other actions. While there are definitely some down sides, they aren’t major enough to take away from the system overall (see the cons section below).
- Endless functional, helpful project management features
- Project specific file sharing and file management
- Project (not user) based pricing structure
- Awesome project collaboration and communication features
- Google Drive, Dropbox, Box.com integration (varies by package)
- Free plan available (see pricing section below)
- Timer (task timing) can be a bit tricky if you don’t pay attention
- Creating and managing tasks can be a bit tedious
- Project limits (depends on your pricing tier) are reached faster than you’d think
- Interface is functional, but nothing mind-blowing
Teamwork’s project management software has just about everything you’d likely expect in an online project management tool. But, for any teamwork review to be in-depth, we need to take a look at the major features a bit more closely.
When you first login to Teamwork, you’re presented with you dashboard, which provides a complete overview of your clients, the individual projects associated with them and a breakdown of the individual tasks and activities (such as comments & recent file uploads) associated with a particular active project. The from the main dashboard, you can open up these various tasks, reply to comments on a project, create a brand new project and of course, navigate the rest of the features in the interface.
The dashboard does a great job of presenting everything you need to know in front of you, although the sorting options are limited and require you to either visit the Everything or Projects tab to get a bit more in-depth with active projects, tasks and assignments. The options they do give you, however, are rather useful. Above you list of activity you’ll find highlight your Late Tasks, Today’s Tasks (items due to complete that day), Upcoming tasks and Late Milestones (we’ll discuss milestones in-depth later). By presenting these items up front, you get a good idea of what you’ve got to do that day, what you’re behind on and what to expect in the coming weeks, that is, if you’re using Teamwork to its potential. If you’re using Teamwork as an organization tool, rather than a true project management tool by assigning due dates for tasks and creating milestones for projects, than these features won’t be of much use to you.
Task management is relatively straight forward in Teamwork, you create a project, develop milestones to organize what needs to be done and when, and of course, create the tasks you need to actually get yourself to those milestones. As with any project management tool, when creating tasks you’ll get some more specific options like:
- Setting due dates, start dates and estimated completion dates
- Assign specific tasks to individual people (team members, clients, 3rd party devs, etc)
- Upload and attach files necessary to complete a specific task
- Team discussions/commenting on individual tasks (great for communicating details without leaving room for misunderstanding)
- Time logging: I leave this one bold for a reason, because it was the devil as far as I was concerned. It’s great for management and to estimate projects in the future, but actually remembering to start/stop the little bitty timer while working on a task (or switching from one task to another) was an absolute mess.
Project milestones in Teamwork were one of the features I happened to learn about late in the game, and kicked myself for not paying attention to them sooner. Rather than assigning dozens of due dates for a group of tasks and hoping everything is done, you can create milestones to make sure your projects stay on track.
These milestones work great for website design, as you can create individual milestones for things like site map/navigation development, content creation, PSD to HTML conversion, etc. Once you’ve created these milestones, you can organize them by due date, assign groups of task lists necessary to reach the milestone and finally, add the users responsible for making the milestone happen to the milestone itself, this way every gets notified and nobody gets left behind on a project.
This feature is one that stood out for me, as our company uses Teamwork to coordinate projects with our team, 3rd party developers or consultants and the clients themselves. With privacy settings, Teamwork allows you to create detailed projects, and limit what certain users are able to see, including each other. If you’re worried about a 3rd party consultant sneaking your business, or a client seeing that you’re using a 3rd party to develop a specific portion of the project, privacy settings can prevent this issue from ever coming to the surface.
Project File Management
If you’re like me, getting people to understand how to work Google Drive is a big issue if they’ve only ever used Dropbox. Don’t even get me started on trying to manage files via email either, it’s just a giant mess. Without a doubt my favorite feature in Teamwork is their file management system, simply for the fact that it exists and allows me to store files for a project in one place and organize them. With file management, everyone can see the files that have been assigned to a project and access them as needed, no more hounding Deborah for that spreadsheet!
While I’ve mentioned the various functions for team members in this Teamwork review, I’ve not really touched on the overall scope of team management within the app itself. As with most project management apps, you have the ability to add new users from your team to projects and assign tasks to them. What makes online project management software special, is that you can bring in anyone with a vested interest on the project or anyone who might be contributing that isn’t a part of your direct team.
Whether you’re looking for a way to be transparent on projects for your clients so they can see progress at any time, or you’re looking for a way to coordinate everything in one place, Teamwork allows you to handle this at a very in-depth level.
Some of the more notable and usable features of people management include:
- Add companies/company profiles, and individual people to each company
- Detailed user/company profiles, placing contact info and other details in one place
- Permission management: limit what individuals can see at a per project level
The notebooks feature was another that was initially under utilized for me, but ended up proving extremely useful. If you’ve ever dealt with content creation, you know that proofing and getting revisions can be time-consuming, if not impossible depending on the client. Notebooks is a great way to organize website content, collect comments and revisions, compare notebooks versions and more.
The notebooks themselves feature a pretty nice WYSIWYG editor, so if you’ve used Joomla or WordPress, you won’t have any issues getting content formatted beautifully, and already in a web-friendly HTML format!
Teamwork Mobile Apps
One thing I was pleasantly surprised with about Teamwork as their mobile apps. They are of course available on Android or Apple devices, and are actually great looking and functional! While it’s not as easy to use as the desktop interface, it gives you access to everything you could need on the go, allowing you to comment on a task, set a project due date or send a team member a quick message.
Teamwork Pricing Structure
The pricing structure for Teamwork is unique, in that you’re not charged by the number of users (unlimited users for everyone!) but rather by the number of projects you’re managing in the system. For me, this works beautifully, especially considering the fact that there’s a free version that, assuming you only work on a couple of projects at a time, could mean you never have to pay to use the software!
The Free Plan: FREE
- 2 projects
- 10MB file storage
- 5 projects
- 1GB storage
Business 1: $24/mo
- 15 projects
- 5GB storage
- Google Drive integration
Business 2: $49/mo
- 35 projects
- 20GB storage
- Google Drive, Box.com & Dropbox Integration
- Custom domain (yourname.teamwork.com)
- 100 projects
- 32GB storage
- Same integration as Business 2 & a custom domain
- Unlimited projects
- 80GB storage
- Same integration as Business 2 & a custom domain
What’s great about Teamwork’s pricing structure is that it allows you to grow your plan with your company, or not at all! There is a free trial available for 30 days, after which you’ll be given the option to sign up for a paid subscription, or be downgraded to the free plan. Of course, as you grow (or lose business) you can upgrade or downgrade your pricing plan at anytime (unless you prepaid for a year, but why try downgrading if you’ve already paid?).
While I’ve only worked in 2 project management tools thus far (aside from my own messy schemes), I can say with confidence that Teamwork is a great tool for people needing a bit of organization in their life. What it boils down to is this, you either use it to its fullest potential or you don’t get what you paid for. What I found through my experience is that if Teamwork isn’t used the way they intended, it falls a bit short and feels a bit tedious and overwhelming. If you take the time to set up projects, create milestones and break down a project in detail, you’ll not only be able to keep track of everything, but you’ll be gaining peace of mind that everything is detailed out so no mistakes can be made.
Want more info from some other Teamwork reviews? Check out what others are saying about Teamwork here:
- 2015 Teamwork Review on Reviews.com
- Teamwork Review 2014 from Merchant Maverick
- Teamwork.com Project Management Software from Software Insider
Have you used Teamwork Project Management or another tool like Basecamp? What was your experience like? Let me know and leave a comment below!