There are a plethora of project management tools out there. But it can be SO hard to know what or how to choose the right project management tool for your membership site. So I’m here to help!
There is no shortage of project management tools out there, ranging from super popular to you’ve probably never heard of them, but how the hell do you know which one will work for you and your business?
And as counterintuitive as it may sound, the features of the project management tool (or PM tool) are not nearly as important as how you work, think, and feel, and how you organize your business.
This post is not going to be a long ramble about why you need to use my specific favorite tool (it’s ClickUp, if you’re curious). But rather, I’m going to walk you through the four things you need to figure out before you can choose the project management tool that’s right for you!
Ready? Let’s do this!
1. What is your preferred method of organization?
This little guy is number one for a reason.
If you’re a straight-up list person, then Trello boards might not appeal to you.
If you like to see EVERYthing in a calendar or table view with as few steps between you and the calendar as possible, then you should probably check out AirTable.
If you need a lot of integrations with other tools, then you’ll want to check out Teamwork PM.
And if you want to celebrate every time you check off a task, then Asana is your jam.
You have to know how you work best in order to know if the features in a PM tool will really work for you. Features lists and sales pages are meant to hype you up about getting organized. But if you don’t know how you already like to get organized, then you’ll get sucked into a platform that doesn’t really work for you and waste all your time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears setting up something that has to be exported and scrapped.
2. How tech-savvy are you?
Listen. I’d be out of business if everyone who ran an online company knew how to set up tech. This is not a judgment on you or your ability. This is an honest look at your strengths.
If you’re not tech savvy and you don’t want to hire someone to help you figure out how to use and maintain a PM tool, stay safe with easy, popular options like Trello and Asana. They’re great for tech novices and have a lot of features as you get a little more familiar and need more functionality.
If you’re all “fuck yeah, I can handle myself around a system!” then check out the more complex ClickUp, Teamwork, or Basecamp. And pat yourself on the back because you earned it!
3. What’s your budget?
Start-ups do not need to jump both feet first into a big, shiny, expensive tool.
Lemme say it louder for the folks in the back.
START-UPS DO NOT NEED TO JUMP BOTH FEET FIRST INTO A BIG, SHINY, EXPENSIVE TOOL!
It’s just not necessary. Odds are if you’re a budding online business, then your needs are simple anyhow and a big, fancy $50-a-month tool is just going to go to waste on you.
Yeah, exporting your PM tool into something more robust later will take time, but by then you’ll have a team who can help you or straight up do it for you. But there’s no sense in wasting your money on a tool that you’re not ready for yet.
4. Are you flying solo or do you have a team?
This one is pretty similar to number three, but it’s important. If you don’t have a team, you likely won’t need a big, fancy tool.
You won’t need something like Teamwork that requires you to pay for a minimum of five people even if there’s just two of you. And you won’t need Basecamp, which is built around easy team communication if you’re still rocking the solopreneur life.
I used Todoist for absolute ages when I just had a couple of part-time clients. Then I upgraded to Trello, which served me well for a year or so. And then when I brought on a team I moved over to ClickUp.
Don’t be afraid to move around to what suits you when you’re ready and not before.
Big, shiny tools are fun. Just ask my friend Brooke. But there’s a time and place for them too. Especially if analysis paralysis is keeping you from choosing one and getting started!
And if you’re looking for more project management tools than the ones I listed above, there are a ton in this post here.