Best project management tools for small business

Best project management tools for small business

Best project management tools for small business

Have you been wondering what are the best project management tools for small business? Working this out has been on my to-do list for a while. Before I undertook this challenge my life was organised on lists, sticky notes, in Notes, reminders, calendars and email flags. I spent way too much time double handling or checking in on things and I knew that a project management tool would help me. I knew I could be better organised and more efficient if I used a tool to support all of the projects I have running across my businesses. And I’ve read the statistics – 77 percent of high performing projects use a project management tool!

What is a project management tool?

At its most basic, a project management tool is software that helps individuals or teams plan, manage, and optimise resources across an organisation or projects. Project management tools range in capabilities, but most have a few things in common: task tracking and assigning; parent and child projects organisation; collaboration functionalities – tasks, chatting, or sharing documents back and forth; and document sharing.

It helps you plan and stay on track!

Knowing I needed software help I bit the bullet, spoke to some people and started experimenting with the top contenders of the best project management tools for small business. I only played with the top contenders because I found out there are now hundreds of different options. And because I am ‘that’ person who always goes to the specials at a cafe. So I narrowed it to the top three players – Trello, Asana and

Trello is a Kanban-style (a Japanese word that roughly translates to ‘card’, ‘sign’ or ‘billboard’), web-based, list-making application. Asana is a mobile and web application designed to help teams track, organise, and manage work. is a cloud-based platform that lets you customise your own application and work management software.

Trello as a project management tool

All types of people and businesses are using Trello – those organising meal planning, solo entrepreneurs, SME’s and huge organisations like The Red Cross.

Trello creates a visual stream of every task for every project in your business and life. It provides a visual overview of what is being worked on, who is working on it, and how far they’ve gotten. Trello is like the Instagram of task management apps or the digital equivalent of Post-It Notes and bulletin boards. Which is why I love it as I am a fan of  sticky notes and having a visual snapshot of where things are at.

Trello uses boards, lists and cards to create a simpler visual system of project management. These three basic elements of the app provide a visual layout of your work for high-level decision-making and ground-level action-taking. Boards are for holding all the tasks and information for a project or product. Lists are the categories within a board – you use them to represent the different stages of progress. Cards are for single specific elements of a project. Cards can be moved from one list to another (the Post-Its!)

There is a  big list of integrations Trello call ‘Power-Ups’ that allow you to pair Trello with some of the apps you might already be using, including Google Drive, Slack and your Google Calendar.

While I love Trello, after talking to other business owners who have more complex project needs, Trello (especially the free version) might be too limiting without analytical and reporting features. 

Asana as a project management tool

Asana is project-based, versatile task management software that can help organise your deadlines, keep accurate records, and adequately manage all projects. You can assign tasks to team members inside or outside your organisation. 

In Asana, teams are organised around projects. Projects are organised lists of tasks around which teams can collaborate. For example, you can create various sections for a project. Within each section, you can then create a list of tasks associated with that specific section of the project. Each task can then have sub-tasks of its own should you want to create a nesting of tasks.

A lot of thought was put into Asana’s design. It was easy to use and intuitive. The best bit is the way you can set it up to eliminate the to-and-fro email communication by creating a centralised dashboard to communicate via notifications.

Asana also includes project management features like multiple workspaces, priorities and due dates, automatic notifications, and custom views and calendars. Like Trello, they also have an extensive suite of integrations – including WordPress, Github, HipChat and Google Drive.

From what I can see Asana is a great tool when there is a single person, such as you, who wants to keep an eye on things. as a project management tool is task management software that promotes collaboration through visualisation tools enabling transparency and cooperation among team members to manage tasks and meet deadlines. As an agile project management solution at its core, promulgates the Kanban system of organisation. has capabilities like a user interest monitor, to-do lists, status monitoring and reporting, mission templates, multi-departmental initiatives, development tracking, marketing campaign planning and work flow monitoring.

With this platform, you configure your tools to meet your specific management. There are columns for status, date, text, numbers, people, ratings, team, location and many more. The existence of numerous columns epitomises the flexibility and customization of They provide a plethora of options, empowering you to customise each board to suit the way you work. 

It also integrates with tools like Asana and Trello as well as Google Drive, Gmail, Zendesk, Jira, Dropbox, Google Calendar and Excel. So it could be a good option when your needs get more complex.

However, for me, taking the time to customise my own projects was a little overwhelming. I can see the value but I prefer being limited rather than being paralysed by too many options. And there is no free option (starts at $40 per annum). I didn’t play around too much in because of that!

So what is the best project management tool for small business?

While I think I may have been swayed at the start by the visual appearance of Trello, and I am happy with this choice, all of the project management tools have their pros and cons. And not just these three! All of them had great information on how to get started and use them most productively. 

All of our needs are different, depending on the industry we work in, and the way we prefer to work. So when you are comparing project management tools for small business you need to consider how easy it is for you to use intuitively and what other tools it integrates that you already use. 

We would love to know your thoughts on what project management tool you use for your small business and why.

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