You have as many project management software options to choose from as you have Democratic candidates.
There are literally hundreds of ways you can manage projects. You can use one of the tools I talk about in this blog or find another with a simple Google search that strikes your fancy.
I say things like “strikes your fancy” now.
I hear some people actually still use pen and paper or a whiteboard, but it’s just rumors.
But whatever you decide to use for project management at your church, the hardest part is just CHOOSING which one you want to use. Strike that, the hardest part is getting everyone to use it.
But the second hardest thing is CHOOSING one. So many features and pricing structures, what’s a young boy or girl to do?
I’m going to lay out the top 4 I hear mentioned the most often in church communications circles and tell you what they are good for, what I like, what I don’t like, and maybe sing you a song. Let’s goooooo!
I actually covered all of this in my Facebook group and on episode 111 of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast (which drops new episodes on church communications, marketing, and social media weekly) so you can go check those out if you’re not much of a reader.
Comparing Project Management Software
Whatever you choose to work with, the bottom line is it needs to work for your context. Just because some big church down the road or a guru online tells you one of these is the best, doesn’t mean it will work best for YOU.
For instance, when I was a communication director, we used Asana. I like Asana, but now that I’m running my own company, I use Trello. You have to figure out what’s best for your team to use and agree for everyone to get on board. Now, let’s look at some pros and cons of the big 4: Trello, Asana, Monday, and Basecamp.
I love Trello and it’s what I use now, so I’ll start with it. It’s a kanban board system that resembles a wall full of post-it notes with a ton more organization and power for each note or “card” as they call them. It’s a board with columns that have cards within that column that you can move around.
Asana and Monday can also switch to a view like this, but to Trello it’s native.
Customizable look and automation rules are available in the free plan, unlike paid features for others.
Easy to use and very visual.
Integrates with just about everything
Subtasks can’t be given a due date/assigned team member. Each card can have multiple checklists and items on that list can contain member tags, but no individual due dates.
If you don’t know how to organize your boards, it can get a little confusing.
The calendar view isn’t native. It’s free, but an add on and you only get a fixed amount of those per board.
Intuitive interface grade: A+
I really like Asana too. When I was a communication director it is what we used. If your mind really works well with a list format, then Asana is probably a good fit.
The free plan of Asana is really powerful too. Calendar view and kanban board view are both native to the free plan and you can really get specific about assignments and details within projects.
It has the most powerful free version of all of them.
Versatile and can adjust to anyone’s project management style
It also integrates with just about anything.
Boring user interface except for celebrations. Who doesn’t love a cartoon yeti flying across your screen when you complete a task?
Too expensive for features like automation rules and templates. Paid by the user; no flat plans.
Rules (automation) only for paid accounts.
Intuitive interface grade: B+
Monday is meh. It’s a good combination of the things I like about Trello and Asana, but we’ve all been to a “blended” worship service before, right? Meh.
The big advantage Monday has is that you can track project progress and time spent on it (upgrade). If that’s a value for you, Monday may be the way to go.
Progress tracking is easy and available to the lowest tier plan
Integrates with your calendars like Google or iCal
Good templates to get you started on different types of projects
It’s expensive with no free plan.
Sidebar defaults to icons only, so there is a learning curve.
Intuitive interface grade: A-
Full disclosure, I really don’t like Basecamp. In fact, in The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast episode 111, where we tackle this in more depth, my review had three words:
A dumpster fire.
I think its clunky interface just ruins everything about it. I will say this: if your team is really just looking for a place to brainstorm or dump a ton of ideas to sort through later, it may work for you. However, its lack of intuitive design really works against clear communication in teams, in my opinion.
Collaboration of ideas
Works from email so you never have to log in (a huge plus)
Has a standalone app for desktop
Overall, the interface has everything too divided up so that you have to click in and out of certain areas of the project like conversations or checklists instead of having it all in one panel to work with. Also, some of the menu headers seem to offer similar functions so I can’t see the point of them.
Insider language is all over this thing. One menu called “Hey!” and one called “Pings” and one called “Message Board.” Don’t all those things seem to mean the same thing? You’ll have to figure it out.
Because of the other negatives mentioned, you’re going to forget where you talked to who about what in what part of the project. It all blurs together because you can chat, tag people, and upload files everywhere. Now, where did we talk about that color palette…clicks around for 10 minutes contemplating life choices…
Intuitive interface grade: D-
What are your favorite tools? I know there are a ton out there. Let me know in the comments.
Unless you like Basecamp. We just won’t understand each other.
Everybody needs help.
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