Simple project management software needed
September 10, 2010 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Time-tracking project management software solution needed

I am currently setting up a small business doing graphic design, web design, photography, writing/editing. I need some project management software to track my own hours on projects, based on client, project, task. Ideally, this would be a simple program that I can run (Mac OSX) in the background and simply add an hour here or there under certain tasks as I complete work.

I also work in collaboration with a web developer in a subcontract role. He does the hardcore coding and I do pretty much everything else. We’ve tried a couple options built in to the WordPress platform as plugins, but they aren’t great. I’d rather have something where we can look back at all past projects at once.

This web developer and I could really use a simple task-based tracking tool, so that I can assign tasks in long lists, and he can work down the list systematically, crossing things off. It would be perfect if there was also a simple ranking mechanism, so I could rate the priority of tasks (say on a scale of 1 through 3) We’ve been doing this by email, but it would be far better to have it all in one place, not in a ton of emails.
Some rudimentary client management features would be good to have as well, where I can keep track of correspondence, timelines, and who’s been invoiced, etc.

The perfect software would integrate all of these things, but still be low on feature bloat. Just a straightforward program that can do this stuff in an intuitive way. I’d be willing to pay for something that can do all this, but if there are some free downloadable programs, or even something web-based, that would be sweet. I have a lot of start-up costs at the moment, so maybe a temporary free solution, and something better I can buy later?

I’ve seen this, but it’s not all that specific. I'm also aware of Zoho projects, which seems like it might be a good fit, but it seems pretty expensive and I'd rather buy something outright than pay a yearly fee.

Thanks MeFi!
posted by hamandcheese to Work & Money (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I use TeamworkPM for exactly the same sort of thing, including time tracking. I prefer it to HighRise. Both you and the subcontractor would be employees and you are both assigned to every project. You can run two projects at the same time free of charge.

I use the following features in the following ways:

- Milestones: Tasks and reporting.
- Messages: Communication, documentation, file management (also shown in Files)
- Time: Time tracking.
- Notebook: I store all unchanging data here, like FTP details and mail settings for each client.
- Resources: I never use this but it does connect to Google Docs which is really handy.

There are other features but I turn them off because after two years of using TWPM, I know exactly what I need to keep projects on track and project time accountded for.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:09 PM on September 10, 2010

Best answer: is free (unless you want more than 3 invoices/month)
It has great time-tracking features and list-making and all that stuff... I don't know about rankings, but it's easy to move things around in the order on the lists.

Definitely check it out - if it's just for collaboration with another person, I think the free version has everything you need.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 4:14 PM on September 10, 2010

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