Project management software


My, to put it mildly, understaffed and overworked startup is trying hard to not reinvent the wheel and outsource as much tasks as possible. So we are currently on the look out for a great project management software.

FogBugz and Basecamp look nice, and about a dozen others. Unfortunately there is no time (or desire) to try them all, so any thoughts and recommendations on project management tools are welcome.

Software Project Management Recommendations

asked Oct 11 '09 at 06:09
Slav Ivanov
1,146 points
  • Thanks for asking this... I need it too! +1 – Jason 15 years ago

21 Answers


I have 5 users and the server edition of FogBugz was the way to go. We had used BaseCamp for a year prior, without success. Cost-wise:

$50 Basecamp version = $600/year

FogBugz Server 5 users (@ $200/ea) = $1000 upfront

Depending on the # of users, and if you can afford the upfront investment, the server edition of FogBugz will pay for itself over time compared to other hosted services.

Setting deadlines, time tracking, and project discussion were among our top priorities. FogBugz may seem intimidating, but you'll dive right in and feel like an expert user in an hour. It's as easy as e-mail, and now they have great plugins like Clark Kent (for time reports aka billing) and Balsamiq (my favorite wireframing tool).

Another great feature--our customers email their support requests to an address that goes into fogbugz and assigns a case to the appropriate person. We can assign the case throughout the team and maintain a full history in the case. Then all the customer's cases can be used for billing if necessary.

answered Oct 12 '09 at 04:27
1,057 points
  • Also, Fog Creek offers a free hosted "Student & Startup" account for up to 2 users. – Rob Sobers 14 years ago


Been using and unfuddle and fogbugz for 3+ months, we finally moved away from unfuddle and settled down with fogbugz.

Fogbugz has the worst usability but you'll get used to it.

Unfuddle has a great interface but it's limited in the functionality level. SVN support of unfudle is great as well. Especially if you want to separate SVN access for contractors.

Also Evidence based scheduling in fogbugz is a game changer, it's one of those killer features.

Basically neither of them is perfect. If you don't need so much advanced stuff and time tracking, estimation related reports then use unfuddle, it's easy to pick up and a joy to use.

If you looking for a terrible GUI yet advanced functionality go for Fogbugz. Don't forget you'll spot lots of stupid restrictions such as you can't delete tickets, you can't modify history, you can't use bold or italic in tickets (a total WTF! ).

answered Oct 12 '09 at 04:40
The Dictator
2,305 points
  • I agree about Fogbugz EBS - beyond killer feature, it would be (almost) worth working at the commandline for that. However, I disagree on the usability - while its not completely Mac-like, I find it better than most comparable apps. Dunno, maybe its cuz I too think like a programmer... :) And btw, a lot of the restrictions you've mentioned are gone in the new version, with relevant plugins and such.... – Avi D 14 years ago


How many are you? How much do you follow agile processes? I've been really happy with PivotalTracker, even if we're not an "agile shop" per se: for feature tracking / bug tracking / todo tracking.

It's super light weight, but plenty powerful. The real-time-collaboration aspect is killer. Highly recommended. Also, it's free but I'd be happy to pay a monthly fee for it.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 06:18
Peldi Guilizzoni
321 points
  • We are a couple of people, and we try to follow agile methods. – Slav Ivanov 15 years ago


Digital Dandelion tried Basecamp, but chose Manymoon for its tight integration with Google Apps for Business.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 13:35
Jeremiah Lee
151 points
  • thanks for that, trying it out now. – Anatoly G 14 years ago
  • Since August 2011, Manymoon is no longer accepting signups. They were bought by Salesforce, and replaced with Do. – Dan Dascalescu 12 years ago


What sort of "project management" did you have in mind? Hosted or locally installed?

Are you trying to manage work by external people, or just for your internal team? Interactions with customers?

More interested in task/time tracking, or general feature/release management?

I'd split it into a few groups (assuming hosted):

  1. Software project management (managing software development, bug tracking, code checkins, versions, etc.) FogBugz, JIRA, and Trac (open source) are good general candidates. Not sure if all of these can be had as hosted versions (FogBugz can, of course). For "Agile" methodology support, there's also VersionOne, ExtremePlanner, Rally, and the ones mentioned above (PivotalTracker, etc.). All have hosted options.
  2. General project, task and time tracking (tracking hours, tasks, status, and usually files and conversations across multiple projects), not specifically tied to software development. Basecamp, ClientSpot, Wrike (all hosted) are good options, along with FogBugz, etc. as above - tons of self-hosted and open source options too.
  3. Customer support/interaction (helpdesk style with case or ticketing type support, email integration, reporting) HelpSpot, FogBugz, ZenDesk, Kayako (all have hosted options)
answered Oct 13 '09 at 06:36
Dave Churchville
71 points


We tried quite a few project management tools before we settled for Basecamp. It was by far the most:

  1. User friendly
  2. Shortest learning curve (Given you need to give access to outside vendors and partners for certain projects you really need the tool to be very intuitive and easy to use)
  3. Competitively priced
  4. Great feature set (Time tracking, collaborative whiteboards)

Overall we have been really happy using the service and would highly recommend it.

The 30 day free trial really lets you get your feet wet and see whether the service is for you or not.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 06:34
Usman Sheikh
1,728 points


Short answer: Use one for some some time consuming tasks, but do not rely on a single tool as the ultimate solution.

Manage the project by managing your ideas. Your dreams. Your major goals. Discuss then with your associates, friends, meetings, social network sites. Give this high level your personal touch and time and opinion. Write emails, blog entries, word documents.

I think the biggest area in project management is handling all the tasks. Call them User Stories, product features, tasks, sub-goals. Find a tool for this. Assign priorities, assign resources. Open. Close. Track. Graph. For this almost any tool can be used, even free or almost free ones.

I personally prefer open source over monthly subscriptions. Make a list of what you need the software to do and then check out the below link: There are a few interesting ones that were recommended here, both are good to start with:

answered Oct 11 '09 at 08:43
Derek Beda
221 points


I find that it's always important not to try to get a tool to solve a process problem.

Sure use a tool once the problem is solved.

I spent a long time evangelising about Agile and Scrum and in a particular development team experimented with a, then new, on-line trial of on-time which was great - but it didn't make any difference to the team.

Eventually we scrapped all of the tools and used simple manual techniques. White-board, index cards etc. and it worked a treat. By removing the complexity of the tools and getting down to basics we were able to focus on the process and make sure that was right first; tools could come later...

answered Oct 11 '09 at 10:08
Ronnie Barker
313 points


  1. Basecamp is solid
  2. Zoho may have something
  3. Dream Factory has a cool tool that used to integrate very well with Salesforce when I was there.
answered Oct 30 '09 at 22:39
Jaret Manuel
76 points


Take a look at ProjectPier.

It is open source (free) and self hosted. To be honest I can't tell the difference between that and Basecamp. The software does everything I require of it!

Yes, eventually you may want something a little more complex, or hosted off site. But startup = boot strap, why spend when you don't have to? Project Pier does enough to last you through these stages.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 06:40
Alex Blom
231 points


Most of these are subscription based tools. The free ones can work well too, if you can host them yourself...

If you're doing mostly software-dev stuff with some project management, trac is an old standard for that.

We've been using Redmine for our projects, because it has good integration with version control, and the ticketing and assignment system is quite versatile. It has most of the features all these others have talked about - wiki, document upload, version control, ticketing assignment, time tracking, charts and reports, etc. It really meets our needs nicely.

Not paying a per-user fee is also really nice, since it means we can give our customers access to the appropriate parts of their projects without it costing us anything.

answered Nov 2 '09 at 15:10
Paul Mc Millan
601 points


I more or less agree with the answers above. Here's something no one mentioned which might at least deserve a review:


answered Oct 12 '09 at 23:10
316 points


I know this answer may sound very sales pitchy like, but I will try not to go there. Having gone through similar experiences ourselves, we decided to build a product that integrates all of these components into one, like the way they are "connected" in real-life.

Like Derek said above - its not just about project management.. its projects, tasks, project plan - charts, features, requirements, time, and managing all of this in one would be nice. I would actually love to hear your opinions about the product -
(just launched this month)

answered Oct 11 '09 at 14:45
Puneet Gangal
281 points


We started off with Dot Project an open source tool and have recently migrated to BaseCamp! Love Basecamp and highly recommend it.

answered Oct 12 '09 at 23:51
Brian Schoenbaechler
38 points


Atlassian has a nice deal on right now ([1]) that gets you their suite for $10/tool, and Jira with Greenhopper is a great combination for agile projects.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 15:27
Paul Brown
31 points
  • I am just about to start rolling out the 'Dragons Den' setup for my project here. Fingers crossed. I have heard good things. – Anthon 15 years ago


We've used and find it quite helpful to use VersionOne's Team edition (comes for free but I guess 1st year of subscription). Quite easy to setup & use. Oh and we're an agile shop by the way.

Although we're migrating to Microsoft's Teams Foundation Server, I wouldn't recommend that as you already mentioned your startup understaffed & overworked. TFS requires a LOT of administration but it handled your Project Management (agile or not), Continuous Integration, Build Management, Version Control everything under one roof. VersionOne on the other hand is only Project Management tool for agile only I believe.

My current team is 6 developers 1 UI guy & 1 tester

answered Oct 11 '09 at 18:39
31 points


Just analyzed a lot of project management tools and made the choice to go with Unfuddle ( Cannot say much about the results as we just started with it but for what we needed and from everything we looked at it seemed like the best choice.

answered Oct 12 '09 at 03:53
Jer Levine
173 points


I've used Unfuddle at and now It's great for projects involving actual code because of how tightly it integrates tickets, etc with the actual code. It has a nice API too. I recommend it to everyone.

answered Oct 12 '09 at 23:34
Jay Meattle
106 points


There is a very long list of alternatives, here are just a few of the alternatives

I made a comparison chart of all of the features and costs of the various project management software alternatives here

answered Feb 13 '11 at 15:40
151 points


Depends on your project nature, but check it out Jira or active.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 04:50
121 points


I don't think you need any PM tool for small team of 2-3 people. It may just be an additional burden.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 04:54
Michael Dubakov
39 points
  • On the contrary, it's essential. If you don't, you lose track of who is going to do what, and forget half the tasks anyway. A good project management app lets you focus on the task at hand while filing away other tasks without losing your concentration. – Paul Mc Millan 14 years ago

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