by Cameron Chapman
There is a huge variety of project management applications out there. Most are general purpose apps, not aimed at any one industry. But there is a growing number of project management apps aimed specifically at one industry or another. Applications geared to creative types are becoming more readily available, and some of the offerings are really quite good.
Many of these project management apps have built-in code repositories and subversion browsers (or are built around them). A few have built-in bug and issue tracking. Others include more than just basic project management. All of them can help you keep track of activities and team members. There are both free and paid options. Some have very slick interfaces, and some are modeled more after desktop applications. All are relatively easy to use and easy to set up.
Below are 15 useful project management applications, almost all of which are targeted directly at Web developers, designers (both Web and print) and other creative types. The last one is not geared specifically to creative types but is the most unique project management application I’ve found and is included on that basis as well as because of its potential usefulness for designers and developers.
Also consider our previous article:
1. Basic Project Management Apps
These applications are marketed specifically for project management. Most include things like task-, team-, and goal-management features. Some include additional features such as time tracking and invoicing.
Lighthouse is a bug- and issue-tracking app that tracks timelines and milestones, integrates with your email client and more. You can update tickets through your inbox, manage your beta testing (by making tickets and milestones public), integrate it with subversion and manage and prioritize your tickets.
Project creation is simple; only a project title and description is required. Once a project is created, tickets, messages and milestones can be entered. Ticket creation can be done by email (the email address to send tickets to is displayed on the “Tickets” page). You can show tickets based on a variety of criteria, including date, state (open or closed) and who is responsible for them. Message creation is easier than email, and you can attach files up to 50 MB in size. When you create a milestone you simply enter the title, the date it’s due and the goals or focus for that particular milestone. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Permissions are easy to set, and you can invite users by email. One of the best features of Lighthouse is its Beacon and API integration. With the API, you can customize tickets, projects, changesets, milestones, messages and more. Integrate it with other services (such as Google Calendar), or make desktop applications that use Lighthouse. The APIs make Lighthouse infinitely more useful, because you can really customize it to fit your current workflow.
Lighthouse is great for Web development teams (or individuals) and has a very easy-to-use interface. They have paid and free plans, all of which include unlimited open-source projects. The free plan lets you manage one private project with up to two people on the account. The paid plans range from $10 per month for the Personal plan (with up to 3 projects, 10 users and 100 MB of file upload storage space) to $120 per month for the Platinum plan (with unlimited projects, up to 50 public projects, unlimited users and 30 GB of file upload space).
When combined with a subversion app, Lighthouse provides a pretty complete project management app for developers. Subversion integration is pretty straightforward, and the help file provided gives complete step-by-step instructions for setup.