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Summary:

There are so many project management solutions, but which one is right for you? I recently viewed a demo of Mavenlink at SXSW and was struck by how it brings together several functions: project management, collaboration, time tracking and invoicing.

Mavenlink_ A better way to manage your projects from start to finish

There are so many project management solutions, but which one is right for you? We’ve featured countess project management tools in the past including most recently Zcope, ProjectTurf, and Clarizen. I recently viewed a demo of Mavenlink at SXSW and was struck by several things:

  • The app emphasizes integration with Google Apps, which can enhance the Google Apps toolset. (Mavenlink is available — and highly ranked — in the Google Apps Marketplace.)
  • The final step of a project — invoicing the client — is built right into the tool. Think of Mavenlink like “Basecamp meets Freshbooks” in that regard. The premise of Mavenlink starts with the idea of managing your projects from inception to completion: collaborate, manage, track time and invoice, all in one place.

Here is how the company breaks down its offering:

Collaborate Conduct Business Personalize
Manage projects 

File sharing

Email and mobile integration

Permissions

Online invoicing 

Time tracking

Expense tracking

Budget and payment

Custom branding 

Networks (team, clients)

Online profile

Work history

Using Mavenlink can help streamline your workflow without the heftiness of a complex project management tool such as Microsoft Project,  although the company does have a project tracker including assignments, key dates, and project status. Unlike many project management systems, the built-in time tracker includes an invoice tool built right in (versus others that might integrate with a separate invoicing system). And if you’re using QuickBooks and don’t want to switch to its invoicing system, the company is working on QuickBooks integration. Right now, you can export data as a .CSV.

Mavenlink’s permissions system takes into account the complex relationships you have as you work with both your internal team, subcontractors and clients. Everyone in a project ecosystem can have access to just the parts of a workspace that is relevant to them. With the integration of email and even mobile, everyone has access to project data and can collaborate and share information easily.

The soup to nuts approach to project management seems to set Mavenlink apart from other project management tools that handle only parts of the overall project process. Mavenlink has a freemium model: you can get three active projects, save for the custom branding, for free. Paying subscribers are also assigned a customer service rep who is available by phone, email or text chat.

What project management tool are you using, and how’s it working for you?

  1. This would have been perfect if it had recurring billing :( :(

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  2. I use Norada.com’s Solve 360. They also integrate with Google apps, Freshbooks, but it is also a robust CRM solution. The Google Apps widget lets you connect emails and contacts directly from Gmail. That is a huge time saver for such an inexpensive product. CRM shouldn’t be a separate application. It is an integral part of building a business.

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  3. Great succinct breakdown of Mavenlink. I really liked the “Think of Mavenlink like ‘Basecamp meets Freshbooks'” analogy.

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  4. This is very exciting to see how much progress has been made this year.

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  5. Great review! Almost purchased Manymoon via LinkedIn Applications. Invoicing and Google Apps was the deal breaker for among other things. I’ve tried BaseCamp, ActiveCollab, FengOffice and countless others over the years. Crossing my fingers that this long quest for an affordable, Swiss Army Knife, project management solution is finally over.

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