Team Effect: Visual Project Management


Logo_Small_onWhiteTeam Effect jokingly calls its competition the “the vast swathe of online task lists…and Basecamp clones” that make up the current market for project management solutions. The claim is that, unlike its competitors, Team Effect is “fun to use.” I won’t go that far, but the Team Effect web interface and interactive Gantt-style calendar — the main selling point of the app — are visually appealing and relatively easy to use.

DashBoardLike many similar products, upon login, users are taken to a dashboard where they can see an overview of activity for projects with which they are associated. The “Comments and Messages” area is laid out in a Twitter-like fashion,Actions and users can see more detail, or respond, by clicking an existing message. Oddly, it appears that one needs to go to a different screen to compose a new message.

calendarOther features, such as schedules and tasks, should be appealing to those who prefer visual representations of project plans. Schedules can be changed by dragging the bars in the Gantt-style calendars (which Team Effect has implemented without Flash, thankfully). Team Effect includes some sophisticated reports that web workers should find useful, such as project status and schedules.

The documentation is OK, as far as it goes, but appears to be incomplete. I wasn’t able to find information on whether the product notifies users of changes by email, or whether it has any tools such as RSS feeds that would keep people up-to-date without logging into the web site constantly. Additionally, the web site times out after a fairly short period of inactivity. The system does allow you to export some data to Excel (s msft), and this ability is apparently being expanded.

Team Effect is priced depending on the number of users you need. It offers a 30-day free trial, after which the basic package is $15 per month for five users. Other packages are available, all at the same rate of $3 per login per month. For most packages, the fee is only charged if a user actually logs in. All packages include unlimited projects and storage. Team Effect also offers discounts or free service to nonprofit organizations.

Team Effect will appeal to those who like visual representations of their workflow. But people working on projects that change frequently may find logging into the Team Effect web site several times a day to be a hassle.

Have you used Team Effect? How do you manage projects?



I tried Team Effect and I can say that is a great solution for managing group projects and teamwork.

Charles Hamilton

@Tom – I haven’t tried 5pm, but WWD liked it when it was reviewed back in 1998:

@BG — Your points are well-taken, especially (for me) the lack of time tracking.

@Hut — Team Effect is definitely banking on aesthetics, rather than breakthrough new features, to sell its product. But they could certainly teach others some tricks about how to make a good-looking interface.

Simon Mackie

I think you mean 2008 :) 5pm back in ’98 would have seemed *amazing* !

5pm does seem to be a bit of a WWD favorite; I know Aliza likes it.


I’m part of a small development team and created a trial account a few weeks ago. My initial impression was, “Wow, what a great-looking project management system!” The design is among the best. However, as I started creating projects, there were several features that seemed unclear or missing:

1. I couldn’t find a way to connect a project to a client.
2. No time-tracking. This is very important for billing clients.
3. How do you check off a task as completed? Maybe my Basecamp, Deskaway, and ClientSpot background is throwing me off.

Because of its aesthetics, I was really hoping this was the one but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit for us, a small development firm trying to manage projects for multiple clients.

Tom M.

I think Team Effect looks pretty good. But not as visual as they claim – still too many clicks when you got many things going.

When it comes to visual and actually fun (as a project manager can be) – 5pm I think fits the description better (

And I do agree that there are way too many Basecamp clones out there.

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