Tom’s Planner, a simple drag-and-drop, Gantt-chart-based, online planning tool has received a couple of useful updates. It’s now compatible with the iPad (s aapl) and iPhone, and can also import Excel and MS Project files (s msft).
To use Tom’s Planner on an iOS device, no app is required; just load up the Tom’s Planner website in mobile Safari. Tasks can be scheduled by dragging and dropping on the chart, while accessing the context menu items is achieved by a “long click” (tapping and holding for longer than a second). I’ve tried it out on my iPhone and it works pretty well, although the small screen makes it quite fiddly, and the long click does take a bit of getting used to. I’m sure it’s much easier to use in the iPad’s larger screen, though. Android (s goog) support is apparently also in the works.
The ability to import Excel and MS Project files should be useful for teams who aren’t starting a project from scratch, and could be especially handy for users who occasionally get emailed a Project file but don’t have it installed themselves.
Despite facing some serious competition in the simple online collaborative planning tools market from the likes of Ganttic (reviewed here) and Microproject (reviewed here), Tom’s Planner is still my favorite. While it doesn’t have all the advanced features offered by its competitors, it’s well-designed and simple, which makes it really easy to use, even for complete project management novices.