You may not be familiar with Projectplace, but it’s one of the oldest software-as-a-service companies around – the Swedish company has offered its project management software through the web since 1998. It’s generally focused on northern Europe, but it has nearly a million users around the world through enterprises including big names such as Carlsberg, Vodafone(s vod) and Sony(s sne).
Now Projectplace has launched a free version of this venerable collaboration package, called ToDo. Previously, the entry-level product was the Projectplace Team Edition, limited to one project and costing €19 ($26) per user. ToDo’s basic version is limited to 5 users and one project, but it’s gratis. ToDo also has paid Pro and Plus tiers that gradually add extra functionality and storage, before encouraging customers to go for the full-blown Projectplace package.
Like the full version, ToDo is based around the workflow visualization mechanism of Kanban boards, where you move cards between the stages of “to do”, “in progress” and “done”. The Plus version combines this with Gantt charts. It may sound nerdy (and it is) but, in the demonstration I had, the representation actually seemed quite clean and intuitive. Which it has to be, as it’s designed around mobile.
“In our core enterprise offering, we have been successful in having connected to your project management work,” Projectplace COO Tobias Andersson told me. “But still our entry level offering has been quite complex… We wanted to have an entry-level product where people can manage a simple to-do list in their team, but not with Excel(s msft), with this Kanban board.”
Users can access their projects through the web or through an iOS(s aapl) app. Document sharing is a key feature (as it would be; that used to be Projectplace’s main focus) and hundreds of third-party services can also be integrated via Zapier.
One thing though: there’s already a task management app called Todo. I personally think that’s a bit too close for comfort, especially as the fields are at least adjacent, but Projectplace business development chief Per Fossum didn’t seem to see a problem. “We chose a generic name that people understand immediately,” he said.