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Considering Zoho Projects as a tool for managing your projects? In today’s business jungle, only the fittest survive.
So, do your projects deliver desired objectives within the agreed time, cost and quality? Or are you having challenges tracking and coordinating individual employee activities?
Well, completing a project in time and within constraints can be challenging. But, with an excellent project management tool, you can attain efficiency and success in your projects.
In this article, we will review Zoho projects, its features, and benefits including suggestions on other top alternatives project management tools.
Let’s get to it.
About Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management software designed to help small and medium-size businesses with project scheduling and budgeting.
It comes with an array of features that allow project managers to define project tasks, assign them to individual team members, estimate project costs as well as track the project’s progress.
What to Look for When Selecting a Project Management Tool
A good project management tool should possess the following qualities among others:
- User Friendliness: All users involved should be able to access and interact with it without difficulties.
- Efficient scheduling tools: Invest in a tool that has professional scheduling features like Gantt charts to allow proper management of the project.
- Real-Time Reporting: Go for a tool with the ability to pull data from the diverse project management areas to produce reports reflecting the current status of the project.
- Proper task management: A good tool has the ability to allow proper assignment and tracking of tasks to individual team members
- Security: It should have security features that limit access to authorized individuals only.
Zoho Projects Review: Unique Features
Task management involves breaking down of projects into milestones, tasks, and subtasks. This management software comes with numerous tools for task management including task lists, Kanban cards, calendars, Gantt charts among others.
The milestone feature in Zoho Projects helps to track deadlines within projects while the kanban cards enable visualization of workflow.
The built-in Gantt charts are great project scheduling tools. They help in showing milestones and dependencies within projects marked by different color codes. Users are allowed to make alterations to the schedules by adding and changing tasks using the drag and drop interface.
Zoho Projects allows customization based on preference. Gantt charts can be customized to suit personal preferences and interests and enable one to filter information, scale charts, and export information about tasks.
With this tool, you can create customized projects, tasks, and issues layout that perfectly suits your project requirements. You can also come up with customized fields to help capture the right information. Views, status, functions, and templates can all be easily customized with this project software.
The tool comes with ample tools like feeds, forums, documents, chats, mentions, and emails to facilitate communication and collaboration between team members.
The built-in chatbox enables colleagues to discuss and make inquiries about projects and tasks, forums facilitate inter-process communication, while status updates give information on what one is working on.
It also has an activity feed feature where all project’s activities can be seen. This management tool also offers Zoho Meetings which allows holding video or audio meetings in real-time.
Additionally, it allows easy creation, uploading, and sharing of documents and files from a centralized location.
Zoho Projects allows task automation to save on time. This is done through the use of Blueprints which aims at automating projects by setting up workflows.
With this feature, one can come up with their own customized blueprint, outline the process flow, make transition setting configurations, and easily accomplish the process.
The Blueprint allows for task status set up, identification of individuals responsible at each stage, and ensuring that the right process is followed.
This helps to simplify management’s work, eliminate recurrent work, send notifications to the right people at the right time and ensure following of the right project implementation process.
Timesheets with a built-in timer is a feature that the tool offers to help in time tracking. This feature facilitates capturing all details pertaining to total hours spent on an assigned task right from the time an employee starts working to when he stops.
The timesheets can be used to set the maximum number of hours employees can work in any given day or week as well as classify it into billable or non-billable for invoicing purposes.
This feature is unique in that it can allow clocking for multiple projects simultaneously. The calendar module feature allows viewing of schedules.
Charts and Reports
With this management tool, you can never run out of reporting tools as it integrates with Zoho reports easily. You can customize your dashboard with Zoho reports helping you keep track of all important metrics. The project dashboard shows the project progress with a number of reports.
This feature enables tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs), teams’ progress, and facilitates workflow adjustments as and when necessary.
The charts and reports feature will enable you to obtain timesheet reports, issues/bugs reports, and task reports. It also helps in budget forecasting and making comparisons between planned and actual project forecasts.
Zoho Projects come with user administration features that allow settings that ensure only authorized people have access to the system.
It allows you to set customized portal and client user profiles that define access authorization depending on the roles played by each user. It also allows the definition of user designation based on their roles and responsibilities.
Customizing roles and profiles determines the kind of access each team member has. This advances system security and limits members’ access to what’s relevant to them only. This will also help in resource management by ensuring even distribution of work to the team members.
Zoho Projects Integrations
Zoho.com provides numerous business apps that can successfully be integrated into the tool. For example, Zoho Meeting is a great conferencing tool that can be integrated and used easily from the Zoho Projects app.
Additionally, it allows businesses to easily integrate their processes with the Zoho Suite of Products including Zoho Books and Zoho CRM. This integration helps to provide all necessary information about customers including credit history, purchase patterns, and payment details.
Their accounting solution, Zoho Books, is an excellent accounting software that is easy to use and to connect to Zoho Projects. Combining these two tools with the Zoho CRM software will make workflows across your organization a breeze, from generating lead through to completing and billing projects. Besides that Zoho CRM will help you to provide great customer service and track every customer interaction. Of course, all of these tools, Zoho Books and CRM are customizable to your individual needs as well.
Integrations and Add-ons
The tool allows integration with various third parties. Zoho Projects improves projects through integration with various Google apps including Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Calendar.
This integration enables you to easily sync your tasks with your Gmail account, attach and transfer files from Google Drive as well as export calendar events.
Other notable integrations include Dropbox which presents a centralized location where all files can be found without switching from one app to another. Zapier, Slack, GitHub, and Microsoft apps are among other important integrations that Zoho supports.
All these integrations are aimed at helping you boost your business productivity and efficiency.
This tool also has strong importation tools. This allows you to import Microsoft Projects to your Zoho Projects portal with ease.
You can also import projects from Jira cloud to this tool, add users and experience improved working methods. You will be able to enjoy excellent task management, improved collaborations, and integrations by migrating from Basecamp to the tool with simple steps.
Importing Basecamp projects and integrating them into this tool will increase productivity and improve the efficiency of operations through better organization and better communication.
Apps and devices
As long as you have a stable internet connection, you will be able to operate smoothly and without interruptions as it accommodates all diverse browsers available today.
Additionally, it has not been left behind in tapping into technological advancement as it accommodates work on the go with mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Downloading the mobile phone apps allows you to access and upload documents right from your phone, add tasks, and stay updated on all your projects. This facilitates the navigation of tasks and maximization of Zoho functions from anywhere around the world.
The tool comes with a resource allocation chart that helps with better allocation of staffing resources within projects. This helps in identifying the amount of work allocated to each worker to avoid overworking or under working some at different time periods.
It uses spanner bars with different color codes in the timeline to denote employees’ availability and indicate when one is unassigned, is ideally assigned, under assigned, and over assigned.
This tool enables the setting of working days and off days. The at a glance schedule chart is useful to managers in assessing individual employee availability and adding, changing or re-assign tasks.
Zoho Projects: Main Benefits
With this management tool, you get excellent customer support as their customer support desk is readily available for any inquiries and clarifications. Besides, they provide the users with reference resources including user guides, API guides, webinars, help videos, and a knowledge base.
Users can also connect with other users within the community forum or contact Zoho via email for additional support that they need regarding the use of Zoho Projects.
They have also partnered with Oscillosoft to provide dedicated professional project management consultants who can help maximize the use of the tool by businesses.
Ease of use
The biggest strength that boosts its ranking is its simplicity. It comes with a user-friendly interface making it super easy to set up and use. It does not require intensive training to commence use.
The tool has a likable and contemporary site that’s sufficiently intuitive for use with even the most fundamental online applications like Webmail to get you around it at almost no time.
Though it might take more time to get familiar with its rich features in its entirety, exploring the site takes no time. This simplicity is essential for businesses without a devoted project manager.
The tool is highly scalable providing an all-in-one solution via its numerous apps that are tailor-made to ensure success in every aspect of your business.
It presents a fully customizable operating system for boosting efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction with features like Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, Analytics, etc.
More still, it allows for task automation through the use of Blueprint. This automation will increase your business efficiency by ensuring that most time is taken in activities that matter most, enforcing the following of right processes, ensuring projects are completed right in time, and making sure that the right approvals are obtained.
Zoho is mobile friendly. It allows access via Android and iPhones. It comes completely optimized for your screen to allow you to view in any orientation. The mobile apps are flexible enough and allow you to select how you want to view your tasks whether in kanban view or list view.
With it, you can easily download mobile phone apps allowing you to access and upload documents right from your phone, add tasks, and stay updated on all your projects. This facilitates the navigation of tasks and maximization of Zoho Projects functions from anywhere around the world.
Zoho Projects’ Drawbacks
Despite it being a generally good project management tool, this management tool has got a few drawbacks. Its biggest downside is the difficulty faced by users while trying to locate particular tasks.
It presents unique task options, which makes it special but brings about challenges in the task location. This results in taking quite some time before getting used to it.
Another drawback to this is that even though it comes with numerous features,it does not provide a way of knowing if all the features have been put to use. As a result, users may fail to realize the full benefits using all the available features.
Zoho Projects Pricing Options
This is an open plan which limits you to managing just two projects. The plan comes with a low storage capacity of 10 MB and allows you to have three users and three client users. The features included in this plan are simple task tracking, Gantt chart viewer, and mobile apps.
Costing $3 monthly or $30 yearly per person, this plan allows you to have a minimum of six users and a maximum of 10 with six client users. It also comes with 5 GB storage space, five project templates, and other limited features allowing you to manage only 10 projects.
This plan costing $4 monthly or $36 yearly per person accommodates a team size of between 12-50 users. It allows 12 client users with an option to add more at a cost of $10 monthly on every addition of 5 more clients. It has a storage capacity of 20 GB, 10 templates, and unlimited projects
This plan allows you to have a team of between 15-100 people and 15 clients with an option to add more clients with the same payment in Express Plan for the addition. Costing $5 monthly or $48 yearly per person, it comes with 100 GB storage capacity, 20 templates, and unlimited projects.
This costs $6 monthly or $60 yearly per person for a minimum of 20 people with no maximum. It comes with 120 GB of storage space, unlimited projects, and 30 project templates. The plan allows 20 client users with the option to add more with the same payment as in the other options.
‘Zoho One’ – all in one Package
This is a package that allows businesses to centralize all their functions with a single operating system. It provides one integrated system that changes the various activities of a business into a more connected and agile organization.
This package costs $30 monthly per employee (employee pricing) or a flexible user pricing of $75 monthly per user all billed annually.
Zoho Projects: Pros and Cons
Like everything else, the tool has its pros and cons. Let’s have a quick look at these.
If you are looking for an efficient yet pocket-friendly project management tool, then Zoho would be a great choice. Its pros include:
- Has excellent time tracking tools
- Provides a lot of communication options in the app
- Quite simple to set up and navigate
- Comes with great configuration settings
- Offers great value
Despite its various benefits, there are still a few limitations associated with this management tool. These include:
- Has an uncommon resource management perspective
- Does not come with premade templates
- Takes time to learn all the features
- Task searching needs improvement
What Customers Have to Say
“This is the kind of project management tool that every company needs to get, because its cloud services and multi-platform support makes it the best tool ever.”
– MVA Engineering
Patagonia cited Zoho software as an excellent tool for task management and said
“Our overall experience is great with Zoho projects, it works fine if given the right technology support. In the past 3 years we have done multiple updates and customization in Zoho projects and they have worked well for us. We highly recommend Zoho Projects to others.”
Also other reviewers came to the same verdict as us – Zoho Projects is a great project management solution:
Who should consider using Zoho Projects
This tool is most ideal for small and growing businesses that don’t have numerous employees and thousands of projects to manage. Since it’s cost-effective, it will suit businesses that are just starting up.
It’s also a good choice for financially strained mid-sized businesses looking for comprehensive project management software to improve their effectiveness. Overall, it can be used for most industries including the marketing and advertising industry, construction industry, hospitality among many others.
Zoho Alternatives to Consider
Monday.com provides powerful collaboration tools that teams can use to organize and track their work. It allows team members to log the tasks they need to complete and give updates on the status and other relevant information.
It comes with powerful productivity features like time tracking, automated notifications, dependencies, timeline views, and integrations enabling teams to achieve better and faster results for each milestone.
Basecamp is a project management and team communication software that focuses on providing all the tools and resources necessary for completing a project in a centralized location referred to as the base.
This ensures that all team members are fully aware of all the happenings and know exactly where to find information.
It presents a complete view of all that is happenings in the company while also providing a place for discussions about projects.
Smartsheet is an online application spreadsheet-like framework used for managing and tracking collaborative work. Complete with Gantt charts and resource management features, it is a great project management software as well as an excellent task tracking app.
If you are looking for a highly customizable collaboration tool, then Smartsheet can be an alternative.
How To Set Up Zoho Projects
To set this up, you will need to sign up for Zoho Projects and create your account using the steps below, and you will be ready to use it in no time.
- Go to the sign-up page
- Enter your unique company name which will also act as your portal name. In case you enter a name that’s already in existence, you will automatically be prompted to enter another name
- Enter the required credentials, choose your location, and sign up to create your portal.
- Add your first project, add milestones and tasks and send invitations for people to join you.
With its intuitive user interface, Zoho Projects is easy to set up and use. It does not call for intensive customer orientations to commence use. The highly effective customer support offered by Zoho gives it a plus in ranking.
It’s a cost-effective project management tool with an array of helpful features. As such we highly recommend it for small and growing businesses seeking to improve their efficiency at a pocket-friendly cost.
Additionally, it allows integration with Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, and Zoho One package providing an all-in-one solution for small businesses.
Go ahead and give it a try. Also, contact us today to get your projects done professionally.