When you’re running a remote or distributed team, having the right project management tools is crucial. With powerful software, it’s simple to monitor which team members are handling various tasks. Not only will you avoid things falling through the cracks, but you’ll be better equipped to manage your team’s resources and deliver your projects on time and within the budget.
To help you make this important decision, here are the best 9 project management tools for remote and distributed teams.Check out 9 awesome project management tools for remote and distributed teams Click To Tweet
With Hubstaff, you can easily keep track of which team members are doing what. The lightweight desktop app runs on your employees’ computers and monitors their activity levels and current tasks.
Let’s say you have a last-minute client request or urgent task. Just log into your Hubstaff dashboard, see who’s online, who’s already being really productive versus who has more bandwidth, and hand off the assignment.
Hubstaff also keeps track of your team’s working time–meaning you’ll never have to worry about approving timesheets again. It even integrates with PayPal and Payoneer, so paying your employees is essentially effortless.
You probably already use a project management solution to keep track of ongoing tasks and projects. Thanks to Hubstaff’s extensive integrations, it’s simple to loop in your existing software.
Price: free for Lite (1 user); starting at $5/month for Basic (1 user); starting at $9/month for Premium (1 user)
Free for 14 Days
Manage remote teams with Hubstaff
Free for 14 Days
There’s very little this powerful software can’t do: its functions include project management, team and one-on-one chat, HD video conferencing, workflow reporting, and file storage. In the past, having so many capabilities made the app feel cluttered and confusing.
Fortunately, Redbooth has gone through a great redesign. Its current interface is clean and easy to understand.
Your work is grouped into “Workspaces,” the app’s name for projects. It’s easy to get carried away when describing everything you can do with these workspaces, from creating templates for common workflows and turning chats into tasks, to using the instant file preview to see what a team member has shared without needing to download anything.
Remote workers will love Redbooth’s accessibility: You can use the app via the Mac or Windows desktop app, iOS or Android apps, or even your Apple Watch.
The video conferencing, screen sharing, voice conferencing, and direct and group messaging also make Redbooth ideal for a remote team–you’ll barely notice you’re not all in the same room.
Price: $5 per user/month for Pro (5-20 users); $15 per user/month for Business (5+ users); custom plans available
Learn how to track time in Redbooth with a simple integration.
This tool is specifically designed for marketing agencies. First, enter your client. Then, add the recurring tasks you take care of for this client, like “Answer questions on Quora” or “Find three guest posters for the blog.” Now, you have a monthly workflow for the client.
You can further break down your workflow by category, i.e. “Blog Post Production,” “Blog Post Distribution,” “Social Media Ongoing,” and so on. Color-coded progress bars indicate how far along your monthly progress is. This feature allows you to quickly keep track of your team’s efforts across multiple campaigns and clients. Send notifications and write notes to further keep everyone in the loop.
Workado also offers monthly automated client reports, so you can consistently show that you’re earning your rates.
Price: $49.99/month (up to 15 campaigns); $79.99/month (up to 30 campaigns); $129.99/month (up to 150 campaigns)
I’ll be honest: ProofHub takes some time and effort to get acquainted with. In addition to the standard project management features (task creation, file storage, and chat), it offers a ton of extras.
The ability to set custom roles for each user is a big one. You can give someone permission to view projects, or view and manage projects; see all projects, or only assigned projects; view discussions, view and participate in discussions, or view, participate in, and manage discussions; view to-dos, add and view to-dos, or add, view and manage to-dos–and on and on and on. While such a deep level of customization allows you to add team members, clients, and vendors to ProofHub, it’s also pretty exhausting to figure out.
ProofHub also provides Gantt charts and reporting, time logging, and real-time file annotation and markup.
Price: $20/month (10 projects); $50/month (40 projects); $70/month (80 projects); $150/month (unlimited projects)
For remote agencies that send tons of files back and forth, Huddle may just change everything. This project management software really shines in the file-sharing and collaboration department.
Once you or a team member has uploaded a file to a workspace (a.k.a. a project), you can set user permissions, add tasks, and request approvals. Huddle’s activity stream keeps you updated on who is accessing and editing your files. If you don’t want any changes made–maybe you’re sending a doc to a client or vendor–you can “lock” it. The platform also keeps previous versions of your files.
It’s worth noting that you probably won’t want to use Huddle without another project management tool: Since every conversation and to-do item is based on your multi-media content, you’ll need another service for normal task tracking.
Price: $20 per user/month (25+ users); $40 per user/month (100+ users)
In contrast, WORK[etc] is trying to be your “umbrella” platform, covering virtually all of your agency’s needs.
First, you’ve got the CRM side. WORK[etc] captures sales leads, lets you assign and track them, and offers pipeline reporting.
It also has deep project management functionality. Not only can users create projects and tasks, but the tool lets you take it one step further with task dependencies; Gantt charts, project trees, and timelines; and timesheets, invoices, and budgeting.
There’s even support for your customer service efforts. Get automated customer support tickets, create response templates, manage specific customer cases by priority and timing, and view individual customer history.
I suggest choosing WORK[etc] only if you’re planning on using all of these aspects of the software. If you’re not, save the money and use something more lightweight.
Price: $78/month (2 users); $195/month (3 users; each additional user is $49/month)
Compared to many of the options on this list, Clarizen is pretty expensive. However, it also offers a couple features that you won’t find in other tools.
Take its comprehensive time and resource solution. When you receive a request for a new project or make changes to an existing one, Clarizen will automatically calculate how that will affect your available budget and workloads. If you’re negotiating with a client or deciding whether or not to take on more work, this feature will be insanely valuable.
The template choices are also noteworthy. Take advantage of Clarizen’s rich template library to start your next project even more quickly, or create your own template. Users can even pull existing templates from Microsoft Project for a simple transition.
Finally, you’ll be impressed with Clarizen’s wide variety of integrations: from Salesforce and QuickBooks to Google Docs and LinkedIn.
Price: $30 per user/month for Professional plan; $45 per user/month for Enterprise; $60 per user/month for Unlimited
If you’re looking for a project management app that won’t take more than a couple minutes to get running, Nozbe is a good choice.
Its basic structure should feel really familiar: Projects are broken down into Tasks, which can be customized with deadlines, categories, and owners. To help your scheduling efforts, you can also add how much time a task will take (from five minutes to eight hours) or give it a recurring deadline.
Users can see what’s coming down the pipeline in a couple different ways. The Priority tab holds every task you’ve starred, while the Calendar tab displays the tasks that are due in the coming days and weeks.
Nozbe’s flexibility is a major advantage if your agency frequently hires freelancers or temporary workers. With a Pro account, adding and removing users is easy–and each additional user only costs $5 per month.
Price: $10/month (1-2 users), each additional user is $5/month
Since Function Point is tailored for creative industries, it’s definitely a solid choice for the typical remote agency.
The platform includes a full-service CRM, with tabs for your conversations, jobs, tasks, contacts, and more.
Once you’ve actually landed a client, create a schedule using one of Function Point’s templates. Then assign work to a team or individual. Built-in timesheets and milestones further streamline the process.
Along with time-tracking, you can also keep your employees accountable with task reminders, automatic alerts, and tracked changes.
Furthermore, Function Point provides accounting software integration: You can bill clients and pay your employees from the same place.
Price: $34 per user/month (5-39 users); $21 per user/month (40-99 users); $17 per user/month (100+ users)
What project management software for remote teams do you recommend?
Did we miss your favorite PM software for remote teams? Let us know about it in the comments below. If you use one of the tools above, we’d also love to hear about your experience with it.
If you would love to check out a few more project management solutions, check out our list of over 30 different tools.