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Author: Kayleigh Toyra

5 New Project Management Tools You May Not Have Used Yet

Project management is a huge headache, but it’s also unavoidable,

being a key component of running any type of business you care to mention. Without projects, internal or external, you’re left in a perpetual state of winging it — and with projects that are unmanaged or poorly managed, you’re only marginally better off.

This means you need to maintain a tight grip over every aspect of each project you undertake. From the very first brief to the final sign-off, you need everything catalogued, distributed and archived accordingly. This can be done completely manually, but it’s far more work than anyone should consider taking on that way. That’s where project management tools come in.

Project management tools help you keep track of what your goals are, where resources are going, how deliverables are coming along, and how distinct teams are cooperating and collaborating. To help you keep your approach moving with the times, here are 5 such tools that you might not have tried yet:


If you’re looking for a broad project management suite, you’ll find no shortage of viable options out there. Systems like Asana and Trello are enduringly popular, and new contenders pop up on a regular basis. Wrike is a choice that has steadily crept up in perceived viability, and stands (in its current iteration) as an exceptional option that’s certainly worth a look if you’re unfamiliar.

What makes it so useful? Well, it has reasonable pricing ($24.80 per user per month at the business tier) and provides exceptional functionality. The cloud-based interface is crisp, clean, and clear, and the onus is on comprehensive usability. It isn’t the slickest program out there, and it will likely be seen as a little complex at first, but the learning curve is worth it.


Created for agile working, MeisterTask is a simpler and more colorful solution than Wrike. Its layout flexibly rearranges to suit your needs, no matter what specifically you’re trying to achieve, and if you don’t need fancy integrations, you can use it for free — indefinitely. That certainly makes it something worth considering.

If you do want those integrations, the pro tier is very affordable, so it’s unquestionably a justifiable expense. With so many project management tools offering comparable functionality, it really comes down to personal preference. What menu style do you prefer? What layout format? Experiment with new tools when you can, and you might just find a better fit.



Weekdone is all about specific objectives: for the week, for the month, for one person, for an entire team… if you’re determined to achieve particular things before particular dates, this type of intuitive format might be perfect for you. The challenge innate to more complex tools can cause headaches, but Weekdone is incredibly straightforward.

The pricing is similarly simple, scaling up the more users you need. Having 100 premium users (complete with onboarding and training in the event that you need it) will cost just $6 per person per month. There are also Android and iOS apps that offer at-a-glance graphics showing project progress — perfect for busy managers that need oversight to be optimally simple.


You’ve inevitably heard of Slack — it’s one of the most widely-used business communication tools in the world, after all — but it isn’t the only program of its kind. Fleep was built along similar lines, but it goes about things in a slightly different way. You can think of it as a cross-platform hybrid: instead of limiting chat to specific channels, it brings together live chat and email into an interface that allows people in your operation to communicate live regarding specific emails.

It’s also open to the extent that no one needs a Fleep invitation to participate in an exchange if invited. You can simply email them about it and make them a part of the live exchange. And with the free version allowing file sharing, message history storage, and unlimited conversations, it’s a highly affordable choice.


This might seem like an odd choice for this list, but allow me to explain its inclusion. Zapier isn’t innately a project management tool, but given that it can add so much to project management, it absolutely warrants a place on this list. Zapier is an integration tool that allows you to connect apps of all types and purposes, allowing you to get your broader operation running smoothly.

Consider this: Zapier supports integrations with every other tool I’ve listed here, and can easily get them hooked up to CRM systems like Zendesk or ecommerce platforms like Shopify Plus or WooCommerce. Integrations via Zapier frees your team from getting bogged down with admin and other repetitive labor-intensive tasks so that they can dedicate more of their time and effort on the tasks that mean more to your business’s bottom line.

Project management can always become more efficient, and this is reflected in the ever-developing software scene. Whether you’ve just dipped your toes in the ocean of digitally-enhanced project management, or you’ve been using solutions like Trello for quite some time, there’s always room to try new tools. Why not give these a shot?

How Business Analysts Can Contribute to Online Retail Success

With low entry requirements and near-unlimited scope, ecommerce is a brutal industry.

Mostly anything you can sell is invariably on offer elsewhere, with any niche you care to mention already fought over by myriad competent merchants. Standing out through product quality is a challenge when most items come through generic supply chains. It’s possible to offer something totally original, but given the practical demands of production, it’s uncommon.

As a result, much of the recipe to ecommerce success involves factors aside from the products you offer or the prices you charge: factors such as how you market your brand, and — perhaps most importantly — how you run your website, encompassing both the technical elements and the level of customer service they present.

And when running such a website, it’s extremely valuable to work with a business analyst. Why is this, you might ask — what about business analysts makes them so useful for thriving in the ecommerce world? Well, here’s how they can meaningfully contribute:

They can boost efficiency to support scaling

What can’t you automate? High-level internal communications. While you can implement tools to help people communicate more effectively, it’s rarely a good idea to take staff off their primary roles for too long purely so you can get them talking. The point of a business analyst is that they have a dedicated and third-party perspective on your business, and can focus on dealing with obstacles for your staff members so they can focus on their workloads.

In essence, with a business analyst on your team (and the use of in-depth real-time analytics through platforms like Looker or Tableau), you can leave your technical developers to concentrate on development, your content production team to produce content, and all invested parties to their own devices — every group knowing that said analyst will keep them apprised of exactly what they need to be doing.


They can speed up store development

The difficulty here often lies in the clumsy communication between those savvy with tech-related matters and those knowing little about the digital world. The average online seller isn’t a web developer, and might know very little about how websites actually work — they just want a store that gets the job done and suits their needs.

Imagine that a layperson meets with a web developer to build a plan of action. They might be willing to sign off on certain basics (e.g. using Upwork over Fiverr to outsource content production, choosing one SaaS provider over another because of the support structure, or using particular colors to suit the brand guidelines), but they’ll probably run into difficulties when they start asking for certain features and expect them to be simple.

Once an organization moves beyond the early stages of growth, keeping up with the latest innovations and challenges gets more difficult. A business analyst can mediate this process of discussion, smoothing things along and ensuring that everyone knows what is expected of them and what can realistically be accomplished. Given that store development is an ongoing thing (ecommerce standards are fluid), this role can be hugely important.

They can action customer feedback

As much as a seller might like their store to be their personal vision of ecommerce, it’s always useful to remember that a store is built to please the shoppers. It has to be. The shoppers hold all the power over the company’s operations. What use is there in having a store that you think looks good if all the visitors leave in disgust? None at all, really.

And since shopper expectations change and develop over time, so too must your approach to business. That’s why you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your audience, learning what they like about your company, what they dislike, and what they’re indifferent about — but this isn’t easy. Not only is it tricky to seek direct feedback when you’re personally invested in what you’re doing, but it’s also tough not to let your personal opinions get involved.

A business analyst can serve as the voice of dispassionate reason for your store, gathering suggestions from your customers (and customer support team) and relaying them to you in a logical way. Through implementing and monitoring tools such as Heap (for customer analytics) and Yotpo (for maximizing customer value), they can make the most of every last customer.

They can also discuss prospective improvements with the IT team, again ensuring that all communications are fully logged and easy to understand. The result? Your store will keep getting better, and the disparate elements of your business will keep operating as usual without needing to waste time communicating poorly.

All things considered, scaling online retail is a tricky operation, with a pressing need to establish various internal teams to handle distinct elements: marketing, development, customer relations, shipping management, etc. By hiring a great business analyst, you can establish a strong fulcrum to support them all and keep everyone on the same page.