Project Management Tools: Does Zoho really make things easier?

By | July 16, 2012

I was recently asked to review a website that is well known for its cloud software, and cloud productivity tools. In fact, their software in many ways predates the online efforts of both Google & Microsoft. Enter Zoho, well known for its online productivity tools that started production in 2005.

I’ve never used Zoho, so I thought I would ask a colleague to do a review of the site for you. In fact, Zoho has so many applications that it is hard to focus on one thing, and one thing. But this overview will just look Zoho Project Management tools, in the context of Zoho.

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The first thing I noticed when I loaded the company’s page was the great layout. It is a very simple design that is eye catching, and it is easy to find important information. There are several links right away to sign up for free, which is usually the first thing I look for on such a site, so having them readily available on the front page is excellent.

Getting Started

The site gives a good introduction to its service on the front page, so I know what I’m getting into. If the front page is designed to make a case for using the service, it does it very well, by its use of attractive, detailed icons and small simple sentences explaining in plain English exactly what it is that the service does. I followed several of the links to read client testimonials, and they each specifically outlined reasons to use the service.

What is Project Management

Project management online is a growing industry, and I have used it a number of times in the past, with some of the older PHP tools. While conventional face to face management may seem simple, project management online is designed to take these complicated tasks and make them even more simple.

With online project management, everyone sees the documents shared in the collaboration, and all changes are recorded instantly across the whole team. This prevents anyone from accidentally doubling over another team member’s work, and also works hard to make sure that everyone on the team is in the loop on the project itself.

How well does it work

The service works from the top down to make it simple, and it does this the only way possible: It takes control of everything. The service does calendaring, which makes it simple to set milestones, deadlines and more, as well as scheduling meetings.

There are also shared folders, so files for the project can easily be made available. There is a function for an online discussion board and group chat (group chat costs a bit extra) so communication becomes simple.

The project even will have integrated time sheets, so keeping track of who does what and for how long is easy and already integrated into the solution. The site even integrates directly into Google Apps, which is a wonderful solution if Google Apps is already used for a project, company or website.

Looks Do Matter

The site’s good design and layout both contribute to my perception of its reliability. If a company does not care how its website looks, how can I know it cares about its customers at all?

All the information I could possibly want is easy to access from the main page, and the layout makes sense, with all the categories on top divided in ways that are perfectly logical. They even have a contact form to use in case something is not covered.

All in all, it seems this company is dedicated to their customer experience, and the website is an excellent example of that. I’d be tempted to sign up for the paid version of the service. With all the different features available for project management, it seems like it would make the workflow of any group project much more efficient.

Mark Thompson

What project management tools have you tried? What did you like? What did you hate?