Talk:Online project planning tools

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Jaap Pels, 2013/03/02

Hi Norma,

Go for SmartSheet. It does it all in the cloud :-)

Norma Garza, 2013/03/02

Hi Jaap,

I'll definitely check this one out as I'm all about the cloud. Do you know if SmartSheet goes beyond planning and includes features that allow for team collaboration?

Arthur Shelley, 2013/03/03


Good advice as always! Your regular contributions to this community creates significant value to many and a leading role model for knowledge sharing. I highlight you and similar people in other forums to my KM students as an excellent example of how they should aspire to engage with others around knowledge sharing.


Please remember to focus on the people and relationships for best outcomes. If the behaviours are right, a virtual tool will provide excellent SUPPORT for sharing. However, even the best tool in the world will not make knowledge transfer happen, if inappropriate behaviours are displayed (politics, self focus, taking more than giving etc). Best outcomes happen when members create and lead an environment in which participants see the value in mutual exchange. People like us in this forum may assume this to be the norm, but in the wider scope of people and projects, this is not the norm. Understand first what you wish to achieve and THEN decide what tool best fits the desired outcomes.

Maciej Chmielewski, 2013/03/03

Hey Norma, my project ha been using basecamp for all of its project planning and organization, it's very easy to use, lives in the cloud, first two months free, and best thing is you can fully control who uses what sub section if the project (ie keeping clients out of certain section) and it has a great mobile version as well.

Gabriele Sani, 2013/03/03

Hi Norma,

What do you need to manage your projects?

I have had good experience using AgileZen (a kanban board) but then switched to Trello (free and funky) and finally to huboard, to have a free board that is tightly integrated with github (your developers will love it - or at least they should!) Google apps can be good enough, too, if you want a shared calendar to set deadlines and tools to collaborate on documents: I use it for early stages of collaboration with vendors, but once the project is on we switch to more "formal" systems, like redmine... But I suppose you could stay on google to use it as a shared repository of docs for a Prince2 project, too.

Have fun!

Davide Piga, 2013/03/03

Hi Norma,

I checked out the KM4Dev wiki and found one summarized discussion that has information relevant to your question:

There are more summarized discussions about "online collaboration" in general. They are not specifically focused on planning, but in case you want to quickly go through them, here's the complete list.

Jaap Pels, 2013/03/04

Dear Norma,

One can attach files / emails / alerts to items in Smartsheet, so a team can collaborate in terms of who, what, when questions.

Most project leaders / managers will focus here and on 'managing' the progress (not process!).

Managing 'progress' - mostly just in money (and time) - is a managers-proxy for the process-progress.

By budgeting or setting milestones - forecasting in general - we sort of try to keep money flows flowing and organisations running.

Anyway, this 'cloud-planning' is good because everybody can be on the same wavelength. It can be empowering :-) Can be a source of conflict .... In any case a planning is susceptible to change.

KM for your programme - The how (and why) question - you might benefit from the below KM Framework. My basic #KM #framework . It points out what categories of #processes have to be organised / facilitated / mob-flashed / work-shopped / blogged / wiki-ed about. The zooming in on blocks, arrows and text-balloons is what #KM is about. In arrows #information flows. The top block is about #sharing of #knowledge #sharingand and the bottom box is focused around #ICT . Sure, #context and #capacity development, next to #topic / #theme / #sector and #power #access and #language counts. Sure, size - #personal , #organisational and #sector -wide, counts.


Norma Garza, 2013/03/04

  • To Jaap: I just saw a quick video on smart sheet and will be exploring. It looks very practical and like the timeline and reporting features. I have tried basecamp and huddle before but haven't been completely sold on them, so I hope to be deciding on one soon. Thanks also for the KM framework. I enjoy reading your feedback they are always insightful an practical.
  • To Maciej: I have used basecamp before as one of our vendors uses it and we collaborated on a project using this tool and found it useful, but haven't looked into it in detail in terms of all it's features. Definitely having good mobile version is a big plus these days. Do you find basecamp syncing well with other calendars such as outlook, lotus notes, google calendar?
  • To Gabriele: Thanks for all these suggestions Gabriele! Curious about Trello since its free and many of these tools have a monthly fee. We almost use different google apps such as docs-drive on a daily basis. Even if not encouraged by our organization for security issues, we just find them great to collaborate on specific documents and provide edits, comments etc instead if working on different versions. However, I haven't found a google app or series of google apps that provides overall good planning tool.

Paul Corney, 2013/03/04

To let you all know Sparknow's business has been run using Basecamp as its project management backbone for many years now. We allow clients in where applicable and also use it to run all our projects.

It also houses the documents, images, sounds, presentations for both internal and external use.

Now it syncs ok with the other calendars.

Martina Bobulova, 2013/03/04

Hi Norma,

I have tried Asana ( ) and found it much better – easier to understand and navigate than basecamp. Also it lets you do more in the free version than basecamp.

Maciej Chmielewski, 2013/03/04

The other thing I forgot to mention is that Basecamp also has a suite of other mini sites under the basecamp umbrella, one that has been instrumental in my projects smooth operations is Highrise, which is an online client management database. It has all the typical fields that would be required for the persons information but It also integrates your outlook emails into that persons profile so you can document conversations pertaining to that person or a company. I also think that there is a lot of great free options out there, frankly I have not come across any that have the features and a dedicated staff to ensure quality and performance..if I had to choose one I would go with google docs, always changing and improving.