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Best Project Management Tools for Agencies

Best Project Management Tools for Agencies

Investing in project management tools may be the least sexy part of running a business. But like all unsexy things (taxes, exercise and eating vegetables), you’ll benefit from your investment down the track. Even if you’re running a small agency, project management tools help to lay the foundations for good practice that will make expanding your business a breeze. And the right project management tools will no doubt help cultivate some good habits to stay with you a lifetime.

Check out our list of the best project management tools for agencies.


Harvest is a time tracking program first and a project management product second. The interface is incredibly easy and intuitive to use. Reviewing employee hours is a breeze. On the downside, it doesn’t have the feature for detailed collaboration on project level and for what is essentially just an incredible time tracker, it can get expensive for larger teams ($99 per month for 10 users on unlimited projects).

Active Collab

Active Collab is an ambitious platform that aims to fold a time tracker, project management, and collaboration tool into one. And it actually does so reasonably well. Because it’s juggling so many balls, the interface is a bit messy even if the scope of the platform is impressive. The time tracking processes aren’t as sophisticated as Harvest but it it’s a good all-in-oner with some sophisticated processes thrown in as well such as the ability to track hours, invoice and manage payments all within the platform.

Annoyingly, Active Collab doesn’t allow you to assign more than one lead on a project and can be a bit pricey for smaller teams, but overall it’s a competitive platform.


If you’re less concerned with time tracking and more concerned with project management (maybe you’ve switched to a subscription-based model recently), Dapulse is the platform for you.

It’s strictly a project management platform with no native time tracking function but can easily be shared with clients, sync with calendars and works out to be quite cheap for medium to large teams.


For most teams, Basecamp is the first port of call for project management. The wildly popular platform is a great all-in-one tool that manages to do it all while looking great. It facilitates communication with project specific and general message boards as well as an IM feature. Set to-do lists, reminders, schedules, automate check-ins and track your team all from the one platform.

Another lifesaving feature is the internal document and file sharing system which not only lets you share and discuss files, but also tracks the history of changes.

The Clientside feature (which costs a bit extra per month) loops your clients into relevant projects with a front facing interface that allows you to interact in a controlled way.

On the downside, Basecamp can be overly prescriptive about flow, locking you into their structure rather than allowing teams to design their own processes. However, it’s still pretty damn reasonable, with your first account for free and at $29 per month for internal teams ($79 for the Clientside feature).


Trello is an incredibly sophisticated project management tool with a fully functional free version. The clean UI lets you lay out projects in an easy to understand hierarchy and reorganise with a simple drag and drop functionality.

It’s particularly good for software development projects and organising basic work flows. You can assign many team members to each board, colour code, share files, build check lists, assign due dates and sync with the big apps like Google Drive, Slack, Evernote and Github. Unfortunately, there’s no time tracking feature... but did we mention it’s free?


Asana is undoubtedly the best looking of all the project management tools on the market. The clean, clear and colorful UI will impress your clients and, unlike Basecamp, teams can design their own project flows to suit different collaborative styles.

It syncs with all the big collaboration apps (including Dropbox, Slack, Google Drive, Okta and Github) as you’d expect and while there’s no native time tracking in the platform there are several Chrome plugins to cover you.

Asana (with basic dashboards) is free for teams of up to 15. After that, pricing is determined per team members making it perfect for small to medium teams.

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