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You can try Interneer. It contains a vast array of features, functions, and delivery options to configure business applications that require human interaction. This BPM software can be used by organizations to manage their entire operations from one central location.
If you're the type of user that likes an app that does basically almost everything you need (time tracking, project management and invoicing) under one roof, then I think you should definitely try what I use. It's called Paymo and me and my team have been using it for more than a year and we're pretty picky.
Well I have tested out various project management tools, some are inherently better than others, more recently we are moving towards standards compliant software tools. One such tool is WebActionHero - this tool is offered in the cloud (meaning web based), they do offer a free trial, and new features are being added all the time. If I am correct you are looking for a web based tool? You mention that you wish to see how any number of projects are coming along at once? Well this can do that and more, it also has parallel workflows, multi user privaledges and more.
I think every project manager started with spreadsheets, then usually comes the era of MS Project until you realize that you need much more. If you start looking for the project management solution there are some must-have criteria you should keep in mind: it should be web-based, intuitive and flexible. Only online software provides you with the real-time collaboration capabilities and possibility to stay up-to-date with the project progress.
As for the price, there are many free options, just google “free management software”, but IMHO it’s a bad idea to stick to one of these free solutions. First of all they offer quite a limited feature set (usually no Gantt charts, reports etc.) They may seem OK for a while but as the number of your projects grows, limitations become quite obvious. By the moment you decide to switch to a more robust solution, you’ll already have loads of tasks and schedules in the system and it’ll take you too much time to transfer all this data to a new tool.
So my advice will be to spend some time on testing different paid solutions and choosing the one that suits you best and helps you in dealing with your current project management challenges
When I started looking for a PM tool, I had two main challenges: how to efficiently manage multiple projects and how to keep my distributed team members on the same page. I tested dozens of solutions and chose Wrike (www.wrike.com). First of all it allowed me to easily juggle several projects at once: I can see all my projects on one screen, track updates in Activity stream, adjust team’s schedules and view projects schedules on the Gantt chart. Wrike is also extremely useful in synchronizing my team’s work as they discuss tasks and see task updates in real time.
That’s said, spare neither time nor efforts to analyze your current challenges and PM apps on the market.
Though my answer is posted after a while, I am sure it will help many viewers.
You have mentioned that you have gone beyond excel spreadsheet & index card, which are inherently not collaborative. However the good news is - cloud based software are at your disposal, really.
If you need an intuitive, web-based project management solution that allows you to stay on top of many projects, the key is to find a perfect mix of cost and capacity! The right application can indeed help you to gain better overall control and accountability, and to finish projects on-time, on-spec and on-budget!
You didn't mention whether you were looking for a hosted or non-hosted solution, so I'll give an example of both.
Hosted: Unfuddle.com - the corporate plan is $50/mo which goes up to 20 active projects
Non-Hosted: Redmine - open source (and free), Rails project management software
Both of these are especially helpful when integrating with version control systems like SVN and Git.