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I think Beesy.me is exactly what you were searching for. Its dynamic realt-time collaboration note-taking feature enables to collectively add actions to your notes. Actions are assignable to people, deadlines and priorities and while you take notes, you're to-dos, project management tab, etc. gets updated regarding what actiosn you're putting in your notes. It is cloud based and has an iPad version -> http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-me-online-platform/
I use proofhub. It is a online project management system that helps in better planning and organization over business projects and these can be better executed with the aid of this tool. As with just a few clicks here and there, you are all set to get started on a project, together as a team. That too without holding any long meetings, sending long threads of emails or phone calls. All that is required to be done within a project, people who need to get the work done and relevant files, docs or designs, you will find it all in one place.
Did you hear about askcow? It is the most comfortable service for running a project at the moment. Despite its easiness in use, askcow is deadly effective and enough powerful to deal even with a huge fleet of spaceships, not mention to small groups of collaborators.
Check the video about askcow on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/59400005
I also used Basecamp for collaboration but it got a few "must-have" features like time tracking that I need the most. I'm actually working from home and I can't start my day without a time tracking app running from the background. It serves as our attendance software though. So, I ran out of apps to choose until Time Doctor was referred to me. Actually, they have made a list of over 43 project management software which I think useful in your search. Check here, http://blog.timedoctor.com/2011/02/02/43-project-management-software-alt...
I've used Podio in my company for quite some time now, and really like it. I found another article that might help you get a better background of few tools on the market: http://www.clickwebdesign.com.au/top-10-online-project-management-platforms-part2.html. Depending on your budget, there's plenty of options out there for you. Hope that helps.
I had used several project management software tools in the past, such as Basecamp, Replicon, Zoho, etc.
If you are looking for just project management you should opt for wither Replicon or Basecamp.
If you are looking for time, task, project and bills management you must opt for Replicon project management software.
I suspect your team will struggle with dotproject (or any open-source software), as they tend to be quite technical and not so user-friendly, as they don't have companies behind them focusing on usability, support, etc. The same is likely to be true of more full-featured tools, like MS Project, that are designed for use in more complex project and by more experienced users. And while I'd love to recommend my company's product, WorkZone, (I'm actually the CEO), I think it might be more than you need as well, though it's much easier to use than the others.
As you've probably seen, there are literally hundreds of project management software tools out there, so it can be a bit overwhelming. One of the best, that's been around for a long time, is Basecamp. I'd suggest giving that a try first. It's not free, but it's relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. It won't have some of the advanced features of tools like WorkZone (e.g., dependencies, Gantt Charts), but it sounds like you may not need that (at least in the beginning).
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You could try Teamwork http://twproject.com. You can have your private environment running on Amazon cloud for less than 100€ per month. In Teamwork you can create your projects, resources, and assign them to tasks. Teams share agenda, documents, and boards.
The interface is friendly and you should be (quite) happy with that.
RationalPlan offers a suite of PM products and among them you can try RationalPlan Server both as on-premise with a one time payment and as cloud based project management with a monthly payment.
And since you are not familiar with project management software this is even more a good choice for you since it was especially desined for novice project managers.
I suggest to take a look at Paymo (http://paymo.biz/ ) that's what I use and they're getting more and more popular. They have a really nice project management system + time tracking & invoicing ( invoices, reports, expenses, estimates), mobile apps, and even an automatic tracking tool.
It's not free, but it's not that expensive either. Hope this helps
We were using a light weight client to manage contacts, calendar, tasks etc on windows platform called as Chaos Intellect However it does not sync very well with dropbox or google drive. They have their own paid hosting solution which I haven't tried but at $99 a year it seems much cheaper than a lot of apps listed here. Link: http://www.chaoshost.com/
I would like to suggest you ZilicusPM - our own online project management software. IMO, it meets your requirements and very easy to use.
I would love to throw our app TeamworkPM.net into the mix here. We have a full free plan that will give you 2 free projects and unlimited users. This should be able to help you out with your planning of your event.
We also have features like a global calendar and recurring tasks which you might find very useful for what you are doing
Make sue you take a look, and if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
You can also see what our users have been saying about us as well here.