Finding the Right Tools

We’re still on the hunt for the right tools for the right workflow – and we’re failing miserably. With so many SAAS products on the market today, it should be easy to find something that fits our needs, right?

Needle in a haystackSurprisingly, we’re struggling. We’ve spent the better part of 2 days looking for the right tool to manage client projects. It shouldn’t be that hard, right? Set up some tasks, organize them into a project, distinguish between billable and non-billable hours, track time, invoice clients, and maybe even give clients access to see what’s going on. But apparently nobody can get it quite right, and to find out what’s missing, these services need me to give them credit card info just to check out their products in more detail.

So what have we found? A supposedly great project management tool doesn’t handle time tracking. Task managers don’t allow planning future tasks, and forget about durations, dependencies and non-billable time. Easy invoicing built in? Not if you’re in Canada. Another seemingly great tool won’t let us see all of our tasks at a glance – we have to drill down into 5 potential projects to figure out what’s going on at the company level.

All of the niche products showing up now are also relying on “integrations” to fill in the gaps with their offerings. Rather than offer a complete product, we’ll let you hook up your XYZ subscription which does a great job! So instead of finding one complete service, we’re paying hundreds a month for lots of little incomplete services and still winding up with gaps. Is this really the future of SAAS? And why isn’t anyone doing project management in a way that fits our needs? Yes, we’ve checked out Basecamp, Harvest, Copper, Planscope, Toggl, Copper, Tempo, MinuteDock – you name it.

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