After our team at UX Studio started using product management tools, the time spent on communication surprisingly decreased.
We all hate email: endless exchanges with our colleagues to reach decisions… We’ve all seen that.
As a product manager, you know the drill. Coordinating designer and developer teams simultaneously while reporting to the boss via email becomes a drag.
But don’t worry, have hope! Using the right applications, everybody can work together flawlessly, in addition you can save enormous time on execution.
We created a list of all the essential platforms a product manager would need, so anyone can revolutionize their team workflow.
So we recommend these product management tools based on our experience and customer reviews:
Project Management Tools
We simply cannot overemphasize the importance of collaboration tools. Our team would literally die without them, since these platforms allow everyone to get on the same page.
When developing a product, you need to make information available to all parties, communicate continuously with the teams and track the entire design flow.
Lacking the proper system renders this a nearly impossible mission – especially when some of the team works remotely.
Asana has become one of the best-known collaboration tools on this planet. The platform makes it possible to create dashboards, tasks, projects, discussions and much more.
- Easy navigation and use
- Intuitive interface
- Mobile app version available
- Cannot sync Asana dates with Outlook calendar
- Lack of project templates
- No push notifications in the browser
Price: Starts at $9.99 / user / month
Basecamp has emerged as the other hotshot of project management and collaboration tools. You can create to-do’s with deadlines, milestones, upload files and organize discussions within the software.
- Super easy to use
- Project templates available
- Integration with Zapier
- Cannot sync Basecamp dates with Outlook and Google calendar
- Chat needs improvement
- Tricky to give user permissions
Price: Basic plan starts at $29 / month
Active Collab handily organizes everything in one place. The platform allows task management, time tracking, discussions and even invoicing.
- Project templates
- API version available
- Great add-on integrations
- Mobile version needs updating
Price: Basic plan starts at $25 / month for 5 team members
Actually, we like playing with Slack more than most anything. We use it every day for chatting and sharing threads, ideas and files. Basically for everything connected to daily work.
- Helpful integrations such as calendar
- Online, desktop and mobile versions available
- Instant messaging and push notifications
- Cannot create multiple accounts for one address
- Free version doesn’t store files for long
Price: The free version works perfectly fine, but go for the premium package starting at $6.67 / user / month
Another sweetheart in our team because it’s almost dummy-proof. Trello organizes projects into cards and boards to visualize a project’s current stage.
- Perfect for seeing through processes and projects
- Easy to learn
- Growing list of integrations
- User interface tricky at first
- Underdeveloped design
Price: Free, though the business class package for $9.99 / user / month. It offers more integrations and a higher level of security.
RealTime Board platform enables brainstorming and idea development with different teams. It works as a simple whiteboard allowing simultaneous editing among colleagues. You can use stickers, schemes, comments and even mockups.
- Real-time connection and changes
- User-friendly interface
- Video chat function
- Few features
- Takes time to learn
Price: Basic plan starts at $8 / user / month
Product Management Tools
Read more about product design management in our free e-book: Product Managers’ Guide to UX Design.
The most essential product management tools, product roadmaps help visualize the entire product development process from sketch to release.
View these “maps” as timelines showing different goals and milestones, thus providing deeper insights where you are and where you should be.
Roadmunk just about tops the market for roadmap applications right now. The software makes it easier for product managers to follow through development processes and product launches.
- Intuitive interface
- Multiple views on data
- Too many settings in the presentations
Price: Basic plan starts at $19
Using ProdPad visualizes product development flow in another great way. Within the software, product teams can collaborate on ideas and priorities to manage releases with ease.
- Quick roadmap creation
- Clear interface
- Flexible system
- Few reporting tools
- Takes some time to learn the system
Price: Starter plan priced at $20 / year, but you can choose a Standard plan at $99 / month for additional features
Aha! was born to save the lives of PMs working in agile environments. The platform helps them create transparent product strategies and visual roadmaps to improve product development sprints.
- Outstanding user experience
- Great drag-and-drop functions
- Auto-push to JIRA
- Takes time to learn the ropes
- Cannot link features to multiple initiatives
Price: Basic plan starts at $74 / month, but there’s a package for startups as well
Although ProductBoard is a relatively new platform, it could eventually compete well in the field. It doesn’t just create roadmaps, it also helps teams tremendously in prioritizing tasks, features and efforts.
- User-friendly interface
- Chrome extension adds value
- Great collab tools
- Integrations need improvement
- Lack of export/import functions for certain data
Price: Basic plan starts at $24 / editor / month
Task Management and Issue Tracking Systems
A product manager certainly needs a platform to monitor project progress and the management of different issues. Task management tools can save quite some time providing up-to-date information on product development.
Probably one of the most famous product management tools, JIRA allows Agile and Kanban planning as well. Almost everybody who’s ever thought of using an issue tracking platform knows JIRA.
- Effective in daily issue and time tracking
- Easy to adapt to company’s needs
- Wide range of add-ons
- Crowded interface
- Needs time to master
- Hard to find documentation for some items
Price: Basic plan starts at $10 / month up to 10 users
Over 2 million people use GitHub’s open-source issue-monitoring platform on a daily basis. So it’s worth considering it.
- Simple interface
- Clear issue management system
- Interesting stats on project and user levels
- Navigation not very intuitive
- Use requires some technical know-how
Price: Plans ranged from $7 – $21 / month – based on the number of repositories
Also an open-source issue tracking system, Mantis BT sets up in no time. This very basic yet handy tool efficiently does the job.
- Super easy to configure
- Outstanding support services
- Slow user interface
- Integrates poorly
Price: 100% free
User Feedback Tools
User feedback solutions serve as one of the most important product management tools. Developing a product doesn’t end upon release, you also need to check whether customers like it or not. And if necessary, iterate accordingly.
Survicate allows product managers to explore consumer behavior and trends, and gain valuable insights about the product directly from customers.
- Great variety of questionnaires
- Allows specific targeting
- Lead alerts feature
- Navigation needs improvement
- Cannot exclude IPs
Price: Free for the basic features, but a business plan starts at $60 / month
Uservoice is a well-known product feedback management platform. It gathers customer feedback, creates advanced reports and contributes to the support ticketing system.
- Smooth navigation
- Easy access for users
- Ticket tagging feature
- Limited range of support languages
- Not easy to edit in HTML
Price: Basically free, but for business purposes requires requesting a quote.
Intercom provides realistic data from customers perfectly. The software allows communication with consumers based on their behavioral and other aspects.
- Real-time metrics
- Helps in onboarding processes
- Increasing list of integrations
- Low capacity of analytics
- Pricy for smaller teams
Price: Basic plan starts at $53 / month
Drift aces engagement, support and capturing leads. The platform makes it easy to contact website visitors so you can turn them into valuable leads.
- Clean user interface
- Wide range of features
- Easy installing
- Some features not customizable
- Notifications should be more up-to-date
Price: Access the basic stuff for free, but small business plans start at $50 / editor / month
Though we’ve created an extensive list, several other product management tools may also make life easier. Please let us know if something is on your mind or you know other apps we can add to the list!
If you want to learn more on product management processes, check out our Product Design book! We ship it for free 😉