I’d checked out Teambox a while ago and was intrigued but not quite impressed – I just decided to take another look at them a few weeks ago and I really like some of the changes they’ve made to make it an easier to use, more streamlined experience. In fact, I’m now using Teambox as my main project management tool.
- Teambox is one of the only full featured project management tools (up there with Siasto) where you can semi-customize the appearance of the user interface. We all know I’m a big design geek so this is important to me!
- Calendar view with tasks laid out on it (though no option to view by week instead of month – that would be a nice addition; it’d also be great if it was color coded by project/organization)
- Time tracking & Gantt charts (not something I use – I love Harvest for my time-tracking – but nice additions nonetheless)
- Conversations & group chat functions
- Task list templates
- You can view task lists in a column view with drag & drop flexibility – great option for people who like Kanban style tools but want something more full-featured than most of the available Kanban style tools out there
- Fairly easy Google documents & Google calendar integration
- Mobile apps for iPhone & iPad available (haven’t tested the iPad app, but the iPhone app is very easy to use)
- One of its strongest points is the ability to go from a high-level overview (with the organizations view) to a really granular view (task lists within projects).
- Because of the organizations function, Teambox would be a great tool for businesses doing agency-style work – where you need different team members working on different projects/with different business clients.
- The Google docs integration is a little clunky – you have to attach the document to a comment on a particular task, and then if you want to see that particular document in the cloud (as opposed to downloading it – after all, that’s the whole point of Gdocs), you have to navigate back to that task/comment/attachment to view it online.
- I wish the UI was a bit more customizable – more background choices (black damask, anyone?) or the ability to color code things/choose a color scheme would be fantastic.
- No recurring tasks – but this is due to be added before the end of the year. This would be a dealbreaker for me if it wasn’t due to be added so soon, so I can only hope that the previously stated timeline is accurate!
- No way to star tasks or set specific tasks as higher priority than others.
- The way the pricing is set up ($25/month/organization), it could get pricey – but the free plans are fairly extensive (five projects, a gigabyte of storage, five users).
- Something I didn’t note in the video, because I hadn’t been using Teambox regularly at that point, is that if you have projects or task lists that are named the same (say, “General” or “Ongoing/Maintenance” or “Administrative”), it can be kind of a pain in the ass to add tasks from the quick-add function, because it doesn’t show you what organization you’re adding it to, just the project/task list names. This is also a problem with the iPhone app.
Why I switched to Teambox
You might remember from a while ago that I had been using Rule.fm for my project management. After rediscovering Teambox & giving it a go, I decided to switch to Teambox for two main reasons:
- I wasn’t using a lot of features inside Rule – I’m not sure if that would have changed if I had stuck with it (I’m working on some internal changes that will affect how I use project management tools, more on that soon), but as is, I was essentially using Rule for the color coded calendar view, and not using the CRM, wiki, or conversation features. The conversation/chat features are probably something I’ll be using inside of Teambox in the future, but I don’t really need the CRM or wiki functionality, so Rule was starting to feel like not a great fit.
- Integration with tools I already use. The wiki features inside Rule.fm are really cool (and I think they’d be fantastic for creating multimedia, internal operations manuals) but Google docs is really where the majority of my needs-to-be-shared information is stored, so integration with that – even if it could be improved upon – is really useful. Also, I haven’t tested it out yet, but Zapier promises integration between Teambox & Evernote – which, if it worked out well, would be fantastic. (Probably going to be digging more into Zapier & reviewing it or featuring it in a tool roundup soon; stay tuned.)
In other words, it pretty much came down to the features I actually used – Teambox has more of those than Rule does. I wound up putting off switching everything into Teambox for about a week and a half but once I got down to it, it only took about 30-60 minutes, and so far, Teambox works really well with my workflow. (I do wish it had a prioritizing function – that and recurring tasks would make it pretty much perfect, barring my UI nitpicks.)
So there’s your latest review + behind the scenes update – any questions about Teambox or why I switched? Let me know!