Project managers and product managers share similar work responsibilities, which is beyond just sharing similar titles. Both roles work in tandem to successfully deliver a project. The product manager advocates for stakeholders and customers, and the project manager represents what is required to reach the finish line.
Both of them utilize an array of tools to accomplish their goals. What are these tools, and how they use them?
In this article, we will look at common tools that they use in 2021 and explore how they make their lives easier.
What are Product Management tools?
Product managers juggle with several responsibilities, and product management tools help them play their part in accomplishing their goals.
A product manager must regularly stay in touch with customers to understand their requirements and also with developers to make sure that the final product meets these requirements. Besides, after the product goes to the market, a product manager also needs to measure its success and communicate it back to customers (1).
Similarly, a project manager also segregates the project’s needs as a whole into their parts and then works towards building a project plan with the right teams, delivery timelines, and resources.
It means driving day-to-day activities for every meeting, establishing team members with their roles, and ensuring the on-time and on-budget delivery of different commitments. In short, a project manager keeps the wheel rolling on any given project, and project management tools help them (2).
Digital management tools can do a lot more than shooting out reports, tracking issues, and keeping the team organized. However, as each product manager is different, they also have different needs from a digital tool. And all massively successful companies are heavily investing in the best project management tool for them to stay consistent and stand out.
Let’s look at the ten most essential tool categories that any product manager, marketing professional, or designer may need. Go through the list and find out which one of them is most suitable for your business.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool to analyze web traffic, track visitors’ activity and gain vital insights into their real-time online activity. You only need to add a tracking code to your company’s website, and you will get all your user data, including their demography, geography, online interests, and the channel they come from.
Google Analytics is a great tool for ecommerce, content, and blogging companies and offers a strong pre-sign-up analysis for any business that uses the application.
Segment works best for ecommerce companies as it doesn’t need any codes for installation. It integrates data that one can also share with third-party tools with a simple switch. Moreover, Segment only has one API, Application Programming Interface, for linking to third-party applications. In short, Segment can act as a gateway for companies dealing with complex data analysis.
Mixpanel focuses on the post-sign-up analysis of user behavior. The tool is a pioneer in collecting the user journey and converting data into actionable insights.
Mixpanel offers an A/B testing feature, making it easier for companies to compare two different site content types and implement the most viable solution. It also makes following the user’s next action simpler via allowing conversion tracking. It is worth mentioning that even Google Analytics doesn’t have this feature. Mixpanel has also added keyword tracking to its feature lists.
Airtable, like its name, is airy and flexible and does dual work of project management and data handling through spreadsheets. The software ensures that every data requirement is seamlessly organized in super clean spreadsheets from putting photos and text together, files, file conversation, and task status.
2. Google Sheets
Google Sheets is easy to use a web-based spreadsheet with a low technology knowledge barrier available for free. While it missed out on certain complex functionalities available in Microsoft Excel, it is very user-friendly and doesn’t need tough training for someone to understand the working.
Tableau has made data visualization quite easy. It creates complex graphs quickly and loads rich dashboards at a faster rate. Tableau has a broad range of servers and connectors and doesn’t require any third-party tools.
Creating visuals with Tableau is fast-paced, and one can easily switch to different types of themes at the click of a button. It is mobile-friendly, and clients don’t have to perform additional steps to set up mobile dashboards.
1. Google Docs
Google Docs is a useful alternative to Microsoft Word with its fast search function. It is a free cloud tool offered by Google Suite to make working in collaboration easier.
Several people can work together on one document simultaneously, and you don’t even have to save your work each time you refresh or leave the application as it saves automatically. Moreover, one can also comment and edit effortlessly on Google Docs.
Confluence is an organized project tree with networked browsing via all its attached archives and different pages. It is a breezy paper tree with a creative template, aiming to make going about the work more effortless. One can also work simply in collaboration with likes, comments, suggestions that one can also clip to the document.
Bloomfire is a knowledge-sharing tool that allows content access across buried conversations and emails. It helps teams find crucial information and connects the seeker to the data stockpile.
Bloomfire also has automated tagging, making content search significantly less complicated.
Collaboration and Management
Slack is a multipurpose platform for private messaging, team chats, and video calls for smooth coordination. Members can store and share files of up to 1 TB size and can instantly message their colleagues sitting in any corner across the globe. With the paid version, members can get unlimited video calls and integrations.
With Zoom, all businesses moved online and couldn’t say no to meeting with the onset of the pandemic. It is a versatile collaboration tool for all group meetings, one-on-one, group meetings, webinars, or training classes. It offers participation of up to 100 participants in a free meeting, making it the default video calling platform for most organizations.
Dropbox is a cloud storage tool and powerful software with loads of integrations and tie-ins of every kind of tool a business may require. Dropbox is one of the most preferred tools among enterprises with its simple and convenient interface.
Market and Competitive Intelligence
Crunchbase integrates a vast array of companies and networks. It analyses company data around innumerable startups and large corporations. It puts together investment information, current happenings, market trends about different companies for better research and analysis.
Awario monitors a brand’s health 24×7 and offers crisis management, influencer research, audience research, and continuous news surveillance on the internet. It is a fast-paced platform to surge a business’s health quotient by informing the business about every small brand mentioned on social media.
Alphasense is a financial services engine and offers professional search functionality to uncover crucial data and allow users to search through content and make better financial decisions.
Social Media Marketing
CoSchedule plans and organizes all the content to be posted on digital media or sent via mail. It makes collaborating on different projects and managing them easier and more smoothly through its scheduling.
BuzzSumo offers its users additional data and helps them make better content decisions and understand what is working best for them on different platforms. A marketer can get a better understanding of his target audience and his niche with BuzzSumo.
HootSuite helps businesses gather information about what their customers are thinking about their brand and how their product is doing in the market.
It can be quite tiring to handle different social media platforms, but with Hootsuite, one can plan his posts. It allows companies to time their posts for future dates, engage with customers, and profit from all the available data about their social media campaigns.
User Tracking and Insights
Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support software with an easy interface. It is also quite inexpensive compared to its counterparts.
Freshdesk can represent factors more interactively and can be linked to the dashboard. It is also a leader in the easy ticket management and collaboration category.
Amplitude is similar to Mixpanel but with a modern framework and outlook. It cuts the clutter and glues important data in mini bags. Amplitude is also a robust platform to understand user behavior.
Amplitude is both user-friendly and effortless. It works wonders, especially for ecommerce firms and businesses with cross-platform products.
Zendesk offers fast service with its prompt customer support and quick replies on live chats. It has a vast integration network, making customer insight access and reports a lot effortless. It is a sophisticated and smooth service that creates better customer relationships through quick solutions to queries.
LiveSession is among the best platforms for businesses who want to know what their customers are doing and what time. It records every click and succeeding steps with diligence. It also has a full recording of how customers interact with the website to detect errors or bugs that annoy users and alert clients regarding the same.
Hotjar is for businesses that focus on things that have kept their website visitors busy. It gives them heatmaps and tools to analyze their user behavior and improve their overall conversion.
One can find the most burning opportunities and boost his user activities with the software. Moreover, Hotjar also allows one to do more of the stuff that trends on his website and make sure his consumers are happy.
FullStory records user action and behavior and analyzes what they loath and adore. The software’s analytics engine supports varied metrics essential for businesses. It also helps product managers change and fix bugs while keeping a proactive eye on decisions that would work wonders or have been a disaster.
Feedback Collection and Management
1. Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey is an old gem in the game with advanced features which make it stand out from other applications. Survey Monkey supports multiple languages and also focuses on feedback. Most users appreciate it for its follow-up question asking feature.
Typeform is a codeless online platform that allows the creation of apps and surveys. It has a bundle of features making it fun and undemanding. One of the most important features of Typeform is that it allows unlimited access for survey creation, even on a free trial.
3. Zoho Forms
Businesses can build their online survey forms with Zoho forms and integrate them with other campaigns and applications. Moreover, they can also personalize available templates and themes. Businesses can also create PDfs and collect payments via Zoho.
HubSpot is a sales, marketing, and service software that helps businesses grow. It offers A/B testing for both Call to Action, CTAs, and emails. It also enables different departments to come together and produce better results with its Service and Sales hubs.
MailChimp is a web-based application and doesn’t need any coding for developing email templates as it comes with available customizable options.
Marketo is a one-stop solution for all digital marketing requirements for a business. It helps general leads handle email marketing campaigns and allow A/B testing. Moreover, Marketo also forecasts marketing reports and gathers every customer touchpoint with advanced parameters online and offline. It also offers ease of integration and customized reports.
Apptimize is a mobile-specific product for both Android and iOS. This visual editor allows users to code if needed and supports Swift, Java, HTML5, React Native, Xamarin, and Objective-C. It also offers phased rollouts, flagging, A/B testings and helps the product team with better innovation.
Businesses use Optimizely to increase their site conversions. It offers multiple tools for different programs and doesn’t have an obscure interface. It offers A/B testing, multi-page and multivariate testing. It also allows users to personalize the website for different visitors and offers them content according to their liking.
3. Visual Website Optimizer
VWO claims itself as the world’s easiest split and A/B testing optimizer. It can run tests on users’ websites and sends reports for design improvements. With VWO, users don’t need any coding to change pages. It also focuses on feedback and offers the feature of asking random website visitors for it. VWO’s IdeaFactory involves 100 different actions that users can take to improve their pages.
Raygun is an error monitoring software and supports more than 30 languages. It is an iOS application that records every error on mobile applications or websites. It also groups the same bugs and makes it easier for users to understand the data and make solutions accordingly.
Raygun offers user tracking and allows product managers to capture users’ experiences and study them individually.
Instabug works on both Android and iOS phones and offers detailed crash reports to the client. It also offers similar group kinds of crashes. Instabug reports the crash frequency and cash points to offer an overview of the severity with one code line. Users can also create surveys with the same code.
Crashlytics works well on both iOS and Android and is offered for free by Google’s Firebase. The software can discover bugs on the product and offers comprehensive crash reports. It also alerts users when these errors are not resolved in time.
The software also puts forward the exact code line where the problem occurred in a detailed report while considering several points such as battery status, mobile phone companies facing most crashes, Wi-Fi connection, proximity, and more.
Prototyping and Wireframing
JustinMind builds highly interactive prototypes from low and clickable to high fidelity ones. It allows real-time collaboration with all team members, which is not usually available in several other feature-rich applications.
Compared to its counterparts, JustinMind is also easy to use and inexpensive. While beginners can use its basic features easily, one may need some time to get the hang of its advanced offerings.
Balsamiq is also less expensive than its counterparts and one of the industry’s most convenient web wireframing tools.
When users can’t put sentences the right way to frame their website, Balsamiq is their best solution. It offers a variety of UI elements and communicates the right company image. Balsamiq is also quite easy to use and works best for low fidelity prototypes.
InVision lets programmers and designers create realistic and interactive wireframes. It is a preferred solution for both low and high-fidelity prototypes. The software also syncs well with Sketch and photoshop.
Users find it more user-friendly and also get more innovative elements. And even though InVision is a web-based program, it also has a specific application for iPhone users.
ProductPlan makes workflow management easier. It helps its users make cleaner and detailed spreadsheets for views and enables them to share different and more granular versions of their roadmap with different stakeholders.
Users can use its drag and drop features, color code them for better understanding, and have a bright product plan for themselves.
2. Roadmap Planner
As the name suggests, Roadmap Planner maps all plans and important tasks for a product while also marking all the forthcoming dates. One of the most prominent features of the tool is its offline availability and ability to work without internet connectivity.
Roadmap planner also offers a conducive planning phase of a product and interactive visuals to make the work seem more attractive.
Roadmunk offers three different types of roadmap creation, which makes it a versatile option for businesses. Users can form a traditional roadmap to clarify objects, initiatives, and projects using the ‘Timeline’ feature. Or, they can also use the ‘Swimlane’ feature to create a more streamlined view. Users can also work on the ‘Master’ view and bundle multiple roadmaps together for a coherent outline.
Choosing the right tool for your business could be a daunting and overwhelming chore. Every tool has its own pros and cons that could be deal-breakers for you. Hence, it is important to make a clear decision when finding the right project management tools for your company. You can start by answering certain questions about you, your team, your goals.
We hope that the list of the best project management tools currently available helps you build your project. Which of these tools are you picking for your business? Let us know in the comments!