Want to cut right to the case? The Best Project Management Software For College Students is ClickUp.
Among the hallmark experiences of attending college are problems such as learning how to engage with complex projects and balance heavy workloads.
Whether it is a science project in an advanced chemistry or physics lab, a group presentation to a business class, or an academic research project, college students will have to learn to navigate the complex processes of project management during their education.
Even outside of the context of a project, college students have many classes, extracurriculars, and other activities to keep track of.
Whether it’s to manage their busy everyday lives and curricula, to manage complex projects in advanced courses, or to simply gain experience using project management applications to prepare for the professional world, college students will find a lot of good reasons to engage with project management software.
What is project management software?
Project management software is designed to facilitate the flow of a project from beginning to end. Teams must be able to collaborate effectively on shared goals in order to bring a project to fruition. To truly be effective, a project management application needs to have the following functionality:
- Communications. Good project management software will have chat features, comment threads, knowledge bases, and even integration with video calling or meeting software to ensure everybody in the group is on the same page.
- File sharing. Teams must be able to share documents, images, code, and other data with one another. Project management software generally includes file-sharing features of one kind or another.
- Task management. At the end of the day, projects are a series of connected tasks that lead to some larger result. It is important to clearly delineate what tasks need to be done and, in the context of a group project, who will be responsible for each task.
For college students, we can add an additional criterion:
- The software should be free – or very inexpensive.
More to the point, project management software allows you to centralize your work from one location, eliminating the need to tab between multiple applications. Chat, task management, calendars, document sharing and markup – all of these functions and more can be accomplished from a singular application.
Why is it helpful to students?
College can be an intensely busy time in one’s life. Between a host of specific classes, all with their unique demands; extracurricular clubs and activities; socializing; and work or even entrepreneurship, college has a way of getting hectic and disorganized. Project management software is uniquely suited to handle these challenges.
Most project management applications revolve around workspaces, or boards, that then contain smaller tasks which can be individually managed. Detailed task management capabilities can help students stay ahead of the curve.
It is hard to understate how valuable task management is to the college student. When the semester is coming to a close and students must juggle multiple classes’ worth of advanced materials, papers, projects, and presentations, it is easy to get overwhelmed or to feel lost.
Even during the regular semester, college life is quite busy enough. The advanced task-management capabilities of project management software can help even the busiest of college students stay organized.
College students are frequently assigned to work on group tasks. In today’s academic environment, collaboration with peers is highly valued, making it an integral part of the college experience. Even those who prefer to avoid group work will inevitably have to collaborate with their peers on a project or activity.
Project management software features communication tools which, when combined with task management features and the ability to support multiple users, greatly simplify group work.
A final, hidden bonus for college students: utilizing project management software familiarizes one with various project management methodologies and tools, like Gantt charts and Kanban boards. Developing a comfortable working relationship with these tools will help college students adapt to the needs of the modern workplace after graduation.
Best Project Management Software for College Students
|Brand||Starting price||Best for|
|1. ClickUp||$0 – $19/month||Task management, communication, file sharing|
|2. Trello||$9.99/month||Robust set of features|
|3. FreedCamp||$1.49/month||Collaboration and task management|
|4. Zenkit||€0 – €99/month||All essential features|
|5. Toggl||$15/month||Easy manage tasks|
Another powerful project-management tool for college students is ClickUp. ClickUp offers many of the same features as Trello – task management, communication, file sharing – but is organized in a differently styled interface. Users of ClickUp can manage their tasks in a Kanban-style board, a Gantt chart, in a list view, or in boxes or calendars. Tasks include basic chat functions, customizable fields, multiple assignees, and prioritization tools that will be helpful to students needing to stay organized.
Students will find ClickUp’s file sharing and file creation tools highly valuable. Using a model similar to Google Docs, multiple users can work on a document simultaneously. Existing documents can be imported and edited or marked up. Users can also build their own Wiki or knowledge base in the application – something that enterprising college students will no doubt find a use for.
ClickUp’s library of integrations is another wellspring of utility for students. Those engaged with computer science, programming, web development, or other technological fields of study will find integrations with tools such as GitHub to be highly useful. Students whose organizations utilize Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook can enjoy synchronizing their schedules and messaging with ClickUp – this application can become a centralized work hub with the clever use of integrations. Zoom and Google Hangouts integrations make this tool perfect for communicating with peers who may not be on-campus, an especially relevant factor at present.
One of our core criteria for project management software for students was pricing: college students must often be frugal. ClickUp offers their Free Forever plan, which provides users with 100MB of storage, unlimited tasks and members, and even two-factor authentication for security purposes. Upgraded packages are available, but the average college user will likely find the free version sufficient to meet their needs.
One of the best free project management applications on the market happens to be one of the best for college students. Trello offers a robust set of features that are available through a desktop interface or through iOS and Android mobile applications.
Trello is organized around Task Cards, Boards, and Workspaces. Task Cards can be created easily and assigned to lists. For example, a student could create lists for “To do,” “In Progress,” “In Review,” and “Turned in” to help manage tasks or assignments in a class. In the event of a group project or otherwise shared task, Trello allows assignment of tasks to specific people within the Task Card. Task Cards also support checklists, comment threads, and attachments, meaning that this one application can be a hub for individual organization or broader teamwork.
Task Cards live in Boards. Users can create separate boards for separate projects, classes, or other categories. Boards are quite simple to create, and allow for custom backgrounds to add personality and help you distinguish between them. Boards are stored in a user’s Workspace. The mobile and desktop applications are both easy to navigate and simple to use.
Especially relevant to college students is the price. Trello’s free version offers a lot of functionality for college students: they can have up to ten team boards with full access to all of Trello’s basic features. Upgraded packages unlock more features at a cost of $9.99 per user per month, but chances are your average college student will get more than enough value and utility out of the free version.
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Similar to other project management software, FreedCamp focuses on collaboration and task management functionality. While users of the free version don’t have access to the Gantt chart task-management tool, FreedCamp’s free version does include a fully functional task list and a rich selection of other essential features.
FreedCamp’s task list is an easy way to keep track of work. Tasks can be broken down into subtasks, which is handy for large-scale or complex projects or assignments. For users who prefer a more visually appealing task management strategy, FreedCamp has Kanban-board style functionality. For tasks that you don’t need the whole group to see, or just to avoid spamming your collaborators with notifications, Tasky allows the configuration of private tasks.
For file sharing purposes, FreedCamp offers a native file system which can store project files in the cloud. The files tool also allows users to comment on files and offers version control to ensure data integrity. For users who prefer outside file storage, FreedCamp integrates with OneDrive, iCloud, DropBox, and Google Drive.
As the moniker might suggest, FreedCamp is available to users for free. The free version is capable, and provides access to all essential features. This includes unlimited projects, tasks, users, and storage. Integrations will cost you $1.49 per user per month, or just $1.49 a month if you’re using this software for your own ends.
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Zenkit is a worthy addition to the technological arsenal of the college student. With a completely free base product that contains all essential features you will need to stay organized and manage your workload, Zenkit provides you a comprehensive overview of your academic tasks.
For students working in groups, Zenkit’s real-time collaboration tools will be handy. Users can chat, comment on files and tasks, and utilize an @ messaging feature to communicate directly with peers. You can even create a wiki with your peers to consolidate your relevant knowledge in one simple location. This communication capability paired with activity tracking means that you will always have access to the most current status of your work.
Task management features in Zenkit are well-developed and helpful. Tasks can be built out with checklists, to-do lists, and multiple subtasks. These tasks can then be integrated into your calendar to keep you informed and up to date. For group work, tasks can be delegated or assigned to others, helping you hold your peers accountable.
Zenkit’s file sharing feature allows you to manage files pertaining to your projects or classes within the application. Files can be uploaded from your device or from your existing cloud storage account; Zenkit offers integration with popular clients such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Files can be starred as important, ensuring you don’t lose track of your most necessary documents. For those occasions where you need to access specific information without looking for it, Zenkit’s integrated search feature will help you find what you need.
Built around drag-and-drop functionality, Toggl is a project management application designed to allow users to easily manage tasks and workflows in a rapidly changing environment by simply dragging tasks to their appropriate category and releasing them. Projects are viewed in a birds-eye format that shows all pending tasks in a calendar overlay, similar to a Gantt chart, to allow you to rapidly see what your current status is. This view can also be arranged into swim lanes to help you see how your tasks are delineated. For complex tasks, Toggl offers a checklist feature to help you keep track of complex processes.
For communications with your group or team, Toggl offers comment and mention features. Unlike many competing products, there is no chat or direct messaging function in Toggl. That said, users can utilize Slack integration to add chat and channel functionality to the application.
Toggl’s free version offers users unlimited tasks, milestones, and timelines. Paid versions offer access to more robust features such as unlimited boards, timeline sharing, and in-application notifications.
The Final Word
For college students who want to harness the power of technology to help them stay organized, these project management applications have a lot to offer. Project management software is the next generation of productivity technology; rather than spreading attention out across a half dozen applications, students can coordinate their entire workflow for a project or course utilizing one singular application.
While these project management applications represent only a small cross-section of the available products on the market, they all offer strong features that will help any busy college student stay on top of a challenging workload. Whether you choose Trello, Toggl, Zenkit, or another application, project management software will help you bring your academic game to the next level and give you the experience you need to succeed in your post-collegiate professional life.
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What are the 5 project management? ›
Developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the five phases of project management include conception and initiation, project planning, project execution, performance/monitoring, and project close.What are the 4 most important project manager's functions in a software project? ›
planning and monitoring the project. adopting any delegation and use of project assurance roles within agreed reporting structures. preparing and maintaining project, stage and exception plans as required. managing project risks, including the development of contingency plans.What is the simplest project management software? ›
- Paymo. ...
- Trello. ...
- ProjectManager.com. ...
- Hive. ...
- ActiveCollab. ...
- TeamGantt. Intuitive tool with task color coding and progress bar per task. ...
- GanttPRO. Intuitive interface that lets you build a chart in minutes. ...
- ClickUp. Robust platform that's intuitive, easy to navigate, and interactive.
- IDENTIFYING CLIENTS NEEDS. Accurately identifying the client's needs is the key to ensuring that you produce the right product. ...
- PLANNING. ...
- MONITORING. ...
- COMMUNICATION. ...
Specific examples of project management methodologies – each with its unique advantages and limitations – include, but are not limited to Agile, Waterfall, Critical Path, Scrum, Lean Six Sigma and PRINCE2.What are the 4 types of project management? ›
A 2017 report published by the Harvard Business Review divides project manager personalities into four different types—executor, prophet, expert, and gambler . Knowing how you or other project managers operate can be useful in discerning what kind of project management style is best for the situation.What is an example of project management software? ›
Basecamp is a popular project management software that is widely used by many project management teams. This software offers several different collaboration features such as a designated discussion area where users can leave behind comments.
Zoho Projects is one of the best-known tools for simple project management that can help teams streamline their upcoming work and tasks. Top features: Task lists with multiple tasks and milestones.What are the top 5 priorities of a project manager? ›
5 Top Responsibilities of a Project Manager