The kind of projects you work on, your industry, and your work methodology will greatly influence the kind of tools you use. However, there are similar factors to consider regardless of the type of tool you're looking for.
Every tool can be evaluated based on:
As projects proceed, they tend to get more difficult to keep track of.
Whiteboards get overtaken by sticky notes with various lines crossed out and new, tiny notes written in. Different versions of the same excel spreadsheet disperse across the office, causing confusion and misinformation.
Digitizing and centralizing your task management into a project management app helps keep your projects organized and your teams on the same page with the most up-to-date information available. Plus, automated tracking gives you easy access to the latest data and visuals representing how your project is progressing.
Cloud-based and mobile friendly project management apps allow you to update information no matter where it's coming from or where you are. Easily import important documents, feedback, and requests from your email, chat app, or even a real conversation.
You're no longer dependent on having your whiteboard or the latest version of the excel sheet in front of you.
Because tasks need to be updated frequently, the easier they are to update, the less burdensome the process is.
With project management tools, you won't need to put dates in your filenames or compose lengthy emails to notify people about changes. Everything is recorded right in each task, and everyone who accesses a task from the moment it's updated onward will be able to reference the latest information.
As a Project Manager, you are not the only person thinking about updating task information. The team members in charge of the task, as well as managers and collaborators, may at some point or another need to update a task they're working on.
Instead of opening up a series of emails or messages to get the correct information updated and the right people notified about the change, your team members can feel empowered to update information themselves and notify you automatically of those changes.
People often want to go back and revisit a decision they made to provide greater context to the work in front of them. With simpler tools, it's difficult to track what changes were made when, by whom, and why.
With project management software, all of that information is stored automatically.
Again, whiteboards and excel sheets come with obvious limitations when it comes to getting real-time information on where a task is in terms of progress.
When everyone's work is consolidated into a project management app and meticulously organized with parameters, anyone can search for and find any task, see the work that's been done on it, and ask questions directly to the assignee.
Forget manually collecting data from each team member or coming up with complex formulas to generate useful visuals.
Quality project management software provides various types of charts and graphs to visually summarize information, and the information represented matches the real-time state of every task.