Which project planning/management software do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hajime, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. hajime macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I am new to project planning/management. I know noting about these things. I recall that when Microsoft Project for Mac came out many years ago, I played with it and found it useless. I am looking for software (iOS/Mac/both) that allows me to keep track of the progress of my project(s), is easy to use, has nice graphical user interface, not so expensive or free, better have both iOS and Mac OS version. Don't need collaboration. Any suggestion?
  2. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    I'm using Merlin Project on my Mac. Great app IMHO, but no iOS version.
    On iOS I have been using QuickPlan Pro, but I really need much more screen estate to set out a project planning.
  3. bcburrows macrumors 6502


    Mar 25, 2009
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    Looks good but expensive.
  5. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2014
    Have done extensive research on this for past few months. Merlin I think has better view options than Omni - such as Gantt charts, WBS, Mindmap. However, Omni has better report features and projection tools. With Merlin you can also include documents as such.

    Others worth considering are:-
    itask- https://www.itaskx.com/en/index.aspx
    project planning pro - http://planningproapp.com/#desktopmac
    concept draw -http://conceptdraw.com/products/
    Project Libre (free) -http://www.projectlibre.org/product/projectlibre-open-source
  6. OldGreyGuy, Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016

    OldGreyGuy macrumors member


    Jan 14, 2014
    Near Brisbane, Australia
    Depends on what you are trying to do.

    I often spend an amount of time working through scenarios with my sales reps on a custom project putting together a mind map of what they need to deliver for the customer, basically I force them to go through the seven stages of Initiation, Definition, Design, Build, Test, Deploy and finally Close. Under each of these stages I outline the major activities required for the custom project they need to deliver to satisfy the customer's requirements, I then spend some time cleaning this up using iThouthtsX which is a mind mapping tool which has the nice feature of being able to draw this in a simple picture and produce output in a number of formats including PDF, PNG, Word, Excel, Powerpoint which I use to get everyone to agree on the concepts and rough plan.

    When everyone agrees that this is what we are going to do then I take my iThoughtsX mind map and export this into a MS Project XML file which I import directly into Merlin and use this to produce the master schedule. Of course this is only part of the suite of tools a project manager needs, this and the Office suite to produce documents/plans/reports/logs will go a long way.

    I might just add that I use iThoughtsX for a whole range of purposes to document processes during the project, brainstorming sessions, define and finalise requirements, record meetings as it allows me to group thoughts and produce output that can be shared, etc. I also used to overlook this process as part of working with a group and organise ideas but gradually found it a valuable step to getting things done for me. Your mileage may vary.
  7. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2014
    Ithoughtsx is a superb app. Has so many uses from project mapping, mindmapping, process mapping, Organisational charts etc. Really like the export features available also.
    This along with omnigiraffe make for some wonderful desktop powered applications for work and or study.
  8. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    I purchased MindNode yesterday ;-)
    Very easy to use, yet powerfull enough for my needs.
    Probably be doing most of my mind mapping on the iPad.
  9. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Jul 23, 2007
    I don't know anything about project management. What can mindmapping do for us? As far as I concern, it is more like people drawing pictures for brain storming.
  10. nnoble macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2011
    Merlin has everything you'll need and a lot you don't need but you pay a very high price. You can download and try the full version for 30 days. However, if all you want is to produce Gantt charts then try 'Roadmap planner' from the App Store at just a fraction of the cost of more feature rich applications.
  11. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2014
    It allows you to allocate resources, task people, add timeframes. You can then Export it for example in excel or project format.
  12. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    I recently started using the mind mapping techniques (using MindNode), so I apologize if my noob answer is incomplete...
    IMHO You are right, it is a combination of brainstorming and sketching the outline of a project. Sometimes, it's not obvious to start thinking in Gantt charts right away - in that case a mind map could be a handy tool to first set out the rough ideas and arrange them on paths that link the main parts.
    I used it first to help create a 20 minutes screencast. I ended up using just my mind map during the live recording, so that was a good first impression. I intend to take this approach further.

    Perhaps a good read here
  13. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2014
    I wish they would add the ability to offer PERT/NetWork charts/WBS views. It is however easy to use and nice layout despite the lack of some features mentioned.
  14. lostom macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    I've been using Pagico for some time and really like it.

    Sounds like something that may suit your needs possibly.

    Although you do need to purchase a seperate IOS license, which I don't like, but that's the way it is from them.
  15. BrianInLA macrumors member


    May 8, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I use MindNode to take a project or work stream that I need to map out and pull together all the pieces, and people and timing. Everyone is different but for me it helps bring things together and provide some clarity about all the parts of the puzzle before I start assigning dates and responsibilities.

    I have OmniOutliner but I don't use it nearly to the degree that others do.

    I have been an owner of OmniFocus for a long time and have a love/hate relationship. It's a great tool to assign contexts but you can only assign one. The interface is great on almost every platform. It captures a lot of the information I need on a project. I can send e-mails to my OF inbox and process. There are a lot of great things that it does . . . and a few that drive me crazy. I often have a lot of tasks assigned to others and find that keeping track of those can be a real pain (I am open to some help if anyone has suggestions).
  16. KevinWhite macrumors newbie


    Apr 8, 2014
  17. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Another Merlin user, still using version 3, offering a note related to the above post - ProjectWizards did release an iOS app this summer named "Merlin Project Go", and it's been updated several times. FYI.
  18. JonesBrian_ macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2016
    BTW: Merlin does have a mobile option. ;)
  19. GerritV macrumors 65816

    May 11, 2012
    You're right and I had it. Merlin Mobile is more a viewer than a real planning app, and in the meantime requires a subscription.

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