Top 5 Web-Based Project Management Solutions

Manage your time, clients, and finances the open source way.

Okay, I'll admit it -- I'm mildly obsessed with project management software. Whether I'm trying to work out a project timeline, track what's been completed and what's next on a to-do list, figure out how to communicate with new clients, or simply get all the billing information together at the end of the month, I constantly have this little voice in the back of my mind saying "there's got to be a better way to do this." Well, the short answer is that there is!

Below are five modern, web-based project management solutions that offer tools for scheduling, employee tracking, time management, customer relations management (CRM), financial management, and even document management. All you have to do is pick the one that best matches what you need in terms of functionality, make sure that you like the look of it (you'll be spending a lot of time using it, after all), and then get started.

Your work life will never be more organized!

01
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Collabtive

Collabtive screenshot
Courtesy Open Dynamics

Collabtive isn't the fanciest piece of software on the list, but it's a solid solution with a clean interface. According to its Features list, it allows for unlimited projects, tasks, and members, along with messaging, instant messaging, time tracking, file management, and due date notifications. Plus, since it's fully themeable, you can customize the look of the service.

Released under a GPL licence, you have two options in terms of use: You can download the no-cost open source version from SourceForge and install, configure, and manage Collabtive yourself, or you can pay for monthly hosting (at three difference price points), installation, integrations, or customizations.

For more information about Collabtive, read the in-depth review.

02
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Feng Office

The Feng Office logo.
Image © Feng Office

Feng Office is project management, CRM, billing, and financial management all rolled into one service. And, as part of those key functions, that includes customizable workspaces, notes, emails, contact lists, calendaring, document management, task lists, task management, time tracking, and reporting. But, and this is a big but, if you're using the free, open source version, you don't get all that functionality -- for example, you won't have access to project or client management tools, advanced email or reports, Gantt charts, or support. But, even with those pieces missing, you still have some interesting features available.

The open source version was released under an AGPL license, and this software can be downloaded from SourceForge free-of-charge.

03
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LibrePlan

The LibrePlan logo.
Image © LibrePlan

On its website, LibrePlan describes itself as "The open source web application for project planning, monitoring and control," and it really does live up to its claim -- you can control virtually anything you can think of. You can manage company resources (like employee accounts, personalized dashboards, calendars, leave periods, overtime allowances, and even individual employee resource skills), manage projects (including global views of all on-going projects, resource loads, employee workloads, progress, Earned Value Management, and budgets), and plan projects (with work estimates, Gantt charts, several resource allocation models, Monte Carlo simulations, templates, and advanced task allocation views to help you fine-tune your projects). Plus, you can run reports on all this data.

LibrePlan was released under an AGPL license, and it can be downloaded free of cost from its website. If you don't want to host it yourself, you can also pay a monthly fee to have all the technical pieces managed by LibrePlan's cloud services.

04
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TeamLab Office

The TeamLab Office logo.
Image © Ascensio System SIA

NOTE: As of July 2014, TeamLab was renamed OnlyOffice. Its source code is still available on SourceForge.

TeamLab Office is all about online collaboration, and it offers a document management system that allows users to share files and track them through a version control process (the non-open source version also offers an HTML5-based tool that lets users conduct real-time collaborative editing). Plus, TeamLab Office includes project management (task lists, milestones, rights management, and due date notifications), CRM (contacts, tasks, communication histories, and mass mailings), and collaboration tools (calendaring, blogs, forums, polls, chat, and multilanguage settings).

Released under an AGPL license, there is an open source version of TeamLab Office available ... they've made it a little hard to find, but it's there! This software runs on Microsoft Windows, and you can find out more on TeamLab's SourceForge page.

05
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Tree.io

The Tree.io logo.
Image © Tree.io Ltd.

Tree.io asks the question, "Aren't you sick of having everything you need scattered across 10 different sites?" and, if you're anything like me, you're shaking your head yes in answer to that question. Well, tree.io truly is an all-in-one solution. It lets you manage projects (scheduling, task lists, team chats, due date notifications, and real-time updates), track sales and CRM information (contacts information, lead creation, and custom invoices), run a help desk, manage documents, run reports, view calendars (deadlines, task lists, projects, payments due, and past-due tasks), manage finances, channel incoming messages, and manage all your users (including which projects each person can view).

Tree.io was released under an MIT license, and you can download the source files from GitHub.