Teamwork Projects Review
The visionaries responsible for Teamwork.com, Peter Coppinger & Daniel Mackey, began their collaboration almost 15 years ago. Digital Crew, the company they founded together, specialized at that time only in the creation of websites, intranets and custom web-based solutions. However, the Ireland-based business quickly developed an international reputation for excellence, and in early 2007, a client contacted Coppinger and Mackey and asked them to design a simple project management solution. Both men had already been thinking about a way to build intuitive, easy-to-use software, envisioning a product that would take minimal time to learn and maintain. Naturally, they jumped at the chance to make this dream a reality. Inspired by Basecamp, as well as the basic design of Apple software, the iPhone, and other online applications, Coppinger and Mackey began work on the design of project management software that could be used by anyone, anywhere. By October of 2007, Teamwork Projects had been launched.
Teamwork Projects has evolved quite a bit since then, taking on its own flavor and character. By 2010, Digital Crew and its founders were able to devote themselves purely to the maintenance, development, and improvement of Teamwork Projects. User feedback has contributed largely to the evolution of this software, and Teamwork Projects has grown and changed through a long process of trial-and-error. Now, in addition to project management software, Teamwork Projects has two other sister products: Teamwork Desk (a helpdesk platform) and Teamwork Chat (a group chat product), both of which are compatible with the original Teamwork Projects.
High-profile users of Teamwork include Pepsi, eBay, Microsoft Studios, PayPal, and Forbes Travel Guide, but it has garnered a large following worldwide among many diverse organizations: over 370,000 of them. Teamwork is truly intended to be the everyman’s project management software. Coppinger and Mackey have stated unequivocally:
We want the software to be so easy-to-use, our own computer-shy mothers could use it.
Web-Based (SaaS) or On-Premise:
Teamwork Projects is cloud-based software that can be accessed from anywhere on the web.
There are four different ways to subscribe to Teamwork Projects, varied according to need and budget. You can sign up for a free, 30-day trial of any of the plans to test them out. All plans are priced per month. To see all of Teamwork’s pricing plans, click here.
Free Forever Plan
- 2 projects
- 100 MB space
- Unlimited Users
The Small Office Plan
- 40 projects
- 20 GB storage
- Unlimited users
- Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox integrations
- Custom domain
The Professional Plan
- 200 projects
- 100 GB storage
- Unlimited users
- Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox integrations
- Custom domain
- Custom CSS
The Business Plan
- 500 projects
- 400 GB storage
- Unlimited users
- Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox integrations
- Custom domain
- Custom CSS
The Enterprise Plan
- Contact for Pricing
- Enterprise-grade security
- Corporate Account Manager
- Single sign-on
- Unlimited Projects
- 500 GB+ storage
- Enterprise API
After your 30-day free trial of any of the plans, you will be given the option to pay a monthly subscription by credit card or PayPal, or an annual subscription via credit card, PayPal, or invoice. If for any reason you decide not to continue with the paid option you used for the 30-day trial, your account will automatically be downgraded to the free plan. If your needs are on the enterprise side of the spectrum, you can contact Teamwork for more information.
Organizations that do not feel comfortable with PayPal or credit card transactions can contact Teamwork to arrange an alternative payment method; Teamwork is willing to accept payment via invoice and bank transfer, but only for annual subscriptions. Unfortunately, monthly subscriptions must be paid through PayPal or with a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Maestro).
The nice thing about Teamwork is that you can upgrade or downgrade your account at any point in time with monthly subscriptions. There are never any cancellation fees, but be aware that you will not receive a refund if you cancel mid-way through an annual subscription. Yearly accounts remain live for the full 12 months. If you want to downgrade a yearly subscription, you have to wait until it has expired.
Discounts are offered to non-profits and educational organizations on a case-by-case basis. If you think you may qualify, you can contact Teamwork directly.
Ease of Use:
Teamwork has always aimed for simplicity. In fact, the company’s official motto is “Project Management Made Easy.” This software really does have some great time and labor-saving features that make it quite easy to work with.
- Desktop Timer App: This timer is a very cool feature and well worth trying, especially if you or your employees have to keep track of hourly labor. You can install it on both Windows and Mac operating systems as a native desktop application by simply downloading it directly from the Teamwork website. I have a Macbook and found the timer in the Apple App Store, where I was able to download it pretty easily. If you aren’t on a Mac, you will need to download Adobe AIR to run the timer. AIR is free and took me virtually no time to install, though, so this really isn’t a problem. The timer can display in compact or full view and updates automatically, provided you close and re-launch the app. It also remembers your settings. For example, if you worked on one task and marked it as billable, the timer will remember to bill the time correctly. Perhaps its greatest characteristic is the Autopause feature. When the Desktop Timer does not sense activity, it automatically stops the clock. This is smart, quick, and saves a lot of worry, believe me. You can also just use the basic-issue Teamwork timer, or manually log time. Be aware, though, that while I encountered no problems while I was testing it, the Desktop Timer has very low reviews on the App Store for what looks like update issues.
- Mobile Apps: Unlike most project management software, Teamwork Projects works great even when you’re away from your computer. The iPad app functions almost as well as the desktop version, and allows you to upload and view files, assign tasks, create or reply to messages, and a whole lot of other important things. Appvita gives it 5 out of 5 stars. The iPhone app is also impressively thorough, with many actual dashboard functions. You can view and edit tasks and milestones, look at projects, and check your status updates or activity stream. You are even able to create new tasks and milestones. Teamwork Projects is currently developing new features for the iPhone app, including notebook viewing, the ability to comment on milestones, and calendar events. The Android app is perhaps not as impressive, but it does just about everything you might need and comes with great dashboard capabilities. You can also enable the Android app to switch between multiple accounts.
- Dashboard: This feature provides a comprehensive overview of your projects and activity stream, all in one convenient place. The dashboard shows all activity from your 10 most recently active projects, advises you of daily or upcoming due dates (anything approaching in the next 14 days), and reminds you about overdue tasks. Dashboards can be customized with your company’s logo and website address, and you can also customize themes and views, even on the mobile apps. The dashboard gives you hassle-free access to projects, as well as a “switch project” feature that directs you to the last five projects you worked on.
- Updates on Storage Space: A sidebar on your dashboard will show you how much storage space you have remaining at any given time. The ready availability of this information is crucial and allows you to determine whether you will need to upgrade your plan before the month is over. It can also help you decide if you’ve paid for more storage than you really need. Incidentally, you can archive as many completed projects as you would like; archived projects do not count against your monthly GB space, and can be retrieved at any juncture.
- The “Everything” Tab: In addition to the Dashboard, Teamwork Projects features a tab where you can find “everything” your teams are working on. Want to see all open tasks across all projects you are part of? Come to the Everything tab. Want to see all Messages sent? All Comments? All the time being spent on various tasks and subtasks? Come to the Everything tab.
- User-Friendly Design: Teamwork Projects’ design is masterful. This is one of the most user-friendly software programs I have ever encountered, mostly because the dashboard tabs are clear and easy to understand. It is impossible to get confused when functions are labeled this clearly. If you want to look at projects, click on the Projects tab. If you’re looking for files, they’re in the Files tab. It’s as simple as that. There is no need to dig through an intricate hierarchy of tabs to find the comment stream or look for a contact list. It’s all right there in plain English.
Customer Service and Support:
Teamwork Projects is a smaller operation, as project management software goes, and lacks the level of customer support you can get from software like Wrike or LiquidPlanner. However, I think their service is generally pretty great – personal, helpful, and timely. There are a few things any future subscriber should know about how Teamwork addresses customer support:
- Questions/Comments: The folks at Teamwork try to answer all support questions within 24 hours, but they strongly encourage people to check out the FAQ section first. I’ve never run across this particular attitude before, and it put me off a bit at first. I must admit, though, that the FAQ section is extraordinarily thorough and does indeed cover almost any potential questions or concerns. There are also a set of video tutorials, which are well made and useful, if not well organized. If these options don’t get your questions answered, you will have to email customer support directly. The email address for Teamwork Projects customer service is firstname.lastname@example.org; you can also call 353 21 430 7675 (the company is based in Europe), or use the live chat feature.
- Social Media Engagement: Teamwork maintains an active social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. The Teamwork Projects Facebook account is a great place to pick up tips, ask for advice, and stay apprised of updates and additions to the software. The Teamwork Projects Twitter feed, as well, is an ideal way to pose questions directly to company reps, bounce ideas around, and keep up with new additions and bug fixes.
- Roadmap: The Teamwork Roadmap is constantly updated to reflect changes or anticipated changes to the software. If you want to know what’s ahead or what to expect from Teamwork Projects over the next few months, this is the place to look.
- Monthly Newsletter: You can sign up for a free monthly newsletter that offers helpful tips and hints about using Teamwork Projects to best advantage.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
Some people find Teamwork difficult to use and overly complex. Most genuine complaints about Teamwork Projects, however, center on its compatibility (or lack of compatibility) with other programs and operating systems. The biggest hiccups tend to be with the following issues:
- Teamwork and Internet Explorer: Some users have found that their Teamwork Projects account will only function after they have forced Internet Explorer 9 to run in non-compatibility mode. If you have this version of Explorer, you may have to add your personal Teamwork URL to the “Trusted Sites” list. Also, users of Internet Explorer 8 are unable to view Gantt charts.
- Teamwork and Windows: You may have to change your Firewall setting to use the Desktop Timer app with Windows 8.
- Teamwork and Mobile Apps: Gantt charts also cannot be viewed on an iPad, iPhone, Android, or generic mobile version of Teamwork Projects.
Another major complaint concerns PayPal users. Irritatingly, if you cancel your Teamwork account, you have to make sure to cancel with PayPal as well, or you will continue to be charged for a monthly service.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
In general, the media has been very kind to Teamwork. You can read reviews here from a number of different printed and online sources. There are scores of satisfied customers as well. People are most excited about the following characteristics of Teamwork:
- User-Friendly: Most subscribers agree this is one of the easiest project management programs to use effectively right away. There is no steep learning curve with Teamwork Projects.
- Flexible/Adaptable: People like being able to customize their accounts with personal or company branding. They also like the freedom to incorporate 3rd party apps.
- Improvements/Updates: Teamwork is in a state of constant development, which most users like very much; they know that the software continues to be perfected and changed as technology improves.
- Free Option: People really enjoy the fact that they can use a Teamwork account forever at no charge. Who doesn’t like free stuff?
As a matter of fact, I read very little feedback about Teamwork that wasn’t glowing and complimentary. Here are a few examples:
“It’s truly one of the best SaaS apps I’ve ever seen.” – Bret Wiener of Capital Brands
“The constant additions and updates the team includes from customer suggestions clearly show this is a company that puts its clients first.” – Chad Duncan of Snow Companies
“TeamworkPM has completely changed how we get work done, interact with team members and improve workflow with remote employees who now have access from anywhere. We evaluated several project management programs before determining TeamworkPM gave us the most flexibility & features to make it easy for the team to learn & adopt. We cannot imagine going back to our old ways, and still can’t believe we operated without TeamworkPM for so long!” – Betsy Rowbottom of rocketclicks.com
“What amazes me more than the feature set is the intuitive nature of the layout. It took me about 15 minutes to figure out how everything worked and 4 hours later I had 3 projects with fully populated task lists sent to my client with them having access to the site and their respective API’s for their mobile devices.” – Jason Whitehurst of Sight Frame
There are many similar testimonials on the Teamwork Projects website.
Teamwork Projects is cleverly thought-out and has been designed with the average user in mind. It doesn’t necessarily perform as many complex functions as other similar programs, but what it does, it does with flair. Teamwork is best known for unique and exceptional coverage of basic project management needs. In addition to the usual run-of-the-mill project management functions (like the ability to create milestones, view schedules on a Gantt chart, create task dependencies, and access a central activity stream), here are a few keys areas where this software really shines:
- Project Overview: A relatively new addition to Teamwork Projects, the project overview is basically a dashboard to give you a breakdown of progress on the tasks and milestones within your project. By adding a feature like this, Teamwork has managed to plug one of the few holes in their product.
- Tasks: Teamwork Projects is the only project management software that permits you to assign tasks to more than one person at a time. You are allowed to create recurring tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis – also a feature that many programs lack. Conveniently, each time a recurring task is marked as “complete,” a new task is automatically scheduled to replace it. Regular tasks can be given due dates, start dates, and estimated completion times. In addition, you can log time against individual tasks and subtasks. Subtasks are given special consideration in Teamwork Projects and may be allotted their own start and end times, owners, and attachments. Tasks may be created directly from your account, but you can also create them via email. Teamwork also recently added the capability to bulk-edit tasks, making a boring, repetitive chore less time-consuming!
- Board View: Teamwork Projects recently (April 2017) added a new way of displaying your tasks: board view. Board view is similar in concept to the service another project management platform, Trello, provides. Trello is notoriously simple, but very intuitive and easy to use. By bringing some of that simple visual style to Teamwork Projects, the developers are helping ensure that anyone can use their product.
- Email Integration and Features: Teamwork Projects allows you to reply directly to updates, comments, and reminders directly through your own email. You can opt to receive a number of different email alerts from your account, including notification of new users or new file attachments and uploads, as well as upcoming milestones. In order to keep all work-related communiqués in one location, this software ingeniously allows you to forward non-Teamwork emails to your account by enabling the “process forwarded emails” setting. Additionally – and this is something I’ve never seen before – you are allowed to add up to three alternative email addresses to your account. Teamwork Projects stores email signature attachments for you and remembers them for future reference. That means that those pesky and redundant signature images (personal photos, company logos, etc.) will not be mistaken for important new file attachments. You can also stop annoying auto-reply vacation notices from being repetitively emailed to your account.
- Billing: The Billing tab enables you to group billable time and expenses into invoices. You can opt to set fixed prices or rates (per user) against any billable logged time, allowing invoices to calculate automatically. Completed invoices can be imported to Harvest, FreshBooks, Blinksale, or Excel. See the Integrations/Add-Ons section of this review for more information about importing invoices.
- Statuses: This handy little feature, located in the top control bar, makes it possible to send Twitter-like status updates to colleagues, letting them know where you are, what you’re doing, and whether you’re available to phone chat or take a meeting. You can view status updates for your whole company or business network on one timeline.
- Calendar: The Teamwork Projects calendar feature can be used to invite or notify coworkers about events; anyone attending a specific event is enabled to edit the calendar by entering specific details like time, location, and agenda. Any event can be made private to your parent company. You are allowed to create recurring events on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Recurring events can also be scheduled more specifically every Monday-Friday or on selected days of your choosing. Conveniently (for people who would like to use both), Teamwork Projects calendars sync easily to Outlook calendars.
- Lockdown: The Lockdown feature is used to keep tasks private to individual users regardless of the company they belong to. This feature lets you set flexible, personalized privacy settings to any task, project, milestone, message, or event. Files attached to private tasks or messages automatically inherit the same privacy settings.
- Messaging: Teamwork Projects messages are customized with an attachment of the sender’s photo. You can send messages to anyone using your Teamwork account, but you can also choose to send company-only messages. Messages can be archived for future reference, organized by category, exported to PDF or converted into “print mode.”
- Contacts: The contacts section of Teamwork is fairly thorough and gives you the option of adding different companies and people to your installation. Each user on your account is given a profile with contact details, as well as time-zone, date, and language preferences. Users can also be assigned different access levels within the projects they are permitted to view.
- Links Tab: Formerly known as the Resources tab, the Links tab in each project is the designated location for embedding 3rd party applications, links, and webpages. This is a thoughtful addition on Teamwork’s part, and allows you to keep track of pertinent websites, add training videos and podcasts, and a whole lot more. Any resources you add to you account can be categorized by subject or grouped by date.
- Risk Register: Though Teamwork Projects is not as completely risk-driven as programs like LiquidPlanner, it does provide you with the option to download a risk register which helps determine potential threats to your projects. This chart can be converted into a PDF file and printed for easy reference. It is also PMBOK/PMP compliant.
- Document Editing: This feature requires you to download an editor to your computer. I am happy to see Teamwork Projects getting on board with a doc editor, though I have seen it implemented in other programs without requiring downloads. This may or may not be much of a problem for you, but if you are limited on hard drive space, it is something to be aware of.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Teamwork Projects comes with several useful integration features, depending on which plan you’ve subscribed to. Most subscriptions integrate with:
- Quick Books
- Calendar Sync
- Time Doctor
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
Additionally, you can use Zapier to integrate your Teamwork account with many other 3rd-party apps, including GitHub, YouTube, and Salesforce. For a complete list of available Zapier integrations, click here.
You can also use Teamwork’s REST API to develop your own add-ons, apps, and integrations. For more information on this and the other compatible programs mentioned, check out the official Teamwork Projects integrations FAQ.
Teamwork Projects monitors security with an almost obsessive vigilance. In addition to providing regular updates and bug-fixes, they constantly watch for general internet security threats, viruses, and hackers. Teamwork protects subscriber accounts in the following ways:
- Salted Passwords: All accounts are guarded by salted password hashes instead of plain-text passwords, and Teamwork uses SSL for all login screens that use a Teamwork subdomain.
- Secure Facilities: The physical safety of information is also treated with thought and attention. Teamwork Project’s locked-down servers and databases are located in a completely secure facility that requires both a security card and a passport ID to enter.
- Backups: Teamwork Projects backs up all databases to an off-site facility twice each day. You can download a database snapshot of any project files whenever you want; only account owners have access to these stored files. In case of unforeseen circumstances, Teamwork data is always stored on mirrored database servers.
Personally, I like Teamwork Projects quite a bit. This software has achieved an extremely customer-oriented design without sacrificing function or practicality. It takes little-to-no time to master and the features are clean, simple, and self-explanatory. In my opinion, Teamwork is a near perfect project management tool, especially for those of you with smaller budgets or fewer resources.
My biggest concern with Teamwork is the small-scale customer support network. Customer support is by no means nonexistent, though, and Teamwork is so simple to figure out that you may not miss the informative spoon-feeding given by other software programs. Compatibility with browsers and security programs is also an issue with Teamwork Projects, but all the bugs have somewhat straightforward solutions so long as you’re willing to spend the time on multi-step fixes.
I highly recommend Teamwork Projects and suggest trying it out for a month. Users that do a lot of business on mobile devices will love the streamlined utility of the Teamwork mobile apps, and highly collaborative businesses will enjoy the fact that all plans include free, unlimited users. Give it a try and see for yourself.