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A Powerful, Attractive & Intuitive Project Management Software
Thanks to its pretty user interface and powerful tools – not to mention a very successful advertising campaign – monday.com has emerged as one of the stars of project management software.
But marketing hype aside, is monday.com really the best of the best? Or is it just all style and no substance? Having put it through rigorous testing, I can say monday.com gives a solid performance – but it isn’t perfect.
monday.com has a good variety of features that will suit both newbies and advanced users. The features cover everything, from simple day-to-day planning to trickier tasks like column equations and complex filtering.
It’s also available in 13 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Swedish, Chinese, and Turkish.
That said, monday.com is unlikely to suit those looking for a free or budget project management software. Its free and basic plans lack most of the features that really make it shine.
Don’t get me wrong: it’ll be worth the investment for many. monday.com is undoubtedly one of the most well-packaged project management software around, and it’s still easy to use despite being so powerful. But before you get out your credit card and sign up for a plan, read on to find out whether this tool is right for you.
monday.com’s interface combines workspaces, teams, and boardsso you canvisualize ongoing projects and assignments.
Boards are composed of groups, columns, items, and subitems. Items are the individual tasks; groups help you segment information; and columns store and display the actual data. All of these are highly customizable.
Thanks to this set-up, you can: assign tasks; set priorities for deadlines, statuses, and dependencies; tag teammates and external guests; set permissions; add files; and send notifications.
So overall, monday.com has no shortage of features. But let’s dive into some of the specifics.
monday.com offers over 200 board templates to help you get started. These templates cover a number of business niches, like portfolio tracking, campaign planning, team tasks, or customer onboarding (for example).
You can make a board from scratch, but using a template will help you get a sense of the many ways you can use monday.com – plus it saves a lot of time. Templates are fully customizable, so you can always tweak things to suit your exact needs.
Once you’ve gotten started by adding your own data and customizing your dashboard, you can get to grips with one of monday.com’s standout features. ‘Views’ are project visualization tools that let you understand your data in different ways.
There are several different types of views. As an account owner, you can set a default view, but other users can switch to the views they prefer – making this handy for satisfying all types of brains.
monday.com has more project visualization options than its competition:
Files view: Shows all your files in one place
Map view: Lets you see all your location and country columns on a map
Timeline view: Gives a visual representation of the dates and timelines of your ongoing projects
Gantt view: Turns your data into a Gantt-style chart, displaying milestones and dependencies
Chart view: Lets you create reports for a specific board, using pie, bar, and line charts
Calendar view: Shows you how tasks are distributed through the week, month, or year
Kanban view: Lets you view your board’s information as a Kanban board
Forms view: Allows you to convert your boards into forms, send them to your contacts, and convert the information received into new items
Workload view: Gives you an overview of how your team’s work is divided
However, one major drawback is that not all views are available on all plans. Indeed, some of the most useful ones, including the timeline, Gantt and calendar views, are only available on the Standard plan upwards.
monday.com’s automations can help you save time on routine tasks – and minimize human error. Automations use a series of “if this, then that” (IFTTT) statements; for example, “if” a task is marked as complete, “then” it should be archived.
You can use dozens of automations, but for some prominent examples: automations can handle sending notifications, creating tasks, assigning owners, and updating statuses.
Don’t be intimidated: setting up these automations is very user-friendly. Many automation options come with common triggers and actions already built-in. You can also filter automations by type to find what you’re looking for. And of course, you can always build some from scratch.
With just a few clicks, I was able to set up a number of automations to take care of my more monotonous everyday tasks – like archiving tasks as soon as the status is set to “Published,” and sending reminder emails to authors the day before their articles are due.
monday.com offers seamless integrations with more than 40 different third-party tools – including Outlook, Excel, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Slack, Stripe, Mailchimp, and Spotify. This makes it easy to consolidate everything in one platform and add any extra functionality monday.com lacks.
Once you’ve added an integration, you can include it in your automations. For instance, via the Outlook and Gmail integrations, you can automatically convert emails into action items. Or you could use the Slack integration to turn updates into Slack messages, so everyone is in the loop.
It’s worth noting, however, that both automations and integrations are premium features on monday.com.
monday.com Is Easy Enough for the Whole Team to Get on Board
monday.com is far easier to use than competitors with similarly advanced features. And we actually tested and compared them all. Admittedly, it does take some trial and error to get things working exactly right at first.
But in my experience, this is common across all project management software: most are so customizable that it takes time to optimize them for your team’s workflow.
For the most part, learning how to use monday.com is easy,thanks to the app’s intuitive interface. Elements can simply be drag-and-dropped to rearrange them, while the discussion tools are intuitive for anyone who’s ever used social media.
Getting Started with monday.com
Getting set up with monday.com is super simple. From the homepage, click on any of the Get Started buttons. You need to enter your email address to create an account, or you can sign up using your Google, Slack or LinkedIn account. Add your name, and a few extra details, and you’re in!
Everyone gets a 14-day free trial of the Pro plan, no credit card required. But note that if you later opt for a Basic or Standard plan, you will lose some features you had in the trial.
Once you’ve confirmed your email address, your main dashboard will load, along with a few helpful prompts to help you navigate your way around it for the first time.
monday.com looks great, with colorful designs, big buttons, and easy-to-understand icons. All of the system’s core features (including your message inbox, tasks, and shared project boards) can be accessed via the panel on the left-hand side of the screen.
Creating, assigning, and organizing tasks is a simple matter of clicking, dragging, and dropping. Should you get confused, a clickable question markbutton is always there to answer questions.
Despite never having used the platform prior to testing it, I was able to easily navigate my way through all of the functions I was looking for – with a little bit of help from the on-screen prompts and (occasionally) the support center.
monday.com’s reports are a great way of learning how teams are performing and discovering ways of making improvements. monday.com offers both basic and advanced reporting.
Among other things, you can:
Manage your budget with formulas and filters
Drill down information with advanced filters
Visualize your board’s data with charts
Use a dashboard to get insights from all your boards
Add benchmarks and cumulative data
So long as your boards are set up optimally, you can create reports with just a few clicks (although granted, this can take a lot of fiddling to set up).
Unlike some of its competitors though, monday.com lacks a direct messaging feature. You can only send messages on threads related to specific “items.” However, you can incorporate direct messaging by integrating with an external platform, such as Slack.
Team Dashboard & Communication
On monday.com, communication is primarily done via the discussion threads on items. You can comment, give thumbs up, and mention individuals and entire teams – or everyone who’s subscribed to a board – by tagging them with the ‘@’ sign. You can also invite clients to view information about their projects.
As an account owner, you can set up a customizable Teams dashboard that contains useful widgets, like an overview of your team’s workload and upcoming tasks, or recent mentions. For instance, you could use the fun “llama farm” widget to boost motivation – the more productive a team is, the more cute llamas they get on their screen.
monday.com has flexible file sharing: files can be attached to individual projects, and also viewed altogether in a centralized database. You can use an annotation feature to make comments and communicate on any document.
You can upload files (with a maximum size of 500MB each) from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive. The files can go to:
A task or project
A status (for instance, if you wanted to attach proof that a client has approved their content, or that an invoice has been paid)
The file column
The files gallery
You can also search for files instead of browsing, with the Search Everything feature. Search Everything lets you filter results by Boards, Updates, Files, or Tags. You can even specify the type of file you want (like an image or Word document).
Use four different board views (Calendar, Timeline, Kanban & Battery)
The app is well-optimized to give you all of the information from your monday.com boards on a smaller screen. You can zoom in or out, scroll, or rotate the screen, to view more or fewer columns and rows at once.
Some users complain that the app can be a little slow-loading, but it performed just fine for me in testing. It’s also just as intuitive as the desktop interface.
Good Response Times – But Where’s the Live Chat Support?
monday.com offers two lines of customer support: a ticket/email system, and a support center. I was disappointed by the lack of a live chat, since having an “instant” line of support is useful if you’re facing a work crisis, but the other options are certainly satisfactory.
When testing, I found that most of my routine queries were solved by the knowledge base alone. It has hundreds of articles and tutorials covering almost every topic imaginable, and it’s regularly updated.
But, if you should have a question you can’t find an answer to in the knowledge base, support agents are on hand 24/7 to assist you.
You simply have to submit a ticket via the monday.com interface (click the ? icon in the corner to be taken through), and you should receive a reply within 60 minutes or less. Not ideal, but not bad.
I wanted to see if monday.com holds true to its promises, so I fired off a range of queries at several different times. The responses were… patchy.
The first time, I got a reply in just over half an hour, from a friendly support agent who directed me to a useful article.
The response to my second query took almost two hours to come in, but was much more detailed. It acknowledged that the feature I’d asked for wasn’t available, but offered a suitable workaround.
If I was having an emergency, I’d like the responses to be quicker. But the quality of the responses was fine, and overall, representatives were still pretty responsive.
Plenty for Larger Businesses, But Tricky For Those On a Budget
In addition to offering the standard 14-day free trial, monday.com has a forever free plan. It supports up to two users and comes with all of the basic features, including unlimited boards, two project views, and the mobile apps.
The Basic plan comes with up to 5 GB of file storage, the possibility to add (at cost) an unlimited number of seats, and prioritized customer support. But compared to the competition, monday.com’s Basic plan is limited.
For instance, Asana’s free plan alone has unlimited storage, supports up to 15 users, and integrates with 100+ apps. (Our Asana review has more insight on that.)
monday.com’s most useful features come into play from the Standard plan upwards. With Standard, you unlock three extra views, as well as some automations and integrations, and guest access. All in all, this plan is probably the best balance between power and price.
But it’s only with the top-tier Pro plan that you get full access to monday.com’s stand-out features, including up to 25,000 automation and integration actions per month, all of the project views, formula columns, and dependencies.
Starting at $14.00 per person per month, this is no small cost. But considering the wealth of features on offer, you may find it’s well worth it as long as it’s within your budget.
That said, there is one thing I don’t love about monday.com’s pricing. Rather than letting you pay per user (as most of the competition does), monday.com forces you to pay for groups up to a certain number – for example, for up to five people or up to twenty people.
You can, however, save money by taking out an annual subscription.
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monday.com REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE
monday.com is very impressive for packing a powerful punch while remaining easy enough for anyone to get used to. However, the fact remains that the bulk of monday.com’s really useful tools are locked away with the higher-tier plans, and so it won’t be within everybody’s budget.
I recommend monday.com for any business that’s willing to invest in more efficient project management. I’d especially recommend it for larger enterprises that can easily afford the cost (and have more people working on projects). monday.com’s full functionality is unmatched, so if you can afford it, it’s worth it.
If you’re after a free or a budget option, you might find you get more out of the free Wrike plan or the Smartsheet Pro plan.
Is monday.com a good project management software?Technically, monday.com is more of a work management app, which is why it refers to itself as a Work OS (Operating System). monday.com is not limited to managing projects (which have a start date, end date, and a deliverable) and can also be used to manage ongoing work (such as fixing bugs, running an editorial team, and even answering customer queries).
While project management software are good at managing complex projects, a work OS like monday.com is better at visualizing the day-to-day workflow and automating processes.What is monday.com good for?monday.com is good for basically everything. Broadly speaking… you can manage project assignments, and use data visualization tools to assess your team’s performance. File management tools and integrations let you access everything you need within monday.com, which streamlines work. Automations can save you time spent on routine tasks.
Although it’s suitable for solo workers and large enterprises, monday.com’s best features are on the higher-tier plans. See our list of the best project management software in 2022 to work out whether a different option is best for you and your business.Can I use monday.com for free?Yes! monday.com has recently started offering a free plan. It allows up to two users, and comes with all of the basic features, two project views, up to 500 MB of storage, and the monday.com mobile app.
But to take advantage of advanced features like automations, integrations, and extra project views, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher tier plan. You can try monday.com risk-free for 14 days to see if the higher-tier plans are for you.What are some good monday.com alternatives? monday.com is one of our top choices for businesses willing to invest in a powerful project management software. Where I’d recommend alternatives, it’s for those who are seeking something more budget-friendly.
Although monday.com does offer a free plan, Asana’s free plan gives you more users, views, storage, and even integrations. Trello, nTask, and Hygger also all offer free plans.
Abi has worked as a writer, editor, and content marketeer for more than five years. When not glued to her laptop, she whips up calorific baked goods, writes terrible short stories, and searches for new dogs to follow on Instagram.