Mavenlink online project management that can take you all the way
Mavenlink is an online project management software with a very clear objective: help users manage every aspect of their business relationships more efficiently than ever before. That is the vision put forward by their founders: Ray Grainger, Roger Neel and Sean Crafts. Back in 2008, they analyzed the issues of using various collaboration tools versus having one central place to effectively manage all projects, communications, documents, expenses and invoices.
Mavenlink launched its first beta in 2009 and, by January 2010, its first general product release became available. Today more than 200,000 businesses use Mavenlink to work. Mavenlink corporate headquarters are located in Irvine, California while the development team works out of San Francisco. If you visit the Mavenlink blog, you will notice that they are always busy releasing new features and, at the same time, they remain current with new development standards, the project management business profession and international business events. But What is Mavenlink capable of?
- Workforce Collaboration: To start, Mavenlink has put great effort in their HTML5 web application for smartphones. You can review your projects activity stream or have real-time messaging directly from your mobile, as if you were using your computer or laptop; and this applies to every single feature in Mavenlink. Mavenlink provides great integration with email through email notifications, email replies that are directly posted on your project activity stream (so no need to login) and set up email project activity updates, a snapshot of all your project updates sent to you in one simple email.
- File Sharing: You can share and organize your project files as you attach them to conversations and tasks. You can make files public or private by choosing specific project participants that can access/review them. Mavenlink integrates with Google Docs and enables users to quickly view documents directly within the web browser.
- Project Management: You can create, assign and manage the status of your team tasks, deliverables and milestones. For each task, you can also create subtasks and you can also tag items so your team members can group various tasks. Each task status (Not Started, Started, In Progress, Completed, Due) can use a different colors so you can get a visual of where your project team stands. Mavenlink supports integration with Google Tasks and import project templates using .csv, .xls and MS Project files. If you do not have a project template import file, you can create your own and save it within Mavenlink.
- Team Management: You can define user permissions by work groups or on a project by project basis. You can set roles, permissions and even billing rates per user. Permissions can be set so that you can invite your customers as well as partners into Mavenlink collaborative, online workplace. Mavenlink also supports integrations with Google Contacts. Something to keep in mind is that Mavenlink supports Unlimited Collaborators meaning you do not need to pay extra for online collaboration with customers or sub-contractors.
- Time and Expense Tracking: You can associate the time (that you and your team spent) with tasks and deliverables, manage individual rates for each team member, set billable versus non-billable on a per-entry basis. You can execute timesheets reports that roll-up multiple time entries into one summary and also manage project-based expenses (travel, mileage, lodging, food, entertainment), expenses markups and upload receipts.
- Invoicing and Budgets: You can create invoices based on completed tasks, deliverables, milestones, expenses tracked, or fixed-fee projects. You can also roll-up multiple client projects into a single invoice, calculate tax on a per-line basis and receive PayPal payments. If you deal with vendors or sub-contractors, you can set client and sub-contractor budget permissions, track budgets as the project is executed and track burn rates based on time and expenses logged by all project participants. You can review your transaction history by project, client or sub-contractor and receive alerts when invoices are paid or change orders are accepted.
- Integration: Mavenlink can be integrated with QuickBooks and PayPal. With QuickBooks Integration, Mavenlink can sync time, expenses, customers and all of your project services seamlessly. You can link Mavenlink to your PayPal account so that your customers can pay with one click, and you and your team members can correctly track all payments.
- Custom Branding options: You can upload your logo, set color themes that match your corporate colors and customize your URL: yourcompany.mavenlink.com
Yes! With Mavenlink you can pretty much cover the full cycle from project management and time tracking to invoicing and budgets, but How much does Mavenlink cost?
Mavenlink offers a free package that provides basic functionality, 2 Admin users, unlimited collaborators and 500MB file storage. From there you can escalate to any of their PRO packages: Expert, Guru and Maven. All PRO packages support Unlimited Collaborators, expenses tracking, invoicing, QuickBooks and PayPal integration. At $39 per month, Mavenlink Expert plan is very competitive as it offers 20GB file storage, unlimited projects/collaborators and 2 Admin users. Considering that most Unlimited Projects options offer less than 10GB, Mavenlink is a winner! just make sure you consider their pre-paid annual plan and you can reduce the monthly fees even further to just $29 per month!
For more information about Mavenlink available packages, you can go to Mavenlink social followers and price plans
Okay so, What do we think of Mavenlink? Mavenlink is a very comprehensive online project management software. With Mavenlink you can provision your services to your customers, interact with your sub-contractors, keep track of your project expenses, bill and get paid all within Mavenlink web-based SaaS. What else can you ask for? Mavenlink user interface has advanced a great deal throughout the years, it offers very intuitive navigation menus, and the best thing of all, they keep coming with new features/ideas as you go. The cons: there are some limitations in terms of task dependencies, Gantt chart support and resource scheduling; but if you are not planning the next Mars Exploration Rover mission then Mavenlink will satisfy most of your needs as they target the project requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Posted on January 06, 2013