Zoho Projects Review

Zoho
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Zoho Projects
Zoho
1996
Pleasanton, CA
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
30 million users
Cloud
Yes
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Zoho Projects At A Glance

Good: Collaboration features such as Gamescope and Project Chat, ability to break down complex projects into sub tasks, Issue Tracker module for software teams.
Bad: Learning curve in getting used to all the features, reporting functionality is limited unless integrated to Zoho Reports, mobile app is not always user friendly.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based robust project management solution to help teams successfully manage simple and complex projects.

Product Overview

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management solution that helps businesses and teams manage both simple and complex projects. Users can assign projects, track milestones, share comments and files, and monitor billable hours.

Zoho Projects has a free plan and four paid plans: Standard, Express, Premium and Enterprise. The free plan includes some basic features, such as viewing Gantt charts within a single project, project feeds, task management, document sharing, calendar and forums, ability to import data from Microsoft Projects, and task custom status. Users can also use the Project Pages and Project Chat features for a single project.

The Standard plan includes the features of the free plan, but adds:

  • Ability to create up to five project templates
  • Read-only access to Gantt charts on all projects
  • Syncing to Google Tasks
  • Gamescope
  • Time tracking
  • Advanced task reports
  • Integration to Zapier, Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Meeting and Zoho CRM

The Express plan includes the features of the free plan, but adds:

  • Ability to create up to 10 project templates
  • Project Pages and Project Chat feature for all projects
  • Budgeting, invoicing and expense
  • Timesheet approval
  • Ability to export projects
  • Custom views of tasks and issues
  • Subtasks
  • Recurrence and reminders

The Premium plan includes the features of the Express plan but adds:

  • Ability to create up to 20 project templates
  • Ability to edit Gantt charts within a project
  • Ability to create different layouts
  • Monitoring projects by planned hours, sub-tasks and business hours
  • Ability to track task duration by hours or days
  • Integration to Dropbox
  • Integration to Zoho Reports (requires subscription to Zoho Reports’ paid plan)
  • Ability to skip weekends and holidays
  • Ability to create strict project management schedules

The Enterprise plan includes the following features:

  • Ability to create up to 30 project templates
  • Resource utilization chart across all projects
  • Ability to create custom fields for projects and tasks
  • Custom domain names

Specific pricing of each plan is in our Pricing section below.

Zoho Projects offers a module called Issue Tracker for software companies to track issues and bugs within their projects. Users can track and organize issues by lists or Kanban methods, and rank them by deadlines, status or issue severity. It includes customizable workflows and issue severity, notifications, and a My Issues view for users to track all assigned projects in a consolidated view.

There is also another project management tool called Zoho Sprints. It’s intended to help agile teams manage their projects. Teams can track projects on a scrum board, log billable and non-billable hours, and plan for any possible changes within a project. Zoho Sprints has a free plan and two paid plans that are based on the number of users.

Features

Users can efficiently and easily track complex projects in a variety of ways: milestones, tasks lists, and bigger tasks that breaks down into sub tasks. The milestone feature helps users track various deadlines within a project. Users can further manage tasks in Classic, Plain, Dependencies and Kanban (visualizing workflows by cards) views.

Zoho Projects include built-in Gantt charts that show milestone and dependencies within a project or task. Each milestone or dependency has its own color codes, and users can change schedules with a drag-and-drop interface. Gantt charts can also be printed or exported to a PDF.

Zoho Projects includes several collaboration features. First there’s the Feed, a feature that resembles a social network where users can get updates or comment on specific tasks or milestones. Users can also track timelines of specific discussions via the activity stream, as well as share images and files.

Another collaboration feature is Project Chat, a built-in chat room. Users can chat either one-on-one or within a group. There’s no limit on the amount of people within a single chat room.

There is also the Project Pages feature that works as a company’s intranet system. Information and files that are relevant to a project can be stored as a repository. A variety of files can be attached to each page, such as images, audio, video and charts.

Zoho Projects also includes a gamification feature called Gamescope. Users can turn specific tasks into games by challenging each other on who can finish a specific task within a specific time frame. The winner receives a trophy or badge to display within their profile.

In addition, Zoho Projects offers time-tracking tools via the Timesheet feature. Users record the amount of time dedicated to a task with a built-in timer. They can also track time by task or project, as well as record billable and non-billable hours. Timesheets can be exported in Excel, PDF or CSV and sent to payroll, managers or clients. Managers can also create invoices for clients with the integrated Zoho Invoice solution.

There is also the resource utilization chart that helps managers better allocate staffing resources within a project. It has a see-saw design that shows an employee’s allocated work time on one end and free time on the other. There is also a color code design that represents the employee’s availability. Managers can also use the at-a-glance schedule chart to assess each employee’s availability, and add, change or re-assign a task.

For users that want to analyze and run reports on project data, Zoho Projects integrates with Zoho Reports for business intelligence functionality. Users can build reports and dashboards via a drag-and-drop interface or use any of the 50 standard templates. Reports can be emailed, exported, printed out or even embedded within blogs and websites.

Finally, Zoho Projects offers dedicated mobile apps so users can access their projects away from their office. The apps are available for Android and iPhone devices.

  • Budget & Expense Management?
  • Collaboration?
  • File Sharing?
  • Gantt Charts?
  • Mobile?
  • Task Management?
  • Time Tracking?

Target Market

Zoho provides industry and job-specific apps for Sales & Marketing, HR and Finance. Zoho Projects is intended for any company size and industry.

We’ve listed below 10 of its customers:

  • IKEA
  • Intel
  • Jaguar
  • Land Rover
  • NASCAR
  • Netflix
  • Ogilvy & Mather
  • Timex
  • Yale
  • Yatra.com

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Implementation/Integration

Companies that select any of the paid plans will get a 15-day free trial. After the trial period, they can purchase the plan via credit card. Companies simply sign up and can begin navigating Zoho Projects within minutes.

Zoho Projects integrates with Zoho’s other apps, such as Zoho Docs for Business, Zoho CRM, Zoho People and Zoho Mail. It also integrates with third-party apps, such as Google Apps, Microsoft Apps, Dropbox, Box, Slack and GitHub. Users can also import data from Jira and Basecamp.

Customer Service & Support

Users can refer to Zoho Projects resources, such as a user guide, an API guide, webinars, help videos and a knowledge base. They can also connect with other users within the community forum or contact Zoho Projects by email if they need additional support.

Pricing

Zoho Projects’ free plan includes a single active project, 10 MB of storage and accommodates up to five users.

Here are the pricing details of the paid plans:

  • Standard – The Standard plan costs $20 per month and includes up to 10 active projects, 15 users and 5 GB of storage.
  • Express – The Express plan costs $40 per month and includes unlimited active projects and 20 GB of storage. It accommodates up to 25 users. If a company wants to include more than 25 users, it will cost an additional $2 per user.
  • Premium – The Premium plan costs $85 per month and includes unlimited active projects and 100 GB of storage. It accommodates up to 25 users. If a company wants to include more than 25 users, it will cost an additional $3 per user.
  • Enterprise – The Enterprise plan costs $125 per month and includes unlimited active projects and 120 GB of storage. It accommodates up to 25 users. If a company wants to include more than 25 users, it will cost an additional $4 per user.

Each plan is pay-as-you-go, so users can upgrade, downgrade or cancel their plans at any time.

Shortcomings

Some users have mentioned that it can take some time getting used to all of the features. However, Zoho Projects has several resources to help users adjust to the learning curve.

Users have also reported the mobile app is not always user friendly.

And finally, aside from the advanced task reports, the reporting features are limited, unless it’s integrated with Zoho Reports. To integrate Zoho Projects and Zoho Reports, users are required to sign up for a paid plan with both Zoho Projects and Zoho Reports.

Screenshots

Zoho Screenshot 1
Zoho Screenshot 2
Zoho Screenshot 3

About

Zoho began as a network management company called AdventNet in 1996. In 2009, it rebranded itself as Zoho Corporation. In addition to Zoho apps, the company has two divisions – one for IT management and the other for network management.

Over the years, it has added more solutions, such as Zoho CRM in 2005; Zoho Meeting and Zoho Creator in 2007; Zoho Invoice, Zoho People and Zoho Mail in 2008; and Zoho Connect, Zoho Vault, Zoho Survey and Zoho ContactManager in 2013. In 2015, Zoho Social and Zoho Expense were introduced.

In 2017, Zoho reached the 30 million mark in number of users. That same year it introduced Zoho One, an all-in-one suite of more than 35 integrated applications, much like using an operating system similar to Microsoft Windows.

Zoho Corporation is a privately-held company with 5,000 employees. One notable program is the Zoho University, which hires high-school students and trains them in research, development and engineering.

Zoho has U.S. locations in Pleasanton, CA and Austin, TX. It also has locations in other countries, such as India, China and Japan.

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