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12 Microsoft Excel Alternatives to Use With Your Team

Microsoft Excel has long been one of the main go-to options for spreadsheets and mathematical functions. But with new solutions that offer additional features, it’s time to take a look at the other choices you have available to you.

Depending on what you use Excel for, there could be hundreds of Excel alternatives across the web. These are twelve of the best, and easiest to use, to check out for you & your team.

1. Toggl Plan

toggl plan timeline: excel alternative

Read: How Buzzfeed replaced their spreadsheets with Toggl Plan

Why You’ll Love It: Offering an innovative visual planning tool that is both powerful and easy to use, Toggl Plan is a great option if you’re looking for alternatives to Excel. The system allows you to replace spreadsheets as it helps manage workflow, track projects, organize tasks, as well as schedule meetings and other team assignments. It has a clear timeline that is color coded and provides simple sharing functions to keep everyone on the same page at all times.

Pros: The simple click-and-drag software makes project management processes a breeze from beginning to end.

Cons: You won’t find basic Excel functions like calculations. Instead, Toggl Plan would replace Excel if you’re using it for project / task / team planning, scheduling and other needs.

Price: Free for teams up to 5 people. Paid plans start at $8 per user per month.

2. Google Sheets

Why You’ll Love It: Along with being the world’s largest search engine, Google also offers its users a wide range of other types of software including spreadsheets. With Google Sheets, you’ll have essentially all the same functionality found on Excel while having the added benefits of keeping everything safe and secure in your Google Drive cloud account. Easily share, edit, and update whenever and wherever you need.

Pros: User-friendly and easy to learn, especially if you’ve already been using Microsoft Excel.

Cons: Some users would prefer that Google Sheets offer analytics and reporting features to get more extensive history and details about their spreadsheets.

Price: Free. Paid plans start at $5 per month for additional storage when it becomes necessary.

3. Zendesk Explore

Why You’ll Love It: Since it acquired BIME Analytics back in 2015, Zendesk has grown its analytics and reporting capabilities into something that could replace much of the functionality of Excel. Their clear and customizable Explore dashboard makes it easy to review data and create reports based on your company’s needs.

Pros: Sharing with your entire team is incredibly simple to ensure everyone can see the information and provide input.

Cons: With most of their features focused on CRM software, you may find the Excel-style functions are limited to basic analytics.

Price: Free for Lite features. Additional functions available starting at $9 per user per month.

4. Workzone

Why You’ll Love It: Mainly focused on marketing agencies and operations companies, Workzone is project management software that also doubles as one of the best Excel alternatives. It can be used for budget management needs such as time and expense tracking as well as for monitoring resources and milestones. Managed on the cloud, users will be able to access it from anywhere using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Pros: Often praised for its collaboration options, you’ll likely enjoy the ability to keep everyone in the loop automatically as opposed to consistently sending updated Excel spreadsheets.

Cons: Occasional issues come up with the calendar features being less than intuitive, making it necessary to keep an eye on dates to ensure they are correct.

Price: Free demo. The price varies based on the size of your team. As an example, a team of 15 will start at $24 per user per month.

5. Zoho Sheet

Why You’ll Love It: Following suit with Google, the team at Zoho has created a massive supply of applications to replace functions across a wide variety of needs. Among their apps, Zoho Sheet is their realization of an effective spreadsheet software. It’s a great place to organize, discuss, and analyze data with your team as you create graphs and charts.

Pros: A strong option for companies that need to manage a large amount of data all in one place, Zoho Sheet easily imports from other software to get you up and running quickly.

Cons: Sometimes, spreadsheets may need mild reformatting after importing from Excel and other alternatives.

Price: Free for teams up to 5 people. Paid plans start at $4 per user per month.

6. Sheetster

Why You’ll Love It: Able to view both XLS and XLSX formats, Sheetster is a web-based spreadsheet editor with nearly all the same features that you’d find in Microsoft Excel. Used most commonly as a JavaScript, it is generally meant for developers who want to use these functions in their web apps or other software. It can be incorporated into everything from a mobile application to a CMS like WordPress.

Pros: Great for web development if you want to add it to your new website or other creation as a developer.

Cons: Without general coding knowledge, this option may not be easy to use for some people looking for a way to replace Excel.

Price: Free

7. Numbers (Mac)

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re an Apple user with a Mac, then Numbers is the ideal Excel alternative for you. It is nearly identical to its Microsoft counterpart when it comes to creating, editing, and managing spreadsheets. You can even use it across platforms meaning that you’ll be able to share your sheets with Windows users on your team.

Pros: For anyone who recently switched to Mac that previously used Excel on their PC, this is the perfect way to pick right back up where you left off.

Cons: Minor functionality differences from Excel that may require some research to learn.

Price: Starting at $9.99 per app depending on your operating system.

8. Redbooth

Why You’ll Love It: Joining the ranks of other project management applications on this list, Redbooth offers task organization, collaboration tools, and other functions. Users can manage members of their staff as they work on projects that are organized with columns that are customizable like Excel. Keep things organized on the cloud so everyone on your team can maintain the workflow.

Pros: Offers a simple interface that makes it easy to learn and even easier to use.

Cons: Though many types of software like this one have numerous integrations that can be used with it, the options for Redbooth are fairly limited.

Price: Free 14-day trial. Plans starting at $9 per user per month.

9. Scoro

Why You’ll Love It: While it is usually marketed as a project management platform, Scoro is another one of the main Excel alternatives worth considering. It is a business solution software with features that include financial management, time tracking, reporting, analytics, and more. While it lacks basic spreadsheet functionality, this program can be used in many other beneficial ways.

Pros: The software is highly adaptable to your specific industry as a means to make it fit your needs.

Cons: Onboarding can be difficult and it can take some time to learn how to use the software.

Price: Free 14-day trial. Plans starting at $26 per user per month.

10. Apache OpenOffice

Why You’ll Love It: The software for Apache OpenOffice is open source, which means it is free to use in a variety of ways. Users can apply it to their website, mobile app development, or simply integrate the software for basic spreadsheet needs. Dubbed a “productivity suite”, Apache can create equations, databases, multimedia presentations, a variety of diagrams, and even illustrations that can be rendered into 3D images.

Pros: Essentially provides all the same options as the full Microsoft Office package in one place for free.

Cons: It isn’t updated very often, which can occasionally lead to bugs and minor glitches in the software.

Price: Free

11. LibreOffice

Why You’ll Love It: LibreOffice is considered one of the top Excel alternatives and is powered by the team at OffiDocs. Similar to Apache OpenOffice, it uses open source software to view and edit spreadsheets from Microsoft platforms. You’ll find it has most of the same basic features found in Excel.

Pros: Similar layout to Microsoft that makes it easy to convert if you want to switch to this free alternative.

Cons: LibreOffice doesn’t have many of the formatting functions or high-level calculations that are offered in Excel and some of the other options on this list.

Price: Free

12. Spread32

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re on the hunt for the most basic of Excel alternatives, Spread32 could be just right for you. While it is less involved than most of the other options above, the software still has over 300 functions to provide the essentials many users require. While it doesn’t offer the colorful dashboards and other aesthetics of more contemporary apps, it will do what you need it to.

Pros: Spread32 is a simple, lightweight option that offers portability with its attached app of SpreadCE.

Cons: The software interface takes a while to learn because it has a different look and feel than Excel.

Price: Free

Which of These Excel Alternatives Will You Try?

From simple spreadsheets to complex project management applications, there are numerous Excel alternatives worth a try. Among the options mentioned above, you’re sure to find great software to replace it.

At the top of the list, Toggl Plan provides a great variety of features that will fill all of your time tracking, task management, and schedule planning needs. Learn more about our software and see how it will benefit your company.

The post 12 Microsoft Excel Alternatives to Use With Your Team appeared first on Toggl Blog.

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microsoft windows OS

10 of the Best Project Management Software (Reviewed + Rated)

Today’s workplace is challenging, with complex marketing tasks becoming the norm.

You’re expected to manage a variety of projects, like website maintenance, blogging, email marketing, and automation. Not to mention handling traditional deliverables, special events, and so on and so forth. It seems like you’re doing more for your clients than ever before.

It’s understood, though, that taking on and managing work-based projects can be a drain on resources. Often, you’ll have multiple projects for multiple clients, and getting it all done can be difficult to effectively organize.

The traditional methods of project management just don’t cut it anymore. Typing information into a spreadsheet or using word processing software to compile notes takes too much time away from actually completing projects.

Thankfully, we now have project management tools to keep us organized and out of deep water.

What Are Project Management Tools?

As much as we all would love to think that we’re capable of keeping ourselves organized and accountable for our individual workloads, both personal and professional, that wish is very rarely a reality.

That fact is multiplied when you examine self-guided productivity across entire teams or departments.

via GIPHY

Project management tools are lifesavers when it comes to easing this pain. Designed to minimize the friction that comes with transitioning from one to-do list item to the next, a lot of features are built into the software to make managing tasks easy and standardized.

That isn’t to say that these tools are going to fix all of a user’s problems. That depends on how effectively the individual or team uses it. But when you take full advantage of all its gadgets and features, you’ll be blown away by what project management software can do for you.

Top Features of the Best Project Management Tools

When looking at what these tools can do for you, you’ll find that their best features are built for the specific purpose of making you and your team more efficient.

Checking tasks off a list is one of the small joys in any office’s day to day. What a little kick of dopamine.

These features can help you burn through your projects faster, making you feel great about what you accomplished:

Planning: Most project management tools centralize all of a team’s tasks onto one dashboard where team members can delegate and schedule each individual task as necessary.
Collaboration: Communicating within a team is made so much easier with tools that allow for commenting on task files, reviews and approvals, and organization. That means less email clutter or multiple trips back and forth across the office.
Documentation: A lot of software today has cloud storage, making file management a cinch. Upload, share, and download documents, spreadsheets, and other important files and take comfort knowing that it all exists in one place.
Tracking: This feature is great for projects that move across departments or for leadership members that need to monitor progress, productivity, and reporting.

10 of the Best Project Management Tools and Software

If your team is juggling deadlines, resources, and deliverables, we have a list of solutions for you. Dedicated project management software is available to keep everyone on your team on the same page and moving forward.

Let’s take a look at some of the best project management software out there that can help you stay organized, get the job done, and make you look like a rockstar to your clients.

1. Zoho Projects

zoho projects project management tool

Zoho Projects is an online project management software built to help users plan and execute projects with ease through collaboration and planning.

Part of the Zoho Business suite, you can communicate in the platform with team members and clients, share documents, keep timelines, and generate reports.

Any and all active projects are stored, tracked, and recorded on one central dashboard. The software is cloud-based, making communication and documentation easy and safe. You’re able to customize functionality based on the size of your team and projects, adding more features as needed.

When used in tandem with Zoho’s other software programs, your team is virtually unstoppable when it comes to taking your business to new heights.

This tool has a 5 star rating on PCMag.

Price: Zoho Projects Standard plan pricing starts at $18/mo.

2. Teamwork

teamwork project management tool

Teamwork is an online suite of three individual project management software tools that can work separately or together to streamline project management.

There are three separate modules designed to work individually or together so you can add functionality as you need it. Teamwork Projects is the project management app, Teamwork Chat is a communication module that allows team members to keep in touch as a project moves through the company, and Teamwork Desk is a help desk function that is invisible to your customers.

You’re able to increase a project by assigning tasks, communicating, and tracking progress all in a centralized place. The suite of products “talks” to each other so you can handle all aspects of your project without leaving the application.

PCMag gave Teamwork a rating of 4.5 stars.

Price: Teamwork offers a free plan with limited functionality. Larger plans begin at $45/mo.

3. Asana

asana project management tools

Asana is another free, cloud-based project management application that offers a ton of features to boost productivity.

It is also cross platform compatible working on Android and iOS devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers. While there are productivity boosting tools, Asana’s focus in on tracking project tasks.

Asana allows you to create to-do lists and reminders so you don’t miss deadlines. Plus you can add colleagues to the team, instructions to tasks, due dates, and comments.

It allows sharing of images from other applications and tracks everything you and your team are working on to make sure your project is running smoothly and on time. The program includes a list of teams and individuals on a project and includes a functional search option to find completed tasks easily.

PCMag rewarded Asana with a 4.5 star rating.

Price: Asana has a free basic plan. Premium plans start at $13.49/mo.

4. Basecamp

basecamp project management tool

Basecamp is a project management software platform that organizes all of your communications, projects, and client work together to provide you with centralized information and planning. It brings everything your company is working on into a single resource.

Organized, centralized, and clear, everyone can keep track of each element of every project and always know what needs to get done, where things stand, and where to get what they need.

Your dashboard gives you a complete overview of everything that’s happening in your business. You get an HQ section for company-wide communication, dedicated areas for teams to work together, and private areas where you can manage projects.

Seeing everything on a single screen can put you back in control, as well as to-do lists, automatic check-ins, and more.

PCMag gives it a rating of 4 stars.

Price: Basecamp has a flat fee of $99/mo. and a free program for those who are ok with limited features.

5. Wrike

write project management tool

Wrike stands out with its unique combination of request forms, customizable dashboards, and automation capabilities within its work management platform.

This tool has similar tracking and reporting features as the others on this list, but there’s a particular focus on providing teams with the ability to be competitive and productive at the same time.

Users can leverage pre-made solutions for specialized needs. For example, Wrike for Marketers possesses tools designed to help the efficiency of marketing teams with customizable workflows, fields, and data storage structures.

Wrike also allows for integrations with most CRMs, messaging tools, and other software.

PCMag rates Wrike 4 stars.

Price: Wrike has a free plan. Upgraded plans start at $9.80/mo. per user.

6. Trello

trello project management tool

Trello is a cross platform project management software product that is cloud based and compatible with Android and iOS devices. This tool offers a version specifically optimized for the iPad Pro as well.

One of the most popular project management applications, Trello allows users to organize and plan their work projects through a smartphone, tablet, or computer, making it perfect for mobile teams. It’s a free download with added functionality when you upgrade to a premium plan.

Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to organize and prioritize your projects in a flexible and rewarding way. It’s easy to use and allows you to dive into a projects’s details.

You can add comments, attachments and more to cards so that they’re accessible to your team, allowing them to collaborate on a project from inception to completion. Trello can be integrated with apps you already use and is always in sync across devices so you can access and work on a project from anywhere on any device.

This tool received 3.5 stars from PCMag.

Price: Trello is free to use. Premium plans start at $12.50/mo.

7. Jira

Jira project management tool

Jira is a project management software specifically for planning and tracking software development projects from concept through release. It’s most functional when used for agile marketing of products or implementing Scrum (an agile framework for completing particularly complex projects).

Jira allows you to plan projects, distribute tasks across your team, and track your release in full context, with complete visibility in real time.

A customizable project management app, it allows you to create custom workflows based on either the product in development or how your team works. While it is a standalone product, it also integrates with other tools you may already use, like Confluence, Bitbucket, Stride, and hundreds of other developer tools.

Jira allows for flexible planning, accurate estimations, and value-driven prioritization to your projects.

PCMag gave this tool 3.5 stars.

Price: Jira is cloud based with plans starting as low as $10/mo. for small teams of up to 10 users. Over 10 users, it moves to $7/mo. per user.

8. FunctionFox

functionfox project management tool

FunctionFox’s project management software offers visual, interactive, and customizable dashboards that assist with tracking projects to improve productivity.

With unique features like milestone tracking and budget comparison, users can receive a comprehensive overview of their projects and their team’s efficiency and effectiveness. With a built-in timesheet tool, users can track how long individual tasks take, allowing for the accurate billing of projects.

Although its functionality isn’t as robust as other software, it makes for an ideal tool for teams that don’t require a hefty program to get work done.

PCMag gave FunctionFox 3 stars.

Price: Plans start at $4/mo. per user.

9. ProjectManager.com

projectmanager project management tool

Projectmanager.com is a cloud-based project management solution for teams of all sizes with features that increase collaboration and productivity. With Gantt chart capabilities, ProjectManager.com welcomes teams that are seeking a tool for both simple and complex projects.

You’ll have real-time dashboards, the ability to create project plans online, task management, instant report production, and timesheets that take the headache out of project management.

You can also manage team workload and organize multiple projects at once. The program possesses GSuite integration, online file storage, chats and discussion, and to-do lists.

Price: ProjectManager.com starts as low as $15/mo. per user.

10. Scoro

scoro project management tool

Scoro works to streamline your workload with communication management, billing, reporting, and collaboration functionality. With a centralized portal, you can oversee all of your projects and tasks in one place.

The tool was created to help bring teams together in one system, increasing productivity by providing individual team members the ability to collaborate, rather than working in isolation.

Scoro provides a pretty wide deck, including time management tools, customer or client overviews, and reporting on sales and finance documents. You can plan, schedule, track, and record every aspect of your team’s workload.

Price: Pricing starts at $28/mo. per user.

If you manage complex projects for your clients, project management software is a must have for your business.

These recommended project management tools are a great way to get your team organized and help you plan, execute, and track every task that comes across your plate.

Put down the pencil, step away from the whiteboard, and enter the 21st century of project management with these easy to use project software management packages!

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microsoft windows OS

How Windows 7’s End of Life Affects Colleges and Universities

The day has actually gotten here: As of January 14, Microsoft is no longer providing assistance or updates for Windows 7. The most recent and most updated variation of the Windows os is Windows 10 . It includes more powerful integrated security, swifter performance, more stability —– and, more most importantly, continuous and active assistance from Microsoft.

If your greater education organization hasn’’ t made the switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, here’’ s a fast rundown on why universities ought to accept Windows 10, how one university browsed the migration and what to do if you sanctuary’’ t began the shift.

MORE FROM EDTECH: Help your group handle the much faster updates in Windows 10.

.Get Institutional Security With Windows 10.

Instead of leaving security updates as much as the user, Windows 10 updates instantly with bug repairs, security spots and basic upgrades. While some private users might feel stymied by not having control, it provides organizations, at minimum, a broad kind of defense.

The security upgrades themselves are significant: Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection provides more powerful preventative security, post-breach detection, and automated examination and action. This level of security maximizes IT groups to concentrate on requirements particular to their organizations rather of by hand examining every inbound danger. Security groups can likewise utilize Windows 10 to craft systems that fit their requirements.

Users will invite Windows 10’’ s increased compatibility with cloud computing along with increased searching security. Organizations that sanctuary’’ t yet made the shift will discover themselves susceptible to attacks and malware. Even if users are thorough about adhering to internally mandated security updates, the defenses themselves merely aren’’ t as strong as those in Windows 10.

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