There’s obviously tons of product management software and tools targeting product managers, product marketing managers and product organizations in general. What we’ve done here is to collect the must haves as well as the tools recognized as best in class for various tasks. If you have a tool that you really like just drop your recommendation as a comment below, and who knows, we might just add it to the list!
Organizing thoughts, ideas and plans – Trello (free)
Trello is known by most people by now. But for those who tried it once but didn’t get hooked, and for those who haven’t tried it, now is the time! Trello is simple, yet powerful. You organize your thoughts, ideas or product plans on boards, which you organize in lists that contain a number of notes. Boards can be shared, and the entire team can collaborate on say a roadmap or backlog.
If your job is to break down requirements, and working with hierarchies is a strong requirement there are better tools out there. But if what you are looking for is a simple web based tool to organize your product plans, nothing beats Trello!
Managing todo list – Wunderlist (free)
*NEW* While there’s tons of software out there that can help with todo lists, few are actually both flexible and simple enough to be used in the long run. While Trello as a personal todo list tool works for some, Wunderlist is a great option if what you are looking for is a plain and simple list of items. It has multiple lists, reminders, due dates, cross-plattform sync (iOS, Mac, Android, Windows, Web) and the possibility to share and collaborate.
But most importantly it has a simple user interface to manage those lists of todo items. Something that means you will keep on using it!
Visually appealing presentations – Haiku Deck (free)
So you, like everyone else, has experienced death by power point at one or multiple occasions. Maybe you’ve even contributed to the phenomena your self? It’s easy to get carried away when working with presentations. You cram in 2 graphs, a table and a page worth of text in font size 8. On every slide. That approach may work if what you’re really doing is creating slidedocs to be distributed. But if you plan to present something in front of a crown this is not the way to go. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it.
So if you’ve made up your mind, no more killing your audience through death by powerpoint. It’s time to check out Haiku Deck. What you get is an awesome presentation software that is available as both a web app and a native iOS app. It truly helps you create a beautiful back drop that strengthens your presentation not only with visuals, but also with a crisp and clear message. No more slides with 15 “key” take aways each. Haiku deck brings you down to a selected few key points and take aways, and helps you deliver a strong message!
Collaborative design – Invision (free)
If you work with UI based products wireframes and hi-fi prototypes are key to test out your UX and UI ideas. Collaborating with team members and testing designs with your users is made easy with Invision.
Upload wireframes or designed screens and make them clickable to create prototypes for user testing. With online and interactive prototypes you can gather input from a large set of users. Gather comments and review input from team members right in your prototypes. With remote teams online comments are great to get everyone involved.
Team communication – Slack (free)
Getting the most out of your team often comes down to good communication, between all members of the team. Email, phone calls and of course face-to-face, all channels with their own pros and cons. For online communication Slack is the way to go. Discuss in groups, exchange files and integrate with tons of other enterprise applications like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and Trello.
Data collection and analysis – mTurk (pay per use)
Large scale data collection or analysis that requires a human touch is difficult to scale. But as a product manager it is crucial to find that product-market fit. Unfortunately many take shortcuts or fail to do the required collection and analysis all together. Mechanical Turk from Amazon is a great service to help you with basic collection and analysis. Create a basic task and pay for each execution. Get help to do basic surveys, to map different data sets or to complete the information you have with additional details.