10-second breakdown:

Designed to help medium to large businesses keep organized with plenty of scheduling features, Mavenlink is a great option if you’re looking for a project management solution that’s rich in features.

Mavenlink is used in medium (51–1,000 employees) and enterprise companies (1,000+ employees).

The good:

Mavenlink offers lots of great features, is updated in real-time, and even has an open API for those tech savvy businesses looking for full customization options.

The free Mavenlink plan allows an unlimited number of projects and teammates, but with only 500MB of storage the types of projects you can have are limited.

Allows for specific permission creation for different roles such as Admin, Project Lead, Project Creator, and Collaborator.

The bad:

The interface can feel a little clumsy and confusing. May be difficult to navigate for less tech-savvy users.

Unlike other software, Mavenlink does not offer any mobile apps although they do have a mobile friendly website.

How it works:

Mavenlink functions similarly to other project management suites, it updates in real time and you need an internet connection to get anything to work. Whenever you start up a new project, a pop-up appears asking you it’s for a client or a provider. After you get it started you can adjust the security to make it open to everyone in your business, to only administrators, or flat out private and only the people you hand-pick can join. Discussions work in the same manner, you can make them public or keep them private between just two or a few people.

A few project management suites like to liven things up with multiple themes to choose from or color coding reports. Mavenlink takes a more spartan approach, colors are dulled and it looks very business professional.

Each project gets its own activity feed you can use to view real-time changes to tasks, and you can even go up a level and view a feed for every project you have a hand in. All of your projects have a few different views you can see and print like the familiar Gantt chart style and a task tracker that can show you details such as completion percents. As you would expect from a high-level project management program, you can add a great amount of detail to each task like subtasks, the assignee and even a checklist.

Where Mavenlink really starts to shine, especially for large companies, is the extensive amount of roles and permissions you can assign users. For example, a ‘Collaborator’ can only collaborate on a specific project and can’t do anything else. Or a ‘Project Lead’ can create and collaborate on projects, but can’t manage users or touch billing information.

Another great feature Mavenlink packed in is called ‘Smart Snips.’ It’s similar to how you can add suggestions and comments in Google Docs but with a few extra handy features. Smart Snips lets you take any document and add your own comments to it, right from within the program. All you have to do is draw a box around the section you want to comment on, and then type away. You can even add tags to the snip comments that get indexed for search. If you want to see all of the documents you made a smart snip on that include the tag ‘shareholder’ you can absolutely do that!

One thing to note, if you are out of the office a lot with an iPad take note, as of this writing there aren’t any official mobile apps for Mavenlink. The platform is mobile responsive, but you’re still going to have to navigate it on your small touchscreen.

Pricing for Mavenlink is a little tricky. The lower plans cut off a lot of useful features of the more expensive ones, and two of the plans you need to reach out to Mavenlink directly to get a quote.

Although it’s difficult to find, Mavenlink does offer a free edition. You get an unlimited number of projects and teammates but are limited to 500MB storage.

Mavenlink’s first plan is ‘Teams,’ it’s $19 a month flat rate but you’re limited to 5 users, more than that and you have to pay per user. It comes with all of the basic team collaboration features you would expect like dashboards, workspaces, the activity feed and messaging as well as popular project management features like task management and dependencies, Gantt charts, task scheduling and more. The Teams plan upgrades your storage to 10 GB.

‘Professional’ is the next step up after Teams and it will set you back $29 per user per month. It ups your storage to 50 GB and includes everything in Teams. Professional also adds in various project accounting features like time and expense tracking, invoicing, online payments, time cards and more.

Next up is ‘Premier,’ there’s no pricing available, Mavenlink wants you to get in contact with their sales department to negotiate. In addition to everything offered in Professional, Premier increases your storage to 100 GB and tosses in additional project accounting features as well as resource planning. If you decide to go with Professional, they add project and job cost as well as portfolio management. You also get popular resource management functionality like hard & soft resource allocation, real-time availability forecasting and resource shaping.

‘Enterprise’ is Mavenlink’s last offering and similar to Premier you’re going to have to reach out to them to get a price. Enterprise comes with an astounding 1TB storage and in addition to including everything from the other packages, they toss in the ability to make custom fields and various business intelligence features like data visualization or trend analysis.

Although Mavenlink can get pretty expensive, really fast for smaller organizations, it’s a great option for larger companies looking for a full-featured complete project management online platform.

For complete rankings of all project management software, go here.

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