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Product/Service Name

5pm

Brief Description

5pm offers a flexible approach to project management, by creating a central online location for everything from task management to time tracking. While there are a variety of project management web applications available, 5pm offers custom plans so that you can find a perfect fit for your organization’s needs.

Target audience: Any organization with a project to manage — and anyone who wants to get everything done by 5 p.m.

Volume of business: Users have been managing projects with 5pm since November 2007.

The Inspiration

Easy enough for workers, so they adopt it, and sophisticated enough for managers to use it.

Key Features

  • Enterprise-level project management. Beyond basic task management tools, you can use Gantt charts, task trees, and other management tools.
  • Client logins. You can let your clients log in and see progress.
  • Reporting tools. You can generate a variety of reports, as well as export them to other software.
  • Open API. You can integrate 5pm with RSS and iCalendar, as well as import data from Basecamp.

Future enhancements: An iPhone / mobile version is in development. 5pm is also working on a desktop time-tracker widget.

Benefits

Keep multiple team members on the same page, no matter where they’re located. Even if you’re out of the office, you can ensure that tasks are completed. Even your clients can check in on progress.

Costs

Plans start at $18, but custom plans and payment options are available. You can try out 5pm for free for 14 days.

Similar Products/Services

Basecamp is probably the best known online project management tool.

Opinions from around the Web

  • Positive: “5pm provides a bunch of convenient project management utilities which can be of great interest for professionals, entrepreneurs, small business owners etc. The application specifically recommended for small business owing to its relatively moderate cost, ease of use and no requirement for any IT infrastructure.” (AppAppeal)
  • Positive: “5pm is for you if you like the web-based interface. It is a great tool for those who need more features than Basecamp or Central Desktop offer. Because QG Software maintains a blog and videos for how to set up 5pm it is user friendly and technical support for the program is easy to find.” (Brighthub)
  • Positive: “…I found the software much simpler and easier to use than some of the others (including industry leader Basecamp, which I use). You don’t have to hunt for your projects and tasks; everything’s right there, pretty much one click away.” (VentureBeat)

Company Background

5pm was launched in November 2007 by Quatre Group LLC. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Quatre Group LLC also offers consulting and web design services.

Smartlife’s User Advice

If you just have a small project that you need to get out the door, 5pm may be a little too much software for you. This is enterprise-level software, on a freelancer’s budget. The feature list is long and it can handle just about any project management problem you throw at it. That can be a little intimidating for people used to something more along the lines of a glorified task list.

Once you get used to it, though, 5pm is ideal for managing large projects, especially if you are working with a distributed team.

5pm continues to grow, adding features at an impressive rate. It’s a project management tool that can definitely keep up with a growing business.

Smartlife’s Recommendation: USE IT

Image credit: cristimatei / iStockphoto

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Product Watch is part of an on-going series that cuts through the sales propaganda and marketing hype, and reviews products and services from the standpoint of the user and how they actually help us get more out of life.