We like QG Software's 5pm, a relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use project management service that can help you prioritise your tasks and manage smaller projects.

Email integration

You can enter projects and tasks directly using the web interface; alternatively, you can create them by sending email to your custom 5pm address. You can also use email to add up to 20MB of document files and update the percentage completion of a task. Parameters in your email subject line let you specify more details such as start dates and deadlines.

5pm's email integration makes it particularly easy to update project information using a mobile device. Even if your small mobile display is inadequate to show 5pm's web interface, you can still tap out an email to update a project's status.

5pm supports four types of users so you can fine-tune service access.

Administrators can do everything; users can edit projects and tasks for teams to which you assign them; external users can view projects and tasks for their teams; clients can view and edit their own projects.

How 5pm stacks up

We've discussed other project management services in a previous column. 5pm handles more than the popular Basecamp, but still manages to be easy for a project management neophyte to understand. It doesn't, however, offer all the current capabilities of the higher-end Wrike, which recently added Wiki-like knowledge collaboration.

Five paid plans for 5pm are available, with costs ranging from $18 to $175 per month. The basic plan supports five users, 10 active projects, and 250MB of data storage, while the high-end plan allows unlimited users and projects, and caps storage at 5GB. A 14-day free trial is available.

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5pm: Specs

  • Internet connection
  • Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera