Cohuman: Project Management Done Differently

When it comes to web-based task and project management apps, the Web is literally overflowing with them. You’ve got the choice between a huge range of different ones all designed to promote greater integration within businesses and generally help towards a more productive workflow. I recently looked at yaM and Podio, which both boast a wide range of features and are pretty impressive tools to help businesses collaborate.

The only problem with these kinds of project managers is that they tend to be geared towards high-end business users and tend to over-complicate themselves with features that are wasted on the average Joe such as your author here. I’m a techie, so the more complicated things are the better they will stand out with me but for most people, these advanced features can be a bit overwhelming. Think of startup companies, who don’t want to blow their IT budget on one program and who want simple collaboration tools that lets everyone in the office know exactly what they are working on.

Enter cohuman. It is, like many others in its category, a web-based task management app but there’s a spark of insight woven into the program that makes it easy to use yet still retaining some mighty features. Cohuman has recently being bought out by Mindjet, a company that develops visualisation solutions such as mind-mapping software for both Windows and Mac. You’d think that this is a marriage made in heaven, wouldn’t you?

Well, let’s take a look at cohuman to see whether this marriage is eternal, or if it is already on the rocks…

First Thoughts

cohuman is, unlike some other web-based task management apps, completely free forever for the basic version (no 30-day trial periods here, thank you very much). You can upgrade to a Pro account (which costs $19.95 a month) which gives you 2 GB of storage space and a couple of extra goodies.

Cohuman Home

The home page of cohuman

Signing up takes a few seconds and all you need to provide is your e-mail address and a password. You can also sign into cohuman using your Google account – if you do this it will integrate with your Google services such as Google Calendar and Google Docs. Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you are greeted with the dashboard, which gives you an overview of your recent activity (a bit like Facebook’s news feed) and any tasks you are working on (including ones that are overdue) .

Dashboard

The dashboard of cohuman

Features

Creating Tasks

Creating a task is really simple in cohuman. You simply enter the name of your task in the text box at the top of the page and click on the big green plus sign. A window pops up when you can enter some more information about the task in hand, such as who it should be assigned to, who should “follow” the task (meaning that they receive updates as well) and the due date. You can also enter comments on individual tasks and upload files.

Adding and configuring a task

If you have linked cohuman with your Google account then you can upload documents, spreadsheets and so on straight from Google Docs into cohuman onto a particular task, which can save a lot of time in the long run and is especially useful if your business uses Google Docs to share documents around the office.

Project Management

Projects allow members of your team to view all tasks and files related to that particular project, allowing them to keep a greater track on what is happening. cohuman has integrated a number of nifty little features into projects that make it easier to achieve this. You can add and remove members easily depending on who is working on the project, and any tasks can be organised in terms of priority and assigned to individual team members.

Project View

Managing a variety of projects in cohuman

Each project has a message board, allowing team members to post messages onto it which can be seen by all team members in that particular project (a bit like Facebook). So that you don’t forget what you have already in a project, cohuman includes a history of all activity within that particular project.

Notifications

Obviously, no task management would be complete if it didn’t notify you of any changes with your tasks. cohuman provides e-mail notifications to the default account you used when you signed up to it (although this can be changed) and allows you to keep up to date wherever you are, even when you’re not in the office.

The useful feature about these e-mail notifications is that you can alter them depending on how much information they want to convey. If you just want to get an overview of what’s happening on your tasks, then set it to low however if you want the Full Monty (say, for example, if you were the project leader) then you can set your notification level to High.

cohuman for iPhone

cohuman has another advantage over other web-based project management apps in that the developers have created a free iPhone app, meaning that you don’t have to rely on e-mail notifications and endless phone calls to the office to keep up to date. The iPhone app features pretty much the same as the web version of cohuman however the interface has been adapted for the smaller screen.

cohuman iPhone

cohuman is also available in an iPhone app

Final Thoughts

cohuman definitely shines as a project management application owing to its simple interface yet powerful hidden features. It is very appealing to small businesses and startups owing to its low maintenance costs – the free account gives you 1 GB of storage, which is usually more than enough for most requirements.

At the start, I asked whether it was a marriage made in heaven between cohuman and Mindjet. The answer is: yes. When you compare the current version of cohuman to older versions, it seems that Mindjet has brought a few of its own ideas into the ring as well. The result is an easy-to-use, multi-functional project management app and one that is certainly worth having a look at.


Summary

A web-based project management application

  • cohuman  | 
  • Free (basic); otherwise $19.95 a month (Pro)  | 
  • Mindjet
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Responses

Add Yours
  • The interface is really REALLY ugly. Especially the color theme. It hurts the eye.

  • i don’t understand why they went for the purple as a default theme. I think though that they allow you to change the themes.

    Other than that, it seems that Cohuman doesn’t add a lot when compared to its competitors. No innovation, just basic PM features.

    (PS: I run a project management website so I have seen many PM tools and I believe I can judge objectively).

  • I actually rather like it. Moving through tasks, etc, is a bit clunky and could do with reducing click throughs, but it could well hit the spot for people who carry out project management (small p, small m) but who aren’t called Project Managers and who maybe are more used to using task management software.

    I’m going to give it a bit of a run through myself and see how it handles many projects, alongside GTD principles…

  • The one thing i’m interested in knowing is if there are limitations to the number of (team)members you can add to a project or in general in the free version.

    Anyone have some more hands-on experience with this webapp ? I really can’t be bothered to sign up for yet another webapp that promises a lot but either doesn’t deliver at all or will only deliver once i sign up for a paid account.