Tom's Planner - Online Project Planning

author/source: Mark Ramskill

Tom's Planner - Online Project Planning

Here at SubHub Towers we're currently up to our eyebrows in the development of the next version of our platform. Our walls are covered with post-it notes, mindmaps and other project related scribblings. Exciting times!

While for the most part we follow Agile project methodologies for our development work, we have found that there are aspects of our other internal projects that are far better suited to using Gantt Chart based planning.

Thankfully, this doesn't mean we're stuck with MS Project, the scurge of project managers around the world.

Following a recommendation on Twitter, I recently spent an afternoon playing with the outstanding Tom's Planner - a great tool that allows anyone to create, collaborate (a bonus for teams) and share Gantt Charts online with drag and drop simplicity.

Tom's Planner is web-based software, allowing you to create your project planning schedules in a fast and easy way, without the need to download anything to your PC or Mac. It took me around 5 minutes to get to grips with it.

For the lazy (myself included) you can get a jumpstart on creating a project plan by using one of the pre-populated templates included within the software.

Tom's Planner was developed by Thomas Ummels (@tomsplanner on Twitter), a former project manager who decided to quit his job and become a web developer. One of the things that bothered Tom as a project manager was the often frustrating business process of making Gantt Charts in spreadsheets. He decided to try and develop a basic version of a tool that would do a better job and in June 2008 the first beta version of Tom's Planner was rolled out.

Give it a Go

Tom's Planner is currently available as a free beta release, and is due to leave beta at the beginning of August. The current beta, from my own testing, is pretty much completely bug free, so is worth trying now. The SubHub team are all using Tom's Planner without any issues.

When the software leaves beta they will move to offering a free, more limited version and a paid version that includes all of the current beta release features. For those that sign up before the software leaves beta, you will still be able to get a year of free access to all of the current beta features, without having to upgrade.