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Product Management

The Ultimate Product Manager Tool Stack

2 minutes read

It's easy, as a PM, to get overwhelmed by the number of tools that are available to help you run your team, understand your users, improve your product, and complete all the other tasks that make up the typical workload of a product manager. 

You have better things to do than spend all day free trialing various tools for team communication. 

That's why we put together this mega list of the most important and useful PM tools out there. Each section of this guide corresponds with a vital PM task, whether it's getting in touch with your customers or organizing the actual completion of your product or feature. 

We've sought to explain just who each tool makes sense for and why. Not every tool we mention here is for everyone, but, if you read through this guide, it's likely that you'll find the right tool for you. 

Happy hunting!

Team communication

As a product manager, communication is one of the most important aspects of your job. As a cross-functional team leader, effective communication keeps stakeholders informed and projects moving forward. 

If you encounter roadblocks, how you communicate will determine how you overcome them. 

As a result, you need tools that streamline your communication efforts and offer features that meet your specific needs. For example, the communication needs of a startup with a small product team will be much different than the needs of a team at a large enterprise. 

Here are some of the best tools available for different team sizes to help with effective team communication.

Ryver

Ryver is the perfect tool if you manage a small team or need a free but comprehensive tool. It's similar to Slack in that it houses all team communication in one place. 

It integrates across multiple platforms—mobile, web and desktop—to allow for easy use. Teams can stay in the loop regardless of individual locations or which devices they use. 

Never miss a thing with the added bonus of email notifications. Enable it for when you're logged out or working offline.

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The app is really flexible and gives you the ability to create and add unlimited users, guests, teams, chats, posts, search, and data. 

Cost: Free

HipChat

HipChat is a great option for startups or small businesses. It's known for its ability to help teams manage and organize their chats among themselves. It also offers a video chat functionality for distributed teams that rely on video chats for meetings. 

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To make it easier for you to work with the products you already rely on, HipChat integrates with over 200 apps and services. 

It offers two plans depending on the specific features you need. The Basic plan offers unlimited users, group chat, instant messaging, and file sharing. The Plus plan offers the same, in addition to group video chat, group screen sharing, unlimited file sharing, storage, and message history. 

Cost:

  • HipChat Basic: Free
  • HipChat Plus: $2/user/month

Slack

Probably the best-known team communication app on this list, Slack lets users organize public and private changes for projects. It offers both voice and video calls through public channels and DMs for easy project collaboration. 

It's constantly working on and releasing updates to make the app more efficient. For instance, file sharing is as simple as drag and drop. 

With full integration with a variety of other tools, there isn't much need to leave the app for any of your communication and sharing needs. 

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Slack for Teams offers three plans depending on company size and projected usage rates. 

The free plan includes The Ultimate Product Manager Tool Stack limited message search capabilities, storage and integration, and two-person group calls. 

The Standard plan has the added benefit of unlimited searches, support and integration. 

Slack for Teams Plus includes everything from the Standard, in addition to compliance exports for messages, 24/7 support with 4-hour response time and large file storage per user. 

Cost:

  • For small, new teams: Free
  • Standard: $6.67/user/month — billed annually
  • Plus: $12.50/user/month — billed annually
  • Slack Enterprise Grid: Contact them for a quote

Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is a self-proclaimed “Slack alternative” that might make more sense than Slack for certain security- and price-sensitive teams. 

Rocket.Chat is completely open source with more than 850 active contributors on GitHub. You can host your own instance of Rocket.Chat and, when you do so, it is completely free to use—no matter how many users or guests you add. 

And if you like the look of Slack, you're in luck—it's essentially identical in appearance. 

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If you don't want to deal with the hassle of setting up your own instance, you can opt to let Rocket.Chat manage and host your installation. 

Pricing is more generous than Slack's—you can get up to 50 concurrent users on a Rocket.Chat hosted installation on their $50/month “Small” plan. The same level of usage on Slack would cost about $400 a month, paid monthly. 

Cost:

  • Free open source edition for self-hosting
  • Small Team (0-10 users): $49/mo
  • Medium Team (10-50 users): $99/mo
  • Larger Team (50-100 users): $249/mo

Bitrix24

If you think Slack has a lot to offer in the feature department, Bitrix24 goes a few steps beyond that. “Bitrix24 is a great team communications app that offers well-priced plans and tons of features you wouldn’t get with Slack.” 

First of all, it's perfect for teams that prefer a self-hosted solution. Every person on your team can personalize their Activity Stream dashboard to display what's most important to them. 

For example, they might choose to see messages or recently completed tasks. Their tagline, "Social network for business" is perfect because it feels like a social media channel. 

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In addition to general communication, team members can share photos and earn badges. Badges for a job well done are a great motivational tool to keep everyone motivated and on task. 

The app also offers document management, a calendar to help manage product roadmaps, an email service and a place to manage document collaboration. It offers four plans with the main difference being online storage capacity. 

Cost:

  • Free: Up 12 users and 5 GB of online storage
  • Plus: $39/month for up to 24 users and 24 GB of online storage
  • Standard: $99/month for unlimited users and 100 GB of online storage
  • Professional: $199/month for unlimited users and unlimited online storage

eXo Platform

eXo Platform is a great choice for enterprises. Similar to Bitrix24, it's a social platform built for team communication. It's fully customizable so you can adjust it to suit your specific needs. 

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Three major areas within the app are collaboration, engagement, and productivity. Collaboration allows for easier communication and documentation between cross-functional teams. You're able to store and share documents. 

The engagement feature helps keep teams informed of product development and management. The productivity feature acts as a knowledge hub for teams to store and share documents related to the product. 

 eXo Platform offers three plans to choose from, with more enhanced features offered with larger plans. 

Cost:

  • Professional: Starts at $9,750
  • Enterprise and Enterprise Plus: Contact them for custom quotes

Tettra

Tettra is designed to be the central hub for all of your team's documentation like style guides, product specifications, and HR resources. But what makes Tettra better than other storage solutions is its pure simplicity. 

Organizing, editing and finding content is straightforward, and the interface is clean and instantly understandable. The logic is: with quick access to knowledge comes better team decisions in less time. When your team is clued up and can share knowledge in a snap, great things can happen. 

Tettra brings an extra level of value if your team is using Slack, as it’s been built from the ground up to work side by side with Slack. For example, with slash commands—e.g., /tettra find {query}—you can find and create documents with ease right from the Slack interface. 

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Also, any updates your team makes in Tettra can trigger a notification that is delivered to your team in your Slack chat. This way Tettra fits nicely into your workflow, allowing for full transparency and fast access to knowledge. 

Cost:

  • Growing (0-25 users): $50/mo  
  • Scaling (25-50 users): $150/mo  
  • Sustaining (50-100 users): $300/mo

Customer communication

Your customers are out there, but you have to find them and get their attention. And, of course, this is not easy. But the tools you use to communicate with them can really make a difference. 

Finding a tool that lets you learn from the data and respond to it appropriately will make your campaigns much stronger and more effective.

Campaign Monitor

Email campaigns are one of the most direct ways to communicate with your users. When managed the right way, they have the potential to add to your growth efforts. 

Campaign Monitor is just the tool to help you manage your campaigns. With simple drag-and-drop templates, your email campaigns stand out from your competitors. 

 In addition to this, test and track your campaigns before and after you send them. Campaign Monitor collects data to help you learn about your audience so that you can optimize future campaigns. 

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It offers three plans that adjust based on the number of people you send emails to, from 500 to 50,000+. The summary below is based on 500 users. 

Cost:

  • Basic: $9/month CAD
  • Unlimited: $19/month CAD
  • Premier: $199/month CAD

Customer.io

Using the data you collect from users, Customer.io helps you segment it to create targeted email campaigns. It looks at what actions users take while using your product to help you create emails, push notifications and more to increase user engagement and product growth. 

It makes it really easy for you to learn on the go and incorporate your key learnings. To help you further, it measures metrics, like conversions based on user behavioral data, that it uses to build profiles. 

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It offers a 30-day trial and four plans to choose from depending on your needs and the size of your user base. 

Cost:

  • Growth: $100/month
  • Small Business: $250/month
  • Startup: $750/month
  • Enterprise: $1,250/month

Customer support

There's nothing more frustrating from a customer's point of view than to wait longer than expected for a response that doesn't answer the question. It is unprofessional and can damage your business. But these things can easily happen when you have a ton of incoming messages. 

The key to solid relationships with your customers is through timely, organized and engaging communication. And this is a lot easier if you have the right tool.

Zendesk

As your product grows, the amount of feedback from users also increases. With this in mind, Zendesk aims to help you speed up your customer support and boost your efficiency. 

The great thing about Zendesk is that it grows with you to meet your evolving needs. For instance, it offers an integrated call center and live chat software for your customer-facing team. 

It also offers a shared team inbox, which is an opportunity for teams to collaborate better. All of this can be measured by the new analytics and reporting feature. With it you can see how your team is performing and the impact that has on your customers. 

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It offers a 30-day trial, but after that you have the option to choose from five plans that are billed either monthly or annually. 

Cost:

  • Essential: $5/agent/month annually or $9/agent/month monthly
  • Team: $19/agent/month annually or $25/agent/month monthly
  • Professional: $49/agent/month annually or $59/agent/month monthly
  • Enterprise: $99/agent/month annually or $125/agent/month monthly
  • Elite: $199/agent/month annually only

TeamSupport

If your customer-support needs range from sales to technical to campaign management and beyond, TeamSupport offers a comprehensive suite of features for you. It integrates with products like Dropbox and MailChimp to make your support efforts run smoothly. 

What's great is that it's customizable for small and large businesses. As your company grows and customer support needs become more targeted, TeamSupport adjusts to accommodate your needs. For example, customize your reports and dashboard to include additional information as you increase your customer data. 

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It's available across different operating platforms like iOS and Android. Plus, no matter where your team is located, they can connect with each other by using the internal chat feature. 

Cost:

  • Support Desk: $40/agent/month — billed annually
  • Enterprise: $55/agent/month — billed annually

LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a help desk support platform that offers live chats with your customers, email support and social media integration. One major benefit is the easy-to-use user interface. With it, all teams, regardless of size, can get up and running pretty quickly.

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Once you've developed an operating standard for interacting with your customers, LiveAgent lets you keep your customer service reps engaged with rewards and badges. It offers a 14-day free trial to get you started with the option to choose from four plans. 

Cost:

  • Ticket: $12/agent/month
  • Ticket+Chat: $29/agent/month
  • All-inclusive: $39/agent/month
  • Non-subscription package: One-time fee of $11,950

Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a great option for your customer-support needs whether your business is large or small. It's available across multiple platforms, making it easy for team members to access and use it. 

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With it, you can manage help desk tickets, emails and your knowledge base. It also offers the opportunity to learn from your users with a feature that links user questions from forums to help desk tickets. 

Plus, you can add additional team members to tickets as needed if more help is required. It offers five plans to choose from depending on your size and the level of customization and features you need. 

Cost:

  • Sprout: Free
  • Blossom: €18/agent/month for small teams
  • Garden: €34/agent/month for growing teams
  • Estate: €48/agent/month for large teams
  • Forest: €86/agent/month for enterprises

Team management

People management is notoriously difficult. And it is even harder when people work remotely. For your team to be effective, every member needs to know who’s working on what, when it’s going to be done and what’s likely to miss the target. 

With team transparency comes better collaboration, team spirit and motivation. Everyone knows amazing things can happen when a team is on the same page and pulling in the same direction. So here are some of the best tools available for teams of all shapes and sizes.

Wrike

Wrike's mission is simple, "Improve the speed and efficiency of work in both co-located and distributed groups." No matter where teams are located or their function — marketing vs. sales vs. product—Wrike acts as a single hub to store and track information and collaborate on projects. 

It lets you prioritize and assign work seamlessly across different teams, while providing a place for you to track your resources. 

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There are five plans to choose from, each depending on the range of features you need and the size of your business. 

Cost:

  • Free: Available for up to five users
  • Professional: Starts at $9.80/user/month
  • Business: Starts at $24.80/user/month
  • Wrike for Marketers: Starts at $34.60/user/month
  • Enterprise: Custom, contact them for pricing

Airtable

Acknowledging the fact that every project has specific needs, Airtable developed a super flexible tool that lets you organize anything be it customers, ideas or space rocket launches. 

It’s best described as part spreadsheet and part database, which is what makes it feel familiar from the first touch. But as it’s entirely flexible, you can mold the structure into something entirely new that’s perfect for your project’s purpose. 

You can work in a grid, calendar, Kanban or gallery format and it can handle any content you throw at it. It’s easy for the whole team to collaborate in real-time with every change synced across devices instantly—making it easy to keep your team on the same page. 

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With so much flexibility, it can be daunting to figure out how to structure a project in Airtable from a blank slate. But thankfully there’s a bundle of templates you can use for free to get you up and running. From software development to everyday life, there’s a template for all occasions. 

Cost:

  • Free (1.2k records per  base): $0/mo/user  
  • Plus (5k records per base):  $12/mo/user  
  • Pro (50k records per base):  $24/mo/user  
  • Enterprise: Custom, contact them for pricing

Redbooth

If you’re after a simpler-to-use management tool, Redbooth is the one to trial. The tool is geared more towards the task side of project management. For this to happen, Redbooth is engineered specifically to increase accountability. 

You can organize, manage, and delegate tasks to the team, which is totally transparent for everyone to see. Each team member then has access to their personal dashboard that displays their daily and weekly priorities at a glance. This way of managing tasks can help boost productivity and means no task will drop off the radar. 

More value can be gained from Redbooth's task analytics. All activity is recorded, enabling you to see what’s getting done and what’s falling behind across the board. 

The data can be filtered by workspace, users, and task status to give a clearer view of performance. This visibility lets product managers optimize the whole process for a more efficient team. 

Also, when used correctly, it can engage and motivate the team by rewarding the members who are exceeding targets and expectations. 

Cost:

  • Free (2 GB file storage): $0/mo/user  
  • Pro (5 GB file storage): $9/mo/user  
  • Business (50 GB file storage): $15/mo/user  

Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the long-standing tools that has passed the test of time. Evolving from a simple task-based tool, it’s now a comprehensive management platform that includes communication functionality and document management. 

This means Basecamp can become the one place for your projects, team activity, and company-wide communication. 

You can set up the platform for all your projects. Each will include a company-wide message board to replace email chains, a to-do section to keep tabs on progress and assign work, a schedule for important dates and deadlines, a document section that gives the team full access to all assets, and a simple chat room called Campfire. 

This means each project and team have all the functionality and material in one transparent place to help keep things organized and moving quickly. 

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When you need to see a top-line view of your whole organization's performance, there's an HQ level. This is where each team member can check in each day to post what work they did and highlight where they need help. This keeps everyone in the loop and can save the team time as there's no need for daily status meetings. 

Basecamp is a like a basic Slack, Asana, Dropbox, and G Suite combined. You will lose out on the things that make these individual tools special, but you will save a lot of money and potentially some headaches from a more dispersed toolset. 

Cost:

  • All-inclusive: $99/mo  

Asana

According to research, 61% of a team member’s time is spent on the “work about work”—the scheduling, planning and organizing. Frustrated by this fact and experiencing how collaboration can be a time-consuming chaotic mess, two ex-Facebooker employees went to solve this problem, which resulted in Asana

What this platform does really well is provide clarity on who is doing what by when, which allows teams to come together to hit deadlines and work more efficiently. 

Each team member is provided with a clear task overview to let them prioritize their workload more efficiently. All conversations and documents are unified with the corresponding tasks and projects, allowing everything to live alongside one another more coherently. 

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As with any collaboration tool, some time is required to figure out how to set Asana up to best suit your team’s needs. But once you get your team up and running, it’s a comprehensive and flexible tool that will cover most of your management needs. 

But most critically, if your team has a thing for mythical creatures, Asana has a secret bonus you’ll be very interested in. To save the surprise, go and explore Asana for yourself. 

Cost:

  • Free (15 members):  $0/mo/user  
  • Premium (unlimited members):  $9/mo/user  
  • Enterprise: Price varies

Product management

Every major product out there, be it Facebook or Apple, started off small and gradually grew into what they are today. This didn't happen by chance; it was due in large part to solid product strategy and planning. It was their commitment to developing and tracking all aspects of product development and management that led to their growth. 

As your product scales over time, you need tools that will offer you the same support. You need something to track your product and help you adjust your plans and roadmap as needed. Below are tools that offer a range of product management features suited to your unique needs.

Trello

One of the leading, and longstanding project management apps available is Trello. It’s popular because it can be used for anything that needs organizing like products, ideas or even your vacations. 

Trello was one of the first to capitalize on the usability of Kanban boards for project organization. Trello is a visual tool on the surface, which makes it intuitive to use for first time users. But beneath the top layer, you can pack a ton of detail into each card—like images, documents, and conversations. 

You can set up a Trello board so each column—from left to right—represents a stage in your development process. Then with each task or project as a card, you can move them between the columns as their status changes. This makes it quick and easy to get an up-to-date overview of your operations. 

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You can create as many boards as you want. For example, each team member could use one to track the progress of their personal workload, as well as top-line team boards. 

Trello is best suited for smaller teams and individual task management. In comparison to other project management tools, the communication and document management is not as strong. Because of this, bigger teams may need to include other tools in their workflow to fill in the gaps. 

Cost:

  • Free (10mb storage):  $0/mo/user  
  • Business Class (250mb storage):  $9.99/mo/user  
  • Enterprise: Price varies

ProductPlan

Excel and PowerPoint are highly inefficient product management tools—they’re simply not designed for the job. But still, many product managers use them. Realizing how much time managers are wasting with such software, ProductPlan decided to build a much better solution. 

With ProductPlan, you get a combined interactive Gantt and swim lane chart for roadmap planning. Being able to visualize your operations this way allows managers to understand where the resources are at and what they need to do to keep activity aligned with the product strategy. 

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ProductPlan is a great tool for editorial calendars and product launches, but it can handle any project you throw at it. And as with any project, communication is essential, so all roadmaps are collaborative and shareable to keep stakeholders up to speed with what’s going on. 

Cost:

  • Business Plan (unlimited):  $34/mo/user  
  • Enterprise: Price varies

ProdPad

ProdPad takes care of your roadmap, ideas, customer feedback, and product portfolio. 

Purposely, the roadmap feature uses a straightforward Kanban board to let you react and change direction as your products progress. Because it’s quick and easy to use, the lag time between decision and communication is minimal. 

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If you're in a fast moving and forward thinking team, ideas can come thick and fast. But if you’re not set up to capture and evaluate ideas, lucrative opportunities could slip through the net. But this is something ProdPad can help you with. 

Using the Ideas tool, you can evaluate each concept against a set of impact and effort questions. Once logged, ProdPad divides your ideas up into the quick wins, big bets, fillers, and time sinkers on their Priority Chart. This way you can easily see where you should focus your attention. 

ProdPad also allows you to integrate your customer feedback and product portfolio, so all your key information is in one place for the whole team. This makes knowledge easily accessible so teams can make faster and better decisions. 

Cost:

  • Essential - $99/month
  • Advanced - $299/month
  • Performance - $999/month

Aha!

Regardless of your size, Aha! is built to accommodate businesses of all sizes. With it, you can build your roadmap and share it with applicable stakeholders. Aha! also lets you manage tasks, project scheduling, documents and resources. 

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As you track the process of each product update, the app lets you set up launch plans that help you review and report on progress. It even lets you gather feedback directly from your customers to incorporate into product plans. 

Depending on the size of your business and your specific needs, you have four plans to choose from. The free trial starts on the Enterprise plan.  

Cost:

  • Startup: Must qualify for this package to receive custom pricing
  • Premium: $59/user/month
  • Enterprise: $99/user/month
  • Enterprise Plus: $149/month

productboard

If you’re looking for an all-in-one product management tool, productboard offers a solution that focuses on enabling users to know what they're building, for whom, and why. They offer a data-driven approach to prioritizing features and building out your roadmap.

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productboard offer multiple customizable boards based around key areas of focus. Through their various boards, you can consolidate user research and user feedback, outline and organize features around a custom weighted score, and map out your product roadmaps based on your set hierarchy.

The concept behind productboard is that it is a tool for your entire organization to use in order to contribute to the product strategy. Sales, Marketing and Customer Support can give their feedback and see what's coming down the pipe, while Product Management can prioritize features and build the roadmap off of the feature priorities.

Cost:

  • New Idea (20 contributors, 5 products): $49/month/year
  • Startup (50 contributors, 10 products): $99/month/year
  • Scaling Company: Custom, contact them for pricing

Roadmunk

Your roadmap is your guide to where and how your product is going as it grows. To effectively manage it, you need a tool that offers a wide range of management features and a helpful guide from concept to launch. 

Roadmunk is that tool. 

A major benefit of the app is its ability to adjust its custom features to fit any company, regardless of size. This in turn allows for better collaboration between teams. For example, you can easily share your plans and ask for internal feedback using the tool. 

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There are four plans to choose from depending on your size and needs. 

Cost:

  • Starter: $19/user/month
  • Business: $49/user/month
  • Professional: $99/user/month
  • Enterprise: Custom, contact sales

Craft

Much like Roadmunk, Craft offers tons of flexibility for you to develop, plan and execute your product roadmap. It can then be shared among stakeholders and team members. 

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What's great about this tool in particular is its ability to let you map out user experiences. Meaning, its user story mapping feature lets you see the user journey from start to finish. 

This helps you plan and prioritize more effectively based on what your current needs are as well as manage your workflows. It offers five plans to choose from. 

Cost:

  • Lite: Free
  • Team: $69/month
  • Grow: $139/month
  • Pro: $289/month
  • Enterprise: Custom, contact them for pricing

Jira

An ideal solution for enterprises, Jira helps you with every aspect of your product development from start to finish. In particular, its easy-to-use user interface allows for teams to collaborate efficiently. 

It's especially efficient at planning, tracking and managing product roadmaps. With release sprints built in, you'll stay on track with upcoming product enhancements.

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You have two options with Jira: the cloud-based version or the self-hosted version. Each includes two plans so the one you choose should be based on the size of your team (they have a pricing filter that displays plan prices depending on team size). 

Cost: Cloud-based with a free 7-day trial

  • Small teams: $10/month for up to 10 users
  • Growing teams: Starts at $75/month for up to 15 users. Tops off at $1,500 for up to 2,000 users

Self-hosted with a free 30-day trial

  • Server: Starts at $10 for up to 10 users. The app allows for 10,000+ users which would cost $36,000
  • Data center: Starts at $12,000 for up to 500 users. This allows for 50,000+ users which costs $450,000

Team meetings

These are arguably the most time-consuming aspects of product development and management. But rather than dreading them and looking at them as time zappers, you can instead look at them as short check-ins with your team. After all, they're a necessity and shouldn't be killed off completely. 

We've found a few tools that will help you manage how you meet and track outcomes. They'll help you to plan and execute meetings that are time-sensitive and do it more efficiently.

Zoom

Lagging audio and stuttering video can make web conferencing annoying, inefficient, and unprofessional. Sometimes you cannot do much about a poor connection, but if you go for a tool like Zoom that provides HD video and high-quality audio, you are much more likely to have a more natural experience. 

Zoom is fully capable of running conferences with up to 500 people, which is great for bigger teams or if you need to run a webinar. The tool has everything you’d expect from a conferencing tool with screen sharing, chat, and integrated scheduling. Overall it is a robust solution for your internal and external rendezvous. 

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As well as high-quality conferencing, it has an instant messaging tool that has taken a lot of inspiration from Slack with a similar UI and channel format. 

Because Zoom supports a broader range of functions, you could choose to consolidate your tool stack and make Zoom your communications hub. 

Cost:

  • Pro (0-10 hosts): $12/mo/host  
  • Business (10-100 hosts):  $16/mo/host
  • Enterprise (100+ hosts):  $16/mo/host

Cisco Spark

Cisco Spark's, formerly known as Worklife, tagline says a lot about its aim, "Best for creating agenda templates." Going into meetings unprepared means dealing with reduced productivity. 

This tool helps you set an agenda, capture minutes and organize follow-up items. Depending on the type of meetings you're leading — team check-ins, one-on-ones, etc.— Cisco Spark offers templates to get you started. 

With integrations for tools like Slack and Google Docs, it's easy to upload messages and documents for your team. 

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Cisco Spark also offers integration into your Google Calendar or Microsoft Office calendar. 

Cost: Free to sign up

Meetin.gs

To help meetings stay on track, Meetin.gs offers simple meeting scheduling with its integrated calendar feature. This feature syncs with communication tools popular with agile teams, like Skype and Google Hangouts. It acts as a source of information for all users to view agendas and upload applicable information. 

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There are two plans available: 

Cost:

  • Pro - Monthly: $12/organizer/month
  • Pro - Yearly: $129/organizer/year (10% discount included)

Minute

The aptly named app, Minute, is designed to help you manage your meeting agenda. What makes this tool super useful is the option to add in a timer to each agenda item. Talk about efficiency, this will help ensure that meetings stay on topic and on time. 

You can easily upload documents from Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote to your agenda to help with your meetings. With multiple integrations using Zapier—for example, Slack and Trello—you can inform meeting attendees beforehand and distribute a follow-up afterwards. 

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There are five plans to choose from. All are billed annually and have month-to-month payment options. 

Cost:

  • Free: Allows unlimited meetings and one month of meeting history
  • Light: $2.49/user/month or $3 month-to-month
  • Premium: $7.49/user/month or $9 month-to-month
  • Ultimate: $14.99/user/month or $18 month-to-month
  • Non-profit plan: Custom, contact them for details

Team Meeting Checklist

Team Meeting Checklist is built for team collaboration. It's designed to help you find inefficiencies within your meetings and then communicate specific goals of the meeting to attendees. 

All of this in three easy steps:

  1. Choose the meeting you want to improve.
  2. Use their list of 25 essential conditions for a good meeting to decide what you'd like to achieve before, during and after the meeting.
  3. Send the information you've entered to attendees to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
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Cost: Free

Lucid Meetings

Lucid Meetings recognizes that there are different types of meetings—internal vs. stakeholder  vs. customer—because each one has to be handled slightly differently. Using templates, you can create agendas that lay out timing, notes and action items. 

During meetings, while discussing an agenda item, attendees can add to the item in real-time. An added bonus feature, Lucid Meetings lets you send out follow-up surveys to get feedback from attendees. 

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There are three plans to choose from. 

Cost:

  • Personal: Free
  • Business Flex: $19/organizer/month (includes a free 14-day trial)
  • Enterprise: Starts at $750/month, billed annually

Data and analytics

In order to understand user needs and motivations, you need analytics and data tools. With such a large market of tools at your disposal, you can find tools that closely match your needs and offer features that are important to you and help you get the information you require. 

The tools suggested here offer a range of functionalities and features that allow you to customize your research.

Amplitude

As you scale your product, you need an analytics tool that will help you research and understand not only who your users are but how they use your product. With Amplitude, you choose from a variety of features to measure key metrics like retention and churn, or track the path users take within your product. 

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With your custom dashboard you can set it up to quickly see how your product is performing among different groups of users. For example, you can set up behavioral cohorts to measure specific behaviors among a specific group of users. 

Combined, this helps you make product decisions that you can measure quickly and accurately to benefit your product. 

There are three plans to choose from. 

Cost:

  • Starter: Free with up to 10 million monthly events
  • Elite: $2,000/month, billed annually
  • Enterprise: Custom

Crashlytics

If you have a digital product, then you know that crashes are the norm. How you deal with your crash reports is what sets you apart from your competition. Crashlytics focuses on crash reports, mobile analytics and beta distribution. 

It provides you with the information you need to improve your product and understand your users. For example, the beta distribution feature helps you set up beta testers with ease. 

You're able to track what they do and compile their feedback in one easy-to-use dashboard. Beta by Crashlytics helps you stay on top of what your testers are doing and what you can do to make the user experience better over time. 

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Cost: Free

FullStory

Just like their name implies, FullStory collects user engagement data to give you a rundown of how users are using your product. It collects data, like click and page transitions, to inform you of what users are doing and what you can do to make their experience even better. 

For example, its click maps feature allows you to see which parts of your web page receive the most clicks. This is delivered to you using its session feedback feature, which is a visual re-creation of what users did on your site. 

And because you work with so many different teams, FullStory lets you share the information you collect with other team members. It integrates with tools like Slack, HipChat, and Trello to help with team collaboration. 

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There are three plans to choose from, each with more enhanced features included. There's also the option to start with the FullStory Pro 14-day free trial. 

Cost:

  • Free
  • Professional: Starts at $199/month
  • Enterprise: Custom, contact them for a quote

AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer is a marketing app that allows you to track your marketing funnel and make adjustments based on your findings. If you're marketing an app, AppsFlyer helps you promote and market it through your campaigns. 

It does this by exploring metrics like customer LTV and campaign ROI. Through this, it helps you figure out which channels are most profitable and helpful to your users. 

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How many users install your app, return, or click through your ads? AppsFlyer collects and provides you with this information. To take a deep dive into this data, integrate AppsFlyer with an analytics platform to get more insights. 

It offers four pay-per-use plans, each with a 30-day free trial. 

Cost:

  • Tier 1: $0.05 per non-organic install (1 - 100,000 non-organic installs/month)
  • Tier 2: $0.04 per non-organic install (100,001 - 200,000 non-organic installs/month)
  • Tier 3: $0.03 per non-organic install (200,001+ non-organic installs/month)
  • Premium & Enterprise Packages: Custom, contact sales for details

HockeyApp

As a product manager, you need as much support as possible to launch and grow successful products. But so does your development team. 

They're a huge part of your success and HockeyApp recognizes this. It supports them by providing features such as crash reports, feedback from testers, and distribution—this is where developers upload your app to HockeyApp to test before launch. 

It helps you by providing insight into user metrics, like DAU and crashes per day, to help you make adjustments to your product as needed. 

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It offers six monthly plans depending on the number of apps and owners you manage. Plans are billed annually. 

Cost:

  • Free: 10 apps
  • Business S: $30/month for 15 apps and 3 owners
  • Business M: $60/month for 45 apps and 9 owners
  • Business L: $120/month for 120 apps and 20 owners
  • Business XL: $250/month for 250 apps and 50 owners
  • Business XXL: $500/month for 500 apps and 100 owners

ProfitWell

Typical financial reporting that requires you to manually export and manipulate the data to get an answer is clunky and means your eyes are not on the critical metrics as much as they should be. 

Product managers should always be fully informed on the current state of play, and this can only happen when the metrics that matter are at your fingertips.

ProfitWell solves this problem by tracking your financial and business subscription data for you and then presenting it back in an easily understandable dashboard. 

Instantaneously, this makes your data much more useful, allowing managers to keep tabs on performance and act without delay when needed. 

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ProfitWell integrates with many subscription and payment systems like Stripe, Braintree, and Zuora, so it’s quick and easy to get it up and running. What’s more, the basic package is completely free, which is why it’s a very popular tool. 

Cost:

  • ProfitWell: $0/mo/user
  • Retain: Price varies

Sherlock

As a Product team, there is nothing more important than understanding user engagement. After all, driving user engagement is, kind-of, an essential part of your job.

Sherlock, a new engagement analytics platform, takes a very novel approach to understanding user engagement. Not only does Sherlock allow you to truly understand user engagement right down to the individual user level, but it makes it easy for your entire organization to take advantage of this data.

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Sherlock allows you to answer every question you may have about user engagement, essentially, out of the box.

What makes Sherlock even more powerful is that it allows you to easy ship user and account scores to your key tools so that your entire organization can take advantage of this data. They currently have direct connections with Segment, Intercom, Salesforce, and Slack. (Appcues coming soon.)

Cost:

Sherlock is priced based on Monthly Active Users and access to some features. Each plan comes with unlimited seats.

  • Watson plan (up to 500 MAUs, no account scoring, only Segment integration): $129/month
  • Mycroft plan (up to 2,500 MAUs, account scoring, all integrations): $199/month
  • Sherlock plan (up to 10k MAUs, everything in Mycroft plan): $599/month

User research and testing

User research and testing needs to be embedded throughout your workflow to ensure your product is always heading in the right direction. 

But if you don’t have the tools and processes in place, it will become a sticking point. Your research won’t be able to keep up with the momentum of your project. 

But when you work with the right tools—such as the ones below—they will allow your research to increase the project's cadence, not impede it. Your team will be able to conduct research faster, get more insight, and make better decisions about everything they do.

Ethnio

User testing and customer feedback can often be the bottleneck to your product’s development. It’s difficult to find the right people for testing, and it’s even tougher to get them to stick to their commitments. This is why you need to be prepared and have a tool that lets you recruit, screen, and schedule lots of sessions with your users easily. 

This is what Ethnio does really well. You simply set up a screening survey specific to your requirements and publish it either on your website through a JavaScript tag or a shareable link. 

As the responses come in, you can filter it to generate a list of the users you want and send out instant calendar invites to book them in. You're then left with a full schedule of the right type of people for you to talk to. 

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If you’re delivering the screening survey through your website, you can target visitors with external variables such as devices, browsers, locations, and operating systems. 

You can also schedule when the survey goes live and trigger it on certain events that are specific to your needs. For example, it can be set to show for users who’ve used the search function three times in one visit. 

Cost:

  • Little (500 responses):  $79/mo
  • Big (1,000 responses): $179/mo
  • Pro (2,000 responses): $349/mo

VWO

Visual Website Optimizer is a cost-effective full stack optimization tool. The platform follows the steps of a typical optimization strategy to let you do all your work in one place. 

Starting from a high-level view, you have the option to set up funnels for your key goals. This continually tracks so you can identify the most significant sticking points for further investigation. From here you can drill down into each step with a couple of clicks to view heat maps and session recordings of the step in question. 

These recordings can be especially useful because they lift the veil on what your users really do in real-life situations. Lots of ideas and inspiration can come from just watching a handful of videos.

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Onward from insight, VWO gives you a Kanban plan to organize your testing schedule. From here you can build web and in-app A/B and multivariate tests with a simple visual editor or with JavaScript and CSS. Like many of the other testing platforms, VWO uses Bayesian-powered statistics for faster and more reliable results.

Cost:

  • Startup (10,000 monthly visitors): $49/mo
  • Business (30,000 monthly visitors): $129/mo
  • CRO Platform: Starts at $299/mo

Apptimize

In order to roll out updates that resonate with users, you need to run A/B tests to analyze different variables. With Apptimize, in addition to A/B testing, you can also launch instant updates based on user region, segment and more. 

Plus, you can use feature flags to target specific users with new features, identify bugs in your code and develop loyalty programs for groups of users.

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There are two plans to choose from. 

Cost:

  • Growth: Free 30-day trial with access to features like unlimited A/B testing, instant updates and online customer support
  • Enterprise: Custom

UXPin

UXPin is a cloud-based UX design platform. It provides all the tools you need for design systems, documentation, and prototypes. This way all of your design work can happen under one roof. 

Because it’s cloud-based, it instantly becomes more collaborative than locally installed programs like Sketch and Photoshop. In an agile world, this is a considerable advantage because the closer your team can work together, the faster and more effective they are. 

UXPin is flexible enough to use Sketch and Photoshop files, but the real value comes from being able to design wireframes, low-fidelity mockups and lifelike interfaces in the cloud from scratch. Because it's easy to use, you can develop and experiment with ideas quickly for instant team feedback. 

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To guarantee your design output is consistent across style, pattern, and structure, UXPin is designed to host your design systems and style guides. This purpose-built solution makes it easy for your team to use it, update it and find what they need when they need it. 

Cost:

  • Starter (1 user): $9/mo/user
  • Advanced (10 users): $9/mo/user
  • Systems (10 users + design systems): $45/mo

InVision

There are loads of wireframing, mock up and prototyping tools on the market for you to choose from, but InVision is the one that’s leading the way. Up until recently, designers would first have to put together the UI in Sketch or Photoshop and then upload to InVision to turn it into a fully fledged prototype for testing. But this is inefficient when you need to tweak your designs as it involves a lot of back and forth. 

But now, InVision Studio, which is comparable to Adobe XD, is rolling out. This lets your designers stick to one platform to build, collaborate and share prototypes. For users experienced in Sketch, getting to grips with InVision Studio is intuitive as it works in a very similar way. 

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Overall, InVision ticks all the design boxes. With the recent release, you can easily add animations, gestures and transitions to create high-fidelity prototypes for testing. The platform also seems good enough to lure most designers away from their tools of comfort. And because you can consolidate three tools into one, it’s definitely worth a trial. 

Cost:

  • Starter (three prototypes): $13/mo/user
  • Professional (unlimited prototypes): $22/mo/user
  • Team (unlimited prototypes  + 5 users): $89/mo

Lookback

If your user-testing program is not quick and easy, it’s likely the part that gets dropped when a project is up against a tight deadline. But when customer feedback is precious, you need to make sure you have the right process in place. 

Lookback is one of the more straightforward and cost-effective user testing tools that can help. You can set up live moderated testing, unmoderated testing or even in-person testing in a matter of minutes. 

All you need to do is provide Lookback with a link to your design, write up the test instructions and upload the mailing list of participants. From here, participants simply open their email, click on the link and the test begins with each interaction and comment recorded for analysis later. 

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It’s integrated with popular prototyping tools like InVision, Marvel and Proto.io, so it’s easy to get your designs in Lookback ready for testing. And team analysis is quick with time-stamped annotations and clip editing. 

Some projects don't require user testing every month, so the flexible monthly packages do come in handy. You can simply activate and deactivate your subscription as and when you need to test. 

Cost:

  • Starter (basic functions): $59/mo/user
  • Pro (all functions): $119/mo/user

Ty Magnin is the Director of Marketing at Appcues where he helps software products improve their new user onboarding experience. Ty was the first marketer at Work Market and has roots in poetry and film production.