Ever since Grad School, when I first learned the basics of MS Project, I have been attracted and repulsed by the product and the process. The process of creating elaborate GANTT charts which assigned resources and mapped out dependencies seemed very cool and yet incredibly cumbersome. I always liked the visual display of the information because it was a good way to show others what it would take to make a project a reality. On the other hand, I guess my projects were never that complicated and actually managing a project with Project was never something I could get the hang of.
Tom’s Planner is a web-based GANTT creation tool that seems to cut-down some of the complexity of MS Project, but still allows for the visual representation that I really do like when pitching or organizing a collaborative project.
Tom’s Planner is in beta which means it is free. But when they come out of beta, it looks like it will be a pay-for service model. Although, beta-users will apparently get a free year’s use of the site. Here is what they say:
We plan to release Tom’s Planner and turn it into a paid service post-beta launch once we’re confident enough that there are no bugs.
Once Tom’s Planner is released out of beta, it is our intention to extend all actively used beta accounts for a minimum of one additional year without any obligations. This will enable all Tom’s Planner beta users to continue to work with and use Tom’s Planner for free for at least one more year.
Be sure to watch the three minute “getting started tutorial” — it is quite helpful.