Nifty Project Management Software Review

Company Details

Nifty was founded in 2017 by Illia Strikhar, Shiv Kapoor, and Skyler Calibey.

They describe Nifty as “Delivering the future of remote collaboration”

They are based out of New York City and have around 30 employees.

Online Resources

Social Profiles

 

Pricing

Currently (Summer of 2020) Nifty has three different pricing tiers

  • Starter Plan: $49/month billed monthly $39/month billed annually
  • Pro Plan: $99/month billed monthly $79/month billed annually
  • Business Plan: billed monthly $149/month $124/month billed annually

There are also two plan add on features

  • Workloads can be added to Pro Plan for $20/month
  • Time Tracking & Reporting can be added to Starter and Pro Plans for $20/month

The plans are very flexible allowing you to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. Extra flexibility and no contracts are a big plus.

What you get in each plan:

Starter Plan — 10 Members, 10 Active Projects, 100GB of online storage, self-serve knowledge base, unlimited clients, and guests.

Pro Plan — 25 Members, Unlimited Projects, 500GB of online storage. Along with everything in starter plus project overviews and premium support

Business Plan – 50 members, Unlimited Projects, 1TB of online storage, and unlimited clients and guests. Additionally everything in Pro plus Time Tracking & Reporting, Team Workloads, and Custom Fields.

When deciding on which plan to go with, I think it will first be decided on the number of team members and active projects. Then secondly it will be if you need time tracking, team workloads, and custom fields. 

If you are small enough, I would start out with the starter plan, this will get you going.

If you already have an established team with more than 10 projects, then the Pro or Business is the way to go.

When deciding between the Pro and Business, I think Time Tracking and Reports is the main reason to jump up to the business. Being able to add on time tracking and reporting make the pro plan a little less expensive if you have fewer than 25 team member.

To see all of the official pricing details check out the Nifty pricing page.

Project History

The current version of Nifty is referred to Nifty 3.0.  Working to find what was added to make this version 3.0 and also what version 1.0 and 2.0 were all about. 

Nifty 1.0

Nifty 2.0

Nifty 3.0

 

Changelog

This is the current changelog, as of Summer 2020. It goes back to January of 2018.  If you are looking to see the latest updates or when a feature was added to Nifty PM, this is the place.

https://changelog.niftypm.com/

Roadmap & Future Features

Nifty has published a roadmap  From reading about it here are a few takeaways, the roadmap is high-level and not everything they have planned is on the roadmap. If you are interested here is the Nifty PM Roadmap

A few items on the roadmap:

  • CNAME / Custom Domain Support
  • 2 Way Calendar Sync
  • Invoice Generation
  • Open API and Webhooks
  • Language Translations / Localization
  • Multiple Dependencies
  • Keyboard Shortcuts

Nifty Product Overview

One of the first questions people ask a project management tool is:

  • How does it organize projects? 
  • What features does it have?
  • Will it meet our team needs?
  • Will this make my life better or worse?

After setting up, managing, working with team members, we have a pretty good understanding of Nifty. Here are the answers to those questions.

How Nifty is Organized

Nifty PM is a full-featured product with lots of functionality. To get a better understanding we will break the software project management tool into building blocks and start with the core block. 

Tasks

Tasks are the base building blocks. You create tasks, give them descriptions, assign them to team members, give them due dates, and mark them as complete.

Tasks can then be bundled up into “Tasks Lists” and “Milestones”.

Note: Task Lists and Milestones are two independent concepts. You can have Task Lists without Milestones and Milestones without Task Lists. Additionally, you can have both or neither. These two features are there to help you manage tasks to complete projects.

Task Lists

Task Lists are a way to group Tasks.  Task lists are completely customizable based on your business needs.

A common way is to create and organize lists is to name them:

  • To-Do
  • In Progress
  • For Review
  • Completed

If you were to use this workflow a task would start in the “To-Do” list. Then once it has been started, it moves to the “In Progress” list. Then when ready for review it is moved to the “For Review” list. Then once it has been reviewed and approved the task is moved to the “Completed” list.

Another way to organize tasks is to name the lists Marketing, Sales, Support, or any other division of your company.

Milestones

Milestones are a grouping of tasks that are then assigned dates and can be viewed as a Gantt chart or calendar view. Milestones can be configured require other milestones as dependencies.

Like with Task Lists, Milestones are completely customizable and can be set up to fit the workflow of your team.

Now that we have Tasks, Task Lists, and Milestones out of the way there are a few other Nifty elements we need to explain. 

Users

Users can be team members, guests, or client accounts. User accounts are assigned different permission levels, giving them access to the appropriate tasks, task lists, milestones, and other Nifty elements.  If you have lots of user levels then you will be happy to know the permissions can be administered at a very granular level.

User accounts are very flexible and should be able to meet the needs of all organizations.

Discussions

Discussions are a realtime chat feature. Discussions can be attached to a project or a one to one conversation between users. Discussions associated with a project keep all of the conversation related to that project in a single location.

You can even have discussions associated with individual tasks. Discussion on tasks is referred to as task comments. 

Discussions are nice because there is no need to bring in another communication app to facilitate conversation.

Docs

This section of the Nifty Project Management Software is for shared online documents. There are four main document options here

  • Custom Nifty Document
  • Google Document
  • Google Spreadsheet
  • Google Presentation

The custom Nifty Document, a feature built by nifty. It allows for online document collaboration.  

What I like even better than the nifty document is the Google Docs Integration. This allows you to attach new or existing Google Docs to the task or project.

Google Docs is my favorite online collaboration tool for documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint-style presentations. The integration is easy and works great.

Files

With files, you can upload any assets, think images, audio, video, pdf, word docs, etc. By uploading them to Nifty you have them all in one place for all team members to access and reference.

Time Tracking

As a premium feature in the business plan, you can have time tracking. This allows users to enter the time they have spent on various tasks. This can be used for accounting, billing, or workload management, depending on your business needs.

Now that we have the Tasks, Task Lists, Milestones, and the other building blocks, we can now combine all of these elements into larger pieces.

Projects

Projects are created from Tasks, Task Lists, Milestones, Users, Discussions, Documents, and Files are combined to create projects. It is these projects that you are looking to complete to meet the business needs.

Think of a project as a container for everything that is needed to complete it.

Portfolios

If we move one level higher then we have portfolios. Portfolios are a collection of projects. You could have a portfolio based around a client.

Bringing it all together

Now that we have an understanding of all the building blocks and elements, let’s go through a Nifty project example. 

Say you are a Marketing Agency with multiple clients. One of your clients is a company named Acme Enterprises.

The Portfolio could be named Acme Enterprises

The Projects in this portfolio could be Corporate Rebranding, Website Redesign, Social Media Campaign Management.

Milestones, Task Lists, and Tasks are used to create and manage the projects.

To go along with these elements you would have, team member accounts, guest accounts, client accounts, real-time chat or discussion boards, associated documents, uploaded files, and time tracking.

I know this is a lot to take in.  If it makes it easier you can always start a free trial and test it out for yourself.

Once you get an understanding of how Nifty organizes project management, you will see it is a very thorough and well-developed project management tool.

What Nifty Is

  • Nifty allows you to manage tasks, projects, and clients in an online collaborative tool.
  • Nifty makes your life easier with a robust well-designed tool.
  • Nifty can create tasks and the tasks can have subtasks
  • Nifty allows for advanced milestone creation including milestones with dependencies
  • Nifty can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.
  • Nifty allows for real-time collaboration for group discussions and one to one communication
  • Nifty integrates with Google Docs and serves as a file upload repository.
  • Nifty has several notification methods to keep all team members and associated people up to date with the current project status.
  • Nifty helps keep everyone accountable by using timestamps and assignable tasks.
  • Nifty allows for time tracking for accounting, forecasting, or efficiency calculations.
  • Nifty is has a mobile app even more access and real-time notifications.
  • Nifty has a dark mode if you are one of the cool kids that like dark mode.

What Nifty Is Not

  • Nifty is not an accounting tool
  • Nifty is not an invoicing tool
  • Nifty does not allow you to enter an hourly rate for each team member for cost accounting.
  • Nifty is not a change management tool (think GitHub)
  • Nifty is not available in languages other than English, they do support international keyboards.

Nifty Product Walkthrough

Project Home Screen

On this screen, you get a good overview of the project. Currently, there are 5 widgets you can turn on and off.

  • Milestones
  • Tasks
  • Discussions
  • Docs
  • Files
  • Time Tracking

All widgets are pretty easy to follow and understand. There is a customize widget button in the top left corner that will allow you to turn on and off each of the different widgets.

Milestones

If you are not familiar with milestones, they are time oriented project objectives within a larger project. Milestones can then be broken into “tasks” which are actionable items. Essentially milestones allow you to break a large project into more manageable chunks that have due dates before the project is due. This allows you to keep the project on track and avoid having to pull all nighters to meet the deadline.

Creating Milestones

Name &, Description — Standard stuff here, the name should be just a few words, and the descritipion can be one to two sentences explaining what the milestone is about.

Task List — You have the ability to create a task list when creating the milestone. You can always add a task list later if you do not create it when you create the milestone.

Hide from Groups — You can hide milestones from different user groups. This is great for creating internal milestones. This way if you have clients or other groups that do not need to see every single detail, you can have milestones that the working group sees and milestones that the clients or management group sees.

Dependencies – If you have multiple milestones you can create dependencies.

Once you have your milestone created you can flesh it out by adding tasks.

Working with Milestones

Adding Tasks – When you add tasks to your milestone they are automatically given the due date of the milestone due date. You can always change this if you want.

Recurring Milestones – A cool feature is the ability to create recurring milestones. They can set to recur every month, week or day. When configuring this you will also set the day of week and time of day. An end date can also be set. Additionally when you set a milestone to recur, the tasks do not recur, only the milestone.

Story Points – Allow you to set the weight of a task. If the task is bigger, then give it more story points, if it is smaller then fewer story points. The story points are then added up in the milestone and as you complete the tasks you are able to see how many story points completed. As we know not all tasks are created equal. Story points allow you to get a more accurate picture of how close to completion the milestone is.

Dependent milestones — If you have a milestone that is dependent on another milestone, all of the dependant milestone tasks are locked until the first milestone is completed.

Swimlane View – This view allows you to see which tasks are in which task lists and assigned to which milestones. This view is super helpful for getting a higher level view of the project. When working with the swimlane view you can drag and drop projects to move them to the appropriate milestones and task lists.

Tasks – If you already have tasks in your project that are not associated with a milestone, they you can always asign them to a milestone.

Additional Milestone Resources

Video from May 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4G5w07lr3I

Earlier Shorter (1 min) video outlining the Project Milestones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV7lIfJGedQ

Tasks

Tasks are the core of any project and the task section is the core of nifty. Think of the tasks as the building blocks for milestones, task lists, and project completion.

Task Lists

The and workflow of tasks and task lits is up to you. One approach is to have the following lists
To-Do these are the tasks that are new or in progress
Review these are the tasks that are done but need review
Completed these are the tasks that are completed

If you wanted to create a new list you could create in progress. This list would let everyone know that the tasks here have been started.

If you assign a person to the list then they will be automatically assigned to any and all tasks in that list.

The tasks section has two views
Lists
Kanban

Additional Task Resources

Task ID – This is automatically created and can be used as a shortcode of sorts that can be pasted into chat or other areas of nifty and it will link back to that task.

Task Lists – This is the list that the task belongs to, it is very easy to move the tasks between lists or even move a task between projects.

Time Tracking – On the task screen there is a play button that allows you to track time for this particular task.

Task Subscribe – This feature allows users to subscribe to notifications about any updates to this task. If you assigned to a task then you are automatically subscribed to the task.

Task Hide Button – This allows you to hide the task from different groups of users. This could be done to hide a task from clients or reviewer that just need to see the finished project and not all of the intermediate steps.

Task URL – This button allows you to copy the URL of the task to share with others.

Task Title – This is a few words explaining what the task is.

Task Description – This is a few words or few sentences that further explain what the task is in greater detail.

Task Asignees – Here you can add or remove people to this task.

Task Milestones – Here you can see what milestone the task is assigned to.

Task Dependencies — Here you can set tasks that must be completed first before you can work on this task. The task remains locked until the parent task is complete.

Task Due Date — Here is where you set the deadline for the task

Task Reminders — Here is where you can add users to send out reminders about this task.

Recurring Tasks – Here is where you set the task to recur. Tasks can recur based on the date, status or completion. You can also set and end date to stop the task from recurring.

Story Points — Here is where you can set the level of effort for this task. If it is a taks that requires more work then assign it more story points. This allows you to have better understanding of the work completed and remaining in a milestone.

Tags — This allows you an additional way to organize the tasks. The default values are blocked, High Priority, Medium Priority, and Low Priority. Additionally you can create custom tags based on any names you want. Sky’s the limit, just pick anything that will help your team stay organized.

Subtasks — Smaller objectives within a task. Subtasks can be assigned to team members and tracked individually. When you create subtasks, a subtask progress bar is automatically created. As you complete these tasks the progress bar is automatically updated. Note completing all subtasks will not complete the task. If you have marked all subtasks complete you will still need to mark the task as complete.

Files and Docs – Files can be uploaded and documents can be associated with the task. Allowing you to have needed assets all in one place.

Custom Fields — This feature is associated with the more expensive business plan. Thes field can be used to track budgets, set user titles, dropdown fields and tic boxes and more. Not exactly sure the best use of these, my guess is when you have a large team that needs to be very customized this feature will come in handy.

Comments — Here you can leave notes or comments on the task. Each comment left has the user and a timestamp. Additionally the comments section creates an activity log automatically. These comments are based on activity in the task.

Tasks Main Page

Here you have the ability to filter tasks based on the assignee, due dates, milestones, tags. For large projects it is helpful to filter out the unneeded information to see exactly what you need to. Tasks can also be marked as completed or archived and they have a filter to see just those tag status types. Finally there is a search box, that allows you to enter search words and phrases to find exactly what you are looking for. Task Import – If you have Trello tasks then they can be imported on this screen. Task Export – Should you need to view the tasks elsewhere then a csv of the tasks can be created and exported on this screen. As you can see the tasks are very flexible and full featured. By having all of these settings, you can build a workflow that is best suited for your team. Again tasks are the building blocks of the projects and milestones, so once you get a good understanding of them the rest of the project management tool will start to fall into place.

Task Features and Details

Nifty Task Management Tutorial May 2020

Discussions

This screen is pretty straightforward. The discussions tab allows you to have real time chat about this project with other members of the team. This is helpful because it keeps all of the correspondence in one place keeping you from having to search lots of different threads or even other applications.

Docs

The documents tab allows you to either use the built-in Nifty Document or create or use existing Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, or Google Presentation.

As a huge fan of Google Docs, this integration is fantastic. I am always creating different sharable google docs for projects, now I can associate those docs with the appropriate project inside of Nifty.

Files

The files tab allows you to upload project assets to keep everything in a project repository. Think of uploading images, logos, videos, audio or other files that are related to the project. Files can be viewed as a List or as a Grid.

Concluding Thoughts

Additional Resources

Website https://niftypm.com/

IOS App: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nifty-project-management/id1366408429

Google Play App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.niftypm&hl=en_US

Blog Posts & Reviews

Videos

Nifty Project Management Walkthrough – Feb 2020 – 16 Minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvxcW8-XH20

Nifty Project Manageent Walkthrough – October 2019 – 9 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA1Wi6SiAvA

Task Management Tutorial May 2020
https://youtu.be/aTGHpZcihhs

Milestone Tutorial May 2020
https://youtu.be/g4G5w07lr3I

App Sumo Product Walk-thru video
https://youtu.be/ymlT2S9xU74

Nifty User Demonstration

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