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group projectsOne of the most difficult tasks that I’ve personally ever had to deal with online is collaborating on group projects. When you’re working with multiple people on the same project, it can be difficult to follow what all the required tasks are, what specific individuals are working on at any given time, and even the common overall goals of the group project.

I like project management software, but for the most part most of them look like clones of Microsoft Project. Not long ago I explored Gantter Gantter - The Ultimate Free Creative Project Management Tool Gantter - The Ultimate Free Creative Project Management Tool Read More , a free online project management tool that looks a lot like MS Project. Abhigyan has covered Collabtive, another group project management tool as well. And of course Tina provided a great overview Manage Your Life with Free Online Time Management Tools Manage Your Life with Free Online Time Management Tools Read More of all of the project management tools so many people have come to know and love – like Remember the Milk and Google Calendar.


These are all great resources, but again I really just want a very simple website that I can go to where, at a glance, I can see everything that’s going on. So, I was very happy to discover just such an online group project tool called Scrumy.

Create Your Scrumy Page With Just A URL

The simplicity of creating your own Scrumy project page just blew my mind. No account sign-up and no email required – all you have to do is type in the URL “scrumy.com/YourProject“, obviously replacing “YourProject” with the desired name for your project.

group projects

If you don’t really care about the URL itself, then you can use the options on the main Scrumy page if you prefer. A free page is useful for simple, public projects that anyone can edit. This is important to understand – free Scrumy projects are public webpages that anyone can modify, so make sure you and your project team members understand this. (However, if you keep the URL of your project private and share only with the people involved it’s very unlikely for someone outside the group to find it on their own)

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Upgrading to premium lets you create a password protected private project area, keep an archive of past work, plan out future project work, live updates, and custom colors (you can select the color for each team member), among other benefits.

group projects

Once you type in “Scrumy.com/YourProject“, you’ll see a blank project area with the option to create a “New Story.” A “story” is essentially an individual goal of the team. Each goal will consist of multiple tasks (ToDo list) that will be assigned to each member of the team.

group project management

You can just keep adding new goals for the project by clicking on “New Story” and creating a description. Each new goal gets placed under the last, but you can easily reorganize how they are listed by simply grabbing one of the stories (hold down the left mouse click) and then drag the goal to wherever you would like it to go, and then drop it there. The background of this app is AJAX, and it’s all point and click – it’s an extremely simple and easy interface to use.

group project management

Once you’ve listed your goals, it’s time to start creating To-Do lists that you can assign to people. You do this by clicking the “+” sign next to the goal. When you do, a pop-up box lets you type a short description of the task, and then type in the name of the person you’d like to assign it to. That name is automatically assigned a specific color.

group project management

As you can see, as you add tasks and assign them to names, it’s very easy to see who is assigned a task by looking for their color. In this example, Dave is yellow, Chris is blue and Ryan is purple. Any task that you leave unassigned is white. Remember, each of these “sticky notes” can be moved around and rearranged just by clicking and dragging them wherever you like. This makes it very easy to visually organize each goal and task list.

After you’ve created all of the tasks, the individual folks who are assigned those tasks can log onto the webpage and drag their task into “In Progress” when they’ve started. As you can see, the interface feels like it’s not even web based – as you can manipulate objects and rearrange everything visually in ways that usually aren’t how most web based systems work.

As assignees finish their work, they drag their task into the “Verify” column. Then, a project manager can visit the URL, confirm that the task is truly satisfied, and drag the task into the “Done” column.

The overall progress of a project and associated tasks is all contained on one webpage. With such an organized, visual layout, it’s very simple to see and understand everything that’s going on, no matter how many people are working on a project.

The downsides, of course, is that with simplicity and ease of use comes limitations. Tasks are not integrated with each other, meaning that you don’t have to complete one before you can start another. There’s also no timeline or set dates, so it will be hard to establish deadlines. However, for many casual group projects, like group research, such a laid-back and simplified graphical tool is exactly what’s needed to keep the group cohesive and involved.

Have you ever used any online project management tool? Do you have your own favorite? Have you ever tried Scrumy, and what do you think? Share your insight in the comments section below.

  1. Joe Riego
    August 18, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Looking at Scrumy for a simple Task Board Implementation for a non software project and I like it - especially good for non technical types.

    Clutterpad? Talk about Apples and Oranges. Scrumy is several orders of magnitude simpler and therefore much better particularly in my use case.

    And if I wanted something with more buttons I would use the RallyDev Community edition. Free with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at complete with a great knowledge base community as well.
    Best solution shy of an enterprise implementation of Agile Development I have seen so far.

    2 cents

  2. Joe Riego
    August 18, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Looking at Scrumy for a simple Task Board Implementation for a non software project and I like it - especially good for non technical types. Clutterpad? Talk about Apples and Oranges. Scrumy is several orders of magnitude simpler and therefore much better particularly in my use case.

    And if I wanted something with more buttons I would use the RallyDev Community edition. Free with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at complete with a great knowledge base community as well.
    Best solution shy of an enterprise implementation of Agile Development I have seen so far.

    2 cents

  3. Dan (of Scrumy)
    June 22, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Cmon, Clutterpad guys, that's just bad form. Clutterpad, or Pivotal Tracker, or apps like that can be great for that type of workflow. But they are completely different than Scrumy. Scrumy is a dead simple card wall that has replaced the real life card walls of thousands of Scrum teams around the world. They use its Burndown charts to stay target, and they use the Dashboard to plan their future sprints and track old ones. People on two sides of the planet see eachother's changes instantly, with live push updating. I highly suggest giving it a try yourself at http://scrumy.com/demo

  4. Dan (of Scrumy)
    June 22, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Cmon, Clutterpad guys, that's just bad form. Clutterpad, or Pivotal Tracker, or apps like that can be great for that type of workflow. But they are completely different than Scrumy. Scrumy is a dead simple card wall that has replaced the real life card walls of thousands of Scrum teams around the world. They use its Burndown charts to stay target, and they use the Dashboard to plan their future sprints and track old ones. People on two sides of the planet see eachother's changes instantly, with live push updating. I highly suggest giving it a try yourself at http://scrumy.com/demo

  5. rtipping
    June 5, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    If you want to collaborate in a familiar Office way you cant beat goggle docs almost zero leaning curve and great collaboration potential.

  6. radeeccles
    June 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Testing an anonymous post.

  7. Waqar
    June 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    To be completely honest, this looks really poor. I have not used it but just but looking at the interface i have been completely turned off.

    I have also been using ClutterPad for my online business for quite some time ever since their beta was released and absolutely Love it.

  8. Waqar
    June 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    To be completely honest, this looks really poor. I have not used it but just but looking at the interface i have been completely turned off.

    I have also been using ClutterPad for my online business for quite some time ever since their beta was released and absolutely Love it.

    • Ryan Dube
      June 10, 2010 at 3:29 am

      Thanks Waqar. I don't think it's for everyone. It's a very, very simple interface, and if you're the type of person that likes a lot of functionality in your collaborative tools, then yeah - it may not be up your alley. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Sohail
    June 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Daniel, I use clutterpad too! that app is really good! clutterpad seems to be spreading quite fast. I've been using it for my blog and a few new businesses i'm in the process of starting. I like the simplicity and especially the ability to email (whilst on the go) to my project and have all my emails organised in the relevant projects. Makes it so much easier, especially when I'm out and about on my blackberry.

  10. Daniel Perez
    June 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks Ryan for this cool post on project management tools. Never tried Scrumy before though. I'm currently using Clutterpad as a collaborative PM tool. I've used other tools but to be honest Clutterpad just blows them away. For the first time I'm actually using something that works!

    • Ryan Dube
      June 10, 2010 at 3:29 am

      Thanks for the heads up on Clutterpad guys, I'm going to have to check it out!

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