Mavenlink allows for ad hoc collaboration

Small businesses can integrate the cloud-based project management application with Google Apps and Quickbooks.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

If your small business is using the Google Apps suite of productivity applications and needs a better way to manage project, you might want to peek at Mavenlink.

Yes, I know there are many, many collaboration services vying for the attention of small businesses. But this one was designed to accommodate ad hoc collaboration, which means it might be well suited for small businesses and consultants who spend a lot of time working on deliverables for their clients.

Mavenlink uses Google Apps integration to coordinate calendar and enable people to work on documents from within the Mavenlink interface. It also integrates with Intuit Quickbooks, which means you can actually launch a new Mavenlink project directly from a Quickbooks estimate. Other useful integrations include a connector with PayPal, which gives your small business a specially negotiated transaction rate when paying online invoices.

Schemedia, a 10-year-old creative design and photography company, uses Mavenlink to collaborate on projects with its clients. Robb Rich, principal with the company, said the software allows his team to showcase concept changes quickly by allowing them to share proofs and sketches. Mavenlink also allows Schemedia to keep better track of the time spent on specific projects for billing purposes, he said.

"Now the clients know exactly when we are working on something," he said.

Although you can try out Mavenlink for free, the pro version of the service does come with a price tag. The Expert level, which covers two administrators and unlimited team members with 20 gigabytes of file storage space, is priced at $29 per month for a prepaid annual plan.

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