Project Insight vs Paymo: 2024 Comparison

Project Insight vs Paymo: 2024 Comparison

Project Insight and Paymo are two of the most popular project management tools available today.

But how do they stack up against each other?

Which one manages tasks better?
Which one helps you allocate resources more effectively?
Which one is more affordable?

Discover all the answers in our detailed comparison guide.

A. Project and Task Management

Get. Things. Done. 

You and every project manager likely live by those words.

It’s also the heart and soul of any project management software. 

This is why, before anything else, you must evaluate a tool’s ability to help you manage your tasks and projects.

Features to look out for:

  • Project structure: A simple, intuitive way to organize work and toggle through multiple projects, tasks, boards, etc. 
  • Views: Board, list, timeline, Gantt, and other types of views that let you visualize various types of information within each project.
  • Tasks & subtasks: Dedicated spaces offering the ability to drill down to the smallest level of actionable detail about each project item. 
  • Statuses: Effortless ways to communicate the exact progress of each task, board, project, etc.
  • Checklists: Quick to-do lists for each task so things don’t fall through the cracks 
  • Task templates: Easy-to-copy templates to create identical tasks at scale across multiple projects. 
  • Assignees: The ability to assign tasks, boards, or projects to individual team members, groups, or even teams. 
  • Priorities: A way to communicate the urgency level of each task, subtask, or project. 
  • Automations: Trigger-based (if X happens then do Y); ways to automate repetitive actions such as notifications, comments, status updates, etc.

1. Project Structure / Hierarchy

a. Project Insight

You can understand Project Insight workspace with the help of the following hierarchy:

Project Home > Project > Work List > Tasks > Issues

  • Project Home: First screen that gives you access to all Projects in your workspace.
  • Project: A dedicated space for all Project-related information.
  • Work List: Contains any Tasks, Issues, approvals, or assignments you’re currently working on and their status.
  • Task: Actionable items that need to be completed in order to complete the Project.
  • Issues: Independent to-dos that emerge during the course of a Project.

b. Paymo

Keep your work organized with Paymo’s hierarchy:

Client > Project > Task list > Task > Subtask

  • Client: All the work for each client is grouped together
  • Project: All projects belonging to one client
  • Task list: A collection of tasks that need to be done to complete a project
  • Task: Individual work items within the task list
  • Subtask: Tasks broken down into smaller steps

2. Views

a. Project Insight

The default view to see your Tasks in Project Insight is a List displayed on your Work List page. But almost every page has Page Display Options that let you pick and choose what you want to view on the page.

b. Paymo

Paymo enables you to visualize your projects in five different ways:

  • List: For each project, you see a list of tasks with a brief overview of their details (E.g., due date, assignees, etc.)
  • Table: A more detailed view of tasks with information fields in columns
  • Board: A Kanban board view of tasks grouped by status
  • Calendar: Displays tasks on a calendar, showing their start and due dates
  • Gantt: A timeline of tasks depicting start and due dates, dependencies, and milestones

3. Tasks & Subtasks

a. Project Insight

You can find Tasks in your Project Insight Work List. Each Task houses information essential for its completion, such as:

  • Status
  • Related Items (or files you can attach)
  • Comments
  • Time tracked so far
  • Location

A Task can have multiple Predecessor and Successor Tasks. This decides the order in which your team must tackle them and automatically calculates the Project timeline.

Each parent task is known as a Summary Task in Project Insight. These can be split into smaller to-dos in the form of a Child Task.

b. Paymo

Break tasks into granular subtasks to indicate the steps needed to complete a task.

Fill out the details on tasks to provide assignees with all the information they’ll require, such as:

  • Task name and description
  • List of subtasks
  • Link to the project and task list
  • Start and due dates
  • Assignees
  • Billing type
  • Time estimate
  • Billing estimate
  • Invoice status
  • Time budget alerts
  • Priority
  • Status

4. Statuses

a. Project Insight

Choose from one of the following default Statuses to indicate Task progress in Project Insight:

  • Not Started
  • Started 
  • In-Progress
  • Almost Done
  • Done

Besides these, you can add a column for Percent Complete that lets users indicate progress with percentages the Admin has set in a drop-down. 

b. Paymo

Paymo includes the following default task statuses:

  • Active
  • Proposal
  • On-hold
  • Canceled
  • Completed
  • Archived

You can create custom statuses in the company settings menu, which apply globally.

Additionally, Paymo allows you to set up workflows for specific projects. The default workflow contains To Do, In Progress, and Complete. From the company settings, you can establish new workflows with custom statuses.

5. Checklists

a. Project Insight

Project Insight doesn’t offer any native checklist feature.

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for adding checklists to tasks and subtasks.

6. Task Templates

a. Project Insight

Task templates exist as part of Project Templates in Project Insight.

You can either craft a Project Template from scratch or save an existing Project as a Template in a folder. This will also save the structure and components of all its Summary (parent) Tasks that make it up.

If you wish to create a Task via a Template, you must access a Project Template and select the particular Task you want to recreate.

 

b. Paymo

Paymo offers project templates, which are useful when multiple projects share the same task lists and structure.

However, you can’t templatize individual tasks on Paymo.

7. Assignees

a. Project Insight

You can assign an entire Project to team member(s), which will end up assigning them all the Tasks within it too. You could also assign single Tasks to individuals or multiple team members.

b. Paymo

Add assignees to projects, task lists, and tasks.

8. Priorities

a. Project Insight

While you cannot add Priorities to individual Tasks in Project Insight, you can do this for Projects and Issues.

Choose from the default High, Medium, and Low priority levels for your Projects and Issues. 

b. Paymo

Indicate the urgency of a task by setting the priority to one of the default statuses — low, normal, high, or critical. Paymo doesn’t offer custom priority statuses.

9. Automations

a. Project Insight

Project Insight requires you to get Add-ons to execute Project-level automation. 

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t include a native feature for setting up automation rules.

However, it does have some time-saving automation features, including:

  • Automatic recurring tasks
  • Automatic time tracking
  • Auto-scheduling (to adjust dependent tasks when dates change)

B. Time Management

Time is money for a reason. 

The right software can be the difference between pinching pennies and raking in the big bucks.

Effective project management software offers effortless time management features to help you befriend the clock. 

With the right one, expect to keep all your tasks running as scheduled and meet your deadlines with ease. 

Features to look out for include:

  • Due dates: Communicate expected delivery dates.  
  • Time estimates: Make capacity decisions based on how much time each task or project is expected to take. 
  • Time tracking: Measure productivity with accurate time consumption data for each team member. 

1. Due Dates

a. Project Insight

Project Insight uses an Intelligent Scheduling system to calculate due dates. 

This means that once you set the start date for a Project, Project Insight automatically calculates and sets all start and end dates for Tasks within it.

Additionally, if you add a start date and estimated number of Duration (in workdays) and Work Hours a Task is estimated to take (or allotted), Project Insight adds all due dates automatically. This shifts dynamically as you move around dates and hours for its preceding and succeeding Tasks. 

b. Paymo

Set task due dates and time budgets and set up alerts for when you’re approaching deadlines.

2. Time Estimates

a. Project Insight

Every Project in Project Insight has Target settings you can edit. This page will allow you to update the estimated hours for the Project in the Target Budget Hours field. 

On a Task level, you can add Duration (in workdays) and Work Hours in separate columns of the Work List. 

b. Paymo

Set time estimates for tasks. Additionally, if the billing type is time-based, you can set a billable rate and calculate the estimated billable amount.

3. Time Tracking

a. Project Insight

Enter time used per Task by:

  • Directly adding worked hours on a specific Task 
  • Editing a grid containing all Tasks you’ve worked on
  • Starting a Timer on each Task while you work on it 

b. Paymo

Paymo offers six different avenues for tracking time:

  • Web timer: Select the project and task you’re working on and use a timer to track time in the web app.
  • Manual: Add time directly to tasks by inputting a duration or time interval of work. 
  • Bulk function: Input time entries for an entire week on a timesheet.
  • Desktop Widget: Track time or manually add time from the Paymo tracking widget for desktop.
  • PaymoPlus: Receive an automatic record of your activities for the day, and map them onto time entries at the end of the day to sync them with Paymo.
  • Mobile app: Track time or add it manually via the Paymo mobile app.

C. Reporting

What you can’t measure, you can’t improve. 

Reporting and analytics features can help you track real-time progress, monitor key metrics, and sniff out bottlenecks like a detective.  

Armed with these insights, your team can stay ahead of the curve no matter the situation. 

Expect better resource management, superior deadline compliance, and a more focused and decisive team.

Features to look out for include:

  • Goals and milestones: Record targets for the whole team to see and work towards.
  • Dashboards: Visualize data from all corners of the team into a user-friendly, interactive interface.
  • Gantt charts: Keep your plans flexible with Gantt charts that allow you to adjust timelines based on changing resource availability and task completion ratio. 

1. Goals & Milestones

a. Project Insight

Project Insight doesn’t offer any native features for goal tracking.

You can designate a certain Task as Milestones, denoting their importance in the Work List. Project Insight will give Milestone Tasks diamond icons to help them stand out. 

b. Paymo

On Paymo, you can set milestones that are dates by which you want the associated tasklist to be resolved. You can also set reminders for upcoming milestones.

2. Dashboards

a. Project Insight

Every Project Insight user can access a central Dashboard that contains their active and upcoming Tasks.

A Project Manager can configure this to include key Project details and customize it to include any information they want to access instantly. These could include Tile components, such as:

  • Approvals
  • Calendars
  • Charts
  • Issues
  • Project Requests
  • Notifications
  • And much more

Users can save a particular layout on these Dashboards, rename them, and share them with others in the team.  

b. Paymo

The Paymo dashboard displays real-time graphs and information from across clients, projects, and tasks.

You can customize the dashboard by activating, deactivating, and reordering various plugins, which include:

  • Finance plugin: A graph of sent vs paid invoices for a period
  • Time plugin: Displays time tracked by you, the whole company, or team members you manage, depending on your company role
  • Billable vs non-billable plugin: Shows a pie chart of billable vs non-billable hours tracked
  • Milestones plugin: Displays upcoming and overdue project milestones
  • Active timers plugin: Shows which team members are working and what they’re working on in real time

3. Gantt Charts

a. Project Insight

To access a Gantt Chart view on your Work List or Project home page, go to the Page Display Options and configure the particular information you wish to display in it.

Once generated, you can adjust Task dates and Milestones, review the Project’s Critical Path, change Dependencies, and more on your Gantt Chart. 

b. Paymo

Paymo automatically displays all tasks that have a start and end date in the Gantt chart view, where you can:

  • Drag to adjust dates and duration
  • Change the view to show days, weeks, months, or years
  • Create dependencies between tasks
  • Click on tasks to see an overview of details

D. User Management

Software, features, and other tech things aside, the real heroes of any project are your team members. So make sure to pick the kind of project management software that puts them front and center!

How do you do this?

Look for software that knows what different team members need and helps you deliver the right experience. 

Features to look out for include:

  • User groups: Create internal teams representing various departments, functions, or projects. 
  • Permission levels: Grant different access levels depending on the users’ information requirements and the company’s security concerns. 
  • Guest users: Invite team members from other companies/teams to collaborate with your team without compromising on confidential data. 

1. User Groups

a. Project Insight

Project Insight lets you create the following types of Users:

  • System Administrator Roles:
      • System Administrator
      • User Manager
  • Power User Roles:
      • Company Manager
      • Project Creator
      • PMO Manager
      • Department Manager
      • Project Template Manager
      • Approval Manager
      • Approval Template Manager
      • Issue Manager
      • PTO Manager
      • Expense Report Approver
      • Time/Expense/Invoice Manager
  • Team Member Roles:
    • Project Resource
    • Project Report Viewer
    • Resource allocation Viewer
    • Time/Expense Report Viewer

Besides these, you can create various Resource Types that denote the types of skill sets your Users represent. These could be designers, product managers, content writers, etc.

b. Paymo

Paymo doesn’t offer any native features for creating user groups or teams.

2. Permission Levels

a. Project Insight

All Project Insight Users have different permission levels depending on:

  • Their User System Role (Ex: System Administrator, Power User, Team Member, etc.)
  • The Communication Settings for the particular item
  • Project Permissions

b. Paymo

Paymo offers the following user privilege levels:

  • Admin: Has access to financial information, client data, company settings, company-wide time data, team scheduling, and PTO 
  • Project manager: Can add, manage, and view time entries, time reports, and schedules for the projects they’re assigned to
  • Regular user: Can add tasks for themselves, view task details, and discuss tasks they are assigned to

3. Guest Users

a. Project Insight

Project Insight does not allow you to share any information from your Workspace with external users nor lets you create guest user profiles.

b. Paymo

You can invite external people to view a project on Paymo as a guest user.

They will be able to:

  • View projects, tasks, time reports, invoices, and estimates you share with them
  • See upcoming milestones
  • Contribute to discussions on shared tasks
  • Add tasks (If granted the user privilege by an admin)

E. Collaboration

In project management, collaboration and communication are like a ballroom dance — if everyone isn’t in sync, you’re just stepping on each other’s toes!

A project manager should encourage their team to be on the same page regarding everything happening on the project. This could involve regular meetings, periodic status updates, shared checklists, etc. 

But things can get tricky when you add different team structures (remote, hybrid, distributed, etc.). 

The trick is to balance ‘informing everyone’ with ‘over-communicating.’ 

The solution is to forge a shared space where the whole team can contribute without hampering individual productivity. Picking a suitable project management software is the first step toward achieving this goal. 

Features to look for include: 

  • Comments: Simple ways to send feedback or discuss a task or project. 
  • Threads: Keep all relevant comments in a single thread. 
  • Tagging/@mention: Mention a team member on a task, in comments, or in any shared space to notify them. 
  • Sharing tasks: Share tasks with relevant team members for efficient collaboration.
  • File management: Attach and store files, create and annotate documents, etc., for ready access to project documentation. 
  • Notifications: Customize how team members receive notifications.

1. Comments, Threads, & Tagging

a. Project Insight

Add a comment to any of the Tasks you’re working on to communicate with your team members within Project Insight. If you @mention your team members, they’ll be notified too.

 

b. Paymo

Comment on tasks and assign comments to notify specific users on Paymo. 

Alternatively, you can comment at the project level by adding a discussion in the Discussion tab.

2. File Management

a. Project Insight

All Tasks in Project Insight allow you to add files as Related Items to any Task. 

b. Paymo

You can upload files to tasks from your device or Google Drive. You can also add files in comments on tasks.

All files for a project will be available in the Files tab.

The maximum file size is 2GB, and the following file formats are allowed:

  • .doc
  • PDF
  • .csv
  • .xml
  • .png
  • .jpg
  • .psd
  • .cad
  • .zip
  • afd.esign
  • .afpub
  • .afphoto
  • .dwg
  • .cdr
  • .rvt
  • .rfa
  • .blend
  • .fbx

3. Notifications

a. Project Insight

Project Insight offers a comprehensive list of Notification settings. Among other things, you can set a number of auto-alert options. 

b. Paymo

Paymo can send in-app and email notifications to assignees for activities on their projects and tasks.

Each user can change their email notification settings to select which activities they want to be notified about.

F. Customer Support

Individual users in smaller teams often face a steep learning curve with most project management software. 

In their case, having access to responsive support executives and a wealth of helpful resources can make a significant difference, turning a frustrating experience into a positive one.

However, customer support is just as crucial for larger teams. 

Even if these teams initially received thorough onboarding and training, their needs and use cases tend to evolve over time. Continuous and adaptable customer support becomes essential to address these changing needs effectively.

With adequate customer support, you can:

  • Derive maximum value from the app with the help of professional guidance whenever required
  • Ensure your team is making full use of all the features you’re paying for
  • Learn from case studies of other teams using the same software
  • Expand your use cases with time
  • Learn about the features your team uses the most and avoid spending on those you don’t need
  • Solve minor issues on your end by going through help resources
  • Get hands-on support when you get stuck
  • Keep a record of all your complaints and feedback for the platform to aid future buying decisions
  • Send feedback to the app’s developers so they can design the features you most desire

Features to look for include: 

  • Detailed knowledge bases and documentation to aid DIY solutions to common issues
  • Case studies, templates, guides, and other resources
  • Easy access to resources for all types of users — free or paid
  • Async support executives to cover for the time difference
  • Live agents who can respond via chat or phone 
  • Screenshots and recordings to display how the tool works
  • Translations to resources in other languages, if needed

Project Insight

  • Getting Started Guide: Get started with a few basic videos. 
  • Video Tutorials for Add-ons and Features.
  • Project Insight Community: User-generated content on Project Insight.
  • User Manual: A written manual with detailed explanations of Project Insight features.
  • Dev Tool Kit
  • Developer tools and REST API resource center
  • Request a Feature: Vote on current feature requests or submit a new one. 
  • Webinars and Tutorials
  • Free Live Training Hours: Weekly, live, in-person training with our expert team.
  • Blogs
  • Support: Email, phone

Paymo

  • Help Center: A collection of written tutorials about how to use Paymo
  • Customer Support: Fill in a support request form to get help via email

G. Platforms Supported

Distributed and field teams might not always be armed with laptops or computers. 

But that doesn’t mean productivity has to stop.

With a mobile-friendly project management tool, the workflow keeps humming along, turning those smartphones into mighty workflow tools.

More reason to look into this?

If your company follows a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, your team members need the freedom to switch between various devices. 

With support for all types of apps, you can:

  • Ensure uniform access irrespective of device type
  • Save on the cost of buying the same types of devices for the whole team
  • Give all team members a chance to log work from anywhere, anytime

Features to look for include: 

  • App support for the latest Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions.
  • Maximum coverage for all key features across devices

Project Insight

  • Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari, Microsoft Edge
  • Desktop: Not available
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

Paymo

  • Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Desktop and Android), Safari
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows, Linux
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

H. Pricing

Whether you have deep pockets or shoestring budgets, there’s project management software out there for every kind of organization. 

But the confusing combination of features and numbers on pricing pages can make it difficult to choose. 

Here are some easy tips for starters.

If you plan on buying the software subscription for just yourself or a small team that’s not likely to grow rapidly anytime soon — stick to the free plan as long as possible. Or pick the cheapest monthly subscription possible. These should cover most of your feature requirements comfortably in most cases. 

However, if you expect to hire rapidly and grow to a sizable number, go for a plan that grows with you — ideally with a per-user rate that doesn’t add up exponentially. 

Finally, most software offers flexible enterprise plans that let you cherry-pick your favorite features into a custom package. If you’re part of such a team, it’s best to contact the sales team and get the best deal possible. 

Project Insight Pricing

Project Insight has the following pricing plans:

  • Free: For up to 3 users only. 1 Custom Field, Unlimited Projects and Task Management, Unlimited Project Templates, Unlimited Views, and more core features.
  • Pro ($9 per user/per month): Unlimited Users, 5 Custom Fields, everything in the Free plan + advanced features such as Budgeting and Costing, Work Timers, Timesheets, and more.  
  • Business ($19 per user/per month): Unlimited Users, 15 Custom Fields, 3 custom items, everything in the Pro plan + advanced features such as Invoice Records and Billing, QuickBooks Online Integration, Portfolio Management, and more.
  • Enterprise (contact for a quote): Unlimited Users, 100 Custom Fields, everything in the Business plan + advanced features such as Cross-project Dependencies, Resource and Capacity Management, Critical Path Tools, and more.

You can try all but the Enterprise plan for free.

Paymo Pricing

Paymo’s pricing plans are structured as follows:

  • Free: Unlimited users, five clients, 10 projects, and 1GB storage.
  • Starter ($9.90/user/month): Everything in Free, plus unlimited clients and projects, calendar and Kanban views, and 5GB storage.
  • Small Office ($15.90/user/month): Everything in Starter, plus recurring tasks, project templates, and 50GB storage.
  • Business ($23.90/user/month): Everything in Small Office, plus Gantt chart view, employee scheduling, priority support, and 500GB storage.

I. Best Suited To

Picking the right project management tool is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. They must be a snug fit but also leave you some wiggle room to get comfortable! 

In other words, the tool you pick must fit all your current needs and grow alongside your future requirements, too. 

So make sure you’ve covered all bases in your research when picking project management software for your team. 

One way to do this is to check what types of teams your choice serves best. 

For instance, what works for a small software development team might not suit a large marketing agency. 

When hunting for a PM solution, it’s vital to match the tool’s features and use cases with your team’s workflow. Tailor your search to find a tool with all the necessary features to manage your tasks and boost productivity.

Project Insight Verdict

Project Insight prides itself on offering a platform that aligns with the essential project management principles. 

And rightly so.

With features like Intelligent Scheduling, thorough capacity management, and nuanced levels of permissions for each user, Project Insight indeed puts its best foot forward in the project management game.

Busy project managers, especially in bigger teams, will relish the extremely customizable Page Display Options and its bulk edits functionality.

What you might miss, though, is a slightly easier, more visual interface.

New users, especially those without a background in project management, could be put off by Project Insight’s complexity.

For example, while the Work List can be customized, it could benefit from a few standard (default) views that users can deploy from the get-go.

Additionally, Intelligent Scheduling doesn’t let users manually set timelines for their own Tasks without changing the entire project’s timeline. This works out great for project managers who need complete oversight and control of the Work List but may feel restrictive to team members working on smaller Tasks.

However, if your project has complex (and hyper-specific) requirements, Project Insight’s steep learning curve may be worth the ride!

Paymo Verdict

Paymo presents a modern and user-friendly interface with a solid set of project management features, offering a comprehensive solution for users.

However, it’s missing some features that are industry staples, like automation rules, task checklists, user groups, and task templates.

Also, some important views and tools are only available in the higher-priced plans. For example, the Gantt view is only in the Business plan, and project templates are not available in the free and starter plans.

In the end, Paymo could do with some advanced and unique features that would make it stand out from the big names in the project management space. However, it covers the essentials for effective project management and provides a free plan, making it worth a try.