Zoho Projects vs Nifty: 2024 Comparison

Zoho Projects vs Nifty: 2024 Comparison

Zoho Projects and Nifty 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. Zoho Projects

Transform your workspace with the help of a simple, user-friendly project hierarchy. 

Portal > Project groups > Projects > Milestones > Tasks > Sub-tasks

  • Portal: A centralized hub to manage projects, track progress, and communicate with team members.
  • Project groups: Organize multiple projects into a single project group for easy access.
  • Projects: A collection of milestones and tasks to achieve a specific objective.
  • Milestones: Short-term goals that let you break down projects and represent a key stage of progress.
  • Tasks: Actionable items that help achieve milestones and the project’s objectives.
  • Subtasks: Granular action items within each task.

Zoho_Projects_Project_Structure

 

b. Nifty

Find everything on Nifty by navigating this easy-to-understand hierarchy:

Workspace > Portfolios > Projects > Milestones > Tasks > Subtasks

    • Workspace: A place for all your work on Nifty
    • Portfolios: A collection of projects grouped by teams, departments, etc. 
    • Projects: Designated spaces to manage and collaborate over Milestones, Tasks, docs, etc. 
    • Milestones: High-level objectives in a project comprising several Tasks
    • Tasks: Single to-dos that can be assigned to individuals or multiple team members
    • Subtasks: A breakdown of Tasks into smaller to-dos that comprise them

2. Views

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offer several views for managing tasks and tracking progress:

  • Work Overview: Displays a comprehensive view of all tasks, projects, and milestones across a portal.
  • Project List: Presents a quick view of completion rates, task statuses, budget details, and more of all the projects.
  • Task List: A list view of all tasks, with columns displaying information such as task name, assignee, due date, and status. 
  • Issue List: Displays a vertical view of all issues, including their project, classification, status, severity, due dates, and more. 
  • Project Gantt: Showcases project and task timelines, schedules, and progress. You can view the projects on the right side and schedule information on the left.
  • Custom: Use filters to select specific criteria and customize your project, task, and issue views.
  • Kanban: Organize cards (tasks and issues) in columns to indicate statuses, priority, and modules. Click on the cards to view comments, files, and other relevant information.
  • Chronology Gantt: Visual representation of the timeline and the relationship between tasks to help manage task dependencies and overlaps.
  • Milestone Gantt: Get a hierarchy-based view of all the tasks that fall under a particular milestone, along with the due dates, overdue tasks, and other task details.
  • Calendar: A calendar-like display of your project, task, milestone, and issue deadlines on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Zoho_Projects_Views

b. Nifty

Work on these six views on Nifty:

Nifty allows you to see your work with these 11 views:

  • List: Shows all Tasks one after the other in a simple list.
  • Timeline: Track the overall progress of a Project by mapping it from Milestone to Milestone. 
  • Calendar: A master view showcasing all Task volumes and due dates.
  • Kanban: A view to move Tasks (represented as cards) easily and facilitate an easy drag-and-drop working style.
  • Swimlane: A Kanban-style display that showcases Tasks across multiple Milestones, allowing you to move them around with drag-and-drop motions.
  • Custom: Apply various filters to sort Tasks and save the particular view for future reference. 

3. Tasks & Subtasks

a. Zoho Projects

A task in Zoho Projects helps manage simple and complex projects by breaking them down into actionable items. 

Tasks provide information on: 

  • Task descriptions
  • Assignees
  • Tags 
  • Due Dates and Time Estimates
  • Checklists
  • Attachments
  • Comments

Zoho_Projects_Tasks_Subtasks

b. Nifty

Tasks are the individual objectives within a project that live inside Task Lists and can be assigned to single to multiple assignees. 

Completing Tasks contributes towards completing Milestones.

Edit a task with details like:

  • Descriptions
  • Comments
  • Assignees
  • Attachments
  • Dependencies
  • Statuses
  • And more

Further split a Task into Subtasks, each with its own level of detailing as a Task. Each Subtask has its own set of descriptions, comments, assignees, etc. Completing Subtasks doesn’t contribute to Milestone completion.

4. Statuses

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offer statuses to help users track the progress of projects, tasks, and issues. 

Create custom task statuses that suit your project workflow under the ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ categories.

Milestones in Zoho Projects have their own status categories like Active, Completed, and Archived.

When you complete all the tasks under a milestone, the tool automatically updates its status. Similarly, following a milestone status update, project status can also be updated automatically through custom functions.

Zoho_Projects_Statuses

b. Nifty

Nifty offers four default Statuses: To Do, In Progress, Review, and Completed — displayed on all Boards. You can change the Statuses for each Task or Milestone to reflect these. Besides these, users can customize their Board and add more statuses or change their colors.

Moreover, you can use custom statuses to visualize Project-level status too. 

5. Checklists

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects doesn’t offer native checklist features.

b. Nifty

Nifty lets you add multiple Checklists to each Task and Subtask. Marking items on the Checklist reflections completion percentage on a progress bar for each list. 

6. Task Templates

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offers ready-made task templates. Even better, you can make your own custom template to perfectly suit your project.  

Each template can retain information, such as:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Checklists
  • Tags
  • Assignees
  • Priority
  • Attachments
  • And more

Zoho_Projects_Task_Templates

b. Nifty

Save the layout of any Task or Milestone as a Template that you can reuse and apply to other Tasks or Milestones.

Each template contains fields for:

  • Description
  • Start / Due Date offsets
  • Subtasks
  • Custom Fields
  • Embeds

Once saved, you can customize it further. 

7. Assignees

a. Zoho Projects

Assign projects, milestones, tasks, and issues to individuals and teams in Zoho Projects.

b. Nifty

Nifty lets you assign Tasks, Subtasks, and Portfolios to single or multiple team members. Assigning a Task to a team member will automatically assign its Subtasks to them, too. 

8. Priorities

a. Zoho Projects

With Zoho Projects, you can set tasks to None, Low, Medium, or High Priority levels. Plus, use different colors to represent priority levels.

b. Nifty

Nifty offers four default Priority tags: High, Medium, Low, and Blocked. Besides these, you can create and edit any number of custom Priority tags. 

9. Automations

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects’ automation features include: 

  • Blueprint: Design workflows and automate routine tasks, like setting task statuses, creating custom task fields, and adding assignees.
  • Workflow rules: Use conditions to auto assign tasks, update fields, send alerts, and add webhooks.
  • Custom functions: Reassign issues, notify stakeholders via SMS, or send client updates automatically through custom rules and conditions. 
  • Webhooks: Automate HTTP push alerts from Zoho Projects to third-party applications.
  • Business rules: Use conditions to automate issue management processes, like assigning issues to a user and changing issue severity.

Zoho_Projects_Automations

b. Nifty

Nifty lets you create the following automations:

  • Custom If/Then Workflow Automations
  • Automated Progress Reporting with Milestones
  • Automated Task Assignments based on Task Status
  • Automated Task Grouping

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. Zoho Projects

Add due dates to milestones, tasks, and subtasks. The tool also lets you set due dates directly from the list views and dashboards.

b. Nifty

When you set due dates for your Tasks, Nifty will automatically calculate the due date for Milestone based on the duration for all Tasks that comprise it.

Moreover, Tasks Dependent on each other have cascading due dates. This means that when you change the due date for one Task, Nifty automatically changes them correspondingly for the other Dependent Tasks. 

2. Time Estimates

a. Zoho Projects

Time estimates are called Work Hours or Planned Hours in Zoho Projects.

Add Work Hours to indicate how long a task should ideally take. You can use the Planned vs Actual charts to assess the actual time taken, helping you measure and improve productivity.

b. Nifty

Nifty allows you to add Story Points to each Task. Based on them, it automatically sets time estimates for Milestones. Typically 1 point accounts for roughly 1 day of work. 

3. Time Tracking

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offers time-tracking features for users to record time spent on different tasks, generate invoices, and bill clients. 

You can either log in time manually using timesheets or start task timers to record hours automatically.

b. Nifty

Use Nifty’s native Time Tracker to track time for each individual Task. You can easily edit this tracked time information or add manual entries of the time you worked on each Task.

Users can access detailed Logs of all their recorded time on Nifty. 

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. Zoho Projects

Milestones in Zoho Projects are goal-based targets consisting of task lists and tasks. Completing these should take you closer to the project objective and help assess the overall project progress.

Additionally, you can duplicate milestones from one project to another and automate them through blueprints.

b. Nifty

A Milestone in Nifty refers to a collection of Tasks that form a high-level objective in a Project. Which is why they’re also referred to as ‘Task Lists.’ Each Milestone is auto-updated as and when you move around the Tasks that comprise it. 

You can even create Dependencies between various Milestones within a Project. This blocks the Tasks in Dependent Milestones until the preceding Milestone is achieved. 

A step further than this is a Goal. A Nifty Goal lets you track progress across Projects and Portfolios. To set a Goal, you need to select:

  • Progress Source: The Tasks and Lists (Milestones) that make up the Goal
  • Track Metric: Whether the Goal depends on the number of Tasks completed, time tracked, Story Points, or any other Custom Field you decide
  • Target: Whether the Track Metric will dynamically update itself or will need a static (predefined) target

Goals progress as the Tasks within them progress. 

2. Dashboards

a. Zoho Projects

The Zoho Projects dashboard is composed of different widgets, such as Task Progress Chart, Timesheet Summary, Team Status, and more. It lets you view:

  • Progress of work items
  • Performance indicators
  • Reports and summary charts
  • Pipeline work item indicators

Zoho_Projects_Dashboards

b. Nifty

A Nifty Project Dashboard uses widgets to display the status of Roadmaps, Tasks, Discussions, Docs, and Files in a particular Project. 

3. Gantt Charts

a. Zoho Projects

Along with a Global Project Timeline Gantt, Zoho Projects provides two Gantt chart types: 

  • Chronological Gantt: View tasks by order of occurrence
  • Milestone Gantt: View tasks by order of Milestones

With Zoho Projects Gantt charts, you can:

  • Create Gantt charts that support four types of task dependencies Finish to Start, Start to Start, Start to Finish, and Finish to Finish.
  • Add new tasks and details like task description, owner, and due dates.
  • View and edit important task information, such as the owner, progress percentage, start and end dates, and a list of all predecessors and successors.
  • Share Gantt charts via email or export them in PDF files.

b. Nifty

Milestones — or a List of Tasks that form a high-level objective in Nifty — can be displayed as a Gantt chart. 

This timeline-style view lets you see the selected Task’s name, due date, and assignees in the sidebar, while the main view gives you a complete overview of where the Task stands in the Milestone. 

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. Zoho Projects

User groups in Zoho Projects allow you to group portal users into different teams for better project resource management. 

Create a user group under a team and add them as followers to tasks or issues. You can assign a team lead, associate teams to projects, and @mention them in comments. 

Plus, manage team communications through a single email alias to notify multiple team members together about project updates.

b. Nifty

Besides the four default user roles, you can create Custom Roles on Nifty and tailor every bit of access they get.

Plus, you can add Custom User Tags to a user’s profile to indicate things like their geography, work shifts, departments, etc. This will help you sort and filter users via tags.

2. Permission Levels

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offers three levels of profile permissions: 

  • Portal Level: Applies only to project users. You can’t assign portal-level permissions to client profile users.
  • Project Level:  Applies to user profile and client profile users. Client profile users can access just forums, pages, and events.
  • Module Level: Applies to both user and client profiles. It offers various permission categories:
    • View
    • Add 
    • Edit
    • Delete
    • Reorder

The module level permission categories can change depending on milestones, task lists, tasks, issues, and timesheets. For example, a task list has a reorder permission category, while a milestone doesn’t.

b. Nifty

Nifty offers four default types of user roles:

  • Owner: In charge of billing
  • Admins: Can create Portfolios and Projects, invite other Team Members and Guests, and promote them as Admins 
  • Team Members: Can create Projects and invite other Team Members and Guests to Nifty
  • Guests: Can join only by invite and cannot access anything not shared with them 

Barring a few core functionalities, such as those related to the creation of realms and inviting/removing members, most other permissions are shared across all users on Nifty. 

Team Members predominantly have edit and invite/remove access only to their Projects.

3. Guest Users

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects offers just read-only access to guest users. 

Read-only access users cannot add, edit, or delete any entities in Zoho Projects. You can assign them to tasks, issues, and milestones with view permissions.

b. Nifty

Guest users on Nifty get access only to the specific Projects shared with them.

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. Zoho Projects

In Zoho Projects, users with comment access can add comments and @mention to tag members in project documents and tasks.

Additionally, you can hide comments from clients by marking them as internal comments.

b. Nifty

Team Members can have project-specific discussions on dedicated channels for each Project in Nifty. Here, they can post a message in text, emoji, or GIFs and even react to each other’s messages. 

Nifty discussion channels let you create threads and pin messages too.

2. File Management

a. Zoho Projects

Attach documents and images to projects, tasks, and comments for real-time collaboration and task management in Zoho Projects. 

To start discussions on the attached documents, just click the ‘Add Comments’ field on the right side of the file name.

b. Nifty

Nifty’s Files tool lets you upload and manage all relevant files with ease. You can even comment on them directly in Nifty to keep your feedback organized and accessible. 

3. Notifications

a. Zoho Projects

View all Zoho Projects notifications on a single page. You can also select the projects for which you want to get notifications. 

Plus, set up email alerts to automatically notify users about certain actions, like changing a task’s status.

Zoho_Projects_Notifications

b. Nifty

Nifty currently offers support for browser push notifications across Chrome. Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge. 

You can change your Nifty notifications to pick and choose what you get notified for.

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

Zoho Projects

  • Knowledge Base: Information about features and its usage
  • FAQs: Answers to questions about the tool
  • Projects Community: A community of Zoho Projects users
  • Video resources: Interactive Zoho Projects tutorials
  • Customer support: Email, live chats, and phone

Nifty

  • Help Center: A single source for all tool-related questions
  • Change logs: An updated list of all newly released features and updates
  • Support: Live chat and 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

Zoho Projects

  • Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge
  • Desktop: None
  • Mobile: iOS, Android

Nifty

  • Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge 
  • Desktop: Mac, Windows
  • 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. 

Zoho Projects Pricing

Zoho Projects offers the following pricing plans:

  • Free: Upto 3 members, 2 projects, 5GB storage 
  • Premium ($5/user/month): Unlimited projects, 20 project templates, 100GB of storage space
  • Enterprise ($10/user/month): Unlimited projects, 30 project templates, 10 read-only users, 120GB of storage space

Nifty Pricing

Nifty offers a 14-day free trial, without any credit card. Post this, you can choose from the following pricing plans:

  • Free forever: Unlimited Members, 100 MB storage, up to 2 Projects, along with all Core features
  • Starter ($49 per month): 10 Members, 100 GB storage, 40 Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients. 
  • Pro ($99 per month): 20 Members, 500 GB, Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients.
  • Business ($149 per month): 50 Members, 1 TB storage, Unlimited Projects, Unlimited Guests and Clients.
  • Unlimited ($499 per month): Unlimited Members, storage, Projects, Guests, and Clients.

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.

Zoho Projects Verdict

Zoho Projects is a no-brainer for teams that want a feature-rich project management solution at an affordable price.

Here’s what makes Zoho Projects shine:

  • Comprehensive project management tools with impressive automation capabilities that cover everything you need, from task management and time tracking to reporting.
  • An intuitive interface with user-friendly features like drag-and-drop actions and dashboard customization. 
  • Robust collaboration and communication tools, like feed and chatrooms, that facilitate smooth teamwork.

However, Zoho Projects’ reporting features might not be extensive for larger teams and bigger projects. For example, it has a limited dashboard functionality, making it difficult to add client information or arrange tasks and projects. 

Additionally, only Enterprise users have full access to reports like Gantt charts and resource utilization charts.

Nifty Verdict

Nifty lives up to its name in more ways than one. 

It’s a fantastic project management tool with a comprehensive feature set that covers most basic to intermediate use cases. A tool for many trades, Nifty packs quite the punch — starting with its multiple views. 

Besides the standard List and Calendar views, a Nifty user can view their tasks in the Swimlane view that pulls information from multiple Milestones/Lists simultaneously. This unique twist on a traditional view allows you to compare progress and multitask like never before!

And then there’s the ability to add multiple Checklists within Tasks, letting you add every intricate detail to each to-do. Finally, users can create as many custom Priority tags as they need.

A few sore points stick out, though. 

For example, many users find the lack of resource allocation, cost-tracking, and visual ideation (mind mapping or whiteboards) features jarring. Moreover, its free plan — allowing just two projects — is extremely limiting to all but the smallest scale of operations. 

However, despite these limitations, features like interactive Gantt charts, time estimates in Story Points, Milestones, and more endear Nifty to Scrum Masters and Agile project managers. 

This is why Nifty remains a versatile project management software that offers tough competition to market leaders.