Zoho Projects vs ProWorkflow: 2024 Comparison

Zoho Projects vs ProWorkflow: 2024 Comparison

Zoho Projects and ProWorkflow 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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow has a simple hierarchy for project tracking:

Projects > Task Headings > Tasks

  • Projects: A project could be a single end-product you aim to deliver, a client you manage, or any larger goal you’re working towards.
  • Task heading: These large tasks act as stepping stones in the project and contain smaller steps.
  • Tasks: These are the individual action items within a task heading.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow offers the following nine ways to visualize work:

  • Homepage: An overview of your workload, upcoming deadlines, recent activity, and staff activities.
  • Calendar: Projects and tasks organized by start date and displayed on a calendar.
  • Timesheet: Shows your time tracked and the tasks you worked on.
  • Timeline: Displays your tasks by start and end date and the dependencies between them.
  • Customer map: Allows you to see the locations of your clients on a map.
  • Projects list: A table showing all your current projects and their details.
  • Projects board: A Kanban board displaying your projects grouped according to your chosen parameter — E.g., task status, priority, or category.
  • Tasks list: A table displaying details of all your tasks.
  • Tasks board: A Kanban board of your tasks grouped by a chosen field.

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. ProWorkflow

To establish a hierarchy of tasks in ProWorkflow, use the task styles feature: heading, bold, and normal. Bold and normal tasks serve as subtasks under a task heading, and bold tasks are higher priority than normal tasks.

When you create a task, you can include the following:

  • Task name and description
  • File attachments
  • Dependencies
  • Assignees
  • Priority
  • Time estimate
  • Start and due dates
  • Billable status (yes or no)
  • Billable rate
  • Taxable status (yes or no)

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. ProWorkflow

With ProWorkflow, you can indicate project and task statuses using tags. You can set up custom status tags for projects, tasks, and contacts.

5. Checklists

a. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects doesn’t offer native checklist features.

b. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow doesn’t have a native feature for adding checklists to tasks. However, you can create a list of indented subtasks to serve as a checklist.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow enables you to create new task templates from scratch or based on other templates or current projects.

7. Assignees

a. Zoho Projects

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

b. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow offers several ways to assign tasks, including:

  • Drag and drop assignees from a list onto a task on the project description page.
  • Assign or remove a team member across all tasks in a project
  • Add assignees in the contacts column of the tasks view
  • Assign multiple tasks to a contact at once

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. ProWorkflow

Select a low, medium, or high priority status for tasks and projects. To create custom priority statuses, you can use project or task tags.

Additionally, you can indicate priority using the bold task style.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow doesn’t have any native automation features.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow includes start and due date fields when you create a task, edit a task, or set up a task template.

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. ProWorkflow

Add time estimates to tasks and projects using the time allocation field.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow offers four methods for tracking time on tasks:

  • Live tracker: Track time for a task using a timer while you work
  • Manual entry: Add a time record declaring hours and minutes worked on a task
  • Drag and drop: Drag a task onto a timesheet and size the block to indicate time worked
  • Direct entry: Enter time details directly into the timesheet

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow doesn’t have any native features for setting goals and milestones.

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. ProWorkflow

Your ProWorkflow homepage displays a dashboard of graphs and details on upcoming tasks.

The graphs can display details like projects and tasks by status or priority, time tracked vs billable time, and quotes and invoices.

You’ll also see a list of upcoming task start and due dates.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow’s timeline view functions as a Gantt chart and allows you to:

  • Create new tasks
  • Drag to adjust start and due dates
  • Select and adjust multiple tasks at once
  • Set or remove task dependencies

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. ProWorkflow

From the users and permissions settings in ProWorkflow, you can set up user roles and assign them to your contacts. You can use this feature to group people by role, department, team, etc.

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. ProWorkflow

In ProWorkflow, there is only one permission level with default settings — super user. Other than that, you must create custom roles to define your organization’s permission levels.

Permissions for roles include:

  • Super user status (full access)
  • Ability to view all work
  • Ability to see sensitive business information (quotes, invoices, rates, etc.)
  • Whether the role can receive client project requests
  • Whether the role receives billing alerts from ProWorkflow
  • If the role can view, add, edit, or delete information on each page of the organization
  • Ability to add, edit, or delete user permissions
  • Whether the role can access and make changes to areas in the settings menu

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. ProWorkflow

You can add clients and external parties as contacts in your ProWorkflow organization and customize the permissions for all client contacts or individual clients.

On their contact profile, you can edit the following information and settings:

  • Client name, title, and company name
  • Whether they’re the main contact for that company
  • Whether they can log in (you set the username and password)
  • Their email address and phone contact details
  • Whether they can request projects
  • Which projects and tasks can they view
  • Which views can they access

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. ProWorkflow

Clicking on a task title in ProWorkflow will reveal a comment icon where you can leave messages.

This feature allows you to:

  • @mention contacts
  • Include hashtags to tag the message
  • Select recipients
  • Add file attachments
  • Set the message as private
  • Send an email notification to recipients

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. ProWorkflow

Attach files in various formats to projects, tasks, and messages.

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. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow delivers both in-app and email notifications to assignees for activities in projects and tasks, account alerts, and resource alerts.

 

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

ProWorkflow

  • Help center: A collection of tutorials relating to ProWorkflow features
  • Video guides: A playlist of YouTube how-to videos
  • Contact support: Via the support request form, email addresses, or phone number

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

ProWorkflow

  • Browser: Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Desktop: Windows, Mac
  • Mobile: Mobile web app

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

ProWorkflow Pricing

ProWorkflow has the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: 14-day free trial
  • Professional ($20/user/month): Unlimited pricing, no user limit, 25GB file storage
  • Advanced ($30/user/month): Five users minimum; includes everything in Professional, plus client project requests, custom fields, and 50GB file storage.
  • Enterprise (Contact sales for pricing and more information)

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.

ProWorkflow Verdict

ProWorkflow offers a lot of freedom to customize permissions, statuses, and time tracking. It’s useful for handling tasks in bulk and assigning them easily.

Its approach to setting up tasks and subtasks stands out as both simple and unique, and the way in which it organizes information in views is adequate (but not stellar).

The inclusion of invoicing and quotations also enhances ProWorkflow’s utility. These features make ProWorkflow suitable for organizing project work across multiple clients.

However, there are some major downsides.

The tool doesn’t have a free plan and is relatively expensive out of the gate. The features also don’t differ much between the pricing plans.

One must wonder if the price tag is justified, given that the app lacks automation and AI features, which are generally standard practice among project management tools today.

Additionally, the user interface, commenting, and notifications are dated and not very user-friendly. The comments resemble an old-school forum and aren’t particularly well-equipped for organized, threaded discussions.

ProWorkflow’s support resources are also rather sparse, which can contribute to a higher learning curve.

In general, this tool has a solid foundation but has some catching up to do to match up with the standards set by more established, modern PM tools.