In mid-September, I came to a point where I knew my team was going to need a solid project management software. Currently, there is no shortage of quality options, there is:
After doing some digging I decided on Monday.com. If you’ve never heard of Monday.com check out this 1-minute video.
For approximately 4 months my team ran all of our projects through Monday. This included social media schedules, content creation, software updates, curriculum writing, and administrative tasks. After having used the software exhaustively my team and I decided to leave. Here are three reasons why we took our project management needs elsewhere.
Subscription Model is Confusing and Expensive
Monday’s pricing model is unlike any I’ve ever experienced. You can’t sign up for a flat fee or by user. With Monday you have to sign up in increments of five. Based on my team of three’s size and budget we signed up for the basic 5 member plan. In my opinion this pricing model is confusing. With our current team size, we’d be stuck indefinitely paying for two non-existent team members. What’s even more peculiar is, say my team size doubled and we hired three more team members, I would have to jump to a ten-member plan. Now I’d be stuck paying for four non-existent team members. If nothing else this pricing model shows Monday doesn’t prioritize small teams. I don’t understand the logic behind this.
On a positive note, when I reached out to customer support (I consistently had good experiences with this team) and asked for a non-profit discount they had one, which saved us $154. The total cost for 24 months was $468, after our $154 discount, we paid $314. Not too bad… or so I thought.
Shortly after using the software we realized our subscription didn’t give us the access we assumed. While making one of our first boards we tried to use the tagging feature. A pop-up told us this feature would be an additional $240! Who charges to enable tagging?!
We decided to go without tagging and continue marching on. Shortly thereafter we tried to create team-specific private boards. Guess what? That feature is an extra $240!
In total it would’ve cost my team $748 to get full access to Monday.com. What bothers me most isn’t the cost per se, but the fact that the actual cost is not clearly laid out up front. In my opinion, all of the hidden fees make Monday.com seem shady, or at least disingenuous.
If you want to read a more in-depth review on Monday’s pricing model check out this article from PCMag.com.
Long-form Communication is Difficult
My second issue is there is no long-form way to communicate. From what I can tell this is part of the “magic” of the software. The idea is that the mainboards are so clear there is no need for long-form communication. There is a comments section within every row but it relegates team communication to exchanging tweets.
The design is banking on users understanding exactly what is going on through visual processes. In the end, the lack of communication makes completing tasks that much harder and creates more work as task-related conversations need to happen in a separate medium.
Templates are Monotonous Glorified Spreadsheets
I admit this last critique is the most subjective. However, with Monday putting so many eggs in the visual process of their boards, it’s a big deal when they all begin to look exactly alike. At one point my team created boards (from the recommended templates) to track a variety of different types of projects. Despite their different purposes, each board looked identical to one another.
Making matters worse was how optional viewing modes make boards look worse. A semi-new feature Monday has been promoting are view modes. These views include a timeline, calendar, chart, and Kanban. In my experience when switching to a different viewing mode one of two things happened:
- The data in the new viewing mode made no sense. It was as if someone put all of my data in a Yahtzee cup, shook them all around, and poured them out in a Kanban board.
- Data in the new view was frustrating to move around and manipulate. It’s as if Monday doesn’t want users to work with content in these modes.
Ultimately, these three issues led my team to say enough and move on to another project management software. In my next post I’ll talk about where we’ve moved and share the three reasons why I think we’ve struck gold.