When I wrote about SaaS project management apps for the iPhone, the latest version of the LiquidPlanner iOS app was conspicuously missing, because it was going through the App Store approval process. Fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to spend some time testing out the latest LiquidPlanner app on my iPad. (Note: LiquidPlanner is also available for Android.)
Getting started with LiquidPlannerWhen you log into the LiquidPlanner app, you'll see a well-designed home screen (Figure A) where you can view and respond to recent comments left in the Project Workspace, plus add Tasks, Milestones, and Events. Figure A
The LiquidPlanner home screen on an iPad.
A project manager and his or her team can have full access to their projects in LiquidPlanner with this app. There's full support for creating and editing packages, projects, and folders. These features are crisp and responsive. Other nice touches include support for custom fields and drag-and-drop prioritization of project tasks. Mobile users will be able to have full access to the LiquidPlanner platform for managing their projects.The LiquidPlanner app is also quick and responsive when adding or deleting tasks. When you tap on a button or field option, the app responds with no noticeable lag time. The dialog for entering remaining time (Figure B) is also very aesthetically appealing and easy to follow. Figure B
Enter a ranged time estimate in LiquidPlanner.
LiquidPlanner pays attention to usability and the user experience, offering consistency between both the SaaS platform and iPad app.
Views in LiquidPlanner mobile
LiquidPlanner offers multiple views that let you drill down into project scheduling information, as long as you're online and can access the app.The My Work view includes support for the people switcher (member picker), which allows project managers and teams see the current project tasks of the individual team members (Figure C). Figure C
People switcher in LiquidPlanner.
Extending this feature to the LiquidPlanner app helps improve communications and foster collaboration with other project team members through the transparency it offers into other team member's project work.The Projects view now includes an Owner column (Figure D). This view is a quick way to drill down into your individual projects. Figure D
The Projects view has an Owner column.The Recent view lets a mobile user view recent changes made to projects (Figure E). Figure E
The Recent view in LiquidPlanner.
When you tap on any of the recent activities in this view, you can then edit or modify it as needed.
You'll always have the latest project information on your iPad with this app. My favorite use case for these views is when meeting with clients, because the LiquidPlanner app running on an iPad with Retina display can help show a project team's progress graphically to audiences that may or may not have a project management background using the app's views.
Access your LiquidPlanner checklistsLiquidPlanner also implemented their new checklists features in the mobile app (Figure F). I gave this new feature high marks when I wrote, "Use LiquidPlanner's checklists to track project tasks and communications." Figure F
LiquidPlanner checklists go mobile.
The addition of LiquidPlanner checklists to the mobile app is pretty clean and useful. You can use the checklist feature to add more details to project tasks in LiquidPlanner. It's important that you don't view them as you would a task list app like OmniFocus or Things.
Mobile collaboration with LiquidPlanner
Another piece of LiquidPlanner goodness that carries over to the iPad app is access to comments and file attachments. You can add new comments, reply to comments, edit your comments, or use the @symbol to direct a comment at a specific project team member.
And when you open a file attachment, you can tap the Action button and edit the file in the appropriate app on your iPad. You can also attach photos you take with your iPad's camera (this is great for capturing whiteboard drawings) to add even more details to a given task.
LiquidPlanner gets it when it comes to mobile user experience by providing an app that is feature rich, responsive, and requires only minimal setup and a short learning curve. As a mobile project management app, LiquidPlanner offers access, collaboration, and viewing options that can help project managers and their teams better manage projects and communicate, regardless of whether they're on a client site, traveling, or working from their corporate office.
Have you used LiquidPlanner on your iPad? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applications for online and print technology publications. You can reach Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.