Project Management Software vs Excel Spreadsheets — Which Works Best?

by Team Tradify, December 15, 2022

Microsoft Excel launched in 1985 and today is used by millions worldwide. For many new trade business owners, simple spreadsheets are often the first port of call for tracking essential project info like timelines, costs, budgets, and resources. But as your business grows, it can turn into a nightmare to manage. 

So how does dedicated project management software compare to Excel? Tradify looks at how both options perform and which is ultimately better for business. 

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Short on time? Skip ahead!

1. Save time with automation

Automation in Excel isn’t always simple. If you don’t have the time to learn how to get the most out of it, you’ll likely wind up doing everything yourself. That means sending out endless emails manually and spending half the day on calls chasing unpaid invoices, fielding project updates, and making sure everyone is on the same page.

As your trade business gets busier, these manual tasks often fall by the wayside as you try to juggle admin with time on the tools. Put simply, automation equals productivity and project management software like Tradify has it in spades — Excel or Google Sheets does not. 

With Tradify, you can:

2. Work on the go

Looks aren’t everything, but a complicated Excel spreadsheet can be tough on the eyes first thing in the morning or after a hard day’s work. 

Reading through cluttered spreadsheets takes time, and when you’re on the go or on your smartphone, it’s easy to miss important details.

With Tradify’s easy-to-navigate interface, you can:

  • First, look at what jobs are on for the day and who you’ve assigned.
  • Then, quickly drill down into job status, along with any notes, quotes, estimates, and allocated time.
  • Tradify is available on any device, so you can schedule new jobs and create quotes, estimates, invoices, and reports while on the job or in your work van.

3. Crank up your efficiency

Keeping an Excel spreadsheet up to date can be a full-time job. After a day on the tools, it’s the last thing you want to do. Playing catch-up is not only a drag but also inefficient, and there’s plenty of room for mistakes when burning the midnight oil.

Get your nights and weekends back. Built specifically for tradespeople, Tradify can help you:

  •  Update everything on the go
  •  Access all the info you need in real-time
  • Get the data entry done on-site — log time and materials, schedule jobs while you’re knee-deep in other jobs, and add notes to individual projects.

Admin is unavoidable when running a trade business, but it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or headspace. Project management software helps you run more efficiently and keep on top of your admin. You’ll attack it as it happens rather than letting it pile up.

4. Collaboration when it counts

If you’re the only one using it, Excel can be perfectly fine for project management. But things get tricky as soon as someone else needs to jump in and contribute. For the less tech-savvy people, the room for error can be huge in such a complicated program. 

That’s where project management software like Tradify makes working with your team easier:

  • Super simple, user-friendly interface.
  • Anyone in your team can access, add, or edit job info.
  • You can share details and assign jobs, tasks, and notes to your team or subcontractors
  • All job info lives in the cloud, your staff and subcontractors receive notifications when assigned a new task, and changes are saved in real-time.

5. Use the right tool for the job

Microsoft Excel helps businesses organise numbers and data to perform financial analysis. Early on in your trade business’ lifecycle, using Excel for project management can do the trick. But as you grow and the pace picks up, its practicality shrinks. Using the right tool for the job, like project management software for tradespeople, is the smartest way to operate your business for short-term success and long-term growth

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