The 30 Most Essential Tools for Product Managers

    The 30 Most Essential Tools for Product Managers

    Product Managers have to take care of a lot of things. After all, taking a product from idea to reality is no small task. All this becomes possible only when you have great tools at your disposal to facilitate your work. Nowadays, Product Managers can look beyond spreadsheets and presentations for their work because of the innumerable tools in the market aimed specifically at them. Some of these tools are essential for every Product Manager, whether he is just starting out or has been in the game for years now.
    The tools that we are going to mention now are going to address and help you in all aspects of Product Management, be it developing the product roadmap or improving the user experience or marketing the product. We have divided the tools in certain categories depending on the part of Product Management they address. And yes, when we say the most essential tools for a Product Manager, we have not included the quintessential Excel and Powerpoint. You already know you need these.
    Now without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

    Tools For Roadmap Planning

    Aha!

    It is a visual roadmap planning tool, which has proved to be very useful for today’s Product Managers. Outlining the product strategy has never been simpler. Aha! makes adding new ideas and prioritising features a cakewalk.

    Visit Aha!

    Tools For User Research

    Typeform

    Typeform lets you create forms for surveys on any device, all in a matter of seconds.

    Visit Typeform

    SurveyMonkey

    This is for slightly more sophisticated surveys, with over 200 templates to your aid.

    Visit SurveyMonkey

    UXCam

    You can capture the physical interactions of your users with your app screens with the help of UXCam, to learn where they are struggling and make the user experience better.

    Visit UXCam

    Peek

    Peek lets you watch your users interact with your app or website for 5 minutes. It lets you perform user-testing very easily and cost-effectively.

    Visit Peek

    User Testing

    User Testing is unique in the sense it lets you get videos of your users using your product and letting their thoughts out loud. You can set specific tasks for your users and get results in an hour. The users also get incentivised as they get $10 for every 20 minutes spent on these tasks.

    Visit UserTesting

    Tools For Wireframing & Mockups

    Balsamiq

    Balsamiq is one of the most widely used wireframing tools available to a Product Manager. Wireframes can be made very easily and rapidly with it.

    Visit Balsamiq

    Sketch

    Sketch is another great tool for wireframing, so as to communicate to both internal teams and external clients how your product should function.

    Visit Sketch

    Dunnnk

    Dunnnk is great for high resolution mockups. All you have to do is upload your design and you can download good-looking mockups for any device.

    Visit Dunnnk

    Invision

    Invision lets you turn your designs for both web and mobile into interactive mockups and prototypes. Unlike other mockup/prototyping tools, you can incorporate gestures and transitions in the mockups through it. You can even collaborate with Invision’s real-time collaborating and whiteboarding tool, LiveShare.

    Visit Invision

    Tools For Project Management

    JIRA

    JIRA is an agile project management tool. It lets you take care of all the planning, tracking and managing of your projects. You can keep track of bugs and issues and also know the status of various projects.

    Visit JIRA

    Trello

    Trello lets you visualise your projects. You can manage teams to events on it and even invite people to collaborate on it. It is like a virtual bulletin board, where you can upload documents and participate in discussions with others.

    Visit Trello

    Asana

    Asana is also a project management application but is web-based and thus lets you work on the go. You can keep track of your team’s work and also manage conversations and tasks on it, instead of searching your mailbox.

    Visit Asana

    Tools For Documentation

    Google Docs

    Google Docs is your all-weather friend for your documentation needs. It is great for creating, editing and letting people collaborate on documents. Sharing is quite simple too.

    Visit Google Docs

    Tools For Analytics & Metrics

    Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics service on the Internet today. There are tons of data you can get through it to help you make informed decisions about your product. You can get insights about user behaviour, traffic, popular pages, and other metrics.

    Visit Google Analytics

    Optimizely

    Optimizely lets you improve your website/app by experimenting with its various elements through A/B and multivariate testing. It is one of the most widely used tools for this purpose.

    Visit Optimizely

    Mixpanel

    Mixpanel is meant for enterprise mobile analytics. If you want to analyse the user behaviour and measure the engagement on your mobile site, look no further.

    Visit Mixpanel

    Kissmetrics

    Kissmetrics makes it very simple to analyse and optimise your digital marketing campaigns on web and mobile. You can track user behaviour, individually and group-wise and decide where users are leaving and how to segment your traffic.

    Visit Kissmetrics

    Geckoboard

    Geckoboard shows you real-time data from over 80 sources to help you track your performance.

    Visit Geckoboard

    CrazyEgg

    CrazyEgg is a heat map tool which takes screenshots from a particular URL to show you where your users click and scroll and why they leave. You can even compare mobile and desktop heat maps.

    Visit Crazyegg

    Tools For User Experience

    UXArchive

    You can compare your design with that of other apps, thanks to UXArchive literally being an archive of user experiences for apps.

    Visit UXArchive

    Pttrns

    Pttrns is what you get when you have tons of mobile design patterns for all sorts of user experiences.

    Visit Pttrns

    Tools For Product Design & User Interface

    GoodUI

    GoodUI helps you develop good UI with high conversion rates. They have a running list of great UI ideas which they keep on actively testing. It is a great site to know what works and what does not for users as far as UI is concerned.

    Visit GoodUI

    FlatIcon

    FlatIcon is great if you need vector icons for your user interface, as it has more than 700,000 of them. You can even directly insert the icons into your design.

    Visit Flaticon

    Tools For Product Marketing

    MailChimp

    MailChimp is the most popular email marketing tool in the market. It has millions of users and you can track results of your efforts very easily. You can analyse the open rates, click-through rates etc., automate send-times, manage contacts, check subscriber profiles and much more on MailChimp.

    Visit MailChimp

    Canva

    We understand you are not a graphic designer and as a Product Manager, you are not supposed to be a pro at design but if Product Marketing is something you have to take care of, it is nice to be able to make some image graphics quickly for your marketing and product-testing needs. With a visual content creation tool like Canva, even a novice can create good-looking graphics relatively easily and inexpensively for blogs and social media. It has a huge library of stock images and pre-designed templates for easily creating graphics.

    Visit Canva

    Unbounce

    With Unbounce, you no longer have to worry about A/B testing and lead generation as it lets you build, publish and test your landing pages quite smoothly.

    Visit Unbounce

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

    Salesforce

    Salesforce is the most famous and widely-accepted tool for CRM. Salesforce is integrated with analytics to provide better results.

    Visit Salesforce

    Hubspot

    Hubspot can be used for both CRM and marketing automation. The basic version of Hubspot is free and is used widely by startups for their marketing needs.

    Visit Hubspot

    Olark

    Olark, a product made for chats, can be used for CRM as well as heat-mapping.

    Visit Olark

    These are some of the widely used tools by Product Managers across the globe. There are many alternatives to the tools mentioned above. Everything depends on what you are comfortable with. At the end of the day, all you should care about as a Product Manager is how to make your work simpler. Product Management is already tough, why make it more complex?

    Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

    Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on The 30 Most Essential Tools for Product Managers in the comment section.

    About the author

    Sourobh Das

    Product Guy. Introverted Marketer. Engineer by education. Movie and TV Geek by nature. Can be seen reading comics and non-fiction books when not binging on movies and Netflix shows. Pop-culture junkie. Out and out foodie. Wee bit self-obsessed."

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