Launching a new product? Designing some software? Helping Amy Poehler build a community playground? No matter what kind of project you're planning, Microsoft Project is, without a doubt, the gold standard for managing it. I've got a free alternative: Gantter is like Project Lite and it runs in a Web browser.
Actually, Gantter even looks like (a stripped down version of) Microsoft Project. To use it, just start adding tasks and durations. You can link them any way you can imagine: Start-to-Finish, Finish-to-Start, Start-to-Start and Finish-to-Finish. You can add Lag. You can assign resources and dependencies. You can build custom resource calendars. Honestly, I'm amazed at how much power there is in a simple online project app -- one that doesn't even ask you to sign in or waste any screen space with ads.
Best of all, Gantter actually imports Project files (which you've saved in XML format) and you can open files from Gantter in Project. So anything you do with Gantter on your netbook while hanging out at Starbucks will be fully compatible with your co-worker's version of Project when you get back to the office.
Photo by Iain Farrell