Leading a product from conception to completion is no easy task — and product managers deserve their own toolkit. Yet PMs have had scarce resources to do this great work.
In the past, product managers relied on spreadsheets, PowerPoint decks, and more general project management software. They used these tools to manage their roadmaps, requirements documents, and more.
However, they were not created with product managers in mind. The specifics of product management — prioritizing features, organizing requirements, creating and maintaining product roadmaps — are not easily managed using these tools. This adds needless hard work to an already challenging job.
This toolkit includes everything you need as a product manager. The tools below will help with everything, from the strategy of outlining your roadmap to the tactical side of building out your wireframes. They will also help you become a better resource for your cross-functional product team.
The tools are divided up into the following areas:
Create a visual product roadmap to outline your strategy, features, and ideas. Prioritize features and user stories using the Aha! score to highlight business value. Crowd-source ideas from customers and employees alike, and integrate with dev tools like JIRA so engineering can build what matters.
JIRA is issue tracking software produced by Atlassian. It offers deep integrations throughout the development and release workflow. Track bugs, issues, and project management functions using one tool.
Think of Trello as your virtual whiteboard. This free, flexible tool helps you visualize projects at a high level. You can manage anything in Trello, from teams of contractors to upcoming events. Invite anyone to collaborate in Trello; to-dos, comments, and drag-and-drop cards help everyone see who is working on what.
Asana is a web-based project management application that helps you work on the go from anywhere. Keep team conversations and tasks in one place rather than searching through emails.
Create form and survey templates on any device. Increase engagement by presenting one form or question element using modern Web standards.
Create simple forms and surveys for free. You can even build forms from Google Drive or existing spreadsheets that record form responses for you.
Peek takes you into users' minds in real time. It is built for small businesses that need user testing at a fraction of the typical cost. See and hear a 5-minute video of a real person using your site or app.
Create and send sophisticated surveys to your target market. Choose from nearly 200 templates to build cloud-based surveys on any topic. Companies can also use SurveyMonkey's enterprise services for brand management, data analysis, and consumer marketing.
Receive videos of your target market using any site or app. Ask any question you want and get results returned within an hour. Users earn $10 for every 20 minutes that they spend visiting websites, completing tasks, and speaking aloud about what they think.
UXCam is UX software that helps improve customer experience. Capture screen recordings and physical touch interactions on your app to learn what users struggle with through their eyes. Video recordings are captured automatically — so no extra lines of code are required.
A powerful wireframing and prototyping tool for websites and apps. Its software serves Web and desktop apps through drag-and-drop replacement, resizing, and formatting options.
Balsamiq is your computer on a whiteboard. Its rapid wireframing options help you quickly create mock-ups to share with clients.
An online wireframing tool that makes it easy to create, link, preview, and share mockups of any website or app. Drag and drop UI elements, link multiple mockups, and collaborate with clients and colleagues in real time.
A design platform for advanced wireframing and user experience. Use its drag-and-drop option to add UI elements to any mockup across Web, iPhone, and Android.
Find out where your users are clicking and scrolling — and why they leave your website. This heat map tool takes screenshots from specific URLs to collect all clicks on that page. You can track users on specific devices and compare mobile with desktop heat maps.
Get a real-time view of the metrics that matter. Geckoboard pulls data from more than 80 sources to display real-time dashboards that show company performance.
GoodData is a real-time analytics distribution platform. They use IaaS (Insights as a Service) to make interactive recommendations. Other features include the Data Explorer (to add approved data without needing IT) and the Insights Engine (AI that offers contextual platform solutions).
This free tool is the Internet's most widely used analytics service. Discover where your traffic is coming from and what people are doing on your site.
Track, analyze, and optimize your digital marketing performance. See what’s working across all web and mobile campaigns. Track individual and group visitor behavior by seeing where your site loses visitors — and segmenting your high-growth traffic.
Mixpanel focuses on enterprise mobile analytics. Track engagement on your mobile site by measuring and tracking user actions — and having specific questions answered.
Perform simple A/B testing on any website using easy editing. Its latest feature — Optimizely Personalization — offers data connection, audience discovery, experience optimization, and impact understanding.
Qualaroo helps marketers find and utilize new opportunities to capture revenue. Its customizable solutions work across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
Segment is a hub that lets you collect, translate, and route customer data. All tracking code and advertising tags are converted to a single API. Send data from any device across any tool, and dispatch different data views to the teams that need them.
Don't lead your users to boring blank pages. Empty States offers design templates for any user experience on any device.
GoodUI is an ongoing list of “good” user interface ideas with high conversion rates. It tests these ideas on your behalf using real consulting projects — and shares the results to let you know which ones truly work.
A full library of hand-picked mobile design patterns for every user experience. It works across several different devices, including iPad, Apple Watch, and Android.
Compare how other apps solve design problems. UX Archive is a library of mobile user experiences, screenshots, and animations for iOS apps.
Instapage lets you build and A/B test landing pages in minutes. It integrates with more than 20 marketing tools, is mobile responsive, and lets you build custom layouts without writing code.
Create custom landing pages and tools to build your email subscriber lists. Design your own HTML5 templates for webinar, sales lead, and contact pages. Then, receive custom analyses on your landing pages' data.
Create your first marketing page with just a few clicks. Choose from more than 120 templates that are customized for whichever type of page you need. Each template is mobile responsive, and integrates with 10 email providers.
No need for IT or software here. Unbounce lets marketers build, publish, and test their landing pages for A/B testing and lead generation.
Designed with small businesses in mind, Constant Contact helps teams create emails, grow their lists, and track successes. Users can access their online strategy library and seminars, as well as search for in-person neighborhood support.
Build instant emails with a few quick clicks. No need for templates or HTML — Goodbits lets you build newsletters for teams and customers within a few minutes.
There's a reason MailChimp's 7 million users send 10 billion emails each month. Manage contacts, send emails, and track results ranging from open rates to click-through rates. Subscriber profiles help you see high-level activity. And features like built-in workflows and automated send times help you reach customers when they are most receptive.
VerticalResponse is a suite of self-service marketing tools for small businesses. Create, send, and track emails and social posts that look great on every device.
Create beautiful mockups for any device. Upload your UI designs and download high-resolution mockups.
Need a glyph vector icon? This database offers more than 16,000 of them. Added bonus: a Photoshop plugin that lets you insert icons directly into artwork.
Turn your Web and mobile designs into interactive prototypes and mockups. Get gestures, transitions, and animations. And you can use LiveShare — Invision's real-time whiteboarding tool — to collaborate.
Sketch is a powerful option for graphic designers who need the best. Quickly reuse elements using features such as Symbols and Shared Styles. And use features like extensive layer styles to create more complex shapes.
This Photoshop plugin serves as a library of subtle background patterns. All patterns sync automatically via their Photoshop extension.
The Noun Project is your marketplace of icons for anything and everything. It aggregates and catalogs symbols that are designed and uploaded by graphic designers all over the world.
Find and share royalty-free images under the Creative Commons license. Browse albums by subjects to find the most relevant images for your needs.
Sick of awful stock image options? Death to the Stock Photo sends a fresh pack of free photos to your inbox each month, with awesome stories to match. Founders David Sherry and Allie Lehman personally shoot packets of photos on particular themes, then send them for free to their email subscribers.
Pexels offers free, high-quality stock photos that you can use anywhere. Use them for any commercial need without worrying about attribution.
Need images of startup folks at work? This royalty-free library is for you.
Unsplash delivers 10 new photos to download every 10 days. The high-resolution images are all free — and email subscribers can get every new batch sent to their inboxes.