Bloo is very much the new kid on the project management block, yet has some key differences compared to the other startups sprouting up. For one, it has cut its price to the bone, undercutting the rest of the industry by a massive margin. Whether or not you still get a product that can take a spot among the best project management software for that low cost is what we’re exploring in this Bloo review.
- One of Bloo’s main attractions is that it charges a flat fee of $50 per month (or $500 per year), regardless of the number of users.
- Bloo has all the project management basics, though it’s currently lacking some advanced functions like Gantt charts.
- Bloo is very easy to use, but there are some issues with slow and occasionally unresponsive screens.
The short answer is that Bloo definitely has a lot to offer. Teams larger than four or five people will especially appreciate its pricing scheme, and there’s a solid set of features that will help you stay on top of what needs to be done. We also like its colorful, friendly interface.
However, as is often the case with market disruptors, the edges are a little rough here and there (read our Freedcamp review for another example). It’s not enough to keep us from recommending that you check out Bloo’s free trial — it’s still pretty solid — but if you prefer your software a little more polished, we would suggest you check out monday.com or Asana instead.
Bloo is a project management tool that is focused at helping small businesses stay on top of tasks and projects.
No, Asana’s interface is a little more intuitive and responsive than Bloo’s.
Bloo has apps for iOS, Android and desktop. That said, the web app for your browser seems to be the preferred way of working with Bloo.
Bloo comes with a free 14-day trial; all you need to sign up is your email address. If you’re still not sure at the end of your trial, Bloo will extend it if you shoot them an email.
Top Alternatives for Bloo
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Cheap pricing
- Easy to use
- Solid features
- Feels a little unfinished
- A bit buggy at times
Bloo is a basic project management tool, and we mean that in the best possible way. It offers a straightforward feature set without any special frills, meaning you won’t be distracted by doodads while getting things done. Though larger businesses or ones with more convoluted workflows might find it too simplistic, most small businesses will find that Bloo offers everything they need.
Front and center in Bloo’s approach to project management is the kanban board, which is a solid addition and compares well to even the best kanban apps out there. We especially like how it allows you to filter by tag or due date with a single button. This gives you a lot of control over seeing what needs to be done and when.
Besides the kanban view, you can also switch to a list view. This gives you an overview of the start and end dates, as well as who is participating on any given task. While we like the list, it isn’t as good as that offered by monday.com (read our monday.com review), which is just a lot more colorful and useful.
Bloo also has a calendar, which doubles as a timeline (if you need a service where the two are separate screens, read our Asana review). Bloo’s calendar loads quickly, though for some reason there’s no way to color-code tasks, meaning you can’t see at a glance where each task belongs. It still works, but not as well as a service like TickTick, with its built-in coloring (read our TickTick review).
Bloo also advertises a map function that allows you to set locations for tasks and then view them on the map for planning purposes, similar to functionality found in Any.do or Todoist. We haven’t played around with this type of feature much, but it would definitely come in handy for companies dealing with physical deliveries or those that need to make a lot of presentations at clients’ offices.
That said, when we tried to use it, Bloo located us in the middle of the Gulf of Guinea, so apparently there are still some kinks that need to be straightened out.
Managing Teams and Team Members
Bloo also has some interesting ways to facilitate team collaboration and manage team members. Our favorite is the “people” tab, which is just a simple list of all the people you’ve invited to use Bloo. It’s so simple, in fact, that few other project management tools have a similar page, or at least not one that’s this easy to access.
Next up are the “discussions” tab and the “updates” tab. The first is just a message board that allows the team to discuss work-related matters linked to tasks and the like. It gets the job done. “Updates” is more like a Facebook wall, where you’re invited to broadcast your feelings and can have people respond.
Bloo also lets you automate some basic functions through its automations menu. It works on the same principles as no-code solutions like Zapier or Integromat, so you pick a trigger (like when a new item is created), then designate an action for that trigger (assign a certain person to that item, for example).
Though the list of triggers and actions is a little limited (read our Airtable review for one project management tool with even more automations), we like how it works and it can be a real timesaver if you take the time to learn how to put together the best recipes.
Finally, Bloo also seems to want to muscle in on some cloud storage action and offers unlimited integrated file storage. As only a few of our best cloud storage services (Sync.com, OneDrive and Box) offer unlimited storage, this may make Bloo a really good deal for companies that handle a lot of large files, like media-related businesses.
Overall, we like Bloo’s feature set, though it’s still missing some advanced functionality. That said, the main focus seems to be small businesses, and Bloo supports those organizations’ needs. On top of that, the team behind it is working hard to add more features — check out the roadmap for more on that.
However, one thing to keep in mind when discussing Bloo’s features is how much you pay for them. That’s what we’ll talk about in our next section.
Bloo Features Overview
|Multiple project management|
|Native scrum management|
|Set user permissions|
|Free Trial||14 days|
Bloo’s pricing is exceptionally cheap, beating even Freedcamp and nTask (read our nTask review) for larger teams. This is because Bloo charges a flat fee, regardless of team size or features needed, of $50 per month or $500 if you pay for a year up front. It’s a good deal.
This type of pricing is almost unique in the project management business, ProofHub being the only other notable example. As you can read in our ProofHub review, though, that’s all it’s notable for.
We really like this type of pricing, but at the same time, it’s only cost effective for teams larger than five people. Roughly speaking, most project management software costs about $10 per person per month; for examples, just check out monday.com’s pricing or Asana’s pricing schedule.
If you’re going to compare Bloo to budget options — nTask being our favorite here — then Bloo is only competitive for 15 to 20 people with approximately the same package of features. That’s still a pretty good deal for a small company, though. If you’re interested, we recommend you check out Bloo’s 14-day free trial.
Using Bloo is a bittersweet experience. The sweet part is that it was clearly designed by people with experience in creating a user interface that works well and who seem to care about how their audience interacts with the program. The bitter part is that it can get a little janky in places, to the point of getting annoying.
We’ll go over the good first. Signing up for the trial is really easy: just enter your email address on the site and then go through some standard questions like your name, title and a few other things. Then, you can either use one of Bloo’s many templates or pick a blank canvas and you’re pretty much ready to go.
After signing up, you’re immediately brought to the main screen, where you can choose whether or not to take a short tour. The tutorial is very brief, but it’s more than enough to get you started. It highlights certain parts of the screen and explains what each button does, so it’s simple and effective.
Managing Projects With Bloo
Bloo follows a pretty simple logic in organizing multiple projects, going from big to small. You can add as many companies as you wish to Bloo, though each company counts as a separate subscription. Under each company, you can hang as many projects as you want — there are no artificial limits.
Each project gets its own screen, and each section of a project gets its own tab at the top of the screen. Tasks can be found under the section named “todo” (tasks are named “todos” as well), and you can cycle through different views here as well.
Each of the features we went over before has its own section and can be accessed from any other section, which we really like, as there are project managers out there that still haven’t mastered this simple trick. Note that the automations are hiding behind the robot’s head.
One other very handy section is the “activity” screen, which shows you what has changed in Bloo and when. This is very handy for managers who want to keep track of what team members are up to.
Bloo also makes it easy to manage multiple projects: if you’re in the to-do list of one project, you can switch to the to-dos of another project by navigating via the left-hand sidebar. It’s great for people juggling several projects and makes it easy to keep the big picture in mind as you go along. The only other service that makes it this easy might be Wrike (read our Wrike review).
As much as there is to like about Bloo, there are some issues when using it. Though most of these are likely down to teething problems, they can get a little annoying. One example is that not all features work as advertised, such as the map function. More serious, though, is how Bloo sometimes doesn’t respond to user input.
The worst of these issues is in the kanban board and the list. Sometimes the drag-and-drop function doesn’t work as intended and tasks stay stubbornly in place. This kind of thing happens with all software, but Bloo has this problem a lot and even restarting the browser doesn’t fix it.
On top of that, we found loading times to be a bit long, and sometimes it takes a minute or two for a screen to load. This gets frustrating quickly, especially if you’re flitting between different screens a lot, as you often are when planning tasks.
Still, even with these issues in mind, we like how Bloo handles, and overall we recommend it to anybody for being so user-friendly.
Security & Privacy
Is Bloo Secure?
The security page is equally terse, but apparently Bloo doesn’t work with passwords, preferring a one-time password instead. This means that you effectively only log in to Bloo once, and the site remembers your computer’s details for future logins. It’s a secure enough system, though we’d prefer if Bloo used passwords; thanks to password managers, they’re more secure than ever.
Bloo also doesn’t say much about its encryption, but since it uses Amazon Web Services, we can fill in the details for them. Data is encrypted in transit using TLS, and at rest using AES-256. AWS is secure overall, though as always this is in large part determined by the user: if Bloo isn’t careful, you could get some nasty leaky buckets. In general, though, we judge Bloo to be safe.
Service & Support
Bloo support is pretty basic. Besides the tutorial, all you really have is the knowledgebase, which is still a work in progress. There are only a few articles there, and while they do cover the essentials, it doesn’t feel like a coherent whole.
Thankfully, because Bloo is such a simple piece of project management software, we doubt you’ll need much help. If the knowledgebase doesn’t meet your needs, you can also reach out to the company via email; response times seem to be pretty fast and staff are happy to help.
The Verdict: Is Bloo for You?
Bloo is a solid productivity tool, especially for small businesses with more than five people. There’s a lot to like about it, though it does seem to need a little more time to grow up, as shown by the occasionally lacking features, the handful of bugs and the usability issues.
Still, though, if you fit in the niche Bloo has carved out for itself, there’s nothing stopping you from signing up to the 14-day trial to see how it works for you.
Have you tried Bloo? What did you think of it? Does it have a bright future ahead, or will it slip into obscurity? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thank you for reading.