Project Management Guide
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Why Should I Use a Desktop App in Project Management Software?

There are three standard ways to access and use project management software:

  • Via an internet browser
  • Through a mobile application
  • Using a desktop application

A desktop application enables you to access your project management software on your computer without having to use a web browser.

Benefits of using a desktop app

Some project management cloud solutions offer you the ability to connect through an internet browser or a desktop application. Given a choice, you may wonder if there’s any benefit to opting for a desktop app when working from your laptop or desktop computer.

Here are the two main benefits of using a project management software desktop app:

Greater productivity

It’s now common knowledge that multi-tasking can hurt productivity. Unfortunately, there are scientific reasons that we still find it difficult to resist distractions and try to juggle multiple tasks at once.

Using a web browser can exacerbate this unhealthy tendency. With web browsers' ability to open and run multiple tabs without slowing down your system, it becomes all too easy to invite noise into your work routine.

For instance, how often do you have a tab opened to your email inbox? And when it suddenly shows that you have a new message, how likely are you to immediately become distracted until you switch over to that tab to see what it is? Add social media and other online distractions, and the problem quickly becomes even worse. 

While internet browser tabs are an amazing way to do research quickly, they can too easily draw you away from the tasks you should be focusing on. In fact, you can easily find yourself with so many open tabs that it’s hard even to tell which is which.

The solution is to opt for a desktop app that enables you to sign into and use your project management software without going anywhere near the tempting distraction of a web browser.

An app with no address bar, extra toolbars, or unnecessary buttons can also help eliminate noise and distractions, making screens cleaner and navigation easier.

Quicker access

A project management software desktop app will create an icon that you can save on your computer desktop, your start list, or in your taskbar. This allows you to navigate to and access the software easily with a click of the button.

You can even choose to have the desktop app open automatically when you start up your computer. As long as you select a project management software solution with a work-offline mode, you can access and work within the desktop app even when you don’t have access to a safe and secure internet connection.

Cloud-based project management software that comes with a desktop application provides you with the benefits of both worlds. You can easily manage, maintain, and back up your data remotely and collaborate and share information with others in real-time — all with the speed and simplicity of working from a dedicated application rather than a cluttered browser window.

What to look for in a project management software desktop app

There are three key criteria that you should look for when comparing project management software desktop applications:

  • Compatibility
  • Functionality
  • Security

When selecting a desktop app, it’s important to choose one that will work with your team members' and stakeholders' computers. For instance, if employees use a mix of Windows and Mac computers, you need to select an app that works on both systems.

It’s also important to ensure the app will work with the version(s) of computer software your team members have. If your company is still using Windows 7, for example, then a desktop app that requires Windows 10 will not be useful. 


Your project management software desktop application should include all of the features available in the browser version.

Other functionalities you should look for include:

  • The ability to launch the project management software with one click.
  • The option to automatically start the software when you turn on your computer.
  • The ability to receive notifications from your desktop apps.
  • An icon counter that allows you to see the number of unread inbox notifications.

You should choose a solution that maintains a similar look and feel between the desktop app and browser option so that employees can easily switch between the two without requiring additional training.

You may also want a desktop app that still provides the ability to open separate tabs and windows so that team members can work with multiple projects and tasks at once. This gives them the ability to still see multiple screens without having the temptation of opening non-work-related tabs. 

As with mobile applications, you should select a desktop application that enables working offline. This way, if you’re traveling with your laptop or lose internet connection, you can keep working. Ensure that the application supports any changes being automatically updated in the project management software once you reconnect to the internet.


The level of security built into your project management software dictates how safe your project will be. Many people believe that a desktop app is inherently more secure than project management software accessed through an internet browser. As both versions require the same internet connection to communicate, collaborate, and store data, this is simply not true.

Therefore, it’s critical that any desktop application you select has all of the same security features as a robust cloud-based solution.

These features include:

  • Physical storage security, such as back-up systems and data replication.
  • Network and system security, including network segregation using VLANs, firewall and router technologies, intrusion detection and prevention systems, centralized log aggregation, and alert mechanisms.
  • Application security such as user authentication, data encryption, and data sharing controls.

Compliance with security standards such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification.

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