Why selecting the right tools matters
As a product manager (PM), you’re the link between the business and development sides of your organization. You speak for the customer, while keeping business goals in mind through all stages of the product development lifecycle. In this role, communication, efficiency, and a harmonious environment are key—and the right suite of product management software can help make your role easier.
Many platforms exist to help with different facets of the PM role, like roadmapping, gathering insights, maintaining the product backlog, and understanding the customers, competition and your team. Most PMs use a mix of product manager tools that serve different purposes. The key isn’t picking one single platform to do everything, instead it’s about creating a product stack of the best software and systems for each task.
- Product managers need a diverse product stack that includes a variety of tools for different aspects of the role.
- Platforms like Aha!, Jira, monday.com, and Productboard are useful for issue tracking, roadmapping, and overall project management.
- Amplitude, Tableau, and other analytics tools are useful for gathering customer insights, with some platforms being more robust than others.
- Other tools, such as online whiteboards and video conferencing, are useful for collaboration, depending on what you need for your team.
How to compare product management tools & tips
Most product managers use tools for communication, analytics, development tracking, and roadmapping on a daily basis. The functionality of some tools overlap: for instance, one might be used for roadmapping in addition to issue tracking. Consider what you need for your product, team, and the company’s goals. Most product management tools offer free trials, and some offer training. When selecting the tools that are right for your team, consider the following questions:
- Is the functionality comprehensive enough to do everything you need?
- Is it easy to use, and if there is a steep learning curve, are you and your team willing to attend training to learn how to use it?
- Does it integrate with software you predominantly use, such as Google Calendar or Slack?
- Is the cost within your company’s budget?
- Is it in the cloud, on the desktop, or a product management app, and does this deployment meet your team’s needs?
- Does it make your life easier by offering improvements over the way you worked before?
- Once onboarded, does the tool offer ongoing customer support?
14 top product management tools reviewed by product teams
Let’s take a look at 14 of the top product management tools recommended by senior product managers and growth roles across review websites. These tools assist different aspects of the PM role, such as insight generation, communication, project management, and issue tracking.
Aha!: product development platform
Aha! is a versatile product development platform that is widely used by PMs for strategizing, product planning, issue tracking, and roadmapping. This powerful suite of tools has an intuitive interface, which makes it easy to communicate features and priorities across departments.
While the functionality is extensive, the biggest learning curve may come from learning how to customize the tool to best suit your team’s needs. Once you’re up and running, this is a great platform that is a popular choice for product managers across a variety of industries.
“The most complete and intuitive tool for managing the full product management lifecycle. Aha! has been our top product management tool because it allows us to easily gather customer/user feedback, manage and build our digital products through their full life cycle and integrate with our downstream developer tools for execution.” – Senior Director, Product Management (Gartner review)
Atlassian Jira and Confluence: issue tracking and project management
Atlassian’s Jira is an agile, development-focused tool that is favored by software companies. It facilitates the process of planning, developing, and releasing a product, and is popular among product teams. Confluence is Atlassian’s collaborative documentation platform, and is often used in conjunction with Jira.
Once you master Jira, it will become one of the most essential tools to your product management work. Atlassian’s full product suite includes some of the most robust product management tools that you can use to facilitate interdepartmental communication.
“My company uses Jira to manage projects and digital products, create roadmaps and manage product pipelines, and for documentation, teamwork, resource management, track issues and marketing campaigns. We really like that it includes scrum boards, and can generate reports, including plugins and integrations with tools. Jira offers great tutorials and guides that can get your team up and running. It has helped our company tremendously with our workflow and processes.” – Employee in Marketing, TrustRadius
“We use Atlassian Confluence across [the] whole organization, and it’s a standard tool for project documentation storing. One of the biggest values of which Atlassian Confluence brings to our company is that you can manage all access and edit rights to your documents from a single console, or even grant access for customers if needed. The other big advantage is that Atlassian Confluence [has] deep integration with other tool[s] like Jira and Miro, so you can easily share content between them.” – IT Product Manager, Information Technology & Services (Trust Radius)
monday.com: work management platform
monday.com is a widely used cloud-based work management platform. It’s a powerful product management system that is highly scalable and flexible, enabling teams to collaborate on tasks such as management, backlogs, roadmaps, iterations, sprints, and automations. Its user-friendliness makes it easy for all team members to adopt.
Other work management systems like Craft.io, Wrike, Asana, and Trello are also worth considering when deciding on the best platform for your team. monday.com offers a lot of features that could become overwhelming without the right support or setup. Be sure to invest time in training for any work management system—if a tool is more complex than the team requires, it can direct the team’s focus to process rather than outcomes.
“monday.com has been an overall work hub for our company. Collaboration within my team has been seamless, and reporting was accurate and very customizable, I have full visibility of all levels within the project, and all in all, it made us produce faster.” – Product Manager, IT Services (Gartner review)
Productboard: product management platform
Productboard is a product management platform that is more customer-centric, with a focus on insights and strategy. Keeping the customer in mind is a pillar of being a product manager, so the built-in customer focus makes Productboard a useful tool. It helps teams understand the customers through insights, prioritize features based on customer requests, and easily collaborate with the team on a roadmap. This tool is a game changer for planning and insights.
“The perfect tool for the modern product professional. The UI is so clean and easy to use, yet so much powerful functionality is built into its features. I love the immediate updates that all team members see, and the huge flexibility we have in organizing features/components, roadmaps, insights, etc.” – Aaron A, Product Manager (G2 review)
Miro: online whiteboard
Miro is a popular online whiteboard tool that facilitates collaboration. It has an infinite canvas and no limit to the boards you create, making it a great way to visualize and plan projects of any size. With your colleagues ramped up on Miro, it becomes a powerful resource to facilitate teamwork—whether your team is working in the office, remotely, or a combination of the two.
Here at Amplitude, Miro is one of our most popular internal tools—not just for the product org, but across customer success, design and marketing too. It’s the first place anyone goes to brainstorm an idea.
“The go-to place to visualize your ideas. You have readily available templates, shapes and a lot of other features to get you up and running with minimal training needs. You name it and you have it!” – Abhishek D, Product Manager (G2 review)
Notion: note-taking and project management
Notion is a project management tool for note-taking and information sharing. PMs use it to coordinate projects, goals, and deadlines, helping streamline productivity and facilitate communication. It offers templates, linking, clip/video insertion, wiki functionality, task planning, and more, all in a simple and pleasing interface.
Notion offers more features and versatility than ordinary document sharing. It has some functionality overlap with monday.com, Asana, and Confluence, as well as with note-taking tools like Evernote. Depending on your setup, you can customize Notion to almost any business need you have.
“Notion is not just a note-taking app. It is a tool to organize digital life.” – Mahadeep Ray, review published in The Modern Product Manager
Tableau: business intelligence and data visualization
Tableau is a business intelligence platform that offers richly aesthetic data visualization. It helps you understand data through the ability to create interactive dashboards. Dashboards can connect to data from a variety of sources, and display information in pie charts, graphs, heat maps and more.
Other business intelligence platforms also offer great analysis and visualization, such as SAP BusinessObjects, Qlik, Microsoft Power BI and others. A business intelligence platform is not a complete analytics solution, but it can be a useful part of your overall stack.
“Tableau is a question-answer machine. I have a question, I use Tableau, I get an answer.” – Ralf Kölle, Product Manager
Amplitude: product analytics
Amplitude is the #1 product analytics solution, and includes sophisticated features to help generate actionable insight. For example, Journeys in Amplitude can be used to gain key insights into customer behavior, such as where users drop off, the paths that result in high conversion rates, and any points of friction in the customer experience.
Compared to tools like Google Analytics and Tableau, Amplitude’s complete analytics system provides you with intelligence and insight into how people interact with all of your company’s digital touchpoints.
“Amplitude does a really good job of highlighting what your data’s insights are. You can run all the charts you want, but knowing what’s valuable is really the hard part. Amplitude is the best tool for that.” – Kaiti Carpenter, Senior Product Manager, Under Armour
SurveyMonkey: customer feedback
SurveyMonkey is one of the top tools for gathering customer feedback in the form of surveys. Alternatives include TypeForm and SurveySparrow, which offer different sets of functionality.
When choosing a survey tool, it’s worth considering what type of questions, data, and analytics are required. Of course, data generated from surveys should be treated conditionally, as the honesty of the responses isn’t a guarantee, and customers who had a good experience may be less likely to offer feedback.
“We use SurveyMonkey on occasion to administer client satisfaction surveys. In the past, we’ve also used it for employee satisfaction. It’s a very user-friendly application that enables us to quickly create custom questions in a variety of formats and offers solutions for easy analysis of results. It also enables anonymous participation.” – Andrea Hester, Director of Operations, Clearfire Inc.
Gong: revenue intelligence
Gong analyzes interactions with customers over the phone, email, and via web conferencing. It’s often used by product managers to record customer calls, gather feedback, and share key takeaways with their teams. In terms of data intelligence solutions for sales, it’s highly rated and popular among many customer-facing teams.
“As a Director, I have access to all the calls my team makes. With so much enriched data provided by Gong, it enables me to learn about their style and process and give critical feedback, both good and bad.” –Mollie B, Director of Growth
Loom: video recording and sharing
Loom is a video tool that makes it easy to record the camera and screen, share the video as a link, and add comments to recordings. This tool saves on meeting time and makes it easier for remote or hybrid teams to communicate.
For product managers, it’s handy for sharing and explaining important information, such as new product releases. It can also be used to share tours through products or websites, as well as for software training and feedback videos.
“When I’m needing to explain or show something to someone that would be hard or time-consuming over written text, I always turn to Loom.” – Liam M, VP Product Management (G2 review)
Gartner: industry research
Gartner is a research and consulting firm that is a valuable resource for any product manager’s product stack. It’s one of the best ways to access industry insight and research. Its Product Decisions tool provides insight on buyer needs, products and proprietary research data. This can be vitally important when creating a product strategy and roadmap.
“Gartner helps you and your company choose between the software of a specific category easily, as many people have already reviewed that software. Gartner also has many reliable moderators that help you with your choices.” – Wasif Z., Customer Support Executive and IT Officer
Slack: team messaging and collaboration
Slack is perhaps the most popular workplace messaging system among product teams. It has successfully reduced the number of emails and meetings across workplaces, and has facilitated communication like no other tool has been able to do. With the ability to create channels, send direct messages, make video calls, connect with external organizations and access the interface via the desktop, web and mobile, it’s a highly flexible, customizable, scalable solution for any business. According to Slack’s blog, it’s used by 77% of Fortune 100 companies.
In terms of communication, Slack is a must-have for any team. Many PMs choose to create Slack channels dedicated to teams, various projects and topics of interest, and its ease of integration with other software tools can be highly valuable during the product development process.
“Slack is a crucial tool used across the company for solving and working on daily tasks. Slack simplifies the daily communication across the departments as all employees within the company can be easily accessible.” – Product Manager, Retail
Figma: designing and prototyping
Figma allows you to create high-quality prototypes that are very close to what the end product will look like. This is the best way to create mockups and designs. Once implemented, it’s easy for product managers, designers, developers and everyone else across the team to use, enabling a seamless flow of information through all phases of development. Like many of the tools mentioned above, it’s also web-based, so no software needs to be installed in order to start designing.
“It really helped me visualize my project and create a better understanding (down to the dimensions) for the rest of the product team.” – Megan Capriccio, Product Manager
There isn’t going to be one product management tool that addresses every need. But by customizing your product management tools with a stack that serves different purposes, you can set yourself—and your team—up for success.
- Learn more about product management and how to break into the role.
- Hone your product management skills with Product School webinars, podcasts and groups/communities.
- From strategy to execution, cover the whole product creation process with this free guide from Infinity.
- Listen to audio interviews featuring the best product managers while you commute, exercise or relax at home.
- Read about Amplitude’s PM tech stack.
- Visit the Amplitude Academy for on-demand product analytics and product management courses.