Nextcloud is my self-hosted cloud service. With the platform I have practically no limits. Out of the box, it already offers a more Google Drive-like cloud storage feature that makes file and folder sharing easier. You’ll also find built-in video and audio chats, activity streams, tags and favorites; There’s even a built-in office suite for documents, spreadsheets, and more.
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But what if I said that there are additional features you could add to Nextcloud to turn the platform into a project management tool? If this piques your interest, read on. Before you do that, however, you should know that this won’t magically turn Nextcloud into Asana, Trello, or Smartsheet. It allows you to manage your projects in-house without depending on a third party. In addition, Nextcloud can be installed on standard hardware.
With all that said, are you ready to find out how to make Nextcloud your go-to project management tool for small to medium-sized projects? Let’s dive in.
what you will need
For this to work you need a running instance of Nextcloud. I would recommend using the latest version (v25). You also need a user with administrator rights. That’s it. let’s go to work
How to install an app on Nextcloud
Before we get into the apps you need to install, let me first show you how easy it is to install these apps. The first thing you need to do is log in to your Nextcloud instance with an admin user account.
Next, click on your profile icon in the top right corner and then click on Apps in the menu. In the resulting window (Figure A), you’ll see your installed apps and a list of categories to choose from.
To install an app, click a category in the left navigation pane, find an app you want to install, and then click its Download and Activate button (Figure B).
And that’s all for installing applications in Nextcloud. Now let’s take a look at what apps you could install to turn the platform into a project management tool.
Which apps should be installed for project management?
Here is the list of apps that I believe can turn Nextcloud into a project management platform for you or your company.
Calendar is in the Office & Text category and is a user interface for the Nextcloud CalDAV server. With this app you can sync events from different devices, integrate with other Nextcloud apps, invite people to events, see when attendees are available for meetings, set reminders, search and add tasks.
The Analytics app can be found in the “Office & Text” category and allows connecting data from different sources such as CSV, spreadsheets, application programming interfaces, imports, manual input; enable flexible reports; integration with GitHub statistics, website grabber and JSON; access to real-time storage; Development of advanced data loads with planning; Create charts, zoom, tables and filters; Trend; dis-/aggregation; adjust the threshold for warnings; and share data. If you depend on data, this app is a must.
Contacts is a pretty basic app. It allows you to keep a list of contacts. You can even share your address book and enjoy integration with other Nextcloud apps. This one is a no-brainer.
If you need Kanban boards, Deck is the app. Well, before you get too excited, the Deck app is nowhere near the likes of Trello’s Kanban boards. However, if you just need an easier option, this app is what you’re looking for.
Deck features drag-and-drop card placement, markdown support, labels, sharing, file attachments, comments, and edits added to the activity stream. It’s not all bells and whistles, but this app gets the job done. For more information on how Deck works, see How to create a Kanban board in Nextcloud.
There will come a time when you need to collect information from your team, your clients or your clients. When you do this, you want the Forms app to be installed. This app makes it easy to create a simple form, submit it and view the results. The best thing about this app is that all your data is stored internally, so no third party can intervene.
You might even want to add email support to Nextcloud so you can communicate faster with your project management team. You need the Mail app for this. The Nextcloud Mail app can connect to multiple IMAP accounts, send and receive encrypted emails, and integrate with other Nextcloud apps.
If you need to be able to sketch out your thoughts, add mind map app. With this app you can create, open, save and edit mind map files. It’s pretty basic, but it gets the job done.
For some reason, the Talk app no longer installs by default. This app adds the built-in video and audio calling feature and even includes text-based chat integration. Also enjoy screen sharing, private groups, public and password protected chats, and integration with other Nextcloud apps.
The Tasks app allows adding and tracking tasks within Nextcloud. Tasks can have titles, descriptions, start and due dates, and they can be marked as important. Tasks can also be shared with other team members and synced with CalDav, which can be used to sync with apps like Thunderbird and more.
And there you have it. If you need a basic project management tool and want to keep it in-house, Nextcloud might be an option. It takes you no more than 10 minutes to add all these apps and take your on-premises cloud solution to the next level.
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