Nextcloud is my go-to self-hosted cloud service. With the platform, there’s practically no limit to what I can get it to do. Out of the box, it already offers a rather Google Drive-like cloud storage feature that simplifies file and folder sharing. 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 there were additional features you could add to Nextcloud to turn the platform into a project management tool? If that piques your interest, read on. But before you do, know that this won’t magically transform Nextcloud into Asana, Trello, or Smartsheet. What it will do is enable you to manage your projects in-house, without depending on an external service. Moreover, Nextcloud can be installed on basic hardware.
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 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 administrative privileges. That is it. Let’s get started.
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 those apps. The first thing you need to do is login to your Nextcloud instance with an administrator user account.
Then click on your profile icon in the top right corner and click on Apps in the menu. In the resulting window (Image A), you will see your installed apps and a list of categories to choose from.
To install an app, click a category in the left navigation, find an app you want to install, then click its Download and Enable button (Figure B).
And that’s all there is to installing applications in Nextcloud. Now let’s see what apps you could install to turn the platform into a project management tool.
Which apps to install for project management
Here is the list of apps that I think can help make Nextcloud a project management platform for you or your company.
Calendar can be found in the Office & Text category and is a user interface for the Nextcloud CalDAV server. With this app you can sync events across devices, integrate with other Nextcloud apps, invite people to events, see when attendees are available to meet, set reminders, search and add tasks.
Found in the Office & Text category, the Analytics app allows connecting data from various sources such as CSV, spreadsheets, application programming interfaces, import, manual input; enable flexible reports; integrate with GitHub Statistics, website grabber and JSON; access to real-time storage; develop advanced payloads with scheduling; create charts, zoom, tables and filters; tendency; dis-/aggregation; adjust the alert threshold; and share data. If you depend on data, this app is a must.
Contacts is a pretty simple app. 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. Now, before you get too excited, the Deck app is nowhere near Trello’s kanban boards. But if all you need is a more basic option, then this app is for you.
Deck features drag-and-drop card placement, support for markdowns, labels, sharing, file attachments, comments, and changes added to the activity stream. It’s not all bells and whistles, but this app will get the job done. For more information on how Deck works, visit How to create a Kanban board in Nextcloud.
There comes a time when you need to collect information from your team, your clients or your clients. When you do, you want the Forms app installed. This app makes it easy to create a simple form, submit it, and see the results. The best thing about this app is that all your data is kept internally so there is no third party interfering.
You may even want to add email support to Nextcloud so you can communicate faster with your project management team. You’ll want the Mail app for that. The Nextcloud Mail app can connect to multiple IMAP accounts, send and receive encrypted email, and integrate with other Nextcloud apps.
If you need to be able to map your thoughts, add the 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 is no longer installed by default. This app adds the built-in video and audio calling feature and even includes text-based chat integration. You will also enjoy screen sharing, private groups, public and password protected chats, and integration with other Nextcloud apps.
The Tasks app makes it possible to add and track tasks within Nextcloud. Tasks can have titles, descriptions, start and due dates, and they can be labeled as important. Tasks can also be shared with other team members and synced using 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 could be an option. It will take 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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