What tools do Product Managers use?

Product managers need to identify the pain points of their customers, collaborate with designers and engineers to build products, and work with business stakeholders to bring these products to the market. It’s a huge role with lots of responsibility - and therefore, to excel as a product manager, you’ll want to master a variety of tools to maximize your effectiveness.

We’ve compiled the tools that you can expect to encounter as a product manager, especially if you’re looking for a product manager job in Germany. By understanding these tools, you can increase your chances of securing the product manager job.

Documentation

Product managers need to document decisions, whether it’s meeting notes, product specs, or designs. Here are some of the most popular documentation tools:

  • Confluence
  • Box
  • Paper
  • Google Drive

Communications

Product managers collaborate with cross-functional teams and stakeholders. To do so, they need to stay in the loop with them in real time. These are the most popular communication tools:

  • Slack
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zoom

Roadmapping

Product managers are responsible for driving the roadmap for their products. A roadmap is a visual that helps others understand “what feature are we releasing, by which timeframe?” Here are some of the most popular roadmapping tools:

  • Airfocus
  • ProdPad
  • Aha
  • ProductBoard
  • ProductPlan
  • Roadmunk

Task management

As a product manager, you’ll need to coordinate and manage tasks for all of the people that work alongside you. Here are some project management tools that you’ll encounter:

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Basecamp
  • Jira
  • Pivotal

Productivity

While you’re holding other people accountable as a product manager, you’ll also need to find ways to hold yourself accountable too. Here are some productivity tools that you can use to manage your own time, stay on top of your tasks, and organize your thoughts:

  • Airtable
  • Notion
  • Coda
  • Evernote
  • Omnifocus
  • Todoist
  • Wunderlist
  • Superhuman

Marketing Automation

If you’re working at a startup in Germany, you’ll want to understand how marketing automation works, since that’s how you’ll grow your prospects and convert them into customers. Here are the most popular marketing automation tools:

  • MailChimp
  • Marketo
  • Pardot
  • HubSpot

User Research

Product managers are responsible for deeply understanding their users, and therefore user research is a critical skill to master. Whether you’re running your own research studies or working with a dedicated user research team, you’ll want to be familiar with the following user research tools:

  • Alpha
  • Sprig
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Google Forms
  • Gainsight
  • Typeform
  • UserTesting
  • UserCam
  • Respondent

Customer Feedback

To improve your product, you’ll want to gather customer feedback and analyze it. Here are customer feedback tools that product managers use:

  • Intercom
  • Zendesk
  • Drift

Analytics

Regardless of whether you’re a data analytics wizard or whether you’re asking an analyst to help you, you’ll want to master analytics tools like the following:

  • Amplitude
  • Mixpanel
  • Heap
  • Optimizely
  • Google Analytics
  • Segment
  • FullStory
  • Mode
  • Metabase

Design

A solid product manager cares deeply about the end user experience, and therefore should have strong perspectives on how the product should be designed. Here are some of the most popular design tools that you might encounter:

  • Sketch
  • Figma
  • InvisionApp
  • Balsamiq
  • Marvel
  • Framer

How to Choose Your Tools

To pick the right tool for you and for your organization, think through the following questions:

  • What value will a product management tool provide you?
  • Is that value worth the cost that you’re going to pay for it?
  • Are you willing to change your working processes to incorporate the tool?
  • Are there regular updates you have to install with the tool?
  • How much training will you and your team need to successfully use the tool?
  • Does the tool have the right level of support for your organization?

Once you’ve done so, you can then pull together a side-by-side comparison for each of the tools that you’re considering for a given task. From there, you can make a decision with confidence!

How to Master Your Tools

The best way to quickly master your tools is to look at the tool's official help center for video guides and FAQs. It's a great way to understand all of the functionality that's available.

If you're a job seeker, one thing you can do is understand the tools that the hiring organization is currently using. For example, if you know that the company uses Asana as its project management tool, then you should invest an hour or so in learning how Asana works.

That way, you can feel much more confident about the inner workings of that company's product department, and therefore you'll feel more ready to tackle the product manager interview!


Clement Kao is the founder and CEO of Product Teacher, a PM education company. He’s shipped 10 multi-million dollar products in the last 5 years, and he’s helped professionals coming from hundreds of companies to advance their careers in product management.

These companies include: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Netflix, Twitter, Airbnb, Tesla, PayPal, Box, Zoom, YouTube, Adobe, Uber, Lyft, Salesforce, Slack, Reddit, Okta, eBay, Hulu, Spotify, and more.

To crush the product manager interview and secure the PM job, check out Clement's video course called Solving the PM Interview.

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