I'm the publications director for an academic division of a large university. At any given time I'm tracking (and usually directly responsible for) 10-15 book projects in various stages of acquisitions, editing, production, etc. Traditionally, I've done all of my tracking using simple layouts in Excel. But since I've "gone GTD" I've realized how inefficient the whole thing is. (So inefficient that I dread updating my schedules, and often end up just handwriting on printouts because the formulas are so hard to work with and such a PITA to adjust--I'm not very sophisticated technologically, I'm afraid.)
I'm now looking for some good, intuitive project scheduling software. Most of my projects are fairly linear, the task structures are replicable, and they only rely on a few people (mostly freelancers). So I don't need the horsepower (or the expense and steep learning curve) of MS Project. But I haven't found anything else out there that seems to be a good alternative. Project KickStart is nice for what I need, but it doesn't allow for dependencies. Since I can't typeset a book that hasn't been edited, if the editor is late on a project I want to be able to run out the rest of the schedule automatically (or tweak it), which PKS doesn't do. It's absurd to have to go in and adjust 65 tasks by hand because something at Task 2 gets delayed.
Does anyone know of a program that might do what I want? Gantt charts are nice but not essential. Compatability with MindManager is nice but not essential.