Best ToolsToolsTools PM

The 10 Best Project Management Tools of 2019 Expert Review

By 03/01/2017 19 Comments

In this article you’ll find an expert review of project management tools so you can choose the best project management software for your projects.

In fast-moving digital agencies, the average project manager is likely using a dozen different project management apps to stay on top of that ever-changing to-do list. This article will help you narrow down the options for selecting the right PM software by answering some common questions and offering a comparison of project management tools along with the criteria used to evaluate them.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Project Management Tools

Best PM Software Logo Soup

Project management is a broad industry—in our project management tools review we’ve selected platforms that are the best for agency environments. Of course, some of these can adapt to different environments (IT, healthcare, finance), but we’re focused on how they work for digital teams at agencies. These include:

Read on for the best project management software for agencies and studios:

Best Project Management Tools Shortlist

This top project management tools list includes a review of the features, pricing, integrations, and pros & cons of the following tools:

  1. Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com/
  2. Paymo – https://www.paymoapp.com/
  3. Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/
  4. 10,000ft – https://www.10000ft.com/
  5. Ravetree – https://www.ravetree.com/
  6. VOGSY – https://vogsy.com/
  7. Backlog – https://backlog.com/
  8. DoneDone – https://www.donedone.com/
  9. BVDASH – https://www.bvdash.com/
  10. Hive – https://hive.com/

Below you’ll find an overview of these project management tools, with screenshots, feature overview, pricing and our score.

Jump to project management tools reviews

Project Management Basics

What Are Project Management Tools?

What Are Project Management Tools?

When we talk about project management tools, we’re talking about one of two things:

  1. The reports, charts, briefs, plans, and documents themselves that a project manager produces and uses in order to do their job.
  2. Software for managing projects, which includes features for generating charts and reports, sharing documents, tracking budget, communicating, etc.

In this review, we’re using the term “project management tools” to talk about the second definition—the software. For some great resources on the other type of tools (reports, charts, briefs, plans), start by taking a look at The Digital Project Manager “How To” Guides.

Why Use Project Management Software?

Why use project management software?

Whether we’re in agencies, marketing communications or consulting, without good PM software, we find ourselves drowning in an endless sea of spreadsheets, post-its and paperwork. As PMs, our toolkit can be the only thing that keeps us from throwing our toys out of the pram and having a total meltdown. To get projects out the door, we need the right tools to make it happen.

What are the best project management tools?

What are the best project management tools?

There is no black-and-white answer, but the question does remind us of the importance of not only finding the best PM tools for our environments, but also developing the best project management methodologies, processes, and workflows. As a start, some of the best project management tools I’ve chosen for this review are:

  1. Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com/
  2. Paymo – https://www.paymoapp.com/
  3. Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/
  4. 10,000ft – https://www.10000ft.com/
  5. Ravetree – https://www.ravetree.com/
  6. VOGSY – https://vogsy.com/
  7. Backlog – https://backlog.com/
  8. DoneDone – https://www.donedone.com/
  9. BVDASH – https://www.bvdash.com/
  10. Hive – https://hive.com/

And you can read about their features, pricing, integrations, and other important information below.

What are agile project management tools?

What are agile project management tools?

Agile tools are project management tools designed to support an agile methodology, whether it’s Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, or other hybrid agile methods. Here are a few examples of agile tools:

  • Zenhub
  • Taiga
  • Pivotal Tracker

Find more agile tools in my complete agile project management software review.

What is the easiest project management software?

What is the easiest project management software?

According to user reviews, here are a few of the easiest project management software tools.

These have all received praise for their intuitive navigation, simple interfaces, and good training resources that make them easy to use.

Is Jira a project management tool?

Is Jira a project management tool?

Yes. Jira, a tool developed by Atlassian, began as a software development tool, but its now used for bug tracking, issue management, and project management. It is designed for use in agile software development and offers tools like Scrum boards, Kanban boards, roadmaps, workflow management tools, and project reporting features along with its software development application.

How do you evaluate project management software?

How do you evaluate project management software?

There’s a symbiotic relationship between our project management tools and techniques. Choosing the right ones for each unique case is an ongoing practice, but you can start with the basic criteria I use to evaluate project management software:

  • User Interface: is it well-designed with clear displays and intuitive navigation?
  • Usability: is it easy to learn? Does the company offer training, tutorials, and user and tech support?
  • Features & Functionality: does it provide the key project management features like task management, scheduling tools, reports, file sharing, collaboration tools?
  • Integrations: does it easily sync with other business tools?
  • Value for $: does the pricing make sense considering its features and capabilities?

Just realized that you’re not looking for project management software? Have a look at other useful tools:

The 10 Best Project Management Tools Reviews

In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of PM tools, considering complexity, price points and functionality. But it’ll come down to your workflow and what specific functionality you need to make that function better. Have a look around, take advantage of the free trials in order to really find the best project management tools for your agency or studio.

The Digital Project Manager is reader-supported. When you click through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Clarizen logo - scrum tools

Score:
  • 10

  • 30 days free trial.
  • From $60/user/month.

ClarizenFully-featured, enterprise-grade project management tool with additional portfolio, resource, and workflow management tools.

Clarizen is an enterprise grade professional services automation software solution, designed to speed up the way you do business – integrating work, content and process tightly together to enable more efficient working. Clarizen’s real focus is making projects happen faster with timesaving workflows. Clarizen is a great project management tool if you have lots of repeatable projects that require repeatable processes as the workflow automation is pretty flexible and powerful.

clarizen-screenshot-project-management-tools

It covers off the PPM basics of task lists, schedules, docs and files, communications and reporting without breaking a sweat. Clarizen’s project planning tools   are a powerful mix of functionality across the planning, executing and controlling of a project. Within planning are project workflows and full featured resource, schedule and task planning tools. It also offers project and portfolio optimization so that you can easily and quickly align projects to business objectives.

For project execution, Clarizen enables everyone on the team to be aligned with a dashboard that enables teams to see how their contribution fits into the bigger picture. They can view project timeline and milestones, budget, discussions, and shared documents.

Instead of being obligated to make educated guesses, project managers can make accurate data-based decisions that align project selection and investment with big picture priorities. Changing tasks and schedules takes a few clicks. Project managers can run hypothetical scenarios to see the impact of changes before they go live. They can also alert end users via their personal dashboard of any changes to their workload. Because resource scheduling is built-in, Clarizen delivers real-time insights into all available resources, schedules and tasks.

Clarizen has some really powerful integration options out the box that are worth considering if you’re have other business-critical systems already in place. You can combine the power of Clarizen with other enterprise tools including Jira, SharePoint, Tableau, Salesforce and Intaact with subscription to an App integration. This means you won’t have to play around with the APIs yourself. On top of integrations, Clarizen has an App marketplace to add additional functionality into the system. These  include helpful add-ons like active directory sync, Excel reporting integration and priority automation, many of which are free.

Clarizen offer a free trial and costs from $60/user/month.

Score: 10
paymo-logo-time-tracking-tools

Score:
  • 9.5

  • 15 days free trial.
  • From $9.56/user/month.