In this article, you’ll find a comparison of project management tools so you can choose the best project management software for your projects.
Project management is a broad industry involving many different methods and environments.
In this project management tools review, I’ve selected 15 project management software programs that can adapt to different environments (IT, healthcare, finance).
I’ve also included a list of project management software for various use cases—the best project management software for construction, agile teams, free and open-source, etc. Find the list on the right side below.
What is project management software?
Project management software helps project managers, or PMs, manage projects. PM software can be installed on-premise, but many new tools are offered online as a Saas. They offer features to make charts and reports, share documents, track budgets, allocate resources, manage tasks, plan projects, and communicate with teams.
Often, project management software includes additional portfolio management tools or program management tools in addition to features for project management.
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The 15 Best Project Management Tools Reviews
In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum in our list of software, considering the complexity, price points, and functionality of various PM tools. 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.
monday.com is a great project management software because of the way the tool has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.
monday.com features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.
Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $17/month for two users.
- Huge focus on collaboration
- Long list of supported integrations
- Easy to customize a workflow or Board
- Helpful visual/color coding customization
- Complex pricing rubric
- No option to create recurring tasks
ClickUp is a project management software tool with powerful features for managing and completing all your team’s projects in one platform. Users can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with team members and guests.
Task management features include task checklists, subtasks, and task templates, as well as the ability to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team. Users can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks.
ClickUp also includes features for creating, sharing, and collaborative editing for Wikis and documents. Users can comment on documents and tasks, assign comments, and chat with other team members for increased communication and collaboration. Reporting features include the ability to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.
ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.
ClickUp’s free plan is robust and includes all primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5 a month per user and offers additional functionality.
- Free forever plan allows unlimited members
- Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
- Can email (set-up) a task directly from Outlook
- Read-only guest permissions are limited to paid account
- Reporting suite is limited to paid plans only
- Granular customization options results in a time consuming set-up
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool. It has won a few awards for quickly becoming a favorite business app. It’s a nice project management software if you’re comfortable working in Excel but wants a break from complicated formulas—Smartsheet performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. You can also add customized brand logos and set color themes for individual projects.
Smartsheet has useful project management features such as workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt, calendar and card views. Team members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed. The Critical Path feature highlights all the tasks which directly impact your project completion date to keep an eye on important milestones. Reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel.
Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.
Smartsheet costs from $14/user/month and offers a 30-day trial.
- Sheet-to-sheet linking
- Many project templates & resources
- Ease of sharing
- Easily customizable dashboards
- Jira, Salesforce, Dynamics connector limited to Premier plan
- Changes don’t update in real-time
- Can’t customize chart colors
Wrike is an award-winning project management software suitable for teams of five or more, as the software allows for an unlimited number of users. The tool is highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.
Wrike’s simple interface enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views, allowing them to choose how to visualize their priorities. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, schedules, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration. Users can get advanced insights on their project with performance reporting tools, resource management and allocation, and more.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. You can switch between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and stream (for notifications and messages). Wrike also has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike also offers a variety of specific solutions depending on the type of team or organization — including marketing teams and professional service teams. Users can also try a variety of templates for common organizational processes.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Pricing starts at $9.80/user/month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.
- Different ways to view the same data
- Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
- Many options and opportunities to customize
- No subtasks in the freemium plan
- No offline access
- Commenting system is pretty basic
Celoxis is a comprehensive and web-based all-in-one platform for project portfolio management and work collaboration. One of the world’s most adopted tools in PM, Celoxis is the software of choice for brands like HBO, Rolex, Virgin Care, KPMG, Singapore Post, Del Monte, LG and Deloitte for streamlining their projects, processes and people.
Celoxis’ real world project schedules and powerful interactive Gantt Charts packs all of the team and work dynamicities including geographically distributed project teams working in different timezones, part-time resources, unavoidable absences, interim resource swaps, and even inter-project dependencies.
Task management within Celoxis is strong and unique. Teams get an edge over other tools by eliminating multiple software they’d use otherwise. Celoxis lets them see their tasks and to dos, report bugs, manage tickets, or fill time all from a single tool. They also get relevant notifications to their inbox and can send updates directly even without logging in. Collaboration is powerful with project discussions, @mention comments, file sharing, document version control, and activity stream. 80% of their typical actions such as starting a timer, attaching a file or updating status can be done straight from their dashboards.
Celoxis provides a single source of truth for executives with a real-time project tracker, resource availabilities and utilization, timesheets, project finances, risks, issues and to-dos.
Celoxis comes with powerful analytical capabilities and their rich and interactive charts breathe new life into your project data. Organizations can leverage their built-in best practice reports and dashboards to gather 360-degree real-time insights around project health, tracking actuals vs estimates, team utilization and profit margins. With their exhaustive custom field library including formula fields, you can easily track all of your financial KPIs such as NPV.
Celoxis is extremely customizable and flexible when it comes to different organizations and industries. With their unique custom apps, you have the power to create and configure intuitive project and business processes within the project management system.
Celoxis is one of the few project manager software programs to be available both in SaaS and On-Premise flavors. SaaS costs $25/user/month and On-Premise costs $450/user one-time. Both require a minimum 5-user sign-up and come with 30-day free trial.
- In-app timer for task tracking
- Customizable widgets for groups or individuals
- Percentage of project tasks-per-user feature
- Very interactive Gantt chart
- Some difficulty with report building
- Complex menu structure
- Resource planning is not automated
Forecast is an all-in-one platform for resource and project management, used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agency, software, and consulting companies. It’s equipped with tools to manage everything from quote to invoice, plus it offers intelligent automation to predict project delivery dates, forecast capacity needs, and become more efficient. Their AI uses cumulative learnings from hundreds of thousands of projects and creates rules based on that user data.
Let’s talk about features. The Auto-Schedule feature is great for project scheduling, providing estimates, automatically assigning resources to tasks. It’s got a drag-and-drop module that lets you adjust plans and resources in an instant. Another cool feature is that the tool automatically builds a budget for every project with key financial metrics to track planned vs. actuals. It also supports various billing types (fixed price, time & materials) side-by-side and in real-time. It has advanced up-to-the-minute reports you can customize. And finally, the built-in timesheets are simple and intuitive which means you won’t have to bug your team to fill out their timesheets.
Forecast also introduced a one-of-its-kind feature to manage projects in a retainer setup. A dashboard with retainer periods and totals lets you track the financials of ongoing projects without losing sight of staff workloads and time spent on delivery.
Forecast integrations include several turnkey integrations with mainstream project management tools and two-way sync with Jira on the market. It also complements accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero with PM capabilities.
Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises – has Lite, Pro, and Enterprise options that cost from $29/user/month (14-day free trial).
- Predictive tasks for spreadsheets
- Can manage resources across multiple projects
- Easy to plan projects and timelines
- Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
- Additional fee for onboarding/training
- Higher learning curve.
awork is a project management software with an intuitive interface that allows creative teams and project teams to quickly adopt it within their day-to-day workflows.
awork includes features for organizing projects and tasks in to-do-lists, creating boards and timelines, managing resources, and collaborating with teammates. For example, teams can plan all their clients’ timelines based on project templates, then assign the team based on their availability and start collaborating on tasks and files immediately.
awork has time tracking options built into the project management workflow, so teams can track their progress against project milestones. Customizable visual reports allow teams to further track metrics and progress.
While it features direct integration with common billing tools, awork does not offer the option to calculate charge rates or monetary budgets.
awork’s interface helps ensure a fast learning curve for all users, including non-specialists, and does not require any in-depth project management knowledge. Personal onboarding support and a wide range of tutorials and best practices are included with an awork subscription.
awork’s integrations include communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, OneDrive, Google Calendar, Office 365, and Google Assistant, as well as with several billing solutions. More integrations are accessible via Zapier. Unlimited use of awork’s open API is also included.
awork costs from $8/user/month. They also offer a 14-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Focus on intuitive interfaces
- Unlimited access to personal support
- Easy to automate recurring workflows
- Clever time tracking options
- No option to customize forms
- 14 days free trial
- Premier plan starts at $50/month for the first user, plus $10 USD/month for each additional user
Built by creative professionals for the creative industry, FunctionFox features user-friendly tools to help you create detailed project schedules, track your progress through interactive gantt charts and calendars, manage your resources with action assignments and to-do lists, and communicate and collaborate through the project blog. FunctionFox is entirely web-based so it allows both in-office and remote users to work together seamlessly.
FunctionFox’s intuitive project scheduling tool allows you to allocate work to your team through action assignments, mark out important dates within a project using milestones, and schedule project meetings. Keep a close eye on your team’s capacity through to-do lists and the availability tool, and monitor project timelines with interactive gantt charts and project calendars. The project blog feature allows your team to communicate in real time, and the tool also offers flexible, comprehensive reports that can be exported in an Excel format.
FunctionFox is easy to use and made even easier with the tutorials and support provided. All customer support is unlimited, ongoing, and included in the subscription cost. The FunctionFox website also includes a help center, and there are detailed help files included within the software itself.
Project scheduling tools are included in the FunctionFox Premier plan. Compatible with all up to date web browsers, users can also schedule projects and monitor deadlines while on the go using the mobile site, an iPhone/iPad, or Android apps.
Pricing for the Premier plan starts at $50 per month.
- Multiple project views for easy project scheduling: calendar view, Gantt view, or table view
- Actionable task assignment to do lists
- Project blogs keep communication in a central location
- Does not integrate with Google Calendars and other software
- Gantt charts and schedules are only available through the Premier plan and In-House plan
Kissflow Project is a collaborative project management tool designed to focus on collaboration, transparency, coordination, and productivity. Tracking features are streamlined to provide a clearer view of items and tasks that actually matter.
Kissflow Project’s customizable platform gives you total control and adapts to your team’s needs. It offers multiple views for projects, including Kanban boards, list views, and swimlanes. The Project States function helps users reduce the amount of tracking they need to do by allowing team members to mark tasks with one of three statuses — on hold, in progress, and done.
The tool allows users to share project plans, documents, and other files, as well as discuss projects directly within the software. Team members also get reminders when due dates are approaching. Another great feature is the ability to set priorities and assign team members to them.
Kissflow integrations include native Microsoft and G suite integrations, and the platform offers a REST API and webhooks.
Pricing for Kissflow Project starts at $35 per month.
- Multiple views like Kanban, lists, and swimlanes
- On hold, in progress, and done states available for tracking progress
- Powerful reporting features
- No Gantt chart
- No ability to set up recurring tasks
- Not intended for complex projects
ProWorkflow is a complete online project management solution. Teams can track projects from conception to completion and report back on all activity that happens in the meantime.
ProWorkflow considers tasks one of its most important assets, allowing you to specify start and finish dates, task assignees, hour allocations, and rates. It can then determine which of your staff might be available, based on how many tasks they’re assigned to, when all of those tasks will be active, and how much time was allocated to these tasks. Tasks allow for both file sharing and messaging, so you’ll always be fully informed and up to date on project progress.
The tool allows users to edit every aspect of the project throughout the whole project lifecycle, including things like dates, assignments, categories, and more. There are many elements that can be manipulated using click and drag functionality, such as the Gantt chart, the Kanban board, or assigning users to tasks.
The tool is also fairly straightforward with its layout — for example, all active projects and associated data can be found on the projects page, all info related to time can be found on the time page, etc.
ProWorkflow integrates directly with all of the most popular accounting platforms, like Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks, as well as with popular file storage platforms like GSuite, Box, and OneDrive. There is also integration with SSO, like Azure. For everything else, the tool also integrates with Zapier.
Pricing starts at $20 per user per month. This specifically refers to staff access, with things like client and contractor access being cost inclusive. You can also receive help with onboarding and staff training, which is also cost inclusive.
- Intuitive structure and navigation for organizing project information
- Custom fields and no user caps make the system highly scalable
- Powerful reporting tools enable easy insights into past efforts
- No asset/inventory management functions
- Budget/cost tracking largely based around hours spent, making profitability hard to track
- Workload and availability don’t account for leave/holidays/part-time staff
GanttPRO is a project management software based on Gantt charts and useful for managing all kinds of projects and teams from different spheres. It stands out for its intuitive interface and powerful features.
The software includes features for breaking down projects in an efficient manner into subtasks, sibling tasks, and subprojects, as well as set dependencies and milestones. To get more visibility, users can choose between the Gantt chart, Board views, and task dashboards. GanttPRO also offers handy task management features such as statuses, priorities, duration & estimation, progress, dates and deadlines, assignees, and more.
GanttPRO allows teams to collaborate in real-time using comments, mentions, and attachments. Also included are resource management and workload features for monitoring team member workload and tasks.
GanttPRO offers integrations with Jira, Google Drive, Slack, and other applications.
The software comes with a 14-day fully-featured free trial. For single users, it costs $15 per user per month. Team plan costs $8.90 per user per month.
- Intuitive interface with a short learning curve
- Multiple and flexible project views
- Professional Gantt chart templates
- Light on integrations
- Lack of options to create recurring tasks
Nutcache is an all-in-one project management software designed for teams of all sizes. The tool enables users to easily manage every stage of the project lifecycle, from the initial project estimate to final billing through budget, time, task, and expense tracking.
Nutcache offers all the features you need to organize your workload better and see tasks that need to be completed or prioritized. Tasks can be grouped by either due date or project as well. Use the Gantt chart to plan, track, and visually organize tasks with easy drag-drop-and-click editing techniques.
Nutcache lets you use custom workflows, divide work into manageable chunks, assign multiple assignees to a task, define budget alerts, set budget tracking by hour or amount, use KPIs to stay on budget, and has a promising roadmap of features to come (like the introduction of a freelancer version of the app).
Integrations include Dynacom Accounting, PayPal, 2Checkout, Stripe, Authorized.Net, QuickBooks Online, Google Sign In, Google Drive, GitHub, Slack, and hundreds of other apps through Zapier.
Pricing starts at $6 per user per month.
- Free version offers unlimited projects & tasks
- Good time tracking & approval solution
- Flexible project workflows
- Limited 3rd party integrations
- Reporting system can be improved
- Gantt charts need more flexibility
- 10 days free trial
- From $4/user/month billed annually. Also has a freemium version upto 3 users for 2 projects
Zoho Projects is an award-winning collaboration and project management software from Zoho. It offers flexibility and customizations to suit the needs of traditional project managers as well as agile teams.
With an easy Gantt chart generator, Kanban style task management, coupled with high-level features such as resource utilization charts, critical path, baseline and automation features, Zoho Projects offers a complete and unique experience for teams of all sizes.
All aspects of the UI from theme colors to arrangement and visibility of the various modules can be changed to suit a user’s preferences. By converting projects into templates, users can reuse previously created timelines and assignees for future projects. Zoho projects also offer free onboarding for its customers, free support and a comprehensive online help guide for all users.
Zoho Projects stands out in cases where there are multiple hand-offs involved. It is especially popular among IT companies, consultants and education organizations. With Blueprints, users can create and automate workflows, notifications, and escalations. The tool is used by over three million users and hundreds of big brands across the globe.
Being part of the Zoho’s ecosystem allows Projects to connect to several of Zoho’s own services such as Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, and Zoho’s finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well.
Starts from $4/user/month billed annually. Also has a freemium version upto 3 users for 2 projects No credit card information required.
- Unlimited number of projects
- Easy workflow automations
- Robust communication features
- Time-track multiple tasks at once
- Does not integrate with Quickbooks
- Lacks some reporting features
- Lack of file type export options
Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a project management tool with a freemium version for smaller groups and teams who don’t yet need an upgrade to a paid plan. Obviously, TeamGantt specializes in Gantt charts and other task planning but they also track workloads and team availability, collaboration features like chat and tagging, and customizable alerts.
Project managers should be aware that TeamGantt works best for simple projects but the software struggles to handle more complex projects across multiple teams. For example, it is not easy to gauge project status at a quick glance.
TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool is accommodating to however you may want to set up and track your projects, no matter their structure or constraints. Additionally, providing an easy “read-only” URL makes it great for sharing with outside parties for input.
TeamGantt costs from $24.95/month and has a freemium version of the software for up to 3 users.
- Flexible setup/tracking for projects
- Share charts without recipient logging in
- Easy drag-and-drop task duration
- Really easy to learn
- Dependency functionality can get complicated
- Doesn’t have in-app notifications
- Views lag behind changes
Workzone is a great project management software for marketing, agency and operations teams of 5+ users. It’s powerful but it’s still easy to use and adopt. Organizations small and large run their projects and keep their teams in sync—it’s been used and developed for 20 years, so the company has built some really useful features to answer real-world problems.
Some of Workzone’s standout features include a useful all-projects dashboard, personalized to-do lists, and an interactive Gantt chart. Workzone also offers secure file management and creative review tools, customizable project intake forms, workload management, time and expense tracking, and powerful reporting. Flexible permissioning allows for giving different levels of access to different users, providing extra layers of security and control.
For new teams who aren’t used to working with a project management software, Workzone is a smart choice because they assist in implementing the software—their team helps your team build the foundation, processes, and discipline you need to get the most out of the software and use it to manage projects successfully. Their level of support is hard to find—they offer needs assessment, success planning, setup and customization, training, and ongoing coaching.
The tool integrates with standard industry software including various communication, IT, file sharing, time tracking, accounting, marketing, and CRM software. You can extend Workzone’s functionality through their extensive APIdeveloper API and Zapier.
Workzone pricing starts at $40/user/month for up to 5 users. Price per user lessens with the number of users…for instance, for 15 users the price per person starts at $24/user/month.
- Allows creation of templates from existing projects
- Easy to customize tasks using flexible notes system
- Email reminders to keep things flowing
- Completed projects aren’t automatically archived
- Delayed tasks negatively affect independent tasks on the timeline
- Better file access permissions welcomed
Best Project Management Software Comparison Chart
Find below a summary of the best project management software tools available in the market.
Other Project Management Software To Consider
Although not included in this review of project management software, below is a list of additional PM tool options. Check them out if you’re looking for the best project management software for your agency or studio:
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Best In Breed – The One Trick (Project Software) Ponies
But what is the ‘right project management tool?’
There are lots of tools out there that do a single project-related job, really well. These are the specialist one-trick-pony tools for resource scheduling, communication, managing tasks, making Gantt charts, creating reports, managing digital assets, managing requirements, etc. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Project management software, Harvest, and Dropbox are examples of these specialist project tools. Specialized tools can be great, especially for a small team, or when working with niche requirements or few clients.
Project Management Tools Enable You To Work Smarter
However, if you’re not careful, you end up with a collection of unrelated SaaS online project management software that doesn’t sync properly. You use one tool for communication, another for file sharing and yet another for task management. And you end up entering the same data into each application.
Maybe there’s a better way? Instead of using dedicated tools and manually tying them together, use a project management tool with shared-data functionality built-in. This facilitates better briefing, contextual communication and more straightforward management of project teams and clients.
What Makes A Good Project Management Tool?
In defining a good digital project management tool we’ve focussed on tools that facilitate the ‘doing’ aspect of a project. That means getting people together to create something amazing for a digital world.
So what does it take to deliver a digital project? We’ve identified five key aspects of functionality that we think makes delivering digital projects easier. You can use them to get rid of your post-its, spreadsheets, and emails, and to run your project more efficiently.
- Task lists – Projects are made up of sub-tasks, and sub-sub-tasks, checklists and to-do’s. Being able to outline what needs to be done, by when, by who, is critical to delivering a project well.
- Schedules – Timelines, calendars and Gantt charts help you know where tasks fit within the broader scheme of a project. This is key to being able to deliver a project on time.
- File sharing – No one likes having to waste timing trying to dig around for random files. The ability to organize and share key project files and assets is important to deliver a project efficiently.
- Communication – Contextual project-specific communication to hash things out quickly and chat with your team and client is vital to keep tasks on track.
- Reporting – As project managers, it’s our job to know whether or not our project is on track and to use this information in communication. Therefore, it’s essential to know how a project’s tasks are progressing—will it be delivered on time, or not?
But You’re Missing Stuff…
Yes, lots. With any project management software, you have to draw a line between what’s essential, and what’s not. In our criteria for project management programs we’ve focused on the execution of a project. That means we haven’t centred on planning, billing, or other functionality. For that reason, we’ve not focussed on the pre-project estimating, or the post-project aspects of PM software. That said, there are many similarities between these tools.
What Do You Think?
What do you think we’re missing from this project management tools review? Have different criteria for selecting a PM tool? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of PM software. Why not share them using the comments below?