How can project managers check project status, monitor project progress, conduct project portfolio management actions, and absorb other real-time data? Sure, you can pack all this information into an Excel spreadsheet and hope for the best, but that is a long-outdated method of organizing a project.
Now, there are plenty of PM dashboard software tools that do all the work for you, from time tracking to upcoming due dates to providing solid project status reports as you need them.
Having a bird’s eye view of your project data is vital for project planning, project controls, developing key metrics, and ensuring appropriate resource allocation. However, just “any” dashboard isn’t good enough. You will need something that is customizable, colorful, easy to use, and actionable.
Project management dashboards can take on many different styles, whether they look more like typical Kanban boards or whether you can adapt them to your needs with widgets. Managing a complex project portfolio is much easier if you can see your data neatly organized before you every morning. This helps you build the best roadmap and oversee all elements of work management.
In this article, I will compare and evaluate the best project management dashboard software options on the market in 2021.
What Should a Project Dashboard Contain?
The best project management software dashboard will be customizable enough to feature the information that you find most useful. This might include blocks of visual or text data for project tracking, task status, project timelines, resource management, and tools to track time spent or time needed.
Project Management Dashboard Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best project management dashboard tools? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is the dashboard clean and attractive? Can different elements of project management be portrayed on the homepage, like sales, social engagement, and task management?
- Usability: Is it easy to customize what the dashboard looks like, build charts and graphs, and brand the dashboard according to company standards? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Does the company website have webinars, a blog, whitepapers, or other “above and beyond” learning materials?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Does it connect with common tools like BI tools (SAP Business Intelligence, Zoho Analytics), KPI tools (Sisense, Klipfolio), and other commonly used tools like Slack, Salesforce, Google Drive, Jira, and GitHub?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible? Project management dashboard software ranges in price from $6 – $30 per month or per user; does the tool fall within that expectation? Does the company offer customizable, enterprise-grade plans?
Project Dashboard Key Features
- Easy Custom Branding – Can you design the dashboard to match your company’s branding strategy with minimal coding knowledge? Is branding available at all paid tiers or limited only to the higher plans?
- Aesthetic Graphs and Charts – Are the generated charts “presentation-ready” without graphic design intervention? Are they something you can feel proud showing off to a C Suite?
- Integration with Niche Data Sources – The dashboard tool should pull-in data from a variety of data sources, from big name software to specialty software.
- Self-Service Analytics – Can different teams and different individuals easily drill down in the dashboard data to glean insights more useful to their specific responsibilities and goals?
- Tactical/Strategic/Operational Dashboards – Can you modify and save dashboard customizations based on tactical needs (understanding the company), strategic needs (chasing a goal), or operational needs (day-to-day operations monitoring)?
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Project Management Dashboard Tools
Here’s a brief overview of each of the project management dashboard software on my list showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
monday.com is an easy-to-use project management tool with flexible dashboards customizable with 15 drag-and-drop widgets for data like projects coming due, task progress bars, workload and capacity information, and total hours logged. The modern, colorful interface and easy to navigate UI makes it easy to onboard new users or teams.
monday.com does more than project dashboards, too, handling complex project and portfolio management with tasks, subtasks, dependencies, time tracking, collaboration tools, and file sharing. You can view your projects as task lists, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and calendars and switch between views with a single click.
monday.com offers a healthy number of workflow automations and integrations, the number of which increases per subscription tier level. You can connect with other popular apps you already use, like Slack and JIRA. Activating automations is as simple and clicking through if/and/or rule pathways that use conversational language so that even beginners can figure it out.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, JIRA, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible through a paid plan with Zapier.
monday.com costs from $11/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial. They have a freemium plan for up to 2 users but it doesn’t include shareable dashboards.
Forecast is a project management software for small business that unites your projects, resources, and financials in one AI-powered platform. Project managers can leverage Forecast’s workflow automation capabilities to create smart schedules, estimate timeframes and budgets, and populate timesheets instantly. Forecast is currently used in over 40 countries by an assortment of agencies, consulting companies, SMBs, and enterprises.
PMs can control the workflow by building out detailed task lists and flagging clear priorities. Task cards allow every team member to easily comment, share files, and register time spent. Everything related to the specific task appears in one place, including dependencies and subtasks. You can put together projects for any type of work: fixed price, time and material, or retainer.
Forecast’s AI learns from previous work and suggests the number of hours you normally register on similar tasks to help you log time faster. You can monitor time registrations from a team perspective and notify each member if they forget to enter something in. Time tracking utilization on a company-wide level is calculated for you for easy alerts, estimates, and reporting.
Forecast integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, iCloud Calendar, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Outlook, Harvest, Trello, Asana, GitLab, Github, and dozens more using a paid plan through Zapier. Higher-tier subscriptions include native integrations with Timelog, Xero, QuickBooks Online, JIRA, Azure DevOps, Salesforce, Okta, OneLogin, and Azure Active Directory.
Forecast cost from $25/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.
Celoxis is web-based software for managing projects, resources, project reporting, project health and issues, risks, timesheets, workflows, and collaboration. The project dashboard layout is fully customizable, as are financial and portfolio KPIs, so you can track project health.
The project dashboards also offer real-time data and insights on projects, resources, and financials. Celoxis offers some solid pre-built dashboards that you can work from or customize, as well as the option to create dashboards from scratch for executives, managers, or other team members.
In terms of usability, Celoxis has a simple and easy-to-use interface, and it is available as a cloud service or on-premise, so it will fit to your needs for project dashboard software.
The tool offers integrations with over 400 business applications.
Celoxis costs from $25 per month, and free demos and trials are offered.
- 14 days free trial
- From $9.80/user/month and has a freemium version for unlimited users
Wrike is an award-winning, easy-to-use project dashboard software used by 20,000+ organizations worldwide. The tool is suitable for teams with anywhere from five members to an unlimited number of team members. It’s highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.
Wrike’s simple project dashboard software enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views, allowing users to tailor their views and dashboards to their needs. Wrike also features task lists, shared workflows, file sharing, and project health analysis tools such as flagging roadblocks.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Users can toggle between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and an activity stream. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with 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 per user per 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.
- Users have access to a variety of fully customizable dashboards
- User-friendly and intuitive for all skill levels
- View projects and tasks in different views (list, table, Kanban, Gantt)
- Gantt charts not on free plan
- Shareable dashboards locked to paid plans
- Storage over 100GB costs extra
Nutcache is an affordable project management tool with smart, dynamic dashboards and solutions for task management, project budgeting, invoicing, and time tracking. You can leverage Kanban boards, collaboration tools, flexible workflow planning, and clean visualizations for your agile project team.
Nutcache’s project dashboards can take many forms: traditional bar graphs, line charts, motion graphics, and even speedometer-like numerics. Dashboard segments track everything from time logged, tasks by assignee, tasks by priority, task progress, and tasks exceeding estimated time. Project planning can take the shape of dynamic task lists, calendar timelines, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.
Nutcache’s project budgeting dashboards are particularly useful and they support expenses, billing, and invoicing for a complete financial package. Track spending over time, set alerts for overages, and track by hour, amount, or cost. Nutcache definitely goes above and beyond when it comes to feature set and is best for those who need a holistic solution.
Nutcache integrates with PayPal, Stripe, QuickBooks, Dynacom Accounting, 2Checkout, Authorized.Net, Gmail, Google Drive, Github, Slack, and hundreds more using a paid plan through Zapier.
Nutcache is free to use for up to 20 users and paid plans cost from $6/user/month. They offer a free trial for 14 days.
Airtable is a detail-oriented project management platform with customizable task cards that include custom data fields, file attachment, workflow automation, email integration, and smart sorting and filtering capabilities. Once your task data is entered in, you can filter by status, type, assignee, due date, or anything else you can think of and project the information as a calendar, Kanban board, task list, Gantt chart, gallery, or form.
Airtable has a bit of a steep learning curve but once you get a handle on it it is an extremely powerful tool. Their system is very versatile: complex enough for software developers or product testers with rich social and media integrations that marketing and publishing teams will love.
Airtable’s free plan is quite generous with unlimited bases, up to 1200 records per base, 2GB of attachments per base as well as grid, calendar, Kanban, form, and gallery views for project data. Free plans even come with automations: up to 100 runs per month, which is usually a price-locked feature for most PM tools. Small teams can easily make due without spending a cent.
Airtable integrates with Asana, Basecamp, Dropbox, Box, Email, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Github, Gmail, Google Drive/calendar/contacts, Instagram, JotForm, MailChimp, LinkedIn, MeetUp, Pocket, Slack, SMS, Soundcloud, Stripe, TRello, Tumblr, Twilio, Twitter, Typeform, WordPress, Wunderlist, YouTube, and Zendesk. You can connect to thousands of other apps using Zapier, Workato, Integromat, or Automate.io (may require a paid plan) or leverage their robust API to do the same.
Airtable is free to use for 1200 records per base. Paid plans cost from $10/user/month
Notion is a savvy project management tool with a broad range of use cases: product development, engineering, HR, design, sales, marketing, and basically anything else you can dream up. They are used by the likes of Square, Pixar, IBM, Spotify, and Slack. They are a jack-of-all-trades app with project and task management, team wiki building, note-taking solutions, and document storage.
Notion has a unique take on project management dashboards, encouraging users to sort tasks and items in databases that can then be interlinked to one another with a simple /linked command. This way, your dashboards can pull complete, organized datasets from elsewhere in the app and project them into the same space. You can build public or private dashboards and customize them accordingly.
What’s special about Notion is their solution for building, maintaining, and sharing company wikis. This can be deployed to give your team the information they need to better understand dashboard metrics, KPI definitions, and how to best run and interpret reports. This is ideal if you are working with complex multi-channel metrics or a team who is new to digital project dashboards.
Notion’s API for integrations is currently in the beta stage. They do not advertise any native third-party connections, which puts them at somewhat of a disadvantage when compared to others on this list.
Notion is free to use for individuals. Paid plans cost from $8/user/month.
Hive is a project management tool with dashboards to help you navigate tasks, reporting, and communications. You’ll have access to flexible project views like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, portfolio, table, calendar, and summary view. A flexible toolset covers everything you need to digitize your workspace, including customizable forms, project templates, proofing and approval systems, and automations.
Hive project management dashboards are modern, colorful and easy to navigate with drag-and-drop items like task cards and reporting widgets. Portfolio dashboards can provide metrics into what your team is doing and how the big picture projects are coming together. Personal dashboards can track individual productivity levels and workflow patterns.
Hive’s automated workflow processes help you alleviate the administrative burden of basic tagging and communication tasks. Even newbies can easily follow the conversational pattern for setting up custom workflows and automating routine processes. This can support accurate dashboard metrics, as it relies less on manual input that is prone to error.
Hive integrates with over a thousand third-party apps but requires a paid plan through Zapier to do so.
Hive costs from $12/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
ProWorkflow is a project management dashboard software with solutions for task lists, timesheets, a CRM contact database, workflow views, resource management, invoice templates, and built-in messaging. A quotes plug-in and invoicing plug-in can expand your capabilities to cover all measures of financial solutions, each for an additional $10/month.
ProWorkflow offers a reports management suite with dashboards for resource reports, individual project reports, task reports, and XML exports/email reports. It also comes with a custom reports builder. Staff time reporting and monthly product updates are particularly useful.
ProWorkflow has a weekly workload app for capacity planning. You can even leverage this tool to incentivize task completion by offering rewards if the boards are cleared within a given time. The flexibility of how you can use different tools is definitely a pro; you can build any type of task and project system that you can imagine.
ProWorkflow integrates with Xero, Quick Books Online, QuickBooks Desktop, FreshBooks, MYOB AccountRight, MYOB Essentials, Kashflow, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Workspace, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Sharepoint, and thousands of more with a paid plan through Zapier. Plus, the ProWorkflow API lets you build your own reports, apps and integrations.
ProWorkflow costs from $20/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
Asana is a free project management dashboard software with a user-friendly interface and celebratory animations that launch when you complete a task. It’s a fun, communication-oriented platform that is free for teams of 15 or less with a few feature limitations. They prioritize integrations and you’d be hard-pressed to find a popular tool they can’t connect with.
Asana has a robust freemium plan that can give you a feel for the platform before you commit to spending a cent. Unlimited dashboards unlock with the premium plan and above. With the paid plans, you’ll also start to access features like reporting across unlimited projects, custom fields, unlimited free guests, and milestones.
Asana has a bunch of templates you can access to get started projects quickly. You can choose from prebuilt editorial calendars, product launches, event planning, marketing campaigns, team brainstorming, employee onboarding, work requests, and meeting agendas.
Asana integrates with Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, JIRA Cloud, Salesforce, Tableau, Slack, Clockwise, MS Office 365, Google Calendar, Gmail, Power BI, Outlook, ServiceNow, JotForm, Google Drive, Looker, Vimeo, DropBox, Trello, GitLab, and a growing list of other apps. Plus, a plan with Zapier or Tray.io can let you access other apps to connect with Asana.
Asana is free to use for up to 15 users. Paid plans cost from $10.99/user/month.
The Best Project Management Dashboard Tools Comparison Chart
Other Project Management Dashboard Software Options
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Trello – Best Kanban-style dashboard
- Smartsheet – Best flexible, no-code project management tool
- Basecamp – Best dashboard for real-time issue tracking
- Scoro – Best dashboard for managing key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Microsoft Project – Best user-friendly option for users already in the MS ecosystem
- Qrvey – Best business intelligence dashboards
- Codaxy – Best drag and drop dashboard interface
- Cyfe – Best open source project dashboard
- ProjectManger.com – Best reporting tools dashboard
- Plecto – Best dashboard software for low-tech team members
- GanttPro – Best dashboard with a focus on Gantt charts
What Do You Think About These Project Management Dashboard Tools?
Whether you need a dashboard to cater specifically to one element of your work, like a timesheets tracker, or an all-in-one management solution, there is a project management dashboard software out there for you.
What project management dashboard tools do you prefer? Would you rather use free project management dashboard software or a more robust, paid plan? Is there any project management software with dashboard support that you would recommend for this list? Let us know in the comments.
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