Remote work is both a current trend and the way of the future. There are benefits that come along with it, too. Teleworkers are, on average, 35-40% more productive than their in-office counterparts! It’s a great way to attract quality candidates to your company, as you can hire from anywhere. A report by Buffer indicated that a whopping 99% of survey participants preferred some level of remote work in their career.
That being said, remote teams only work if you have the best apps backing you up. Communication tools and Gantt charts, roadmaps and time management, Kanban boards, and file management—you’ll need it all! Here are 10 project management tools for remote teams that I have personally vetted and think you will love.
Criteria For Project Management Tools For Remote Teams Comparison
Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria for PM software for distributed teams:
- User Interface (UI): Remote team members may have a series of apps to switch through every day, so is the software UI intuitive and engaging to prevent burnout? Bonus: Does the project management software for remote work feature any gamification or accountability boosters?
- Usability: Can remote workers figure out the tool with no in-person training required? Do virtual teams have access to online tutorials, whitepapers, live chat check-ins, real-time webinars, project templates, and community forums?
- Integrations: Remote employees rarely use only one piece of software for their day-to-day; so, does the PM tool integrate with other common types of software (timesheets, collaboration tools, file sharing, messaging, task management, video conferencing, CRM, invoicing)? Does the project management solution easily and securely connect with popular workspace software like Slack, Google Drive and Google Docs, Dropbox, Jira, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Suite, Proofhub)?
- Value for $: Most remote projects require workflow tools that do a bit of everything. Does the functionality of the tool seem fair for the list of services they are providing? Is the pricing scheme accommodating to large and small teams alike? Does the cost include mobile app access for Android or iOS?
Project Management Tools For Remote Teams Key Features
- Team communication options – You’ll want the basics (like @-tagging and a commenting system) but look for those that go above and beyond with team collaboration features.
- File management and sharing – Every project team is going to have a series of documents or items that must be easily accessible to all team members at any time. Good file management is crucial.
- Time tracking – This is a must for remote working. Depending on your needs, you can get time tracking tools with inactivity sensors and other software solutions to prevent time theft.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Project Management Tools For Remote Teams
Here’s a brief description of each of the tools on my list showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
1. monday.com – Best remote PM tool for 3rd-party integrations
Used by over 100,000 teams, Monday.com offers a host of tools for planning, tracking, and delivering remote work for different projects. Out-of-office teams will most likely have a collection of apps they need on a daily basis and Monday.com delivers with hundreds on third-party integrations to choose from. They connect with the apps you would expect, like Slack and Microsoft, as well as more niche software like Eventbrite.
monday.com costs from $14/user/month and offers a free version with 1 board per dashboard.
- Very easy to invite others, share timelines, and assign tasks
- Simple organization by dragging and dropping tasks
- Excellent collaborative features
- No bottleneck identification or assistance
- Automations are not fully customizable
- Best features locked to Standard or Pro versions
2. Teamwork – Best free remote project management
Teamwork is a jack-of-all-trades project management tool that remote teams will love for its task management, time tracking, resource management, and robust reporting capabilities. Small businesses or budget-strapped teams will appreciate their free forever plan for up to 5 users, 2 projects, and 100MB of storage space. Stuff like change history and burndown reporting are limited to the higher plans but many inventive teams can do without.
Teamwork costs from $10/user/month and offers a free version for up to 5 users.
- Excellent time tracking features
- Easy and comprehensive report building
- Easily track comments and feedback from clients
- Billing and invoicing limited to paid plans
- Doesn’t sync with QuickBooks
- Can be difficult to move/adjust milestones
3. Wrike – Best for agile teams
Used by the likes of digital giants like Google and Airbnb, Wrike boasts an impressive set of agile project management tools, among other things. Agile teams will appreciate being able to work quickly and adapt to feedback with features like live editing, customizable request intake forms, automatic status reports, and ready-to-go templates. Wrike also offers 400+ agile project management software integrations to connect all your most-used tools.
Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month and offers a free version for up to 5 users.
- Ease of use and setup
- Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
- Variety of project views meet different user needs
- Best features limited to Business plan
- The commenting system needs to be more prominent
4. ProjectManager – Best software for remote teams using hybrid project methodologies
ProjectManager lets users choose their own project view, be it agile, waterfall, or a hybrid methodology—whatever suits their needs. Flexible project views offer kanban boards, Gantt charts, task lists, and other common workflow arrangements. Remote teams will also appreciate their dedication to interdepartmental collaboration through an intuitive commenting system, robust roadmaps, and unlimited file-sharing.
ProjectManager costs from $15/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
- Good for costing and construction work monitoring
- Easy to use project scheduling
- Fits well into an Agile framework
- No way to track and update partially complete tasks
- No way to sort Agile Boards by project, only by task
- Most reports require a manual clean-up
5. Mavenlink – Best for business intelligence (BI)
Mavenlink is a modern collaborative work platform that was named one of the Top Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software products of 2020 according to Crozscore. Along with the typical remote project management functionality you would expect, Mavenlink has a top-notch BI platform with over 60 out-of-the-box service-centric reports and dashboards. Remote team leaders will definitely want to check out their time tracking analytics and RAG status reports.
Mavenlink costs from $19/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial as well as a free demo.
- Good for resource planning and project accounting
- Ability to search all client communication within a single space
- Easy to track time, develop timelines, and break projects down into tasks
- Can’t automatically repeat budgets or resource allocations
- Some data syncing lag
- Task and Gantt data columns aren’t fully customizable
6. Smartsheet – Best remote project management tool for sales reps
Smartsheet unifies the most important work functions—collaboration, workflows, and content management—in a single, flexible platform. They have plenty of department-specific recommendations but the sales solution stands out in particular thanks to its ability to manage complex customer engagement processes. Deal management and pipeline transparency are just a few of the sales-specific tools remote sales teams will appreciate.
Smartsheet costs from $18/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
- Customizable sheets and dashboards for different departments
- Reminders and update requests are great collaborative tools
- Quick Gantt charts with easy entry of tasks
- Power users may hit row and cell link limitations
- Changes do not autosave instantly when editing
- Might be over-engineered for simple projects
7. ClickUp – Best remote project management tool for screen recording
ClickUp is a sturdy remote project management tool that offers tasks, docs, chat, goals, and everything else you have come to expect from a modern PM app. Where ClickUp stands out is its intuitive built-in screen recording features, which allow you to demonstrate processes and share data no matter where your team is physically located. You can even embed your recordings right into your group chats, making screen sharing basically effortless.
ClickUp costs from $5/user/month and offers a free version with limited features.
- Easy to switch between unrelated project plans
- Huge number of customization options
- Impressive organization: create folders, sub-groups, and sub-tasks
- Steep learning curve due to the number of features
- Tricky to email with attachments, files sometimes unopenable
- More third-party integrations would be welcome
8. MeisterTask – Best tool for mixed OS teams
MeisterTask tackles everything from individual task management to holistic project planning with a simple-to-use interface. Remote teams may be scattered across a variety of device types but that’s not a problem for MeisterTask, which works with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Their smart device apps are no joke, either, with a 4.7-star rating on the Google Play Store at the time of writing this. They were also named Editor’s Choice on the iOS App Store.
MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month and offers a free version for up to 3 projects.
- Intuitive and user-friendly UI
- Very easy to manage several projects at the same time
- Access to unlimited project boards
- Timeline and custom fields are restricted to Business accounts
- File attachments limited to 200 MB per file
- After loading a file into a task it cannot be downloaded immediately
9. Paymo – Best remote project management tool for freelancers
Paymo helps users manage tasks, create schedules, track time, and bill clients with a solution that’s tailored to the needs of small and medium businesses. Used by over 50,000 recorded freelancers, Paymo has a simple but thorough time management system, easy invoicing, client-ready report templates, and convenient file storage. For simple task management and time tracking, Paymo offers a free freelancer edition of their tool.
Paymo costs from $9.95/user/month and offers a 15-day free trial.
- Time tracking easily runs in the background with little interference
- Organizes jobs intuitively and can easily archive jobs
- Easy to share content with external stakeholders
- Large learning curve compared to others
- Project table layout categories challenging to edit
- Budgets from projects to tasks can be difficult to calculate
10. Hive – Best remote tool for agencies
Used by Starbucks, Comcast, Google, and Toyota, Hive is a flexible work management platform that accommodates Gantt, Kanban, calendar, and table organizational structures with ease. Hive was recognized by AdWeek as best-in-class software for campaign planning, streamlined client proofing and approvals, and engaging wrap data reports. Agencies will particularly appreciate the self-service client portal, which can minimize time spent updating stakeholders.
Hive costs from $12/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial.
- Infinite sub-tasks available
- Task owners can turn sub-tasks into separate projects
- Add external users without paying for a seat
- Mobile app notifications are unreliable
- Comments could be made more prominent
- Have to delete all sub-actions manually after deleting a phase
Summary Of The Best Project Management Tools For Remote Teams
Other Project Management Tools For Remote Teams
Here are a few remote project planning tools that didn’t quite make the list but are still worth checking out.
- Basecamp – Best for IT teams
- Scoro – Best for customizable dashboards
- Zoho Projects – Best for CRM
- Asana – Best drag-and-drop task list
- Trello – Best for Kanban-style organization
- Keyedin – Best for PMO analytics
- Workzone – Best for robust file management
- Proworkflow – Best variety of remote collaboration features
- EasyProjects – Best for product lifecycle
- Sciforma – Best for scalability
What Are Your Favorite Project Management Tools For Remote Teams?
I hope you enjoyed this article on project management tools for remote teams. What PM tool helps you work remotely, even across different time zones? Have you tried any of the remote team management tools listed above? Are there any additional promote PM tools that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments.
For updates on our latest articles and podcasts from project management experts, sign up for the DPM newsletter.
You can also share tool recommendations and best practices with other digital PMs in our online community—get involved with our community in DPM Membership.