I’ve summed up my top favorite PM tools that I consider to be the best project management tools on the market today. You’ll find them in a shortlist, followed by a detailed overview of each tool with screenshots, features, pricing, and more.
In this context, “project management tools” refers to general PM tools that can be used for a variety of project management activities like project planning, resource management, internal and external project communication, workflow management, and more.
We’ve included a list of specific types of project management tools along with links to reviews at the end of this article if you’re looking for a more specialized project management tool.
If you’re looking for a general project management tool that can do it all, you’re in the right place!
Project Management Tool Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best project management tools? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools that can fill any gaps in the software, such as time tracking software, Gantt chart software, workflow management tools, and more? Any pre-built integrations?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Project Management Tool Key Features
Here are the core features that any project management tool should have:
- Task management: This includes the ability to create, assign, and monitor tasks as they progress. Can you set due dates, group tasks and subtasks, and create checklists?
- Project scheduling: The tool should allow users to set timelines and deadlines. Can you map out timelines on multiple views such as calendars, Gantt charts, and more?
- File sharing: This includes the ability to upload and share files. Can you upload, organize, and share files amongst team members?
- Communication: Users should be able to have project-specific conversations and discussions. Can you tag team members with @ mentions, create threaded discussions, and keep conversations organized?
- Reporting: The tool should allow users to generate reports on project progress, budget usage, and resource usage. Can users easily generate and share reports using data from the software?
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Project Management Tools
monday.com is a great project management tool that 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’s features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting. 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. You can also 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.
ClickUp is a project management 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.
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.
Check out our in-depth Smartsheet review if you want a deep-dive into the tool or to watch our short tutorial video of some basic features.
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 $7/user/month, with a minimum of 3 users and a maximum of 25 users. They also offer a 30-day free 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
Hubstaff Tasks is a project management tool with multiple task tracking and collaboration features. Its interface is based on the Kanban methodology; it lets you organize tasks in different project stages, which are represented by columns. Each task can be categorized using color-coded labels. One of its notable features is custom workflows. These let you automate assigning tasks to team members at different project stages and moving them forward with one click.
You can create checklists within each task and track them from the project view using progress bars. Files can also be attached to task cards, but the free plan only allows up to 100 MB of storage per user. Switching to the sprints view displays all your assigned tasks, organized by sprint. You can move tasks to current or future sprints or to the backlog with a drag-and-drop mechanism similar to Kanban.
Hubstaff Tasks integrates with Active Collab, Asana, Breeze, ClickUp, GitHub, GitLab, Insightly, JIRA, LiquidPlanner, Mavenlink, Paymo, PivotalTracker, Podio, Redbooth, Redmine, Teamwork Projects, Trello, Unfuddle, Wrike, Zoho Projects, Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and other apps. You can boost your integration options with a paid plan through Zapier, unlocking hundreds of other possible connections.
Hubstaff Tasks is free for up to 5 users and 10 projects. The premium plan starts at $5/user/month.
Celoxis is a project management tool that is adaptable for small, mid-sized, and large businesses. The tool’s core capabilities include flexible project portfolio management, time and expense tracking, resource management, financial tracking, and work collaboration.
Celoxis allows users to plan and schedule projects with cross-project and interactive Gantt charts, as well as manage resources across a portfolio of projects. The tool also includes the ability to create multiple custom dashboards for monitoring task progress and metrics, as well as add custom fields and formula fields.
Further reporting capabilities include reports on custom fields and drill-down charts. Users can export reports, as well as schedule them to be sent via email.
Celoxis is highly customizable to suit a variety of business needs, and users can choose between cloud-based or on-premise deployment. The tool offers integrations with over 400 business applications.
Pricing starts at $25 per month, and free demos and trials are offered.
Wrike’s software features award-winning, easy-to-use project management tools that are suitable for teams of five or more. It’s a collection of the most configurable project management tools, so users can customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.
The tool enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views to visualize priorities in the way that works best for them. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, schedules, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration. For advanced insights, users can access performance reporting tools, resource management and allocation, and more.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. You can toggle between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and an activity stream for notifications and messages. Wrike also offers a variety of different yet specific solutions depending on the type of team or organization, including marketing teams and professional service teams. Users also have access to a variety of templates for common organizational processes.
Wrike has over 400 pre-built integrations, including integrations with most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, as well as with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Wrike costs $9.80/user/month.
Forecast is a project management tool 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 $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.
- 14 days free trial
- From $ 8.90 user/month (for teams); from $15 user/month (for individuals)
GanttPRO is a robust project management tool that simplifies project planning, helps to track the team’s work, set deadlines, and collaborate with all stakeholders. With its help, project management teams can easily create unlimited projects and work with unlimited resources.
This project management tool offers many reliable features like advanced Gantt charts, task management, reporting, cost management, time tracking, project exporting, and flexible WBS hierarchies. GanttPRO allows prioritizing tasks to push the crucial ones forward and make sure deadlines are met. There are also integration options that make it a powerful project management suite.
The tool provides a friendly UX/UI design and a pretty short learning curve. Instead of wasting time studying the platform’s details, project managers and their teams get a handy management solution with advanced features. GanttPRO is widely used in software development projects, in construction, healthcare, finances, events, education, and many other spheres and industries.
GanttPRO integrates with JIRA, Google Drive, and Slack.
GanttPRO costs from $8.90/user/month and comes with a free 14-day plan.
- Intuitive Gantt charts for advanced planning
- Cost and budget management
- Advanced reporting and time tracking
- Capability to export projects to pdf, png, and Excel formats
- A good fit for freelancers and remote workers
- No free version though there is a fully-featured 14-day free trial
- No ways to create recurring tasks
Built by creative professionals for the creative industry, FunctionFox features user-friendly tools to help you create detailed project schedules, track progress through interactive Gantt charts and calendars, manage 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 project 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, iPhone/iPad apps, or Android apps.
Pricing for the Premier plan starts at $50 per month.
Nutcache is a project management tool with a suite of communication and collaboration tools built into daily workflow processes.
Use the Gantt chart to plan, track, and organize visually your tasks with easy drag-drop-and-click editing techniques. Nutcache offers tools to prioritize and focus on critical tasks: build custom workflows and attach multiple assignees to a task, break down each phase of your project, make adjustments to reschedule your tasks, and visualize project deadlines.
Nutcache lets you use custom workflows, divide work into manageable chunks, prioritize tasks, 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.
Nutcache costs from $6/user/month with a “Pro” plan that requires 5 users.
The Best Project Management Tools Comparison Chart
Other Project Management Tool Options
Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Asana – Best project portfolio management tool
- Jira – Best for software development teams
- Celoxis – Best for complex project scheduling
- LiquidPlanner – Best enterprise project management tool
- Mavenlink – Best for resource management and planning
- Podio – Best project management tool for customization
- ProofHub – Best easy learning curve and onboarding
What Are The Different Types Of Project Management Tools?
As mentioned above, there are a wide variety of project management tools for specific use cases, functionalities, or for processes and activities closely related to project management.
I’ve written overviews of many types of project management tools that I’ve used in my projects, from task management software to collaboration tools to full-blown project management systems.
Below, I’ve listed the software reviews I’ve written according to the type of tools they cover so you can check out the other project management platform lists on The Digital Project Manager site and find the best project management software for your needs:
Agency Project Management Tools
- Agency management systems: These are general tools for managing agency teams and projects.
- Marketing project management tools: These tools help marketing teams or agencies plan, communicate, and track marketing projects from briefing through delivery.
- Advertising agency software: This type of software offers features like project management, resource allocation, CRM, accounting and billing, and reporting.
- Creative project management tools: Software for creative teams enhances collaboration and brainstorming and can automate some more technical or administrative tasks.
Project Management Tools For Project And Resource Planning
- Project management software: Includes everything from tools for project scheduling and project planning to enterprise project management with PPM and program management.
- Project scheduling software: Scheduling software helps you plan your projects, create a project roadmap, and get a grip on what’s currently happening as the project unfolds.
- Resource scheduling software: Resource scheduling software can help plan, organize, and manage resources. They can be used to develop resource plans and forecasts.
- Resource management software: Resource management software makes it easy to plan and schedule projects, see capacity and available skills, and forecast utilization.
- Gantt chart maker: This includes project timelines and schedules, interdependent tasks and subtasks, time estimates, schedules for status reports, assignments, and more.
- Mind mapping software: Also called concept mapping software, this is a brainstorming tool that enables you to create visual diagrams of your ideas.
- Project planning tools: This type of tool provides a range of planning features, including Gantt charts, timelines, schedule builders, budget planning, task lists, and more.
Agile Project Management Tools
- Scrum tools: Scrum software is designed to facilitate the Scrum framework, as well as assist with communication, organizing workload, and planning for multiple iterations.
- Agile tools: Agile tools help manage projects with popular methods like Scrum and Kanban, collaborate with cross-functional teams, and track metrics that matter.
Collaboration And Communication Project Management Tools
- Communication tools: Communication tools include tools like email and phones, as well as software for web conferencing, screen sharing, sharing files, and group messaging.
- Collaboration tools: An online collaboration tool provides a unified platform for team discussion, file sharing, online storage, task assignments, and real-time collaboration.
Project Management Tools For Work Management
- Time tracking software: Time tracking tools help users fill in timesheets, understand how you’re tracking on budget, how much you should invoice clients, and profitability.
- Productivity apps: These tools can help carry out the important work of being effective with your time by automating, tracking, syncing, and reminding.
- Workflow management software: Workflow tools offer an interface for representing workflow, optimizing moving parts, scheduling tasks, managing workloads, and more.
- Change management tools: Change management tools are anything that can be used to alleviate tensions that arise during a shift in process, staff, or software.
- Flowchart software: Flowchart software is a program or app that can create a sequence diagram that outlines the flow, hierarchy, order, or structure of a plan or idea.
- Task management software: This type of tool includes task templates, task tags and organization, multiple task views, and real-time updates.
Project Management Tools For Software Development Projects
- Bug tracking tools: These tools bring bugs to your attention in a systematic way, and assist with isolating, backtracking, categorizing, prioritizing, and fixing bugs.
- Requirements management tools: Requirements management tools help you remove ambiguity from requirements and operate with clear and agreed-upon requirements.
- Wireframe tools: Wireframe software helps you mock up a wireframe layout and drag and drop placeholder elements to help you get a feel for your first draft design.
- ALM tools: ALM tools support your organization through all phases of the software development lifecycle, and help with business management and software engineering.
Project Management Tools For Related Business Processes
- Business intelligence tools: Business intelligence tools collect, process, analyze, and display large volumes of data, from sources like documents, forms, files, and more.
- Risk management software: This set of tools helps organizations estimate, plan for, measure, and mitigate risks by plotting risks, calculating costs, and keeping a database.
- GRC (governance, risk, and compliance) software: GRC tools help organizations manage IT-related operations and ensure they meet compliance and risk standards.
- Digital asset management software: Digital asset management systems make the process of storing, sharing, and tracking digital assets much easier.
- PPM tools: PPM software helps use project data to make decisions, allocate resources, create executive reports, fix performance issues, and assess risks across a portfolio.
- BPMS (business process management systems): BPM systems provide a process database and automations, and allow users to model workflows and processes visually.
- Help desk software: Help desk software is a digital hub where customers can send queries to be logged, organized, and resolved.
- CRMs for small business: These tools enable small teams to track customer details, collect feedback from customers, trace the sales cycle, develop campaigns, and more.
Alternatives To Popular Project Management Tools
- Trello alternatives: Trello is a collaboration software with Kanban boards. These alternatives provide more oomph, such as extra functionality or integrations.
- Microsoft Project alternatives: If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Project, there are dozens of paid and free MS Project alternatives that can do the job.
- Microsoft Project for Mac: MS Project does not work on Macs—but there are workarounds and alternative tools that perform the same functions.
- Basecamp alternatives: Basecamp lacks in some areas where Basecamp alternatives have jumped in with their own solutions. Here are 10 Basecamp alternatives.
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