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10 Best Online Project Management Tools Of 2021

By 29/03/2021 No Comments

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!

List Of The Best Project Management Tools

  1. monday.com - Best for workflow automation
  2. ClickUp - Best free plan for project management tool
  3. Celoxis - Best project management tool for reporting capabilities
  4. Forecast.app - Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one
  5. Wrike - Best agile project management tool
  6. FunctionFox - Best project management tool for creative teams and agencies
  7. Nutcache - Best project management tool for Scrum
  8. TeamGantt - Best project management tool for Gantt charts
  9. Teamwork - Best for built-in chat capabilities
  10. ProWorkflow - Best project management tool for task management

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:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
  3. 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?
  4. 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. File sharing: This includes the ability to upload and share files. Can you upload, organize, and share files amongst team members?
  4. 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?
  5. 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

  • From $17/month for two users

monday.com - Best for workflow automation

monday.com offers a visually clear and intuitive interface to help you see your important project data at a glance.

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.

  • freemium version
  • Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month

ClickUp - Best free plan for project management tool

Small and large teams can easily plan projects, assign team members, and track progress.

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.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $25/month

Celoxis - Best project management tool for reporting capabilities

Create custom dashboards with relevant metrics such as task status, profit margins, active projects, and more.

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.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $29/user/month

Forecast.app - Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one

Forecast’s auto schedule feature turns a rough list of tasks into a comprehensive project plan

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.

  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

Wrike - Best agile project management tool

Side by side Gantt chart and task lists provide complete project visualization.

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.

  • For the Premier plan starts at $50 per month

FunctionFox - Best project management tool for creative teams and agencies

Build, view, and adjust project schedules using FunctionFox’s Gantt charts.

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.

  • From $6/user/month with a Pro plan that requires 5 users.

Nutcache - Best project management tool for Scrum

With Nutcache you can view your projects in simple color-coded tables to see their status at a glance.

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.

  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $24.95/month

TeamGantt - Best project management tool for Gantt charts

TeamGantt is a great tool for making Gantt charts to manage projects, and sharing them quickly with stakeholders.

TeamGantt is an online project management solution that works right in your browser, making it compatible with any OS. Users can plan and manage projects using Gantt charts and invite co-workers, teammates, and friends to view and collaborate on your work.

Users can see every project update and document on a single page and quickly share them with both internal and external stakeholders, making communication efficient and reliable.

TeamGantt’s project management software lets you keep all of your tasks, documents, conversations, and team availability in one place. You can also connect documents and conversations directly to the associated task or milestone.

TeamGantt integrates with Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. Or, build a custom integration using TeamGantt’s public RESTful API.

TeamGantt is free for up to 3 users and 1 project. Paid plans cost from $24.95/month.

  • freemium version
  • 30 days free trial. No credit card required.
  • From $10/user/month

Teamwork - Best for built-in chat capabilities

The modules of this project management tool are organized into easily accessible "Spaces" displayed along the top.

Used by the likes of PayPal and Disney, Teamwork is a project management tool that can easily fill the shoes of Basecamp, if you’re looking to change things up. Teamwork makes it easier for everyone to see what projects team members are working on, communicate amongst themselves, and plan ahead together. This software contains a full-suite of tools: project management, helpdesk, team chat, CRM, and content collaboration (called “Spaces”).

Teamwork’s Chat app introduces easy communication seamlessly into your workflow, be it internal messaging or external client-facing collaboration. With one central place for users to share ideas and look for feedback, project management teams can reach a consensus and make decisions faster.

Portfolio makes it easy for project managers to get a high-level overview of multiple projects at once. Use Portfolio to see every project represented as a card and manage them all from one central place.

Teamwork integrates with Gmail, HubSpot, Slack, Float, KingswaySoft, Databox, Numerics, Automate.io, Easy Insights, Integromat, Chatify, Zapier, and Import2.

Teamwork has a freemium plan for up to 3 projects and 5 users. Their paid plan starts at $10/user/month, requiring 5 users or more.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $10/user/month

ProWorkflow - Best project management tool for task management

A work breakdown structure plotted across an intuitive calendar.

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

The Best Project Management Tools Comparison Chart

Software Overview Free Option Price Site
monday.com monday.com logo Read monday.com features & functionality Not Available From $17/month for two users Check out monday.com
ClickUp ClickUp logo Read ClickUp features & functionality Freemium version Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month Check out ClickUp
Celoxis Celoxis logo Read Celoxis features & functionality

30 days free trial

From $25/month Check out Celoxis
Forecast.app Forecast.app logo Read Forecast.app features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $29/user/month Check out Forecast.app
Wrike Wrike logo Read Wrike features & functionality Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $9.80/user/month Check out Wrike
FunctionFox FunctionFox logo Read FunctionFox features & functionality Not Available For the Premier plan starts at $50 per month Check out FunctionFox
Nutcache Nutcache logo Read Nutcache features & functionality Not Available From $6/user/month with a Pro plan that requires 5 users. Check out Nutcache
TeamGantt TeamGantt logo Read TeamGantt features & functionality Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $24.95/month Check out TeamGantt
Teamwork Teamwork logo Read Teamwork features & functionality Freemium version

30 days free trial. No credit card required.

From $10/user/month Check out Teamwork
ProWorkflow ProWorkflow logo Read ProWorkflow features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $10/user/month Check out ProWorkflow

Other Project Management Tool Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Asana – Best project portfolio management tool
  2. Jira – Best for software development teams
  3. Celoxis – Best for complex project scheduling
  4. LiquidPlanner – Best enterprise project management tool
  5. Mavenlink – Best for resource management and planning
  6. Podio – Best project management tool for customization
  7. 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

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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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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