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The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

If you’re a Project Manager, then you know that there is one way to ensure a project’s success: plan, plan and plan some more. Plan your team’s workload and plan your milestones; plan your budget and plan your emergency budget if that budget doesn’t work; plan your communication strategy and plan your road bump response; plan the stages of your critical path strategy; plotting a comprehensive roadmap. Plan, plan, plan!

A successful project is all about having the right plan. But how can you make building and maintaining your project plan as easy as possible? Bring in some support software. Project planning tools like Wrike and Nutcache can help you track task progress, collaborate on ideas, and set common goals. Leaning on tools like this will make your life much easier.

Did you know that 77% of high-performing projects use dedicated software to support their project across its lifecycle? That’s right!

Project planning doesn’t have to feel like you’re drowning in notes, calendars, and messages. Find a project planning tool that does the heavy lifting for you so that you can focus on the important stuff. In this article, I will evaluate some of the best tools for project planning and provide a simple summary of where each item excels.

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The 10 Best Project Planning Tools List

Here’s a shortlist of the best online project planning tools:

Not looking for project planning tools? Check out our other lists of top project management software and other tools:

  1. Need help building, storing, and processing timesheets? Try these 10 Best Time Tracking Software For Employees.
  2. Need tools for managing a smaller project team? Try these 10 Best Project Management Software For Small Business.
  3. Have concerns about risk management? Try some of the Best Risk Management Software for Enterprises and Midsize Businesses.

Key Features For Project Planning Tools

  1. Gantt chart builder (or see a roundup of Gantt chart tools)
  2. Team collaboration tools (or see a roundup of collaboration tools)
  3. Resource planning (or see a round-up of resource management tools)
  4. Workflow management (or see a round-up of workflow management tools)
  5. Requirements management (or see a round-up of requirements management tools)
  6. Analytics & reporting tools (or see a round-up of reporting tools)
  7. Timeline & schedule builder
  8. Budget management & planning
  9. File sharing & file management
  10. Drag and drop schedule editing
  11. Work management (task lists, task boards)

Project Planning Comparison Criteria

What am I looking for when we select project planning tools for review? Beyond the key features that I look for, 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? Do they offer apps for Android and iOS, and how well do they work?
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? 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? Do they offer a free plan or free trial?

Overviews Of The Project Planning Tools Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the project planning tools that are featured on this top 10 list.

Wrike logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

1. Wrike – Best free project planning tool.

Wrike screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Organize tasks and subtasks in a Kanban board.

Nutcache logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $6/user/month

2. Nutcache – Best time tracker + planner.

Nutcache screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Customizable timelines for planning what needs to be done and when.

Teamwork logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • freemium version
  • 30 day free trial. No credit card required.
  • From $10/user/month

3. Teamwork – Best for real-time metrics, KPIs, deliverables.

Teamwork screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Project scheduling and planning using a simple Kanban-card structure.

ProWorkflow logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $10/user/month

4. ProWorkflow – Best for mobile users.

ProWorkflow screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

A work breakdown structure plotted across an intuitive calendar.

Hive logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 14 day free trial
  • From $12/user/month

5. Hive – Best Gantt chart maker.

Hive screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Project timelines and planning sorted by assignees.

monday.com logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/month for 2 users

6. monday.com – Best for Google users (GSuite and so on).

monday.com screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Use monday.com for any Scrum project planning.

Mavenlink logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • freemium version
  • From $19 /month for up to 5 users.

7. Mavenlink – Best for resource management and planning.

Mavenlink screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Organize project progress according to soft and hard allocations.

Celoxis logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $25/5 user/month

8. Celoxis – Best for Microsoft software integrations.

Celoxis screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Use custom fields to label and track tasks with flexibility.

ProjectManager.com logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • 30-day free trial
  • $15/user/month

9. ProjectManager.com – Best timeline builder.

ProjectManager.com screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Manage project tasks using spreadsheets and Gantt charts.

OpenProject logo - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020
  • freemium version
  • Per member per month. Billed monthly or annually.

10. OpenProject – Best open source project planning tool.

OpenProject screenshot - The 10 Best Project Planning Tools In 2020

Complex projects will benefit from open source flexibility.

Other Project Planning Tools Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy project planning tools, check these out.

  1. Yanado Task + Project Management – Good for Google software users; offers native integration with GSuite and Gmail.
  2. FunctionFox – Good for cloud-based time tracking and invoice planning.
  3. TeamGantt – Good for Gantt chart building and other scheduling visuals.
  4. MS Projects – Good for teams already familiar with the Microsoft software interface.
  5. Zoho Projects – Good for planning for midsize and small teams.
  6. Freedcamp – Good for Agile task management.
  7. Asana – Good for team members who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
  8. Trello – Good as a project management tool with Kanban-style planning.

What Do You Think About These Project Planning Tools?

Have you tried out any project planning tools listed above? What tool would you pick as the best online project planning tool? Is there any project planning software that you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments.

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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