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.
This site is reader-supported. When you click through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
Not looking for project planning tools? Check out our other lists of top project management software and other tools:
- Need help building, storing, and processing timesheets? Try these 10 Best Time Tracking Software For Employees.
- Need tools for managing a smaller project team? Try these 10 Best Project Management Software For Small Business.
- Have concerns about risk management? Try some of the Best Risk Management Software for Enterprises and Midsize Businesses.
Key Features For Project Planning Tools
- Gantt chart builder (or see a roundup of Gantt chart tools)
- Team collaboration tools (or see a roundup of collaboration tools)
- Resource planning (or see a round-up of resource management tools)
- Workflow management (or see a round-up of workflow management tools)
- Requirements management (or see a round-up of requirements management tools)
- Analytics & reporting tools (or see a round-up of reporting tools)
- Timeline & schedule builder
- Budget management & planning
- File sharing & file management
- Drag and drop schedule editing
- 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:
- 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? Do they offer apps for Android and iOS, and how well do they work?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
- 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?
The Digital Project Manager is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
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 is a project planning tool that is suitable for teams of five or more. Wrike includes tools for predicting and preventing delays, visualizing deadlines, and monitoring project progress in real-time. The tool is also highly configurable, and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.
Users can switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views to understand priorities. Project planning tools include task lists, subtasks, schedules, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration.
Wrike also offers a robust mobile application that allows users to update team members or upload files and photos. You can easily switch between calendars, dashboards, and task lists and keep an eye on notifications and messages. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike offers a host of pre-built templates that make project planning more efficient, including a phased project template, which can help break a complex project into manageable chunks, as well as a simple project scheduling template. Real-time reporting helps project managers allocate resources and adjust workloads.
Wrike integrates with over 400 apps, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox.
Wrike starts at $9.80/user/month and has a free version for up to five users. There is also a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
CROOW - Best for workflow customization, automation, and visibility into overall business performance
CROOW is a project management platform with a simple and flexible structure for project collaboration. The tool supports waterfall and agile methodologies, offers multiple views such as Gantt and Kanban, and automates workflows through customizable templates.
The tool includes project planning features for managing to-dos, timelines, and deliverables. Users can also create tasks, assign due dates, and communicate with team members through comments and message boards. Another great feature is the option to create custom workflows that correspond with specific project plans.
CROOW offers additional project and business management features such as automated processes and notifications, forecasting and reporting on dashboards, and Kanban and Gantt views. Users can also manage workloads with resource scheduling capabilities, as well as manage digital assets within the platform.
CROOW offers a freemium plan, as well as paid plans starting at $20 per month.
GanttPRO is a project planning tool with powerful features for managing and completing various projects. Project teams can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, collaborating with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders.
GnttPRO users can break down their work into tasks using handy Gantt charts, assign tasks to their teammates, organize them into projects for timelines, set task dependencies and milestones, check the team’s progress, get notifications, and more.
This planning tool allows creating of several workspaces and projects. As soon as you’re done creating them, the drag & drop option will make it easy to start adding tasks and setting start/due dates.
GanttPRO is an inexpensive project planning solution with a friendly design, so you can get started without extra overhead. For an easy start, you may use ready-made Gantt chart templates. Additionally, you may export your diagrams and import charts from software like Microsoft Project and Excel.
- Friendly Gantt charts that can be shared with 3rd parties
- Handy notifications and deadlines
- Cost and budget management
- Advanced reporting with statistics
- Helpful Gantt chart templates
- No ability to set up recurring tasks
- No free version though there is a fully-featured 14-day free trial
Forecast is a project planning tool that unites your task lists, 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 costs from $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.
- Projects, resources and financials connected in one platform
- AI powered auto-scheduling and time entry suggestions
- Excellent iOS and Android apps
- Automated cost and budget estimations
- No browser extension for time tracking
- No asset management
- Minimum of 10 seats
Primetric is a project management software for small and medium-sized IT service companies and/or digital agencies. It replaces massive spreadsheets and smatterings of disconnected tools with a multifaceted solution that encompasses resource management, project management, finance management, business intelligence, and even timesheets & time tracking.
Primetric considers the tentative project pipeline and soft allocations to forecast your profitability and people workload. The planning module is connected with time tracking and budgeting modules, so you can compare your plans to reality and then optimize them. What’s more, to give you real information about your resources’ availability, it takes into account public holidays for different countries, time offs, and contract terms.
Primetric’s intelligent resource assistant helps you find the most suitable resources for planned or ongoing projects based on hard or soft skills, cost rate, experience, and availability. If you don’t have the needed resources, you can report the vacancy and see what people you will need to hire in the upcoming months. You can take stock of your current staff using the CV generator and skills matrix, which will show you where knowledge gaps exist.
The platform comes with extensive roles and permissions capabilities, allowing every company within your network to create different organizational structures with different data access (financial, HR, sales, and so on). You can manage multiple corporate locations with one Primetric account and create custom dashboards and reports for different departments or teams.
Primetric integrates with BambooHR, Redmine, ClickUp, Tempo Timesheets, Calamari, JIRA, Teamwork, Hubstaff, Harvest, and Clockify. You can also leverage their open API to connect more tools.
Primetric costs from $171/month + $17.10/user. Add an additional $6.30/virtual seat for each employee being managed through the platform without administrative access to the software itself.
Kissflow Project is a collaborative project planning tool designed to focus on collaboration, transparency, coordination, and productivity. Tracking features are streamlined to provide a clearer view of items and tasks that actually matter.
Kissflow Project’s customizable platform gives you total control and adapts to your team’s needs. It offers multiple views for projects, including Kanban boards, list views, and swimlanes. The Project States function helps users reduce the amount of tracking they need to do by allowing team members to mark tasks with one of three statuses — on hold, in progress, and done.
The tool allows users to share project plans, documents, and other files, as well as discuss projects directly within the software. Team members also get reminders when due dates are approaching. Another great feature is the ability to set priorities and assign team members to them.
Kissflow integrations include native Microsoft and G suite integrations, and the platform offers a REST API and webhooks.
Pricing for Kissflow Project starts at $35 per month.
- Multiple views like Kanban, lists, and swimlanes
- On hold, in progress, and done states available for tracking progress
- Powerful reporting features
- No Gantt chart
- No ability to set up recurring tasks
- Not intended for complex projects
Summary Of The Best Project Planning Tools
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.
- Yanado Task + Project Management – Good for Google software users; offers native integration with GSuite and Gmail.
- FunctionFox – Good for cloud-based time tracking and invoice planning.
- TeamGantt – Good for Gantt chart building and other scheduling visuals.
- MS Projects – Good for teams already familiar with the Microsoft software interface.
- Zoho Projects – Good for planning for midsize and small teams.
- Freedcamp – Good for Agile task management.
- Asana – Good for team members who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
- 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.