fbpx
Best ToolsToolsTools Planning

Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

 

image

The most versatile work management on the market. Transform how your teams work.

Our friend and supporter

Managing your team and resources without a project scheduling software can be a nightmare for any project manager. Your job as project manager is to ensure everything runs smoothly—from putting a team together, allocating resources, running meetings, budget planning, and forecasting.

The Best Project Scheduling Software

Here are the top 10 project scheduling tools I’ve included in this review:


Below, you’ll find overviews of each tool, along with screenshots, feature overview, and pricing.

Jump to project scheduling software reviews

Project Scheduling Software FAQ

What Does Project Scheduling Software Do?

Scheduling software helps you not only plan your projects, but also get a grip on what’s currently happening as the project unfolds. It also allows you to centralize all work-related activities such as planning, task allocation, resource management, and reporting.

Project scheduling tools create transparency as well, not only for stakeholders, but also for team members who want to know what’s expected of them.

What Is Project Scheduling In Software Project Management?

Project scheduling in project management is part of project planning. It’s the process of defining a project’s phases, milestones, resources, and workflow, and plotting these key components on a timeline that factors in the dependencies between the different parts.

Throughout the lifecycle of a software project, you refer to the project schedule to understand its critical path and how your project is currently tracking.

When there are changes, a well-made project schedule helps you to factor in the effects of any changes through dependencies laid out initially, providing a visual tool to understand the relationship between different roles, tasks, and phases of a project.

What Are Some Common Project Scheduling Techniques?

Most project scheduling techniques make use of a Gantt chart or similar chart, and they include:

  • The Critical Path Method (CPM): a mathematically-based technique where you create a schedule by using your scope to list tasks, their durations, and dependencies
  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT or PERT Analysis): a technique similar to CPM, but you calculate a weighted average duration for tasks based on your confidence level in their timing (optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely duration)
  • Fast tracking: a form of Duration Compression where you shorten a project schedule by overlapping tasks that can be done simultaneously
  • Crashing: a form of Duration Compression where you get tasks done faster by adding more resources to the project timeline
  • Simulation: modeling “what if” scenarios to forecast possible durations of a project
  • Resource Leveling: adjusting a schedule so there’s as little over- or under-utilization of resources as possible

What Are Some Common Features in Project Scheduling Software?

Project scheduling software shares many typical features with project management software, such as budget planning, task management, calendar views, Gantt charts, and resource allocation modules.

Just realized you’re looking for something different? Try these other tools:

Project management software to help you manage projects, files, team communication, and more.

Gantt chart software to quickly and easily create resource plans for your projects.

Since so many tasks are repeated continuously over hours or days, it makes sense to automate these time-consuming tasks. And this is why knowing how to choose the right project management tools can save you loads of valuable time. It’s especially critical if you’re working on a big project and have a huge team of professionals to manage.

Here, we help you evaluate the best project scheduling software out there—we dig deep to help you find a good fit for your organization and projects, spelling out how the tool is designed to work and how its features differ from other tools on the market.

DPM Project Scheduling Logo Soup

Project-Scheduling-Software

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Project Scheduling Software

Especially if your organization is scaling, project management scheduling tools are a must-have. Here are a few key benefits of project scheduling software:

  1. Define the project workflow and keep the team focused on the right tasks
  2. Identify and track your project’s critical path to leverage flex in the schedule
  3. Waste less time rescheduling with priorities & dependencies that automatically adjust
  4. Set project baselines to track your project plan against your execution
  5. Free up time and energy by setting up the tool to provide automatic deadline reminders
  6. Easily visualize, compare, spot holes, and adjust your resource availability
  7. Generate reports on utilization, organizational demand, and capacity, and review trends to forecast future hiring needs

There are many more benefits—and they will continue to grow in number as technology evolves, providing more opportunities for automating tasks and making smarter decisions.

Project-Scheduling-Software-1

The Digital Project Manager is reader-supported. When you click through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Tools For Project Scheduling

monday.com logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/2 users/month

1. monday.com – Best project scheduling tool for customization

monday.com screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Breakdown projects into phases and tasks, and keep a high level overview of who is working on what.

monday.com is a scheduling tool with intuitive collaboration features that’s easy to learn and quickly understand. It’s a highly customizable tool that helps you clarify the sequence of work and see the progress and status of your projects at a glance.

Most of the project scheduling features in monday.com are in the “timelines” feature—this is where you can plan projects, set deadlines, assign team members, break down tasks, and set dependencies. You can reassign tasks by simply clicking and dragging, and you can view your timelines as spreadsheets, as lists, on a map, on a Kanban board, and other views.

monday.com offers the ability to create summary charts as well as export and share project plans in a variety of formats (XML, PDF, etc). Apart from that, monday.com enables big picture views using reporting dashboards that collect data from multiple boards, allowing better progress tracking.

All said and done, monday.com technically doesn’t enable you to make Gantt charts in the very traditional sense (nor can you import or export MPP files). However, it’s a flexible, intuitive schedule management software tool that helps you see where tasks are bottlenecking, understand who’s currently working on what, etc. What’s more, the customizable fields and the drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to quickly set up and start using.

monday.com’s integrates with apps like Slack, Excel, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and others, accessible via Zapier.

monday.com costs from $17/month for two users.

Pros

  • Colorful, graphically pleasant schedule interface
  • Easy to use calendar and task scheduling
  • Resource scheduling tools included
  • Simple timeline sharing

Cons

  • UI navigation can lag
  • Complicated pricing structure
ProjectManager logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $15/user/month

2. ProjectManager – Best project scheduling software for multiple projects

ProjectManager screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Project dashboards provide robust analytics and project tracking capabilities.

ProjectManager.com is a well-rounded, award-winning software used by some big names like including NASA, Volvo, Brookstone, and Ralph Lauren. This is a great solution, especially for managing multiple projects at once.

This tool delivers a ton of useful project planning and scheduling features: using this tool, you can create project plans (Gantt charts), manage tasks, create reports, and manage timesheets, expenses, and workloads. This project planning application also provides a useful feature that lets you easily switch between views—between gantt chart, task list, and Kanban board views. You can use the in-app communication features to comment on tasks and assign them to team members.

Their real-time reports are easy to use—get pre-set reports (project status, timesheets, expenses) in a single click, or set up your own custom reports. You can also use the real-time dashboard to get a glimpse of your current project stats. And you can use all of these features to schedule and report across multiple projects, as well.

ProjectManager.com integrations include native integrations with GoogleApps like Drive, Gmail, Calendar, etc. as well as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. For 400 other integrations, you can use Zapier to connect with additional tools.

Pricing for ProjectManager.com starts at $15/user/month, with their basic “Personal” plan requiring a minimum of 5 users. They offer a 30 day free trial (a credit card is required to sign up for a free trial).

Pros

  • Excellent high level view of project
  • Customizable schedule templates
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Multilingual and very flexible

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No way to update partially complete tasks
  • Doesn’t output schedule files to .mpp
Mavenlink logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 10 days free trial
  • From $19/user/month

3. Mavenlink – Best project scheduling tool for workflow automation

Mavenlink screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Track task and project progress and status, and keep track of deadlines.

Mavenlink is a well-rounded tool with modules for project scheduling and management, accounting, resource management, business intelligence, and team collaboration—all in one. On top of this, it offers a system of dashboards, live time and expense tracking features, and a great document management system. All of these best-in-class features are delivered through straightforward and minimalistic design.

For project scheduling specifically, Mavenlink offers a complete set of useful features. As you make detailed project plans, the tool support a multi-level work breakdown structure that lets you define the project by a series of granular tasks and subtasks. Other scheduling features include: Gantt chart-based project plan capabilities, schedule management, multi-level WBS, workflow planning, task assignment and scheduling, and critical path and variance analysis.

Mavenlink is really much more than a project plan software, as it offers some resource management features (real-time utilization, resource forecasting, capacity management), analytics (built-in reports, custom reporting, trend analysis) and accounting tools (project costing, budget management, invoicing). It also has some good contextual collaboration features to communicate around tasks, projects, and many other project objects. It’s a full suite that takes time to truly master, but the simple, streamlined UI shortens the learning curve significantly.

Mavenlink takes a unique approach to integrations. As part of their “API-first strategy”, they’ve built a solution that doesn’t require a third party in order to integrate with any apps. They provide an integration platform (called M-Bridge) that’s designed to simplify integration between Mavenlink and other business apps like CRM, HCM, and financial software. On top of the M-Bridge platform, Mavenlink provides several pre-built integrations with these tools: Expensify, G Suite, Xero, Salesforce, Netsuite, Jira, Hubspot, Slack, Concur, Dynamics 365, Qualtrics, Quickbooks, and Sage Intacct.

Mavenlink costs from $19/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial.

Pros

  • Aesthetic, simplistic calendaring
  • Various scheduling data views
  • Drag-and-drop Gantt chart timeline
  • Improved task tracking since older versions of the software

Cons

  • Lack of global search function
  • No schedule sharing without log-in
Celoxis logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $25/user/month

4. Celoxis – Best for complex project scheduling

Celoxis screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

View project and task status reports alongside financials and project risk reports.

When it comes to project scheduling, Celoxis comes packed with powerful planning and scheduling tools to help you build dynamic project plans that automatically adjust to changing real-world conditions. Armed with one of the most flexible, fast, and responsive interactive Gantt charts, Celoxis can effortlessly handle large project plans involving multiple levels of sub-tasks, inter-project dependencies and even multiple resources per task.

Its automatic scheduling feature accommodates almost every real-world scenario to provide a robust and reliable project schedule. With features like automatic email alerts, RAG health indicators, and critical path analysis, Celoxis makes project tracking a breeze. Celoxis provides visibility into what every member is doing and gives you the ability to track resource loads in real-time. With built-in team and client collaboration features, one can effortlessly share files, discuss, and exchange comments not just with other team members but also with your clients. Several best-practice and custom reports including drill-down charts that let you gather 360-degree real-time insights around your projects and resources.

Celoxis integrates out-of-the-box with popular apps likes Google Drive, Excel, MS Project, Jira, Salesforce, and Quickbooks Online. It is also fully integrated with Zapier, which allows you to use sync with thousands of apps. It also has an easy-to-use web-based API to connect with other services and legacy business apps.

Celoxis is one of the few tools that offer SaaS and On-Premise deployment options. Celoxis costs $25/user/month with additional commitment discounts.

Pros

  • Pre-built project matrix report
  • Has resource management and loading
  • Supports advanced predecessor conditions
  • Great value for small teams

Cons

  • Heavy, complex interface
  • Clients cannot be assigned tasks
Hive logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $12/user/month

5. Hive – Best project scheduling tool for startups and scaling teams

Hive screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Hive provides high-level overviews of projects and tasks to easily keep track of progress.

Hive is a project management and collaboration platform that powers companies like Starbucks, Uber, WeWork, and IBM. With AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations, flexible project views, and more, Hive streamlines your work in one centralized platform. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great option for a diverse range of companies and work styles.

Hive’s time-tracking, analytics and flexible view capabilities allow for transparent understanding of other team-members work and upcoming projects, which can be tracked through action cards.

And much more than a project planner software, Hive’s AI and analytics component also leverages machine learning to provide interactive and customizable dashboards to gain insights on team productivity, and proactively spot risks or areas that need improvement.

Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive project scheduling and management tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.

Pros

  • Has infinite sub tasks
  • Forms feature for standard or weekly tasks
  • Flexible project scheduling layouts
  • Scheduling with asset sharing (briefs, notes, comps)

Cons

  • Lacking in tutorials and support
  • Inability to create dependent tasks within recurring project actions
  • Mobile app sometimes runs slow
Forecast.app logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $29/user/month

6. Forecast.app – Best project scheduling software for capacity planning

Forecast.app screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Track progress on Gantt charts and use the auto-scheduling feature to adjust timelines and workflows.

Forecast is a brilliantly simple combination of resource management and project management tool built on the foundation that successful projects require a combination of short and long term planning. It does not dictate how you work so you can mix Scrum, Kanban, and traditional Gantt scheduling.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) built into Forecast enables you to easily spot projects that are at risk of delay or veering off track. Build and share your own powerful dashboards, reports, and insights so you can put real-time information right at your team or clients’ fingertips. Effortless resource planning enables you to track utilization and capacity. In the upcoming work view, the connection between prioritization and scheduling easily lets team members focus on the most important tasks.

Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises – has Lite, Pro, and Enterprise options that cost from $29/user/month (14-day free trial).

Pros

  • Intuitive design of scheduling tool
  • Allows both retainer and project based scheduling
  • Schedule on high level as well as on task basis
  • Easy to add notes to specific tasks
  • Combines project management and resource scheduling

Cons

  • Designed for minimum of 10 employees
  • Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
Paymo logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • Free trial
  • From $11.95/user/month

7. Paymo – Best project scheduling tool for creative and marketing teams

Paymo screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Paymo is a work management tool designed to help creative and marketing teams own their entire project cycle. Besides planning and resource scheduling, they also offer task management, time tracking, and invoicing modules that are well integrated with each other.

When it comes to project scheduling, the tool allows you to define the critical path by also taking lead and lag time into account. Project scheduling wise, you can get a bird’s-eye view of your entire team’s workload across several projects – thanks to the different user/project/ungrouped views. Instead of manually setting up bookings, Paymo creates them automatically based on your previously entered task details to cut the data entry process in half. The built-in leave planner can also be used to mark leave days directly from the scheduler and save your company precious time and money.

Paymo lacks the possibility to attribute people skills and filter after them, which leaves you at the mercy of the user filter. The same workaround applies since there’s no team functionality available.

Paymo integrates natively with popular apps such as Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Xero, JotForm, Shift, to name a few. Other integrations are available through Zapier or by syncing with their fully-documented API.

There are two paid plans, the lowest one starting at $11.95/user/month – no seat cap. Yearly subscribers are also eligible at a 20% discount. Free trial available.

Pros

  • Option to pay for one user only
  • View all projects on a single Kanban board
  • List, table, board, and Gantt schedule views
  • Easy to use task scheduling filters
  • Drag and drop scheduling timeline

Cons

  • No way to invite collaborators/reviewers
  • Task calendar view is still on the roadmap
  • Team scheduling module only available in Business Plan
FunctionFox logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • Free demos and free trials are available
  • From $50/user/month

8. FunctionFox – Best for creative businesses and teams

FunctionFox screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

FunctionFox's traffic tab shows an overview of the project schedule with tasks, dates, and statuses.

Built by creative professionals for the creative industry, FunctionFox features user-friendly tools to help you create detailed project schedules, track your progress through interactive Gantt charts and calendars, manage your 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.

Their intuitive project scheduling software allows you to allocate work to your team through action assignments, mark out important dates within a project using milestones, and schedule project meetings. You can keep an eye on your team’s capacity through to-do lists and the availability tool, and monitor project timelines using their interactive Gantt charts and project calendar. The project blog allows your team to communicate in real time, and they offer flexible, comprehensive reports that can be exported in 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 your subscription cost. If you have account-related questions, or would like to review specific features, the customer success team is happy to assist you over the phone, by email, or via scheduled webinars customized to your needs. Their website also includes a help center, and there are detailed help files included within the software itself.

The project scheduling tools are included in their FunctionFox Premier platform. Compatible with all up to date web browsers, you can also schedule projects and monitor deadlines while on the go using their mobile site, iPhone/iPad, and Android Apps.

FunctionFox Premier is $50/month for the first user, plus $10/month for each additional user. You can sign up for a free demo as well.

Pros

  • Built-in public and private calendars
  • Interactive scheduling charts
  • Resource availability function for scheduling

Cons

  • User interface is more complex
  • Creating schedule templates a challenge
  • Doesn’t integrate with popular accounting software
Wrike logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

9. Wrike – Best project scheduling tool for teams of all sizes

Wrike screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Quickly create and update Gantt charts using the drag-and-drop functionality.

Wrike is an award-winning, easy-to-use project scheduling software trusted by 20,000+ organizations worldwide. It’s suitable for teams with anywhere from five members to an unlimited number of team members. The tool is highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.

Wrike’s simple project scheduling software enables users to plan and schedule projects on Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, or traditional workload views, as well as switch between them. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, calendars, and real-time collaboration. Unlock advanced insights with performance reporting tools, time tracking, and more.

Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Toggle quickly between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and the activity stream. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.

Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.

Pricing starts at $9.80 per user per month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.

Hub Planner logo - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020
  • 60 days free trial
  • From $7/user/month

10. Hub Planner – Best for medium and large enterprises

Hub Planner screenshot - Plan Your Projects: 10 Best Project Scheduling Software Of 2020

Hub Planner is a resource management software with a full suite of project scheduling, time entry, and reporting features. The core feature is the simple and usable Scheduler, which allows for project and resource planning and visualization. Users can drag and drop to plan projects and schedule resources. The tool also offers a multi function menu, powerful filtering, and a dynamic team capacity bar. Multiple view modes allow for both high-level birds-eye views and granular views of projects.

Hub Planner has a powerful reporting engine with 70+ pre-formatted templates. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a template, you can create reports from scratch.

Hub Planner also has a number of inline workflows for timesheets, requesting vacation time, and a slick resource requesting & approval option. Their Unassigned Work feature is great for scheduling and forecasting ahead of the pipeline, and users can create custom fields at the resource or project level. Users can also customize schedule notifications and reminders.

They’ve taken a modular approach so you have the option to add or remove extensions to the base product, allowing teams to increase functionality or turn off bits they don’t need. Inline integrations with Basecamp, Slack, iCal, REst API, and Zapier are available.

Hub Planner offers a pretty extensive 60 day free trial with everything included. There is an extensive knowledge base with tutorial videos, and their customer support is excellent.

Licenses begin at $7 per month, per resource with annual discounts available.

Best Project Scheduling Software Summary Chart

We go into detail about the pros & cons and main features of each project software scheduling tool based on our criteria. Here, the info is summarized in a simple chart:

Other Tools You Might Find Useful

There are many project scheduling tools out there and here are a couple of honorable mentions that we haven’t included in this review. Check them out!

Want Help Finding The Right Solution?

This is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with the software comparison portal Crozdesk to give you access to free software advice – taking the hassle out of the research process.

Submit your requirements to get custom product shortlists from their team of software experts (via phone or email) with zero obligations. It’s quick and you’ll get a free comparison report at the end covering the top solutions that best fit your needs. Give it a try below.

Criteria for Selecting Project Scheduling Software

No single project scheduling software fits the requirements for all kinds of projects, but below I’ve taken my general criteria for evaluating software and applied it to project scheduling software. I’ve used it to score the tools on the list according to what’s most important to have in a project scheduling tool.

  • User Interface (UI): Are the displays intuitive and clear? For scheduling tools, I also look for drag & drop interfaces that let you quickly move resources around with a single click.
  • Usability: Is it easy to learn? How good are the tutorials and training? Does the company offer good user support?
  • Features & Functionality: In these tools, I narrowed in on the most important project scheduling features and functions, explained below.
      • Planning & Scheduling: At its most basic level, project scheduling requires some form of project management calendar software. Planning and scheduling features might include calendars, task boards, cards, task lists, multiple views for seeing daily and monthly workloads, Gantt charts, timelines, drag & drop resourcing, filters for finding specific tasks, and time and deadline tracking.
      • Communication: A lot of PM software has some kind of communication tool built-in. These include team chat, integrations with email for automatic notifications, a live activity stream or notifications feed, and task comments.
      • Analytics & Reporting: One of the main benefits of project scheduling software is its ability to easily provide loads of project data and compile it into reports. The best project planning software offers analytics and reporting features like configurable reports, real-time and interactive reporting features, automatic report generation, and advanced analytics that track time, resource utilization, costs, and other key project metrics.
  • Integrations: At a minimum, most project scheduling software will have pre-built integrations with Google Suite, Dropbox, and Box. Something to watch for is integrations with or the ability to sync with calendar apps—while it may seem like a no-brainer, not all tools have pre-built integrations with calendar apps that you’re already using (or you have to upgrade your plan to access that functionality).
  • Value for $: How does this tool’s price compare to other tools with similar feature sets? A note on price: for small teams with simple project scheduling needs, you might be able to get by with free project scheduling software. Look for the basic, freemium versions offered by tools like Wrike and Asana. For paid versions, most tools fall in the $6-$10 per user range. You’ll find a few tools, like Forecast and Celoxis that are over $20 per user and provide a more robust set of tools that expand into portfolio management territory.

What Do You Think?

What do you use to put your project schedules together? Is there a tool that you feel does it all, or have you figured out a magic combination of tools that works especially well? Share it with our community of digital project managers below.

 

Our friend and supporter:

image

The most versatile work management on the market. Transform how your teams work.

START FREE TRIAL
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.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply