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10 Of The Best Project Scheduling Software

By 05/11/2018 3 Comments

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.

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.

Project Scheduling Software Logo Soup

What Does Project Scheduling Software Do?

Project scheduling tools are a great way to get yourself organized, providing the whole team with a platform where they can collaborate. They share many typical features of project management software in general, such as budget planning, task management, calendar views, Gantt charts and resource allocation modules.

Scheduling software helps you not plan your projects, but to 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.

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

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Project Scheduling Software

Project-Scheduling-Software-1

Especially if your organization is scaling, project scheduling software is 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 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.

What Is The Best Project Scheduling Software?

Project-Scheduling-Software

We’ve seen a lot of great project scheduling software, but we think these are a cut above the rest. We examine these tools in this review:

  1. Forecast – http://www.forecast.app/
  2. Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com/
  3. Hive – https://hive.com/
  4. GanttPRO – https://ganttpro.com/
  5. FunctionFox – https://www.functionfox.com/
  6. Flow – https://www.getflow.com/
  7. Microsoft Project Online –  https://products.office.com/en-us/project/
  8. Wrike – https://www.wrike.com/
  9. Monday – https://monday.com/
  10. Workfront – https://www.workfront.com/
forecast logo time tracking software
Score:
  • 9.8
  • 14 days free trial
  • from $19/user/month

Forecast – http://www.forecast.app/

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

forecast screenshot - project scheduling tools

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 let’s team members focus on the most important tasks. Forecast has a free 14-day free trial and costs from $19/user/month.

Score: 9.8
celoxis-logo-project-management-tools
Score:
  • 9.0
  • 30-day free trial
  • from $25/user/month

Celoxis – https://www.celoxis.com

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.

celoxis screenshot - project scheduling software

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 lets 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.

Summary of Celoxis:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication: Pass
Score: 9
hive logo - basecamp alternatives
Score:
  • 9.0
  • 14-day free trial
  • from $12/user/month

Hive – https://hive.com/

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 screenshot - project scheduling tools

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. 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.

Summary of Hive:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication: Pass
Score: 9
GanttPRO logo - collaboration tools
Score:
  • 9.0
  • 14-day free trial
  • from $5.90/user/month

GanttPRO – https://ganttpro.com/

GanttPRO is online Gantt chart software that is very easy to use. It offers nice UX/UI design: it is a matter of minutes to become an advanced user and create the first project. The tool is already appreciated by more than 350K users and has high recognition among single users as well as teams including teams from Salesforce, Sony, HubSpot, NASA, GitHub, and Vodafone.

ganttpro screenshot - project scheduling softwareIn GanttPRO, managers can easily create tasks, subtasks, and groups of tasks and assign them to team members and virtual resources keeping everyone focused on work in progress and planned tasks. With the software, managers can track the progress of each task and the whole project what eliminates risks of missed dates and deadlines. The built-in Auto-scheduling feature handles any changes in dates and dependencies so managers can be sure their projects develop properly.

In addition, GanttPRO allows working with resources. You can invite real team members or virtual resources, set cost for them, manage resource workload, estimate cost of a project, and collaborate with a team with the help of comments, attachments, and real-time notifications. With the Public URL feature, you can share your project with stakeholders, clients, and any other third parties.

The software has a 14-day free trial with all the functionality open. Paid plans start at $5.90 per user per month.

Summary of GanttPRO:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Fail
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication: Pass
Score: 9
functionfox logo - time tracking tools
Score:
  • 10
  • 14-day free demo
  • from $5/user/month

FunctionFox – https://www.functionfox.com/

FunctionFox Simple online timesheet and project management tools created by an ad agency for advertising agencies, graphic designers, PR, digital, marketing firms and in-house creative teams. FunctionFox offers an affordable and powerful way to stay on top of essential administrative activities – one that is simple to set up, easy-to-use, and highly effective. Track all your projects accurately from concept to completion, reduce admin time, increase productivity and profits, and best of all – free up more time so you can Stay Creative.

FunctionFox screenshot - project scheduling software

FunctionFox is loved by small firms and Fortune 500 companies worldwide for being easy to use – and the 5-star service and free expert advice. Easily manage and track multiple jobs, budgets and resources with on-demand, actionable reports. Boost your productivity and profitability. FunctionFox has a free 14-day free demo and starts at $5/user/month.

Summary of FunctionFox:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Fail
  4. Communication: Pass
Score: 10
getflow logo - project scheduling software
Score:
  • 9.8
  • free trial
  • from $4.79/user/month

Flow – https://www.getflow.com/

Flow (or Getflow) is a perfect project management tool for small businesses, lean agencies, and startups who find sticky notes and whiteboards too simple—but who don’t want anything too advanced like Asana or Wrike. This is a visually minimalistic tool with great graphic visualizations—users who find technical tools like MS Projects Online to be intimidating or cumbersome will prefer this simple and intuitive tool.

getflow-screenshot-project-scheduling-softwareFlow offers a suite of project management, task tracking, resource management, and collaboration features, making it a well-rounded tool. It allows you to streamline your project from conception to completion. As project scheduling software, this tool offers useful features like monthly and weekly views of workloads, calendar task views, drag and drop resourcing, and a team workload calendar. Plenty of filters allow you to organize and schedule tasks by due date, team, keyword, project, keyword, etc.  The project timeline feature gives you a clear overview of your team’s progress, and the reporting dashboard is one of the more visually clear and easiest to read.

Flow integrations include Drobbox, Box, Google Drive, Slack, Harvest, and a REST API for integrating with other tools.

Flow costs from $4.79/user/month.

Summary of Flow:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication:  Pass
Score: 9.8
microsoft project online - project scheduling software
Score:
  • 9.2
  • free trial
  • from $7/user/month

Microsoft Project Online – https://products.office.com/en-us/project/

Learning how to use Microsoft Project scheduling software (Microsoft Project Online) can prove to be difficult for some because it is a huge program which requires experience to master. It’s available as a desktop app with an Office 365 subscription in order to use it. You can use any MS viewer software to view the MPP files even if you do not have the Microsoft Project license.

microsoft-project-online-screenshot-project-scheduling-softwareMicrosoft scheduling software is used by many multi-million dollar companies. Despite the fact that it’s a legacy project management software (or maybe because of it), many new project managers and mid-sized agencies prefer Microsoft project alternatives because MS project files are usually very big and cannot always be shared easily online.

MS Project Online allows you to work remotely from anywhere by collaborating with your team members and stakeholders. It is useful for managing projects, planning budgets, allocating resources with Gantt charts, and creating diagrams to visualize project data. You can use colors to highlight critical data and keep track of the progress so you don’t miss any deadlines.

MS Project Online integrates with other Microsoft Office products—but keep in mind that it only works only on Windows platforms.

Microsoft Project Online costs from $7/user/month.

Summary of Microsoft Project Online:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Fail
  4. Communication:  Pass
Score: 9.2
wrike-logo-project-management-tools
Score:
  • 10
  • freemium version
  • free 14-day  trial
  • from $9.80/user/month

Wrike – https://www.wrike.com/

This software is specially designed for large-scale enterprises and features a real-time collaboration tool. Wrike is an all-in-one PM software which has everything covered from planning, reporting, collaborating, third-party integrations and workflow automation.

wrike-screenshot-project-scheduling-softwareIt simplifies your life by connecting all the tasks, reports, discussions, emails and newsfeed with your project in one place to give you an overall picture of your project’s progress. Wrike also has a smart reporting feature which has many infographics that updates itself every 15 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about pulling new information.

Wrike has a unique feature which enables new team members to get access to complete context along with previous discussions on important issues, including relevant files. So the new members have all the information they need.

Project schedules are live and dynamic in Wrike, with every member having access to real-time updates and changes, so there are no clashes between projects. It is a very powerful tool which can help you streamline operations, build repeatable processes and at the same time have clear visibility about the status of key milestones and projects.

Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month.

Summary of Wrike:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication:  Pass
Score: 10
monday-logo-project-management-tools
Score:
  • 9.2
  • free trial
  • from $34/month for 5 users

Monday – https://monday.com/

Monday, formerly Dapulse, has a very simple, visually appealing dashboard which shows you everything in a single glance. It is designed to help teams of all sizes, whether you are a small start-up or a huge enterprise. Likewise, is versatile enough to handle clients from a wide range of markets and industries—from marketing firms to doctor’s offices. A major perk of this tool is that they make it easy to import your current spreadsheets into their Kanban-style boards with no trouble. In terms of ease of onboarding, this tool is one of the best.

monday-screenshot-project-scheduling-softwareMonday provides visibility into who is working on what task and it lets you assign team members to tasks and projects quickly. However, it’s not your conventional Gantt chart tool—there’s no Gantt chart module, but you can schedule tasks in multiple views: by calendar, timeline, files, kanban board, map, and chart. Monday’s strong suit isn’t in reporting (it’s really designed to provide real-time visibility into your team’s progress and status). As such, it has great visual displays of progress, tasks completed, etc, but if you’re looking for client-facing custom reports, other tools like Wrike or Asana.

Monday is fully integrated with Zapier, which allows you to use sync with thousands of apps, and it has pre-built integrations with Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Asana, Google Calendar, Jira, Dropbox and Microsoft Excel.

Monday costs from $34/month for 5 users.

Summary of Monday:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication:  Pass
Score: 9.2
Workfront-logo-project scheduling software
Score:
  • 10
  • free 30-day trail
  • from $30/user/month

Workfront – https://www.workfront.com/

If you are looking for a complete project management solution, Workfront is your go-to software. It has everything from file sharing, customizable reports, workflow automation, resource management, capacity planning and collaboration tools. It also features a help-desk and issues tracking tool which can help to identify any potential problems and solve them. It’s a more complete project and portfolio management solution, with a higher price tag.  One of the strongest points of this tool is its ability to sync all of your other business apps (see below).

workfront-screenshot-project-scheduling-softwareIt has an impressive project scheduling tool which can create tasks, milestones, predecessors, allocate resources while monitoring progress within set time-frames. It is a great collaboration tool where team members stay in sync through threaded conversations, status updates, and comments. They can even assign milestones to each other and get live notifications of any changes taking place. For reporting, Workfront offers 50 report templates to analyze and share the status of your project. You can even create your own dashboard and combine multiple reports into one.

Workfront integrates out-of-the-box with apps likes Dropbox, Google Docs, SharePoint, Jira, Jive, AEM, and Salesforce. They also have an integration platform called Workfront Fusion that’s specifically designed to connect 100s of business apps, syncing tools like Airtable, Amazon SNS, Asana, Atlassian Confluence, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Mavenlink, Oracle, Netsuite, Quickbooks, and dozens more.

Workfront costs from $30/user/month.

Summary of Workfront:

  1. Planning & Scheduling: Pass
  2. Analytics & Reporting: Pass
  3. Integrations: Pass
  4. Communication:  Pass
Score: 10

Best Project Scheduling Software Summary Chart

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

Software Overview Free Option Price Score Site
Forecastforecast logo - project scheduling tools Read Forecast features & functionality Free 14-day trial From $19/user/month 9.8 Check out Forecast
Celoxisceloxis logo - project scheduling tools Read Celoxis features & functionality Free 30-day trial From $25/user/month 9 Check out Celoxis
Hivehive logo - project scheduling tools Read Hive features & functionality free 14-day trial From $12/user/month 9 Check out Hive
GanttPROGanttPRO logo - project scheduling software Read GanttPRO features & functionality Free 14-day trail From $5.90/user/month 9 Check out GanttPRO
FunctionFoxfunctionfox logo - project scheduling software Read FunctionFox features & functionality 14 days free demo From $5/user/month 10 Check out FunctionFox
Flowgetflow logo - project scheduling software Read Flow features & functionality Free trial From $4.79/user/month 9.8 Check out Flow
Microsoft Project
microsoft project online - project scheduling software
Read Microsoft Project features & functionality Free trial From $7/user/month 9.2 Check out Microsoft Project
Wrikewrike logo - project scheduling software Read Wrike features & functionality Freemium version

Free 14-day  trial

From $9.80/user/month 10 Check out Wrike
Mondaymonday logo -project scheduling software Read Monday features & functionality Free trial From $34/month for 5 users 9.2 Check out Monday
WorkfrontWorkfront-logo-project scheduling software Read Workfront features & functionality Free 30-day trial From $30/user/month 10 Check out Workfront

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!

  1. Outplanr – https://www.outplanr.com/
  2. Liquidplanner – https://www.liquidplanner.com/
  3. Accelo – https://www.accelo.com/
  4. Smartsheet – https://www.smartsheet.com/
  5. Proggio – https://www.proggio.com/
  6. Teambook – https://www.teambookapp.com/
  7. InLoxx – https://www.inloox.com/
  8. BeeWits – http://www.beewits.com/
  9. ProofHub – https://www.proofhub.com/
  10. eSilentPARTNER – https://www.esilentpartner.com/
  11. nTask – https://www.ntaskmanager.com/
  12. Teamweek – https://teamweek.com/
  13. Clubhouse – https://clubhouse.io/
  14. Bitrix24 – https://www.bitrix24.com/

Criteria for Selecting Project Scheduling Software

No single project scheduling software fits the requirements for all kinds of projects. Since every project has different needs and every team size is unique, you’ve got to find the one that meets your project’s requirements. The following are the main criteria to look for in project scheduling software:

  • Planning & Scheduling – A necessary feature for any project management tool. Planning and scheduling features might include: calendars, task boards and 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 these days has some kind of communication tool as a pre-built integration. Communication features in project scheduling software 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 capability to easily provide loads of project data and compile all the information into reports. We look for tools that offer 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.
  • Integration – You’re already using a handful of other apps for work, so any new tool needs to integrate quickly with other apps and programs. At a minimum, most project scheduling software will have pre-built integrations with work apps like Google Suite, Dropbox, and Box. Something to watch for is integrations or syncing with calendar apps—while it may seem like a no-brainer for scheduling software, not all tools have pre-built integrations with calendar apps that you’re already using (or you have to upgrade your plan to gain access to that functionality).
  • Price – For small teams with simple project scheduling needs, the basic, freemium versions offered by tools like Wrike and Asana might do the trick. For paid versions, most tools fall in the $6-$10 per user range. You’ll find a few tools, like Workfront and Liquid Planner, that are over $30 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.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads 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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