Remote project management tools are designed to help virtual teams with everything from communication to team management.
You and your team members may find yourself struggling with the new remote workforce standards. Whether working from home is new or old to you and your team, it can be a challenge to ensure regular check-ins with remote workers. Distributed teams may need extra resources for things like video conferencing or messaging, for example, which can help replace the face to face collaboration of in-person workplaces.
With more teams working remotely, the lines between standard project management software and the tools specifically designed for remote teams are blurring. Even so, I think it’s useful to evaluate tools based on how good they are for remote teams, so I’ve created a trustworthy list of remote workforce tools. I’ve highlighted what the best project management tools can do specifically for remote and WFH teams, as opposed to when they are used in-office.
Remote Project Management Tools Comparison Criteria
What do I look for? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Remote teams need a UI that is attractive and easy to use for everyone, from the highest tech individual to the lowest. Is the user interface easy to navigate, good for screen sharing, and attractive to look at for 8 hours a day? Is the UI optimized for mobile apps, which are often used in remote work?
- Usability: Remote teams often don’t have the in-house support of an IT professional or PM so any software introduced should have ample customer support resources, video tutorials, webinars, live chat, Q&A forums, whitepapers, and other easily accessible documentation.
- Integrations: Remote work requires that all your tools communicate as much as possible, from collaboration tools to time tracking to task management. Does the remote project software integrate with other popular apps in these categories and beyond, including but not limited to Slack, Jira, Zoom or Skype, DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft apps, Proofhub, and other popular remote work tools? Does it connect with your CRM systems?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Remote Project Management Tools Key Features
- Can be accessed remotely with minimal stipulations (not everyone has access to a hard-wired internet connection—the more accessible, the better)
- Secure cloud storage for file sharing on-the-go
- Automating business processes to unify separate work environments
- Simplifying communication channels
- Engagement and productivity tools
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Remote Project Management Tools
Here’s a brief description of each of the remote project management tools on my list showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
monday.com is a colorful, user-friendly, jack-of-all-trades remote workspace tool for modern teams. Plan, track, and deliver projects using hundreds of visual and customizable templates. View data on a map, calendar, timeline, kanban board, and more. Automate repetitive administrative tasks, like creating new lead entries according to incoming emails.
monday.com costs from $14/user/month and offers a free version with 1 board per dashboard.
- Very easy to invite others, share timelines, and assign tasks
- Simple organization by dragging and dropping tasks
- Excellent collaborative features
- No bottleneck identification or assistance
- Automations are not fully customizable
- Best features locked to Standard or Pro versions
Celoxis’ comprehensive features address the real-world complexities of managing projects across organizations and functions; it excels at planning, delegation, collaboration, tracking, and reporting with agility and user-friendliness. Celoxis can help you plan and manage real-world, diverse project portfolios and it is highly customizable to suit a variety of business needs.
Celoxis boasts auto and manual scheduling features that accommodate geographically distributed remote project teams. The platform functionality can adapt to different time zones, time-constrained tasks, part-time resources, unavoidable absences, interim resource swaps, and even one-off exceptions such as teams working weekends to meet deadlines.
Along with everything you would expect from remote project and task planning, Celoxis offers a whole suite of built-in accounting tools, which makes it stand out against competitors. Celoxis can generate reports for budget spends, receivables, and profitability across projects and portfolios. Celoxis can also handle margin tracking, revenue forecasting, and custom financial KPIs.
Celoxis integrates with over 400 third-party apps like Google Drive, MS Excel, JIRA, QuickBooks Online, Salesforce, Evernote, Slack, Zendesk, G Suite, Trello, Harvest, MailChimp, and more through a paid account with Zapier.
Celoxis costs from $22.50/user/month with a 5 user minimum and offers a free 30-day trial.
- Easy to use interface
- Customizable dashboards for each team members
- Scheduling for geographically distributed teams
- No freemium plan
- No cancelation refunds post-purchase
- Only 2GB file space per user included in cloud plan
MeisterTask allows remote teams to organize and manage tasks in a beautifully designed, customizable environment that adapts to individual user needs. Kanban-style project boards allow teams to create streamlined, automated workflows no matter where they are physically located in the world. Their app is available for Android and iOS, as well.
MeisterTask costs from $8.25/user/month and offers a free version for up to 3 projects.
- Intuitive and user-friendly UI
- Very easy to manage several projects at the same time
- Access to unlimited project boards
- Timeline and custom fields are restricted to Business accounts
- File attachments limited to 200 MB per file
- After loading a file into a task it cannot be downloaded immediately
Wrike is a cloud-based work management platform with robust remote workflow functionality, and it’s a popular choice among enterprise and agency teams. PMs will appreciate being able to build custom dashboards and workflows as well as implement team-specific workflow automation. Progress reporting is easily shareable across clients, stakeholders, and team members no matter where they are located.
Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month and offers a free version for up to 5 users.
- Ease of use and setup
- Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
- Variety of project views meet different user needs
- Best features limited to Business plan
- The commenting system needs to be more prominent
Forecast is a remote project management software 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 remote- and hybrid agencies, consulting companies, SMBs, and enterprises.
PMs can control the workflow by building out detailed task lists and flagging clear priorities. Task cards allow remote team members 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 remote 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.
- 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
Kissflow Project is a great remote project management tool designed to focus on collaboration, transparency, coordination, and productivity. It offers a collection of essential features and is a good fit for teams who want a simple tool to help them collaborate on and manage tasks.
The main functions of this tool are in task management and file sharing/collaboration. It offers multiple views for projects, including Kanban boards, list views, and swimlanes. You can share project plans, documents, and other files, as well as discuss projects directly within the software, a boon for remote workers. Beyond these main parts of the tool, there are also some simple reporting and timesheets features to help with tracking.
Overall this is a strong fit for small to medium remote teams who want something to collaborate on that’s easy to learn—you’ll find more advanced reporting, finance, and resource management features in other tools. Kissflow Projects is really great for simply managing the flow of work, files, discussions, and time needed to get projects out the door!
Kissflow integrations include native Microsoft and G suite integrations, and the platform offers a REST API and webhooks.
- 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
Teamwork contains all the project management essentials that you need in a collaborative remote team: the ability to create tasks and projects, upload and share files, and add comments to tasks. Use Gantt charts, board views, portfolio management tools, time tracking, reporting dashboards, and workload management tools. Access readily available project health status updates for all remote employees.
Teamwork costs from $10/user/month and offers a free version for up to 5 users.
- Excellent time tracking feature
- Easy and comprehensive report building
- Easily track comments and feedback from clients
- More integrations with popular CRMs would be welcome
- Doesn’t sync with QuickBooks
- Can be difficult to move/adjust milestones
ProjectManager blends Agile and Waterfall methodologies to bring teams a collaborative solution that can adapt to hybrid methods or changes in your methodology from project to project. Gantt chart tools can help you and your team plan and schedule; build simple task lists with powerful features, and manage full agile sprints with drag-and-drop Kanban cards.
ProjectManager costs from $15/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
- Good for costing and construction work monitoring
- Easy to use project scheduling
- Fits well into an Agile framework
- No way to track and update partially complete tasks
- No way to sort Agile Boards by project, only by task
- Most reports require a manual clean-up
Mavenlink is a modern collaborative remote work platform with award-winning project and resource management features. Mavenlink resource management provides greater visibility into your resource pool using insightful dashboards, reports, and profiles. They also provide 60+ thoughtfully-crafted, services-centric BI reports out of the box.
Mavenlink costs from $19/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial as well as a free demo.
- Good for resource planning and project accounting
- Ability to search all client communication within a single space
- Easy to track time, develop timelines, and break projects down into tasks
- Can’t automatically repeat budgets or resource allocations
- Some data syncing lag
- Task and Gantt data columns aren’t fully customizable
ClickUp is a flexible project planning tool that can accomodate small or large teams who need to do lists, project management, docs and wikis, spreadsheets, email and chat, events, reminders, goal tracking, time tracking, and resource management. Something great about this tool is that it includes screenshots and recording features right in the tool. Users can import data from other productivity apps easily.
ClickUp costs from $5/user/month and offers a free version with limited features.
- Easy to switch between unrelated project plans
- Impressive organization: create folders, sub-groups, and sub-tasks
- Steep learning curve due to the number of features
- Tricky to email with attachments, files sometimes unopenable
- More third-party integrations would be welcome
Summary Of The Best Remote Project Management Tools
Other Remote Project Management Tools
Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- Basecamp – Best for IT teams
- Scoro – Best for customizable dashboards
- Zoho Projects – Best for CRM
- Asana – Best free remote project management
- Trello – Best for Kanban-style organization
- Keyedin – Best for PMO analytics
- Workzone – Best for file management
- Proworkflow – Best for remote collaboration
- EasyProjects – Best for product lifecycle
- Sciforma – Best for scalability
What Remote Project Management Tools Do You Use?
How do you navigate different projects and teams remotely? Have you tried any of these remote project management solutions in your day-to-day? Are there any remote project management tools that you would add to this list? Sound off in the comments.
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