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The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020



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Check out our simple, easy comparison of the best resource management software on the market in 2020.

In this complete resource management software review, you’ll discover the best resource management tool options along with a simple explanation of the criteria for choosing high-performing tools.

You’ll also find overviews of each tool, screenshots, and a comparison chart that will help you narrow down the choices.

On top of that, I answer all the commonly asked questions about resource management; you’ll learn what resource management software is and how it can change the way you deliver your professional services and complete work in a more effective and productive way.

Best Resource Management Software Shortlist

Check out 10 of the best resource management software options for 2020.

Below you’ll find an overview of these resource management tools (RMT), with screenshots, feature overviews, pricing and our score.

Jump to resource management tools reviews

Resource Management Basics

What is resource management?

In project management, resource management refers to the practice of planning, tracking, and optimizing the utilization of resources (such as staff, space, and equipment) in order to streamline project work and completion. This process involves planning and managing: checking the resource’s availability, scheduling start and end dates, managing any resourcing conflicts or dependencies, and monitoring over time to adapt to changes.

What is resource management software?

Simply put, resource management software makes it easy to plan, schedule (and reschedule) projects. Sometimes referred to as resource capacity planning software, it’s a type of project management tool that enables you to plan, allocate, and then track who’s working on what project, when, and for how long.

This software makes it easy to see the resource availability and capacity of the organization, the available skills, and then schedule and provide reporting to show historical and forecasted resource utilization.

What are some common examples of resource management software?

You’ll notice Resource Guru, Float and Mavenlink are common examples of resource management software (plus they offer some resource planning, project planning, and project management software features). Resource Guru, Float, and Mavenlink all offer tours, demos, or free trials.

What are the benefits of using resource management software?

  1. Streamline resource management and deployment to be as efficient and effective as possible, reducing downtime and increasing utilization.
  2. Provide a bird’s eye view of organizational capacity to prevent overbooking and support hiring decisions.
  3. Forecast revenue by providing reports on upcoming projects and planned resource deployment.

What's an example of an effective resource management system?

An effective resource management system is one that works. It could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet, but it’s one that enables an organization to deploy the resources at their disposal, as efficiently and effectively as possible.

That’s hard to do without some dedicated software. To make the resource management system effective, it enables the organization to conduct resource planning in a way that maximizes the utilization of available resources and considers the availability of staff, their skills, their preferences, their location and timezone, and maps them against projects and organizational goals. Resource management software supports project portfolio management, and provides a way to effectively manage resources to maximize productivity and profitability.

How to create a resource plan?

  1. Identify the different types of resources needed to complete the project.
    Resources could include: team members, equipment, meeting rooms, or anything that’ll be required as part of the project process.
  2. Quantify the amount of each type of resource required.
    To quantify the resources, you’ll need to consider the resources, and estimate their effort on the project.
  3. Schedule the consumption of each resource within the project.
    To schedule the resources, you’ll need a project schedule so you know who to book, when, and for how long.

What is a resource forecast?

Resource forecasting is a plan of the resources required to deliver a project. It often occurs in the initial phases of a project, even as early as the sales process. A resource forecast is an estimate of the resources and effort that will be required for the project, which helps determine the project hours, project budget, and the project estimate put forward to the client.

How do you calculate resources needed for a project?

How do you calculate project resources?

A simple way to calculate the level of effort required is to look at past project performance and compare it with the current project plan to identify the current project team velocity. You can then use the formula: current velocity / project estimate = resources required.

It’s important to calculate resources needed for a project so that you take the right amount of the team’s time. Resource too little, and they won’t have enough time to complete the work, and if you resource too much you’ll find they waste time, or work slowly to fill the time.

Not looking for resource management software? Have a look at other useful tools:


Managing your team members without a proper plan or tool can be a total nightmare. And that’s probably why you’re here. You know there must be a better way to manage your resources and team, right?

You’ve got the PM’s with their half-baked resource requests and the primadonnas who only work on certain clients or types of projects. Throw into the mix competing projects, contractors, 3rd parties and freelancers, insane clients, and leave management for vacations and sick leave, and getting any work done on schedule gets tricky. You know that you need some type of human resource management software, to make a plan that works – but which one? And how to choose?

Resource Management Software Comparison Criteria

To be featured on this list, I evaluated tools based on the following criteria:

  • User Interface (UI): How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?
  • Usability: Is this resources management system easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
  • Features & Functionality: How many of the key features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
    • Scheduling and allocation tools: s it easy to allocate the right resources and put the right people on the right projects? Includes simple calendars, timesheets, grids, gantt charts, ability to set deadlines and dependencies, and easy drag-and-drop to move resources around. Auto-scheduling features are a great plus, as are real time updates on changes to resource allocation.
    • Skills tracking: can you find certain employees based on their specific set of skills and availability? Includes the ability to input employee schedules, create profiles listing their skills, and easily search by skills. Additionally, the better tools offer powerful search functionality that allows you to filter by essentially any project variable: tag, department, client, etc.
    • Forecasting and planning features:does it include staffing or demand forecasting to help you plan resource availability ahead of time? This entails that the software collects data on sales, development, launches, schedules (etc) and makes resourcing recommendations to help you anticipate demands. The best resource management solution options offer an overview of your resource availability for the day, week, or month so you can see what you’re working with.
    • Utilization management tools:usually takes the form of analytics and reporting features that give insight into capacity, utilization, and performance for projects, clients, and individuals. Many tools also allow you to analyze your entire project portfolio.
  • Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
  • Value for $: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
  • Customizable: Can you customize and adapt the software to your project team’s specific needs?
  • Team collaboration: Does it allow team members to easily collaborate with each other and gain efficiencies through messaging and communication features, screen shares, and the ability to have more than one person contribute to specific tasks?

It’s worth comparing different tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionalities (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, task management), and different 3rd party integrations.

The 10 Best Resource Management Software Overviews

In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of software, considering complexity, price points, and functionality. But as much as anything, it’ll come down to your agency or studio resourcing workflow and what functionality you need to make that function better. Have a look and sign up for some trials to test-drive and find the best agency resource management software for your case.

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

Mavenlink logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 10 days free trial
  • From $19/user/month

1. Mavenlink – Comprehensive project and resource management software that

Mavenlink screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020


Mavenlink is a well-rounded tool that bridges the core planning, execution, project accounting, and analysis systems in a single operating environment. It has modules for project management, accounting, resource management, business intelligence, and team collaboration. On top of this, it offers a system of dashboards, live time and expense tracking features, a great documenting system. And all of these best-in-class features are delivered through straightforward and minimalistic design.

Mavenlink ticks off all the boxes when it comes to RM features. The resource management module offers real-time utilization and margins at the project and even the task level. Some key features include resource forecasting, capacity management, skills management, scenario planning, and role-based planning.

Drilling down into its other features, the BI suite module supplies built-in reports, custom reporting, trend analysis, data visualization, as well as data integration with other systems. The software also provides more accounting tools than many others, with project costing, project and task budget management, real-time utilization and margin tracking, invoicing, rate cards, and robust integrations into back-end financial systems. It also has some good contextual collaboration features to communicate in both provide and public discussions around tasks, projects, and many other project objects.

I could go on and on about Mavenlink’s features because there really are too many to list—it’s a comprehensive RM suite, that, despite requiring time to truly master, has been recognized as being easy to use and learn. What’s more, the company leverages its professional services expertise as part of their offering, making available their Mavenlink BI Consultants who can build reports specifically for your business. As well, they provide some great training resources that can help mitigate the risks and costs of implementation.

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, Mavelink 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.


  • Easy capacity management
  • Distinguish between soft and firm allocation
  • Good reporting functionality for resource data
  • Resourcing fully integrated with master planning


  • Can’t organize deliverables at the task level
  • No top level administrator with omnipotent access
  • Approvals not as flexible as other options
monday.com logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $25/month for 5 users

2. monday.com – Simplistic and engaging design, flexible planning, and clear communication between teams allows for easy and informed decisions around resource planning.

monday.com screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Resource Management View - monday.com

monday.com is a flexible platform to help teams communicate in context, get a birds-eye view of outstanding projects, available resources, and projected timelines. monday.com’s simplistic design and straight-forward interface mean teams can get started planning timelines, assigning project ownership, and managing any project in minutes.

monday.com offers various views to represent data, so each team member can work according to his preferences. With workload view, you can easily see who’s able to take on more work and who’s not. Gain insight into your team’s work capacity and make adjustments to timelines or ownership accordingly— no matter where you are. The monday.com app gives you the flexibility and power to run your team on the go. You can organize your daily work, projects, and teams all in one place.

Monday.com has over 40 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.


  • Color coded status great for resource overviews
  • Easily create boards dedicated to operational resource tracking
  • New features being rolled out regularly
  • Quick learning curve


  • Requires manual resource forecasting (no automation)
  • More expensive compared to similar products
Elapseit logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $14/user/month

3. Elapseit – Integrated resource planning and task tracking solution that you can actually use from small details to the big picture.

Elapseit screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Elapseit screenshot showing the

elapseit is an online human resource management tool for allocating and managing company resources. With this resource planning tool, you can assign resources on multiple projects, phases or task components by using the resourcing planner. The interface is easy to use—just drag & drop an allocation from a person to another, add a new one or modify an existing allocation in seconds.

Their resourcing system takes vacations and bank holidays into account, ad is designed to help you avoid resource over- and under-allocation. It also includes a leave planner with approval workflow and evidence of remaining vacations days. Once a manager approves a vacation request, all the allocations are automatically updated. Each person’s timesheet is pre-filled based on the allocation, and you can generate multi-language invoices based on hours submitted and approved.

elapseit is smart enough to let you know in seconds if you have enough resources to take a new project on board based on the “Available Capacity” report. You can check the resource utilization along with many other reports.

In a nutshell, elapseit is a powerful project and resource management software with highly connected features. These include time-tracking, task management, invoicing, time-off management, Kanban board, dashboard, reports, document management all together in a secure user experience, through different access levels. It’s the best option for all size companies and it suits perfectly all kind of projects. There is a freemium version which includes all features. The price starts at $14USD/user/month.


  • Can turn on/off suggested allocations
  • Clear, intuitive data interface
  • Access level for resourcing data
  • Variety of customized reports


  • Tricky task module navigation
  • No way to enter different rates for the same resource (ex. Onsite vs remote)
Float logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $5/user/month

4. Float – Leading resource management solution with powerful scheduling, integrations, and mobile apps

Float screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

The schedule view in Float is your single source of truth, to plan and manage your resources with confidence.

Float is for teams who want a robust and powerful resource management software that’s also unfussy and easy to use. Over 3,000 of the world’s top teams use Float, including Deloitte, Ogilvy, BuzzFeed, and MetaLab. Its simple, visual design and potent feature set make it the perfect choice for teams big and small.

Scheduling in Float is easy and intuitive. Create new projects quickly, and assign them to your team within seconds. The schedule view gives you an accurate, high-level overview of your team’s availability and capacity, and you can drill down deeper using Float’s search and filter functionality. Set custom work hours, import and assign public holidays, schedule time off, assign custom tags like location and skills to your people and projects, and set a scheduled status to let everyone know when you’re working from home or remotely, or what you’re up to on a particular day.

Updating your schedule is simple, with a right-click menu full of editing shortcuts, a click-and-drag feature that lets you reassign and update tasks, and a lightning-fast interface that can handle an enterprise volume of people and projects.

Real-time reporting lets you track your resource utilization, monitor project budgets, and forecast your team’s capacity. Add time tracking to access pre-filled timesheets and compare your team’s scheduled hours with the actual time spent on tasks.

Float has a range of dedicated integrations that play well with your existing apps. Sync and schedule your Jira, Asana, Teamwork, or Trello projects and import your Google or Outlook Calendar events directly onto your schedule in Float. Stay on top of schedule changes via Slack, email, or mobile push notifications.

Float is free to try for 30 days, and you get unlimited access to both resource planning and time tracking features. After that, it’s $5 per scheduled user, per month, or $10 with time tracking. Float also has volume and yearly subscription discounts available.


  • Easy-to-use resource editing tools
  • Set custom work hours
  • Can monitor budgets and forecast capacity
  • Easily add contract workers
  • Time tracking feature


  • Updating staff/personnel list takes time
Saviom logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • Up to 6 weeks free trial
  • Priced by custom license

5. Saviom – Highly customizable resource management tool offering deep visibility into complex resource data

Saviom screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Saviom screenshot of the resource forecasting module displaying resource utilization in grids and graphs.

Saviom is a global specialist in software products which boost efficiency and project performance (Saviom reports that users of their product have cut their resourcing spend by 20% or more).

The several modules in Saviom’s flagship resource management suite, such as the smart resource scheduler, helps you correct work imbalances instantly. The resource planning module (for tracking and scheduling resources while maintaining their optimisation) and the accompanying dashboard which integrates with other business tools to display your key project data. You can also sync resource and project schedules across your enterprise with the suite’s resource management system The capacity planning tools offer granular reporting and analytics which helps you quickly identify resource clashes. It also includes a skills repository which makes it easy to profile resources and find skill matches for future work.

Saviom’s Enterprise Resource Management software is designed to unify project and resource workflows for resource managers hard-pressed for time. Its business intelligence dashboards offer insights into real-time activities across the enterprise, and the Gantt chart view provides visibility into resource and project workflows, enabling managers like you to make accurate predictions of schedule conflicts and mismanaged resources to accommodate work influxes.

With a tiered pricing model as customizable as the tool, Saviom’s power and lite licenses operate under role-based access, ensuring you retain full control over data.


  • Drag-and-drop resource bookings
  • Easily generate resource insights
  • Comprehensive depth of resource filters


  • Interface shows a lot of information at once
  • Unavailability of a few fields in reporting
Forecast.app logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $29/seat/month

6. Forecast.app – Streamlined resource management software with forecasting, capacity planning, and plenty of pre-built integrations

Forecast.app screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Forecast is a full project and resource management solution used by professional service companies all around the world to improve KPIs and scale with real-time insights at hand. Powered with artificial intelligence (AI), Forecast aids with scheduling and finds the right people to work on projects and tasks. The AI learns from the work being performed and helps optimize all parts of people, planning, and projects.

For resource management and scheduling, you can allocate people to projects or specific tasks. On task allocation projects, Auto-Schedule weeds out the need to manually assign resources to tasks. The whole resource allocation process, together with task estimations, can be fully automated. You can manage allocations directly in the heatmap feature, which is a quick visual way to see everyone’s capacity and utilization. You can use the searchable database to find the person with the right role and/or skills that are most likely to be available for any task that’s not assigned yet.

The reporting features in Forecast are great. Timesheets and tracking are built right into the product (and there’s iOS and Android apps for tracking on the go). Forecast uses actual and planned data to present customizable reports with key metrics such as real-time utilization, compare actual vs. scheduled utilization, track project progress, profitability, budgets, and get other insights on a portfolio or project level.

Integrations are above average—there’s turnkey integrations with several mainstream tools in their extensive app catalog, as well as two-way sync with Jira.

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).


  • Quick top level view of available resources by user
  • Easily compare budget and expenses
  • Connects to your existing toolstack
  • Colorful, intuitive resource charts


  • Higher learning curve
  • Time consuming logging structure
  • Lacks approve button after filling timesheet
Resource Guru logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $2.50/user/month

7. Resource Guru – Reliable tool used by some of the world

Resource Guru screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Resource Guru screenshot displaying a filtered view of the team calendar.

Resource Guru offers some solid features including: visual calendar style interface, custom views, fields and filters, availability indicator, drag and drop resources, scale view, see utilization, reporting, overtime tracking, data import and phone support.

Resource Guru offers some solid features including: visual calendar style interface, custom views, fields and filters, availability indicator, drag and drop resources, scale view, see utilization, reporting, overtime tracking, data import and phone support.


  • Availability bar for capacity planning
  • Clash management for unintended overlap
  • Attractive and flexible UI
  • Daily resource summary emails


  • Very affordable per-user rate
  • Unable to sort resources by experience level
  • No copy-paste of resource tasks
Hub Planner logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 60 day free trial
  • From $7/user/month

8. Hub Planner – Best resource management software with built-in enterprise resource management features

Hub Planner screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

View your organization

Hub Planner is a resource management software with a full suite of 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.


  • Detailed and precise reporting
  • Easily searchable resource indexes
  • Easy toggle between user/group
  • Quickly generated reports


  • Can’t click on events for details
  • Field data can be hard to edit once input
  • Limited integration with MS Teams
Wrike logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $9.80/user/month

9. Wrike – Best resource management software for teams of all sizes

Wrike screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

Users can view priorities in a table format, along with time spent, estimated duration, and effort.

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

Wrike’s simple interface enables teams to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views, to get a bird’s eye view of real-time resource management. Unlock advanced insights with performance reporting, resource management and allocation, and time tracking. This level of visbility is great for maximizing resources across your organization.

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 a stream for notifications and messages. 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.

eResource Scheduler logo - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $5/user/month

10. eResource Scheduler – Flexible and comprehensive resource management for organizations of any size, including Fortune 500s

eResource Scheduler screenshot - The 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2020

eResource Scheduler screenshot displaying team members

eResource Scheduler offers both Cloud and On-Premise versions with configurability &; ease of use at core of its design. It’s been used by organizations of all sizes since 2011.

This resource planning tool’s features include a dashboard that highlights important information on single screen, along with multiple types of user-defined fields that allow capturing complete information (roles, skills, qualifications, certificates, team, office etc.) about your projects.

The scheduling chart offers resource, project and role views, and users can create their own scheduling views on the fly. Filters identify qualified resources as per projects requirements. Meanwhile, features like drag and drop, availability and overload indicator, extend-shorten, precise split, copy-paste make scheduling efficient and quick. They also offer the option to schedule at both project and task levels. You’ll find multiple calendars with different timings, holidays, exceptions and personal leaves (visible on scheduling chart) to ensure correct resource capacity for different types of employee (Full, Part Time, Casual etc.). Their reports show real-time utilization at different levels and their reporting offers several different views/filters which make the reports informative and useful.

To integrate their tool with your other business tools, you can use their Open REST API, and you can also take advantage of easy imports/exports.

And finally, their timesheets feature and financial module (complete with cost and billing rates and a forecasting report) make eResource Scheduler complete resource management package. eResource Scheduler costs $5/resource/month and provides annual billing discounts (14-day free trial).


  • Resource notification emails
  • Ease of use and functionality
  • Change control records for resource data
  • Robust resource dashboard


  • No invoicing module
  • More complicated pricing structure

The Best Resource Management Software Comparison Chart

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the baffling array of resource planning software out there. Below, we’ve put together a reader-friendly table neatly summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article.

Video: How To Choose The Best Resource Management Software

Wondering what to look for as you check out the options? Here’s a video that covers our criteria and gives you an idea of what various tool interfaces look like.

Other options

None of the above work for you? Check out the list below for additional project resource management software tools:

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.

Do you need resource management software?

You might be on board, but getting buy-in to change the status quo within your agency, team or studio can be tricky.

After all, do you really, really need resource management tools?

A quick google search for ‘resource management tool excel’ or ‘resource management software free’ and you’ll find a whole bunch of resource management templates that do the job—well, kind of.

Actually, not really. Yes, they’re a free resource management tool, but no, they are not great.

When agencies start, it’s usually with a handful of resources. There’s no urgent need for resource management or specialist software. Usually, everyone simply gets together for a quick huddle, agrees on priorities, and works out what everyone is going to work on for the day. Or—if people are feeling really ambitious—for the entire week.

As the agency grows, resource management becomes more formal and the resource scheduler becomes a whiteboard. Simple, right?

Then, disaster strikes as someone accidentally wipes the whiteboard clean, or the office grows to the extent that people can’t actually see the whiteboard, and everyone realizes it’s time to move to the agency gold standard: the infamous resource scheduler of doom, otherwise known as the resource spreadsheet.

Google docs: the ultimate free resource management tool

The truth is resource management spreadsheets kind of work. Most agencies are still using them. And suffering for it.

Everyone knows resource management by spreadsheet doesn’t really work. It’s not really cut out for the job. Everything’s a bit of a hack, they’re clunky and they’re horribly prone to errors. Months pass by and still the resourcing spreadsheet somehow just about manages to keep its head above water.

But everyone feels like they’re drowning. Yes, it enables you to keep moving and it kind of works but everyone knows that despite good intentions and some fancy formulas, it keeps on slipping under and it’s not really fit for its purpose at all. Unless you’ve got the mother of all resource spreadsheets (that I’ve never laid eyes on) it’s missing a few key features and is a disaster waiting to happen.

Still using spreadsheets?

At a push, your resource management spreadsheet might tell you how under-resourced or under-utilized your teams are, or even include forecasting, but does it include budget tracking, time tracking for billable hours, project reporting, sending staff real time notifications, helping them collaborate, or a built-in process for requesting resources and resource allocation? Without these elements, it cannot be the resource management solution you’re looking for.

And importantly, does it have a change process for when resources get moved around by the resource manager or your rogue project manager colleague? Maybe that’s why no one follows it – it’s considered more of a rough resource management guide than a true resourcing source.

But there’s hope. A growing number of tools have evolved in recent years to fix the problem of resource management in Excel and actually create something better than the free resource management tools—stuff that actually brings additional business value on top of keeping everything organized.

Which Resource Management Software Do You Recommend?

What do you think we’re missing? Which other tools do you recommend, and what would you add to these resource management software reviews? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of software – why not share them using the comments below?What is resource management?


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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.


  • Very useful list thank you. Jira seems to be a rather de-facto standard although not often rated very highly. What’s your views on http://www.scrumwise.com/ , https://www.axosoft.com/ , https://asana.com/ , https://leankit.com/ and https://trello.com/ ?

  • AvatarBen Astonsays:

    Hi Craig – are you asking about resourcing scheduling tools or more generally, project management toos? I don’t think I’ve seen resource scheduling tied directly into Jira; but I’m sure there are some plugins that enable it. The other tools you mention too – while they’re project management tools, they’re not really resource scheduling tools.

  • AvatarBen Cockersays:

    Great article, thanks. I know there is no perfect solution out there, but I have a consistent problem – each tool is based on hourly scheduling but I need to schedule at a weekly level. Within that week I don’t care when my resources do any task, so all I need is that they have a certain number of productivity units – e.g. 5 days or 10 half days. The overhead of fitting into an hourly paradigm feels very high, but I could still really use some of the benefits of these tools over Excel worksheets – are there any tools or workarounds you can recommend for my needs?

    • AvatarBen Astonsays:

      Hi Ben – thanks for your comments. I’m not sure I understand your problem though of ‘fitting into an hourly paradigm’. Can’t you just convert your productivity units into hours i.e. instead of 5 days, just put the task duration as 40hrs?

      • AvatarBen Cockersays:

        Hi Ben – thanks for the reply! The problem that I have is that all the solutions I’ve seen force you in the end to put a task into a particular time of the week eg. Monday 9-11am – and maintaining that detail when all I need to do is know what someone is doing in any week feels a burdensome overhead. I don’t care what hours someone keeps, or whether they are free on Thursday afternoon, just that they have 16 of their 40 hours free in a week. Does that make sense?

        • Hi Ben – I understand the frustration of pegging quantity of time to specific hours of the week. At Timesheets.com we have the option for tracking project time the way you need it – not associated to specific time blocks. You can have weekly tracking also. All the best, Raya

        • AvatarPeta Wilsonsays:

          Hi Ben

          Im having the same problem! Did you end up finding a solution?

          • AvatarBen Astonsays:

            I still don’t understand the problem! If you don’t really care when your team does the work, only that the work is scheduled to be done sometime in the week, can’t you just schedule the tasks across the week and tell people to do it when suits them?

          • Hi Peta,
            in our scheduling tool, you only need to allocate an amount of hours to weeks or days and schedule accordingly. This should solve you problem.

  • AvatarShaunsays:

    Hi Ben,

    I’m not sure if it exists but we’re looking at a tool that will pull live project info from a portal or project schedule and update the schedule automatically. Most of the Project Management/Scheduling is done in Primavera and MS Project so what I wanted to know is if there is a tool that can sit across both portal and update as soon as the project schedules drags out or changes.

    • AvatarBen Astonsays:

      That’s an interesting use-case. I’m not aware of any middleware or tools that do that probably because the rules around the source of truth (what to copy and what to not copy) might get a hard to manage!

  • AvatarJoeysays:

    Hello Ben, do you know if any of these tools offer Portfolio Management functions? For example, as a portfolio manager, I would like to see a consolidated view of 5 departments, managed by 5 different managers, however each of the department managers would not need to see what the other ones’ plans. Thanks!

  • AvatarLaurasays:

    Hiya, I am looking for a resource planning tool for my design studio and I have found a few I like from a scheduling pov however I need to have this provide me with the financial information too. Estimate vs actual and so on, I know a few do them but it seems to be a separate system and I would like an all in one? help!

      • AvatarGrant MacDonaldsays:

        Hi Ben,
        There is a lot of useful info in the earlier posts and one common thread seems to be that no one software package seems to be flexible enough to meet the needs of any one situation…
        I manage an engineering department of approx 200 people in an Oil & Gas services company where we have multiple clients being serviced from 4 locations and need to ensure that there are the correct resources in the right places based on current & forecast work.
        I’ve been trying to find some software where the inputs are:
        – Proposal hours (what has been bid)
        – Project hours (actual work on the books)
        – Weekly timesheets (what has actually been done by each person)

        and the required outputs are:
        – Overall resource loading based on actual & forecast work in hand (projects)
        – The same with any bid work added into the equation (projects + bids)
        – Resource loading broken down to a number of levels based on office location, project, office location, engineering discipline and individual staff member.

        I know it seems like a tall order but to a non-IT person like myself it seems like there should be some database driven system that can accommodate these requirements.

        Any assistance on the best way forward would be appreciated….

        • AvatarBen Astonsays:

          Hi Grant, a couple of tools which might help that I’d recommend would be liquidplanner.com or possibly workfront.com – they both have functionality which aligns well I think with what you’re looking for.



        • Hi Grant, we at PDP over a scheduling solution which includes the kind of functionality you are asking (scheduling, time sheets, planning and the related reporting).

  • nice post and my only comment would be that resource management software is a quite generic and i’m sure collectively we can all come up with a long list of software tools. just to give you an idea what we use at booking live –

    project management – https://www.zoho.eu/projects/
    hr / staff management – https://people.zoho.com/hr
    development management – https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira
    this tool via confluence does time tracking too and using zoho reports collates all the data for KPI info
    Mail / Calendar Availability etc – https://www.google.com/gmail/about/for-work/

    and of course for meetings, rooms, or indeed our clients, would use our own scheduling software https://www.bookinglive.com

    we spent months and months trialling various software so i hope that list helps similar companies to ours! good luck, good post.

  • AvatarIvanasays:

    Hello! Thank you for this list – I’m looking for resource management software particularly around ticketing and resource request. I oversee the resource management department but we receive requests from both the sales and post-sales department. Our team of resources are primarily contract staff dispersed across the globe. We are also looking at software that integrates with PSA and FinancialForce. Any recommendations?

  • AvatarUlhassays:

    Hi, I am looking for a tool which manages resources in terms of asset. It should give the availibility of instruments/labs used over different sites globally.

  • AvatarYasarsays:

    Thank you so Much for this Amazing Compilation of consisting helpful softwares.

  • AvatarBritsays:


    Thanks for this article. One issue I ran into was that Hub Planner’s pricing turns out to be per resource, not per user. So it’s not going to be $8/month for anyone unless you’re only scheduling for one person (in which case you probably don’t need a resource management software). So if you want to figure out workflows for 20 people (even if they are not users themselves), it’s going to be $160/month. They also have a ‘Lite Resource’ feature which discounts each resource by $70%, but for 20 resources, you’re still going to be around $50/month. It’s an excellent, robust, easy-to-use software, and may be worth the money depending on your circumstances, but it’s not $8/month unless you’re only scheduling for one person/resource.

  • AvatarEVsays:

    Great article!

    Could you please tell me which tool is better for a project based company? We have long term projects running at the same time and for periods longer than 2 or 3 years

    Thank you

  • AvatarJunesays:

    This is a helpful article. Has there been a way to demonstrate the return on investment or reduced costs from implementing a resource management software tool?

  • AvatarJanesays:


    I’m looking for a solution that’s more specific to equipment allocation than human resources, where I can track and manage the availability of this equipment and then reserve it on an hourly basis upon request for different locations. The other features like talent management budgeting and reporting are secondary… I’m familiar with a product called Scheduall but don’t need something quite that sophisticated.

    Are any of these solutions something that you would suggest I investigate first?

  • Avatarjerinsays:

    hello sir, i am looking for the resource management software for our institution..our institution offers some training, so students can select the training based on the availability of the staffs..so resource management is our biggest problem. sir, could you suggest the better solution for my concern

  • AvatarRahulsays:

    Hi Ben,

    I just found this article on my FB feed and quite surprised that you haven’t mentioned about Account Sight. I’m sure you’re not aware of this amazing resource management tool.

    I generally outsource lot of my work to freelancers and use account sight https://www.accountsight.com for resource management and project allocation. Initially I started with their free plan and I really impressed with this easy to use tool, later I subscribed their paid plan.

    I would highly recommend to have a look on their website and read testimonials. You would certainly regret for not including it in your list.


  • Hi Ben, it is a useful summary of the tools, a good starting point to find the right solution. Our demand may be too specific; so far I have not been able to find the right tool yet. We use huge Excels sheets that are getting unmanageable by now.
    Most of our tasks are not suitable for automated scheduling, as they are timed on time slots agreed with our clients. Therefore, we have to schedule our tasks on hourly basis in the day, and we cannot let them automatically scheduled by a PM tool. The fixed hourly schedule is essential, but most of the PM or RM tools are not able to manage it.
    On the other hand we have to have a quick overlook who is available at a requested time to be assigned to a certain task. On the other hand, our staff (assignees) have to be able to see at any time what tasks are due for them and what time. The wanted solution would be able to synchronize the project calendar with the task holders’ calendar at Google or Exhange/Outlook. The
    Beyond the plans, task holders (assignees) periodically (e.g. end of the day) report the actually spent hours. The wanted tool has to provide them a simple, fast UI to do this job.

    I would appreciate if you can suggest some directions I can continue the search. Thanks.
    Gabor Toldi

  • AvatarBrooke Hollidaysays:

    Hi Ben,

    This has been super helpful. Looking for a resource management tool that is not cloud based (one that we can host). So far it looks like Saviom might be the best bet! Looking into them currently. Is there any other tool you’re aware of that is a native client with an on prem storage solution as well (not just cloud based)?


  • AvatarB Borahsays:

    Hi Ben,
    Would like to highlight below name in the list. Most of the resource management software deals mostly around human and time management. I would like to highlight following page where we manage time, material and capital resource in a project.
    Currently helping some of the biggest organisation where some of the project are more than $100 ml. Will be thankful if you kindly add up in the list.

  • AvatarBobbie Calhounsays:

    Hi Ben,
    We use Wrike, but it doesn’t allow allocation of cost per resource. It only allocates cost per task, or cost per project. This doesn’t work for projects where we want to forecast and allocate folks at different cost rates. They’ve acknowledged they don’t have this functionality. Is there an add-on or alternative solution you can recommend? We need to see labor cost. Was also wondering why Wrike wasn’t on your list.

  • Ben,

    Thank you for the list. I feel like all are great options, but I feel like they don’t quite meet our needs. We already use Monday.com to track our projects, so we really need a tool that only focuses on resource allocation (our projects vary in length, from same day to a couple weeks). Resource Guru seems to be the one that more closely matches our needs but you can’t preview availability (exact times since we have variable hour, part time and full time employees) nor skills prior to assigning a job.

    Any recommendations?


  • AvatarRoger Bramallsays:

    Hi Ben

    We service 200 clients with a resource of 10 professional business analysts (5 Technical & 5 Financial) where we can view their availability via their outlook calendar. The analysts availability is variable across each month of the year and each client requires two or our analysts (1 Technical & 1 Financial) for one day, once a year. Our forecast suggests growth will be 30% year on year so the number of clients and analysts will grow proportionally. Can you recommend a product that would fit our profile.
    Thanks and regards – Roger

  • AvatarFransays:

    Hi Ben – great article, thanks for sharing!

    I’ve just released a product called Stitch – http://www.stitchapp.co – to help people manage their creative networks, so when that moment comes that you’ve done your resourcing and realise you need a freelancer, you can find them at a seconds notice. It’s also being used in production departments as a centralised store of agencies’ creative networks. Hopefully that will be helpful to some people!


  • AvatarSam Lisays:

    I like how you said it will come down to your studio resourcing workflow to choose a processing software for engineering. I would say that it’s crucial to have the right software when working as an engineer to ensure your job is being done correctly and efficiently. My friend is in school to become an engineer, so I’ll be sure to mention to him the importance of finding the right software to work with. http://www.epcon.com

  • AvatarEduardo Michelinisays:

    Good list, but it would be better if you could also put some open source (GNU) softwere on it.

  • AvatarSimonsays:

    Thanks for sharing this Great article
    I appreciate the valuable time you have used to share this.

  • AvatarVishal Shuklasays:

    Nice article and help to compare resource management product as per our business need. Guess what download and see which fit our need and use-cases.

  • I shared this with my quality assurance software testing service and they found this article to be informative and a must share on other platforms. Keep up the good work.

  • Excellent explanation, it’s simple & focus. Keep up the great work!

  • Great post! In fact, I hired an enterprise mobility management service recently and will share this knowledge with my team as well. Keep up the good work.

  • AvatarAnamariasays:

    I’m also using elapseit
    Time is a very important resource and this tool is perfect for keeping track of things, while managing a project

  • Great post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

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