There are countless scheduling tools that offer free trials and free versions of their software. However, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to create, manage, and optimize project schedules, ensuring that tasks are completed in a timely and efficient manner but need to figure out which tool will allow you to do it for free. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different tools with startups and small teams, with my picks of the best free project scheduling software.
What is project scheduling software?
Project scheduling software is a tool that helps you visually plan, organize, and manage resources for projects. With this software, you can easily plan, execute, and keep track of resources throughout the entire project. Free versions of project scheduling software typically offer basic task management, limited integrations, simple reporting, lower attachment storage limits, and a handful of user accounts.
However, these tools simplify the often complicated process of resource allocation and project planning. They come with a user-friendly interface that allows you to drag and drop tasks, manage dependencies, assign tasks, and set deadlines. This is incredibly useful in providing clarity to the project team and stakeholders. The software offers a detailed project plan, timeline, assigned tasks, a couple of project views, and collaboration/reporting tools to offer insights into the project.
Monday.com is a project management app that lets you create spreadsheet-like projects for different parts of your business. The tool has over 200 templates for functions such as marketing, events, real estate, and sales.
To get started, just sign-up and then choose the templates you need. You can customize each one by adding the exact features you need. For example, a realtor can add dates, list prices, and locations. Or a content agency could keep track of publish dates, clients, and writers.
The free version of Monday.com lets you create unlimited boards. Use these for different projects or clients. You can also add unlimited docs and access over 200 templates.
The biggest restriction is that you can only add one other person to your projects. This is fine for freelancers, but you’ll have to pay as soon as your business grows to three team members. At this point, the cheapest paid plan costs $6 per user per month.
Productive is a comprehensive work management software designed specifically for agencies. It has a large suite of features covering project management, resource scheduling, time tracking, budgeting, and collaboration. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution, it might be a good choice.
Agencies need to have clear timelines and schedules for their projects. With this software, you can use the calendar view to get an overview of what's due, and when. Team members can be assigned specific tasks, and each task is given a deadline. Then, you can track your progress with the board view.
You can also manage your project budgets and track employee time with the software. This is super helpful to ensure accurate billing and invoicing for clients. Plus, it helps you plan timelines and schedules for future projects by seeing how long specific tasks take. You can also manage each team member's workload and capacity, ensuring you don't over- or under-book anyone.
The platform integrates with Dropbox, Exact, Google Workplace, Jira, Harvest Economic, Outlook, Microsoft Calendar, Slack, QuickBooks, and Xero. A Zapier integration is also available, which can unlock more integrations with a paid account.
There's no free-forever plan, but there is a 14-day free trial available. You might also save money with this platform because it wraps so many functions into one tool. Paid plans start from $9 per user per month, when billed annually.
Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard platform that's designed to help teams work together more effectively. Your team can brainstorm, plan, and track projects together in real-time.
It's easy to use, flexible, and can handle everything from brainstorming sessions to detailed project planning. It has an infinite canvas that you can zoom in and out of, which is perfect for when you're dealing with complex projects. You can also add sticky notes, images, links, and even documents directly onto the board, which makes it super easy to keep all your project information in one place. Plus, it's got these pre-made templates for things like user story maps and business model canvases, which can save you a lot of time.
Standout features include the product’s vast template library and wireframing capabilities. There are tons of templates to choose from and customize, or you can easily start with a blank slate. You can also use the platform for wireframing, making it a flexible and valuable tool for product development at various stages.
Integrations include Webex, Figma, Jira, Azure DevOps, Confluence, Trello, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Zoom, and 100+ others. You can access thousands of additional tools using a Zapier integration. This may require an additional expense.
Pricing starts at $10/user/month and they offer a free plan.
Zoho Projects is a free project management platform with project scheduling capabilities designed for project managers (PMs) and stakeholders.
Zoho’s free project planner can be used by project managers of smaller teams and businesses to easily map out their work breakdown structure. The tool is equipped with various core modules such as task and subtask management, issue management, task lists, and milestones. The free planning and scheduling tool also enables project managers to create plans that guide team members on the step-by-step journey of completing their project, thanks to the platform’s built-in Gantt chart view. Project managers who are managing a remote or hybrid team can benefit from Zoho Projects’ collaborative features, including the built-in Feed, documents, Forums, and chat tool.
Zoho Projects is endlessly scalable and flexible using its marketplace of tool connectors and app add-ons. Pick between hundreds of integrations, free and paid options, for customer relationship management, asset management, marketing, design, and more. You can sort add-ons by pricing, user rating, and/or functionality. Certain add-ons are limited to paid Zoho Projects plans but many are open to freemium users, like Hubspot, DocuSign, and SugarCRM.
Features include roadmapping, project management, task scheduling/tracking, customer management, prioritization, and notifications.
Integrations include Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported. Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s own services for Sales, Marketing, CRM, customer service, and others.
Zoho Project is completely free for up to three users. Paid plans start from $5 per user/month. A 10-day free trial is available.
Hub Planner is a web-based project management tool that allows you to schedule tasks and resources for projects.
Why I picked Hub Planner: The tool is highly customizable. You can create your own task types and resource groups, which makes it easy to tailor the software to your team's specific needs. There are also a lot of reporting options available, which is helpful for tracking project progress and making data-driven decisions.
Hub Planner allows you to see all of your team members' schedules in one place, so you can quickly identify any conflicts or overbooking. You can also set resource availability and leave, so you always know who is available to work on a particular project. The drag-and-drop functionality is particularly helpful when it comes to scheduling resources.
Hub Planner Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource management, PTO planning, timesheets, reporting, skills matching, task management, templates, drag and drop scheduler, project budgets, approval flow, smart scheduler, and third-party integrations/add-ons.
Integrations include DIY options via the Hub Planner API and webhooks. Additionally, you can access thousands of apps using a Zapier account.
Trello is user-friendly project scheduling software that uses Kanban boards to keep you on track. The basic idea is that you create a board for each project, add lists such as “To do”, “In progress,” and “In review,” then add tasks to each one.
The thing I love about Trello is how easy it is to use. It’s easy to add tasks by creating a new card. You can then add due dates, collaborators, and a to-do list that shows what you need to do to complete a task.
Moving cards across projects is as simple as dragging them from one list to another. And you can set up an automation that moves tasks when the to-do list is complete. You can also comment on tasks and add attachments to each one.
Trello has a generous free plan with unlimited members and cards. You also get access to the easy-to-use mobile app on Android and iOS.
The downside is that you can only add ten boards per workspace. You also miss out on custom fields, advanced checklists, and the ability to upload files larger than 10MB.
Trello has plenty of integrations, including with Slack, Google Drive, Jira, and Ganttify. If you want to upgrade, the standard plan costs $6 per user per month and premium costs $12.50 per user per month.
Asana is an easy-to-use project management system. The thing I like about it most is how easy it is to use. Creating and assigning tasks is super-intuitive. And the drag and drop interface makes moving them to the relevant place easy.
The free plan helps you schedule projects with up to 15 users. You can create unlimited projects and tasks and then assign them to relevant stakeholders. Then create dependencies within a task so people know when they need to work. You can view projects in both calendar and regular view.
Asana’s free version offers integrations with over 100 apps, including Microsoft Teams, Adobe Cloud, Slack, Salesforce, and more. Paid plans start at $13.49 per user per month. For this, you get premium features including task templates and the ability to set start and end dates for each task.
Basecamp is one of the longest-standing apps on this list. It offers a unique combination of project management, cloud storage, and team collaboration. Basecamp Personal is a free version of the tool that misses out on some premium features.
All the action happens in a workspace, and each workspace is organized into projects. From here, you can add tasks, create a to-do list, see your project calendar, and communicate with your team.
The most important feature for project scheduling is setting deadlines for tasks that you can view on a calendar. You can also add people to each task so everyone knows what they should be working on.
Basecamp also has built-in communication features. You can chat with other project members and add announcements to the message board. Most other project scheduling tools don’t offer these features, leaving you to rely on a third-party tool like Slack.
Basecamp integrates with plenty of other tools. You can sync your Google calendar with your Basecamp calendar, add Everhour time tracking to your to-do lists, or create Gantt charts from Basecamp projects using Ganttify.
The Personal plan limits you to managing three projects at a time. You can add 20 people to each one, which is more than enough for most freelancers and small agencies.
You also get 1GB of file storage: this is enough for documents, but you’ll soon reach the limit if you need extensive multimedia file sharing. Upgrading costs $99 per month for unlimited users and features.
Coda is the most unusual tool on this list. It is a no-code document builder that lets you combine familiar document features into a single file. One document can include spreadsheets, text, charts, Kanban boards, drop-down menus, and headings.
How does this fit in with project scheduling? Well, you can use the tool to create powerful apps to manage your projects. Just add the features you need to get your work done. If you need some help, start off with one of many project templates that cover everything from task lists, to content calendars, and more.
You can also pull in data from different tools, or send the information from your doc out to other software. For example, you can set up the tool to notify people on Slack when someone completes a task. Each document is fully collaborative, so everyone in your team can work on the same one.
The free tool offers access to pretty much everything Coda has to offer. The only limit is that you can’t hide pages which means docs become complicated. You are also restricted to using 1,000 rows and up to 50 objects.
If you find this isn’t enough, you can upgrade to a paid plan for $12 per doc maker per month. The doc maker is the person who creates the document, everyone else can still collaborate on the doc for free.
TeamGantt is a tool that specializes in—you guessed it—Gantt charts. This makes breaking complex projects down into smaller steps and milestones easy. And the tool has plenty of features that help with project planning, scheduling, and management.
Why I picked TeamGantt: The tool uses a drag-and-drop interface which makes it easy to add tasks to your project. Project scheduling is as simple as adding deadlines and dependencies so you know exactly when work should be finished. Once you are set up, it’s easy to switch between Gantt, Kanban, and calendar views to get a full overview of your project.
TeamGantt Standout Features & Integrations
Features include a drag-and-drop UI, a multiple-project view, workloads, team availability, a live chat for improved collaboration, portfolio views, reports, and a dedicated mobile app.
Integrations include Basecamp, Dropbox, Slack, and thousands of additional apps using Zapier. You can also build custom integrations using its API.
TeamGantt Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $24 /manager/month and provides access to unlimited projects and tasks.
Best free scheduling for startups & freelancers
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Website|
Best work management software for agencies
14-day free trial
Best for its wide selection of pre-made templates
Free plan available
Best for scalability & flexibility
Free trial available
Best for businesses or teams that need to manage complex schedules and resources
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best for simple Kanban boards
Free trial + free plan available
Best for integrations
30-day free trial + free plan available
Best for businesses that also need communication features
30-day free trial
|From $15/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
Best no-code document builder
Free Plan Available
Best for Gantt charts
30-day free trial
Best productivity platform
Best for time tracking
Best for customized solutions
- Zoho Sprints
Best for agile development teams
Best project scheduling for small teams
Best free plan with unlimited users, storage, projects, and task management.
Best for project scheduling via spreadsheets.
- Google Workspace
Best for those in the Google app ecosystem.
- Microsoft Online
Best free project scheduling on the web using Excel, PowerPoint and the MS Office 365 suite.
How I Picked The Best Free Project Scheduling Software
First, I researched all the top free project scheduling platforms according to user reviews and popularity. Then, I narrowed down the list by pinning the software against each other based on a variety of factors that make software a good option for project scheduling. Finally, I selected the final list and evaluated them based on the criteria below.
User Interface (UI)
Although a premium plan offers more features, it does not mean you get a different visual experience. The tools on the list look great. They are all free versions of paid tools, so you get the same premium UI as paid users.
Each tool is easy to set up and use. Those with more features tend to have a slightly higher learning curve, but it can be worth it for the extra functionality.
Your project scheduling software needs to work with the other tools your business uses. Common integrations include receiving notifications on Slack or adding storage via cloud platforms like Dropbox. Some free plans limit integration availability.
Completely free to use
All the tools on this list provide great project scheduling functionality at no cost. You can use the tools for as long as you like without paying a cent.
What is Project Scheduling Software?
What key features should I look for when choosing free project scheduling software?
What is the best way to schedule a project?
It’s amazing how much functionality you can get without paying any money, and many of the tools are more than enough for not just freelancers and solopreneurs but even small teams and businesses. Next, I recommend you read how to nail project scheduling to wow your stakeholders.
Related tool lists:
- Best free project management software
- Project Management Calendar Tools For Scheduling
- Task management software
- Resource scheduling software
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