Free software is great if you're on a budget, but if you have a little extra cash to spare, it's worth investing in a paid project scheduling software. They offer more features, are often easier to use, and you can integrate the tool with your other software.
Project scheduling software helps keep your work on track. One study found that 61% of companies that used these tools completed projects on time, compared to just 41% of companies that didn’t.
There are many great paid options available. But freelancers, small businesses, and agencies, often find free tools have more than enough functionality to keep them on track. You can use them to set tasks, see an overview of how projects are progressing, and assign work to team members
This list will introduce some of the best free project scheduling tools currently available. All the products featured are free versions of paid tools—not free trials. You can use them forever without paying a cent as long as you are happy with the feature on offer.
What do I look for when I select the best free project scheduling platforms? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): 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.
- Usability: 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.
- Integrations: 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.
Free Project Scheduling Solution: Key Features
The tools on this list all help you schedule projects in their own way. But they will often have some combination of the following features:
- Projects: Create spaces for each of your projects to keep tasks separate. This provides crucial insight into how each one is progressing. Free tools usually limit the number of projects you can create, so check the tool you want meets your needs before signing up.
- Tasks: Tasks are the individual things you need to do to complete a project. The best free project scheduling tools let you create tasks, set due dates, and assign team members to each one.
- Subtasks and dependencies: Subtasks let you break each task down into steps. You can also create dependencies, so work is always completed in the correct order.
- Multiple views: Views provide different insights into your projects. The tools on this list provide some combination of Gantt, Kanban, calendar, and task views.
- Automation: Some tools include automation to help streamline your workflow. For example, Trello lets you set up an automation that automatically moves a task to your “Done” board when you tick off all boxes in the task checklist.
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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.
Wrike is a flexible project scheduling tool that lets you view projects in both board and spreadsheet views.
When setting up, you can create different spaces. These could be based around projects, departments, clients, teams, or whatever makes sense for your business. You can then add tasks to each project and include essential information such as due dates, collaborators, files, and descriptions.
The free version has all the features you need to schedule projects. You can add unlimited users, manage tasks and subtasks, view projects in board or spreadsheet views, and collaborate with external users.
The free plan’s biggest limitation is the lack of Gantt charts and 2GB storage limit across the whole space. In comparison, the professional plan costs $9.80 per user per month and offers 1 to 2GB of storage per user.
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.
If your team uses an agile development process, you may find Zoho Sprints to be a useful free project scheduling tool.
You start by creating a project. It’s easy to then add items to the sprint and define each one as either a bug, story, or a task, then add further information about each element. The scrum board shows all these tasks and information about who is working on them, completion timelines, and the stage each task is at.
Zoho Sprints integrates with popular collaboration, development, and automation tools. It also works well with Zoho’s tool suite, including its CRM.
The Zoho Sprints free plan provides access to most of the tool’s features for up to five users. But you are also limited to creating five projects and you only get 500MB of storage space. If you need more, paid plans start at $14 per month for up to 12 users.
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.
Clickup brands itself as a productivity platform rather than a project scheduling tool, but it has plenty of features that make it great at the latter. The free plan has rich functionality and many powerful tools.
The standout feature is the huge array of view options. The free plan gives unlimited use of list, board, table, and calendar views, as well as restricted uses of Gantt, activity, project timelines, workload, map, and mind views. It’s everything you need to schedule projects effectively.
ClickUp also has several features that make it a powerful collaboration tool. In-app email, collaborative docs, and real-time chat make working in a team easy. There’s also limited cloud storage.
Paid plans add unlimited storage, full access to integrations, and the ability to add guests with set permissions. You also get more advanced security and sign-in options. Pricing starts at $9 per member per month.
Teamwork is a powerful project management solution with plenty of advanced features on the paid plan. The free plan is more limited, but still has much to get to grips with.
Teamwork’s free plan lets you create two projects and add up to five users. You can create tasks and subtasks within each project, and then set dependencies so work gets done in the right order. Calendar, Gantt, and board views provide plenty of insight into project progression, which is great for scheduling.
Time tracking functionality is the standout feature of the free plan. You can track how long activities take manually or with a timer. It’s easy to view all this data on a timesheet, which is useful for invoicing or simply scheduling upcoming projects effectively.
While Teamwork has plenty of integrations, the free plan only offers integrations via Zapier. If you want to upgrade, paid plans start at $12.50 per user per month.
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Other Free Project Scheduling Tools
Here are some more free project scheduling tools that you can check out.
- Airtable – Best for project scheduling via spreadsheets
- Google Workspace – Best for those in the Google app ecosystem
- Freedcamp – Best free plan with unlimited users, storage, projects, and tasks
- Microsoft Online – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are free in their basic, online/cloud-based versions (no download). You can build your own Gantt charts and schedules using these tools.
What is Project Scheduling Software?
Project scheduling software is a tool that helps you keep your projects on track. It provides an overview of everything you need to do to get work done and enables you to delegate these tasks to team members.
Free Tools are Enough for Many Businesses
These are my favorite free project scheduling tools. 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.
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Related List of Tools: 10 Best Project Management Calendar Tools For Scheduling