- 1. Wrike — Best for ease of use
- 2. Productive — Best for agency resource management
- 3. Hub Planner — Best resource management software for project-based businesses
- 4. Acuity PPM — Best for providing a centralized view of project resources
- 5. Asana — Best for integrations
- 6. Caspio — Best for facility management
- 7. Bitrix24 — Best open source RM software
- 8. GoodDay — Best for unlimited projects
- 9. Cirkus — Best for freelancers and small teams
- 10. Sinnaps — Best for time management
Free resource management software can be a good option for small businesses and teams, but it can often miss key features and functionality that paid resource management software offers. My advice is to start your search with full-featured software and narrow your options from there, based on cost.
Optimal resource utilization is key as it serves as the foundation for improved project delivery and generating revenue. Therefore, it’s time to migrate from spreadsheets to software that can assist you with resource capacity and send you notifications when resources are over-allocated.
In the following overviews, I will go through some of these tools. I'll explain what makes them good for resource management and highlight the best features. If you have more general questions, I also added an FAQ section at the bottom of this article.
Wrike is an all-in-one platform that helps you with project management, organizing your work, and increasing collaboration among your team.
Why I picked Wrike: Wrike’s resource management features help you easily schedule and allocate resources for your projects. I particularly like the resource planning job role placeholders. You can use these to map time allocation to a position that you either don't have and need to hire, or you have but have not decided which resource to assign.
Besides the resource management features, Wrike is a powerful project management tool that helps you manage tasks, store files and marketing collateral, create approval workflows and much more.
Wrike's Standout Features & Integrations
Features include a budget monitor, drag-and-drop resource workload view, time tracker, templates, and placeholders.
Integrations include over 400 popular apps, like ADP, Airtable, BambooHR, Asana, Salesforce, Clearbit, Dropbox, Google Drive, Jenkins, and Mailchimp. Additionally, you can build custom integrations using universal connectors to apps with available APIs.
Productive is an all-in-one work management software for agencies. It has resource, project, time, and budget management tools.
Why I picked Productive: This software's scheduling and resource planning tools help you maximize your team's output. The capacity planning feature helps you spot over- and under-utilized resources and maintain healthy workloads for your staff. You can also assign tasks based on people's skill sets and availability.
In addition to resource management, the platform can handle your project and task management needs. And what's more, you can track employee time in the system to inform your client billing – which can also be handled by the software. It's truly an all-in-one tools that handles your core work management needs.
Productive Standout Features & Integrations
Features include placeholders, time off requests and approvals, capacity planning, task and project management, time tracking, multiple views (list, table, calendar, timeline, and board), client billing, project budgeting, and reporting tools.
Integrations include 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.
Hub Planner is a cloud-based resource management software that enables you to manage your team's schedule, workload, and time off in one place.
Why I picked Hub Planner: Mainly its user-friendly interface and the flexibility it offers in terms of customization. Unlike some of the other resource management tools that are overly complex, Hub Planner makes it easy for you to plan and allocate resources based on your business needs. The ability to track and monitor the capacity and utilization rates of your team members in real-time will help you to better manage the team's workload and schedule.
The capacity planning tool provides insights into your team's workload and helps you to identify any potential over or underutilization issues. This feature is particularly useful for businesses that rely heavily on project-based work or that have a large number of employees.
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.
Acuity PPM is a lightweight project portfolio management software that helps organizations efficiently manage their resources and projects.
Why I picked Acuity PPM: It is a cloud-based platform that allows teams to collaborate, plan, and execute projects more effectively. Acuity PPM’s key feature is its ability to provide a centralized view of all project resources, including people, equipment, and finances. This allows project managers to allocate resources more effectively and avoid conflicts and overbooking. Its tools enable them to break down complex tasks into manageable steps, assign resources to specific tasks, and track real-time progress. The software also provides reporting and analytics tools to help teams track progress, identify issues, and make data-driven decisions.
Acuity PPM provides Gantt charts and task lists to help teams visualize and manage project timelines. It includes a resource scheduler that allows project managers to schedule and allocate resources and a timesheet module that makes it easy for team members to track their time and expenses. The software’s advanced algorithms allow users to identify which resources are best suited for specific tasks based on their skill set and availability and predict future trends based on historical data from past projects.
One of Acuity PPM’s unique features is its focus on portfolio management. The software provides a portfolio dashboard that allows users to view all projects and resources in a single view. This makes it easy for organizations to prioritize projects, manage budgets, and ensure that resources are used effectively across the organization. Acuity PPM’s data analysis and reporting features allow users to quickly generate insightful reports about their projects and resources at any given time. These reports provide detailed insights into project costs, timelines, and resource utilization levels—allowing users to make informed decisions about their projects at every step.
Acuity PPM Standout Features & Integrations
Features include work intake to help control incoming work, resource plan, over-allocation indicators, project scoring and status, and portfolio tracking.
Integrations with external apps are done through the make.com platform and include Jira, Smartsheet, monday.com, Asana, Wrike, and ClickUp.
Asana is a popular project management platform for cross-functional work.
Why I picked Asana: It has a free plan that contains much Asana has to offer, although you miss out on some of the more advanced features, like workload management. With workload, you can quickly assess how much bandwidth your team has, assign new work using drag-and-drop functionality, and balance schedules based on workload graphs.
Additionally, you can create unlimited projects and tasks and then assign them to up to 15 employees. It’s easy to assign due dates to each task so everyone knows when work needs to be done. Moving tasks around is easy thanks to the simple drag-and-drop interface.
You can create task dependencies so the right people are notified when work needs to be done. And managers can get an overview of projects in the relevant dashboard, as well as see work in both calendar and list views.
Asana Standout Features & Integrations
Features include unlimited dashboards, approvals, proofing, time tracking, a workflow builder, goal management, and reporting across unlimited projects.
Integrations include over 100 different apps including Microsoft Teams, Slack, and most G Suite products. If you need more functionality, pricing for paid plans starts at $10.99 per user per month.
Caspio is a no-code platform for business applications where you can custom-build apps to support your projects.
Why I picked Caspio: It lets you list the assets you want to manage alongside information about each one. People search for the asset they need, check the resource availability, and then schedule or reserve it. This will then update the resource’s availability.
The process happens automatically, so you don’t have to approve each reservation manually. And you even get to see basic metrics around usage history to measure the popularity of each asset. The program supports point-and-click app building to create DIY forms, reports, charts, and calendars.
Caspio offers 5 free 'DataPages,' which encompasses things like forms, reports, charts, search queries, and drilldowns. You are limited to 50,000 data records on the free plan. You'll be allowed unlimited users on your free account.
Caspio Standout Features & Integrations
Features include calendars, scheduling, custom web forms, interactive reports, workflows, automations, and powerful dashboards.
Integrations are available through built-in connectors and third-party software Make and Zapier. These last two makes it possible to connect to over 5000 apps.
Bitrix24 is a free online workspace for your team to collaborate and do more than just project management-related work.
Why I picked Bitrix24: It has a ton of features like a CRM, website builder, online storage, HR perk features, and more that help teams work together.
The free plan comes with basic task and project management tools that you can use when making project plans. These include the ability to create projects and then delegate tasks. You can set deadlines, add task dependencies, and view all your projects in kanban and calendar views. It’s also possible to see all overdue tasks and projects with a single click, so you can focus on getting this work done.
The tool comes with time-tracking functionality. Although with the free plan you have to do this manually. You can also add unlimited users to your workspace, even on the free plan. Although you only get 5 GB storage.
Bitrix24 Standout Features & Integrations
Features include basic CRM features that allow you to have one pipeline, contact centre capabilities by connecting your social accounts and receiving messages directly in Bitrix, and videoconferencing for up to 48 people.
Integrations include over 100 third-party integrations in the on-premise edition of the software. Additionally, there is an API you can use to build custom integrations with your existing tech stack.
GoodDay is a work management platform with a free plan that provides access to the tool’s work management modules for up to 15 users.
Why I picked GoodDay: The free plan has plenty of time tracking features so you can see precise information about how long a task takes. Weekly timesheets collate this information to estimate how long your team spent on a particular task. There’s even an AI engine that analyzes time spent on specific work without your team having to report it.
The tool also has a calendar (which syncs with Google calendars). This shows all your organization’s important events and deadlines—which helps with project planning. Unfortunately, the free plan misses out on advanced planning features like Gantt charts.
Task management is a big part of the software. You can plan unlimited projects and assign them to relevant people. It is easy to create custom workflows and projects by adding tags, checklists, and custom fields to ensure everyone knows what they are doing.
GoodDay Standout Features & Integrations
Features include customer portals that let you invite customers into your projects and give them access to selected views. I also want to highlight Big Screens. This feature lets you select the screens within GoodDay that you would like to share with the team and create a loop that can be displayed on big screens around the office.
Integrations include Gmail, Slack, Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox, GitHub, Box, and GitLab. Integrations through a third party are available with Zapier, although you will need a paid account for this. Finally, the GoodDay API will let you build custom integrations with your favorite tools.
Cirkus is a scheduling and collaboration software that has a free plan for up to three team members that gives access to many of the tool’s features and 1 GB of storage per member.
Why I picked Cirkus: The tool lets you create unlimited tasks and projects. You can create subtasks to break your work down into more manageable chunks.
There are plenty of features that help you get to work quickly. For example, reusable project templates help you set up the tool whenever you have new work. Or you can create recurring tasks to ensure that regular work always gets done.
Cirkus Standout Features & Integrations
Features include scheduling for your team, resources, and equipment, time reporting, custom templates and fields, task request workflows, and apps for multiple platforms.
Integrations include farmerswife, which lets you do all the resource scheduling within the tool. Additionally there is a Zapier integration you can use to connect to thousands of additional apps.
Sinnaps is an online project management tool with a free plan that helps you manage up to ten simple projects with up to 20 people working on each one.
Why I picked Sinnaps: The free version of the software has a good array of advanced features. For example, the project roadmap is a single view that shows all your company’s projects. It provides a quick overview of the tasks you need to plan for.
There’s also a Gantt chart to help you plan each project at a granular level. Control exactly how long each task should take and who should be working on what. Meanwhile, workload management features highlight if anyone in your team is over or underworked.
You also get access to task management, time tracking, and a built-in chat tool. And the company provides plenty of resources and training documents to help you get to grips with the software.
Sinnaps Standout Features & Integrations
Features include agile boards you can use to manage sprints, a testing mode that simulates changes so you can measure impact before moving to implementation, and cost management features that help you see keep an eye on project costs using planned vs actual reports.
Integrations are not part of the offering just yet.
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Best for ease of use
Free plan available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for agency resource management
14-day free trial
|From $9/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best resource management software for project-based businesses
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for providing a centralized view of project resources
15-day free trial
|From $599/month||Visit Website|
Best for integrations
Free plan available
|From $10.99/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for facility management
Free plan available
|From $140/month||Visit Website|
Best open source RM software
Free plan available
|From $49/month (5 users)||Visit Website|
Best for unlimited projects
Free version available
|From $6/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for freelancers and small teams
Free version available
|From $30 per member per month.||Visit Website|
Best for time management
Free version available
|From $2.50 per user per month||Visit Website|
Best for tracking project costs
Best for unlimited tasks and members
- Jira Software
Best for software development teams
- Zoho Projects
Best with project collaboration features
Best for creating custom templates
- eResource Scheduler
Best for scheduling and financial management
Best for accurate resource forecasts
Best for its real-time information to help you select the right resources
Best for project visibility
- Resource Guru
Best for its user-friendly interface
Best resource management software for capacity management
Best for professional services project teams
Best for Gantt charts
- Toggle Plan
Best for time tracking
How I Picked The Best Free Resource Management Software
Let me explain how this whole process went down. First, I evaluated and compared the most popular resource management tools on the market, both for their reviews and user interface. Then I took that initial list and weighed factors that make software a good free option, such as the following ones.
User Interface (UI)
All the resource planning tool options on this list are either free versions of paid software or free tools. This means they look great and have the same premium UI as the pro version. A good user interface will help you quickly identify and access features, making you more productive.
Resource planning software streamline and simplify how you use resources. But this isn’t much good if the tools themselves are difficult to use. Therefore, I look at the options available for you to master the tool. This includes knowledge bases, training, videos, and user support.
An all-in-one resource management solution often includes a way to connect to external software. Most of the tools on this list offer plenty of pre-built integrations and connections through third-party software. I also look for ways in which you can connect with to other project scheduling tools using an API or webhooks.
Completely Free Plan
Most tools on this list have a plan that is completely free to use without a time limit. As long as you stay within limits around users, tasks, and storage, you can use them forever without paying a cent. However, I’ve also included great tools with free trials in case you want to compare free vs paid tools.
What is resource management software?
What is the best resource management software?
What key features should I look for in resource management software?
What are the benefits of resource management software?
Knowing the wonders that tools can do nowadays, I encourage you to keep reading on the topic. We have an excellent article on how to master resource management tasks as a project manager. Also, the steps you need to take to build a kick-ass resource management plan.
Related tool lists:
- Resource scheduling software
- Resource management software for agencies
- Best Project Management Calendar Tools For Scheduling
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