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.
Do you struggle to manage your resources? If so, you’re not alone: a recent survey found “poor resource management” is the third biggest PM-related challenge facing organizations.
Resource management software can help. A good solution enables you to use your people and assets more effectively, potentially cutting costs and helping you get work done faster. But a fully-featured tool is excessive for many teams and businesses. The cost of the product outweighs the benefits it brings.
An alternative is to use a free solution. These tools lack advanced features and often restrict users, projects, or storage. But if you’re happy to prioritize certain features, you may find that free software has all you need.
This article will look at some of the best free resource management tools that are available. I’ll also highlight what you get—and miss out on—compared to the paid versions.
Best Free Resource Management Software Comparison Criteria
Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used when choosing tools for this list:
- User Interface (UI): All the tools on this list are free versions of paid software. This means they look great and have the same premium UI as the paid version.
- Usability: Resource management tools simplify how you use resources. But this isn’t much good if the tools themselves are difficult to use.
- Integrations: Resource management tools often work alongside the other software your business uses. Most of the tools on this list offer plenty of integrations.
- Completely Free Plan: All the 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.
Free Resource Management Software Key Features
Most resource management software has similar features. But as the tools on this list are free, you’re unlikely to get access to them all. When choosing software, consider which features are most important to your team and prioritize them.
- Task management: Resource management software tends to have task management functionality. This can include the ability to create tasks, assign them to team members, set dependencies, and create subtasks. It’s perfect for remote teams.
- Project tracking: Tracking gives a complete overview of how a project is progressing. You can track all the tasks within a particular project and how much time and money you have spent on each one.
- Multiple views: Gantt charts, calendar views, and kanban boards all provide insight and visibility into the work your business is doing. This helps you manage project resources more effectively.
- Time tracking: Some of the tools on this list help employees track the time they spend on a particular project. Other tools integrate with time-tracking software to get the same functionality.
- Projections: Projections and forecasting estimate the resources that are required to complete a project. This can show if a project is on track or running over budget.
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Wrike’s free plan provides centralized task management features for teams with the ability to add unlimited users.
The tool includes all the basics you’d expect to get from this type of software. Project managers can create tasks and use the subtask feature to break them into smaller chunks.
Assigning tasks is easy thanks to the intelligent assignee feature. This suggests suitable people for each job so you don’t have to search for employees manually. You can also add external collaborators and freelancers to tasks.
Advanced resource planning features like Gantt charts, customer workflows, and time tracking require a paid plan—which starts at $9.80 per user per month. But you can access project schedules on the free plan to help plan your workweek and let employees see their schedules.
Asana is a popular task management tool. It has a free plan for up to 15 users that contains much Asana has to offer, although you miss out on some of the more advanced features.
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 also excels due to its integrations. You can integrate with 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.
The tool is a premade template built with the software’s low-code app builder. 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.
You can upgrade to paid plans starting at a flat $100/month if you find yourself needing additional features.
Bitrix24 bills itself as a team collaboration platform. It has a ton of features like a CRM, website builder, online storage, 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.
Cirkus is software that focuses on task management. It has a free plan for up to three team members that gives access to many of the tool’s features. It also comes with 1 GB storage per member.
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.
The free plan misses out on some advanced features. You don’t get time reporting or the ability to schedule resources like rooms and equipment. For this, you’ll need to sign up for an advanced plan which costs $30 per member per month.
Dovico is software that helps you track the time you and your team spend working on projects. This ensures you can accurately bill clients at the end of the period for work done. It also gives you better visibility into where your team spends its work hours which helps with resource utilization.
The employee management features include the ability to assign employees to tasks and projects. You can then get a summary of how a project is progressing in the dashboard. There’s even a feature that projects how much a project is likely to cost so you can see its expected profitability and plan accordingly. It’s also possible to track both billable and nonbillable hours which helps with invoicing.
Submitting and accepting timesheets is easy due to automation. Just set up workflows to accurately review and accept time entries. When an employee submits one they are automatically sent to an approving manager who can review the request and then accept, reject, or edit it.
The free version of Dovico allows you to track the time of up to five employees across ten different projects. If you need more it’s easy to upgrade to the basic plan that starts at $8 per user per month.
Sinnaps's free plan helps you manage up to ten simple projects with up to 20 people working on each one.
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.
Should you need to add more projects or users, the paid tariff costs $2.50 per user per month.
ClickUp’s free plan offers unlimited tasks and members, meaning it is a powerful project management solution. But it is limited to five spaces—the high-level groups you can use to organize work—and 100 MB of storage.
It’s easy to create tasks and assign them to team members. You can also add dependencies to ensure work is completed in order. If you are worried about deadlines, you can use the sprint feature to mark priorities and ensure everyone knows what they need to do to finish in time.
The highlight of the free plan is Gantt chart access, which helps you schedule tasks and view project progress. These show information from all your spaces, projects, and tasks in a single, easy-to-read view. Although the Gantt chart feature is limited to 100 uses per month.
The free plan has access to the tool’s 50 plus native integrations as well as Zapier. But you can’t integrate with external cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. If you want to upgrade, the paid plan is $5 per user per month.
Jira is a resource management solution built for development teams. It’s easy to create tasks and then assign them to relevant people. You can track and prioritize work, so you know what people are working on.
The free plan comes with plenty of advanced features to help you streamline work. You can access scrum and kanban boards, so everyone in your team knows what is being worked on and what is coming next.
This helps you spot bottlenecks fast so you can take action before they become issues. And you can create customizable workflows to simplify the process of working through different types of tasks.
The free plan also has basic roadmaps features that show your team’s progress in real-time—highlighting whether projects are on track. It is also useful for spotting dependencies so you can account for them when assigning work.
The free plan supports up to 10 agents and comes with 2 GB of storage. But it misses out on the team capacity planning tool, which helps with resource allocation by showing how busy your team is and whether they can handle any extra work in a period.
Paid plans start at $70 per month which Jira says averages $7 per user.
GoodDay’s free plan provides access to the tool’s work management modules for up to 15 users.
Task management is a big part of the software. Managers 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.
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.
The free plan includes integrations with popular tools like G Suite and Google Calendar. For access to advanced integrations, you need a paid plan. These start at $4 per user per month.
Need expert help selecting the right Project Resource Management Software?
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Other Free Resource Management Software Options
Check out the products below if none of the free tools in the list above have exactly what you are looking for.
- monday.com – Best for collaborative creative teams
- TeamGantt – Best for Gantt charts
- Toggle Plan – Best for time tracking
- Ganttic – Best for project visibility
- Accountant Sight – Best for professional services
- Inspire Planner – Best for Salesforce users
What is Resource Management Software?
Resource management software are tools that help you manage your business’s resources. They typically focus on employees, although some products help you with assets such as machinery, equipment, and real estate. Most of the tools use a SaaS model, and many have free versions.
Learn more about the use cases of resource management software here.
What is the Best Resource Management Software?
The article highlights the best free tools. If you want to know the best resource management software full-stop, then this article has all you need.
What Do You Think About The Best Free Resource Management Software?
Paid resource management software is certainly useful. But it can be overkill if you have a small team or limited projects. If you’re looking for a free solution, hopefully, one of the tools on this list is a good option.
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Related List of Tools: 10 Best Project Management Calendar Tools For Scheduling