As any good project manager knows, Gantt charts are a popular way to visualize your project tasks, timelines, and dependencies. Gone are the days where you need to craft them yourself across sheets or graph paper or painfully plug data into spreadsheets. Gantt chart software does the heavy lifting for you and often incorporates real-time updates to timeline changes, collaboration elements, and reporting dashboards.
That being said, not all Gantt chart software is created equal. Like many software-as-service tools, Gantt chart makers have a vast range in usability, price, and feature sets. This article will take a look at what Gantt chart tools are on the market and making waves. Plus, I’ll outline what each does best so that you can pick the Gantt chart software that fits with your leadership and project goals.
Keep reading to learn about the best Gantt chart software of 2022 and how it can help plan, optimize, and report on your projects.
Gantt Chart Software Comparison Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best gantt chart software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Gantt chart software UI will have two elements to consider, the user interface of the program as a whole and the user interface of the Gantt chart tools specifically. Both should be clean, easy to handle, and customizable to your work style.
- Usability: Modern Gantt chart software will swap out complex calculations and formulas for easy drag-and-drop, point-and-click mechanics. Quality of life is important when it comes to adding tasks, adjusting deadlines, linking dependencies, and exporting your charts.
- Integrations: Gantt charts are typically just one element of a larger work world, so it’s important that these tools connect to the software you are already using for project management, communication, time tracking, collaboration, agile workflows, and other tools that are part of a complete project management software solution.
- Value for $: I’m looking for software that is fairly priced for what they offer and ideally scalable as your company grows. Transparency in pricing terms and what different subscription tiers have to offer the user is key.
Gantt Chart Software Key Features
- Gantt chart template: Starting from scratch is all fine and dandy but there should be some basic Gantt chart templates available for users who want to hit the ground running.
- Task management: For a Gantt chart to be useful, your team will want to be able to visualize the tasks needed to complete each stage and have real-time updates on progress.
- Task dependencies: Every Gantt chart tool should have a way to mark dependencies (AKA: Task B cannot progress until Task A is done).
- Work-breakdown structure (WBS): There has to be some way to break down huge objectives into smaller, manageable tasks—otherwise, your charts are going to start looking like pretty calendars with no intrinsic value day-to-day.
- Project progress: I’m looking for some way to visualize or communicate the project process, ideally in a way that lets you slice and dice the data in a variety of ways.
- Project insight stats: It’s always super handy when your Gantt chart software can flag ROG status or capacity warnings. Any above-and-beyond insights are welcomed.
- Multiple projects: Some Gantt chart software may only let you manage one project while others let you manage unlimited projects. Only you can know what you need at the end of the day but I’m going to try my best to highlight the maximum capacity of each tool.
The Digital Project Manager is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
Wrike is an easy-to-use project management software that is suitable for teams of 5 or more individuals. Users can create Gantt charts in one click, as well as customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.
Wrike enables users to switch between Kanban boards, one-click Gantt charts (that can be adjusted with drag-and-drop), and traditional workload views, allowing teams to choose how to work. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, task dependencies, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time collaboration.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Toggle between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and a notification and activity stream.
Wrike’s features can be configured for each individual team’s needs, as well as for specific teams such as marketing teams and professional service teams. Users can also try a variety of templates for common organizational processes with several of these templates featuring Gantt charts.
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.
Wrike 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.
GoodDay is a work management platform for building Gantt charts to plan projects, allocate resources, and manage tasks, subprojects, events, and dependencies. It’s an affordable all-in-one tool for project management, tasks collaboration, planning, reporting, and productivity with an easy-to-use interface.
GoodDay lets you customize Gantt chart views, columns, the user interface, fields, task types, project templates, and priorities. Additional functionalities include auto-zoom, export to PDF, and filtering.
GoodDay integrates with hundreds of apps such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Gmail, Slack, GitHub, Gitlab, Excel, Jira, Trello, and many others, accessible via native integration. More integrations are available through Zapier and GoodDay Api.
GoodDay costs from $4/user/month and offers a free-forever version for up to 15-user teams.
Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a Gantt chart maker with a freemium version for smaller groups and teams who don’t yet need an upgrade to a paid plan. TeamGantt specializes in task planning tools and charts but they also track workloads and team availability, offer collaboration features like chat and tagging, and allow for customizable alerts.
TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool can accommodate different structures and constraints for setting up and tracking projects, no matter their structure or constraints. Additionally, providing an easy “read-only” URL makes it great for sharing with outside parties for input.
TeamGantt costs from $24.95/month and has a freemium version for up to 3 users.
Paymo is a work management tool designed to help creative and marketing teams own their entire project cycle. As well as Gantt Charts, they also offer task management, time tracking, resource scheduling, and invoicing modules that are well integrated with each other.
Within Gantt charts, users can click and drag on the timeline to estimate a task duration, then pinch its ends to extend or shorten it. Apart from the standard dependencies, you can set lead and lag time to account for overlaps or delays, and even auto-schedule tasks based on those dependencies and constraints.
When finished, click the Export button to save the project timeline and send it over to a client or team member. There’s also a Portfolio Gantt Chart available, which acts as a pipeline with all project timelines united on a single screen.
The tool could benefit from having a baseline feature to compare against future changes of the task and overall project duration. Milestones could also be more customizable, as they currently show up only under their corresponding task lists.
Paymo integrates natively with popular apps such as Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, QuickBooks Online, Xero, JotForm, and Shift, to name a few. Other integrations are available through Zapier or by syncing with their fully-documented API.
Paymo’s free plan includes a 10 user limit and unlimited projects and clients, as well as limits on a few other features. They also offer paid plans starting at $9.95 per user per month.
Backlog is a cloud-based project management tool perfect for developers and the teams they collaborate with. Backlog provides a range of useful team collaboration features including task management (including subtasks, checklists, and custom fields), milestones, burndown charts, file management, wikis, and most importantly, a Gantt chart maker. But Backlog is more than a collaboration and Gantt chart tool. It’s also a bug tracker and version control system in one.
For collaborating on code, Backlog provides SVN and Git repositories, a differences viewer and inline comments, plus pull requests, merge requests, and branches. Visually, the app provides burndown charts, Git graphs, and Gantt charts, so project managers and users alike can quickly assess projects at a glance.
Backlog allows you to assign, track, and release work, right in one app while ensuring transparency and accountability across teams. If you’re looking for a tool to help manage development projects or working closely with a team of developers, this is the app for you.
Backlog provides a mobile app on both iOS and Android for collaborating on-the-go. It integrates with Nulab’s other apps and provides both Redmine and Jira importers.
Backlog is free for up to 10 users with some feature limitations, or $35/month for up to 30 users. For $100/month, your team gets unlimited users, i.e. their Standard Plan.
Airfocus is different from most Gantt chart makers on the market. While the tool has an efficient Gantt Chart functionality, it doesn’t stop there. Airfocus helps you go beyond just adding your tasks, projects, and initiatives to also help you prioritize which tasks should be added and which ones to cut out. The tool comes with multiple templates that are fully adjustable.
Airfocus enables you to take your planning to the next level using algorithms that calculate your priorities and visually map them out on a chart so you can make informed and more objective decisions. The user interface is highly intuitive with information and features being easy to access and use. You can toggle between the Item, Chart, Board, and Timeline views in order to assign a value to each project, visualize your initiatives better, and make strategic decisions.
Airfocus also offers collaboration features, allowing users to comment, assign items to co-workers, use dependencies, and add attachments. Your team, stakeholders, and users can get access to your roadmap using a shared link, while allowing you to remain in full control of the information that is displayed.
Priority Poker is a feature of Airfocus that allows you to invite others to a rating game that can even be used on a smartphone. After flipping the results for an item, you will see how each person rated and more importantly where ratings differ.
Airfocus integrates with most of the tools you are likely already using, such as Jira, Asana, Trello, and others.
At $19/month per user, you get access to all the product’s features and functionalities. Airfocus also has a 14-day free trial so you can start your planning and prioritization process right away, free of cost.
Microsoft Project Online uses a familiar software UI to give you an intuitive way to visualize various project angles. MS Project Online is a great example of Gantt chart template software, offering loads of built-in templates and familiar scheduling tools that make it easy to launch and navigate each assignment. The Gantt chart builder lets you select items for phase indicators, start and end dates, and RAG risk status.
Unlike some of the other software on this list, MS Projects doesn’t have the same number of features and functions despite the higher licensing cost for the full suite of tools. Therefore, they fall short in our value for money spend evaluation criteria, meaning they aren’t the best for small business or startups.
Microsoft Projects Online integrates with the MS Office suite, OneDrive, Outlook, Skype, and OneNote. However, it doesn’t seem to expand into non-MS programs and services, which is a con.
Collaboration is limited by the fact that a project file cannot be opened by multiple team members at the same time. Changing schedule dates is not as seamless as it should be and often ends up causing chaos across the timeline. MS Projects is definitely geared towards large-scale projects and might not work for smaller workflows.
Microsoft Project Online costs from $7/user/month and offers a free trial.
MindView is a powerful Gantt chart maker that boasts mind mapping features for planning projects. With MindView, users have the ability to create a work breakdown structure and project timelines/road maps. This can all be done without having to re-create data.
Gantt charts can be made in 4 simple steps. Users can brainstorm project plans in the mind map view, add schedule information, and then switch to the built-in Gantt view to refine the plan. Users can then fine-tune their Gantt chart by building schedules, allocating resources, and managing scope changes.
MindView enables users to export Gantt charts to Microsoft Project for further development. Finally, MindView allows users to communicate the Gantt chart as a timeline, simplifying the project plan for people unfamiliar with Gantt charts.
MindView also has simple features like constraints, dependencies, and baselines as well as more advanced resource management features like effort drive tasks, project calendars, and rates/resources. MindView has robust project reports and can be collaborative for portfolio management.
MindView adopts the latest Microsoft Office interface and has built-in tutorial videos to guide you. The use of the ribbon system makes the software familiar and intuitive to use and learn. Users can also use the latest MS Office keyboard shortcuts.
MindView imports and exports to the entire MS Office suite (Excel, PP, Word, Outlook) including MS Project. MindView also exports to .pdf, HTML, project reports, XML, RTF, and images.
MindView starts at $15 per month. They also offer a fully functional free trial and free webinars to get you set up.
Instagantt gives you access to scheduling tools, task management, and timeline visualization alongside the usual Gantt chart building tools that you would expect. Instagantt is marketed as an add-on app for Asana (an alternative to Asana’s built-in Timeline for paying users), though it can be used independently, as well.
Instagantt speaks in particular to our evaluation criteria for features and functionality, ticking off all the major boxes such as: letting you drag and drop items, interlink dependencies so changes in the timelines reflect across the graph automatically, view the number of tasks per assigned employee, create subtasks and milestones, customize color schemes, and much more.
This software integrates most notably with Asana. Instagantt also lets users export their charts into Excel, PDF, and image formats, but doesn’t offer integration with other popular workflow apps.
Instagantt costs from $5/user/month and offers a freemium version for up to 3 projects.
Canva does more than just Gantt charts: You’ll find templates for slideshows, presentations, infographics, graphs, emails, and more. They have a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for non-designers to create aesthetically pleasing designs with minimal effort.
They offer quite a bit for their price, per our evaluation criteria, but free users won’t have access to everything. While Canva is free to tinker with, it will cost you to use certain designs, shapes, patterns, and templates. It will also cost you to download your work in any functionable format (besides a mere screenshot). Still, the price is ideal for smaller businesses that are looking for Gantt charts along with other marketing graphics but don’t have a budget for an in-house designer.
Canva integrates with WordPress, eClincher, Rippling, Sendible, Post Planner, and Viraltag. As you can probably tell, their focus with integration is on social media and/or content creation – if you need to access PM or workflow apps, you’re out of luck.
Furthermore, if the only thing you need is Gantt charts then Canva doesn’t offer the range of robust data detailing that other programs do. Rather, it’s strength comes from the clean simplicity of its designs. If your project requires an in-depth, multifaceted timetable, Canva probably won’t be for you.
Canva Pro costs from $12.49/month and offers a free 30-day trial.
Need expert help selecting the right Project Management Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Project Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14 days free trial
|From $9.80/user/month||Check out Wrike|
|From $4/user/month||Check out GoodDay|
Freemium version for up to 3 users
|From $24.95/month||Check out TeamGantt|
|From $9.95/user/month||Check out Paymo|
|From $35/month for up to 30 users||Check out Backlog|
14 days free trial
|From $19/user/month||Check out Airfocus|
|From $7/user/month||Visit Website|
|From $15/month||Check out MindView|
Freemium version for up to 3 projects
|From $5/user/month||Check out Instagantt|
30 days free trial
|From $12.49/month||Check out Canva|
Other Gantt Chart Software Options
Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- RationalPlan – Online Gantt software with excellent task management and project portfolio management tools.
- Tom’s Planner – Gantt chart tool known for a short learning curve and fair monthly price.
- Easy Project – Gantt chart maker that integrates with their first-party professional services automation software.
- Zoho Projects – Free Gantt chart viewer for up to 3 users and 2 projects. Android and iOS apps available.
- Merlin Project – Best Gantt chart software for MacOS and iOS devices. Volume discounts available.
What Should A Gantt Chart Include?
The best Gantt chart software will include the ability to create horizontal bar charts that depict the timeline of a project’s schedule, the overlay of interdependent tasks (i.e. Task B cannot start until Task A is finished), time estimates, a schedule progress status, and team assignments. Most modern Gantt chart programs also have task management and collaboration features as well.
What Is A Gantt Chart Used For?
Henry Gantt developed the first Gantt chart as a way to plan production and factory resource loading around the turn of the 19th Century. And we still use them to this day for resource tracking, deadline plotting, and project communication. A good Gantt chart should visualize the relationship between the work to be done plotted over a set period of time. It will flag the intended start and due date of tasks and subtasks, dependencies between different pieces of work, and plot who is responsible for each item.
We go into more detail about it here: What Is A Gantt Chart, And Why Is It Used?
How Do You Create A Gantt Chart?
Great question! You can follow our step-by-step guide to learn exactly how to create a Gantt chart if you are coming at it for the first time. If you’ve made Gantt charts before and are looking for tips and tricks, try: Elements To Include In A Gantt Chart + Other Gantt Chart Tips.
Is There A Gantt Chart In Excel?
Not really but you can build your own or snag a Gantt chart template for Microsoft Excel online. I wouldn’t recommend this approach, though, as it is a ton of manual input for very little benefit. If one project element changes, you have to manually change every step afterward or craft a formula to do so for you.
If you are in the Microsoft ecosystem and loving it, check out MS Projects. You’ll get the familiar look and feel of Excel and other Microsoft platforms with a Gantt chart builder, project management tools, and more
What Is The Best Free Gantt Chart Software?
The most common free Gantt chart software is probably Excel or Google Sheets. You’ll find templates for creating Gantt charts in those programs if you do a search online, although the templates might cost a few bucks. It works in a pinch, but it’s not great.
Or, you can try a free tool like ClickUp, which offers 100 Gantt charts for free on their basic level plan. There are many other free and open-source Gantt chart software options available online, including RedBooth, GanttProject, Bitrix24, Agantty, Teamweek, and Instagantt for Asana, as well as free versions of paid tools such as Wrike, Paymo, and others.
For more options, read our full list of free Gantt chart software.
What Do You Think About These Gantt Chart Software?
Gantt charts are just one way that you can track how you spend your time, set priorities, plan ahead, stay organized, schedule time, and delegate—all key features of a master of time management. What Gantt chart software is your ultimate go-to? Did we miss anything that you think should have been added to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to The Digital Project Manager newsletter for more on project management tools and trends.