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10 Best Project Management Software For Small Business

10 Best Project Management Software For Small Business

Here’s the best PM software for small businesses.

  1. monday.com

    Best for flexibility & integrations

  2. Wrike

    Best for remote schedule management

  3. Height

    Best for its number of features available for free

  4. ClickUp

    Premium features available in the free version for a better user experience.

  5. Kintone

    Best for building custom project workflows

  6. Zoho Projects

    Best flexible work allocation tools

  7. Forecast

    Best resource management + finances in one

  8. Paymo

    Best project management software with time tracking

  9. Trello

    Best free Kanban board tools

  10. Asana

    Best for goal setting & tracking

If you are a project manager for a small team, you have probably thought to yourself at least once: “Are these docs and spreadsheets really the best project management software for small creative teams?”

The right software or combination of software can make your workflow more organized, more efficient, and more informed. However, as a small team, you’re probably trying to avoid software that costs a lot, takes a specialization to learn, or weighs your team down with a bunch of complex features you don’t need.

In this post, I’ll talk about how to navigate managing a small team with the right apps and tools as well as outline some of the best, lightweight small business project management software.

Project Management Software for Small Business Comparison Criteria

What are we looking for when we select the best project management software for small teams for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  • User Interface (UI): Is the user interface easy to navigate, lightweight, and fast to load and update?
  • Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? What is the learning curve like?
  • Integrations: Does the software connect with other popular tools that might come in handy for small teams, like Google and Microsoft products?
  • Value for $: Is the price affordable for small businesses and small creative teams? Does it offer scalability options in the case of team expansion?

Best Project Management Software Key Features

  1. Project plan features such as templates, filters, mobile app use, and task lists
  2. Team collaboration automation, streamline features, subtasks
  3. Real-time commenting and notifications between team members
  4. Invoicing, scheduling, and billing features
  5. Real-time help desks and customer feedback
  6. Task management features
  7. Flexible alerts & notifications
  8. Digital asset storage
  9. Team collaboration/communication
  10. Knowledge base & shared docs

Looking for more? Check out our main article on best project management software.

project management software for small business logos list

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Overviews Of The Best Project Management Software For Small Business

Here’s a brief description of each of the best small business management software that are featured on this top 10 list.

1

monday.com

Best for flexibility & integrations

monday.com is an easy-to-use project management tool that saves small businesses money in two ways: offering free/affordable entry-level plans and being super user-friendly to cut back on money lost on training and onboarding. They are used by teams at Uber, Adobe, Hulu, and Unilever, so your SMB can feel like its playing in the software big leagues.

monday is flexible and scalable with 5 pricing plans available so that it can grow with you. With their freemium plan, you'll already have access to unlimited project boards, 200+ free project/task templates, 20+ column types, and their iOS and Android apps. Pay particular attention to the free project template library—here, you'll find pre-made outlines for editorial calendars, marketing campaign planning, CRM charts, event planning, HR forms, and more. The usefulness of this section for small businesses can not be overstated.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible through a paid plan with Zapier. They also have an apps marketplace with free and paid add-ons to boost your functionality. Again, I cannot stress the level of flexibility and scalability with this form.

monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month

2

Wrike

Best for remote schedule management

Wrike is a project and resource management tool with a generous free plan (unlimited users!) that will appeal to small businesses on a tight monthly budget. Upon logging in to your account, you'll have straightforward access to your inbox, recent and pinned items, your spaces, and the administrative menu bar. Your personalized dashboard lets you add widgets to see the most pertinent information for your workday—items like To-Do Today, My Overdue Tasks, Due: Next 7 Days, and/or Tasks Created by Me.

Wrike lets you snooze inbox notifications to be re-reminded of them later at a more convenient time. Default settings snooze for 3 hours, 1 day, or 1 week but you can use the custom menu option to pick your own date and time. You can also instantly order your task lists by priority, date, status, importance, or alphabetically within a simple dropdown menu. Workspace themes let users easily swap between color schemes.

Businesses of all sizes will appreciate Wrike’s work schedule management feature (business plan and above) lets you group and flag employees according to what a typical weekly schedule looks like for them. Wrike will take this into account when planning your project timeline.

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 is free to use with some feature limitations. Paid plans cost from $9.80/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.

14-day free trial

From $9.80/user/month

3

Height

Best for its number of features available for free

Height is a robust and feature-rich project management software with an offering that fits small businesses perfectly. It has 100+ features available, from attribute features, subtasks, and chat with real-time and contextual messaging to role-based permissions and powerful visualization tools.

For agency users, Height provides features like project planning and calendar view where project heads can effectively communicate progress and create momentum at every stage of the development process. You can leverage the calendar view to create schedules and plan key events, deadlines, and product launches. The tool also allows you to invite your clients and other stakeholders to collaborate with, provide up-to-date project status and deliver detailed reports.

For recruiting teams, Height enables lead tracking, private tasks, and Kanban-based visualizations. The lead tracking function helps keep hiring teams and key stakeholders well informed about potential candidates as they move through the evaluation and interview process. When evaluating applicants, you can plan and work privately on sensitive candidate information and other related tasks with the key individuals who need to be involved in the screening process. Kanban boards will help you visualize the status of your hiring process and find potential bottlenecks.

Integrations for this software include Slack, Discord, Sentry, Figma, Zendesk, Notion, Slab, and Google Sheets. You can also connect to an additional 1000+ apps using Zapier or create your own using webhooks and Height's API.

Height has a free version that offers unlimited users and tasks. It supports up to 10 lists, four custom attributes, and one task form. For teams that need more features and functionality, a Team plan is available for $8.50/user/month and offers a 30-day free trial.

30-day free trial

From $8.50/user/month

4

ClickUp

Premium features available in the free version for a better user experience.

ClickUp is a project management tool that is one of the top tools on the market and could seem unaffordable for a small business at first glance. As a small business owner myself, I can tell you that is not the case. Plus, ClickUp’s free version might just be enough to get you started.

The tool has features like task management, time tracking, whiteboards, shared documents, dashboards, and communication tools to keep your team aligned. As you can see on the screenshot above, you can use documents to store company information such as brand guidelines and core values.

Note: Their free version has pretty much every feature (with certain limitations). Enough to get you to try it and see if it makes sense to invest.

ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier. These integrations will extend the functionality of the platform.

ClickUp is free with limited storage for an unlimited number of users. Paid plans start at $5/user/month and offer a free trial.

Freemium plan available

From $9/user/month

5

Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

Kintone is a customizable project management software for small businesses that is used by teams from McCormick Distillery (Missouri), A-B Emblem (North Carolina), Michael Callahan & Associates (Virginia), and over 23,000 organizations worldwide. Their unique approach to project and task management lets you build a wide variety of customizable “apps” either from scratch, using templates or from your existing spreadsheets, for data management, business processes, and workflows. Kintone apps can be customized for project management, sales CRM, customer databases, expense reports, shared to-do lists, equipment management, product feedback, and much more.

Kintone lets you build no-code, project management apps for your small business by dragging and dropping elements that you want to see onto the page: rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, number fields with built-in calculations, spaces for attachments, user or group selection menus, related data from other apps, tables, and more.

Once you’ve built the app you want, you can use it to more easily manage whatever data and tasks you and your team need to track. And with custom notifications and reminders as well as detailed permissions settings, your project management solution can look and work however you want it to.

With Kintone’s customization features, small businesses are able to manage all of their workflows for every department within one central platform instead of across dozens of tools (CRMs, expense reports, project trackers, and spreadsheets, to name a few). Save time and effort for your team with clear assignments, filtered lists to help prioritize tasks, and automated reminders and handoffs to manage multi-step workflows.

Kintone’s built-in communication features also allow teams to discuss projects directly in the app and in topic or project-based threads. Dedicated “spaces” organize everything your team needs for your project, including task-tracking apps and searchable conversation threads.

There are so many ways to customize Kintone it can be hard to know where to start. Read the starter blog “What Can You Build with Kintone?” or watch Creating an App from Scratch for a quick look at how the drag-and-drop builder works.

Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with both free native plugins built by the Kintone team as well as integrations with other tools like Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Tableau, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eventbrite, WordPress, QuickBooks, MailChimp, and many more through a paid plan with Zapier or via API integrations.

Kintone costs $24/user/month with a minimum requirement of 5 users. They offer a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and discounted prices for nonprofits and educators. Kintone’s team also offers a free custom app build as part of the free trial process.

30-day free trial

From $24/user/month

6

Zoho Projects

Best flexible work allocation tools

Zoho Projects is an online project management tool that lets teams plan, track, and collaborate on project work. The tool is scalable for small businesses and mid-size businesses.

Zoho Projects allows users to set up project plans, as well as create and assign ad-hoc tasks across the team. The tool also includes features like flexible work hours, baselines, and critical paths in Gantt charts, team based work allocation, and task reminders. Time tracking and resource utilization features help managers ensure that employees are not over or under worked.

Users can automate task transitions and workflows, track activities and progress by using the advanced reports, and manage budgets with expense management features. Collaboration features include team-wide and individual discussion management, a meeting tab to facilitate virtual meetings, a social feed to interact with and keep track of all your project activities, a forum to discuss ideas and solutions, and a central document management module to manage all information. Mobile applications are also available.

Zoho Projects has several integrations with Zoho apps like Zoho CRM, Zoho Cliq, Zoho Meeting, as well as with other third party apps like Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zapier, Zendesk, and ServiceNow.

Zoho Projects offers a free plan as well as a 10-day free trial for paid editions, which start at $4 per user per month.

10-day free trial

From $5/user/month

7

Forecast

Best resource management + finances in one

Forecast is a project management software for small business that unites your projects, resources, and financials in one AI-powered platform. Project managers can leverage Forecast’s workflow automation capabilities to create smart schedules, estimate timeframes and budgets, and populate timesheets instantly. Forecast is currently used in over 40 countries by an assortment of agencies, consulting companies, SMBs, and enterprises.

PMs can control the workflow by building out detailed task lists and flagging clear priorities. Task cards allow every team member to easily comment, share files, and register time spent. Everything related to the specific task appears in one place, including dependencies and subtasks. You can put together projects for any type of work: fixed price, time and material, or retainer.

Forecast’s AI learns from previous work and suggests the number of hours you normally register on similar tasks to help you log time faster. You can monitor time registrations from a team perspective and notify each member if they forget to enter something in. Time tracking utilization on a company-wide level is calculated for you for easy alerts, estimates, and reporting.

Forecast integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, iCloud Calendar, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Outlook, Harvest, Trello, Asana, GitLab, Github, and dozens more using a paid plan through Zapier. Higher-tier subscriptions include native integrations with Timelog, Xero, QuickBooks Online, JIRA, Azure DevOps, Salesforce, Okta, OneLogin, and Azure Active Directory.

Forecast cost from $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.

14-day free trial

From $29/user/month

8

Paymo

Best project management software with time tracking

Paymo is one of the best project management software for small businesses. Paymo helps freelancers and small teams manage their projects and tasks, track work time, and bill clients from the same platform. You can use it across devices in your web browser or by downloading their app (Android and iOS).

In Paymo, you can manage different workspaces and workflows, communicate in real-time, set recurring tasks, assign multiple users, and set deadlines and priorities. View all your tasks across all projects grouped by priority, progress, or due date. Even better, use the meta Kanban board to overview your team’s tasks grouped by workflow and user.

Project managers can set a task hours budget and get notifications for due dates or exceeded budgets. Then, track time spent on tasks and projects and turn those timesheets into reports and invoices. Add time entries via form or add time in bulk if you need to log time for several tasks and projects.

Paymo integrates natively with popular apps such as Slack, Google Suite, QuickBooks Online, Xero, JotForm, and Shift, to name a few. Other integrations are available through Zapier or by syncing with their fully-documented API.

Free for freelancers and teams of up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $9.95/user/month. Paymo comes with a 15-day free trial.

Free plan available

From $5.95/user/month

9

Trello

Best free Kanban board tools

Trello is perhaps one of the best know Kanban board tools in the project management space (not that there aren't alternatives popping up regularly) and it offers a free plan that small businesses will love. It can be your primary planning and organization tool or simply complement whatever else you are using on a daily basis.

Key features include unlimited card creation (even on the free plan), no-code automations, activity logs, project templates, mobile device management, unlimited activity logs, and custom backgrounds & stickers (fun!).

Trello boasts a ridiculously easy learning curve at the cost of hosting some of the more advanced features of some of the other project management tools out there. However, for a basic Kanban board structure—with customizable categories and data fields—with unlimited card creation, Trello really can't be beat.

Trello integrates with more than 200+ apps and tools your team depends on like Slack, Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox and more directly into your Trello boards. (Note: Some connections require an additional subscription fee.)

Trello is free to use for unlimited users. Paid plans cost from $5/user/month and unlock additional features. They offer a free trial to test before you buy.

Free trial + freemium plan available

From $6/user/month

10

Asana

Best for goal setting & tracking

Asana is an easy-to-use small business management software with different to-do list styles and a pleasant, colorful interface that’s welcoming to new users. It's a simple project management app for easy automation and current tasks on hand. Made for any project of any size, they also offer a basic free plan with unlimited projects, tasks and messaging. They are used by the likes of SiteMinder, Quora, C40 Cities, Guru, and Finc.

Key features include a workflow builder, timelines, task boards, a calendar view, reporting, goal setting, forms for work requests, automations, and workload management alerts. Some features may be locked to higher level paid plans. The goals feature is particularly useful, as it lets you pick a company- or team goal, quantify it, and then attach it to your workflow and tasks. Asana will then measure completion and report back with any setbacks or wins.

Asana integrates with Microsoft Teams, Adobe Creative Cloud, JIRA Cloud, Salesforce, Tableau, Slack, Clockwise, MS Office 365, Google Calendar, Gmail, Power BI, Outlook, ServiceNow, JotForm, Google Drive, Looker, Vimeo, DropBox, Trello, GitLab, and a growing list of other apps. Plus, a plan with Zapier or Tray.io can let you access other apps to connect with Asana.

Asana is free to use for up to 15 users. Paid plans start at $10.99/user/month (billed annually) and comes with a 30-day free trial.

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month

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:

The Best Project Management Software For Small Business Summary Chart

Tool Free Option Price
1
monday.com

Best for flexibility & integrations

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month Visit Website
2
Wrike

Best for remote schedule management

14-day free trial

From $9.80/user/month Visit Website
3
Height

Best for its number of features available for free

30-day free trial

From $8.50/user/month Visit Website
4
ClickUp

Premium features available in the free version for a better user experience.

Freemium plan available

From $9/user/month Visit Website
5
Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

30-day free trial

From $24/user/month Visit Website
6
Zoho Projects

Best flexible work allocation tools

10-day free trial

From $5/user/month Visit Website
7
Forecast

Best resource management + finances in one

14-day free trial

From $29/user/month Visit Website
8
Paymo

Best project management software with time tracking

Free plan available

From $5.95/user/month Visit Website
9
Trello

Best free Kanban board tools

Free trial + freemium plan available

From $6/user/month Visit Website
10
Asana

Best for goal setting & tracking

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month Visit Website

What Do You Think About This List of Best Software to Run a Small Business?

Have you tried out any of the project management software for small teams listed above? What tools do you rely on for project management for small business? Let us know in the comments below.

Do you require something a little more robust? Start with our list of project management tools here.

Related List of Tools: 10 Best Free Workflow Software For Small Teams

By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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