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Compare The 15 Best Project Management Software Of 2022

The 15 Best Project Management Software List

This is a snapshot of the best project management solutions:

  1. monday.com

    Best for building custom workflows across teams

  2. Hive

    Best for collaboration & messaging

  3. Wrike

    Best for scaling organizations

  4. Smartsheet

    Best for flexibility & customizability

  5. ClickUp

    Best for unlimited users/seats

  6. Celoxis

    Best for customer-facing teams

  7. Kintone

    Best for building custom project workflows

  8. Forecast.app

    Best AI-native project planning tool

  9. GanttPro

    Best project management tool for planning and scheduling projects with an online Gantt chart

  10. Asana

    Best online task management software for complex projects

  11. TeamGantt

    Best for visual planning

  12. Workzone

    Best for mid-sized businesses

  13. Workotter

    Best for enterprise project management

  14. Microsoft Projects

    Best for large teams

  15. Airtable

    Best for building project databases

Projects are getting more complex by the day. Why? Because geographically dispersed teams and remote work have become more and more common. If we add that to the already complex nature of our profession, it’s imperative that we pick the right project management software to help us smoothen our team interactions and collaboration.

If you want to upgrade your existing tool, don’t know where to start researching or are overwhelmed by how many tools you’re currently using and want a solution that can centralize everything (or almost everything), you are in the right place. The in-depth reviews below highlight some of the best project management tools and their features. These tools offer a wealth of benefits, from tracking project progress in real-time and enabling team conversations around tasks to accessing project information from a mobile app.

Which one you settle on will come down to your workflow functionality and what set of features you need to make your projects run smoothly. Sometimes tools are so similar that it comes down to free plans, pricing scalability, or user interface to help you choose between them—I’ve added all of these details to support your decision-making.

project management software logos list

The 15 Best Project Management Tool Overviews

1

monday.com

Best for building custom workflows across teams

monday.com is an award-winning project management software used across diverse industries by companies like Hulu, BBC Studios, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal Paris, Adobe, and Deezer.

monday.com features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.

Overall, it’s a highly customizable tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—Kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process. Read our in-depth monday.com review for a complete overview of the tool, as well as a short video tutorial of basic features.

monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

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 days free trial

From $6/user/month

Pros

  • Huge focus on collaboration
  • Long list of supported integrations
  • Easy to customize a workflow or board
  • Helpful visual/color coding customization

Cons

  • Complex pricing rubric
  • Gantt charts locked to mid-level plan
  • May be too robust for small teams
2

Hive

Best for collaboration & messaging

Hive is a project management tool and collaboration platform that powers companies like Starbucks, Uber, WeWork, and IBM. As the world’s first community built software, Hive’s product roadmap is built entirely of customer requests.

With flexible project views, dependencies, unlimited projects, and thousands of integrations, Hive streamlines your work in one centralized platform. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great option for a diverse range of companies and work styles.

Hive’s time tracking, analytics, and flexible view capabilities allow for transparent understanding of other team members work and upcoming projects. Hive also has full email integration in their project management tool, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the app. Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive project management tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.

The tool starts with a free package for 1-2 users, and the Hive Teams package is $12/user/month when billed annually.

14 days free trial

From $12/user/month

Pros

  • Excellent built-in communication features
  • Great all-in-one option for SMBs
  • Intuitive & pleasant UI
  • Easy to integrate with other tools

Cons

  • Reporting functions could be expanded
  • Vastness of capabilities means steep learning curve
  • Mobile version limited in functionality
3

Wrike

Best for scaling organizations

Wrike is an award-winning project management software suitable for teams of five or more, as the software allows for an unlimited number of users. The tool is highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.

Wrike’s simple interface enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views, allowing them to choose how to visualize their priorities. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, schedules, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration. Users can get advanced insights on their project with performance reporting tools, resource management and allocation, and more.

Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. You can switch between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and stream (for notifications and messages). Wrike also has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.

Wrike also offers a variety of specific solutions depending on the type of team or organization — including marketing teams and professional service teams. Users can also try a variety of templates for common organizational processes. Feel free to check out our in-depth Wrike review if you want more details or fancy watching our brief features tutorial video.

Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.

Pricing starts at $9.80/user/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.

14 days free trial

From $9.80/user/month

Pros

  • Different ways to view the same data
  • Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
  • Many options and opportunities to customize

Cons

  • No subtasks in the freemium plan
  • No offline access
  • Commenting system is pretty basic
4

Smartsheet

Best for flexibility & customizability

Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool. It has won a few awards for quickly becoming a favorite business app. It’s a nice project management software if you’re comfortable working in Excel but wants a break from complicated formulas—Smartsheet performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. You can also add customized brand logos and set color themes for individual projects.

Smartsheet has useful project management features such as workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt, calendar and card views. Team members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed. The Critical Path feature highlights all the tasks which directly impact your project completion date to keep an eye on important milestones. Reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel.

Check out our in-depth Smartsheet review if you want a deep-dive into the tool or to watch our short tutorial video of some basic features.

Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.

Smartsheet costs from $7/user/month, with a minimum of 3 users and a maximum of 25 users. They also offer a 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month

Pros

  • Sheet-to-sheet linking
  • Many project templates & resources
  • Ease of sharing
  • Easily customizable dashboards

Cons

  • Jira, Salesforce, Dynamics connector limited to Premier plan
  • Changes don’t update in real-time
  • Can't customize chart colors
5

ClickUp

Best for unlimited users/seats

ClickUp is a project management software tool with powerful features for managing and completing all your team’s projects in one platform. Users can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with team members and guests.

Task management features include task checklists, subtasks, and task templates, as well as the ability to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team. Users can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks.

ClickUp also includes features for creating, sharing, and collaborative editing for Wikis and documents. Users can comment on documents and tasks, assign comments, and chat with other team members for increased communication and collaboration. Reporting features include the ability to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.

ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.

ClickUp’s free plan is robust and includes all primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5/user/month and offers additional functionality.

Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month

Pros

  • Free forever plan allows unlimited members
  • Unlimited file storage on all paid account tiers
  • Can email (set-up) a task directly from Outlook

Cons

  • Read-only guest permissions are limited to paid account
  • Reporting suite is limited to paid plans only
  • Granular customization options results in a time consuming set-up
6

Celoxis

Best for customer-facing teams

Celoxis is a comprehensive and web-based all-in-one platform for project portfolio management and work collaboration. It comes with powerful analytical capabilities, and its rich and interactive charts will breathe new life into your project data.

Celoxis’ project schedules and powerful interactive Gantt charts pack all of the team and work dynamicity, including geographically distributed project teams, part-time resources, unavoidable absences, interim resource swaps, and even inter-project dependencies.

Further, task management within Celoxis is strong and unique. The platform lets you see your tasks and to-dos, report bugs, manage tickets, or log time from a single tool. You can also get relevant notifications to your inbox and send updates to someone, even without logging in.

Collaboration is also available through project discussions, @mention comments, file sharing, document version control, and activity stream. Additionally, 80% of your team’s typical actions, such as starting a timer, attaching a file or updating status, can be done straight from the dashboards.

Celoxis provides executives with a real-time project tracker, resource availabilities and utilization, timesheets, project finances, risks, issues and to-dos. With their exhaustive custom field library, including formula fields, you can easily track all of your financial KPIs, such as NPV.

Celoxis is extremely customizable and flexible when it comes to different organizations and industries. With their unique custom apps, you have the power to create and configure intuitive project and business processes within the project management system.

Celoxis is one of the few project manager software programs to be available both in SaaS and on-premise flavors. SaaS costs $22.50/user/month (annually) and on-premise costs $450/user one-time. Both require a minimum 5-user sign-up and come with 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $22.50/user/month

Pros

  • In-app timer for task tracking
  • Customizable widgets for groups or individuals
  • Percentage of project tasks-per-user feature
  • Very interactive Gantt chart

Cons

  • Some difficulty with report building
  • Complex menu structure
  • Resource planning is not automated
7

Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

Kintone is a customizable project tracking software platform used by teams at Volvo Trucks North America, Japan Airlines, Shiseido, 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 tracking apps 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 tracking solution can look and work however you want it to.

What makes Kintone particularly great for project tracking are the features to filter and prioritize tasks by data field or team member to generate custom reports or dashboard views, as well as the ability to automate reminders and handoffs between team members for 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 days free trial

From $24/user/month

Pros

  • Flexible pricing that includes special deals for schools and NPOs
  • Admin accounts have access to tons of customization tools
  • Data is easy to pull and manipulate into good looking reports

Cons

  • No single-user plan available (minimum 5 users)
  • Limited to 5GB/user storage on every pricing tier
  • No native templates for common project types or documents
8

Forecast.app

Best AI-native project planning tool

Forecast is an all-in-one platform for resource and project management, used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agency, software, and consulting companies. It’s equipped with tools to manage everything from quote to invoice, plus it offers intelligent automation to predict project delivery dates, forecast capacity needs, and become more efficient. Their AI uses cumulative learnings from hundreds of thousands of projects and creates rules based on that user data.

Let’s talk about features. The Auto-Schedule feature is great for project scheduling, providing estimates, automatically assigning resources to tasks. It’s got a drag-and-drop module that lets you adjust plans and resources in an instant. Another cool feature is that the tool automatically builds a budget for every project with key financial metrics to track planned vs. actuals. It also supports various billing types (fixed price, time & materials) side-by-side and in real-time. It has advanced up-to-the-minute reports you can customize.

Forecast also introduced a one-of-its-kind feature to manage projects in a retainer setup. A dashboard with retainer periods and totals lets you track the financials of ongoing projects without losing sight of staff workloads and time spent on delivery.

Forecast integrations include several turnkey integrations with mainstream project management tools and two-way sync with Jira on the market. It also complements accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero with PM capabilities.

Forecast costs from $31.76/user/month (€27/user/month) with a 10-seat minimum requirement. They offer a 14-day free trial.

14 days free trial

From $31.76/user/month

Pros

  • Predictive tasks for spreadsheets
  • Can manage resources across multiple projects
  • Easy to plan projects and timelines

Cons

  • Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
  • Additional fee for onboarding/training
  • Higher learning curve
9

GanttPro

Best project management tool for planning and scheduling projects with an online Gantt chart

GanttPRO is a project management software based on Gantt charts and useful for managing all kinds of projects and teams from different spheres. It stands out for its intuitive interface and powerful features.

The software includes features for breaking down projects in an efficient manner into subtasks, sibling tasks, and subprojects, as well as set dependencies and milestones. To get more visibility, users can choose between the Gantt chart, Board views, and task dashboards. GanttPRO also offers handy task management features such as statuses, priorities, duration & estimation, progress, dates and deadlines, assignees, and more.

The Gantt chart maker allows teams to collaborate in real-time using comments, mentions, and attachments. Resource management and workload features for monitoring team members workload and tasks are also included.

You can integrate your projects with Jira, Google Drive, Slack, and other applications. GanttPRO is widely used in software development, construction, healthcare, finances, events, education, and many other spheres.

Basic plans for 1 user start at $7.99/month if billed annually.

14 days free trial

From $7.99/user/month

Pros

  • Intuitive interface with a short learning curve
  • Multiple and flexible project views
  • Professional Gantt chart templates

Cons

  • Light on integrations
  • Lack of options to create recurring tasks
10

Asana

Best online task management software for complex projects

Asana is a task management solution with automation tools, a rule builder, and other workplace management items. Asana’s Timeline lets users create a plan that shows how the pieces of a project fit together and help keep work on track as things change.

Asana has a colorful, rich, and inviting user interface with everything from compartmentalized productivity items to playful cartoon animations that “zoom” across the screen to celebrate finishing a task. This scored them very well in the UX category of the evaluation criteria.

Integrations include Jira Cloud, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, Slack, Microsoft Office 365, Gmail, CSV Importer, JotForm, EverHour, OneDrive, Zoho Cliq, Box, Mailbird, Instabug, DRopbox, Gitlab, Trello, VElocity, Tick, and many more per their website. Additionally, users can connect Asana to Zapier, Automate.io, and others to integrate with hundreds of more available apps.

One minor gripe is that having an active, real-time chat function would benefit this app in particular. Asana bills itself as more of a holistic solution to the project and task management but communication is limited to cumbersome comment sections.

Asana starts at $10.99/user/month and has a freemium version of the software.

30 days free trial

From $10.99/user/month

11

TeamGantt

Best for visual planning

Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a project management tool with a freemium version for smaller groups and teams who don’t yet need an upgrade to a paid plan. Obviously, TeamGantt specializes in Gantt charts and other task planning but they also track workloads and team availability, collaboration features like chat and tagging, and customizable alerts.

Project managers should be aware that TeamGantt works best for simple projects but the software struggles to handle more complex projects across multiple teams. For example, it is not easy to gauge project status at a quick glance.

TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool is accommodating to however you may want to set up and track your 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 of the software for up to 3 users.

14 days free trial

From $24.95/month

Pros

  • Flexible setup/tracking for projects
  • Share charts without recipient logging in
  • Easy drag-and-drop task duration
  • Really easy to learn

Cons

  • Dependency functionality can get complicated
  • Doesn’t have in-app notifications
  • Views lag behind changes
12

Workzone

Best for mid-sized businesses

Workzone is a great project management software for marketing, agency and operations teams of 5+ users. It’s powerful but it’s still easy to use and adopt. Organizations small and large run their projects and keep their teams in sync—it’s been used and developed for 20 years, so the company has built some really useful features to answer real-world problems.

Some of Workzone’s standout features include a useful all-projects dashboard, personalized to-do lists, and an interactive Gantt chart. Workzone also offers secure file management and creative review tools, customizable project intake forms, workload management, time and expense tracking, and powerful reporting. Flexible permissioning allows for giving different levels of access to different users, providing extra layers of security and control.

For new teams who aren’t used to working with a project management software, Workzone is a smart choice because they assist in implementing the software—their team helps your team build the foundation, processes, and discipline you need to get the most out of the software and use it to manage projects successfully. Their level of support is hard to find—they offer needs assessment, success planning, setup and customization, training, and ongoing coaching.

The tool integrates with standard industry software including various communication, IT, file sharing, time tracking, accounting, marketing, and CRM software. You can extend Workzone’s functionality through their extensive APIdeveloper API and Zapier.

Workzone pricing starts at $40/user/month for up to 5 users. Price per user lessens with the number of users…for instance, for 15 users the price per person starts at $24/user/month.

Free demo

From $24/user/month

Pros

  • Allows creation of templates from existing projects
  • Easy to customize tasks using flexible notes system
  • Email reminders to keep things flowing

Cons

  • Completed projects aren’t automatically archived
  • Delayed tasks negatively affect independent tasks on the timeline
  • Better file access permissions welcomed
13

Workotter

Best for enterprise project management

WorkOtter is easy to set up and use end-to-end project and resource management solution with a standout user experience and a library of “magic dashboards” to get PMOs automated quickly. Ideal for IT, Engineering, Consulting, or small/medium enterprises who value simplicity and a vendor partnering approach. It’s easily configured and fully integrated solutions for today’s PMOs.

The entire interface can be configured with drag and drop simplicity and works across mobile and desktop devices. Resource capacity planning includes portfolio what-if scenario planning and innovative ASK/GIVE interactivity between project and resource managers. Create your own “magic dashboards” or leverage over 100 templates designed and built by actual clients over many years.

WorkOtter syncs bi-directionally with MS Project, JIRA, and Excel. Teams can sync with Outlook and collaborate by email (without logging in). Document management integrated with Sharepoint, Dropbox, Box, and more. Integrates easily with Salesforce, Teams, Slack, QuickBooks, and more through open Swagger APIs. Dashboards and reports can also be emailed or exported in Excel, XML, CSV, Word, or PDF formats.

WorkOtter manager licenses cost $35/user/month and team members cost $20/user/month (billed annually). Implementation, support, and other license types are available. Perspective clients get an interactive demo, PMO best practice suggestions, cost estimates, and a PPM business case.

Free demo

From $20/user/month

Pros

  • Easy to communicate with others on project
  • Interactive visuals to gauge initiative impact
  • Open APIs allows to pipe data directly to clients

Cons

  • Better tailored to experienced PMs, not beginners
  • Creating processes can be time consuming
  • Some features are limited to desktop, not mobile
14

Microsoft Projects

Best for large teams

MS Projects is Microsoft’s answer to project management. This tool lets users manage agile projects using simple, visual task boards that support Scrum, Kanban, or custom workflows and choose whatever methodology makes sense for the project: agile, waterfall, or hybrid.

This PM software is particularly easy to use and learn if you are at all familiar with the Microsoft family of products, which most offices are these days. Online tutorials and forums can fill in any gaps, making the learning curve small. Thus, it evaluated well in Usability.

Side note: This is a standard and industry-accepted tool, but it’s not perfect. One major downside is that it’s not easy to run on iOS. If you like MS Projects but are looking for similar options that run on a Mac, check out my post on MS Project options for Mac.

MS Projects integrates easily with other Microsoft and Windows products.

One con is that this software tends to use quite a bit of memory and CPU, which is a common problem with Microsoft products.

MS Projects starts at $12.80/user/month and has a free 30-day trial.

30 day free trial

From $12.80/user/month

Pros

  • Can generate a Gantt chart from a spreadsheet
  • Helpful project template descriptions for guidance
  • Driver prioritization module for ranking strategies/objectives
  • Integration with other Microsoft software

Cons

  • Limitations on collaboration tools
  • Steep learning curve
  • Poor customization options
15

Airtable

Best for building project databases

Airtable is a project management solution that lets users add attachments, long text notes, checkboxes, links, barcodes, and more to records in other tables. Powerful filtering, sorting, and grouping give you the freedom to arrange your work in whatever way works best for your team.

The user interface is sleek, modern, colorful, and attractive, making Airtable a pleasure to use and navigate. This software scored well in the UX consideration for the evaluation criteria listed earlier in this article.

Airtable has built-in support for many popular apps and a robust API. Use Zapier, Workato, Integromat, or Automate.io to connect Airtable with over 1000 websites and apps like Asana, Basecamp, Box, Evernote, Facebook, Github, MailChimp, Slack, and more.

The learning curve for Airtable is made troublesome by a general lack of tutorials and training on their site. Certain features, like posting assignments, might be tricky to teach or learn.

Airtable starts at $10/user/month and has a freemium version of the software.

From $10/user/month

Pros

  • Flexible for small businesses
  • Rollups and Lookups to organize data
  • Forms easy to distribute and embed
  • Color-code lists and project items

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Time consuming to build custom tables

Best Project Management Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
monday.com

Best for building custom workflows across teams

14 days free trial

From $6/user/month Visit Website
2
Hive

Best for collaboration & messaging

14 days free trial

From $12/user/month Visit Website
3
Wrike

Best for scaling organizations

Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $9.80/user/month Visit Website
4
Smartsheet

Best for flexibility & customizability

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month Visit Website
5
ClickUp

Best for unlimited users/seats

Freemium version

Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month Visit Website
6
Celoxis

Best for customer-facing teams

30 days free trial

From $22.50/user/month Visit Website
7
Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

30 days free trial

From $24/user/month Visit Website
8
Forecast.app

Best AI-native project planning tool

14 days free trial

From $31.76/user/month Visit Website
9
GanttPro

Best project management tool for planning and scheduling projects with an online Gantt chart

14 days free trial

From $7.99/user/month Visit Website
10
Asana

Best online task management software for complex projects

Freemium version

30 days free trial

From $10.99/user/month Visit Website
11
TeamGantt

Best for visual planning

Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $24.95/month Visit Website
12
Workzone

Best for mid-sized businesses

Free demo

From $24/user/month Visit Website
13
Workotter

Best for enterprise project management

Free demo

From $20/user/month Visit Website
14
Microsoft Projects

Best for large teams

30 day free trial

From $12.80/user/month Visit Website
15
Airtable

Best for building project databases

Freemium version

From $10/user/month Visit Website

Other Project Management Software To Consider

Below is a list of additional PM tool options that did not make it to the top 15.

  1. Paymo

    Best for SMBs

  2. Confluence

    Best for software teams

  3. Basecamp

    Best for external and internal team communication

  4. Kissflow Project

    Best for workflow automations

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:

What is project management software?

Project management software is software that helps project managers (PMs) plan, execute and control their projects across the five phases of the project lifecycle. It’s a suite of tools to help project managers, the project team and stakeholders work together more effectively. The ultimate goal of the software is to help deliver value more efficiently by facilitating organization, communication, and management.

This software covers a huge range of functionality – some tools focus on a discrete aspect of project management, like resource management, time tracking, or Gantt charts, while others like do try to do it all.

Different tools offer features to facilitate every phase of your work, from planning the initial outline or proposal before you begin and then reporting on your successes or shortcoming after everything is said and done. Along the way, you’ll probably need access to tools for proposals, note-taking, collaborative document building, internal messaging, stakeholder communications, creating and assigning tasks, plotting milestones, planning sprints, imaging user stories, data and analytics reporting, project portfolio management, and budget tracking, and timeline scheduling. The best software will attend to the majority of these needs so that you don’t have to bounce between tabs or use multiple apps.

Although some PM software can be installed on-premise, most new tools are offered online as a software-as-service or SaaS which means new features and functionality are rolled out.

Learn more about the different tools used in project management here.

Other Project Management Software Reviews:

We’ve curated specific lists for you to find the perfect project management app by category.

Which PM software should I choose?

I hate to break it to you, but it depends. The software you should choose is the one with features that solve your current needs. At the same time, you should choose a product that can grow with your company as you require more features or improved security. The last thing you want is to have to go through the process of choosing a new tool again further down the road.

Fortunately, most of the current online PM software solutions have pricing plans that you can pay month-to-month and upgrade any time.

I recommend you start by defining a budget for project management software licenses and go from there. Although these tools come at a low price point, PMs within our community have mentioned that they can get very expensive very quickly. Nothing beats proper planning. If you want more information on how to select the right software for you, check out our buyer’s guide.

What is Best-In-Breed Software?

Many of the PM solutions on this list focus on being jacks-of-all-trades, packing as many features as possible to assign tasks, navigate team collaboration, flag status, perform resource allocation, and so on and so forth, ad nauseam.

Another kind of tool—the “best-in-breed” or “one trick pony”—does the opposite and hyper-focuses on doing one thing really, really well. You can find specialized tools for things like resource scheduling, communication, managing tasks, making Gantt charts, creating reports, managing digital assets, and managing requirements. Tools like Slack (comms), Dropbox (storage), and Todoist (lists) are examples of these uber-specialized tools. Specialized tools can be great—especially for a small team working with niche requirements, fewer clients, or complex projects with unique needs.

Do I need more than one tool?

In an ideal scenario, you wouldn’t. However, the reality can be frustrating. You will probably end up using more than one tool. You use one tool for communication, another for file sharing and yet another for task management. An important thing to remember is that the best pm software for you should integrate all these tools you currently use. 

If the tools can talk to each other, it can reduce manual update work and the number of times you switch between apps.

What are the key features of a Project Management tool?

In defining the key features, I’ve focused on tools that facilitate the “doing” aspect. That means getting people together to create something and get from A to B.

Therefore, I’ve identified five key aspects of functionality that makes delivering projects easier. You can use them to get rid of your post-its and spreadsheets and to run your project more efficiently.

  1. Project task lists: Projects are made up of tasks, sub-tasks, checklists, and to-dos. Being able to outline what needs to be done, by when & by who is critical to delivering a project well. Individual task lists, as well as those accessible by the entire team, are essential. An in-house project team and/or remote team members should be able to assess any project or task progress at a glance.
  2. Schedules: Timelines, calendars, and Gantt charts help you track progress and know where tasks fit within the broader scheme of a project. This is key to being able to deliver a project on time. A robust, visual, and editable schedule is key to any good project plan.
  3. File sharing: No one likes having to waste time trying to dig around for random files. The ability to organize and share key project files and assets is important for delivering projects efficiently.
  4. Communication: A good collaboration tool that allows for contextual project-specific communication enables you and your team to hash things out quickly. Regular communication with your team and client is vital for tracking progress and keeping everything in line.
  5. Reporting: It’s your job to know whether or not a project is on track and to use this information in communication. Therefore, it’s essential to know how a project’s tasks are progressing—will it be delivered on time or not?

Not enough? learn more about common features in project management software.

How do you implement project management software?

Implementing project management software will look very different depending on the size of your organization.

  • For a small company, it’s counting how many people need access to the software, buying the licenses, and configuring the product.
  • For a mid-sized organization, it triggers a change management project. You have to plan for a new tool because you may already have a system in place. This system (good or bad) currently works, and people are used to it. Therefore, a PM tool implementation involves meeting with the users affected by the change and getting buy-in from stakeholders.
  • For a large corporation, it means change management plus strategy. At an enterprise level, your decision on a new tool implementation involves reviewing the tool and how it impacts the users, projects, company goals, and strategy. Add to that the security requirements of an implementation of this scale, and suddenly it’s not that straightforward.

Any implementation will have an adjustment period where people are either training on how to use the tool or being less productive than usual. Why? Because they are trying to figure out how to adapt their workflows.

Whatever the size of your organization, I suggest you schedule a demo and meeting with the vendor. Then, ask for available training services and if they support the initial product configuration. Finally, run some numbers and make sure you have enough money to support this implementation and a bit more (planning for growth).

Please note that this is the case for online project management software and not on-premise. Hosting services on your servers will require extensive planning, no matter the company size.

What Do You Think?

Remember that if you want to have more information about a specific use case, you can always schedule a demo with the vendor. This will clarify how the tool can solve the particular problems you are trying to solve.

What do you think I’m missing from this list, though?  I’m sure you have other tools that can compete with the ones on this list, or you have different criteria to select a PM tool. Would love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on it. If you want suggestions, tips and thoughts on project management from us, subscribe to ‘The Insider Membership,’ our weekly newsletter.

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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26 Comments

  • Thanks for the comparison. Another good tool is kanbantool.com . I like it a lot.

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  • I agree with most of this top, but personally for me there is not enough leadertask in it. A smart application for small and medium-sized businesses. For some reason, it is rarely added, although I read that they have been on the market for a long time. I don't understand why it's not worse in terms of functionality at all than giants, they're just more narrowly focused in the audience, which is no reason not to add them!

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  • Hi Ben, What a great list of tools! This is super helpful. The software we are using is named Easynote (https://easynote.com), and has tons of features so I would suggest to add it to the list, because it can do everything Monday can, so it should not be missed. Once again, thanks for a great article Ben.

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  • Thank you so much for the article, very useful! Do you guys have any software recommendation for project management in a translation & interpretation company?

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  • Surprised Jira isnt on there - seems to be pretty much the industry standard

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  • Great list and wonderful reviews!

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  • Great Post! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep up the good work.

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  • Thanks for sharing. The tool I use is Fanurio. Fanurio (https://www.fanuriotimetracking.com) can do project management, time tracking and invoicing. It can be used on Windows, OS X and Linux. A license costs $59 and you can use it forever.

    Reply

  • Hi Ben, Thanks for collecting and reviewing these tools, it's helpful for all those who are looking for the perfect project management software for their team! In TimeCamp, we tested lots of tools, e.g., Asana, Basecamp, Todoist, JIRA, Hipchat and finally, Trello and Slack together. They all meet our expectations in the beginning, but unfortunately, we noticed some lack of features and the necessity to use two or three apps instead of one. It forced us to create our tool called HeySpace, that combines the functionalities known from Trello and Slack: Kanban boards and chat/private conversations. Now everything is in one place; we finally collaborate efficiently without exchanging the endless chain of emails. Here you can find out more about the HeySpace: https://hey.space. Warmest regards, Ola at TimeCamp

    Reply

  • Hey, Great list of tools but you have missed few like vidupm.

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  • Well that's one great list you made there, thanks for sharing it ! May I add a free online tool our team developed, it's called Zenkit. You can know more about on https://zenkit.com , we'd love your feedbacks.

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  • Awesome Tools !! I came across your blog, and here I found most valuable information about project management software tools. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  • Hey Ben, Great work on putting together such a comprehensive list of task management tools and apps. Full disclosure, but I am a Founder of a task management software company myself called Task Pigeon (https://www.taskpigeon.co). If you get a chance I would love for you to take a look and share your feedback? I know its a competitive space, but I didn't find anything that worked 100% how I wanted to and that's why I decided to launch Task Pigeon. We have managed to grow quite well over the last 6 months and really focus on providing an easy to user interface that enable staff to get on with getting things done. Talk soon Paul

    Reply

  • How come you don’t have Hitask in this list? I’ve been following this blog for a year now and haven’t seen it on any list. Just give it a glance. You won’t regret it.

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  • Hey Ben, Excellent post man! I am a newly promoted project manager in my organization and was surfing internet for some tools efficient enough to minimize my manual task and can manage all my task related to the project. so in my search I found your article that solved my most of the problems. So thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  • Hi Ben, Thank you for this wonderful post. We are creators of Sagilo (https://sagilo.com), a new project management tool. During our research we happen to come across your post. We would really appreciate if you could have a look at our app. It has support for agile development along with a wiki section. Also it does has a free account with no restriction on features except for number of users and projects.

    Reply

  • So you list best free full featured project management (Bitrix24) among 'others'. Even though nobody else gives you free Gantt, client management, quotes and invoices. Sure you'd expect most popular free project management platforms (Asana and Trello) listed on top. Nope, not there. Hmm...

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    • Thanks Shane, In the article, I didn't list try to make a list of free project management software at all! We were trying to find the best project management software tools based on functionality. And, let's be real, Bitrix isn't really free if you really want to start using it properly; it's like most of the others; yes there's a free option but to start leveraging it's real power, you have to pay.

      Reply

  • Nice list! If you have time then look for Task Ray and Leankor, they are also good tools. You can see here

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  • Hi Ben! Thanks for the article. I know it's impossible to review everything at once, but you might want to add Deskun to the list, it's a project management system inside Gmail. I just though I'd mention this one, we started using it recently and it's not bad.

    Reply

  • Hi Ben, thank you for nice roundup. I tried some tools for managing my projects, but that tool doesn't fulfil my necessity. So I talk with my business adviser and got useful advice. Then make my decision, recently signed up with the Apptivo. It helps to manage my team and pretty good to use.

    Reply

  • Hi Ben, Thank you for the list, finally a blog post including some new tools. I've tested a lot of them in the past months because my company was searching for a tool to stop wasting time and resources. Our main problem was about managing resource time, most of my colleagues were not completely aware about priorities and always over scheduled. In the end we decide to buy Twproject that is a very useful tool. I suggest you to take a look at it. It is a software that is quite easy to use and offers an interesting set of functionality, including the import from MP (we used it before Twproject for our gantts) here is the link in case you are interested https://twproject.com

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    • Thanks for the suggestion!

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  • Hey Ben. Where is your comparison with or comment on Microsoft Project? NOTE I am not a user of MP BUT as a Project manager in the building industry for many years I found MP was the most frequently used software in this industry?

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    • Hi Rob, thanks for your comment and it's a great question. In this list of tools I've tried to focus on tools which have broader functionality for project management as a discipline, supporting the delivery of a project, not just managing a timeline, budget and resources in the way that Microsoft Project does. It's a great tool though!

      Reply

  • Hi Ben - Thank you for the awesome article! Great tips and resources :) I think it is really helpful bringing up the aspect of a "one-trick pony" as many businesses and teams do not realize the fantastic all-in-one platforms that are out there and end up with load of halfhearted integrations and paying for multiple subscriptions. If I may suggest - have you heard of taskworld dot com ? It was rated as one of the best platforms on the market by the software review experts at Capterra, recommended by Tech Crunch, Huffington Post and Forbes. We've got the most user-friendly platforms plus built-in chat and an analytics stack that's unmatched on the market. Feel free to email me at jessica dot z at taskworld dot com for more info if you're doing another feature like this - I'd appreciate it! Thank you and have an awesome day!

    Reply

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