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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. ClickUp

    Best for unlimited users/seats

  2. monday.com

    Best for building custom workflows across teams

  3. Smartsheet

    Best for flexibility & customizability

  4. Hive

    Best for collaboration & messaging

  5. Kintone

    Best for building custom project workflows

  6. Forecast.app

    Best AI-native project planning tool

  7. MeisterTask

    Best for WIP limits

  8. Miro

    Best for collaborative whiteboards & visualizations

  9. GanttPro

    Best Gantt chart creation tool

  10. Zoho Projects

    Best for unique team collaboration features

  11. Paymo

    Best project management software for small & medium teams

  12. Xebrio

    Best for project requirements management

  13. ProWorkflow

    Best for unlimited client/contractor access

  14. FunctionFox

    Best for creative teams and agencies

  15. Kissflow Project

    Best for workflow automations

Below you’ll find an overview of the top project management software on this list, with screenshots, feature overview, and pricing.

Us project managers love project management software. Without it we can find ourselves drowning in an endless sea of spreadsheets, post-its and paperwork. It can be the only thing that separates us from complete carnage.

So you know the benefits of the software, and you know you need something to help with organization and collaboration. But the commonly asked, ‘What is the ‘best project management software?’, is probably the wrong question to ask. Instead, try asking ‘What’s the right project management app for our project and team?’ It’ll depend on the project, your workflow, your team, its size, your existing PM toolkit and of course your budget.

To make figuring this out easier, I’ve put together this article as a comparison of project management tools that you’ve probably already encountered in your search. I’ve noted what each does best, the advantages of the tools, links to in depth reviews, and screenshots to give you a glimpse of the interface. I’m hoping this takes some of the grunt work off your plate and filters out some of the noise.

project management software logos list

The 15 Best Project Management Tool Overviews

In this post, I’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of project management solution options. Which one you settle on will come down to your workflow functionality and what feature set you need to make that run smoothly. Sometimes tools are so similar that it comes down to free plans, pricing scalability, or user interface to help choose between them—I’ve added all of these details where relevant.

1

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
2

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
3

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
4

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
5

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
6

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
7

MeisterTask

Best for WIP limits

MeisterTask is a web-based task and project management tool that is perfect for managing agile projects on simple, Kanban-style boards. The tool offers user-friendly interfaces, intuitive functionality, and seamless integrations with other software in the project ecosystem.

The tool includes colorful, customizable project boards, as well as other features designed to make projects more streamlined, productive, and effective. Workload management is enabled through the timeline feature: a Gantt-style overview of tasks that allows users to pinpoint bottlenecks and keep work flowing smoothly. Automations can also be established to speed up manual work and to complete recurring tasks automatically.

Other task management features include due dates, time tracking, assignees, watchers, checklists, tags, and more. MeisterTask also enables communication with comments, @mentions, notifications, and inline file attachments (including integrations with external cloud storages). MeisterTask is simple to use and doesn’t require any formal onboarding or training.

MeisterTask’s integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, G Suite, Zapier, IFTTT, MindMeister, and more.

MeisterTask costs from $8.25/month and offers a freemium plan for up to 3 projects. Their paid plans come with a 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $8.25/month

Pros

  • User-friendly interface with intuitive functionality
  • Includes the ability to automate recurring steps
  • Gantt-style Timeline feature for scheduling tasks on a calendar

Cons

  • Recurring tasks limited to paid users
  • There is no Linux desktop application
  • No subtasks possible, only checklist items
8

Miro

Best for collaborative whiteboards & visualizations

Miro is a collaborative online whiteboard with over 1,000 templates including mind maps, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, product wireframes, research boards, and flowcharts. It’s trusted by 99% of the Fortune 100, and used by teams at TransUnion, HP, Upwork, Cisco, Qlik, and Atkins. Miro’s visual platform is built for hybrid work, and has robust resources for continuous learning like Miro Academy, online events, and a community forum.

One of Miro’s many functionalities is as a project management tool with a focus on interactive, visual work boards. Project management is seamless with built-in video conferencing, Agile workflows, ideation and brainstorming templates, and wireframing tools. Paid plans allow guest and visitor access so you can collaborate with clients and stakeholders.

At The Digital Project Manager, we use Miro to map out content clusters and to visualize content workflows from start (brainstorming ideas) to finish (publishing the content on our site).

Miro has integrations with a whole suite of tools, including Zoom, Figma, Asana, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Slack, Google Drive, Box, Airtable, Notion, Azure, and Webex. Some integrations are limited to paid plans only.

Miro is free to use for unlimited members with up to 3 editable boards. Paid plans start at $8/user/month (billed annually).

From $8/user/month

Pros

  • Free forever plan available
  • Intuitive and easy setup
  • Built-in communication features for streamlined collaboration

Cons

  • Visitor/guest accounts locked to paid plans only
  • Zooming can be jumpy on larger projects
  • Free version does not allow high-quality export to pdf
9

GanttPro

Best Gantt chart creation tool

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.

GanttPRO allows teams to collaborate in real-time using comments, mentions, and attachments. Also included are resource management and workload features for monitoring team member workload and tasks.

GanttPRO offers integrations with Jira, Google Drive, Slack, and other applications.

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

Zoho Projects

Best for unique team collaboration features

Zoho Projects is a project management application that can handle projects of all sizes and levels of complexity. The tool comes with features that imitate social networking sites such as feeds, forums, and discussions and is available on mobile for iOS, Android, and other systems.

For project planning and monitoring, Zoho Projects’ Gantt chart features let you break large projects down into manageable sections and actionable tasks, plan and visualize different tasks and milestones, and create tasks lists to help you plan in better detail. Zoho Projects’ Gantt charts can also be used for resource allocation, so you can visualize your project schedule and the team’s workload. The resource usage table tells you who is available, who is busy, and who is overloaded.

With Zoho Projects, you can define dependencies between tasks and assign them to the right people, schedule events in your calendar, and monitor the percentage of work that’s been completed once the work has begun. Automate routine tasks at regular intervals by setting up a recurring task, and set reminder emails for tasks.

You can also create or download project documents, presentations, and spreadsheets, as well as upload and share files for team collaboration. Record the hours spent on tasks and compare them with what you had originally planned. This can be done manually or with the help of an integrated timer. Entries are automatically recorded in your timesheet, and generating invoices from this information requires only a few clicks.

Being part of the Zoho ecosystem allows you to connect to several of Zoho’s other services such as Zoho Books and Zoho’s finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well, like Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Zapier, Zendesk, and ServiceNow. Integrations via Zapier and Zoho Flow are also supported.

Zoho Projects costs from $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial. Zoho Projects also offers a free plan for up to 3 users and 2 projects.

10 days free trial

From $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial

Pros

  • Unlimited number of projects
  • Easy workflow automations
  • Robust communication features
  • Time-track multiple tasks at once

Cons

  • Does not integrate with Quickbooks
  • Lacks some reporting features
  • Lack of file type export options
11

Paymo

Best project management software for small & medium teams

Paymo is the best project management software to use if you’re working in consultancy and the creative/marketing industry. Paymo suits freelancers, small and medium teams, or businesses as it helps creatives navigate projects and tasks, keep track of their time, and bill clients from the same platform.

Paymo lets you streamline your workflow as you manage a creative project. With Paymo, you get a good grasp of task details and status (task management) using multiple views, task lists, Kanban, and Gantt charts. You’ll see how many hours you’ve put in (time tracking)—and how that fares with your initial estimates. You’ll be able to then send invoices to your clients and be paid through online payment gateways like Square, Stripe, PayPal, and others. On top of all that, you can manage everything on the go using the mobile app.

Paymo lets you assign users, collaborate in real-time, file proof, and be updated via notifications or oversee the stream of recent activities. Paymo alos comes with a resource scheduling module and resource management to help manage leave days and set up bookings for clients.

Paymo integrates with Zapier, Google, and Slack for an extra ping.

Paymo’s free plan is available 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.

15 days free trial

From $9.95/user/month

12

Xebrio

Best for project requirements management

Xebrio project management software covers every phase of the project development lifecycle from project requirement analysis to deployment. Xebrio helps teams by enabling precise and comprehensive requirement analysis and tracking, milestone tracking, hassle-free collaboration and task assignment, and issue tracking.

Xebrio breaks complex, sizeable projects into smaller, manageable chunks. It is a project management software that allows you to get a clear picture of product requirements and user stories, allows you to include all stakeholders in high-level planning, lets you manage and assign tasks quickly, communicate and collaborate effortlessly, track issues, plan sprints and releases and keep a close eye on time and budget constraints too.

Noteworthy features include approval workflows, requirement traceability, Kanban boards, task lists, file sharing, milestone tracking, and software development project management solutions (integrates QA, interconnected test builds, test cases & test plans, integration & deployment metrics).

Xebrio costs from $7/user/month and comes with a 30-day free trial.

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month

Pros

  • In-app discussions, file sharing, & messages
  • Easy to accommodate stakeholder access/views
  • Affordable entry-level plan
  • End to end traceability of Requirements

Cons

  • No free plan available
  • Plans/packages not outlined on website
  • Heavy focus on software dev features
13

ProWorkflow

Best for unlimited client/contractor access

ProWorkflow is a complete online project management solution. Teams can track projects from conception to completion and report back on all activity that happens in the meantime.

ProWorkflow considers tasks one of its most important assets, allowing you to specify start and finish dates, task assignees, hour allocations, and rates. It can then determine which of your staff might be available, based on how many tasks they’re assigned to, when all of those tasks will be active, and how much time was allocated to these tasks. Tasks allow for both file sharing and messaging, so you’ll always be fully informed and up to date on project progress.

The tool allows users to edit every aspect of the project throughout the whole project lifecycle, including things like dates, assignments, categories, and more. There are many elements that can be manipulated using click and drag functionality, such as the Gantt chart, the Kanban board, or assigning users to tasks.

The tool is also fairly straightforward with its layout — for example, all active projects and associated data can be found on the projects page, all info related to time can be found on the time page, etc.

ProWorkflow integrates directly with all of the most popular accounting platforms, like Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks, as well as with popular file storage platforms like Google Workspace, Box, and OneDrive. There is also integration with SSO, like Azure. For everything else, the tool also integrates with Zapier.

ProWorkflow costs from $20/user/month and comes with a 14-day free trial.

14 days free trial

From $20/user/month

Pros

  • Intuitive structure and navigation for organizing project information
  • Custom fields and no user caps make the system highly scalable
  • Powerful reporting tools enable easy insights into past efforts

Cons

  • No asset/inventory management functions
  • Budget/cost tracking largely based around hours spent, making profitability hard to track
  • Workload and availability don’t account for leave/holidays/part-time staff
14

FunctionFox

Best for creative teams and agencies

Built by creative professionals for the creative industry, FunctionFox features user-friendly tools to help you create detailed project schedules, track your progress through interactive gantt charts and calendars, manage your resources with action assignments and to-do lists, and communicate and collaborate through the project blog. FunctionFox is entirely web-based so it allows both in-office and remote users to work together seamlessly.

FunctionFox’s intuitive project scheduling tool allows you to allocate work to your team through action assignments, mark out important dates within a project using milestones, and schedule project meetings. Keep a close eye on your team’s capacity through to-do lists and the availability tool, and monitor project timelines with interactive gantt charts and project calendars. The project blog feature allows your team to communicate in real time, and the tool also offers flexible, comprehensive reports that can be exported in an Excel format.

FunctionFox is easy to use and made even easier with the tutorials and support provided. All customer support is unlimited, ongoing, and included in the subscription cost. The FunctionFox website also includes a help center, and there are detailed help files included within the software itself.

Project scheduling tools are included in the FunctionFox Premier plan. Compatible with all up to date web browsers, users can also schedule projects and monitor deadlines while on the go using the mobile site, an iPhone/iPad, or Android apps.

Pricing for the Premier plan starts at $50 per month.

14 days free trial

Premier plan starts at $50/month for the first user, plus $10 USD/month for each additional user

Pros

  • User-friendly, modern interface
  • Time tracking is built in
  • Easy to produce reports
  • Ability to archive past projects/clients

Cons

  • More integrations welcomed
  • Limited invoice customizability
  • No free plan available
15

Kissflow Project

Best for workflow automations

Kissflow Project is a collaborative project management tool designed to focus on collaboration, transparency, coordination, and productivity. Tracking features are streamlined to provide a clearer view of items and tasks that actually matter.

Kissflow Project’s customizable platform gives you total control and adapts to your team’s needs. It offers multiple views for projects, including Kanban boards, list views, and swimlanes. The Project States function helps users reduce the amount of tracking they need to do by allowing team members to mark tasks with one of three statuses — on hold, in progress, and done.

The tool allows users to share project plans, documents, and other files, as well as discuss projects directly within the software. Team members also get reminders when due dates are approaching. Another great feature is the ability to set priorities and assign team members to them.

Kissflow integrations include native Microsoft and G suite integrations, and the platform offers a REST API and webhooks.

Pricing for Kissflow Project starts at $35 per month.

15 days free trial

From $35/month (Includes 5 users)

Pros

  • Multiple views like Kanban, lists, and swimlanes
  • On hold, in progress, and done states available for tracking progress
  • Powerful reporting features

Cons

  • No Gantt chart
  • No ability to set up recurring tasks
  • Not intended for complex projects

Best Project Management Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
ClickUp

Best for unlimited users/seats

Freemium version

Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/user/month Check out ClickUp
2
monday.com

Best for building custom workflows across teams

14 days free trial

From $6/user/month Check out monday.com
3
Smartsheet

Best for flexibility & customizability

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month Check out Smartsheet
4
Hive

Best for collaboration & messaging

14 days free trial

From $12/user/month Check out Hive
5
Kintone

Best for building custom project workflows

30 days free trial

From $24/user/month Check out Kintone
6
Forecast.app

Best AI-native project planning tool

14 days free trial

From $31.76/user/month Check out Forecast.app
7
MeisterTask

Best for WIP limits

Freemium version

30 days free trial

From $8.25/month Check out MeisterTask
8
Miro

Best for collaborative whiteboards & visualizations

Freemium version

From $8/user/month Check out Miro
9
GanttPro

Best Gantt chart creation tool

14 days free trial

From $7.99/user/month Check out GanttPro
10
Zoho Projects

Best for unique team collaboration features

Freemium version

10 days free trial

From $5/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial Check out Zoho Projects
11
Paymo

Best project management software for small & medium teams

Freemium version

15 days free trial

From $9.95/user/month Check out Paymo
12
Xebrio

Best for project requirements management

30 days free trial

From $7/user/month Check out Xebrio
13
ProWorkflow

Best for unlimited client/contractor access

14 days free trial

From $20/user/month Check out ProWorkflow
14
FunctionFox

Best for creative teams and agencies

Freemium version

14 days free trial

Premier plan starts at $50/month for the first user, plus $10 USD/month for each additional user Check out FunctionFox
15
Kissflow Project

Best for workflow automations

Freemium version

15 days free trial

From $35/month (Includes 5 users) Check out Kissflow Project

Other Project Management Software To Consider

Below is a list of additional PM tool options. Check them out if you’re looking for the best software for your agency or studio:

  1. Asana

    Best online task management software for complex projects

  2. TeamGantt

    Best for visual planning

  3. Workzone

    Best for mid-sized businesses

  4. Workotter

    Best for enterprise project management

  5. Microsoft Projects

    Best for large teams

  6. Airtable

    Best for building project databases

  7. Paymo

    Best for SMBs

  8. Confluence

    Best for software teams

  9. Basecamp

    Best for external and internal team communication

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 Solutions:

Find the best project management app for:

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?

Sometimes! And that’s okay. However, if you’re not careful, you end up with a collection of unrelated SaaS software that doesn’t sync properly. You use one tool for communication, another for file sharing and yet another for task management and none of them will speak together behind-the-scenes. You run the risk of duplicate work, entering the same data into each application.

There’s a better way. Instead of using dedicated tools and manually tying them together, use a project management tool with shared-data functionality built-in. This facilitates better briefing and contextual communication.

What are the key Features of a Project Management Tool?

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

So what does it take to deliver a  project? 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 sub-tasks, sub-sub-tasks, checklists, and to-do’s. 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. 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 timing 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?

With any software, you have to draw a line between what’s essential and what’s not. In my criteria, I’ve focused on the execution of a project. That means I haven’t focused on mind map planning, billing, post mortem, or other above-and-beyond capabilities. However, if the tools above touch on any advanced functionality (pre-project estimating, post-project aspects, etc.), that’s great! That’s just not my focus here.

More about common features in project management software here.

What Do You Think?

What do you think I’m missing from this project management system review?  Have different criteria for selecting a PM tool? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of PM software. Why not share them using the comments below?

Find more project management tools here.

Check This Out: Getting The Most Out Of A Software Demo

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

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    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.

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    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

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    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

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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