How often do you complete your projects on time and within budget? If your team can deliver projects on time and within budget most of the time, congratulations; your project planning or project timeline management software is on point. You deserve a pat on the back because a recent survey concluded that only 29% of organizations said they mostly or always complete projects on time.
Several reasons can be attributed to projects that overrun their allocated timeframes, including poor teamwork or team collaboration, lack of automation, cumbersome approvals and permissions processes, general poor communication regarding due dates, poor resource management, and failure to manage remote teams effectively.
Undoubtedly, balancing all the elements attributed to project success can be challenging, especially for small businesses, when you use legacy project management solutions like excel spreadsheets and old-fashioned written to-do lists. However, the good news is that the market is awash with software geared explicitly at managing project timelines for all types of teams.
But how do I identify the right timeline management tool with the right pricing, templates, drag-and-drop features, notifications, and time tracking, among other essential functionalities? This is the question I set out to answer in this guide, where I list the 10 best project timeline software tools in the market this year.
What do I look for when selecting the best project timeline management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I look for a project timeline management tool that’s simple to use, clear to understand, and attractive. It should respond with speed and be consistent whether I’m using a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
- Usability: I pay attention to how the software allows me to solve my challenges, such as managing task lists, calendar views, and file sharing. To satisfy this criterion, the software needs to be intuitive and allow me to complete critical tasks adequately and efficiently while also leaving me with a good feeling about my experience.
- Integrations: I look for a software tool that creates a seamless experience with different software tools that I use to accomplish other tasks like project scheduling, customer relations management (CRM), connecting with different stakeholders, checking project status, invoicing, and project templates.
- Compatibility: I am looking for a software solution compatible with my existing systems. This implies that apart from looking at the operating system that the software can work on, I should also determine whether it supports mobile applications for iOS or Android.
- Value for $: I look for the optimal combination of quality and cost. This means I look for the best outcome at the lowest price possible. However, through a cost-benefit analysis, I consider both the financial and non-financial costs, meaning that I will not always go with the cheapest available tool.
Best Project Timeline Management Software Key Features
- Task management and scheduling: This feature ensures smooth workflows because it connects project tasks and subtasks to make it easy to collaborate. This helps in avoiding silos, repetition of tasks, and confusion. A software package with Gantt charts or Kanban boards makes dependencies and relationships clear.
- Real-time reporting: It’s much easier to deal with problems at an early stage before they escalate into insurmountable challenges. One way of keeping your fingers on the pulse of a project timeline is to know which milestones are being completed on schedule and which ones are behind. Real-time reports provide an idea of project progress at any specific moment.
- Team collaboration tools: Successful timeline management depends on effective collaboration. Therefore, I am looking for a system that allows for document management and sharing, updating statuses and timelines, making it easy to communicate with an entire team as efficiently as possible.
- Data Analytics: Having data is important, but knowing what the data is saying is more crucial. This is the reason I am looking for a timeline and task management software tool that can track project timelines and provide me with insights on which projects are lagging and which ones are ahead of schedule.
- Security: Projects involve a lot of personal and confidential information. Apart from that, it’s easy to lose important and irretrievable information if security is not taken seriously during software development.
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Wrike is a work management platform that lets you plug into 400+ integrations and customize your workflows, dashboards, and request forms.
Wrike’s easy-to-use interface offers intuitive navigation with distinct Spaces, folders, and tasks, which you can customize however you like and collaborate in real-time while sharing workflows, calendars, and more.
Wrike offers a user-friendly experience with advanced customization capabilities. For example. you can organize, see, and manage project timelines using Kanban boards, drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and detailed dashboards. Additionally, you have access to advanced insights with a suite of analytics, resource management, and performance-reporting features.
Wrike offers native pre-built integrations with more than 400 popular platforms, including Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Wrike starts at $9.80/user/month and has a free version for up to five users. There is also a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
monday.com is a popular enterprise project management tool used by companies across different industries, like Abbott, Costco, Uber, Adobe, and Hulu.
monday.com's timeline view features a visual presentation allowing users to view timelines within single or multiple boards. The tool provides a glimpse of the timeframe allocated to complete a project, providing an opportunity to plan accordingly. The software provides teams with a tool for managing tasks, to-dos, collaboration, time tracking, task automation, task tracking, task planning, and other elements related to project timeline management.
One of the main reasons monday.com is at the top of this list is that the tool brings together collaboration, project and task management, and CRM tools. Another element worth mentioning is that this software allows for a high degree of customization, and its interface is appealing. Add this to the project management app automation, and you will understand why 127,000 customers use Monday.com in more than 200 business verticals.
monday.com integrates with several leading apps like Slack, HubSpot, Airtable, Trello, Asana, Zoom, and Microsoft Project, and others. They have a full list of integrations on their webite.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month with a two-week free trial and offers a free plan with up to two seats.
Forecast is a project timeline management tool based on artificial intelligence (AI). The tool's AI makes it an excellent solution for specialized services firms because it reduces the time taken by non-billable work such as project planning, allocation of resources, and filling out timesheets so that teams can focus on more critical aspects of the project.
One of the excellent features that make Forecast better than many of its competitors is that it’s designed to show red bars when an employee is overbooked. This helps you to reallocate tasks within a project in an equitable way. The tool’s integration with the Harvest app allows users to see which projects are overrunning their time and budget.
Forecast integrates with Asana, Azure Active Directory, Azure DevOps, BambooHR, GitHub, GitLab, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Forecast for Android, GoSimplo, Harvest, HubSpot, iCloud Calendar, Forecaster for iOs, Jira MS Excel, MS Teams, Okta, Onelogin, Outlook, Pipedrive, Quickbooks, Reeport, Salesforce, Slack, Timelog, Trello, Unit4, Xero, and Zapier.
Forecast costs from $29/user/month and offers a free trial, but the tool's website doesn't indicate how long the trial is intended to last.
Backlog is designed to ensure that all the different segments of a project easily connect with each other. The tool's Wikis make projects available to all team members and allow for easy editing, making it a great tool for software development teams. The Kanban boards make it easy to visualize different phases. Interactive Gantt charts permit users to visualize the timeline of an entire project.
Other features that put Backlog in this top ten list include giving users the ability to create parent and child tasks to enhance order and create custom fields relevant to a specific project. Its file-sharing feature makes it possible to keep all files in one workplace. The tool's drag and drop functionality allows for easy editing of timelines and durations or changing a task's status.
Backlog integrates with Typetalk, Cacoo, Nulab Pass, Slack, Redmine, Jira Importer, iOS App, LombdaTest, and Android App.
Backlog costs from $35/30users/month and offers a forever free plan for up to 10 users and a 30-day free trial on paid plans.
Since the pronouncement that Covid-19 had become a pandemic, the workplace has changed. Many organizations have realized that a hybrid team can be as effective as co-located teams. ProjectManager is a software program designed for these hybrid teams.
A central feature that makes ProjectManager one of the best tools is that while it provides team members with a common goal created in, say, Gantt charts, it also allows individual teams to use different methods to execute the project such as Kanban boards or spreadsheet views.
ProjectManager integrates with Slack, Trello, Atlassian Jira, and Microsoft Teams.
ProjectManager costs from $14/user/month and offers a free 30-day trial and a free forever plan for up to three users.
TeamGantt is a project planning tool that enables users to build and adjust timelines using a drag and drop scheduling feature. A leading feature of the software is that it helps users use dependencies to ensure that work is done correctly. You can use baselines to determine the impact of delays on the project deadlines. The tool is great for small businesses because it's easy to use and doesn't require much training.
One of the features that make TeamGantt a great software tool is its clean and clear layout. Added to this, the software makes it possible to see the big picture at a glance. TeamGantt's sharing capabilities are some of the best in the market. For example, the software allows you to share charts without logging in.
TeamGantt integrates with Zapier, Dropbox, Slack, Basecamp 2, and Trello.
TeamGantt costs from $19/user/month, offers a 30-day free trial and a forever free version for up to three users.
GanttPRO is an online timeline management tool designed to facilitate collaboration between team members while also giving clients an idea of a specific project's start and end dates. The tool allows a project to be split into tasks, subtasks, and milestones. It's suitable for both professionals and students because it’s not loaded with too many features that make it bulky and expensive.
GanttPRO has made it into the top project timeline software list because it is easy to learn. The developers of the software promise that it takes only 3 minutes to become an advanced user of the GanttPRO Gantt chart online maker. The tool combines the features of the waterfall project management approach and agile methodology.
GanttPRO integrates with Slack.
Basic plans for 1 user start at $7.99/month if billed annually.
Click Up has the most features you want in a timeline management software solution, such as flexibility, making it suitable for freelancers working in different industries. The tool is easy to use and intuitive, meaning that you will not be wasting valuable time learning the ropes. The software also has an app for every device, making it suitable for individuals or teams working on different devices at different times.
If there is one thing that makes Click Up beat the competition, it has to be the company's customer service. The company promises that someone will be available 24 hours a day, every day, even during the holidays. Added to this, when you use the tool, you get access to daily webinars and free coaching. This is why the tool is great for freelancers who often need support outside traditional business hours.
Click Up integrates with Slack, GitHub, GitLab, Webhooks, Everhour, Toggl, Harvest, Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Outlook, Google Calendar, Figma, Vimeo, YouTube, Loom, Zoom, Bitbucket, Chrome, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Hangouts Chat, Intercom, Box, Zendesk, Front, Clokify, Timely, PomoDone, TMetric, Timeneye, Promodone, and a host of other apps.
Click Up costs from $5/user/month and offers a free forever plan for personal use.
Smartsheet is a useful tool for project management and task tracking. The software offers a robust set of capabilities, including intelligent workflows, workflow automation, secure request management, product roadmap, resource management, content management, team collaboration, governance and administration, data connections, dashboards, and digital asset management.
Smartsheet is one of the best timeline management tools in the market because it is simple to use, possibly because it resembles Excel spreadsheets. It also allows users to view data in multiple ways: table, Kanban, or Gantt. Smartsheet's formatting features are some of the best in the market. For instance, you can use the tool's quick checkbox and easy indenting options with formulas.
Smartsheet integrates with Oculus, DocuSign, Salesforce Connector, TIBC, Zapier, Google Forms, Google Docs, Git Hook, Outlook, Quip, Workplace, Slack, Hangouts Chat, Qlik, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Excel, Google Calendar, Google Drive, iCal Calendar Sync, Gmail, and a host of others.
Smartsheet costs from $14/user/month and offers a free trial.
Initially, when the designers of Hive say that their software package delivers 15 tracking tools to manage your workday, it's difficult to fathom what they are talking about. However, you will understand what they mean when you dig deeper into Hive and discover that it is ideal for mailing, approving project updates, gathering data and providing feedback, managing to-do lists, time estimates, time tracking, and team communication among others. This makes the tool suitable for large projects.
One feature that makes Hive better than its competitors is that it lets assignees turn subtasks into their own projects. Even though the tool's mobile app has significantly reduced functionality when compared to the desktop, it still allows users to use the tool on the go. Hive also allows you to add an external user without paying for an extra seat, making it easy to give clients access to your boards.
Hive integrates with Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Salesforce, Olta, Gmail, Outlook, Jira, Github, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Hubspot, Outlook Calendar, Google Calendar, FreshBooks, Zendesk, Pipedrive, ActiveCampaign, iCal, Quickbooks, Zoom, Intercom, Harvest, and Marketo.
Hive costs from $12/user/month, offers a 14-day free trial and a forever free plan with limited functionality for up to two users.
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Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.
- ProofHub – Time tracking, task management, file storage, and messaging software for project management teams
- Zoho Projects – Online-based project timeline management software for efficient tracking
- Celoxis – Project timeline management software for project request tracking, planning, resource management, accounting, and team and client collaboration in complex projects
- Paymo – Project management software for tracking work time and client billing
- LiquidPlanner – Project management for predictive scheduling in agile teams
- Basecamp – Project timeline software for tracking progress for scattered teams
- TogglPlan – Project timeline management tool for ensuring equitable work distribution in small teams
- nTask – Free project management software for managing deadlines through managing task statuses and priorities and setting planned and actual due dates
- Teamwork Projects – Project timeline management tool for ensuring accurate billable time and real-time collaboration between team members and clients
What project timeline tools do you use?
Have you used any of the tools we feature above? If so, what do you think of the specific tools you have used? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Check out our Project Manager’s Toolbox for more project management tools you can use to manage the madness.
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