- 1. monday.com — Best alternative for integrating with other tools
- 2. Smartsheet — Best alternative with a built-in critical path feature
- 3. Wrike — Best Microsoft Project alternative for team collaboration
- 4. GanttPRO — Best Microsoft Project alternative for creating powerful Gantt charts
- 5. Forecast — Best Microsoft Project alternative for resource management
- 6. ProjectManager.com — Best MS Project alternative for progress tracking and reporting
- 7. Merlin Project — MS Project alternative for iOS with customization
- 8. Moovila — Best Microsoft Project alternative for project scoring features
- 9. Project Plan 365 — Best MS Project MPP compatibility
- 10. RAIDLOG.com — Best alternative for risk management and monitoring
If you were not a working professional in the 80s and 90s, then Microsoft Project is nothing more than another project management solution in a vast sea of tools. However, for those who are in the mentioned category, MS Project is top of mind and known for helping you track projects and due dates.
Having said that, the reason you would turn to Microsoft Project Alternatives could be the lure of cloud-based solutions. Why? Because for better or worse Microsoft also made its software known for its on-premise deployment and licensing model. And even though they've come up with an online version, they haven't been able to really escape that label.
The tools on this list can support small teams in small businesses as well as big teams through different plans. These include anything from notifications and simple to-do lists to advanced features like resource allocation.
What Is Microsoft Project?
Microsoft Project is a project management tool used by different types of users, with varying levels of access. It now has an online version called Microsoft Project Online that is making strides to try and regain its #1 spot among the PM community.
The software provides tables, views, filters, fields, calendars, and a database for doing things like developing project plans, assigning resources, tracking time & progress, creating Gantt charts, creating & managing budgets, balancing workloads, scheduling tasks & resources, creating graphical reports, and storing project data in a shared database.
Why Look For A Microsoft Project Alternative?
You might be looking for an alternative if you:
- Are looking for a friendlier UI with loads of colors and nice buttons
- Don't like your PM software to remind you of Excel
- Want a tool that invites people to collaborate in real time
- Need a solution that can connect to other tools in your tech stack
- Need to manage projects from your mobile phone
Whatever your reason might be, the following tools offer things that Microsoft's product can't and align with at least one of these points. Read the descriptions below to find out what makes them special.
monday.com is one of the few tools that prides itself in ‘not being a project management tool’! This work management platform focuses on simple structures that help clarify the sequence of work that needs to be done.
Why monday.com is a good alternative: This tool is a great Microsoft Project alternative in that it functions a lot like a spreadsheet—but one that’s more intuitive to use and modify without having to mess around with formulas. Likewise, it offers more than a basic spreadsheet by giving you various views of your projects—view as spreadsheets or as lists, on a map, on a Kanban board, and other views. Users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more.
It offers the ability to create summary charts as well as export and share project plans. However, one downside is that it doesn’t allow you to make Gantt charts in the traditional sense (they have a feature that serves the same purpose and works just as well, called “timelines”), nor can you import or export MPP files. That said, monday.com is designed as a true alternative to MS Project, not something to be used in tandem with it.
monday.com Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, file management, collaborative docs and reporting dashboards.
Integrations include project management apps like Slack, Excel, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more, accessible via Zapier.
Its free plan is available for a maximum of 2 users.
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet based software that looks and feels like the most natural transition from MS Project to other cloud-based project management software.
Why Smartsheet is a good alternative: Smartsheet's online project management tool takes some of the most useful features of Microsoft Project, combines them with the simple use of an online spreadsheet, and then incorporates team collaboration and automation functions to save money. It offers the basics: functions such as making a schedule with tasks, subtasks, activities, assigned resources, and sections on tasks.
Smartsheet helps you organize projects, grids, calendars, dashboards, portals, forms, and more all from a unified control center. They have pre-built Gantt chart templates with customizable fonts and colors, “% Complete” and “Assigned To” columns, and more. It has useful 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 so you can 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.
Smartsheet Standout Features & Integrations
Features include dashboards, reports that consolidate multiple sheets, workflow automation, resource management, multiple views, forms to collect information, and digital asset management using Brandfolder.
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.
Wrike is the most powerful work management software, trusted by 20,000+ organizations worldwide. Regularly named a leader by IDC and Forrester Wave, Wrike consistently receives the highest scores because it offers much more than single-project management.
Why Wrike is a good alternative: Wrike has an MS Project integration that lets you import data from it. It is a great alternative as the software feels like an upgrade from Microsoft's solution. It has a plethora of features that are not present in its counterpart, such as proofing and approval workflows.
It is a full-scale platform that balances an entire set of project management features with usability, scalability, and custom configuration. Teams can customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more to support multiple ways of working. Additionally, Wrike lets you toggle between colorful Kanban boards, one-click Gantt charts, connected calendars, or detailed dashboards — all adaptable to highlight key priorities.
Keep work organized, secure, and visible via distinct Spaces, folders, projects, and tasks. Wrike’s collaboration tools make it easy to connect cross-functionally. Communicate live, share workflows, and tag each other in tasks. Divide complex projects into lists, tasks, and sub-tasks, or use a ready-built template to get started fast.
Wrike Standout Features & Integrations
Features include pre-built templates, custom request forms, interactive Gantt charts, visual proofing, workflow automations, time tracking, project portfolio management, and dashboards.
Integrations in Wrike include 400+ pre-built native integrations, like the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Customer support is available 24/7, with a dedicated help center and a thriving expert community.
You’re probably aware of how painful it is to find an MS Project alternative that is nice looking and has powerful Gantt charts. In GanttPRO, you will find both. This reliable project management software helps plan work, track tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate with stakeholders. If you already started your plan in MS Project but need to change it, import it directly to GanttPRO, in seconds. Exporting projects is also available.
Why GanttPRO is a good alternative: The tool looks really nice with its intuitive UX/UI design and a short learning curve. It offers a wide range of robust project management, project portfolio management, team collaboration, resource and cost management features. In this MS Project alternative, you can create tasks with lots of settings like statuses, priorities, dates, deadlines, progress, time log, etc. Thanks to the auto-scheduling feature, any change in your tasks, dates, or dependencies will be automatically reflected.
GanttPRO Standout Features & Integrations
Features include performance analysis against previous tasks, comments and notifications functions to keep your team on track, a learning centre and tutorials to help you make the most of your tool, professional templates to get you started more easily, resource management, and project tracking.
Integrations include Slack, Google Drive, and Jira Cloud. More integrations are available through their API.
Forecast is a powerful combination of resource management and project management built on the foundation that successful projects require a combination of short and long term planning.
Why Forecast is a good alternative: You can build advanced interactive Gantt charts with Forecast’s full suite of project management features. Powered by AI, it is designed for companies that want to monitor the progress of their projects, programs, and portfolios in real-time. Forecast learns from hundreds of thousands of projects and turns a simple list of tasks into a project plan with assigned team members, estimated task duration, and precise delivery dates - allowing you to be more efficient and build project timelines in seconds.
Team members can collaborate and comment on tasks, and Forecast gives you profitability insights as well, so management can monitor revenue by project.
Forecast Standout Features & Integrations
Features include project management, project accounting, fully customizable dashboards, advanced warnings to mitigate risk, timesheets, smart invoices, and project financials.
Integrations include Slack, Microsoft Teams, iCloud Calendar, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Outlook, Harvest, Trello, Asana, GitLab, Github, and dozens more using a paid plan through Zapier. Higher-tier subscriptions include native integrations with Timelog, Xero, QuickBooks Online, JIRA, Azure DevOps, Salesforce, Okta, OneLogin, and Azure Active Directory.
Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises.
ProjectManager combines Gantt chart functionality with many other project views—kanban boards, spreadsheets, task lists, and more—to support the needs of hybrid teams. While the project manager may prefer the Gantt view to create a detailed work breakdown structure, others team members can work on the same project through a simple task list.
Why ProjectManager is a good alternative: It is simple enough for anyone to use, yet powerful enough for managers to make data-driven decisions and for businesses to manage projects of all levels of complexity.
Gantt charts allow users to drag and drop to adjust deadlines, add and visualize dependencies, and set specific milestones. Users can import Gantt charts to and from other tools (including .mpp files from MS Project) to get projects up and running quickly. The tool also allows users to create reports in one click, view progress bars for quick project health checks, and create PDF versions and shareable links.
ProjectManager Standout Features & Integrations
Features include project portfolios, Kanban boards, reporting, workflow automation, customizable dashboards with real-time information, and collaboration tools.
Integrations include Office 365, Jira, Slack, and Google Drive, with even more connections available through Zapier.
Although this tool does not offer a free version, you can cancel or change plans at any time while on a monthly account.
In its latest iteration, Merlin Project works pretty well. It’s a great Mac alternative to Microsoft Project, and looks very similar, with many of the granular controls for creating project plans that many of the other options out there gloss over.
You can create tasks and subtasks with dependencies and constraints, add work and duration separately, assign resources with an option to decrease duration or increase work, see how much work each resource has assigned, and add your own fields to each task, for which you can define the field type (e.g. checkbox, date, etc.). Merlin Project also comes with some cool new features such as Kanban board, resource pools, mind mapping and even a standalone app available in the Apple App Store.
Importing in and out of Merlin is pretty straightforward, import native MPP and export MS Project XML, but you lose a lot of formatting which is annoying.
Merlin Project costs $99/year.
Moovila is a project management software suite that brings a higher level of intelligence to the software through AI, patented visualizations, and project scoring capabilities.
Moovila's standout feature is the mPIX Score, which was developed by credit industry veterans with advisory oversight by Stanford, MIT, and Princeton mathematicians. The mPIX score captures the amount of preventable risk in a plan with a single, actionable number.
The tool also includes a Project Debugger feature which allows users to see at a glance where problems are and fix them. Moovila's philosophy is that project structures follow a format—like code—and thus can be debugged—like code. Moovila also includes an AI project management coach named Carmen that will walk you step-by-step through what needs to be done to clean up a project. Carmen can even check calendars to make scheduling a snap.
Moovila also includes a critical path feature that works with Carmen to do the math for project managers, rather than users having to do difficult calculations themselves. Users can drag-and-drop tasks into the critical path and Carmen will find out if the project timeline is achievable.
Other features offered by Moovila include remote & extended team management, contextual collaboration features that ensure knowledge transfer as people come and go, resource management, spreadsheets, Gantt charts, calendars, and Kanban boards.
Pricing for Moovila is available upon request.
- AI coach assists with project scheduling and clean-up
- mPIX score provides more accurate picture of risk in a project
- Critical Path visualization more accessible as the tool does the math for you
- Due to the number of features, some may not be immediately obvious to users
- Learning curve when acclimating to Moovila's philosophy on project work and best practices
Project Plan 365 is a project management tool that works seamlessly on your Windows, Mac, iOS or Android devices and can open, edit and save in .mpp (Microsoft’s native file format for MS Project plans). The tool is compatible with the latest version of the MPP file format, as well as several previous versions.
Project Plan 365 looks and feels like MS Project and supports all standard views including Gantt Chart, Task Sheet, Network Diagram, Project Calendar, Task Usage, Resource Usage, Team Planner, and more. Project Plan 365 supports 12 different languages and over 100 different currencies.
This MS Project Alternative features a powerful scheduling engine that calculates costs, end dates, critical paths, resource over-allocations, and much more. Project Plan 365 also produces stunning Gantt charts, dashboards and reports right out of the box.
With Project Plan 365, you can create new Gantt Charts in MS Project MPP compatible formats or modify existing project schedules in the same intuitive way as Microsoft Project.
Project Plan 365 offers a Free Viewer for Microsoft Project MPP files and is integrated with all major cloud providers such as Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and SharePoint Online.
Project Plan 365 costs from $9.99/month and offers a 30-day free trial.
RAIDLOG.com is a cloud-based project management tool with a focus on risk management and monitoring. The product is named after the PM acronym for Risks, Action items, Issues and Decisions.
Why I picked RAIDLOG.com: This software is a good choice for organizations that want to keep a close eye on project risks. Its real-time risk monitoring provides up-to-date information on potential issues so users can assess the potential impact and probability of each risk. Users can create a detailed record of each issue, assign it to a responsible party, and track its resolution status.
The software can be used to share project documents, files, and notes, create relationships between tasks, monitor progress and track any changes throughout the project lifecycle. A dependency matrix enables users to identify and manage dependencies. Project managers can create and manage project schedules, build work breakdown structures, and plan budgets. The software also includes a set of reporting tools, enabling users to generate detailed reports on project progress and risk management.
RAIDLOG.com Standout Features & Integrations
Features include risk management, action items, issues, status reports, to-do lists, project timelines, document sharing, notes, and dependency matrix.
Integrations can be accessed with a paid Zapier account.
A special product launch price of $57 annually is currently available, and the regular price is $99 per year for a paid plan. A free plan and 30-day free trial are also available.
Need expert help selecting the right tool?
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Best alternative for integrating with other tools
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Best alternative with a built-in critical path feature
Freemium version available
|From $7/user/month||Visit Website|
Best Microsoft Project alternative for team collaboration
Free plan available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
Best Microsoft Project alternative for creating powerful Gantt charts
14-day free trial
|From $7.99/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best Microsoft Project alternative for resource management
14-day free trial
|From $29/user/month||Visit Website|
Best MS Project alternative for progress tracking and reporting
30-day free trial
|From $16/user/month||Visit Website|
MS Project alternative for iOS with customization
30 days free trial
|From $16.99 / month||Visit Website|
Best Microsoft Project alternative for project scoring features
30-day free trial
|Pricing available upon request||Visit Website|
Project Plan 365
Best MS Project MPP compatibility
30-day free trial
|From $10.99/user/month||Visit Website|
Best alternative for risk management and monitoring
30-day free trial
|$99/year (special: $57/year)||Visit Website|
Best for project template capabilities
Best for viewing multiple projects on one Gantt chart
- Tom's Planner
Collaborative Gantt chart software for teams who use MS Excel
Best alternative for having more features, nice visuals, and colorful boards with loads of information.
Best for automating timesheets for project financials
Best alternative for its user experience
Best Microsoft Project alternative for scalability
- Zoho Projects
Best alternative for complex project visualization
Best alternative for its comprehensive project and portfolio management features
- Birdview PSA
Best Microsoft Project Alternative for enterprise and portfolio project management
How I Picked The Best Microsoft Project Alternatives
The following are the criteria I used to evaluate the alternatives after carefully selecting them from the wide range of options available in the market. I researched the top tools in the space and analyzed what would make them a good alternative to Microsoft Project.
User Interface (UI)
I look at the tool from a designer's perspective. Therefore, every element on the screen is part of the analysis of its visual appeal. Although you might think it’s secondary to functionality, a pretty tool affects our mood and performance if we see it every day.
Is it intuitive and user-friendly? Similar to the criterion above, the elements on the screen and their distribution must make sense to the user. A pretty tool without a good user experience is equal to having a Ferrari without an engine. Something that boosts this category is the availability of tutorials, detailed documentation, and training.
Is it easy to connect with other tools? I look into the available pre-built connections with other tools that extend its functionality. Further, I fetch details on available APIs in case your team wants to jump in and build their own integrations.
Here, I go into their pricing structure, analyze plans, starting costs, free trials or even a free version that you can use.
Is Microsoft Project useful?
What has replaced Microsoft Project?
Is there a free MS Project alternative?
What key features should I look for when selecting MS Project alternatives?
MS Project Alternatives Buyer's Guide
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the right MS project alternative for your particular needs.
How do you use your project plans and schedules?
The software on this list is meant to keep your project plans front and center. They promote visibility and communication around the plan. Consider if this is the use you currently give your plans and schedules or if it’s what you would like to have.
Here are some common uses:
- Gantt charts exist at the beginning of the project and are never updated again.
- Timelines serve as a tool for baseline analysis.
- Schedules communicate progress to the project and executive team.
Who will use it?
Think of who needs to see the project information. Is it a team member, client, third party, or only the project manager? The more people need to be involved and collaborate, the bigger the need for a tool that has integrated chat features, the ability to export dashboard information and create external users for the tool.
What other tools are you using?
Make a list of all the tools that you currently use. Then, define which ones are, should, and you would like to be connected. Finally, go into the integrations section of your tool of choice and see if it can mimic what’s on your list.
Sometimes these integrations are already built. Other times, they have to be connected through an external party like Zapier, or programmed by your IT team using the tool’s API.
Are you always online?
Cloud-based project apps can be great, and they can be kept more up to date with ‘live’ information, but consider that they require an active internet connection to work. If you do not have a reliable internet connection or are constantly on the go, look for apps that have offline capabilities. This can be from a desktop version of the software to a mobile app.
What's the cost?
The cost of Microsoft Project tends to be one of the primary reasons that people look for an alternative. Microsoft Project isn’t cheap if you buy the on-premise license. However, you can always find previous versions of the software online or go with the online version, which you can pay per user per month.
So, if you want to know what's the cost, make sure you start counting. You should factor in the number of users, number of admins (for those tools that make a distinction), and include a few user growth projections. If you are part of a growing company, you will quickly find out that paying per user can become very expensive if you don't plan for it. Here are a couple considerations and how to weigh them.
Consider Projects vs Users
Most of the Microsoft Project alternatives are priced on a cost-per-user basis. So in working out which solution is the most affordable, consider what makes the most sense for you; is it a tool that many people in the organization will need to use, or will it be used principally by the project manager?
Consider The Lifetime Cost Of Ownership
While web-based apps might seem affordable in the short run, the cost of ownership over 3 years is actually the same as buying a copy of Microsoft Project. So before deciding on subscribing to a service, consider purchasing a desktop-based non-cloud solution like:
- Omniplan (Mac only)
- Merlin Project (Mac only)
If you want to look into Microsoft Project Online, you can subscribe for as low as $10/user/month.
What Do You Think?
What project management tools do you think we’re missing? Any other great alternatives to Microsoft Project for project scheduling, making Gantt charts, and project plans? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips, or thoughts on using this kind of project scheduling software.
Related alternative lists:
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