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10 Best Microsoft Project Alternatives You Should Try In 2023

Best Microsoft Project Alternatives

Here’s the list of the best MS Project alternatives I reviewed.

  1. 1. monday.com — Best alternative for integrating with other tools
  2. 2. Smartsheet — Best alternative with a built-in critical path feature
  3. 3. Wrike — Best Microsoft Project alternative for team collaboration
  4. 4. GanttPRO — Best Microsoft Project alternative for creating powerful Gantt charts
  5. 5. Forecast — Best Microsoft Project alternative for resource management
  6. 6. ProjectManager.com — Best MS Project alternative for progress tracking and reporting
  7. 7. Merlin Project — MS Project alternative for iOS with customization
  8. 8. Moovila — Best Microsoft Project alternative for project scoring features
  9. 9. Project Plan 365 — Best MS Project MPP compatibility
  10. 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.

Best Microsoft Project Alternatives

In the overview of Microsoft Project alternatives below, I break down the features, pricing, and main benefits of the best MS Project alternatives.

1

monday.com

Best alternative for integrating with other tools

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7 8599

14-day free trial + free plan available

From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)

2

Smartsheet

Best alternative with a built-in critical path feature

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4 7400

Freemium version available

From $7/user/month

3

Wrike

Best Microsoft Project alternative for team collaboration

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.2 2544

Free plan available

From $9.80/user/month

4

GanttPRO

Best Microsoft Project alternative for creating powerful Gantt charts

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8 472

14-day free trial

From $7.99/user/month (billed annually)

5

Forecast

Best Microsoft Project alternative for resource management

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7 248

14-day free trial

From $29/user/month

6

ProjectManager.com

Best MS Project alternative for progress tracking and reporting

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4 90

30-day free trial

From $16/user/month

7

Merlin Project

MS Project alternative for iOS with customization

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
2.8 2

30 days free trial

From $16.99 / month

8

Moovila

Best Microsoft Project alternative for project scoring features

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
5 3

30-day free trial

Pricing available upon request

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
9

Project Plan 365

Best MS Project MPP compatibility

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.

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month

10

RAIDLOG.com

Best alternative for risk management and monitoring

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.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
3.5 2

30-day free trial

$99/year (special: $57/year)

Need expert help selecting the right tool?

We’ve joined up with Crozdesk.com to give all our readers (yes, you!) access to Crozdesk’s software advisors. Just use the form below to share your needs, and they will contact you at no cost or commitment. You will then be matched and connected to a shortlist of vendors that best fit your company, and you can access exclusive software discounts!

The Best Microsoft Project Alternatives Comparison Chart

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the baffling array of Microsoft Project alternatives out there.

Below, we’ve put together a reader-friendly table neatly summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article. We’ve investigated the pricing and availability of free trials and demo versions for you to make a side-by-side comparison that much simpler.

Tool Free Option Price
1
monday.com

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
2
Smartsheet

Best alternative with a built-in critical path feature

Freemium version available

From $7/user/month Visit Website
3
Wrike

Best Microsoft Project alternative for team collaboration

Free plan available

From $9.80/user/month Visit Website
4
GanttPRO

Best Microsoft Project alternative for creating powerful Gantt charts

14-day free trial

From $7.99/user/month (billed annually) Visit Website
5
Forecast

Best Microsoft Project alternative for resource management

14-day free trial

From $29/user/month Visit Website
6
ProjectManager.com

Best MS Project alternative for progress tracking and reporting

30-day free trial

From $16/user/month Visit Website
7
Merlin Project

MS Project alternative for iOS with customization

30 days free trial

From $16.99 / month Visit Website
8
Moovila

Best Microsoft Project alternative for project scoring features

30-day free trial

Pricing available upon request Visit Website
9
Project Plan 365

Best MS Project MPP compatibility

30-day free trial

From $10.99/user/month Visit Website
10
RAIDLOG.com

Best alternative for risk management and monitoring

30-day free trial

$99/year (special: $57/year) Visit Website

Other Project Scheduling Software Alternatives Worth Considering:

There are some new kids on the Gantt chart block! I haven’t had a chance to review these properly, but if none of the above work for you, it’s worth checking some of these out:

  1. Workzone

    Best for project template capabilities

  2. TeamGantt

    Best for viewing multiple projects on one Gantt chart

  3. Tom's Planner

    Collaborative Gantt chart software for teams who use MS Excel

  4. ClickUp

    Best alternative for having more features, nice visuals, and colorful boards with loads of information.

  5. Rocketlane

    Best for automating timesheets for project financials

  6. Nifty

    Best alternative for its user experience

  7. Hive

    Best Microsoft Project alternative for scalability

  8. Zoho Projects

    Best alternative for complex project visualization

  9. Celoxis

    Best alternative for its comprehensive project and portfolio management features

  10. 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.

Usability

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.

Integrations

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.

Pricing

Here, I go into their pricing structure, analyze plans, starting costs, free trials or even a free version that you can use.

Microsoft Project Alternatives FAQs

Find answers to common questions other people ask about this topic.

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.

Here are examples of time tracking software and resource scheduling software you may be using.

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:

If you want to look into Microsoft Project Online, you can subscribe for as low as $10/user/month.

microsoft project alternatives logos list

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:

If you want to stay up to date with more alternatives content, software comparisons, and other PM topics, subscribe to the Insiders Newsletter now.

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 20 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. Ben's a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and productivity nut.

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47 Comments

  • Love Project in a Box. Excellent alternative to MS Project.

    Reply

  • Useful content, will definitely test your recommendation

    Reply

  • Hey Ben, Thanks for compiling the list, I am amazed few of the products I've tried before are not included in the list like Trello, Basecamp, Notion and TeamGantt. I've been searching a good project manager for a while, thanks for listing these, I am going to try SmartSheet because it seems like Google Sheets on Steriods. Thanks again

    Reply

  • You shuld add Proggio.com to your list, it's a new free tool very easy to use for professional PMOs

    Reply

  • Great compilation. Please also checkout Avaza (www.avaza.com). We offer integrated Project Management, Time Tracking, Expense Tracking, Scheduling, Time Billing, Fixed Fee Billing, 30+ reports and more. We also offer great 24/7 customer support, a robust API, and free pieces of training anytime you'd like! All that for a price that most can't beat!

    Reply

  • Here is another free and simple project management tool with built in Gantt and Canvas https://ruumapp.com/

    Reply

  • Hi, Ben It is a great article and a rich collection of MS project alternatives. Like you said you would like to hear about others too. I would like to represent TIEMCHART Tiemchart have been helping some of the largest organisation where were initially on MS Project. We have delivered a system that is also taking into account for Human, Material and Assets to account for project progress. Please visit our website https://tiemchart.com/ms-project-alternative.html to understand bit more about how we are helping the industry. We would love to hear back from you and also will be thankful if you can kindly include our name in your list. Thanks & Regards,

    Reply

  • Looking for a recommendation for a novice - what's a good, free tool to learn project management software on? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Hey Liz, if you're looking for project management software, including Gantt charts, I'd try Wrike

      Reply

  • What about taskworld - how does this stack up in comparison to say SmartSheet?

    Reply

  • I would highly recommend to take a look at Hansoft ( https://www.hansoft.com ) to which you can easily import MS Project XML. It is completely free for up to 9 users (it is intended to be used collaboratively) and then costs 28$/user/month. It is stable, super fast and very flexible.

    Reply

  • Gantter is no longer supported so is in effect a dead programme - and a very buggy one at that.

    Reply

    • Thanks for the heads up on that one - last time I tried it I didn't encounter any bugs, but good to know! Did you find any good free alternatives?

      Reply

  • If you are interested in Gantt chart tool then GanttPRO is the best choice. As its just intuitive, fast and smart to use, then other alternatives.

    Reply

    • Agree, GanttPRO works really fast and the pricing model is clear and fair. Just compare teamgantt to ganttpro: https://www.teamgantt.com/pricing/ - $9.95 /user per month and minimum of 5 users, that means that if I want a plan for me I need to for 5 and the cost is 49,75. https://ganttpro.com/pricing/ - $19 / month for 1 user and $49 / month for 5 members The choice is obvious :)

      Reply

  • Another good "alternative" can be MS Project by itself, this program is available in cloud at https://www.apponfly.com/en/microsoft-project-standard-2016?KAI Full version of Project but online, not bad.

    Reply

  • HI Ben, Interesting review but not quite sure how you missed Planner from PROJECT in a box. https://www.projectinabox.org.uk/planner/ now quite a mature product and completely free for ever for all organisations to download https://www.projectinabox.org.uk/registration/ . We found in our commercial products that 80+percent of the plans people created in MS Project used a very basic set of functions, tasks, dependencies, groupings, resources etc so we provided these in a simple to use tool five years ago and now there are well over 100,000 users. We find many people ditching MS Project to use this instead at an organisation wide level as well as on a new user at a time basis. Over the years we have added a lot to Planner so it now includes project accounting and costing model and uniquely is also a risk and issue/RAID tool so users can collect all their key project controls data in one place. Of course we also provide reports and all data and charts etc can be exported and dropped to clip board. We even provide two way exchange with MS Project and Excel. We know of other customers who transfer to Primavera through this interface. Planner is used by many of our biggest global customers on some huge projects and also by the complete novice to create there first ever plans. A full set of training videos and free technical support is also provided. Although it is free forever it doesn't mean it is some simple trial tool, we continue to add interesting new features to it based on the dialog with our many customers. Hope your readers find this a helpful update. Regards Malcolm West MD PROJECT in a box

    Reply

  • For those who are handling with sensitive data, I would also recommend stackfield.com

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  • Thanks Ben for this lowdown. It's an interesting to get a PM's perspective on Project Management software. This is a good guide for PC users although for Mac users the options are a bit more limited. However, there's also some excellent project management software for those on Mac. This is a really useful article for anyone that needs something suitable for Macs - hope it helps! https://machow2.com/best-alternatives-microsoft-project-mac/

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  • Fantastic review, thank you! I was just a bit surprised about the Merlin evaluation though. I use a Mac and found it to be the best Microsoft Project alternative I have tried. It looks very much like Project, and is sufficiently advanced. That is: 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.) This last feature is why I dropped Omniplan - the devil's in the detail! I needed to add, and filter by, a number of checkboxes and custom dates next to each task (like "urgent" flag, "important" flag, date task was requested etc.). The only downside I found was being unable to save straight to mpp - you can save to xml and whoever has the latest Project version can open it, but older versions don't. And a quick note about Omniplan: a great feature for those who frequently change task dates and assignments is that you can define whether to adjust duration or work in a clear option button, rather than indirectly by adjusting dates and work/duration values. Hope you find this helpful!

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    • Hi Alice, Thanks for your comments. It seems like my review was out of date - I discovered a few improvements since I last checked it out so thank you!

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  • ProjExec (https://www.triloggroup.com) is the IBM-based alternative to MS Project with high fidelity compatibility with all versions of MS Project. It ships as an add-on IBM's Enterprise Social Platform IBM Connections both on premises and on the IBM Cloud. If your company is using IBM Connections for social collaboration, then ProjExec is the way to go. Usually the cost of upgrading existing MS Project licenses pays for an enterprise-wide license of ProjExec.

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  • Here's the challenge that I keep running into: as a company who from time-to-time runs defense/government projects, there are big questions with regard to security of web-/cloud-based programs. In the research that I have done, specifically related to ITAR/EAR regulations, it is not recommended to use cloud-based programs at all. This really limits my options to a program that we can host on our internal server. Anyone else run into this same issue, or am I just making it up?

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    • I've not encountered this challenge - why can't you just install something like MS Project on your local machine?

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      • That would be an option, and one that I have considered. However, the cost of setting up an internal server and the licenses for it, not to mention missing out on the incremental product updates, tends to make locally-hosted services less desirable. I'm still working on determining whether or not project planning data falls under ITAR/EAR regulations, but so far it is clear that we could not use document storage features of a cloud-based software.

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    • I am not sure if that really works but a possible solution would be to use a PM tool from a provider that runs on an AWS GovCloud (US) (https://docs.aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/latest/UserGuide/whatis.html). The service seems to be in compliance with ITAR: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/govcloud-us/latest/UserGuide/govcloud-itar.html That would mean that instead of hosting the program on your internal server and handle version updates, the software producer would do it for you on a dedicated AWS GovCloud (US) machine and you would have the exact same benefits of a cloud/web-based PM tool. We haven't tried that yet with RationalPlan but it could be a viable solution... Interesting point of view, thanks!

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  • Hi Ben, I'm guessing there is a typo in Smartsheet as it's saying it could export as XML only, yet in your summary for Smartsheet it says it passes the export as .mpp. Thanks for the article, really helpful.

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    • Good spot! It doesn't export to mpp - https://help.smartsheet.com/customer/portal/articles/770623-exporting-sheets-reports-from-smartsheet#project

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  • I just used Gantter.com and man did love the intuitive old time feel . It worked beautifully for a basic 12 item 56 point steel construction schedule. Thanks for the Recommendation. I like bells and whistles as much as the next person but simplicity is also a wonderful thing sometimes. It was straight forward and quite like using MS project 2003. I also took a look at the Rational plan that is suggested above and as far as I can tell that too looks very good for a good price. i would likely purchase that if I did these schedules more often.

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  • Hi Ben, Great list! Thanks! We're a small company and we've found that our main criteria is we need "fixed work" resource allocation (versus "fixed duration"). https://www.project.net/blog/work-duration-calculation-types Other than Project 365 and OmniPlan, it seems all the other solutions use the fixed duration model. We're trying to get away from Project because we don't want to continue having to use an outside solution like Basecamp for file sharing and discussions, and we don't have Macs (OmniPlan also requires an outside platform for file sharing). We signed up for Wrike because we loved the feature set, only to find they are fixed duration only. Do you (or anyone else reading this thread) have any recommendations for a cloud-based DPM platform that uses/allows a fixed work model and also integrates discussions, file sharing, etc. so we don't have to run on two separate platforms like we are now? Thanks, Dan

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    • I'm just jumping on this one because Dan summed up my problem, except I'm searching for an alternative to ConceptDraw Project, which has the same obstacle. If you please, do keep me posted on what you find.

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    • Dan, RationalPlan will allow you to plan using Fixed-Duration, Fixed-Work and Fixed-Units just like MS Project does and also using Dependency-Driven for rare and special cases... You can also use RationalPlan within the cloud and will have concurrent access from multiple users, with file sharing but no integrated discussions (but very likely to be added). Give it a try and maybe it will solve your problem.

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      • Thanks for the tip, Tiberiu. I'll definitely check into it. Dan

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    • Hansoft also supports fixed work OR fixed duration: https://support.hansoft.com/hc/en-us/articles/205185731-Fixed-duration-and-fixed-work

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  • Thank you, Ben, for your review. I just start experimenting after using MS Project for a long time. How do you think is Arike good for small projects? I can also share with you my personal discovery - GanttPRO - user-friendly online project planning soft which is free and will stay free forever for everyone who sign up now (well, developers promise it :) ). For me I've found 5 features: - extremely untuitive interface - after using MS Project GanttPRO is like a child toy) - 360 view of my projects with a critical path and zooming - export to pdf, jpg, xlsx, ical - possibility to share my project plans with colleagues and clients giving the right to edit or the right to view project - perfect visibility - graphic interface is hotsy totsy))

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    • I tried installing GanntPRO, but everything leads me back to paying for an upgrade, in order to do anything useful (i.e., even save my project) :(

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      • If you're looking for a free solution, have you tried https://gantter.com/ ? TeamGantt - https://www.teamgantt.com is also free for one project!

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        • Ganttr is very very unstable. We've used it so for about 10 projects. It keeps blowing up our tasks & resource assignments. I'd not recommend Ganttr to anybody anymore.

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  • Ben, you should also take a look at RationalPlan as an alternative to Microsoft Project https://www.rationalplan.com/ You will see that the transition from MS Project To RationalPlan is flawless.

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  • Good article, thanks for the info!

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  • Ben, Really liked the article and the brief listing format for the comparisons, proved very useful and timely, just had the experience you open with…. MS Project …….. How much!……. is there nothing else out there etc? As a result, found your article. Coming from an equipment manufacturing environment, dealing with large scale consultants & Construction companies, the ability to develop, share and reiterate schedules in a consistent format, that they can readily import and export in and out of the clients larger project databases is important. (in some cases it's a contractual, project communications requirement). Hence the ability to import & export in .mpp is critical, it's a shame that the developers for some of the online packages don't provide this as a defacto standard feature. If there was consistent import/export format across multiple platforms, I think more of these smaller packages would be used more readily, especially by smaller contractors/equipment suppliers supplying into larger projects, where MS Project is simply not cost effective solution. Having said that, from this same perspective, Primavera Project scheduling software is also prevalent on these larger projects and having a similar capability would be useful. I know Excel data can be imported and passed around, but it can be a bit of nightmare, trying to maintain the spreadsheet structure, maintaining the correct data types in fields etc. I'd be interested to hear back from readers, if there are any workable, or proven standard file formats for transferring data between these smaller scheduling software packages, into the larger Project schedule software systems. Thanks again for a clear and informative article. Alan

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  • There are couple of apps you missed, for example bi-platformed ConceptDraw Project [which works with MS Project files] and Bugzilla - which is simple, but free https://www.conceptdraw.com/products/project-management-software/ https://www.bugzilla.org/ Cheers!

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    • Dear Adam, you can not consider Bugzilla as an alternative to MS Project...

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    • Thank you guys for the list and the comments supplementing it. Pretty much satisfied with CD PROJECT as it resembles MS PROJECTS so much. Due to the fact I used to work on Win platform and now that I switched to macOS - ConceptDraw software is a great alternative. Zillion of dashboard reports help me visualize my projects. https://www.conceptdraw.com/products/project-management-software/manage-plans-reports-and-changes

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  • Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to review WorkZone. Just to clarify that in addition to our interactive Gantt Chart, WorkZone does indeed allow for importing/exporting of .mpp files and has reporting features to show a project overview. For more information on how WorkZone can help you better track your projects, please visit us at https://www.workzone.com.

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    • Thanks for this review. We just signed up for Workzone after reviewing solutions with more and less features - so far it's just right in terms of functionality for us. Rob Foster Profarma Specialty Group Brazil

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  • Hi Ben ! you got right list of Microsoft alternatives and summarized in detail. As you said you will love to hear about any other alternative :) I want to share proofhub. Its a feature rich tool and we are using it since 2012, we are quite happy with their service so i thought sharing can help your post to keep it refreshing ProofHub costs from $49/ Unlimited USERS /month Summary of ProofHub: Create a Gantt chart: Pass Create a project overview chart: Pass Import and export mpp files: Fail Export PDF’s or shareable project plans: Pass Overall score: 4/5 I will share more if i found more competitive alternative! Also please let me know where I am wrong.

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