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There are seemingly countless project management tools available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want to plan, manage, and control your projects better, but need to figure out which tool is the best fit. I've got you! In this post I make things simple, leveraging my experience managing big, complex projects, and using dozens of different PM software to bring you this shortlist of the best project management tools.

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We’ve been testing and reviewing project management tools since 2012. As project managers ourselves, we know how critical and difficult it is to make the right decision when selecting software.

We invest in deep research to help our audience make better software purchasing decisions. We’ve tested more than 2,000 tools for different Project Management use cases and written over 1,000 comprehensive software reviews. Learn how we stay transparent & our project management tools review methodology.

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How To Choose Project Management Tools

With so many different project management tools solutions available, it can be challenging to make decisions on what project management tools are going to be the best fit for your needs.

As you're shortlisting, trialing, and selecting project management tools consider the following:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the project management tools feature gap you're trying to fill to clarify the features and functionality the project management tools need to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who'll be using the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be the project team or the whole organization that will require access. When that's clear, it's worth considering if you're prioritizing ease of use for all, or speed for your project management tools power users.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as accounting, CRM or HR software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with one consolidated project management tool.
  • What outcomes are important - Consider the result that the software needs to deliver to be considered a success. Consider what capability you want to gain, or what you want to improve, and how you will be measuring success. For example, an outcome could be the ability to get greater visibility into performance. You could compare project management tools features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to drive, you could be wasting a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your workflows and delivery methodology. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed. Remember every business is different — don’t assume that because a tool is popular that it'll work in your organization.

Best Project Management Tools Reviews

Go through each tool and its detailed overview and learn what they do best.



Best for teams with asset proofing needs

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

Freemium version available

From $7/user/month

Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool that is a nice project management tool if you’re comfortable working in Excel but want a break from complicated formulas.

Why I picked Smartsheet: It offers a white-label product where you can 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 performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. 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.

Smartsheet Standout Features & Integrations

Features include detailed history logs, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, status reports, 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.

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.



Best project management tool for its support of multiple methodologies

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4135 reviews

Freemium plan available

From $9/user/month

ClickUp is a project management tool with powerful features for managing and completing all your team's projects on one platform.

Why I picked ClickUp: You can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, as well as communicate and collaborate with team members and guests. The platform is visually easy on the eye despite the elevated number of features. However, I'll make it even easier for you to learn.

The content hierarchy for this platform is Workspace > Spaces > Folders > Lists > Tasks > Subtasks. Now, you can focus on learning about tasks and how to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team.

ClickUp has close to a dozen different task views, including timeline, table, box, and board. In addition, their collaboration features focus on interactive chats, wiki-type collaborative documents, and whiteboards. Your project team can comment on documents and tasks, assign comments, and chat with other team members easily.

Finally, its reporting features allow you to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.

ClickUp Standout Features & Integrations

Features include real-time reporting, whiteboards and shared documents for collaboration, task management with different views, goal tracking, and templates.

Integrations include native connections to Slack, G Suite, Jira software, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.

Check out ClickUps free plan, which lets you use all features for a limited time and really know if it's the best solution for you and your team.



Best for real-time collaboration with unlimited viewer-only accounts

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

Free plan available

From $9/user/month

Visor is a cloud-based project management tool that is designed to assist businesses in planning, tracking, and managing their projects.

Why I Picked Visor: With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Visor's project management tool simplifies project planning, organization, and progress tracking. Users can easily customize project timelines, set deadlines, and assign tasks and responsibilities. 

Additionally, Visor allows for real-time collaboration and communication among team members. The software's standout feature is its ability to provide a comprehensive view of a project's progress, displaying completed tasks, upcoming deadlines, and potential roadblocks, making it easier for teams to stay on track and on schedule.

Visor Standout Features & Integrations 

Features include API, dashboards, data export/data import, data visualization, external integrations, Gantt charts, multi-user, project management, task scheduling/tracking, resource management and third-party plugins/add-ons. 

Integrations include Jira Software, Salesforce, and Hubspot.

Visor is free to use with some feature limitations. Paid plans cost from $9/users/month. 


Best project management tool to collaborate with clients

Free forever, for up to five users and 10 active projects.

Plans start at $8/user/month (billed annually) is a user-friendly, all-in-one project management solution tailored for team collaboration and communication.

Why I picked You can create and work on different projects simultaneously, create task lists and timelines, create schedules, as well as assign role-based permissions. With this online project management solution, active projects can be viewed in a variety of ways, including in calendar view, list view, scheduler view, and via Kanban board. also comes with a project overview function that allows your team to collaborate and communicate efficiently with clients. This will help ensure that all stakeholders are always involved with every aspect of project development, from the planning stage to execution and delivery. Additionally, it features a discussion page, which stores all communications between team members and clients. This will help secure a historical record of project development data, which can be useful for future reference. Standout Features & Integrations

Features include four different views (list, calendar, Kanban, and scheduler), in-app chat, notes, recurring tasks, time management, and payment capabilities supporting multiple currencies.

Integrations only include those you can make through Zapier, which is over 1000 apps. However, it will require you to have a paid account on Zapier.

In addition, the software enables you to set role-specific access to help with upholding quality standards, confidentiality, and data protection. You can test it out using its free forever version.


Zoho Projects

Best PM tool for its low price point, user-friendly interface and mobile version

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

Free trial available

From $5/user/month

Zoho Projects is a low-cost project management software that comes with features such as Gantt charts to plan projects, Kanban boards to organize work items, resource utilization charts to allocate work, and numerous dashboards, reports and charts to analyze and track project metrics.

Why I picked Zoho Projects: It allows team members to virtually meet online, converse over chats, discuss in comments, or collaborate within documents. Zoho Projects also provides issue tracking, budgeting and portfolio management capabilities. Additionally, your team can track their time using the timer or the check in and check out button right within Zoho Projects.

Finally, the tool lets you automate routine work processes like assigning users to work items, updating fields or sending notifications with workflow rules and blueprints. These automations can save you a considerable amount of time in the long run.

Zoho Projects Standout Features & Integrations

Features include task management, task automation, blueprints, time and issue tracking, reporting, and forums for detailed discussions with your team.

Integrations include tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Slack, Github, Bitbucket, and Dropbox. Access even more integrations through Zapier. Additionally, 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.

Zoho Projects has a free plan that you can use for a limited number of projects and test if it's the right option for you.


Office Timeline

Best to build impressive PowerPoint timelines

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

Free version available

From $149/license/year

Office Timeline is a tool designed to help users create professional PowerPoint timelines and Gantt charts quickly and easily. Its integration as a PowerPoint add-in, coupled with a variety of templates and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, positions it as a top solution for generating clear and impactful timelines within PowerPoint presentations.

Why I picked Office Timeline: I selected this tool because of its user-friendly yet powerful solution for creating visually stunning project timelines and Gantt charts directly within Microsoft PowerPoint. This unique integration allows for seamless communication of project schedules, plans, and progress with stakeholders in a familiar presentation format. You can leverage Office Timeline to easily transform complex project data into clear, easily digestible visuals.

The tool's intuitive interface facilitates the swift creation and updating of timelines, enabling you to effectively track milestones, deadlines, and dependencies. Office Timeline's focus on visual project planning and reporting makes it a valuable asset for any PM aiming to enhance stakeholder engagement and communication.

Office Timeline Standout Features & Integrations

Features include the PowerPoint add-in which offers customizable templates and a drag-and-drop interface for easy adjustments within presentations. I also like the customizable templates that cater to various project types and industries, enabling you to quickly start and tailor your project visuals to your specific needs.

Integrations include tools like Jira, Project, Excel, and Smartsheet. These let you import data and manipulate it so you can get the PowerPoint visuals you need for your stakeholder presentations.


FigJam by Figma

Best for remote team collaboration

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
1032 reviews

Free plan available

From $3/user/month

FigJam by Figma is an online whiteboard tool designed to facilitate collaborative brainstorming and ideation among teams.

Why I picked FigJam: FigJam is an excellent tool to use either in conjunction with another project management tool or by itself to help remote teams brainstorm, plan, and organize project-related information, such as plans and workflows, both asynchronously and in real-time. It also allows users to create flowcharts, mind maps, and diagrams that can clarify project scopes, processes, and responsibilities. 

The tool offers features such as sticky notes, shapes, connectors, and drawing tools to help teams map out ideas and processes. FigJam also supports real-time collaboration, enabling multiple participants to contribute to the board simultaneously. Users can add comments and reactions to provide feedback and express opinions, which can be particularly useful for ensuring that all team members can contribute to remote or distributed team meetings. 

FigJam Standout Features & Integrations

Features include cursor chat, which displays short messages next to the user's cursor, widgets like timers, voting, and sorting, and built-in audio tools that allow for verbal discussion while collaborating on the whiteboard.

Integrations include Asana, Jira, Github, and Bitmoji.

FigJam costs from $3/user/month. A free plan is also available.



Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one

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

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Forecast is a project management tool that unites your projects, resources, and financials in one AI-powered platform. Project managers can leverage Forecast’s workflow automation capabilities to create smart schedules, estimate timeframes and budgets, and populate timesheets instantly.

Why I picked Forecast: You can control the workflow by building out detailed task lists and flagging clear priorities. Task cards allow every team member to easily comment, share files, and register time spent. Everything related to the specific task appears in one place, including dependencies and subtasks. You can put together projects for any type of work: fixed price, time and material, or retainer.

Forecast’s AI learns from previous work and suggests the number of hours you normally register on similar tasks to help you log time faster. You can monitor time registrations from a team perspective and notify each member if they forget to enter something in. Time tracking utilization on a company-wide level is calculated for you for easy alerts, estimates, and reporting.

Forecast Standout Features & Integrations

Features include resource management, project accounting, business intelligence, retainer budget-type projects, auto-schedule, and AI-based recommendations.

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 cost from $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.



Best project management tool for small & medium teams

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

15-day free trial + free version available

From $5.95/user/month

Paymo is the best project management tool for small and medium teams, especially in digital, creative, and marketing ecosystems. It gives freelancers and teams all the needed features to lead a project from planning to payment.

Why I picked Paymo: It keeps your PM tools in one place to help you manage projects and tasks, track work time, and bill clients from one platform. Create workflows and templates for your tasks, assign multiple users, collaborate in real-time, and monitor the progress by switching between multiple views including Kanban. Track time spent on tasks and projects and turn those timesheets into reports and invoices.

You can manage everything on the go using the mobile app for both iOS and Android. Use the app for its native stopwatch, add time manually or in bulk and see who’s working on what through the ‘active timers’ view. You have all the tasks in place, which you can group by priority, progress, or due date.

Paymo Standout Features & Integrations

Features include file proofing, invoicing an estimates, a leave planner, in-app time tracking, multiple project views, and workload information using the team scheduler.

Integrations include Google, Slack, Jotform, Pabbly, Google Calendar and thousands more available through Zapier.

Free for freelancers and teams of up to 10 users. Paymo comes with a 15-day free trial.


Project management tool with features that will keep your client work on track.

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
1100 reviews

30-day free trial

From $13.99/user/month

Used by the likes of PayPal and Disney, Teamwork is a project management tool that focuses on centralizing all your client work in one platform. Therefore, it contains a full suite of tools, including project management, helpdesk, team chat, CRM, and content collaboration called 'Spaces.'

One of their outstanding features is 'Portfolio' makes it easy for project managers to get a high-level overview of multiple projects at once. Use Portfolio to see every project represented as a card and manage them all from one central place. Other features include time tracking, resource management, unlimited client users, and automations.

Teamwork’s chat app introduces easy communication seamlessly into your workflow, be it internal messaging or external client-facing collaboration. With one central place for users to share ideas and look for feedback, your project teams can reach a consensus and make decisions faster.

Teamwork integrates with over a hundred apps, including Gmail, HubSpot, Slack, Float, KingswaySoft, Databox, Numerics,, Easy Insights, Integromat, and Chatify. Plus, you can always connect through Zapier with thousands more.

Teamwork has a freemium plan for up to 3 projects and 5 users. Their paid plan starts at $10/user/month, requiring 5 users or more.

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Other Project Management Tools

This list includes other tools I considered in my final selection, but did not make it to the top 10. Great to look into if you are looking for more options.

  1. Hubstaff

    Best free online project management tool

  2. KeepSolid Goals

    Best project tracking tool with roadmap and goal map functionality.

  3. FunctionFox

    Best project management tool for creative teams and agencies

  4. Basecamp

    Best for a simple, straightforward user interface

  5. ProWorkflow

    Project planning and workflow platform that helps you assign staff, track time or reschedule projects, quote and invoice your clients.

  6. nutcache

    Project management tool with mobile time tracking functionality and capable of processing invoices.

  7. GoodDay

    Best for detailed task and action tracking


    Best with a focus on risk management

  9. Height

    Best project management tool for its AI-based task management

  10. TeamGantt

    Gantt chart maker software to manage complex projects.

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other project management tool reviews we've curated for you:

Selection Criteria For Project Management Tools

Selecting project management tools requires a deep understanding of both the functionality these tools offer and how they meet specific use cases critical to project success. Based on my extensive research and personal trial of these tools, I've developed a structured criteria for evaluating and choosing the best project management tools.

Core project management tools Functionality (25% of final scoring): Common features for project management tools typically include task management, resource allocation, scheduling, budget tracking, progress monitoring, communication and collaboration platforms, file sharing, reporting tools, risk management, and integration capabilities. To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best project management tools, the solution had to support the ability to fulfill common use cases:

  • Task delegation and progress tracking
  • Scheduling and deadline management
  • Resource allocation and workload balancing
  • Budget creation and financial oversight
  • Collaboration and communication among team members

Additional Standout Features (25% of final scoring): Innovative and unique features are crucial to stand out in the crowded project management tool space. I looked for:

  • AI-driven analytics for project insights
  • Customizable dashboards tailored to various managerial levels
  • Advanced integration capabilities with other enterprise tools
  • Real-time notifications and updates on project changes
  • Scalability features for growing project demands

Usability (10% of final scoring): Usability is a key factor in ensuring that project management tools are accessible to all team members regardless of their technical proficiency. It encompasses:

  • Intuitive interface with drag-and-drop functionality for scheduling
  • Clear and concise task lists with easy updating capabilities
  • Simple navigation through projects, tasks, and files
  • Customizable views to suit different user preferences

Onboarding (10% of final scoring): Efficient onboarding processes are essential for rapid adoption and value realization from new software. I look at:

  • Comprehensive training materials such as video tutorials and user guides
  • Interactive product tours and easy-to-follow setup wizards
  • Responsive customer support for immediate assistance during the setup phase
  • Community forums for peer support and best practices sharing

Customer Support (10% of final scoring): Responsive and knowledgeable customer support is crucial for resolving issues and ensuring smooth operation. For this criterion, I consider:

  • Multiple support channels including live chat, email, and phone
  • Quick response times and problem-resolution efficiency
  • Availability of a detailed knowledge base and FAQs for self-service support
  • Dedicated account management for enterprise clients

Value For Money (10% of final scoring): Evaluating the cost against the features and benefits provided ensures that buyers receive the best value for their investment. I look at:

  • Competitive pricing models that cater to different business sizes and needs
  • Transparent billing with no hidden fees or charges
  • Free trials or demo versions to evaluate the tool before purchasing
  • Flexible plans that grow with your business needs

Customer Reviews (10% of final scoring): Customer reviews offer invaluable insights into the real-world application and effectiveness of project management tools. In my research, I go through:

  • High ratings for ease of use, functionality, and customer support
  • Positive feedback on specific features that enhance project management efficiency
  • Case studies or testimonials highlighting successful implementation and outcomes
  • Feedback on any shortcomings or areas for improvement

This criteria framework ensures that project management tools are evaluated comprehensively, focusing on features that matter most to users and organizations.

As of 2024, project management tools trends are evolving rapidly, reflecting a clear trajectory toward more intelligent, flexible, and integrated tools. I have identified several key trends and features shaping the future of project management technologies.

  • AI Integration for Efficiency: Tools like Microsoft Planner and Project Planner are incorporating AI to automate mundane tasks, optimize resource allocation, and enhance project planning and execution. AI is helping project managers to delegate routine tasks to technology, enabling them to focus on strategic decisions and outcomes.
  • Workflow Automation: AI-powered solutions are streamlining task and document creation, facilitating real-time communication, and improving team collaboration.
  • Flexibility in Methodologies: There's a shift towards hybrid project management approaches that blend traditional and agile methodologies, allowing teams to select the best practices suited to their project's needs.
  • Sustainability and Green Project Management: An emerging trend is the focus on sustainability, encouraging practices that minimize environmental impact and promote eco-friendly project execution.
  • Blockchain Adoption: Although still in its early stages, blockchain technology is being explored for its potential to enhance transparency and security in project management.

The evolution of project management tools in 2024 is characterized by a stronger reliance on AI, enhanced integration with other business tools, and increased customization to meet the specific needs of organizations. These changes emphasize efficiency, adaptability, and a holistic approach to team management.

What Are Project Management Tools?

Project management tools are software that assist in organizing, tracking, and managing work and resources across projects. These tools enable teams to collaborate more effectively, keep track of all aspects of a project, and meet deadlines efficiently. They often include features like task assignment, scheduling, time tracking, resource allocation, budget management, and progress tracking.

Ideal for both small and large-scale projects, these tools facilitate communication and coordination within teams, streamline workflow, and provide a centralized platform for all project-related information. By offering a clear overview of project timelines, milestones, and deliverables, project management tools play a crucial role in helping teams stay organized and aligned with their objectives.

Features Of Project Management Tools

Selecting the right project management tool is vital for orchestrating the many facets of project work, including task distribution, scheduling, resource deployment, budget oversight, and performance evaluation. Here are ten features to consider when choosing a project management tools:

  1. Task Assignment and Management: Allows for the distribution and tracking of tasks. This feature is crucial as it ensures every team member knows their responsibilities, deadlines, and priorities, facilitating focused and efficient work.
  2. Scheduling and Deadlines: Offers visual timelines and calendars. Proper scheduling is key to keeping projects on track, helping teams understand when tasks need to be completed and how they align with the overall project timeline.
  3. Resource Allocation: Enables the assignment of resources to tasks. Effective resource management ensures that every task has the necessary personnel and tools, optimizing productivity and preventing bottlenecks.
  4. Budget Management: Provides tools for tracking project finances. Keeping a close eye on the budget prevents overspending and allows for better financial planning and allocation throughout the project life cycle.
  5. Progress Tracking and Reporting: Offers real-time updates on project status. This feature allows project managers to monitor progress, identify delays or issues quickly, and make informed decisions to keep the project moving forward.
  6. Collaboration Tools: Facilitates communication and document sharing. Seamless collaboration within teams and with stakeholders is essential for aligning efforts, sharing insights, and ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives.
  7. Integration Capabilities: Connects with other software tools. Integrations with email, calendar, and other work applications streamline workflows and reduce the need to switch between platforms, increasing efficiency.
  8. Customizability and Scalability: Adapts to the specific needs of a project or organization. The ability to customize workflows, fields, and reports ensures that the tool can grow and change with the organization's needs.
  9. Security and Access Controls: Protects sensitive project information. Ensuring that data is secure and that access is controlled based on roles and responsibilities is critical for maintaining confidentiality and integrity.
  10. Mobile Accessibility: Offers access on various devices, including smartphones and tablets. Mobile access allows team members to stay updated and contribute to projects from anywhere, increasing flexibility and responsiveness.

These features form the backbone of a robust project management tool, enabling teams to navigate the complexities of project work with confidence.

Benefits Of Project Management Tools

Project management tools offer a myriad of benefits for both individual users and organizations, streamlining the way projects are planned, executed, and concluded. Here are five primary advantages of using project management tools.

  1. Enhanced Collaboration: Facilitates seamless teamwork. By centralizing communication, file sharing, and task updates, project management tools break down silos, enabling team members to work more cohesively and stay aligned on project goals.
  2. Improved Planning and Scheduling: Simplifies the creation of detailed project plans. These tools provide visual timelines and scheduling features, making it easier to plan project phases, allocate resources effectively, and meet deadlines, thereby reducing the risk of project overruns.
  3. Efficient Resource Management: Optimizes the use of resources. With features for tracking and allocating time, manpower, and budget, project management software ensures resources are used efficiently, leading to cost savings and higher productivity for businesses.
  4. Real-time Progress Tracking: Offers instant visibility into project status. This allows project managers and stakeholders to monitor progress in real-time, quickly identify issues or delays, and make necessary adjustments to keep projects on track.
  5. Risk Mitigation and Decision Making: Enhances the ability to identify and manage risks. By providing tools for risk assessment, reporting, and analytics, project management software helps users foresee potential problems and make informed decisions, minimizing the impact on project outcomes.

Adopting project management tools can significantly impact the success of projects by ensuring they are delivered on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards.

Costs & Pricing For Project Management Tools

When exploring project management tools, it's crucial for software buyers, especially those with little to no experience, to understand the variety of plan options available. These plans are designed to accommodate different sizes of businesses, project complexities, and user needs, from individual freelancers to large enterprises. Each plan typically offers a set of core functionalities with additional features becoming available as you move to more advanced tiers. Here's a breakdown of common plan types, their average prices, and the features typically included in each.

Plan Comparison Table For Project Management Tools

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Task management, basic collaboration tools, limited storage
Basic/Standard$10-15 /user/monthEnhanced task management, project planning and scheduling, file sharing, some integration options
Professional$20-30 /user/monthFull project planning suite, advanced reporting, increased integration options, increased storage
EnterpriseCustom pricingAdvanced security features, custom integrations, dedicated support, unlimited storage, full feature access

You should consider your specific project management needs and team size when selecting a plan. It's also beneficial to start with a free or lower-cost plan to gain familiarity with the software before committing to more advanced, higher-cost options.

Project Management Tool FAQs

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

What are the different types of project management tools?

There are five main types of project management tools:

  1. Traditional. These tools have the features to support you throughout the project life cycle.
  2. Agile. They support teams using agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban. Therefore, you can find special views that focus on WIP and client portals that make it easy to receive client feedback. Useful for software development teams.
  3. Collaborative. Web-based tools that will make it easy for your team to communicate among themselves and co-create using collaborative documents and proofing modules.
  4. Resource management. These will help you with the people-side of things. You can find features to help you manage the task allocations across your team, make adjustments to your resource allocation on the go and much more.
  5. Open-source. Free software that is community-supported. These are popular among teams on a budget or with the in-house capacity to alter the software and adjust it to their needs.

Read more about these five types of project management software.

What key features should I look for when selecting project management tools?

Here are the core features that any project management tool should have:

  • Task management: This feature includes the ability to create, assign, and monitor tasks as they progress. Also, lets you set due dates, group tasks and subtasks, and create checklists.
  • Project scheduling: The tool should allow users to set timelines and deadlines. Can you map out timelines on multiple views such as calendars, Gantt charts, and more?
  • File sharing: This feature includes the ability to upload and share files. Can you upload, organize, and share files amongst team members?
  • Communication: Users should be able to have project-specific conversations and discussions. Can you tag team members with @ mentions, create threaded discussions, and keep conversations organized?
  • Reporting: The tool should allow users to generate reports on project progress, budget usage, and resource usage. Can users easily generate and share reports using data from the software?

What tools do project managers use?

Project managers mainly use three types of tools.

  1. Scheduling software. This is the most relevant for the project as it is where all the project tasks are laid out. It can be as simple as an Excel template or as complex as an all-in-one project solution with advanced features, like support for Agile sprints.
  2. Time tracking software. Although you can find this one as a module in most project tools, time tracking is where your team (and you) reports their time. Particularly useful if it’s set up to support your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
  3. Productivity software. This includes a range of tools that include project communication, to-do lists, and time management tools, like the Pomodoro timer.

Why do we use project management tools?

We use project management tools because, in general, they help us streamline and organize our work, while automating some parts of it. In turn, this allows us to prioritize work and dedicate more time to other important tasks, like stakeholder management or using collaboration tools to promote teamwork within our team. Here are 8 reasons why we use project management tools:

  1. Better scheduling. A PM tool can help us schedule work for small teams and big teams alike, plus have visibility over work from external contributors, like freelancers.
  2. Faster communication. The collaboration features embedded in each project management tool help the team communicate faster and in a centralized platform. A great example for small businesses is Basecamp.
  3. Improved organization. Having all your work in one place makes it easier to coordinate efforts.
  4. Reduced risk of scope creep. Having a project schedule that is visible to the rest of the team makes it easy to see the project limitations in terms of tasks to be done. Some tools will even go the extra mile and have customer portals where they can access the same information, letting everyone remain on the same page.
  5. Simplified status reporting. This software makes it easy to share reports with the customer, whether that is through an export or shared access to the platform.
  6. Fewer redundancies. The different views in the software will help you spot duplicated work or redundancies in your project.
  7. Less onboarding training. The software helps new team members learn who does what, communicate more efficiently, see their assigned tasks, look at what’s already been done, and ultimately get to work faster.
  8. Resource planning. Having all your team working and reporting their time on the same tool makes it easy to view their workload. This will help you make resource decisions.

You can read in-depth information about each in our 8 reasons to use project management software article.


How do I choose a project management tool?

First, you need to understand the project management methodologies you use and the features you must have. Then, determine the budget you want to allocate for it and if you need a software that scales with your operation. Finally, you explore your options and start comparing against your needs.

You can get more detailed information on all the steps in our PM software buyer’s guide.

What's Next?

If you are just getting started in project management, I recommend you read our article on how to become a digital PM. Otherwise, why not refresh your memory by reading the common types of project constraints and how to manage them?

Stay updated with the latest tricks, tips, project management tools, and techniques that leading project managers are using today—subscribe to the DPM newsletter to get ongoing training, templates, and mentorship to grow your career.

By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of 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. I'm a Certified Scrum Master, PRINCE2 Practitioner and productivity nut!