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.
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.
monday.com work management is one of the top project management platforms on the market.
Why I picked monday.com: Their tool is hyper-customizable, has loads of features, and offers colorful boards that will make your project plans easier to read. Although it is a visually complex tool, it has tons of videos and training tutorials to help you master its different features. Additionally, if you are looking for a more focused product, monday.com offers different options. These include a product for marketers, development teams, sales teams (CRM), and project teams. You can look at all of them by going to the products menu option on their website.
Finally, it's important to mention that the wide range of features and customization might make it challenging for you to set up the product and train your team at first. However, once you get over that hump, I promise you'll see the benefits of having this product and how efficient it can make you and your team.
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, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Asana, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and thousands more, accessible via Zapier.
You can use monday.com regardless of the size of your team. There's a free version that you can try for as long as you want.
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.
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.
Kintone is a customizable project planning platform used by teams at Volvo Trucks North America, Japan Airlines, Whole Foods, and over 23,000 organizations worldwide.
Why I picked Kintone: Their unique approach to project and task management lets you build a wide variety of customizable “apps” either from scratch, using templates or from your existing spreadsheets for data management, business processes, and workflows.
Kintone lets you build agile project management apps by dragging and dropping elements that you want to see onto the page: rich text fields, date fields, drop-down menus, and more. Your agile project management solution can look and work however you want it to. Moreover, what makes Kintone particularly great for agile project management is that it empowers project managers to track all facets of their project, from individual tasks and project data to workflows and communication—and then use their findings to rapidly improve their processes as they go.
Kintone Standout Features & Integrations
Features include a pre-built application library, enhanced process management, private messaging, real-time custom graphs and charts, and granular permission controls.
Integrations. Kintone lets you expand its capabilities with both free native plugins built by the Kintone team as well as integrations with other tools like Slack, Gmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, Tableau, Dropbox, Salesforce, HubSpot, Eventbrite, WordPress, QuickBooks, MailChimp, and many more through a paid plan with Zapier or via API integrations.
There are so many ways to customize Kintone that it can be hard to know where to start. Read the starter blog “What Can You Build with Kintone?” or watch Creating an App from Scratch for a quick look at how the drag-and-drop builder works.
Hub Planner is an online project management and scheduling software that helps businesses manage their teams and projects with easy-to-use timelines and workflows.
Why I Picked Hub Planner: Hub Planner stands out as an excellent online project management tool thanks to its comprehensive resource management system, advanced scheduling capabilities, time tracking feature, collaboration tools, and customizability. Resource management in Hub Planner allows businesses to efficiently allocate resources, track availability, and schedule across multiple teams and projects.
Hub Planner's Gantt chart feature provides a visual representation of project tasks, dependencies, and milestones, making it easy to monitor progress and adjust schedules accordingly. Time tracking enables teams to record their hours and track progress more accurately, while collaboration features like team calendars, project messaging, and file sharing facilitate real-time collaboration and help teams stay up-to-date. Additionally, Hub Planner is highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor the tool to their specific needs with custom fields, templates, and reports, among other features.
Hub Planner Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource management, PTO planning, timesheets, reporting, skills matching, task management, templates, drag and drop scheduler, project budgets, approval flow, smart scheduler, and third-party integrations/add-ons.
Integrations include DIY options via their Hub Planner API and webhook. Or, open an account with Zapier for more options (may incur an additional cost).
Overall, Hub Planner's robust features and flexibility make it a great choice for businesses looking for an online project management tool that can handle complex projects and teams.
Project.co is a user-friendly, all-in-one project management solution tailored for team collaboration and communication.
Why I picked Project.co: 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.
Project.co 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.
Project.co 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.
Nifty is a project management software with roadmapping, task management, and reporting tools. It also has time tracking, live chat, forms, and file management to support collaboration and team management.
Why I picked Nifty: This platform offers comprehensive project management features. You can develop roadmaps, assign tasks, create dependencies, set deadlines, and automate repetitive tasks. It has various views so you can oversee your work in whatever way is most helpful to your context.
In addition to its project and task tracking tools, the software has live chat and file sharing to help team members collaborate on their work. Employees can track their time in the system, helping you get an accurate picture of how much time goes into various tasks and projects. You can also create reports to better understand team performance.
Nifty Standout Features and Integrations
Features include Gantt charts, Kanban boards, swimlane and calendar views, project homes, task management, document and file sharing, in-app messenger, time tracking, workflow automation, form builder, and portfolio management.
Integrations include Slack, Zoom, Harvest, Github, Miro, Typeform, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Microsoft Suite, and Webex. You can import existing project data from Jira, Asana, Basecamp, Clickup, Wrike, Trello, or a .CSV file. Additional integrations can be configured with Zapier.
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.
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.
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.
Get the PM Software Buyer's Guide
Best for its capacity to be customized for almost any workflow
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Website|
Best for teams with asset proofing needs
Freemium version available
Best project management tool for its support of multiple methodologies
Freemium plan available
Best project management tool to build business apps for your workflows
30-day free trial
Best for team scheduling, capacity planning, & requesting work
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Website|
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)||Website|
Best with team management and collaboration tools
14-day free trial
|From $9 /user/month||Website|
Best for real-time collaboration with unlimited viewer-only accounts
Free plan available
FigJam by Figma
Best for remote team collaboration
Free plan available
Best project management tool for small & medium teams
15-day free trial + free version available
Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one
Best project management tool for agile teams
Best free online project management tool
- KeepSolid Goals
Best project tracking tool with roadmap and goal map functionality.
Best project management tool for creative teams and agencies
Best for a simple, straightforward user interface
Project planning and workflow platform that helps you assign staff, track time or reschedule projects, quote and invoice your clients.
Project management tool with mobile time tracking functionality and capable of processing invoices.
Best for detailed task and action tracking
Best with a focus on risk management
How I Picked The Best Project Management Tools
I’ve researched, reviewed and selected some of the most popular project management tools. To decide which tools to feature in this list, I weighed a variety of key factors, including the following criteria.
User Interface (UI)
I look at the tool's interface design and if it's easy on the eye. Some interfaces can become crowded as they increase the number of features. However, you need a tool that can help you quickly see relevant information, like project dependencies or overdue tasks.
I analyze how easy it is to learn and navigate the app. Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Your team needs a tool that can help them do many things intuitively, like track time and update task status. This criterion includes the online version of the app, both for desktop and iOS or Android mobile apps (if available).
This one I use to look at all the ways in which a tool can expand its capabilities. I look at how easy it is to connect with other cloud-based tools that can fill any gaps in the software, such as time tracking software, Gantt chart software, workflow management tools, and even other PM tools like Zoho Projects and Airtable. I also look at the different types of integrations, including pre-built, through third-party software, and custom integrations using an API.
I look at the pricing details, features it includes, and tiers (if any). In addition, I research the free trials or free versions of the software you can use to further support your decision-making.
What are the different types of project management tools?
What key features should I look for when selecting project management tools?
What tools do project managers use?
Why do we use project management tools?
How do I choose a project management tool?
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?
Related tool lists:
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