- 1. Parallax — Best for efficient project visualization and team collaboration in real time
- 2. monday.com — Best for Google users (G Suite and so on)
- 3. Kantata — Best for resource management and planning
- 4. Wrike — Best collaborative project planning tool
- 5. Height — Best for project planning using visualization tools
- 6. Zoho Projects — Best for team scalability
- 7. Hub Planner — Best for DPMs interested in resource allocation vs project budgets
- 8. Miro — Best for collaborative brainstorming
- 9. GanttPRO — Best for building project plans and timelines with online Gantt charts
- 10. Forecast — Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one
Without the proper organization, team members struggle to align with project goals, stakeholders may have unrealistic expectations, and it can be difficult to prioritize day-to-day activities. Thankfully, project planning tools can help you overcome these hurdles.
I’ve researched the best project planning tools and compiled this list to help you get organized and stay on track!
What are Project Planning Tools?
Project planning tools are software products that help you organize your projects and support the planning phase of the project management lifecycle. Project managers use these tools to establish project outlines, define who will work in the project and how they will communicate, develop roadmaps, and manage various docs that will set the foundation for a successful project.
Project planning tools support effective teamwork and help you map out tasks and subtasks as well as broader milestones. They often have drag-and-drop interfaces with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other project management features.
Parallax is a SaaS product that's designed to help with project planning. It's a tool that's all about helping you visualize your project's workflow, making it easier to see what needs to be done, who's doing it, and when it's due.
I chose Parallax because it's so easy to use. I've tried a bunch of different project planning tools in the past, and while they all have their pros and cons, I found Parallax to be the most intuitive. It's got a clean, simple interface that doesn't take ages to figure out, and it's flexible enough to adapt to different project types and workflows.
One of the standout features of Parallax is its timeline view. This lets you see your entire project laid out on a timeline, which makes it really easy to get a sense of how everything fits together. You can see at a glance what tasks are coming up, which ones are overdue, and how much progress you've made.
Parallax offers integrations with popular third-party tools like Asana, Google Calendar, Jira, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. Developers can also use the API to integrate the tool with custom applications or other third-party systems.
Pricing is available upon request through the website. Users can book a free demo to get a tour of the product.
monday.com is a popular project management software that can easily handle basic and complicated projects. Users will find it easy to collaborate, keep track of progress, customize workflows, and analyze information within the platform.
With an emphasis on transparency and collaboration, monday.com is packed with features that let you do your tasks and work with others using the tools you love. View your data in various highly visual dashboard options, communicate easily within monday.com, and manage all your resources efficiently.
monday.com integrates with popular productivity tools such as Slack, Dropbox, Outlook, and so much more with the option to integrate without any code required.
monday.com costs from $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
Mavenlink is a robust resource management software with advanced project planning tools for execution, project accounting, and project analysis. For those going all out, you can leverage their business intelligence and team collaboration modules for a complete project management experience in a single operating environment.
On top of this, it offers a system of dashboards, live time and expense tracking features, and a great documenting system. Drilling down into its key features, the BI suite module supplies built-in reports, custom reporting, trend analysis, data visualization, as well as data integration with other systems.
The software also provides more accounting tools than many others, with project costing, project and task budget management, real-time utilization and margin tracking, invoicing, rate cards, and robust integrations into back-end financial systems. It also has some good contextual collaboration features to communicate in both provide and public discussions around tasks, projects, and many other project objects.
Mavenlink operates its own integration platform (called M-Bridge) that lets you connect to other business apps like CRM, HCM, and financial software. On top of the M-Bridge platform, Mavelink provides several pre-built integrations with these tools: Expensify, G Suite, Xero, Salesforce, Netsuite, Jira, Hubspot, Slack, Concur, Dynamics 365, Qualtrics, Quickbooks, and Sage Intacct.
Mavenlink costs from $39/user/month and offers a free trial and demo.
Wrike is a project planning tool that is suitable for teams of five or more. Wrike includes tools for predicting and preventing delays, visualizing deadlines, and monitoring project progress in real-time. The tool is also highly configurable, and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.
Users can switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views to understand priorities. Project planning tools include task lists, subtasks, schedules, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration.
Wrike also offers a robust mobile application that allows users to update team members or upload files and photos. You can easily switch between calendars, dashboards, and task lists and keep an eye on notifications and messages. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike offers a host of pre-built templates that make project planning more efficient, including a phased project template, which can help break a complex project into manageable chunks, as well as a simple project scheduling template. Real-time reporting helps project managers allocate resources and adjust workloads.
Wrike integrates with over 400 apps, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox.
Wrike starts at $9.80/user/month and has a free version for up to five users. There is also a 14-day free trial for paid plans.
Height is a project management tool that helps businesses of all sizes track and monitor the progress of their projects in real-time. It allows users to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, and track the progress of their team members, and includes additional tools for collaboration, document management, and reporting.
Height creates a custom URL for each project that you can easily share with other team members or stakeholders. Its task attributes feature lets you easily customize tasks to fit your team's needs and workflow better. Users can categorize tasks and select the applicable attributes that accurately represent the work done, including its priority level.
Height allows users to create customizable calendars and add regular tasks, events, deadlines, and reminders quickly and easily. With the intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can easily view their entire schedule on one page and adjust recurring activities. Other features such as automated message warnings, user tagging, and message threads allow users to quickly find the conversations they need, even in large, busy channels. Advanced search functions let users comb through past messages they need, while custom pins allow users to pin essential topics or questions for further reference.
Height allows users to share screenshots and files with other chatroom members, create polls and surveys, and even create private rooms for confidential or sensitive conversations. Height’s powerful charting capabilities enable users to visualize data more effectively. Its Kanban view enables project participants to visualize and plan ongoing work while tracking progress in a manageable and comprehensible manner. Leveraging this tool allows team members in different parts of the world to have a central view of progress with minimal effort or technical knowledge.
Height integrates with popular platforms like Discord, Figma, Fivetran, Git Hub & Git Lab, Notion, Sentry, Slab, Slack, and Zendesk.
Pricing for Height starts at $8.50/user/month and includes a 30-day free trial. They also offer a freemium plan with limited features as well.
Zoho Projects is an online project management solution that focuses on easy and effective planning, tracking, and collaboration. You can manage both simple and complex projects by splitting work items into milestones, tasklists, tasks and subtasks and viewing them as Kanban boards.
Zoho Projects lets you plan and schedule work with Gantt charts that have a drag and drop interface. You can set up baselines, compare multiple baselines, identify critical tasks, and create dependencies right from the Gantt chart. Zoho Projects comes with a workload allocation feature that lets you manage tasks and resources as well.
Your team can track project progress closely with numerous dashboards, charts and reports, communication tools, and collaborative documents. Zoho Projects also provides numerous features such as time tracking, budgeting, issue tracking, portfolio management, and automation capabilities.
Zoho Projects is great for scalability. You can start with their free plan and easily expand as you grow and need additional user spots or more advanced features. Even the uppermost plan is super affordable comparatively. You can also scale by integrating their other first-party platforms into your plan for sales, CRM, customer service, and so on.
Zoho Projects integrates with tools such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Slack, Github, Bitbucket, and Dropbox. Access even more integrations through Zapier.
Zoho Projects costs from $4/user/month (billed annually) and offers a 10-day free trial. They have a free plan for up to 3 users.
Hub Planner is a robust resource planning software that provides you with the ability to efficiently manage and track all your ongoing projects in a centralized platform.
Hub Planner’s capacity management feature is designed to help you with the project planning process by providing you with information about your team’s current capacity, so you can assign tasks and other responsibilities accordingly. This approach should help you avoid unproductive bottlenecks and ensure that every team member is always working on tasks to their full potential.
Identifying who is over- or under-allocated is easy, thanks to its heatmap functionality that adds different colors to resources in specific allocation scenarios. The good news is that you can easily re-assign tasks using a drag-and-drop functionality.
Finally, its reporting module enables you to efficiently generate custom reports and meaningful insights based on different criteria. With detailed reporting and insights, you will be able to effectively track the impact of resources on project financials, identify opportunities for improvement, and make better decisions on how best to utilize your resources.
Miro is a collaborative platform that can be used for all kinds of things including project planning and brainstorming. It allows team members to work on a virtual canvas, where they can create and share ideas using various visual aids. Users can create charts, diagrams, mind maps, and virtual sticky notes, and contribute their ideas in real time. It can help facilitate virtual meetings, and team members can share their screens and conduct video conferences while working on the virtual canvas.
Users can create multiple boards in the software, which they can use to organize their projects, teams, and tasks. Pre-built templates are available and can be customized to suit the specific needs of projects. It also has tagging and labeling options, which can help with identifying and searching for specific projects or information. The platform provides end-to-end encryption and adheres to industry-standard security protocols. Users can manage access to boards, set passwords, and activate two-factor authentication, enhancing security further.
The software integrates with other workplace tools like Figma, Slack, monday.com, Asana, and Jira, among others. With these integrations ideas generated in Miro can be turned into tasks and projects, or shared across teams and departments. A free plan is available, and paid plans start from $10/user/month.
GanttPRO is a project planning tool with powerful features for managing and completing various projects. Project teams can plan projects, schedule tasks, and manage resources in a centralized workspace, collaborating with colleagues, customers, and stakeholders.
GanttPRO users can break down their work into tasks using handy Gantt charts, assign tasks to their teammates, organize them into projects for timelines, set task dependencies and milestones, check the team’s progress, get notifications, and more.
This planning tool allows creating of several workspaces and projects. As soon as you’re done creating them, the drag & drop option will make it easy to start adding tasks and setting start/due dates.
GanttPRO is an inexpensive project planning solution with a friendly design, so you can get started without extra overhead. For an easy start, you may use ready-made Gantt chart templates. Additionally, you may export your diagrams and import charts from software like Microsoft Project and Excel.
Basic plans for 1 user start at $7.99/month if billed annually.
Forecast is a project planning tool that unites your task lists, 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. Forecast is currently used in over 40 countries by an assortment of agencies, consulting companies, SMBs, and enterprises.
PMs 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 integrates with 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 costs from $29/user/month with a minimum of 10 users and offers a 14-day free trial.
- Projects, resources and financials connected in one platform
- AI powered auto-scheduling and time entry suggestions
- Excellent iOS and Android apps
- Automated cost and budget estimations
- No browser extension for time tracking
- No asset management
- Minimum of 10 seats
Need expert help selecting the right Project Scheduling Software?
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Best for efficient project visualization and team collaboration in real time
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best for Google users (G Suite and so on)
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $8/user/month (billed annually, min 3 seats)||Visit Website|
Best for resource management and planning
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
Best collaborative project planning tool
Free plan available
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for project planning using visualization tools
30-day free trial
|From $8.50/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for team scalability
Free trial available
|From $5/user/month||Visit Website|
Best for DPMs interested in resource allocation vs project budgets
30-day free trial
|From $7/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for collaborative brainstorming
Free plan available
|From $10 /user/month||Visit Website|
Best for building project plans and timelines with online Gantt charts
14-day free trial
|From $7.99/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best for managing your projects, resources, and finances in one
14-day free trial
|From $29/user/month||Visit Website|
Best planning software for small & medium teams
Best for mobile users
Best time tracker + planner
Best for consultants, engineering firms, and architects
Best for team productivity and collaboration
Best for risk management
Best for workflow customization, automation, and visibility into overall business performance
Best for IT service companies & digital agencies
Best for team collaboration and communication
Best for project management, time tracking, and communication in one
Selection Criteria for the Best Project Planning Tools
I evaluated and compared the most popular project management platforms on the market using the criteria outlined below. I also relied on my project management experience to look out for standout features that would be particularly valuable.
For a project planning tool to make it onto my list, here are some of the features it needs to have:
- Multiple project views: Various ways to oversee your projects, tasks, and milestones, like Gantt charts, Kanban boards, calendar views, table views, and list views.
- Task management: The ability to create task lists, approvals and dependencies, set due dates, and break complex projects into smaller pieces.
- Team collaboration tools: These might be in the form of integrated chat, real-time notifications, tagging, proofing, a mobile app, or an interactive whiteboard.
- Resource management: Resource allocation for employees and freelancers, time tracking and timesheets, and work management and capacity planning tools. Even better if it lets you use placeholders for future resources.
- Reporting and analytics: The ability to track time spent on different tasks, workflow efficiency, people and project team data, and more with customizable dashboards.
The easier and more intuitive a project management system is, the better your team will be able to navigate, do project tracking, and teach others how to use it. I looked for tools with user-friendly interfaces and flexibility to suit scrum and agile methodologies. Whether it’s a simple project management software for small businesses or a more robust enterprise solution, it should be something every team member can learn to use quickly.
I look for tools that integrate with common SaaS tools and cloud-based apps that can extend its functionality. These integrations might include common communication tools like Slack or even other PM tools like Smartsheet and Airtable. I also looked for integrations with CRMs and the ability to import and export data to and from spreadsheets. Many software also have APIs you can use to build custom integrations.
Price points can vary from one tool to the next, and I’ve noted the cost of paid plans for every product on my list. I’ve also noted whether a free plan or free trial is available. Free versions may be limited to small teams, while advanced features like custom fields or unlimited users are reserved to paid plans. For context, the tools I’ve listed range from about $8/user/month up to $40/user/month and higher.
What is project planning?
What is project planning software used for?
What are some helpful project management organizational tools?
Other Project Management Software
Not looking for project planning tools? Check out our other lists of top project management software and other tools:
Planning is not only about having the right tool. Learn how to use project milestones to guide your team through their work. Also, you should read our guide to project budgets. Especially if you don't have a natural inclination for numbers.
Finally, if you want to get better at project planning, you may learn a trick or two by subscribing to our Insider Membership newsletter. It will be delivered to your inbox every week.