The best project management system is one that functions well and looks good while doing it. That’s why I’ve compiled some of the best visual project management software here and outlined what it does best for users.
Adding visual flair to a project or task can help you quickly assess where you stand. For example, if you’re late on a deliverable you want a visual project management software that screams “There is an issue here!” using graphics or bold color schemes. Everything will be easier for you and your team to read so that you can spend less time hunting for information and more time making moves.
Portfolio management is another aspect of PM software that can benefit from a strong visual approach. After all, every item in your portfolio most likely has its own style and feel and your records should show that. Your project team will appreciate having more than a block of text to define their projects, milestones, and schedules.
This article will compare and evaluate the best visual project management solutions and highlight ways in which they can amplify your workflow management.
Visual Project Management Software Comparison Criteria
What am I looking for when we select visual work management software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive on a web browser as well as any mobile app? Is real-time data and reporting displayed in a pleasing, easy-to-read way? Is the dashboard customizable, to appeal to different visual preferences?
- Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Can team members of various technological backgrounds onboard easily? Does it come with an iOS or Android app?
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Does it connect with whatever project management tool you may already use in your day-to-day? Does it connect to image storage systems like Google Drive?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
Key Visual PM Software Features
- Drag-and-drop visual organization
- Colored labels (ex. for due dates or project status/project progress)
- Picture uploads
- File previews
- Client dashboards
- Gantt Charts and/or Kanban Boards
- Visual gamification of collaboration tools
- Sticky notes or other note-taking
- Charts and flows for project planning
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monday.com is a bold, easy-to-use visual project management software that lets you view your projects, tasks, and milestones in a variety of ways—Gantt chart, calendar views, task lists, Kanban boards, and completion-level bar charts. Each user can build their own visual dashboard using widgets to pull in and display the data they need mostar in their day-to-day.
monday also has in-app commenting and messaging, making for easy workflow collaboration and approvals. Team members can attach documents right into the project space, including graphics, text files, videos, and spreadsheets. Plus, monday.com boasts fully featured iOS and Android mobile apps.
Higher level paid plans will unlock simple, point-and-click automations that can change statuses or send notifications as soon as certain conditions are met. This greatly reduces the organizational and administrative burden on your project management team.
monday.com’s integrations include project management apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible through a paid plan with Zapier.
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.
Celoxis is one of the most comprehensive yet affordable project management software in the marketplace. It addresses the complexities of managing projects across organizations and functions with features for planning, delegation, collaboration, tracking, and reporting. Celoxis helps users plan and manage diverse project portfolios with features that allow for time and expense tracking, resource management, financial tracking, and work collaboration.
Businesses can get rid of multiple applications and spreadsheets to manage schedules, resources, budgets, costs, invoices, communication, approvals, risks, issues, change requests and simply manage everything in one platform. When you sign up for a demo, Celoxis product experts will customize one to your needs so that you won’t have to spend months of research to find the best tool for your team.
As a visual project management tool, Celoxis stands out in the fact that comprehensive financial reporting is included in your subscription. You’ll have immediate access to financial analytics like profit and margin tracking, revenue forecasting, and custom financial KPIs. This is not something you find in most visual PM software, as financial coverage tends to require third-party integrations or be left out altogether.
Celoxis integrates with over 400 third-party apps like Google Drive, MS Excel, JIRA, QuickBooks Online, Salesforce, Evernote, Slack, Zendesk, G Suite, Trello, Harvest, MailChimp, and more through a paid account with Zapier.
Celoxis costs from $22.50/user/month with a 5 user minimum and offers a free 30-day trial.
Bynder is rooted in a digital asset management (DAM) platform for creative workflows that has evolved to encompass brand guidelines, digital templates, and asset analytics to keep projects moving smoothly. Bynder can help you manage assets like images and videos, scale and automate tedious creative processes, digitize and secure brand guidelines, and create print-ready items in a beautiful UI.
Visual project management is “visual” for a reason. You’ll likely be leaning on an assortment of images, videos, logos, banners, and so on to keep your workflow up and running. With Bynder you can create, compress, proof, approve, annotate, distribute, and analyze all your visual project assets in one place. Once you are trained in the platform, you will see that all the visual elements of their interface are there to help you make your job easier.
Bynder integrates with Salesforce Marketplace, SAP Commercial Cloud, Contentful, Drupal, Wrike, inriver, Adobe CC Connect, WordPress. Salesify, Getty Images, Stackla, Optimizely, Akeno, Figmage, Highspot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Canva, Adobe products, Shutterstock, and other creative and workflow-oriented tools.
Wrike is a project management software suitable for teams of five or more, as the software allows for an unlimited number of users. The tool is highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.
Wrike enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views, allowing them to choose how to visualize priorities. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, schedules, shared workflows, file sharing, and real-time communication and collaboration. Users can get advanced insights on their project with performance reporting tools, resource management and allocation, and time tracking.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. You can switch between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and stream (for notifications and messages). Wrike also has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike also offers a variety of specific solutions depending on the type of team or organization — including marketing teams and professional service teams. Users can also try a variety of templates for common organizational processes.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Pricing starts at $9.80/user/month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.
Airtable is a super robust and highly customizable visual project management software with smart sorting and filtering capabilities, an assortment of different data visualization styles, and very flexible workflow automations to accommodate any process. It can be tricky to learn all the ins and outs of the system but it’s well worth the effort.
Airtable is so data dense and informationally rich that its internal search function tends to lag behind what is needed for the tool. Don’t let this stop you from trying it out, though, as you’ll definitely find the broad functionality of the system gets you a bang for your buck.
Airtable integrates with Asana, Basecamp, Dropbox, Box, Email, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Github, Gmail, Google Drive/calendar/contacts, Instagram, JotForm, MailChimp, LinkedIn, MeetUp, Pocket, Slack, SMS, Soundcloud, Stripe, Trello, Tumblr, Twilio, Twitter, Typeform, WordPress, Wunderlist, YouTube, and Zendesk. You can connect to thousands of other apps using Zapier, Workato, Integromat, or Automate.io (may require a paid plan) or leverage their robust API to do the same.
Airtable offers a free plan with some feature and size limitations. Paid plans cost from $10/user/month and come with a 14-day free trial.
ProjectManager is an online project management solution currently used by over 375K users and counting, including teams from NASA, Volvo, and Ralph Lauren. The tool lets you share projects and collaborate online with features such as Gantt charts, visual dashboards, real-time reporting, and time tracking functionality.
ProjectManager is a highly flexible tool used by teams in construction, manufacturing, IT & dev work, professional services, engineering, product management, and more. It comes with free onboarding and free training to ensure that the tool is set-up to meet the specific needs of your industry and team.
ProjectManager integrates with MS Project, Excel, Office 365, Salesforce CRM, QuickBooks, Xero, Dropbox, Desk.com, JIRA, Hubspot, Slack,Zendesk, Evernote, OneLogin, OneDrive, and the complete Google Suite. They also have a powerful REST API to help you build against internal or external tools.
ProjectManager is free to use for up to 3 users. Paid plans cost from $14/user/month and come with a 30-day free trial.
KeyedIn is a visual project management tool that combines all of your PMO’s projects, tasks, resources, and reports across a modern, clean interface. Simple dashboard views can flag overdue deliveries, tasks, and actions so that your team can address them quickly. They also offer risk & issue management features: track, manage and resolve risks and issues associated with portfolio projects.
KeyedIn is available in over a dozen languages, inlucing English (US & UK), Spanish (Mexico & Spain), Chinese Manderin, and French. They also offer their services in different hyper-focused modules to address things like manufacturing enterprise resource planning, project portfolio management, or professional services PM.
KeyedIn integrates with Salesforce, Cherwell, JIRA, CAST Software Intelligence, Sage, Microsoft BI, and other apps not listed directly on their site. Their enterprise-level plan boasts support for third-party integrations for things like predictive analytics, IT product analysis, advanced reporting, and AL/machine learning.
KeyedIn costs from $15.30/user/month depending on permissions/feature needs. They also offer a free trial for new users.
GanttPRO is a visual project and task management solution with tools for collaboration, importing and exporting documents, resource management, time tracking, customizable templates, and budget tracking. GanttPRO gets rid of feature fluff and sticks to doing a few things really well—tracking tasks, dependencies, and resources.
As its name suggests, GanttPRO put a particular focus on developing the best and easiest Gantt chart maker for project managers. Their drag-and-drop Gantt chart builder is both aesthetically pleasing and super easy to understand. You’ll be able to mark dependencies, track timelines, and get an overall view of project progress.
GanttPRO integrates with JIRA Cloud but does not list any other native third-party connections.
Basic plans for 1 user start at $7.99/month if billed annually.
Backlog is project management and code management united, making it particularly well suited for software development teams who want a modern, visual workspace. Backlog has everything that you would expect from a visual project management tool: sprint planning, communication tools, real-time updates, and a healthy number of workflow-related integrations. Backlog has both an iOS and Android mobile app, as well.
Backlog also has all the stuff that software dev PMS need: issue and bug tracking, remote work support, version controls, and tons of built-in storage space 100 GB for enterprise level plans). You can even add issues directly from whatever email solution you use. They also empower code review and collaboration through Git, Subversion (SVN), and wikis.
Backlog integrates with Typetalk, Cacoo, Nulab Pass, Slack, Redmine, Jira Importer, Jenkins, iCal Sync, email platforms, Google Sheets, and LambdaTest. You can also build your own integrations and add-ons with Backlog’s API.
Backlog is free for up to 10 users and 1 project. Paid plans cost from $35/month for up to 30 users and come with a 30-day free trial.
Notion is an easy-to-use project planning tool with a focus on docs & wiki building and is used by teams from Loom, Spotify, Slack, Nike, and Pixar. The interface is designed to marry your daily task view with knowledge base documentation in the same space so that you don’t need to jump back and forth or worry about straying from the project expectations. This approach is particularly useful for remote or hybrid teams, who may not have 1:1 access to management support at all times.
Key features include drag-and-drop dashboards, a community-curated template library, real-time collaboration with in-app commenting and discussions, and granular permission levels. They offer a web-based SaaS or on-premise option, as well as versions for both macOS and Windows. They also have a free mobile app.
Notion’s API for integrations is currently in the beta stage. They do not advertise any native third-party connections, which puts them at somewhat of a disadvantage when compared to others on this list.
Notion is free to use with some feature limitations. Paid plans cost from $4/month (billed annually) for unlimited users.
Need expert help selecting the right Project Management Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Project Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out monday.com|
30 days free trial
|From $22.50/user/month (minimum 5 users)||Check out Celoxis|
14-day free trial
|Check out Bynder|
14 days free trial
|From $9.80/user/month||Check out Wrike|
14 days free trial
|From $10/user/month||Check out AirTable|
30 days free trial
|From $14 per user/month||Check out ProjectManager|
15 days free trial
|From $15.30/user/month depending on permissions/feature needs||Check out KeyedIn|
14 days free trial
|From $7.99/user/month||Check out GanttPRO|
30 days free trial
|From $35/month||Check out Backlog|
30 days free trial
|From $8/user/month||Check out Notion|
Other Visual Project Management Options
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy visual PM apps, check these out.
- Teamwork – Best free plan for small businesses that need a visual approach.
- ProWorkflow – Best for visualizing resource management.
- Hive – Best for visual time tracking & timesheets for projects.
- Process Street – Best for aesthetic project timelines.
- Mavenlink – Best for building roadmaps.
- Forecast.app – Best for visually appealing invoicing documents.
- TeamGantt – Best for Gantt charts and other planning.
- Project Insight – Best for appealing analysis reports.
- Acuity PPM – Best customer support resources.
- Genius Project – Best for easy, visual project tracking.
- Bubble – Best as an intuitive, easy-to-use visual PM tool.
- Airfocus – Best for scalability, large or small teams.
- Asana – Best for simple task management.
- Jira – Best for agile workflows.
- Trello – Best for Kanban board task lists.
- Odoo – Best open source project management tool
- Scrumwise – Best eye-catching SCRUM software.
- Microsoft Project – Best for integration with MS software like Powerpoint.
What Do You Think About These Visual PM Tools?
Have you tried out any visual project management apps listed above? Is there a SAAS visual project management tool that you would add to this list? Sound off in the comments.
If you’re still looking, find other types of project management software and overviews in this article.