The best project management software could be just what you need. Especially if you're spending too much time on boring admin, and not enough time doing your actual job. Helping you to plan and share tasks and workload, communicate effectively with clients, collaborators and team members, track everyone's time, generate invoices and more, the best software will have you wondering how you ever managed without it.
However, the project management software market is a very crowded one, with countless applications competing for your money. The good news is that most of them attempt to lure you in with free trials and free limited plans, so you can try them out before you buy.
In this post, we bring you the best project management software currently on the market. Meanwhile, if you need to refresh your design toolkit, check out our roundup of the best free graphic design software (opens in new tab) too.
Trello (opens in new tab) isn’t as complex or sophisticated as your average project management software. Instead this app is offers an easy and very visual way to to glance at your entire project with a single view. With Trello you can organise cards; these cards can be your thoughts, conversations and to-do lists and be placed on a board for everyone to collaborate on. This project management tool is absolutely free, but paid plans offer larger attachments, extra sticker packs, saved searches and more.
Asana offers an easy way for teams to track their work, so everyone knows who's doing what, by when. With tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards, Asana keeps your work organised and teammates accountable so you can move work forward faster. You can also keep track of your work wherever you are, with mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Asana is free to use for small teams, while paid plans allow you more members and access to features like custom fields, task dependencies, and advanced search.
The grandaddy of project management apps, Basecamp (opens in new tab) has a simple and easy to use interface that allows you to collaborate with your team and clients in a frictionless manner. It allows you to create multiple projects, set up discussions, write to-do lists, manage files, create and share documents, and organise dates for scheduling. The software is fully responsive, so you can manage your projects and check their status on your mobile device on the go. It's free for teachers and students, but $99/month for unlimited users and unlimited projects.
There’s a tension when it comes to fully featured project management tools. On the one hand, the more features the better, to meet every project’s unique needs. On the other hand, that can lead to a cluttered and confusing interface that baffles new users. Monday.com (opens in new tab) squares that circle better than most. Its very visual and highly customisable scheduling views means project managers can set things up in a way that team members can quickly pick up. And that means that they’re more likely to actually use it, which is the key to the success of any project management software.
nTask (opens in new tab) offers most of the tools you’d expect to see in fully-featured and expensive project management software, but what’s different is that a surprisingly large proportion of them are available on the forever free plan. Meanwhile the premium plan starts at a quite affordable $2.99 a month.
nTask is relatively intuitive and easy to use in practice. And while it’s missing some more advanced customisation options, and there’s as yet no Windows or Mac app, those are compromises most will find acceptable to get their hands on such a low or zero cost package.
Teamwork Projects (opens in new tab) is a very flexible productivity tool to manage projects with your team. It allows you to keep all your projects, tasks and files all in one place and easily collaborate with each other. It helps you to visualise the entire project through a marked calendar, Gantt chart and setup reporting. The software supports file management with Google Drive, Box.com and Dropbox, as well as integration with leading apps such as third-party accounting software and customer support apps. Plans start from free, and range up to $15 for premium.
Billed as the "simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources", Resource Guru (opens in new tab) is a streamlined resource scheduling and leave management tool that’s designed to keep your projects on track. You can plan your team's workloads, receive daily booking reminders, report on KPIs, and more. Apple, Saatchi & Saatchi and Deloitte are among some of the cloud-based team calendar’s heavyweight customers. You can try Resource Guru with a free trial, and prices start from $2.50 per person per month.
ActiveCollab (opens in new tab) is powerful project management software that offers team collaboration tools, task management, time tracking, importing expenses, and more. Perhaps its strongest card is its invoicing feature: you're able to track payments and expenses and have invoices paid directly within the software via PayPal, and other credit card systems. ActiveCollab plans starts at $7 a month.
Zoho (opens in new tab) offers a wide range of business software including Zoho Projects, an proficient tool that helps you plan and coordinate projects from start to finish. It boasts all the features you need for project management, with some advanced features including reporting, integration with Google Apps and Dropbox, bug tracking, and Wiki Pages setup to build a repository of information, forums and more. You can start using Zoho Projects with a free plan, and upgrade to a paid premium account starting at £20 a month.
Jira (opens in new tab) is specifically targeted for software development teams. It makes it really easy to track bugs and see which issues are still outstanding and how much time was spent on each task. Its maker, Atlassian, also offers other products that integrate seamlessly with the tool, including Confluence, a document collaboration tool, and HipChat, a team chat and video and file sharing platform. Jira starts at $10 for for 10 users a month.
Podio (opens in new tab) is an ever-growing tool to organise and communication tool that's easy to personalise to fit your business needs. Besides tasks common to most project management software, including team communication, task management and file storage, you can use it to set up an internal intranet for all your colleagues and departments to interact. Podio can also be transformed into a CRM system. Podio plans are free for five employees, and go up to $24 for the full premium package.
Whatever your project may be, either setting up an event, a web project or organising a wedding, Freedcamp (opens in new tab) helps you organise and plan effectively. This free project management software has an organised dashboard to view the entire project at a glance. You can easily setup tasks, use sticky notes to visually setup tasks and organise them into the calendar. You also have the option of paying for add-ons for business use, including CRM, invoicing, issue tracking and setting up Wiki pages.
Wrike (opens in new tab) is advanced project management software aimed at keeping your project on track and ensuring you have the adequate resources to finish on time and on budget. It has some excellent reporting tools, and make it easy to integrate with Google Apps, Microsoft Excel, Dropbox and more. You can even make your emails more productive by converting emails into tasks with a simple click of a button. Wrike is free for the first five users and paid professional plans start at $9.80 per user per month.