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The best project management software in 2020

Project management software for designers

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 too. 

Best project management software: Trello

Use Trello to easily display and organise your to-do lists and discussions on a visual board (Image credit: Trello)

01. Trello

Easy project management software based on Kanban boards.

Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browser | Free version: Free plan | Best for: General use

Clear interface 
Visually focused 
Light learning curve
Lacks advanced features

Trello 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.

Best project management software: Asana

Asana is a great work tracking and project management app for teams (Image credit: Asana)

02. Asana

Project management software for tracking team tasks.

Platform: Android, iOS, browser | Free version: Free plan or 30-day trial | Best for: Small teams

Easy interface 
Nice collaboration tools 
Free for small teams 
Lacks time tracking

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.

Best project management software: Basecamp

Basecamp is a project management and collaboration tool for distributed teams (Image credit: Basecamp)

03. Basecamp

Project management software for remote and distributed teams.

Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browser | Free version: Free version Free plan (Basecamp Personal) or 30-day trial | Best for: Distributed teams

Flexible system 
Clear project views 
Good chat tools 
Not the cheapest

The grandaddy of project management apps, Basecamp 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.

Project management software: promo for Monday.com featuring photos of team members

(Image credit: Monday.com)

04. Monday.com

Easily customisable project management software

Platform: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, browser | Free version: 14-day free trial | Best for: Teams who need coaxing

Good templates 
Highly visual interface 
Virtual whiteboards 
No free plan

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 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.

Project management software: nTask screengrab

(Image credit: nTask)

05. nTask

Free project management software that's surprisingly powerful.

Platform: Browser, Android, iOS | Free version: Free plan | Best for: Saving money

Easy to use 
Clear interface 
Advanced features for free
No Windows or Mac app

nTask 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 project management software

Teamwork Projects is the ultimate productivity tool to manage projects with your team

06. Teamwork Projects

Project management software with good app integrations.

Platform: Android, iOS, browser | Free version : Free plan or 30-day trial of premium version | Best for: Flexible project management

Integrated calendar 
Gantt chart reports 
Good app integrations 
Can’t mark up PDFs or images

Teamwork Projects 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.

Resource Guru project management software

Resource Guru is a cloud-based team calendar that makes scheduling people easy

07. Resource Guru

Project management software focused on resource management.

Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browser | Free version: 30-day trial | Best for: Large organisations

Streamlined interface 
Daily reminders 
Good customer support 
Lacks search functionality

Billed as the "simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources", Resource Guru 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. 

Best project management software: ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab boost advance project management features including invoicing and tracking expenses (Image credit: ActiveCollab)

08. ActiveCollab

Follow the money with this project management software.

Platform: Windows, Mac, browser | Free version: 30-day trial | Best for: Invoicing features

Invoice management 
Time tracking 
Frictionless collaboration 
Can’t turn off unwanted features

ActiveCollab 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 Projects project management software

Zoho Projects allows you to plan, coordinate and manage a project efficiently

09. Zoho Projects

Business-oriented project management software.

Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, browser | Free version: Free plan or 10-day trial of premium version | Best for: Small teams

Good free plan 
Lots of app integrations
Time tracking
Not ideal for large teams

Zoho 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 project management software

Jira made specifically for software developers to track issues and bugs and proactively resolve them

10. Jira

Project management software with strong bug tracking features.

Platform: Android, iOS, browser | Free version: 7-day free trial | Best for: Software developers

Highly customisable 
Variety of project views 
Bug tracking
Steep learning curve

Jira 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 project management software

Podio is a versatile platform for project managing, use as an intranet and CRM system

11. Podio

Flexible project management software for your business needs.

Platform: Android, iOS, browser | Free version: Free plan | Best for: Using as an intranet

Flexible system 
Customisable project templates 
Clear and logical interface 
Steep learning curve

Podio 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.

Freedcamp project management software

Organise and plan an event, project, or even a wedding using Freedcamp, all absolutely free

12. FreedCamp

Powerful free project management software.

Platform: Android, iOS, browser | Free version: Core is free | Best for: Free project management

Core product is free 
Good paid-for add-ons 
Works quickly and smoothly 
Uninspiring UI

Whatever your project may be, either setting up an event, a web project or organising a wedding, Freedcamp 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 project management software

Work smarter with Wrike, by making sure you are always on track and have the available resources

13. Wrike

Pro-level project management software with great reporting tools.

Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, browser | Free version: Free plan or 14-day free trial of premium version | Best for: Analysing projects

Analytics tools 
Proofing and feedback tools 
Free for five users 
Mobile apps are limited

Wrike 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.

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