The best project management software for designers

Being a successful creative takes time and skill, and so the last thing you want to be bogged down with is managing admin. But communicating effectively with clients and other team members is a vital part of the creative process, and one that should be managed effectively if you want to avoid potential issues. 

Whether you're working on a small or large scale project, instituting a team management software will help you become successful. Using a project management tool will help better communicate with your team and keep your clients informed. Having all your tasks laid out and assigned to the correct person will allow you to stay organised and ensure tasks are completed on time.

With a huge variety of project management applications available, here we turn a spotlight on the best ones currently on the market. In need of something a bit more creative? We've got all the best free graphic design software too. 

01. Trello

Trello project management software

Use Trello to easily display and organise your to-do lists and discussions on a visual board

Trello isn’t your average project management tool, instead this app is a free visual way to to glance at the 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.

Trello is absolutely free but also offers a gold package at $45 a year, which extends larger attachments, extra sticker packs, saved searches and more.

02. Basecamp

Basecamp project management software

Basecamp is considered the leading project management and collaboration tool available

Basecamp is the grandaddy of project management apps that boasts a simple and easy to use interface to collaborate with your team and clients. Basecamp allows you to create multiple projects and setup discussions, write to-do lists, manage files, create and share documents, and organise dates for scheduling. It is fully responsive so you can manage your projects and check statues on your mobile device on the go. 

Basecamp is free for teachers and students, but $99/mo for unlimited users and unlimited projects.

03. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects project management software

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

Teamwork Projects is the ultimate productivity tool to manage projects with your team. Teamwork allows you to keep all your projects, tasks and files all in one place and easily collaborate with a team. It helps you to visualise the entire project through a marked calendar and gantt chart and setup reporting.

Teamwork 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 at free and range up to $15 for premium.

04. Resource Guru

Resource Guru project management software

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

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/month. 

05. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab project management software

ActiveCollab boost advance project management features including invoicing and tracking expenses

ActiveCollab is now a more powerful and focused project management tool. It offers team collaborating features, task management, time tracking and importing expenses. One of the biggest asset of ActiveCollab is it offers invoicing features. You are able to track payments and expenses and have invoices paid directly within ActiveCollab with PayPal, and other credit card payments.

ActiveCollab plans starts at $7 a month.

06. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects project management software

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

Zoho offers a wide range of business software including Projects. Zoho Projects is an proficient tool to project plan and project coordinator from start to finish.

It boost all the features you need for project management with some advance features including reporting, integration with Google Apps and Dropbox, bug tracking, setup Wiki Pages to build a repository of information, forums and more.

You can start Zoho Projects with a free plan and upgrade to a paid premium account starting at £20 a month.

07. Jira

Jira project management software

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

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.

Atlassian (owners of Jira) also offer other products including Confluence, a document collaboration tool, and HipChat, a team chat and video and file sharing platform. They also have other products which integrate seamlessly with Jira.

Jira starts at $10 for for 10 users a month.

08. Asana

Asana project management software

Asana is the top work tracking and project management app for teams

Asana is the easiest 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 organized, and teammates accountable so you can move work forward faster. Asana also lets you keep track of your work wherever you are with mobile apps for both iOS and Android. 

Asana is free to use for small teams. For more members and top features like custom fields, task dependencies, and advanced search, check out Asana Premium or Enterprise.

09. Podio

Podio project management software

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

Podio is a ever growing tool to organise and communication tool for any business. Podio allows you to personalise this platform to fit your business needs. Besides being able to communicate with a team, setup task management, use as a file storage system, like a traditional project management app, Podio can be 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 vary up to $24 for the full premium package.

10. Freedcamp

Freedcamp project management software

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

Whatever your project may be, either setting up an event, a web project or organising a wedding, Freedcamp helps you organise and plan effectively.

Freedcamp 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. Freedcamp provides advance add-ons for high level business use including CRM, invoicing, issue tracking and setting up wiki pages.

Freedcamp is free to start with and only add-ons are chargeable.

11. Wrike

Wrike project management software

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

Wrike is advance application to help you work smarter. By making sure you are always staying on track and ensure you have the adequate resources to finish on time and on budget.

Setting up tasks, engage your team and integrate with your business tools including Google Apps, Microsoft Excel, Dropbox and many more is so easy with Wrike. 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/mo.

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