The year is 2021. You’re organized, crossing items off your to-do list regularly, and are leaving the office (or closing your laptop in your living room) before 6 PM every day. Not your reality yet? No problem. It may seem hard to maximize productivity with so many people working remotely, but you know what they say– never say never. With the right project management software, you can revolutionize the way you and your team manage projects.
What Is Project Management?
The concept of project management has been around since the early 20th century with the introduction of Henry Gantt’s Gantt charts. But over the last decade however, project management technology has brought this concept to the forefront like never before. So what actually is project management? A “project” is defined by the Project Management Institute as a temporary, unique undertaking that has “specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal,” and often involves diverse groups working together.
The project is then “managed” through the “application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” The project management life cycle is divided into 5 phases: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing. The main goal of this entire process is efficient, quality completion.
Benefits Of Project Management Software
Overall, project management software benefits businesses by tracking the progress of projects, campaigns, resources, allocation, and tasks across an organization. With a project management software, project managers and team operations leads can better understand how organizations and teams are pacing, and help keep teams on the same page.
Without a project management tool in 2020, teams have struggled to keep tabs of all remote work and project updates, as we’re no longer meeting in person. That’s why project management software is more critical in 2020 than ever before. Here are a few additional benefits of using project management software:
- Enhances communication and builds teamwork across an organization
- Allows leadership to have a macro-level view of project progress
- Helps teams keep tasks in perspective and understand priorities
- Assists in controlling costs and managing budget
- Helps with resource allocation and prevents team-wide burnout
38 Best Project Management Software Programs
There are countless project management tools and productivity apps to help you hone in on tasks and projects like a pro. To help you make sense of it all, we’ve rounded up over 30 of the best project management softwares to get you just a little bit closer to total productivity paradise.
Hive is a comprehensive, all-in-one project and campaign management tool — the only tool you need to open in the morning to get your work done. Hive takes project management to the next level with native chat, native email, over 1,000 integrations and flexible project views, which include Gantt, Kanban, calendar, portfolio and table view.
The building blocks of Hive are action cards, which exist inside of larger projects. Inside these action cards, teams can upload files, provide feedback with proofing and approvals, tag each other, or provide general commentary. Teams at all-star companies like Starbucks, Comcast, and Google work in Hive, which is why it’s on the list of best project management softwares. Learn more about all of Hive’s features here.
Cost: Free 14-day trial with plans starting at $12 per user, per month. Sign up for a free trial here.
Trello is a great option for small teams or individuals looking to utilize a simple project management tool. The tool is Kanban board-based, which is a project management methodology started by an industrial engineer in the 40s. Cards are the basics of Trello, which you can organize into different phases on the board.
You can also color-code and attach images or files to the cards, and invite team members to collaborate on a board with you for a more interactive experience. One major negative with Trello is that each board only corresponds to one project, so if you want to create two bigger projects, you need to make two boards.
Cost: Free for basic, or $9.99 per user for Business Class monthly
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Trello alternative
Asana is a user-friendly project management tool that can easily manage small and larger projects, which is why it’s part of our list of best project management softwares. The software is designed around tasks and subtasks arranged into different sections that can be assigned to either an individual or teams.
For each task, the project manager and the rest of the team can communicate in the same place, keeping collaboration for each project at a central, easy to access location.
Cost: Free for basic, premium for $13.49 per user per month, $30.49 per user for the business plan
Comparison: Learn about Hive as an Asana alternative
Basecamp is a cloud-based tool with lots of features for individuals, project managers or even marketing teams that enables collaboration on tasks. Some of the features include to-do lists for tasks, which can be assigned to different users, and tasks that the system will automatically follow up on when the due date lapses.
It also has a real-time group chat feature and a tool that enables the client to view the progress of the project. As with the majority of services on this list, Basecamp can also be integrated with other products for reporting, analysis, and time tracking, among other features. Aside from its cloud-based solution, Basecamp can be integrated with iOS, Android, Mac, and PC.
Cost: Basecamp’s personal package is free for personal use. Business plans start at $99 monthly for unlimited users and projects.
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Basecamp alternative
Workfront is a highly customizable tool that helps users to manage their projects, which is why it’s one of our picks for best project management software. Features include setting up priorities for tasks, assigning them to specific team members, managing an entire project, and reviewing its progress. Besides automating the whole workflow, this top project management software also provides a centralized platform for digital collaboration and integration with various other services.
Workfront also delivers powerful tool integrations to help your team take their tech stack to the next level.
Cost: Workfront has four pricing plans — you must request a quote for each plan.
Smartsheet is a project management software that is based on a table view, which looks similar to an Excel spreadsheet. This tool is cloud-based, and also allows users to switch between a few other data visualization views.
Smartsheet also has work automation flows that help you reduce manual tasks and automate recurring actions, which helps take over some of the more mundane day-to-day work.
Cost: Contact sales for pricing information on both their enterprise and premier plans.
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Smartsheet alternative
Wrike is a powerful project management tool best for creating custom team workflows. From there, you can easily set a timeline, create interactive charts like Gantt view, and easily visualize tasks and next steps. Wrike also allows you to analyze performance with their real-time report building feature.
Cost: There is a free pricing plan for up to 5 users, and paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month.
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Wrike alternative
Jira is a bug-tracking and agile project management tool that started as a software primarily used by engineering and development teams. Currently, it’s used by a variety of teams all over the world, but it’s roots remain in the issue/bug tracking, agile software development, and test case management spaces.
Some of the features of Jira include customizable scrum boards, roadmaps to sketch out plans and individual team actions, as well as flexible Kanban boards that help visually manage issues.
Cost: Pricing for Jira starts at $10 per user per month.
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Jira alternative
Monday is a simple project management tool that helps teams visually organize tasks and projects. Projects are managed via one central board, which serves as the hub for each project and reflects changes made on a task-by-task basis. Boards are also customizable — you can add new columns to see data on hours spent, status, and location.
This project management software also has views including workload view, where you can see pending tasks by individual, timeline, where you can plan work out by due date, and charts, where you can review team efforts and outcomes.
Cost: Pricing starts at $39/month for the first five users billed annually.
Comparison: Learn about Hive as a Monday alternative
Zoho is a web-based CRM suite that is best used to manage leads, purchases and pipelines. Among the tools in its arsenal are automated tasks like account management, lead tracking, prospect tracking and other sales tasks. Zoho also has a native chatroom that can either be private or public, and the ability to track the time spent on projects.
The tool also has features outside of the project management and marketing scope, including HR and finance management.
Cost: Zoho has basic plans that start at $10 per user per month.
LiquidPlanner project management software is a fusion of traditional PM and time-tracking. One of its most unique features is that it updates and shifts due dates and projects when resources per project change. This helps you manage expectations around when a project can be completed or when milestones can be hit based on workload.
LiquidPlanner also has a great resourcing feature that clearly shows how many available hours an employee has per week, as well as a helpful budgeting feature.
Cost: Starts at $39 per user per month, billed annually.
ClickUp is a project management software with customizable views, including list view, board view (similar to Kanban view), box view (which breaks out individual workload), and calendar view (sorts actions by due date). With ClickUp, users can work towards Goals, which are the users “mission control center.”
Other features include a 2-way calendar sync and time-tracking integrations with Toggl.
Cost: ClickUp is free up to 100MB of data. After that, pricing starts at $5 per user per month billed annually.
Airtable is a high-powered spreadsheet in which you can list tasks, projects, and store files. Within the spreadsheet, you can attach a variety of items, including images, links to other tasks, and assignees. Airtable also has other views aside from the spreadsheet/table view, which include calendar view, Kanban view, and gallery view. This tool is one of the best project management softwares if you’re primarily used to working in Excel or Google Sheets.
For project management on-the-go, Airtable also has a great mobile app available on iOS and Android app stores.
Cost: There is a free version of Airtable, and paid plans start at $10 per user per month billed annually.
Mavenlink was built specifically for the operational and financial sides of service businesses. This project management software serves as the “Operational Service of Record” for service businesses and connects whole organizations with ease. Within the tool, there are several different functions including traditional project management, resource management, and business accounting, which help unite multiple people working on a specific project.
Mavenlink’s resourcing and budgeting tools are particularly useful, as they help increase overall financial visibility within an organization.
Cost: Pricing starts at $19 per month for a group of five users.
MeisterTask is another Kanban-based tool (like Trello) that helps you sort projects and tasks within a larger team. Compared to other project management tools on the market, MeisterTask’s offerings are much more streamlined and tailored.
This tool also has pre-made workflows that can help you make the most of the tool. Alternatively, you can design your own custom workflow for your team.
Cost: MeisterTask has a free version, but the paid version starts at $8.25 per user per month.
Float is specifically made for resource scheduling and multi-project planning across a team. This app is ideal if you want a general overview of team workload and want to know which tasks are taking up the most time. Agencies and other project-based organizations love Float because it allows them to track across multiple clients and better understand bandwidth.
Tools like Float also protect against burnout and high team turnover because managers have a better grasp of who is overworked and can take actionable next steps to combat this.
Cost: Float costs $5 per scheduled person per month, and comes with a 30 day free trial of the tool.
ProofHub lets teams collaborate, organize and deliver on projects across an organization. Users can assign specific tasks to individuals, which can have a breakdown of deadlines and recur at a determined frequency. ProofHub has several views including Gantt, Kanban and calendar view, and is also a central place to store files related to all of your projects.
This tool also has chat, a proofing capability, timesheets and reporting to better equip teams with all of the tools they need to collaborate.
Cost: ProofHub starts at $89 per month billed annually for up to 100MB of storage (unlimited projects and users).
As the name suggests, GanttPro is one of the best project management softwares based on Gantt charts. With GanttPro, users can plan projects with interactive Gantt charts, split projects out into tasks, milestones and subtasks, and set a specific timeline with resources allocated. GanttPro also allows users to measure out team resources, availability, and estimate project costs.
Cost: Pricing starts at $15 per user per month for one user.
Scoro is a complex project management software built to help teams manage tasks and reporting. Tasks can be tracked and divided into subtasks, assigned to individuals, and have deadlines and milestones attributed to them. Scoro is also great if you send invoices — the tool lets you send quotes and bills with ease via the app itself.
This tool also contains thorough reporting functionalities that let you view project status reports, unscheduled time, and projects by accounts.
Cost: Pricing starts at $26 per user per month.
Proggio is a collaborative solution for project and portfolio management that has a range of features including high-level portfolio monitoring, Kanban and list views, a mobile app, and a robust Jira integration. The Jira integration helps teams connect with their coworkers in the development and software space, which is great for teams across many organizations. In Proggio, you can also sort tasks by “My Tasks,” “Assigned by Me,” “By Projects,” and “My Team,” which helps sort and filter to-dos.
Cost: Proggio costs $19 per user per month for 5-20 users.
FunctionFox project management software is rooted in tasks, timesheets and budgeting functionalities that make it easy to view the full scope of a project via the app. FunctionFox caters specifically to creative professionals, and those who work in a project-based space. The tool also allows for detailed reporting and has a view called CEO Desktop, which provides a graphical representation of projects alongside estimated hours they will take.
Cost: FunctionFox Classic starts at $5 per month per user.
Timecamp is unique because there are plenty of project management softwares on the market, but most of them don’t give your team an hours logging feature. If you’re in the market for time tracking, Timecamp is a great tool as it offers automatic time tracking that works in the background and logs time for projects seamlessly.
The tool’s unique project structure allows you to create or import as many projects as you need, track time for them, and then analyze the reports to figure out how the team is performing.
Cost: Timecamp offers a free plan for single users and paid plans that start at $5.25
Workzone is a customizable project management software that helps bring all relevant information together for teams to collaborate at macro and micro levels. Within Workzone, you can access things like “Project Dashboard,” pictured above, which is a big picture view of where all projects stand across an organization. You can also drill down into “To-Do Lists” which are created for each individual user and emailed to them.
This tool also offers features like templates, Gantt charts, dependencies, and request forms.
Cost: Enterprise costs $43/user per month.
Paymo is a tool built to help teams work together and stay on task. One of the main selling points of Paymo, and what makes it one of the best project management softwares, is that it lets you manage tasks, create team schedules, and track work time in one cohesive platform. This tool will primarily be useful if you’re doing project-based work, say at an agency or creative organization, and want to track time spent across specific tasks and projects.
Paymo also allows you to create invoices from the app, and has tons of integrations with software like Google, Slack and Quickbooks.
Cost: Paymo’s business plan starts at $14.25 per user per month.
Forecast is an intelligent automation platform that helps teams run project from start to finish. They use AI to help plan out project duration and scope, allocating resources and teammates to each project with a few clicks. Forecast also has a great resource utilization functionality, which can help teams understand where individuals are over or underutilized across the team.
Cost: Forecast’s pro plan starts at $49 per user per month.
Teamwork is on our list of best project management softwares because it is a tool built specifically for PMOs.Teamwork helps with task management, time tracking, resource management and reporting, all of which are crucial for PMOs. Other features in this app include templates, which you can apply at the project level, messaging and chat, which helps teams stay connected, and Gantt view, which helps teams track progress over time.
Cost: Teamwork’s premium plan starts at $18 per user per month.
Celoxis is a project management tool built to help teams run smooth workflows and track resources. It’s included in our list of best project management softwares because it helps teams with project request tracking, project planning, resource management, accounting, and portfolio management. This tool also has a client portal for anyone working with a client that you want to give partial access to.
Cost: Celoxis starts at $25 per user per month billed monthly.
If you’re working on multiple projects across a large team, Kintone could be the project management software for you. In this app, users can automate workflows, view status of in-progress projects, be notified with reminders when things are due, and prioritize or filter tasks. Kintone also has a range of apps and add ons that you can pair with tools like Box, Domo, Dropbox and Eventbrite.
Cost: Kintone’s professional subscription starts at $24 per user per month.
One of TeamGantt’s biggest advantages is that it’s an easy-to-use product that is great for beginners, or those who might not have had extensive experience with project management software in the past. As the name suggests, this tool is Gantt-heavy, which gives teams an easy and straightforward was to manage projects. With TeamGantt’s Gantt charts, you can plan, schedule and manage Gantt charts. Plus, the software is free.
Cost: TeamGantt’s basic plan is free.
As a project and portfolio management solution, Clarizen is an enterprise-level tool that helps teams all over the world simplify work and accomplish their goals. A few things that Clarizen can help with include: sharing goals across an organization so people understand macro-level decision-making, merging different work styles into one comprehensive framework, and increasing speed with which teammates can communicate.
Cost: Clarizen’s professional plan starts at $30 per user per month.
Ravetree is your hub for storing all project information, budgeting, files, client information, and more. With this tool, you can manage projects via agile and waterfall methods, as well as create multi-level approval flows for creative assets, track times and expenses, and use Ravetree’s integrated CRM. With Ravetree, you can also give clients access to your project progress and campaigns with the client portal.
Cost: Ravetree’s pricing starts at $39 per user per month when billed monthly.
Quickbase is a customizable collaboration and project management software that allows teams to work cohesively together, track time, and manage tasks seamlessly. Quickbase helps to streamline overall processes for teams of all sizes, driving insights and agility across the board. A few great features of Quickbase include low-code development, integration and workflow orchestration, and continuous deployment.
Cost: Quickbase starts at $500/month for the premier option.
Backlog is a project management software built for all types of teams to help them organize and streamline work. In Backlog, you can organize projects by Gantt and Kanban view, create and assign tasks to teammates from anywhere in the world, and track issues in a way that’s easy for non-technical teams.
Cost: Backlog starts at $35 per month for 30 users and 5 projects.
Robohead is a project management software built for creative teams and agencies. This tool allows you to manage creative projects from inception to completion with a variety of features including request forms, conditional logic, approvals, templates, flexible projects views, and more.
Cost: Robohead pricing is available by request only.
Freedcamp is an intelligent project management software that teams can use for free. In Freedcamp, teams can view tasks and projects in Gantt, Kanban, calendar, task or list view, and track time, issues, and milestones across the organization.
Cost: Freedcamp’s business plan starts at $7.49 per user per month for business users.
Planview is a project and portfolio management software with five different offshoots including Planview Enterprise One, Planview LeanKit, and Planview Projectplace. With their wide array of solutions, your team can find the perfect fit for strategic planning, enterprise agile planning, work management, or agile program management.
Cost: Planview pricing is available if you reach out to their team.
nTask is a platform that teams rely on to get their work done faster. With features like Gantt charts, dependencies, and milestones for task tracking, nTask makes it easy to plan and oversee all projects. They’ve also got some great meeting features, which include the ability to create an agenda, write out discussion points, sync recurring meetings, and slot out follow-up actions.
Cost: nTask premium starts at $2.99 per user per month.
Notion is a great all-in-one project management software that helps your team collaborate, plan for the future, and stay organized in the present. Notion is broken up into three parts — the team Wiki, where information can be stored and recorded; projects and tasks, where teammates can record individual tasks or assign to teammates; notes and docs, where teams can share meeting notes or relevant documents.
Cost: Notion’s team package costs $8 per user per month.
Yodiz is a popular tool among teams who really want to lean into Agile and Scrum methodologies. With Yodiz, teams can track, plan, and garner smart insights throughout their project and campaign lifecycle. A few of this tool’s features include team planning, which helps you get an idea of team capacity and capability, delivery tracking, which lets teams set goals and track them with powerful dashboards, and analytics, which allow teams to track performance metrics.
Cost: Yodiz’ agile tool starts at $5 per user per month.
Nifty is a great project management software if you’re in the market for an intuitive, easy-to-use tool for individual or team work. Within the app, you can modernize and centralize work operations, and find one central tool for your team to work from. Nifty lets you manage full projects, campaigns and individual tasks in views like Kanban or Gantt, which can be organized by milestone.
Cost: Pricing starts at $39 per month for a team of 10.
Are there any project management softwares or tools you love that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments below We want to hear from you! And if you’re looking to learn more about project management, check out these free and paid project management courses.