The 15 Best Free Project Management Software for 2022

Ineffective project management leads to 12% resource waste. One reason is that only 1 in 4 organizations use project management software.

Project management software helps you plan, visualize, and track projects. It lets you manage resources, distribute tasks, and collaborate with teammates. It helps your team succeed with projects from start to end.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin. Is not having project management software bad for your business?

Yes. Because it will lead to too much back-and-forth communication leading to errors. Tracking resources and projects aren’t possible. You can’t quickly check important due dates, pending tasks, etc.

That’s why we’ve created a list of the 15 best project management apps. This post will help you choose your business’s best project management tool.

15 Best Visual Project Management Software

The best project management software has a good visual interface that helps you easily manage daily responsibilities. This makes sure that a delay in some tasks is going to impact crucial deliverables for your project. In this case, a visual project management software will notify you by displaying the issue on a real-time dashboard.

Here are 15 visual project management software to choose from:

  1. Monday.com
  2. SmartTask
  3. Wrike
  4. ClickUp
  5. Smartsheet
  6. Teamwork
  7. Asana
  8. Trello
  9. Zoho Projects
  10. GanttPRO
  11. Notion
  12. Airtable
  13. Basecamp
  14. Jira
  15. TeamGantt

1. Monday.com

Monday.com project & campaign management tool

Monday is a complete work operating system built to manage projects and campaigns. It’s one of the most popular project management apps out there. It centralizes all your work, processes, apps, and files into one place.

Its core platform offers boards, different views to plan work, docs, and dashboards. You can also automate workflows and connect your favorite tools with integrations.

Monday offers four different products for sales teams, marketers, project managers, and developers. All these include its core work operating system. It’s also suitable for operations, HR, and nonprofit organizations.

Key Features

  • Visual boards to manage campaigns, projects, and teams
  • Plan your work in Kanban Board, Calendar, Gantt Chart, and Timeline views
  • Custom dashboards to keep track of progress, timelines, and budgets
  • Save time with code-free automation
  • Create docs and collaborate with teammates
  • Organize and share files
  • Integrates with Slack, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, and over other 40 apps

Pros

  • The UI is simple, flexible, and easy to use.
  • Organize all your work processes and projects in one location.
  • Offers 200+ ready-made templates and workflows to get started.

Cons

  • No in-built chat feature is available for communication.

Pricing
Monday offers a free version with limited features for up to 2 users. Its paid plans start at $8 per user per month when billed yearly.

Get started with Monday.com for free

2. SmartTask

SmartTask content calendar interface project management tool

SmartTask is an all-in-one project management tool known for its simple user interface. It has extensive task and project management capabilities. It lets you create recurring tasks and set task dependencies and reminders. You can also track project milestones, auto-schedule tasks, and create portfolios.

Manage tasks and projects the way you want with list, board, calendar, and timeline views. Time tracking lets you stay on top of tasks and help you estimate the budget for the project. SmartTask also has built-in video conferencing and instant messaging capabilities.

You can even create customizable project status dashboards to monitor and track projects. SmartTask offers templates for marketing, operations, engineering, and HR teams. It also integrates with Zapier, Integromat, Slack, and 1000+ other applications. 

Key Features

  • Create tasks & subtasks, set task dependencies, and reminders
  • Manage your projects in the List, Board, Calendar, and Timeline views
  • Track project milestones and auto-schedule tasks
  • Manage multiple projects with the portfolio view
  • Allocate resources with the workload view
  • Invite external collaborators as guest users
  • Offers chat, news feeds, video conferencing, and file sharing features
  • Sales CRM with call tracking & analytics
  • Integrates with Zapier, Integromat, and 1000+ other applications

Pros

  • Simple user interface with a short learning curve
  • Easy onboarding and quick customer support.
  • Built-in video conferencing and instant messaging features.

Cons

  • Its free version offers only 100 MB of file storage.

Pricing 
SmartTask offers a free forever version for unlimited projects, tasks, users, and contacts. Its paid plans start at $5 per user per month when you pay for the yearly plan.

3. Wrike

Wrike cloud-based project management Kanban project

Wrike is a cloud-based intelligent work management platform built for modern teams. It offers classic project management views such as List, Kanban board, and Gantt chart.

Thanks to customizable dashboards which help you gain 360° visibility across departments. You can visualize progress and team performance with real-time insights. Also, visual proofing and automated approvals help shorten the feedback loop.

Wrike offers pre-built workflows for projects like onboarding, event management, and creative development. It suits creatives, consultants, professional services, IT, engineering, and marketing teams. 

Key Features

  • Online to-do list for work
  • Interactive Gantt charts & Kanban boards to visualize plans
  • Visual proofing and digital publishing
  • Shared team calendars
  • Project portfolio management
  • Track time manually or with a timer
  • Advanced analytics to visualize progress in real-time
  • Invoicing and billing
  • Resource management

Pros

  • AI-based project risk prediction
  • Pre-built workflows & 400+ app integrations

Cons

  • Longer learning curve
  • Expensive compared to other tools

Pricing
Wrike offers a free version with limited capabilities. Its paid plans start at $9.80 per user/month. It also offers custom-built products for marketing, creative, and service delivery teams.

Try Wrike for free here

4. ClickUp

ClickUp visual project management software platform

ClickUp is a feature-rich, all-in-one visual project management software. It lets you plan projects, schedule tasks, and collaborate with your teammates. You can manage work with 15 views such as List, Gantt, Box, Board, Calendar, and more. You can even create your workflow with its customizable views.

It’s best used for teams that use Scrum and Agile frameworks. This makes it ideal for product development, sales, and marketing teams. 

You can also use it for collaborating on documents, leaving comments and assigning them for quick action.

Key Features

  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Set priorities and task dependencies
  • Collaboration features such as shared docs and instant messaging
  • Mind maps for project planning
  • Collaborate on team ideas with whiteboards
  • Checklists to break down larger tasks
  • Workload and capacity management
  • Activity reports
  • Time tracking and reporting
  • Integrations with 1000+ tools

Pros

  • Unlimited storage in all paid plans
  • Many automation options to spend less time on routine work

Cons

  • Features can overwhelm you initially
  • Set-up can be time-consuming and complicated

Pricing 
ClickUp offers a free version but with limited functionalities and storage. Its paid plans start at $9 per member per month.

Sign up to ClickUp for free here

5. Smartsheet

Smartsheet project management spreadsheet tool

Smartsheet isn’t your typical project management software. It’s a spreadsheet-like tool that helps you automate workflows. It also helps visualize tasks in different views and make sense of complicated data.

It’s the perfect tool for users who need a break from complicated formulas in Excel. Smartsheet takes care of all these complicated calculations across various sheets.

You can also set automated alerts and reminders to keep everyone aligned on your team.

Key Features

  • Workflow automation
  • Use spreadsheet functionalities such as tracking expenses and creating forms
  • Visualize projects with Gantt, Grid, and Calendar views
  • Use drop-down menus to create checklists
  • Add custom fields to tasks
  • Manage resources across multiple projects
  • Digital asset management
  • Customizable project status dashboards
  • Analytics and reporting functionalities
  • Integrations with over 70 tools

Pros

  • Make use of automated workflows across spreadsheets
  • Perform complicated calculations for projects

Cons

  • Does not have many team collaboration capabilities
  • A steep learning curve for beginners

Pricing 
Their pricing plans start from $7 per user per month. You can also try out the tool for free in the beginning.

Try Smartsheet for free today

6. Teamwork

Teamwork agencies project & task management software

Teamwork is an ideal project management software for agencies and professional service providers. It has client access controls that allow clients to collaborate on projects.

It offers billing & invoicing functionalities, multiple views, and a collaborative document editor. You can also track employees’ time and workload.

Project status updates provide an overview of project progress and pending tasks.

Key Features

  • Visualize project tasks with Kanban board and Gantt-style views
  • Tasks & Subtasks
  • Time tracking
  • Resource management
  • Budgeting, billing, and invoicing
  • Pre-built templates and time estimation
  • Guest access for clients
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Portfolio management
  • Workload management

Pros

  • You get unlimited free client users
  • Simple and intuitive UI

Cons

  • Very few integrations
  • Limited functionalities in the free plan

Pricing 
Teamwork offers a free forever plan that has basic features. Its paid plans start from $10 per user per month for 3 users when you pay for the yearly plan.

Get started with Teamwork for free here

7. Asana

Asana task list interface project management software

Asana is one of the most popular visual project management software. It emphasizes boosting productivity and tracking important project variables.

It offers four project views, including the list, board, timeline, and calendar view. Core project management capabilities include tasks, subtasks, milestones, dependencies, custom fields, and forms. Also offers communication features such as private messaging and task comments.

Its tracking functionality makes sure you can see who is working on what. This ensures that projects are running on time.

Key Features

  • Set dependencies and milestones
  • Group tasks into sections
  • Use rules to automate actions
  • Share project overview 
  • Portfolio and workload management
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Collaborate with guests
  • Thousands of native and Zapier integrations

Pros

  • You can activate comment-only projects to avoid unwanted edits
  • Turn important data into charts and other highlights

Cons

  • Do not provide time tracking and has limited exporting functionality
  • The number of features can overwhelm new users

Pricing  
Asana has a free forever version, while its pricing tiers start from $10.99 per user per month when you pay for the yearly plan.

Try Asana for free here

8. Trello

Trello Kanban-style project tracking with single view

Are you looking for a simple Kanban-style project management tool? If yes, then Trello is your go-to application. It also has different views like Timeline, Table, Calendar, and Map.

Like other tools, you can assign tasks, set deadlines, attach files, and comment on task cards.

You can even automate processes or tasks in your projects by creating rules in Trello. But it doesn’t have in-built time tracking capability. You need to rely on third-party apps to track time in Trello

Key Features

  • Board, calendar, timeline, and table views
  • Assign tasks, track feedback, and manage deadlines
  • Dashboards
  • No-code automation
  • Custom fields
  • Analytics and reporting
  • File management
  • 1000+ native and Zapier integrations

Pros

  • You can get intelligent automation tips based on your repetitive actions
  • Many add-ons called Powerups add more functionalities to your board

Cons

  • Lack of in-built time tracking features
  • Not suitable for complex projects

Pricing 
Trello offers a free plan that provides you with up to 10 boards. Its pricing tiers start from $5 per user per month when billed yearly.

9. Zoho Projects

Zoho project dashboard project management software

With Zoho Projects, you can plan, organize, and collaborate on projects. It has features such as forums, feeds, and discussions that draw its inspiration from social networking sites.

It has a Gantt chart that helps you break down large projects and plan these projects in detail. You can also use this chart for resource allocation and workload management. 

Key Features

  • Break your projects down into tasks, subtasks, and milestones
  • Visualize tasks in the list, board, and Gantt chart views
  • Project baseline, sprint, and portfolio dashboard
  • Custom fields, layouts, and views
  • Chats, forums, mentions, and feeds 
  • Automation features
  • Timesheet, timer, invoicing, and budgeting
  • Charts and reports
  • Many third-party integrations

Pros

  • Have timesheet entries for employees and projects
  • Have various automation capabilities

Cons

  • Lacks exporting functionalities
  • Difficulty in customizing projects

Pricing 
Zoho Projects pricing tiers start from $5 per user per month. You can get started for free for up to 3 users that provide the basic functionalities.

Sign up to Zoho Projects for free here

10. GanttPRO

GanttPRO project planner Gantt chart interface

GanttPRO, as the name suggests, uses Gantt charts to plan and schedule projects. With Gantt charts, you can break down projects into sub-projects and sub-tasks. It lets you visualize the project schedule and set dependencies. You can even compare the current status with the planned schedule using the project baseline.

It also has many task management features. These include priorities, statuses, assignees, dates and deadlines, comments, mentions, and task attachments.

GanttPRO does a great job of tracking dependencies, tasks, and resources.

Key Features

  • Gantt chart, grid, board, and portfolio views
  • Auto scheduling and task hierarchy
  • Milestones and dependencies
  • Task management
  • Comments and mentions
  • Project baseline
  • Critical path and project health
  • Workload management
  • Time management
  • Budget tracking

Pros

  • Access to professional Gantt chart templates
  • Easy to use and an intuitive interface 

Cons

  • No customizable dashboards
  • No free plan and a little on the expensive side

Pricing  
GanttPRO pricing tiers start from $7.99 per user per month when billed yearly.

11. Notion

Notion project management note-taking platform

Notion is a project management as well as a note-taking platform. It’s built for creatives, designers, and marketers. It lets you create databases, wikis, docs, and notes. 

You can create customizable databases for your projects. Visualize databases in the table, list, calendar, board, timeline, and gallery views. Also, everything in Notion is in page and block format. Blocks are pieces of content you can add to a page. It can be a paragraph, a to-do item, an image, or an embedded file.

Freelancers can use it to invite their clients to review, comment or edit content pieces. Also, they can use this platform to showcase portfolio, resume, and pricing structure.

Besides content creators, product, design, and engineering teams also use Notion.

Key Features

  • Visualize data with the table, list, calendar, board, gallery, and timeline views 
  • Wikis, docs, and notes
  • 40+ block content types
  • 50+ starter templates
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Invite guests on individual pages
  • Custom API and native integrations

Pros

  • Invite guests to edit and comment
  • A lot of storage in paid plans

Cons

  • Initial set-up takes time
  • Does not have many integrations

Pricing 
Notion has a free plan for individuals. While its paid plans start from $4 per user per month when billed yearly. 

12. Airtable

Airtable customizable project tracker management tool

If you use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to manage your projects, Airtable can be your go-to project management tool. While it’s famous for its spreadsheet-like interface, it also has other project views. These views are Calendar, Grid, Kanban, and Timeline views.

It integrates with many tools so you can collect data from different tools and run it in Airtable. Apart from that, it has smart filtering and sorting capabilities as well. It also automates workflows and has drag-and-drop features.

Overall, it’s a very customizable visual project management software. It uses pivot tables, flow charts, and other tools to showcase your project’s progress.

Key Features

  • Visualize data in Timeline, Board, Gantt, Grid, Gallery, and Form views
  • Trigger and action logic for automation
  • Extend logic with Javascript
  • Merge data from different sources
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Design custom interfaces
  • Integrations with 1000+ websites and tools

Pros

  • Advanced data management and processing
  • Various templates for many project types

Cons

  • Knowing how to make use of scripts, integrations, and compatible apps take time
  • Pricier as compared to the other project management apps

Pricing  
The paid plans start from $10 per user per month when billed yearly. It also has a free plan but with limited features.

13. Basecamp

Basecamp To-do tool project management software

Basecamp is a project management and team communication software built for remote project teams. It offers many unique features, such as setting up a schedule, so you only get notifications during work hours. You can also set up automated check-in questions to get updates on what everyone is doing.

Basecamp can help you save and track client feedback and approvals and create group chats with clients. You can even share reports on how projects are going.

You can use Basecamp’s activity view to see everything that’s going on in a project. It can be overdue tasks, tasks that will be due soon, upcoming milestones, etc.

Key Features

  • To-do lists
  • Message boards
  • Document and file storage
  • Set up schedules
  • Check-in questions
  • Group chat
  • Reporting
  • Email forwards

Pros

  • The ability to create “Hill Charts” to see progress over time
  • Embed tweets, YouTube videos, and much more in messages or comments

Cons

  • Expensive for SMBs

Pricing  
It has a flat pricing model of $99 per month for businesses. But for personal use, it offers a free plan with limited features.

14. Jira

Jira project tracking board for software development teams

Jira is an issue and project tracking software built for software development teams. It offers both Scrum and Kanban boards to manage your projects and day-to-day tasks. It also offers roadmaps that give teams the full visibility to make quick decisions.

With its detailed reports and insights, you can always track your project success and ensure teams are up to date.

Key Features

  • Scrum and Kanban boards
  • Roadmaps
  • Reports and insights
  • Customizable workflows
  • Drag and drop automation
  • Integrations with 3000+ apps

Pros

  • Easy customization and integration with multiple apps
  • Great for agile teams to keep development on track

Cons

  • Complicated user interface
  • No built-in team collaboration features

Pricing 
Jira provides a free plan for teams with up to 10 users. While its paid plans start from $7.50 per user per month.

15. TeamGantt

Gantt charts for project management

With TeamGantt, you can use Gantt charts to handle projects and teams. You can see workloads and manage resources. You can also view how your projects progress compared to the original timeline.

You can set dependencies, create subgroups and tasks, track time, and more. It also offers templates, so you don’t have to start projects from scratch. 

Key Features

  • Gantt-style view
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Workload management
  • Task management
  • Portfolio view and reports
  • Calendar and list view
  • Glance project history
  • File storage
  • Time tracking
  • Embed timelines
  • Import spreadsheets
  • Make use of filters
  • Compare project timelines

Pros

  • Enable read-only options for certain users and guests
  • Short learning curve

Cons

  • Too pricey as compared to other tools

Pricing  
TeamGantt charges only for those users that plan projects. The rest of the team can collaborate for free. For project managers, the pricing plans start from $19 per manager per month when billed yearly.

What is Project Management Software?

Project Management Software is a tool that helps in planning, organizing, scheduling, and allocating resources for projects. Here are some basic functionalities each PM software should have:

Project planning lets you break down your projects. You can set a proper schedule, project goals, milestones, and due dates to see how different project pieces fit together.

Task management helps you assign project tasks and set deadlines, priorities, and dependencies so you can see who is doing what. This makes it much easier to solve problems before they arise.

Collaboration features like tagging teammates, group chats, and individual DMs are must-haves for PM software. It avoids the risk of miscommunication and errors in your projects. 

Visual dashboards let you monitor the progress of all your projects in one place. It helps you track projects in real-time and make data-driven decisions.

Resource management helps you see who is working on what and how long. It ensures that your employees are neither underworked nor overwhelmed.

Integration with other tools removes lots of repetitive tasks, like copy-pasting. It reduces back-and-forth switching between different tools and redundant emails.

How to Choose the Right Project Management Software?

There are many project management apps out there. This is why it’s important to consider your project management needs before you make a final decision.

Do you want it only to keep track of things? Or to handle projects from start to finish?

List your needs, then you can look for specific tools that have the features you need. You should also consider the budget, file storage capacity, guest access, and integration options. Project management tools should connect and share data with CRMs, email marketing tools, marketing automation platforms, landing page builders, SMS marketing software, and other services you use. Without that, you’ll spend lots of time bouncing between tabs and copy-pasting data.

Finally, always test the tool out first with your team before you go on to buy it.

What are Gantt Charts in Project Management Software?

A Gantt chart is a tool that lets you illustrate a project plan over time. It has two sections. The left side gives you an overview of all the tasks. The right side shows a timeline with schedule bars.

A Gantt chart is generally used for the following reasons:

  • Visualize your entire project
  • See dependencies between tasks
  • Keep everyone updated
  • Use it for resource management
  • See when important meetings, deadlines, or approvals need to happen

Many companies make use of Gantt charts to plan and execute their projects. The major industries that use them are:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Software development
  • Event planning
  • Consulting agencies
  • Design and creative teams

Here’s a list of a few tools that are great for Gantt charts:

1. SmartTask

SmartTask is an all-in-one cloud-based free project management software. Its timeline view helps you create Gantt charts for your projects with ease. Here’s how the Gantt chart looks like in SmartTask.

SmartTask timeline interface project management software

2. GanttPRO

GanttPRO is an online Gantt chart software built for planning and controlling various projects at once. This feature-rich tool is known for its Gantt-style approach to project management. Here’s how a Gantt chart looks like in GanttPRO.

GanttPRO project planner Gantt chart interface

Wrapping up the best project management software

Consider this list of 15 best project management software and select the one that fits your budget, meets your expectations, and reduces manual work for your entire team.

Choosing the right project management software may take time and effort, but once you do, there’s no looking back. These platforms bring many benefits from reducing resource waste on back-and-forth communication and unnecessary meetings.

So, what are you waiting for? Choose the best project management software for your team today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is the best software for project management?

The best project management software for enterprises are Asana, Monday, and Wrike. The best project management tools for SMBs are Trello, ClickUp, and SmartTask. The best PM software for agencies & professional service providers are Teamwork and Wrike. Here are some of our recommendations based on specific features:

  • Best software for Kanban-style Project Management – Trello
  • Best PM software for spreadsheet-like interface – Airtable, Smartsheet
  • Best PM tool for software development teams – Jira
  • Best for Gantt-style Project Management – GanttPRO, TeamGantt, SmartTask
  • Best for Note-taking with Project Management – Notion

What is the most commonly used project management tool?

The most commonly used project management tools are Asana, Monday, ClickUp, and Jira. Trello is popular for kanban project management. Airtable and Smartsheet are the best tools for a spreadsheet-like feel with advanced project management features.

Is there a Google equivalent to MS Project?

No, Google doesn’t have software designed for project management. Google Sheets can be used for project management. There are lots of templates available that are built for project management, including Gantt chart templates.

What software is used to manage projects?

Project management software is used to manage projects. These tools include features like task management, collaboration, project planning, resource management, time tracking, and so on.

What is the best software to make a Gantt chart?

The best software to make a Gantt chart are GanttPRO, TeamGantt, and SmartTask.

Does Microsoft Office have a Gantt chart?

No, Microsoft Office doesn’t have a Gantt chart. But in Excel, you can create a Gantt-style chart with the help of a stacked bar chart.

Does Excel have Gantt charts?

No, Excel doesn’t have Gantt charts built-in. But you can create a Gantt chart in Excel.

What are visual project management tools?

Visual project management tools are the tools that let you visually analyze data and see how your projects are progressing. These tools also have dashboards to highlight your problems.

How do you visually organize a project?

You can visually organize a project by using different views in project management software. These include Timeline, Board, or Gantt chart views.

About Shyamal Parikh


Shyamal Parikh is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management/automation software that helps teams streamline their processes, whether sales, hiring, customer success, or projects. He actively shares strategies and techniques that improve a team’s productivity.

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