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.
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 is our top 10 of visual project management software to choose from:
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.
The 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 has four different products for sales teams, marketers, project managers, and developers. They all include the core work operating system. It’s also suitable for operations, HR, and nonprofit organizations.
- 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
- 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.
- No built-in chat feature available.
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.
SmartTask is an all-in-one project management tool known for its simple user interface. It has extensive task and project management. Smarttask lets you create recurring tasks and set task dependencies and reminders. You can also track project milestones, auto-schedule tasks, and create portfolios.
In SmartTask, you 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.
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.
- 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
- Simple user interface with a short learning curve
- Easy onboarding and quick customer support.
- Built-in video conferencing and instant messaging features.
- Its free version offers only 100 MB of file storage.
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.
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, you can visualize progress and team performance with real-time insights. Gain 360° visibility across departments. 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.
- 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
- AI-based project risk prediction
- Pre-built workflows & 400+ app integrations
- Longer learning curve
- Expensive compared to other tools
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.
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.
- 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
- Unlimited storage in all paid plans
- Many automation options to spend less time on routine work
- Features can overwhelm you initially
- Set-up can be time-consuming and complicated
ClickUp offers a free version but with limited functionalities and storage. Its paid plans start at $9 per member per month.
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.
- 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
- Make use of automated workflows across spreadsheets
- Perform complicated calculations for projects
- Does not have many team collaboration capabilities
- A steep learning curve for beginners
Their pricing plans start from $7 per user per month. You can also try out the tool for free in the beginning.
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.
- 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
- You get unlimited free client users
- Simple and intuitive UI
- Very few integrations
- Limited functionalities in the free plan
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.
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.
- 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
- You can activate comment-only projects to avoid unwanted edits
- Turn important data into charts and other highlights
- Do not provide time tracking and has limited exporting functionality
- The number of features can overwhelm new users
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.
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.
- Board, calendar, timeline, and table views
- Assign tasks, track feedback, and manage deadlines
- No-code automation
- Custom fields
- Analytics and reporting
- File management
- 1000+ native and Zapier integrations
- You can get intelligent automation tips based on your repetitive actions
- Many add-ons called Powerups add more functionalities to your board
- Lack of in-built time tracking features
- Not suitable for complex projects
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
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.
- 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
- Have timesheet entries for employees and projects
- Have various automation capabilities
- Lacks exporting functionalities
- Difficulty in customizing projects
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.
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.
- 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
- Access to professional Gantt chart templates
- Easy to use and an intuitive interface
- No customizable dashboards
- No free plan and a little on the expensive side
GanttPRO pricing tiers start from $7.99 per user per month when billed yearly.
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.
- 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
- Invite guests to edit and comment
- A lot of storage in paid plans
- Initial set-up takes time
- Does not have many integrations
Notion has a free plan for individuals. While its paid plans start from $4 per user per month when billed yearly.
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.
- Visualize data in Timeline, Board, Gantt, Grid, Gallery, and Form views
- Trigger and action logic for automation
- Merge data from different sources
- Customizable dashboards
- Reporting capabilities
- Design custom interfaces
- Integrations with 1000+ websites and tools
- Advanced data management and processing
- Various templates for many project types
- Knowing how to make use of scripts, integrations, and compatible apps take time
- Pricier as compared to the other project management apps
The paid plans start from $10 per user per month when billed yearly. It also has a free plan but with limited features.
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.
- To-do lists
- Message boards
- Document and file storage
- Set up schedules
- Check-in questions
- Group chat
- Email forwards
- The ability to create “Hill Charts” to see progress over time
- Embed tweets, YouTube videos, and much more in messages or comments
- Expensive for SMBs
It has a flat pricing model of $99 per month for businesses. But for personal use, it offers a free plan with limited features.
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. jira was once popular with Developers. With reports and insights, you can track project success and ensure teams are up to date.
- Scrum and Kanban boards
- Reports and insights
- Customizable workflows
- Drag and drop automation
- Integrations with 3000+ apps
- Easy customization and integration with multiple apps
- Great for agile teams to keep development on track
- Complicated user interface
- No built-in team collaboration features
Jira provides a free plan for teams with up to 10 users. While its paid plans start from $7.50 per user per month.
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.
- 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
- Enable read-only options for certain users and guests
- Short learning curve
- Too pricey as compared to other tools
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:
- Software development
- Event planning
- Consulting agencies
- Design and creative teams
Here’s a list of a few tools that are great for Gantt charts:
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.
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.
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.
The best project management software are Monday and ClickUp. Wrike, Asana, Trello, and SmartTask are also worth a try. The best PM software for agencies & professional service providers are Teamwork and Wrike. Here are some of our recommendations based on specific features:
- Best overall project management software – Monday, ClickUp
- 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