As organizations worldwide continue to adapt to an increasingly competitive landscape and a rapidly evolving business environment, the demand for effective project management solutions has never been greater.
Companies of all sizes are recognizing the need to streamline workflows, enhance collaboration and boost overall productivity. Implementing the right project management software can help businesses stay ahead of the curve by ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget and with optimal resource allocation.
Top project management software comparison
Alongside pricing, here are some of the most important features that set apart the best project management software on the market. The table below illustrates which of the top 13 project management tools include these key features.
|Multiple view types
|$8 per user per month
|$7 per user per month
|$7 per user per month
|$5.99 per user per month
|$9.80 per user per month
|$10.99 per user per month
|$5.75 per user per month
|$5 per user per month
|$5 per user per month
|$7.75 per user per month
|$10 per user per month
|$4 per month
|$10 per user per month
|$8 per user per month
|$20 per user per month
monday work management: Best for teams of all technical levels
monday work management is a reputable project management brand with a flexible platform for teams of all flavors. While initially intimidating, the monday work management interface is packed with features and offers extensive configuration management capabilities. While other solutions lean into a few views of project data, monday work management gives users the most flexibility in adding and configuring valuable visualizations.
Though I ran into hiccups using monday work management, the project management software excels in customization, giving teams the expected control to optimize workflows.
- Free trial available.
- Free: $0 for up to two seats.
- Basic: $8 per seat per month billed annually, or $10 per seat per month billed monthly.
- Standard: $10 per seat per month billed annually, or $12 per seat per month billed monthly.
- Pro: $16 per seat per month billed annually, or $20 per seat per month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
- Visualize project data through multiple tables (Figure A), kanban and dashboard views.
- Personalize colorful interfaces that bring project data to life.
- Customize and share surveys for data collection via the WorkForms tool.
- Access integrations for developers, marketing, CRM and project management.
- Utilize pre-built automation and a long list of options for creating automation rules.
- Jira Service Management.
- Clean user interface not bogged down by the platform’s extensive features.
- Robust configurations for setting the workspace and tools to team specifications.
- Designed for a multitude of use cases across industries and functions.
- An evident learning curve for new users when implementing advanced features.
- Import engine failed to pull most existing data into the platform.
- Manually inputting data to reconcile imports was the biggest pain point.
Why we chose monday work management
We chose monday work management for its outstanding versatility as project management software. It’s a powerful tool for a variety of project management use cases and offers robust features for team collaboration tools, automation features and customization.
For more information, read the full monday work management review.
Smartsheet: Best for spreadsheet lovers
Launched in 2005, Smartsheet’s project and work management platform is one of the safest bets in the project management software market. From onboarding to using the platform, I was impressed by the interface’s user-friendliness and the features’ extensibility. Smartsheet offers an upgrade from traditional tools by adding accessible user experience features, needed integrations, robust customization and no-code capabilities to a spreadsheet interface.
Smartsheet pricing is among the highest on the market, and there is no unlimited free plan. Still, I believe the platform’s benefits more than justify consideration for small teams up to enterprise organizations.
- Pro: $7 per user per month billed annually, or $9 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Business: $25 per user per month billed annually, or $32 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
- Ability to create, import and manage project data on a central cloud-based platform.
- Ability to visualize project data through the Grid (Figure B), Gantt, Card and Calendar views.
- Flexible options for setting and adjusting project field data.
- Access to WorkApps, the platform’s no-code tool for building web and mobile apps.
- Activity logs for tracking change management with filters to identify actions.
- Microsoft Teams.
- Friendly user interface for moving from legacy spreadsheet tools.
- Extensive documentation and access to onboarding assistance.
- Prebuilt project and automation templates to get to work fast.
- Several tools are add-ons, requiring an additional purchase.
- Security features are limited to the Enterprise subscription.
- Premium support is only available for higher-tier plans.
Why we chose Smartsheet
While Smartsheet is ideally suited for users who prefer a spreadsheet-style interface, it offers several advanced project management features that help streamline processes and save time. The clean and simple layout makes for an easy learning curve. Users who don’t want to start from scratch can use the customizable templates from the library.
SEE: Read our Smartsheet review or check out how Smartsheet compares to monday work management.
ClickUp: Best for teams on a tight budget
The fastest mover in the project management software space is ClickUp. Only five years after its founding, the San Diego-based startup has grown into one of the top project management solution providers. ClickUp far exceeded my expectations with a stack of project views and tools to enable productivity and collaboration for a wide variety of functional teams.
Add in ClickUp’s handful of affordable subscriptions for different team sizes, and it’s difficult not to consider this budding project management software.
- Free Forever: $0; best for personal use.
- Unlimited: $7 per user per month billed annually, or $10 per user per month billed monthly.
- Business: $12 per user per month billed annually, or $19 per user per month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
- Visualize project data through the List (Figure C), Board, Gantt, Calendar, Workload and Map views.
- Create and modify tasks or bulk edit tasks from a list of potential operations.
- Manage granular configurations of platform features and security.
- Track and visualize project data through the Dashboards view.
- Import data from monday, Asana, Trello, Jira Software, Wrike, Basecamp and Todoist.
- Widest and most affordable range of plans to meet different-sized team needs.
- Robust configurability for customizing and managing platform workflows.
- Access to over 1,000 integrations for developers, business suites, storage and more.
- Slight variance between the imported file and platform results.
- Some platform actions are less intuitive and require additional troubleshooting.
- Occasional lagging between moving pages and lingering platform notices.
Why we chose ClickUp
We picked ClickUp as one of the best project management software for its affordable pricing plans, comprehensive features and customizable workflows. In addition, the friendly user interface makes it a top choice for users of all technical levels.
SEE: Read our ClickUp review or see how ClickUp compares to Notion.
Teamwork: Best for time tracking and budgeting
As the name implies, Teamwork is project management software that enables team and workload management. The Ireland-based platform offers a similar range to other top project management solutions but excels in time tracking, budgeting and stakeholder management. Whether it’s personnel or a third-party contractor, Teamwork is fit for optimizing the globally distributed workflows of tomorrow.
While a few actions during my experience with Teamwork didn’t seem as intuitive as other platforms, the platform and its potential to organize team projects are impressive.
- Free Forever: $0 per month for up to five users.
- Starter: $5.99 per user per month billed annually, or $8.99 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Deliver: $9.99 per user per month billed annually, or $13.99 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Grow: $19.99 per user per month billed annually, or $25.99 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Scale: Quotes are available upon request.
- Visualize project data through the Gantt, kanban, dashboard (Figure D), calendar and table views.
- Build and generate reports of project data to share via CSV, Excel and PDF.
- Create project templates, dashboards, risks and project-level tags for reuse.
- Integrate with Zapier, Google Drive, Box, Slack, Microsoft, HubSpot and more.
- Access built-in Teamwork apps for collaborative spaces, IT help desks, customer relationship management and web chats.
- Google Drive.
- Microsoft Teams.
- Strongest time tracking and workload management capabilities of the products I reviewed.
- Deep range of features emulating the best in the project management software market.
- Free 30-day trial, an unlimited free plan, and affordable annual subscriptions.
- Basic Agile support and burndown reports are only available with higher plans.
- Configure notification settings or get ready for a full inbox.
- Modifications sometimes take several seconds to load.
Why we chose Teamwork
Teamwork offers excellent tools for time tracking and budgeting and has the capacity to handle projects of all sizes. The extensive range of features, including multiple project views, team collaboration tools and integrated file sharing, earns Teamwork a spot on this list.
SEE: For more information, check out our full Teamwork review or see how Teamwork compares to monday work management.
Wrike: Best for portfolio management
The newest subsidiary of Citrix, Wrike was already one of the biggest names in project management software even before its backing by the cloud computing giant. With the capacity to manage entire project portfolios, Wrike’s feature set includes custom request forms, risk predictions, invoicing software and enterprise-grade security. I found the platform incredibly powerful, with clear use cases for small businesses, enterprise organizations and various team functions.
Upon first glance, the user interface is busy, and Wrike’s learning curve is likely the steepest in the project management software space. That said, few vendors offer the same extent of enterprise capabilities.
- Free trial available.
- Free: $0 per user per month.
- Team: $9.80 per user per month.
- Business: $24.80 per user per month.
- Enterprise: Quotes are available upon request.
- Pinnacle: Quotes are available upon request.
- Visualize project data through the table, list, board, Gantt, timelog and analytics views (Figure E).
- Add and edit task duration, approvals, time entries, subtasks, files and dependencies.
- Access project templates for Agile, creative, IT operations and project management office teams.
- Utilize customer-managed encryption keys and external encryption key storage via Amazon Web Services.
- Access to over 400 app integrations and two-way sync with almost 30 other apps.
- Power BI.
- Google Drive.
- Plans for teams managing complex workloads, marketing and professional services.
- Extensive interoperability and workflow capabilities with business-critical applications.
- Enterprise-ready with premium security and data privacy controls.
- More expensive than most project management solutions.
- Steep learning curve for maximizing the extent of platform features.
- Several tools are only available as add-on features or with higher subscriptions.
Why we chose Wrike
Wrike is known for its ease of use and team collaboration, making it ideal for project managers who handle multiple projects. Another key reason why we chose Wrike was its scalability, making it a great choice for hyper-growth teams.
SEE: Find out more in our Wrike review or see how Wrike compares to monday work management.
Asana: Best for extensibility
One of the most popular project management software solutions, Asana is the work management platform started by former Facebook developers in 2008. The Silicon Valley-based company has grown dramatically in that time, and the platform’s extensibility affirms why so many businesses choose it. From viewing team member workloads to adding strategic goals and setting user security policies, I believe Asana has something for every team.
Though some actions were less intuitive, Asana made up for them with the documentation and resources to guide platform projects efficiently.
A 30-day free trial is available for these Asana plans:
- Basic: $0 per user per month.
- Premium: $10.99 per user per month billed annually, or $13.49 per user per month billed monthly.
- Business: $24.99 per user per month billed annually, or $30.49 per user per month billed monthly.
- Visualize project data through the list (Figure F), board, timeline, calendar and workload views.
- Manage and create project data with custom fields, rules and forms.
- Enable the built-in time-tracking tool to visualize time spent on tasks.
- Import data from Airtable, Google Sheets, monday work management, Trello, Smartsheet and Wrike.
- Add integrations for communications, files, finance, IT, reporting, sales and security.
- Jira Software.
- Robust feature set competing with the best in project management software.
- Friendly user interface and flexible controls for different tools.
- Extensive import options, including multiple top project management platforms.
- At times, the interface is less intuitive than competing project management platforms.
- There is a steep learning curve for deploying some features and advanced tools.
- Occasional error messages and lag occur when moving between platform pages.
Why we chose Asana
Asana is an outstanding task management and team collaboration software. It’s flexible, fast, feature-rich and offers a generous free plan. The flexibility offered by Asana means it can be used by businesses of all sizes. In addition, you get several import options, making it easy for users to transition to Asana from other software or to use Asana with other applications.
SEE: Explore our Asana review or see how Asana stacks up against Notion.
Confluence: Best for project document management
Confluence is a team collaboration and project management software with outstanding document management and knowledge-sharing features. It’s suitable for any size or type of team. Users can also use Confluence to create and track tasks on one centralized platform.
- Free: No cost for up to 10 users.
- Standard: $5.75 per user if billed monthly, or $580 per year for 1 to 10 users.
- Premium: $11 per user if billed monthly, or $1,100 per year for 1 to 10 users.
- Enterprise: Customized pricing.
- Extensive template library includes customizable templates and blueprints for a variety of use cases.
- Version control and history feature to track changes to files over time.
- Atlassian Analytics tools (Figure G) to gain valuable insights.
- Bulk archive feature to archive multiple outdated or obsolete pages in one go.
- Jira Software.
- Strong in-app learning content.
- Outstanding document management tools.
- Centralized knowledge hub.
- Limited team collaboration tools.
- Performance issues with a large volume of data.
Why we chose Confluence
Confluence offers some advantages over other competitors, such as a centralized knowledge repository, robust document search and discovery feature, and file sharing. Users already using Atlassian products will find Confluence a powerful addition to the ecosystem.
SEE: For more information, read our full Confluence review or see how Confluence compares to Notion.
Zoho Projects: Best for multiple project visualizations
Under the Zoho portfolio of solutions, Zoho Projects offers teams a stack of features for tracking tasks, issues, time and resources to maximize collaboration and productivity. Users can visualize and adjust project data through views such as a traditional spreadsheet, simple list, kanban board or Gantt chart in real-time or automate mapped workflows with the Blueprints tool.
Zoho Projects offers a lot of functionality, considering it’s the most affordable project management software. However, it also lacks some of the personalization and advanced features included in the top tier of platforms.
- Free: $0 for up to three users.
- Premium: $4 per user per month billed annually, or $5 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Enterprise: $9 per user per month billed annually, or $10 per user per month billed monthly. A free trial is available.
- Visualize project data through the classic spreadsheet, plain list (Figure H) and kanban views.
- Create project baselines to compare expected versus real progress on tasks.
- Track time for tasks to inform workload and resource management.
- Integrate with critical apps such as Google, Microsoft, code repositories and more.
- Access Zoho Apps, such as Mail, Docs, CRM, Desk, Analytics and Forms.
- Zoho CRM.
- Google Suite.
- Least expensive subscription plans among the top project management platforms.
- Robust feature set considering its affordability.
- Familiar interface and bundling value for existing Zoho customers.
- Lagging when moving between different platform pages.
- Limited options for viewing project data relative to competitors.
- Some platform actions, such as creating multiple subtasks, aren’t intuitive.
Why we chose Zoho Projects
If you’re looking for value for money, it doesn’t get any better than Zoho Projects. This low-cost project management app offers outstanding value. You get multiple channels for team collaboration and communication, as well as a quick and easy setup.
SEE: For more information, read our full Zoho Projects review.
Trello: Best for simple projects
Trello is the ideal tool for users who want simplified project management. Its Kanban-based interface makes it easy to manage and track any type of project. While it might not be able to handle complex projects, Trello offers enough features to handle core project management tasks, including task automation, file sharing and team collaboration.
- Free: Up to 10 boards per workspace.
- Standard: $5 per user per month if billed annually, or $6 per user per month if billed monthly.
- Premium: $10 per user per month if billed annually, or $12.50 per user per month if billed monthly.
- Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month when billed annually.
- Project checklists to help break big projects into more manageable tasks.
- File attachment feature with drag-and-drop functionality.
- Automate workflows through Trello’s built-in automation builder (Figure I).
- Extensive library of pre-built templates.
- Jira Software.
- Generous free plan.
- Highly visual interface.
- Variety of add-ons.
- Powerful automation tools.
- Heavily reliant on the kanban view.
- Not designed to handle complex projects.
Why we chose Trello
Trello earns a spot on our list of the best project management software with its feature-rich free plan, collaboration tools and outstanding ease of use. The kanban-style interface is visually appealing and feels intuitive. In addition, the efficiency offered by Trello helps simplify project management.
SEE: For more information, read our full Trello review or see how Trello compares to Basecamp.
Jira Service Management: Best for development teams
Atlassian’s portfolio of collaboration, code management and security solutions is led by its flagship project-tracking software, Jira Service Management. In response to a growing number of general-use project management solutions, Jira Service Management offers a mix of project data views, reporting and configuration capabilities with the Work Management platform included in its suite of products.
Jira Service Management is ideal for organizations already using Jira Service Management products or teams relying on integrations such as the private repository host BitBucket. Otherwise, its general project management functionality is below par relative to the broader project management marketplace.
- Free: $0 for up to 10 users.
- Standard: $7.75 per user billed monthly, and $790 annually for 1 to 10 users.
- Premium: $15.25 per user billed monthly, and $1,525 annually for 1 to 10 users.
- Enterprise: Available for teams with more than 800 users and only billed annually. Contact Jira Service Management sales for pricing information.
- Visualize project data through the list, board, timeline (Figure J) and calendar views.
- Import existing work to create project issues and collect data through forms.
- Access a summary page embedded with key performance indicators for progress, priorities and workloads.
- Integrate with Jira Service Management and other Atlassian tools.
- Starts with 20 prebuilt templates for finance, marketing, human resources and legal teams.
- Microsoft Teams.
- More than 500 integrations and 3,000 extensions for workflow apps.
- Bundle with Atlassian’s portfolio of tools such as BitBucket, Crucible and Trello.
- Built-in tools for tracking effort against tasks.
- Higher learning curve for nonsoftware development teams.
- Not as intuitive as other top project management tools.
- Still a developing application relative to Jira Service Management’s accolades.
Why we chose Jira Service Management
Jira Service Management is one of the best project management software for its Agile support, bug tracking and issue management capabilities. While these features are most suitable for software development, they can be used for a variety of other applications.
SEE: For more information, read our Jira Service Management review or see how Jira Service Management compares to Asana.
Microsoft Project: Best for collaboration on large projects
An awesome project management solution for Microsoft fans and established teams is Microsoft Project. The software is great for communicating with medium and large teams and offers a variety of purchase options. It’s not included in Microsoft 365, but you can integrate it after purchase. Subscriptions come with a one-month free trial.
Microsoft Project comes in an on-premise version or cloud version, as well as subscription and one-time purchase versions.
- Project Plan 1: $10 user/month, cloud version, web browser only.
- Project Plan 3: $30 user/month, cloud version, offers online and desktop.
- Project Plan 5: $55 user/month, cloud version, offers online and desktop.
- Project Standard 2021: $679.99 one-time buy, on-premise.
- Project Professional 2021: $1,129.99 one-time buy, on-premise.
- Project Server: An on-premise subscription that is offered by Microsoft partners.
- Comes in cloud and on-premise versions.
- Multiple work views including grid, Gantt, board and home dashboard (Figure K).
- Communication and collaboration on projects, tasks and schedules.
- Reporting templates to manage projects and resources.
- Timesheets for payroll, invoicing and tasks.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) for big teams.
- Integrates with most Microsoft products but must be set up manually.
- Microsoft 365.
- Microsoft Teams.
- Awesome for medium and large teams.
- Good for project resource management.
- Microsoft products can have a learning curve because their software is dense with features.
- It can be costly for small or new teams.
- No free plan.
Why we chose Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is a perfect solution for teams with Microsoft tech stacks already. It can also be used as a standalone solution without buying Microsoft 365. It’s a great choice for staying on the same projects page in large teams.
For more information, read the full Microsoft Project review.
Todoist: Best for low-budget teams
One of the simplest project management tools is Todoist. It includes simple collaboration features at affordable prices. They aren’t the best choice for teams with complex projects or large amounts of data.
- Beginner: $0/month for five active projects and five users.
- Pro: $4 per month billed annually for 300 active projects and 25 users.
- Business: $ 6 per user/month billed annually for 500 active projects and unlimited guests and users.
- Has member, guest and collaborator user types.
- Task management (Figure L) with reminders and timers.
- Admin security controls over different user types.
- Work templates for diverse use cases such as education, design and writing.
- Integrations for time tracking, productivity, scheduling and automation.
- Toggl Track.
- Allows collaborators and guest users to collaborate on a low budget.
- Great for teams that don’t want to spend on complex software.
- Not as feature-rich as other competitors.
Why we chose Todoist
Todoist is a great alternative for teams irritated by all the bells and whistles in most software. Its simple collaboration features and low costs are great for startups as well as small and large teams. If the majority of tools on this list overwhelm you, give Todoist a try.
For more information, read the full Todoist review.
SmartSuite: Best for growth
SmartSuite has transparent pricing for plans at multiple stages of growth. Their free plan has access to the majority of features including automation and control over user role permissions. Teams can find strong features such as automation and classic features such as task lists.
- Free Forever: Allows for 3 users.
- Team: $10 user/month billed annually, or $12 user/month billed monthly.
- Professional: $25 user/month billed annually, or $28 user/month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: $35 user/month, billed annually, or $41 user/month, billed monthly.
- Multiple work views including grid, Kanban, timeline and calendar.
- Team collaboration features such as commenting, activity history and real-time updates.
- Chat support for all plans.
- Task management with time tracking and resource allocation.
- 200 templates (Figure M) for solutions (projects).
- Allows 15 supported languages for global collaboration.
- Native integrations as well as the Zapier integration for connecting with your preferred tech stack.
- Google Drive.
- Data import and export in all plans.
- Paid plans start with 50GB of file storage.
- Upfront pricing and 14-day free trial.
- Priority support only in Enterprise.
- Security such as single sign-on and two-factor authentication are limited to higher tiers.
- Requires free trial before purchase.
- It can be pricey the more users you have.
Why we chose SmartSuite
SmartSuite is one of the few software applications with upfront pricing for each tier and offers access to the majority of features in all tiers. There will be limits, of course, but this tool’s free plan is great for getting an accurate feel for the software.
For more information, read the full SmartSuite review.
Notion: Best for freelance teams
In Notion, teams can collaborate, organize projects, run Agile sprints, and work with guests, all in one workspace. The user interface is beginner-friendly, and the Free version is great for exploring the platform. You can work with contractors, clients and coworkers on all sorts of projects. Small teams, startups and freelancers will love the affordability and bigger teams will enjoy the collaboration, automation and advanced security options.
- Free: Up to 2 users, limited collaboration, and up to 10 guests.
- Plus: $8 user/month billed annually, or $10 user/month billed monthly.
- Business: $15 user/month billed annually, or $18 user/month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: More security and admin features, see sales for pricing.
- Multiple work views including list, table and kanban.
- Team workspaces in all plans.
- Notion AI add-on for improving writing.
- Ability to create documents for notes, knowledge wikis or projects, with a template gallery available.
- Ability to export workspace in multiple formats.
- Security capabilities like HIPAA compliance, SSO and domain management.
Notion offers an open API for building your own connections with your tech stack. Common connections include:
- Nightfall AI.
- Google Drive.
- Great for remote work with plenty of guest users like freelancers or clients.
- Affordable collaboration in all plans.
- Unlimited synced databases in paid plans.
- Priority support in paid tiers.
- Basic automation, open API and guest access in all plan tiers.
- Limited blocks in the Free plan if you add more than one user.
- Most security features are limited to Business and Enterprise tiers.
Why we chose Notion
Notion is a uniquely strong tool because of its flexibility to handle design, development and writing projects with the option to collaborate with people outside your workspace. It’s great for single users and small budgets but still offers plans that scale up to meet enterprise needs.
For more information, read the full Notion review.
Airtable: Best for building custom solutions
With Airtable, you can develop your own app to meet your business needs. The software provides a tool for app building called Interface Designer. It lets users tailor-make their own apps in a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can build apps for all sorts of projects from event planning, project management, marketing, HR, education, design and so much more. It’s a great option for teams working on niche projects that need more customization.
- Free: 5 editors and unlimited bases with 1000 records per base.
- Team: $20 user/month billed annually, or $24 user/month billed monthly.
- Business: $45 user/month billed annually, or $54 user/month billed monthly.
- Enterprise Scale: More security, admin permissions, automation and overall scalability, see sales for pricing.
- Multiple work views including list, calendar, kanban and Gantt.
- Simple app-building tool for all tiers.
- AI for streamlining workflows.
- Gallery of work use case templates.
- Marketplace for extensions by Airtable or third parties.
- Full users are editors and limited users are commenters.
- Google Drive.
- Extensive template gallery.
- Automation is available in all plans, as well as the ability to add automation integrations.
- All plans allow comment-only users to give editors feedback.
- Support is very limited for such a robust tool.
- Paid plans are very expensive, especially for small teams.
- It can have a learning curve.
Why we chose Airtable
Airtable is one of the best choices for teams that want their project management solution to be more reflective of their needs. It has a free version that’s great for exploring capabilities before making any commitments and ready-to-go templates to speed up production.
For more information, read the full Airtable review.
What are the key features of project management software?
The key features of project management software vary depending on the specific tool, but generally, these are some of the most important features to look for when evaluating a solution.
Effective task management capabilities enable users to create, assign, track and update tasks, providing a clear overview of individual responsibilities and overall project progress. This feature is essential for keeping teams organized and ensuring that everyone understands their roles and deadlines, contributing to the successful completion of projects.
Customizable workflows allow teams to create and modify workflows according to their unique processes and preferences, ensuring the software is adaptable to their specific needs and requirements. This flexibility enables teams to tailor their project management system to suit their project types, methodologies and industry best practices, ultimately improving efficiency and effectiveness.
Collaboration and communication
Project management software should foster seamless collaboration and communication among team members through features such as real-time chat, file sharing, commenting and notifications. These tools help keep everyone on the same page and make it easier to coordinate work, resolve issues and ensure that projects stay on track.
Providing various views, such as Gantt charts, kanban boards, list views and calendar views, allows users to visualize project data in different ways, catering to individual preferences and enhancing overall project comprehension. This feature helps teams monitor progress, identify potential bottlenecks and plan work more effectively.
Native time tracking
Time-tracking capabilities help teams monitor the time spent on tasks and projects, facilitating better resource allocation and promoting efficient time management. This feature enables organizations to optimize productivity, manage budgets and accurately bill clients for work completed.
Custom fields enable teams to add personalized data points to tasks and projects, making it easier to track, filter and report on the unique information relevant to their organization. This feature provides additional flexibility and customization, ensuring teams can capture and manage the data that matters most to them.
Document and file management
Integrated document and file management features allow users to store, share and collaborate on project-related files, ensuring easy access and organization. This functionality helps keep essential documents and resources centralized, streamlining communication and reducing the risk of misplacing or duplicating files.
Reporting and analytics
Comprehensive reporting and analytics tools help users gain insights into project performance, identify bottlenecks and make informed decisions based on real-time data. These features enable teams to continuously improve their processes, allocate resources more effectively and optimize overall project success.
Effective resource management capabilities enable teams to allocate resources such as personnel, equipment and budgets optimally, ensuring projects are completed efficiently and cost-effectively. This feature helps organizations balance workloads, avoid overloading team members and prevent resource conflicts.
Integration with other tools and software, such as customer relationship management systems, accounting tools and productivity suites, can enhance the project management software’s functionality and streamline workflows. This feature enables teams to connect their project management system to other essential tools, reducing manual data entry and facilitating a more seamless working experience.
What are the benefits of project management software?
Project management software offers a multitude of benefits that can significantly enhance team productivity and efficiency. Let’s delve into some of the most compelling advantages that these tools can provide.
Improved organization and prioritization
Project management software offers a comprehensive and structured approach to organizing tasks and projects, making it easier for teams to stay focused and prioritize work. It enables users to break down projects into smaller, manageable tasks and assign deadlines, ensuring that teams can effectively allocate resources and time to critical activities. By categorizing and prioritizing tasks, team members can better understand their responsibilities and overall project progression, reducing confusion and miscommunication.
Enhanced collaboration and communication
A key benefit of project management software is the facilitation of team collaboration and communication. By providing a centralized platform, team members can easily share information, documents and updates on their progress. This visibility allows for more effective communication, faster decision-making and better issue resolution. Additionally, such tools often have integrated communication features, such as chat or comment sections, which can help streamline communication and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Time and resource management
Project management software helps teams efficiently manage their time and resources, ultimately leading to increased productivity. These tools often include features such as time tracking, workload balancing and resource allocation, which allow teams to make informed decisions about how to best utilize their time and resources. By monitoring progress and identifying bottlenecks, managers can make adjustments and reallocate resources as needed to keep projects on track.
Accurate budget tracking and financial control
Managing budgets is a critical aspect of any project, and project management software can help ensure financial control. With features such as cost estimation, expense tracking and financial reporting, teams can monitor budgets and avoid overspending. This level of financial control and visibility not only helps projects stay within budget but also supports better forecasting for future projects.
Increased accountability and transparency
Project management software increases accountability and transparency by providing a clear overview of tasks, responsibilities and deadlines. This visibility helps ensure team members understand their roles and take ownership of their work. Moreover, the software allows for real-time progress tracking, making it easier to hold individuals accountable for meeting deadlines and completing tasks. This improved accountability fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility within the team, leading to better overall project outcomes.
Streamlined reporting and analysis
Finally, project management software simplifies reporting and analysis by consolidating data from various sources into customizable dashboards and reports. This enables stakeholders to access relevant information quickly and make data-driven decisions. By providing insights into project performance, teams can identify areas for improvement and implement changes, ensuring projects stay on track and meet objectives.
Considerations for project management tools
Use cases and audience
Most project management software solutions speak to a broad audience of potential use cases. Across industries and departments, the use cases mentioned most for project management tools include:
- Agile, scrum and other software development methodologies.
- Campaign and client management.
- Content creation and digital asset management.
- Event planning and management.
- Issue, request, ticket and bug tracking.
- Lead tracking and sales pipeline.
- Onboarding and offboarding personnel.
- Product management and features backlog.
- Resource, time and workload allocation.
As with the two software development project management picks, the range of integrations offered by top project management platforms is a crucial differentiating factor. Teams across the globe increasingly rely on a stack of applications to conduct everyday work. Considering project management software is meant to enable productivity in teams’ existing workflows, the lack of critical integration is a dealbreaker.
Customer support and service
Finally, teams relying on project management software for critical business operations also need to ensure the level of technical support meets expectations. Teams are bound to encounter unexpected outages, roadblocks and platform issues, making regular availability by phone or web chat essential to business continuity.
How do I choose the best project management software for my business?
The best project management software should offer a combination of user-friendliness, customization and scalability to meet the needs of your team and organization. It should be intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing users to perform tasks with minimal training. The software should also be adaptable, providing the ability to tailor features and workflows to suit the organization’s specific requirements. Scalability is another essential aspect, ensuring that the software can accommodate growth in team size, project complexity and workload.
SEE: Working on a smaller team? Explore top project management software for small businesses.
Effective communication, time and resource management, and comprehensive reporting are vital features of a top project management tool. Collaboration and communication features should streamline information sharing, while time and resource management capabilities help optimize productivity. Robust reporting and analytics functionalities are crucial for continuous improvement. Integration with other tools, such as CRM systems or productivity suites, can further enhance efficiency.
Lastly, consider the security, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the software. Robust security measures, such as encryption and access controls, are necessary to protect sensitive project data. Reliability in terms of uptime and responsive customer support ensures a seamless experience. The best project management software should offer value for money, balancing features and functionality with cost. Evaluating customer reviews, case studies and testimonials can provide valuable insights into the tool’s suitability for your organization’s specific needs.
To compile this list of the best project management software, we did a deep dive into several parameters and features of the software. This comprehensive analysis includes an assessment of the usability of the software, standout features and security tools.
For the assessment of the user interface, we looked at the ease of navigation and visual appeal of each software. An intuitive user interface plays a key role in the overall user experience. We also analyzed the functionality and features of each software, including core and advanced tools. In addition, the performance and stability of each software were assessed to check the responsiveness and efficiency of the software.
For a more thorough understanding of ease of use, we looked at several other aspects of the software, including ease of setup, scalability and user support. Lastly, we did an analysis of the compatibility and integration of each software to discern how it would fit into different technology ecosystems.