Two of the keys to success in the modern workplace are organization and communication. Therefore, it makes sense why successful companies rely on project management software to keep them on track. Building a business foundation on project management software can be a very effective tactic; thus, making the right choice is extremely important.
In order to help you sift through all of the best pm software platforms online, we’ve spent months doing research, testing different software, and putting together this list to help you confidently answer the question: “What’s the best project management software of 2020?”
Let’s first take a look at the methodology we used to compile the list:
What is “Project Management Software”?
For this list, we were extremely selective in which software was included. To be considered for the list, a “project management software” had to fit all of the following criteria:
- The software must be available to the public (ie. no internal company tools)
- It must be free to try or demo
- The software must offer an online software-as-a-service version (SaaS)
- It must have over 100 positive reviews online, averaging 4 stars or greater
- The software must stand alone with no browser plugins needed
Note: We have not, and will not, accept compensation to include a company on this list, and we don’t accept unsolicited submissions for inclusion. While it would be nice to make money from our “best of” lists, we want to remain neutral. This is so all software companies have a fair chance, regardless of their advertising budgets. So without further ado, here are the best project management software companies of 2020:
2020 Best Project Management Software Rankings
ProjectManager.com offers an entire suite of project management tools. This makes it one of the most popular choices for companies needing software everyone in the organization can use.
The software was built with collaboration in mind, so companies use it to “Get organized and do amazing things.” This software offers great team collaboration features like shared projects, comments with @ mentions, email notifications, and unlimited file storage. ProjectManager.com also has real time dashboards and customizable reporting.
Their software package is also used for project planning, and features three primary “project views”: Gantt charts for planning project timelines, Kanban Boards for organizing workflows and planning agile sprints, and Lists for planning in a to-do list or checklist style. Accessing all three views of a project concurrently to do work, is easy. For example, a project manager can create a project plan in the Gantt view. Then, team members can work on their assigned tasks in simple task lists or boards.
Real-time updates are the core of ProjectManager.com’s software package. Task lists are instantly updated when a team member completes a task, as is the overall project plan. This makes ProjectManager.com a flexible choice for companies with different teams that work together and collaborate across departments.
ProjectManager.com is used by global companies including NASA, Bank of America, and Volvo. But it’s also a popular project management software for smaller companies in IT, marketing, construction, engineering, operations, and tech.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive project management platform to organize teams and plan work, ProjectManager.com is a top choice.
Commonly used in the software development industry, Trello is a popular collaboration tool. Many development teams like to plan in an Agile style, and Trello’s software allows users to make Kanban board projects, assign work to others and organize it by status. The default status options are To Do, Doing and Done.
Trello can be a powerful tool for organizing work in a visual drag-and-drop view. The software has gained popularity for having some of the best Kanban features in the industry.
However, if you are looking for additional project management features like project plans, reporting, and dashboards, then Trello may not be the right fit for your business. Lacking in features commonly found in other project management suites, Trello hangs its hat on Kanban boards alone.
Design teams use Filestage, a highly reviewed tool, for collaboration and management of creative work. Built specifically with the creative niche in mind, the software is unique.
Filestage allows users to collaborate, share feedback on digital assets, get client approvals, attach images, videos, and more.
Creative teams can get good value out of Filestage, as the software can help reduce communication gaps and lag time during internal and external approvals. If you work in a design team or a content team, then Filestage would be a great project management platform for you.
Workamajig is the number four project management software company on the list. Just like Filestage, Workamajig’s project management software also caters to agencies and in-house creative teams, with tools to help these teams plan and monitor all of their work. Workamajig has software features specifically for creative teams, including: client requests, team member management, client approvals, and collaboration.
More than 3,000 creative teams use Workamajig’s software, and it gets consistently strong reviews from customers on review sites across the web. If you need a tool to help manage your creative agency work, then Workamajig is worth checking out.
Founded in 1999, Basecamp is one of the oldest and most established project management software companies online. After being in business for many years, Basecamp has garnered a long list of happy customers and consistently gets strong reviews for their software.
Basecamp offers a simple project management platform which relies heavily on check lists and task lists for organizing work. Teams can create lists, then assign work to each other, making collaboration simpler within the customer’s organization. Basecamp also includes calendars and file storage in their plans, so the software can be used for informal project planning, however the software is not designed for timeline based project management.
If you’re looking for a scaled down, simple tool to organize your tasks into lists, then Basecamp is a great choice for you.
Billed as a “modern collaborative platform,” Mavenlink offers tools to help service businesses boost performance and productivity. In this context, “service businesses” include: agencies who work with clients, business consulting companies, and professional services teams.
Mavenlink offers a broad range of project management features for their users, including: resource management, project accounting, and business intelligence. The software also helps customers collaborate inside and outside the organization, making this a solid tool for service teams looking to increase productivity and reduce communication gaps.
While many consider Slack to be a simple team-chat tool and not a proper project management software, time and time again their online reviews feature customers talking about how Slack can be used to manage work. Since communication is a vital part of collaboration and work management, we have opted to include the software on this list.
Slack has thousands of positive reviews online, so it’s a company that shouldn’t be ignored, even if they don’t fit into the traditional “project management” box. Slack is helpful for managing projects as it allows users to chat and collaborate together in real time, but its real value is in its integration list. Injecting collaboration into every project is easy with Slack, as it can be integrated with thousands of different tools.
Slack is a great tool for low maturity teams who just want to stay in touch with each other throughout the day to manage work together. However if you are looking for a fully featured project management software, you’ll find better options elsewhere on this list.
Targetprocess is one of the more technical project management software tools on this list, as they cater to large companies and enterprise teams who are looking to scale agility in their organization.
This software is probably not the right fit for you if you aren’t familiar with project portfolio management and application lifecycle management, as this is primarily what Targetprocess offers.
However, if you’re part of an enterprise organization that needs powerful portfolio dashboards and reports to get deep insights in your business, then Targetprocess could be an excellent choice for you. Targetprocess offers both SaaS and on-premise options, so enterprise companies have flexibility in deployment and installation.
It can be difficult to choose the best project management software for your company, and it’s extremely important to get the decision right the first time. Why? Selecting a project management platform for your team means you’ll spend the next few months: on-boarding employees, getting work imported from your legacy solution, and training your team to use the software. The last thing you want is to get months into the on-boarding process before realizing you haven’t selected the best software for your needs.
Project management software comes in many shapes and sizes, with hundreds of different solutions available online, so it was our goal to narrow down the field and identify the category winners for you.
To recap all of the reviews above, we highly recommend you take a look at the following project management software providers:
2020’s Best Project Management Software
(This post was updated January 2020)