Which is the best project management software for your team? That’s not an easy question to answer. Connecting teams, whether they’re working with you in the office, a different department in your organization or even an outside partner, is key to running a smooth project. Project management software was developed to streamline processes and help you deliver success.
However, not all project management software is created equal. Some have a full suite of planning, scheduling and tracking features, while others focus on a niche. What’s best for you and your project depends on many things, a decision that you’ll ultimately have to make.
To help you make a more educated decision, we’ve sampled the 16 best project management software products and rated each according to what they do well and where they’re lacking for both project managers and teams. This allows you to see which project management software is the best fit for your work.
What Is Project Management?
Some of you are seasoned professionals and others might be accidental project managers who find themselves tasked with delivering a product or service. Regardless of your experience, it’s best to define the term project management before diving into project management software. Project management is simply using various processes, methodologies, skills, knowledge and experience to plan, execute and track projects.
Rather than extending indefinitely, projects are specific in terms of having a start and end date. This requires that they have a schedule or timeline to follow and will be constrained by a budget. The triple constraint of time, cost and scope can impact any project, and each of these three constraints can be adjusted to deliver the project under its quality expectations. However, adding time, for example, means reducing the budget or changing the project’s scope.
There are a number of different methodologies used to manage projects that impact what you’re looking for when you’re choosing the best project management software. They range from the traditional waterfall methodology, which plans ahead, to agile environments that are more iterative. Project management has grown from a specialized industry to applications in everything from construction and manufacturing to IT and marketing.
Benefits of Project Management Software
Project management software addresses the many different pieces of delivering a project and coordinates them so they work better together. It’s about efficiency as well as managing those various essential elements. When you’re in the market for a project management system, you’re going to want a tool that, at a minimum, offers the following.
- Project planning: Multiple project views for planning and scheduling
- Team collaboration: Real-time data, file sharing, document management and team messaging
- Resource management: Work management tools to assign teams, show availability and balance workload
- Task management: Gantt charts, kanban boards or task lists to schedule and manage tasks
- Time tracking: Project tracking tools to monitor your project schedule and adjust it as needed
- Cost management: Timesheets and project dashboards to track costs
Now that we know what project management is and the features that are essential for getting the most out of your project management software, let’s take a look at the top-16 project management software solutions on the market.
Best Project Management Software of 2023
ProjectManager is an award-winning project management software that organizes teams and projects from initiation to closure. It helps you plan, schedule, execute, monitor, balance resources and workload, track and report on projects in real time.
Since the tool is cloud-based, all of the features are accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection. Teams can collaborate by sitting next to one another, or on opposite sides of the globe. Automated email notifications and in-app alerts notify other team members when there’s a new task comment or update.
Plan with Gantt Charts
No project management software worth your investment lacks the workhorse of traditional project management, the Gantt chart. ProjectManager has taken the Gantt chart into the new century, allowing teams to build, edit and share project plans. The Gantt acts as a visual project timeline while linking dependencies, creating milestones and even filtering for the critical path. Users can manage resource costs and other budget components. When a plan is finalized, setting a baseline means that project managers can track project variance in real time to keep their project on schedule and within budget.
Automate Workflows Over Multiple Views
Another reason that ProjectManager tops our list of best project management software is that it automated workflows to streamline business processes. By setting up triggers that automate actions, teams are free to focus on more important work. There’s even a task approval setting to ensure that work never fails to meet quality expectations. The automated workflow is available on all project views, from Gantt charts and sheets to kanban, list and calendar views. This is important as project managers, designers, account executives, customer service, stakeholders, et al., use different tools. With ProjectManager, they can work how they want and stay connected to everyone in the project to work better together. This flexibility allows for unrivaled productivity.
Track & Report with Dashboards
Of course, without a way to monitor your project, all of the automation and project views in the world won’t deliver success. But ProjectManager is project management software that has multiple windows into project progress and performance all in real time. A live dashboard captures project data, calculates it and displays six metrics including time, task, workload, costs, etc. Unlike other project management software, there’s no setup required to get a high-level view of the project whenever you want.
Create Reports in Minutes
Reporting is another integral facet of project management software. Reports can provide valuable real-time data to help managers make better decisions and they’re key to staying on schedule and managing stakeholder expectations. ProjectManager has customizable reports for project and portfolio status, tasks, timesheets and more. They can be filtered to show details for project managers or a more general overview for stakeholders. Plus, it’s easy to share reports in a number of formats.
Track Costs & Resources with Timesheets
Don’t overlook the importance of resource management tools that balance team workload to keep them working at capacity. ProjectManager has secure timesheets to track time on tasks, streamline payroll and tools to see team availability when making assignments. There’s online file storage and global search that turns your project management software into your project hub. With so many noteworthy features, you should check out this winning project management software for yourself. Get started with ProjectManager for free.
- Team plan: $13 user/month
- Business plan: 24 user/month
- Does ProjectManager offer a free trial? Yes, there’s a 30-day free trial
- Does ProjectManager have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
Smartsheet is a popular project management tool that bills itself as a productivity booster. It’s easy to use and flexible enough to manage projects of different sizes. It features a Gantt chart and kanban boards as well as a dashboard to get a big-picture view.
Like most project management software tools, Smartsheet fosters collaboration, but it comes with a high price tag. There are also some features that are missing, even though it’s an otherwise thorough tool. For instance, there are no time tracking capabilities. Check our blog to learn about the best Smartsheeet alternatives of 2023.
- Pro plan: $7 user/month
- Business plan: $25 user/month
- Does Smartsheet offer a free trial? Yes, Smartsheet has a 30-day free trial
- Does Smartsheet have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS.
Wrike positions itself as an agile project management software. It organizes tasks, facilitates collaboration with file sharing and keeps track of progress. They have Gantt charts, reporting and security features. What distinguishes the tool is its three-pane view, which shows a dashboard, an individual or new task and all of your tasks and subtasks.
That three-pane view can be a deficit, though, as it can be hard to navigate and onboard your team. Its project tracking is limited, which can be frustrating as you try to keep to your schedule and budget. Like many of the more commercially branded products, Wrike can be expensive. If you’re still interested in Wrike, check out the best Wrike alternatives of 2023.
- Professional plan: $9.80 user/month
- Business plan: $24.80 user/month
- Does Wrike offer a free trial? Yes, Wrike has a 14-day free trial
- Does Wrike have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS.
Monday is a tool that connects teams so that they can execute their tasks more efficiently. It helps teams plan, manage and track tasks on a visual interface, allowing for the creation of visual workflows. The tool can execute projects no matter their size or complexity, helping teams stay organized and productive.
Oddly, as it targets task management, Monday makes it difficult to track time and expenses related to tasks. The biggest omission, however, is the lack of a fully-featured Gantt chart, which is considered the standard tool when planning and scheduling tasks for teams. If you’re using this software with other applications, the integration is limited. There are many apps that work with Monday, but many popular ones that don’t, which has led to the development of Monday alternatives.
- Basic: $8 user/month
- Standard: $10 user/month
- Pro: $16 user/month
- Does Monday offer a free trial? Yes, Monday has a 14-day free trial
- Does Monday have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
Asana has a large user base which is a testament to its ability to manage tasks. This large user base might be due to Asana’s integrations with other apps, likely a selling point for many. It also has a full slate of features, from Gantt charts to kanban boards, though some of its features are in-app and others require plug-ins.
One of the main setbacks of Asana as a task management tool is the fact that tasks can only be assigned to one person. If you have a team working together on executing a task, there’s no way to assign it to multiple people. There’s also no time tracking feature to determine how long a team member has spent working on a task, which can make staying on schedule and budget a challenge. Asana is a popular tool, but has tracking drawbacks that leave many looking for an alternative. Check out the best Asana alternatives of 2023.
- Premium plan: $10.99 user/month
- Business plan: $24.99 user/month
- Does Asana offer a free trial? Yes, Asana has a 30-day free trial
- Does Asana have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
Trello is a collaborative software tool that uses kanban boards, lists and cards to help teams organize and prioritize their work. It’s a highly visual tool that provides users with three tiers of information with drag-and-drop editing. It has real-time updates and is easy to onboard teams who will find its graphic interface intuitive to use.
But Trello is a bit of a one-trick pony. While it does that one trick well, there are no Gantt charts in Trello, which limits users’ ability to plan their projects or set task dependencies. Even the kanban is limited in that you can only use one board or project. Additionally, there are no customized tags and it has little email integration.
Trello isn’t a great fit for larger teams or larger projects, but luckily there are numerous Trello alternatives that not only offer kanban boards but a whole set of project management features.
- Standard plan: $5 user/month
- Premium plan: $10 user/month
- Enterprise plan: $17.50 user/month (min 25 users)
- Does it offer a free trial? Yes, Trello has a 14-day free trial
- Does Trello have a mobile app? Yes, Trello has a mobile app
7. Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is a favorite for organizations to manage their large and complicated projects. Because it’s Microsoft, the tool integrates easily with the full suite of MS software solutions. Besides MS Office 365, you get a lot of communication platforms such as Skype and Teams. It also offers a full range of project management tools, from Gantts to dashboards, to help you better manage your project.
Because it offers so much, MS Project can be difficult for users to get a handle on. There’s a steep learning curve that often requires a lot of training to get users equipped. It’s also expensive and that price increases if you want to license the product to everyone on your team. But most irritating is how poorly it works at connecting teams. There are no real-time updates without integration and it doesn’t work on Apple products; if your team uses that operating system, they’ll be locked out. However, Mac users don’t need to panic as there are many similar project planning apps for Mac that can work as an MS Project replacement.
Related: Best Project Management Software for Mac
For these and other reasons, Microsoft Project’s popularity has decreased over time. It used to be a common choice for many project managers, but now there are many different Microsoft Project alternatives that might be a better fit for your organization.
- Project Plan 1: $10 user/month
- Project Plan 3: $30 user/month
- Project Plan 5: $55 user/month
- Does Microsoft Project offer a free trial? Yes, it has a 1-month free trial
- Does it offer a mobile app? Yes, Microsoft Project has a mobile app
Related: How to Run Microsoft Project Files on Mac
Primavera is Oracle’s pony in the project management race. It’s a cloud-based tool that addresses the needs of project portfolio management. It’s used mostly by the construction and engineering industries and has a slew of features including Gantt charts, risk management tools, real-time reporting, graphical workflow modeling and progress tracking. There are also collaborative tools to connect teams on their preferred device.
As might be expected, the software isn’t the most user-friendly and can take a beginner some time to get comfortable with the tool. Like Microsoft, it’s not cheap, which might explain why it’s marketed to larger companies with the funds to invest in its product. There have also been a lot of user complaints about the poor customer service, which is a shame as many new users will require some handholding to get used to working with the otherwise robust tool. Check our blog to learn more about Primavera P6.
- Contact sales for information about Primavera pricing
ClickUp says it’s the only project management tool you’ll need. It does a lot: tasks, documents, chat, setting goals and more. The project management software lets you manage work and collaborate by creating groups, assigning comments for action items and linking tasks. It tracks progress in real time and has list, board and calendar views.
But there’s a lot of heavy lifting required of users to get what they want in addition to several UI issues. For example, there’s a Gantt chart builder whereas other project management software has a Gantt chart already seamlessly incorporated into the tool. The whole point of project management software is to make work more efficient.
While ClickUp might be a good fit for some teams, it certainly doesn’t work for every team. However, if you’re looking for a similar project management software, you might want to take a look at the best ClickUp alternatives of 2023.
- Unlimited: $5 user/month
- Business: $9 user/month
- Business Pro: $19 user/month
- Does ClickUp offer a free trial? No, ClickUp doesn’t have a free trial
- Does ClickUp have a mobile project planning app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
Mavenlink has recently joined Kimble, a professional services automation app, to focus on staff optimal teams and real-time data to boost operational performance. This project management software looks at resources to help teams get better results by scaling and deploying tasks in real time to pivot as things change in the market. It’s all about streamlining to boost efficiency.
What caused us to think twice was the price as it’s always worrisome when no pricing is listed. That’s the first red flag. Second, this project management tool has a learning curve that you have to overcome before enjoying any benefits. Many of the other project management software products we reviewed were plug-and-play, which might cause some to steer clear of this option. They do have a mobile app but it has a lot of improving to do.
- Enter your company info to see custom pricing
- Does Mavenlink offer a free trial? No, they don’t offer a free trial
- Does Mavenlink have a mobile project management app? No, they don’t offer a mobile project planning app
Basecamp is a project management software that organizes projects and teams by giving users visibility into what everyone is working on. This fosters collaboration and keeps everyone productive. Basecamp is pushing itself as the remote project management tool that helps teams work together anytime and anywhere.
One thing that might get in the way of that organization is a lack of tags and labels to quickly identify tasks. More problematic is that the project management software has no time tracking. Even though it can bring remote workers together, there aren’t any advanced features that can help them, such as analytic tools for insights into the project. Even chat functionality, which is a benefit, is poorly thought out. Topics and conversations can’t be archived, which is frustrating.
As with any other project management software, there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using Basecamp to manage your projects. If you still have doubts, we recommend checking out some Basecamp alternatives which can provide you with a similar or even better project management experience.
- Personal: Free for three projects and up to 20 users
- Business: $99 flat fee
- Does Basecamp offer a free trial? Yes, Basecamp offers a 30-day free trial
- Does Basecamp have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
Jira, which is a product of Atlassian, started as a tracking tool for software developers. It has grown since then and has great features for tracking all types of issues, tasks and work items. This project management software helps to plan and track projects, generate reports and automate processes. It has enterprise-grade security and the Atlassian Marketplace is rich with plugins to further the reach of the tool.
As you might expect with a product that grew out of software development, the setup is challenging for first-time users. There’s a steep learning curve and so many configuration options as to make you feel dizzy. While there are email notifications, there’s no messaging in the tool. Although you can use integrations for notifications, this just adds a layer of complexity to an already complex project management tool. The biggest complaint is that this is more a tracking tool than a full-service project management software. You can’t manage costs or assess risks. Plus, it’s not ideal for any methodology outside of agile.
- Free for up to 10 users
- Standard: $7.50 per user
- Premium: $14.50 per user
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
- Does Jira offer a free trial? Yes, Jira offers a 7-day free trial
- Does Jira have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
13. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is online project management software that does what you’d expect, helping teams to plan, track work and improve collaboration. One advantage users will immediately notice is the price as it’s certainly competitive. The billing and time tracking features are also going to make users take a second look. There are task and project tracking features that add up to an attractive package.
Before you put all of your work into this project management software, though, you should know that the search function is limited to only tasks in a project. There’s no global search. There is, however, a dashboard, but its functionality could use improvement. Besides the features, the whole tool is going to take a lot of time and effort to set up and use with any level of skill and comfort.
- Premium: $5 user/month
- Enterprise: $10 user/month
- Does Zoho Projects offer a free trial? Yes, Zoho Projects has a 10-day free trial
- Does Zoho Projects have a mobile project planning app? Yes, Zoho Projects offers a mobile app
ProofHub sells itself as collaborative project management software, controlling teams and projects to improve timely delivery. Like many others on this list, they have various project tools, such as kanban boards and Gantt charts in addition to custom workflows. Unlike others, they have proofing and markup tools as well as chat for collaboration. There are resource and workload reports and timesheets, too.
While this might seem like a fully loaded project management software, it isn’t. There’s no budgeting function for one, which is a glaring omission. You can’t set up your budget or tracking requirements during project execution. Less annoying but still a problem is the lack of recurring tasks, which would make work more efficient.
- ProofHub has a flat pricing fee of $89 per month or $45 with limited features
- Does it offer a free trial? Yes, ProofHub has a 14-day free trial
- Does it offer a free version? No, ProofHub doesn’t have a free version
nTask is a project management software that focuses on task management. It provides transparency into the process and fosters collaboration for teams. Beyond assigning tasks, users can set recurring work, create progress reports, share files and more. It helps with monitoring the budget, allocating resources and even risks—all important aspects of managing your team’s tasks.
That doesn’t mean nTask is without its problems. One thing that blocks collaboration is that the project management tool doesn’t have a Zoom integration. While it has other communication tools, if your team is already using Zoom, this can be a problem. The tool also has limited customization and formatting options. A big hole in the app, especially for agile users, is that there’s no kanban board. That’s an odd omission for a project management software that specializes in task management.
- Premium: $3 user/month
- Business: $8 user/month
- Does nTask offer a free trial? Yes, nTask offers a 14-day free trial
- Does nTask have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS
16. Adobe Workfront
Adobe Workfront is work management software that focuses on enterprise businesses. This project management software helps teams connect and collaborate on workflows. It streamlines intake, automates workflows and creates custom forms to help enterprises execute strategy. The tool has resource management, configurable dashboards and integrations to help with planning. There are also features that measure progress and productivity.
This might sound ideal until you try and unravel its complicated pricing structure. It’s certainly not going to attract smaller businesses, and even enterprise customers might find it hard to understand the price structure of the tool. While this is project management software, it looks more like Excel. It’s not the easiest tool to use which leaves many project managers and team members looking for a Workfront alternative.
- Enterprise, business and pro license types available, pricing upon request
- Does Workfront offer a free trial? No, they don’t offer a free trial
- Does Workfront have a mobile project management app? Yes, Workfront offers a mobile project planning app for both Android and iOS
There are many things to consider when deciding which is the best project management software for your team. Here are some related blogs that can help you make an informed decision and pick the best choice for your projects.
- Best Project Planning Software
- Best Task Management Software
- Best Work Management Software
- Best Resource Management Software
- Best To-do List Apps
- Best Kanban Software
- Monday.com vs. ProjectManager: Which Is Best for Project Management?
- Smartsheet vs. ProjectManager: Which Is the Better Project Management Software?
ProjectManager Is PM Software That Plans, Schedules & Tracks
Those are 16 of the top project management software products. Which one is right for you depends on what you’re looking for and the makeup of your organization. Our top choice is ProjectManager, an award-winning project management software that helps you plan, schedule and track your costs, resources and more. Many tools help you plan and collaborate, but what sets ProjectManager apart is its real-time tracking capabilities that help you remain on track and on budget.
ProjectManager is award-winning software that organizes teams, projects and portfolios. Plan with Gantt charts, portfolio roadmaps and kanban boards to visualize your team’s workflows. It’s the ideal solution for teams no matter where they work. See why over 10,000 teams have chosen ProjectManager by taking this free 30-day trial today.