10 Best Project Management Tools (Features, Pros, Cons, Pricing)
Looking for the best tools for project management?
Finding a tool that suits the exact needs of your team is hard.
It’s probably harder than deciding which Netflix docuseries you want to binge next!
But don’t worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you.
In this article, we’ve created a curated list of the ten best project management tools along with their best features, pros, and cons. We’ve also suggested steps you should take to find the right tool for your team, as well as important features you need to look for in a project management tool.
And we’ll also reveal our #1 pick for the best project management tool.
Let’s get started.
Choosing the right tool can be very difficult. Your organization as a whole may be resistant to change or there may be a lot of moving pieces.
That’s why we’ve provided a handy 6-step checklist to help you along your process of vetting the project management tool for you and your team!
|1. Define Your Needs||-Company culture|
-Project management methodology
-Current tech stack
-System interface & integrations
|2. Create Evaluation Team||-Represents affected teams|
-Standard benchmarks to evaluate
-Tools selected for testing
|3. Test the Tool(s)||-Set a timeframe|
-Demo with sales team
-Learn the tool
|4. Get Management Buy-in||-Objections considered|
-Pain points addressed
|5. Purchase & Implement Tool||-Timeline of integration|
-Training of team
-Integration of existing toolset
|6. Review Your Implementation||-Check in with team|
-Check in with tool’s sales team
-Feedback and improvement
For a more in-depth look at each of these steps, click here.
What Are The Top 10 Project Management Tools?
Now that you know the process to selecting the top project management tools, let’s get down to the royal rumble.
Who’s going to come out on top?
Luckily, all of these project management tools all bring something different to the table, and there’s something for everybody in this list.
Here are the best project management tools:
ClickUp is the highest-rated project management tool. It’s got loads of features that you just won’t find in any other project management software.
Here’s a closer look at some features that put ClickUp in a league of its own:
A. Custom Views
Most companies use different tools for different teams.
This can form cliques within the company, just like in high school.
Tech and software development teams (the nerds) usually want an Agile project management tool.
However, sales and digital marketing teams (the jocks) prefer snappy to-do list tools.
Since most project management software tools just have one type of view, you are forced to use multiple tools throughout your company.
This makes it super hard to transfer important information from different teams.
But we aren’t in high school anymore. Your teams need to be united on one single platform.
ClickUp gives you over 10 different views for your projects, so all your teams are on the same page, literally.
That’s not all.
ClickUp is one of the few tools that let you toggle between views on the same project.
Here’s what they look like:
1. Board view
This view is perfect for easily moving your project tasks around. It’s a great option for Scrum or Kanban enthusiasts.
Curious about Kanban? Check out this detailed guide to Kanban project management.
2. List view
Want to view all your projects in a GTD-style (getting things done) list?
With the List view, you can check off project tasks and subtasks with ease.
3. Box view
The Box view shows you all the tasks each team member is working on. Project managers love this work view as project tasks are broken down by assignees. This way, they can keep an eye on any specific team member’s workload.
4. Me view
Want to only focus on tasks that concern you?
It’s okay to be selfish sometimes (especially when you don’t want to share your fries.)
The Me view only shows every project and task List assigned to you. No more unimportant tasks clogging up your dashboard
Are you a fan of a particular project plan layout?
ClickUp lets you save it and share the template with your team members.
This way, you won’t be wasting time trying to recreate it for future projects.
Want to cut down on the number of meetings?
And really, who doesn’t?
With Custom Statuses, you can easily reduce the number of weekly status reporting sessions.
ClickUp lets you add statuses to multiple projects and tasks to keep everyone informed of what stage it’s in.
The best part of ClickUp’s statuses is that they’re customizable. You’re not limited to standard statuses like ‘Open,’ ‘Closed,’ or ‘Review.’
You can get as creative and detailed as you want.
Add statuses such as ‘Ongoing work’ or ‘Plan work.’
And since every department has its own processes, you can now customize statuses on a project-by-project basis.
How many times have you heard your team member use this excuse: “Whoops, I didn’t see that task?”
We bet that it’s way more than the number of online meetings you’ve attended without any pants on!
With ClickUp, that issue is a thing of the past (no, we are not referring to the pantless problem.)
Whenever you want someone to address a comment, you can assign it to them. ClickUp will send them a notification to ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked.
They can then address the comment and mark it as resolved when they’re done.
D. Gantt Charts
Want the ultimate project planning tool?
ClickUp gives you state-of-the-art Gantt charts to track and manage your projects. You get a bird’s eye view of your project progress and can plan projects in no time. It’s perfect for project portfolio management.
Unlike Excel templates, ClickUp’s Gantt charts also come with tons of automations, so you don’t have to spend countless hours tinkering with your project charts.
ClickUp’s Gantt charts can:
- Automatically readjust your task dependencies when you reschedule items
- Calculate the project progress percentage based on tasks completed/total tasks
- Compare expected vs. current project progress
- Calculate the critical path to identify which tasks you must prioritize
- Help with the project workflow management
Learn more about Gantt Chart project management in this guide.
Project reporting can be exhausting, right?
You have to spend a few hours every week, poring through project data rather than managing your internal team.
So why not let ClickUp help create project reports for you?
ClickUp’s powerful built-in Dashboards help you visualize and organize your project data automatically.
It displays powerful Widgets that are essential for Agile project management:
Here are a few Agile team metrics you can track with Dashboards:
- Velocity Charts: identify how long it takes to complete tasks in a sprint
- Burndown Charts: analyze your team’s performance against the target and visualize the remaining work in real-time
- Burnup Charts: track how much your team has completed against your project scope
- Cumulative Flow Charts: identify potential bottlenecks that are slowing down the project progress and workflow
Want to know how to manage your Agile workflow? This guide has all the answers.
Have a bad memory?
Don’t worry, ClickUp can help you set reminders for anything you choose (even reminders to drink water!)
ClickUp’s Reminders are some of the most powerful reminders you’ve ever seen.
You have access to:
- A reminders inbox: keep track of all your reminders in a single place
- A next tab: see what reminders are coming up
- A done tab: see what reminders you’ve finished
- An unscheduled tab: see which reminders don’t have due dates yet
With ClickUp, project managers can delegate reminders to other team members. Once they do, ClickUp notifies them, and the reminder will appear in their inbox. Your team member can then easily proceed with the upcoming work.
A project manager can also look at a team member’s Profile to keep track and see their assigned tasks and reschedule their reminders accordingly.
Tired of asking this same old question: ‘How long will it take?,’ only to be met with the same response:
With this key feature, this mystery will finally be solved!
ClickUp has a powerful native time tracker to supercharge your productivity levels. Just one click is all you need to start recording how much time a project task takes. This way, you can set realistic deadlines for your team.
ClickUp also gives you a Time Tracked Report, which can:
- Calculate the total time each project team member has spent on tasks
- Calculate time entries for each task/project
- Export this data for reasons such as generating invoices
Want even more customization?
ClickUp lets you add Custom Fields to your tasks to make them richer and more detailed.
You can add fields such as:
- Phone numbers
You can also use these Custom Fields to easily filter multiple projects and tasks.
Docs save trees.
With ClickUp you can shift all your company documents online, so there’s a need for those pesky paper sheets.
Not only that, ClickUp Docs act as a powerful wiki and document management tool for your company, just like Notion.
It’s an all-in-one project management solution for your wiki needs!
Using other management apps?
You can link them to ClickUp in a blink of an eye.
ClickUp has one of the most exhaustive integration lists out there.
With ClickUp’s public API, you can also add as many custom integrations as you want. As new integrations are added every month, you’ll have no trouble switching to ClickUp.
Some of ClickUp’s current integrations include:
- Social collaboration tools: Slack, Zoom
- File management tools: Dropbox, Google Drive, and other Google apps
- Invoicing and time tracking software: Timecamp, Time Doctor, Timely
- Sales and marketing tools: Hubspot, Salesforce
- Software design and development: Github, Gitlab, Sentry
Check out the entire list here.
Note: If you’re looking to migrate from another project management tool to ClickUp, you’re in luck. ClickUp lets you import all your project data from some of the best online project management tools like Basecamp, Zoho, Todoist, Jira software, and many more.
- Custom Views with saveable layouts
- Powerful comments
- Detailed reports
- Powerful to-do lists and reminders
- Use the Inbox as a central place to keep track of multiple projects and assignments
- Gantt chart tool to manage your project task dependencies
- Time tracking capabilities
- Supports embedding your spreadsheets from Google Project and Google Sheets right into your project space.
- Can add freelancers to your team workspace with Custom Access Rights
- Can allocate resources efficiently with Workload View
- Use Pulse – a cool feature for remote work
- Automations that can create automated workflows for any repeatable process
- Sprint Lists to help your Agile team manage their sprint backlog
- Goals to plan and track monthly, annual, and quarterly objectives
- Loads of integrations with apps for video calls, team chats and other needs.
- Powerful mobile apps for iOS and Android
- Unlike other project management software, ClickUp has a feature-rich free version
- Learning curve due to the number of available features and level of customizability
- No Table view in the mobile app
ClickUp is constantly working to fix any minor issues, improve user experience and platform ease of use, and add more tools based on your suggestions.
Want to see a particular feature in ClickUp? Request it here.
ClickUp has three pricing options:
- Free Forever: Unlimited projects and users with 100MB of cloud storage space
- Unlimited ($5/month per user, billed annually): Unlimited projects and users + unlimited number of integrations + advanced reporting
- Business ($9/month per user, billed annually): Unlimited projects and users features + two-factor authentication + Google SSO
ClickUp also offers a free trial for its unlimited and business plans.
G2Crowd: 4.7/5 (1400+reviews)
Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
Wrike is an award-winning web-based application for project management. Unlike most project management software on this list, this collaboration tool is especially used in the big leagues. As a result, it’s great for larger teams and huge corporations.
However, like anything meant for the big leagues, it can lose sight of what it means to help the little guys!
Want to know more about Wrike and how it works? Check our detailed review.
Here are some of the features that help you hit a home run on all your projects:
A. Three-Pane View
Wrike has a three paned intuitive interface geared towards accessibility and productivity. Here’s what it contains:
- Left pane: contains the project hierarchy to edit and adjust subtasks
- Middle pane: contains all your current task lists for a project
- Right pane: contains detailed information about your tasks
This interface makes it easy to manage everything from one workspace. You can monitor every task dependency, team communication, and project progress reports easily.
Wrike has powerful analytics to give project managers detailed insights about their project and team. Here are two of their most popular analytics reports:
- Global report: Analyzes task data from your projects over eight different categories. It’s useful for expense tracking and calculating future resource management
- Performance chart: Graphical representation of your project’s progress over time
With Wrike, detailed insights are just a click away. It’s visual project management at it’s finest.
C. Forms and Requests
Overwhelmed with countless email threads and DM (Direct Messaging) notifications?
You don’t have to switch them off; Wrike eliminates the need for them altogether. With their forms and requests feature, you can assign tasks and communicate useful information easily.
Everything you need to know is on the form itself. You won’t need any other follow-ups.
- Tons of in-built features such as time-tracking and quick file sharing
- Detailed reports and insights to calculate deliverables
- Mobile apps lack functionality
- Not user-friendly, especially for beginners
Bonus: Learn about project management with Wrike.
Wrike has three variants to choose from.
- Free tier: for teams of up to five members for simple project management
- Professional variant ($9.80/month per user): for teams up to 15 members with advanced features
- Business variant ($24.80/month per user): for teams up to 200 members with top-of-the-line features
Note: If you have a marketing or creative team, Wrike offers a special creative agencies plan with additional features like a tailor-made workspace and digital asset management tool (price on request).
G2Crowd: 4.2/5 (1200+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.2/5 (1600+ reviews)
- Cannot add multiple assignees
- Cannot assign comments to project members
- No advanced features like Docs and Mindmaps
Despite its laid-back yoga-inspired name, Asana is a dynamic project management tool used by companies all over the globe. However, it does have a few quirks that could stress you out – making you want that quick yoga session!
Check out our list of top Asana alternatives to help you breathe easy.
Here are a few features of this project management tool that give project managers peace of mind:
A. User Interface
One of the best things about Asana is its intuitive user interface. It’s simple and easy to use.
You get tons of flexibility (pun intended) over how it looks and can move your task list around very easily. You also have access to an activity feed on your dashboard to keep up with what your team members are up to.
This makes it a great project management solution for simple projects.
B. Visual Project Timeline
Asana’s visual project timeline feature is a Gantt chart of sorts. It highlights your task due dates, assignees, and progress over time. However, if you’re looking for a true Gantt chart, you’ll need separate Gantt chart software.
You can get a detailed view of your project with this visual project timeline and can make scheduling adjustments easily.
C. Loads of Integrations
Asana can become one with everything, literally.
Asana can integrate with loads of applications to become a hub for all your business activities. Here are some popular apps it can integrate with:
- Slack: for quick team communication
- Outplanr: to track time and to-do lists
- Google Calendar: to manage your activity schedules
- Dropbox: for easy file sharing
- Unito: integrate with other team collaboration tools like Basecamp, Wrike, and Trello
- Project timelines for simple workflow management
- Tons of helpful integrations
- Drag and drop functionality for task management
- Limited features on the free version
- Project team members will find it hard to collaborate over a plan
- Not meant for heavy project management
Asana has four variants to choose from
- A basic free variant
- A Premium variant ($13.99/month per user), if you have a small team
- A Business variant ($30.49/month per user) for loads of features
G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (6800+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.4/5 (8500+ reviews)
- Cannot assign work through comments to team members
- Cannot add multiple assignees to a task
- Cannot switch between views on the same project
- No custom statuses
- No “Me” tab to only view tasks that concern you
- Does not support native mind mapping
- No built-in wiki tool
In comparison with the previous tool, Asana, Trello is a simple project management tool. Known for its iconic cards, Trello works like supercharged sticky notes.
And just like sticky notes, they’re great to look at and handy in a pinch, but if you’re looking for something more comprehensive, you might want to look elsewhere.
Here’s a closer look at its features:
A. Simple Task Management tool
Trello assigns a “Board” to each task. A project manager can access these boards from their dashboard and make any changes they want. They can add tags, custom fields, and priorities, all with one click.
B. Drag and Drop Functionality
Trello lets you drag and drop tasks around your dashboard. This makes rescheduling and editing tasks and projects easy.
It’s Kanban project management at it’s finest. Uncomplicated and effective.
While they sound like something Mario would like, Power-Ups are Trello’s take on features.
Each project task can be assigned a power-up depending on what’s needed. Most of these power-ups are free and have paid upgrades for more functionality (similar to most freemium games.)
Some of these power-ups include features like calendar views, Google Drive integrations, and quick file sharing.
Trello’s most popular power-up is its “Butler” feature that lets it automate a preset group of tasks.
Want to know how to set up automated workflows in Trello? Here’s our ultimate guide.
- Simple and user friendly interface
- Easy task management and scheduling
- Useful power-ups for additional functionality
- No views other than Kanban views
- No reporting features
- Cannot manage complicated projects
- Relies on external integrations for functionality
- No advanced features like native Mind maps, Docs, and Gantt charts
Check out these Trello alternatives!
Trello has three variants:
- A Free variant for small teams
- A Business variant ($9.99/month per user, billed annually) for medium sized teams
G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (10000+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (17000+ reviews)
- No task list or box view. You’re stuck with a Kanban board view
- Cannot add multiple assignees to a project
- No in-built wiki capabilities
- Cannot assign comments to team members
- No native spreadsheets
- Cannot export projects on the free plan
Workzone is a tried and tested web-based software that’s been around since 2000. But that doesn’t mean it’s as dead as a dinosaur. Sure, it’s not the best project planner on this list, but I guess everyone needs a throwback now and then.
Here’s why this project management tool is alive and kicking in 2021:
A. Simple Project Management
Since Workzone is old-school, it offers no-nonsense project management.
All your projects are accessible from your project dashboard, where you can easily check their status. Open any project, and you’ll instantly see subtasks, due dates, and the assignees involved.
You’ll also get helpful notifications whenever deadlines are approaching to stay on top of everything.
Workzone is all about functionality, with none of the fluff.
B. Smooth Team Collaboration
Workzone lets your project team members collaborate easily via the comment section present under every task.
This ensures that all your conversations are neatly ordered and are situated where they’re most relevant.
C. Reporting Capabilities
Workzone gives you detailed reports over a variety of topics. You get:
- Reports on individual performances
- Progress statuses for your projects
- Time management reports
You can customize each report too. You can view them as a classic bar chart, a pie chart, or as a table. This gives you the information you need in the way you want it.
- Straightforward project management
- Powerful to-do lists
- Good reporting capabilities
- Mobile applications need work
- Lacks features like assigned comments and multiple views
- User interface is dated
Workzone offers you three variants.
- Team ($24/month per user): For loads of features and 100GB of cloud storage for uploads
- Professional ($34/month per user): For all the “Team” features + 150GB of cloud storage for uploads
G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (40+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.7/5 (120+ reviews)
- No free version
- No board or box view available
- Cannot assign comments to team members
- Cannot add threaded comments to workspaces
ProofHub is another big name in the world of project management. True to its name, it’s a great online proofing tool…but that comes at the expense of it falling short of being the best project tracker out there.
Here are the features that make this web-based software a powerful tool:
A. User Interface
ProofHub’s interface isn’t rocket science. You can organize tasks, teams, and projects from your dashboard with ease. ProofHub also lets you set status alerts with the click of a button, making it easy to manage projects.
ProofHub gives you tons of customization options to suit your needs. You have complete control over the color scheme of your tool as well as the layout. You can also white-label it by adding your company name and logo everywhere…just don’t go too crazy with it.
It also offers multilanguage support for French, German, and Spanish.
C. Access Rights
ProofHub lets project managers assign custom roles to employees. These custom roles give employees varying access to your tool. This is a good way to ensure that only certain people can access sensitive projects and useful information.
- Loads of customizability
- Good security features like custom access rights
- Powerful mobile applications for iOS and Android
- Lacks additional functionality such as budgeting capabilities
- Not meant for complex project management
- Reputation for bugginess
ProofHub gives you two variants
- Essential Version ($45/month, billed annually): for 40 projects + 15GB of cloud storage space + unlimited number of users
- Ultimate Control Version ($89/month, billed annually): for loads of additional features + unlimited number of projects + 100GB of cloud storage + unlimited users
G2Crowd: 4.4/5 (30+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.3/5 (40+ reviews)
- No free plan
- Cannot add custom fields
- Does not support tagging people in comments
MeisterTask is another Kanban-based project management tool that’s really popular. Unlike Trello, it’s great Agile project management. However, like Trello, there are more comprehensive solutions out there.
Here are some of its key features:
As it’s a Kanban tool, MeisterTask is very user friendly. It’s very simple to use, and the layout is extremely attractive.
Each project is listed as a card on your dashboard that can easily be accessed and moved around. Each card also has an in-built timer to show you how much time you have before it’s deadlines arrive.
Essentially, this key feature does this:
B. Good Collaboration Software
MeisterTask is a good project management collaboration software for your team. Each user has a central place to share files and ideas with the rest of the team. There’s also an activity stream for sharing deadlines, updates, and assignments.
MeisterTask lets you customize your dashboards to suit your needs. You can change the theme and switch projects around by dragging and dropping them to different places.
Each project can also be customized with features like video thumbnails. This ensures that you’re not stuck with the same rigid interface for each project!
- Loads of customizability
- Team members will find it easy to collaborate over a plan
- Loads of integrations with tools like Slack and GitHub
- Can’t handle complex projects
- Mobile tools lack functionality
MeisterTask offers you four different versions.
- A free variant: for unlimited users + projects
- A Pro variant ($4.19/month per user, billed annually): for unlimited users + projects + additional features + unlimited integrations
- A Business variant ($10.39/month per user, billed annually): for unlimited users + projects + additional security + priority customer support + security features
G2Crowd – 4.4/5 (150+ reviews)
Capterra – 4.7/5 (850+ reviews)
- Cannot support a box or list view, only supports a Kanban interface
- No Gantt chart tool for a bird’s eye view of your project progress
- Cannot customize statuses
Formerly known as dapulse, Monday.com is another good online project management solution available today. However, it is named after everyone’s least favorite day of the week. Is that a sign of things to come? Let’s find out:
Here’s our detailed Monday.com review!
Here’s what makes Monday.com special:
A. Third-Party Collaboration
Most project management tools only allow team members to access their workspaces. This makes working with freelancers and third-party agents difficult.
Not for Monday.com, though.
A team leader can add as many third-party agents as they want.
You can customize their access rights to ensure that they only access projects assigned to them.
B. Easy Communication
Monday.com is a good project management collaboration software because of its comment sections. Teams can use it to share ideas, project tasks, and files with no difficulty.
Monday.com also lets you follow Twitter and Linkedin threads in the app to stay updated.
C. Loads of Native Integrations
Monday.com can integrate with tons of integrations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Zapier to boost its functionality.
As Monday.com is built on an open-source framework, developers can add their own custom integrations as well.
- Open API architecture allows you to add custom integrations
- Detailed reporting capabilities
- Ability to add freelancers and third-party agents
- Cannot handle complex projects
- No free plan
- Mobile apps need work
Monday.com has four plans:
- Basic plan ($8/month per user): Includes unlimited free viewers + mobile apps+ 5 GB data storage
- Standard ($10/month per user): Includes project timeline view + 5 native integrations + 50 GB data storage
- Pro ($16/month per user): Includes time tracking + chart view + 100 GB data storage
G2Crowd: 4.6/5 (1100+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.6/5 (2100+ reviews)
- No free plan
- Cannot toggle between views in the same project
- Cannot set up recurring tasks
- Does not support automatic time tracking
- No mind mapping capabilities like MindMeister
- Cannot assign comments
- Cannot monitor task dependencies
Teamwork is a great online project management tool, which helps you with… team work (was that a little too obvious?)
Here’s a closer look at its features:
A. Intuitive Dashboard
Teamwork’s dashboard is unique as it gives you an option to only see your most recent tasks. This way, you’ll never get lost in an ocean of completed tasks. While dealing with loads of projects, this key feature can be useful to identify priority targets and deal with them first.
The dashboard’s interface can also be customized to include your company’s name and logo.
(Sorry, they don’t offer custom t-shirts yet.)
B. Email Integration
Teamwork lets you reply to comments and notifications via email. This makes responding super convenient, and you can get things sorted out in seconds.
You can add multiple email accounts and signatures to further customize this process.
C. Invoicing Capabilities
Teamwork’s time tracker has an invoicing tab that can be a useful billing feature. It can calculate billable hours in order to generate invoices for your clients.
As the invoices are directly generated from your timesheets, so your clients know that you’re billing them correctly.
- Loads of customizability
- Lots of native features such as an invoicing tool for clients using built in timesheets
- Good mobile applications
- Cannot handle complex project management
- Free plan only useful for very small teams working on two or fewer projects
There are four Teamwork variants available.
- Free: Up to five users working on a maximum of two projects
- Pro ($12.50/month per user): Workload view + 300 projects a month
- Premium ($22.50/month per user): 50 project templates + 600 projects a month
- Enterprise (price varies): Single sign-on, priority support
G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (680+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (600+ reviews)
- Lack of Goals feature
- Very limited reporting
- Cannot add tasks to multiple lists
Citrix Podio is a good project management tool with tons of app integrations. Just like a chameleon, this project tool is famous for its adaptability and customizability. However, it does run the risk of being a jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none.
Here’s a closer look at every key feature it has to offer:
A. App Market
Podio’s claim to fame is its app market. You’ve got hundreds of web-based software add-ons that can add functionality to your app.
- Expense tracking apps
- Organization apps
- Notes apps
- Invoicing tools
- And several more.
B. Simple Interface
Podio opts for a simple and user friendly interface that’s easy to operate. Your dashboard shows you your current projects, activity stream, and calendar. It’s everything you need, stored in a single place.
This makes workflow management smoother than cream cheese spread on a bagel.
Podio’s interface can also support over 12 languages to make sure everyone’s comfortable using it.
C. Custom API
Podio is almost an open-source tool. Your developers can use the Podio API to add as many custom integrations as they want.
- User friendly interface
- Loads of add-ons in the app store
- Can handle custom integrations
- Lacks in-house functionality such as assigned comments and reports
- Cannot handle complex project management
There are four Podio versions available:
- Free Plan: with basic project planning and access to the app store
- Basic Plan ($9/month): with project planning + unlimited number of projects and users
- Plus Plan ($14/month): with advanced project planning + automated management of your workflow
- Premium Plan($24/month): with visual reports and interactive dashboards
G2Crowd: 4.2/5 (330+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.3/5 (250+ reviews)
- Cannot customize access rights
- No Gantt chart tool to manage your projects task dependencies
- Cannot switch between views in a project
- Cannot add custom statuses
- Cannot add multiple assignees
Note: These are not all of the best project management software available. Here a few honorable mentions:
- Basecamp: a minimalistic yet powerful project management software for small businesses
- Jira Software: one of the best project planning tools for Agile teams
- Liquidplanner: a smart project planning tool with automated scheduling
- Celoxis: a comprehensive project management software with loads of dashboards and customizable features
- Zoho Project: cloud-based project management solution geared towards small businesses
6 Steps to Choose the Best Project Management Tool
As mentioned in the beginning, it’s hard to get started. Here are the six steps that you can follow to decide on the best project management tool.
1. Define Your Needs
First, you need to identify current problems in your current workflow.
It’s also important to consider the company as a whole, as the best project management tool should be cross-functional in order to scale up into the organization. After all, it would be a headache to collaborate with different departments all using completely different project management software.
With this in mind, you need to consider the company culture and the project management methodology adopted by your organization. You want your project management tool to fit seamlessly into this organizational fabric.
2. Put together an Evaluation Team
When you move forward to this stage, it’s important to organize a team that can represent several organizational functions for best effect.
For example, the sales team would use the project management software tool in a completely different way from the marketing team. Additionally, managers may be interested in higher-level overviews while specialists need to be able to navigate through granular pieces of a project. Great project management tools need to have this flexibility.
Then, you need to create standards of evaluation. It’s difficult to judge a tool’s effectiveness if everyone’s vocabulary to give feedback differs. Lastly, compile a list of top tools contending for your business. Our top 10 list would be a great starting point.
3. Test the Tool
After settling on which project management tool or tools to test, it’s now time to test.
Commit to a timeframe in which you will use the tool to its fullest capacity. This is the time to pilot a project and see if the project management tool will address your needs in step 1.
Learn the tool by reading help docs, watching webinars, or contacting customer service as well as getting a demo from the sales team. For example, ClickUp has 24/7 customer chat and email support as well as coaches and support staff on standby to demo the platform.
4. Get Management Buy-in
After a successful pilot, it’s time to convince your boss to switch to this project management tool. When addressing the executive team, it’s important to keep these things in mind
- What potential objections will management have that I can address?
- What management pain points does this tool help solve?
- Do we have data to prove the effectiveness of the project management solution?
5. Purchase and Implement the Tool
Congratulations! Management has approved the use of this project management tool. However, your job as a project manager is not over yet. First, commit to a timeline and a plan. When do you want to bring everyone on?
To maximize the impact of this project management tool, how much training will your team members need and who will give it? For example, ClickUp offers professional services to help teams transition into using the platform.
Do you have current software that need to be integrated into the project management workflow?
6. Review and Iterate
After implementation, you should review the impact this tool has had on your organization. Did it truly address the needs you set out to fulfill in step 1?
Get feedback from your team after everyone is past the learning curve. Does anything need improvement?
Additionally, the project management tool may have features that you were previously unaware. Continue to work with client success and attend training workshops that might be relevant for your workflows to further integrate the tool into your organization.
What Should You Look For In A Project Management Software?
When you’re looking for a nice bottle of wine, expensive usually means better.
But is it the same when you’re searching for the best online project management tools?
You might splash all your cash on a fancy new project management software, only to find out it has just three useful features!
So, what attributes should you use to figure out the best tool for your team?
Here are the top five aspects:
1. Team Collaboration
How can you predict your project’s success?
Hint: A magic 8 ball, tarot cards, or an ouija board can’t help you. (And even if they did, the reply wouldn’t be so comforting.)
So how do you do it?
You just need to know how well your team works together.
Team collaboration essentially determines whether your projects meet deadlines or not. Effective teamwork is the core of every project management process: Agile or otherwise.
Good project management software lets your team communicate easily and effectively. They need to easily share ideas, opinions, resources, or even attach files to get work done quickly.
What would happen if your project management software doesn’t have any team collaboration features?
Let’s hear what the Magic 8 ball has to say:
2. Innovative Features
Project management is a dynamic process. New process innovations and breakthroughs happen all the time.
But is your project management system keeping up with times, or is it way past its prime?
You should choose a project management app that regularly keeps rolling out cool features. These could be things like an integrated wiki feature, a notes app, a built-in Gantt chart, and the list goes on.
If not, you’ll be stuck with a Stone Age tool while everyone else would be equipped with lightsabers.
Every company is different. Every workforce is different. Every project has different challenges.
Your project management app must adapt to this reality. It needs to be customizable. You should have customizability over layouts, themes, views, project milestones, everything.
Your project management tool must be flexible enough for managing entire enterprises or a specific task within an employee’s day-to-day. After all, you should be running the show, right? Not your project management app!
If your tool isn’t easy to use, it just isn’t worth it.
It could have a million different features, but if they’re not user friendly, what’s the point?
Your team will waste precious work hours figuring how to use it. Imagine that: wasting time on a productivity tool. How ironic is that?
You might as well stick with Microsoft Word to manage projects!
5. Customer-Focused Product Roadmap
Great project management software always let you know what’s in store for its future.
There has to be a set of ideas and objectives that it’s planned to release in the upcoming months. If there’s no project roadmap, there are two possibilities:
- These project management apps aren’t looking to achieve much
- or the software development team has given up on it
Moreover, this roadmap should be based on what the users want. So go for a tool that keeps customer inputs and feedback at the very core of its innovation and product roadmap.
So choose the best project management software tool that challenges itself to be better and push the boundaries of what’s expected.
It’s what you expect from your entire team, right?
Why not hold your software to the same standard?
Project management FAQs
Still unsure about a few things in project management?
We got you covered.
Here are some of the answers to your burning questions:
1. What Are Project Management Tools And Techniques?
Project management tools and techniques are software and strategies that help teams manage their day-to-day operations.
They help streamline all the processes involved in completing project deliverables. Whether it’s managing workloads, scheduling your calendar, tracking your progress – it’s almost impossible to manage a complex project without a tried-and-tested and project management software tool!
2. What are the five project management techniques?
Project management has evolved so much over the years that it’s spun off into so many different techniques and methodologies. And each interesting methodology has its own set of rules and processes involved.
Here are the top 5 project management techniques:
- Waterfall: breaks down the software development process into 6 phases; requirements, analysis, design, coding, testing, and acceptance
- Agile project management: includes the client in the software development process
- Scrum project management: the most popular subset of Agile project management which involves self-organized Scrum teams
- GTD (Get Things Done): helps prioritize your team’s work efficiently
- Critical Path Method: helps the team identifies the most important tasks that need to be completed
- For more check out our project management terms guide
But these techniques are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our guide to the top 18 project management methodologies.
3. What tools are used in project management?
There tons of charts, diagrams, reports, and documents that help with planning and executing successful projects.
All of these important elements are also known collectively as ‘project management tools.’
Let’s take a look at of few of them:
- Work Breakdown Structure: visualizes project scope by breaking down the project into smaller components
- Mind maps: helps brainstorm project ideas and tasks
- Gantt charts: see the project overview in a glance with this horizontal bar chart
- Calendar: used to track and manage the project schedule
- Network diagram: visualizes all the tasks, responsibilities, and project workflows
4. What Is The Best Software For Project Management?
ClickUp is the best project management tool available today. While most project management tools have a few features to offer, ClickUp has everything an on-premise, remote team, or an Agile team needs to plan and track successful projects.
Finding the best tools for project management isn’t easy, especially when you’ve got tons of great options.
While all these tools are great, ClickUp is the best free project management software in 2021. Even its free version has more functionality than the paid versions of most other tools.
It’s like getting a pair of new Air Jordans…for free!
Why not sign up for ClickUp for free today and slam dunk your projects?!