There is no doubt that project management software helps you be more productive.
How do we know? Because you can track tasks completed, the time spent, and compare that to your performance over the long run. When used correctly, project management software eliminates most of the challenges of managing virtual teams.
What’s even more amazing is that you can improve your productivity…for free!
Nearly every team I’ve been on has used some type of project management software, and the other teams should’ve used project management software. And when it’s free, there’s no downside!
Wait…your team hasn’t used project management software or tools before? Then this list will give you a great headstart on the many different options to try out.
Let’s take a look at the top options and find the free project management software that will fit your team, your personality and your needs–no matter what task you need to accomplish!
Note: For other ways to increase your productivity, check out our guide on how to be more productive.
What if you had one project management tool that the whole organization could use…for free?
And what if the tool were one of the most highly rated project management software tools…for free?
Pretty good deal, right?
What you get in the free version of ClickUp:
Most companies demand premium prices for what ClickUp delivers for free. Enjoy access for unlimited users, tasks, multiple projects, and all of the product features in the forever free plan. There are no limits to which task management options or features you can use!
- Customized Views: Do you prefer to see your tasks on a scrum board or in a list? View your tasks organized as a List, Box, Gantt chart, Board, or Calendar. Each team member or user can switch between different views with a single click. Just select a view that works best for you, and quickly find the task you’re working on.
- Resource Allocation: Easily allocate resources by using the Box View and Pulse to gauge your team’s current workload. If you are running a remote team, this can dramatically transform your team productivity.
- Assign Comments: Do comments slip through the cracks? Assign that comment right away as a task, and set up specific dates and times to follow up. This feature makes remote project management super easy.
- Priorities: Unsure which tasks are most imperative in order for your team to finish up the job? Set up custom priority levels and collaborate on various tasks based precisely upon how vital each task is to the project!
- Goals: Set goals for your whole team! Track tasks, set numerical progress, or a simple yes/no for completion. You could also use this to set weekly sprint goals for your agile and scrum software projects.
- Custom Fields: Set up project management the way you want it. Add more columns for contact info, notes, budgets and more. So simple!
- Drag and Drop: This is a key feature, especially if you have multiple teams using spaces and projects in ClickUp. Drag, drop, move, and re-assign tasks to people, clients or teams in just a few steps – no annoying menus required. You move the tasks to where they need to go and in any view.
ClickUp is conscious of how work actually gets done, which sparked our motivation to obsessively create features to enhance productivity.
And because ClickUp interacts with so many essential collaboration tools, your team will hum along as it’s always done–just faster and more efficiently on multiple projects. Everyone from individual users to project managers will enjoy using ClickUp.
There’s a forever free plan available to your team, along with an upgrade to unlimited storage for just a few dollars more a month. Feel free to try out the free version with all the features, and upgrade to unlimited storage at any time!
ClickUp is also a great option for agile project management and agile development–meaning all of your team members can use it!
What People Think About ClickUp:
“The ClickUp team is amazing. I have used just about every project/list management software in the market, and ClickUp blows them away.” – G2Crowd
“I love ClickUp! I did a TON of research on different project management platforms and tried them all out. ClickUp was by far the best. I then had to convince my team to switch over from our previous tool and they all love ClickUp. Even my team member who thought Trello was the best system has been convinced. It’s a really nice tool and has helped my team to be more efficient and organized with all the various projects we have.” — G2Crowd
“Click up is highly customizable, which allows me to adjust the view according to my team needs. The interface is very contextual and intuitive. Despite the high complexity of the tool and the variety of options it gives, it is easy to use from the very first time. I like the ability to filter, the micro-interactions, the tone of voice and it is clear that the product designers of this tool were thinking out of the box when creating it.” — G2Crowd
Ready to try ClickUp? Start here.
If you want to try out Kanban boards instead of Post-It notes, then take a look at MeisterTask. They try to make Kanban boards more practical. Your tasks, comments, notes, due dates, and more will be set up like Kanboard boards in one place. It’s a flexible project board and cloud-based project management that goes along with your workflow.
What you get in the free version of MeisterTask:
- Unlimited number of projects, tasks and project members and users
- Two integrations (such as with Slack or Zendesk)
- Checklists, comments, tags, task and time tracking features
- User-friendly interface
- File sharing adn attachments (up to 20MB)
What People Think About MeisterTask:
“The one thing I’m not really happy with is the inability to batch move tasks from one section to another. I don’t know why we can do that! You can only move one task at a time. Also, the scroll bar is pretty small and hard to click on because it’s pretty skinny. The free version doesn’t support recurring tasks so that’s something to be aware of if you are not going to pay for it.” – Capterra Verified Review
Note: Import a CSV file of your tasks into ClickUp! Start here.
Okay, if you’re really into data visualization and Gantt charts, then TeamWeek may be the option for you. You can see important deadlines and due dates in a calendar form right when you log in.
That’s handy just for a quick view of what’s happening. Another selling point? You can use it as a resource management tool, as well. If you’re curious about who’s overloaded or what a certain team member’s schedule looks like, then TeamWeek will clue you in.
What you get in the free version of TeamWeek:
- Unlimited projects
- Unlimited tasks
- Free mobile app
- Up to 5 team members/users
What People Think About TeamWeek:
“Good Project Management Tool that could use a bit more functionalities.” – Capterra
Trello has become a popular free project management solution in the last few years, bringing the Kanban board approach to the masses. You can use it even if you aren’t using agile or scrum project management methodologies.
The boards are projects and the cards within the boards. Each task and set of tasks is then grouped on a board. Move the cards to different progress points, depending on the work that has been done and the tasks that still need to be done.
Then add task details, create checklists, and upload files onto the card. However, for the free version, it has basic features as far as integrations are concerned.
What You Get In The Free Version of Trello:
- Unlimited number of boards, task lists, cards, users, checklists and attachments.
- One integration per Board
- Up to 10MB for files
What People Think About Trello:
“So far Trello is doing a great job. What is advertised is done as expected. The only thing I will like to mention is the modern user interface. I would really like to have a new and fresh look for this software which will make the user experience more effective.” — G2Crowd
Learn how to import from Trello into ClickUp.
Wrike works well for small teams, and their folder system keeps everything organized. Their activity stream dashboard is helpful to see who is working on what tasks and projects. You can also store several projects within Wrike and quickly access them, but their file system can be overwhelming at times. They also have an issue tracking feature that would be helpful for development teams.
What You Get In The Free Version of Wrike:
Unfortunately, their free version is quite limited, as you lose out on their best features, and much more until you upgrade to their premium plan. That’s a major consideration when you have so many other options with truly great task features and functionality. Before starting with Wrike, check out these top Wrike alternatives.
- Tasks, folders, projects
- File sharing
- Table view
- iOS and Android apps
What People Think About Wrike:
“Sometimes changing some options will affect all the folders, other times you want an option to be applied to the sub-folders but it will only be applied to your main folder. Setting up the tool can be quite a long process without adequate training” — Technology Advice
Be a master of none or a niche player? That’s an age-old question!
Bitrix is an intuitive tool that’s an all-in-one project management solution that tries to solve multiple business needs at once. That’s great for some businesses, especially small businesses, but it kind of depends on both your personality and your team’s habits.
Features in Bitrix include a high-level dashboard view, social intranet that includes chat, video, document storage, calendars, task management, mail, and more. The hard part is that you’re probably using several of those tools already, and integrating may be better than going all out for a one-stop-shop solution (that’s confusing!).
But for project management, you get tasks, Gantt charts, and task dependencies for free. The only cap is with the number of users and storage–so only part of your team can use it and you can’t store many documents.
Check out our detailed review of Bitrix24 here.
What You Get In The Free Version of Bitrix24:
- Task management
- Kanban boards
- Resource management
- 5GB of storage
- 12 users
What People Think About Bitrix24:
“Bitrix is riddled with whimsical graphics that smooth over the transitions from page to page. They ultimately slow down the experience and draw the eye away from the more critical business elements of the page. On top of that, helpful reminders reminiscent of ‘Clippy’ show to block key functions of the page, making them hard to ignore and, at the end of the day, frustrating.” — G2Crowd
7. Teamwork Projects
Teamwork Projects is a very well-known project management solution, but is geared more for the enteprise audience with single sign-on, HIPAA compliance and premium support. Their paid plans has lots of feature options for teams, and offers a suite of tools such as billing and invoicing.
However, their free tier is quite limited, only offering very basic feature functionality.
Many clients and teams will pony up for those advanced features, but it’s a risk if you don’t want to be locked into a long-term pricing plan. In the Pro plan, for instance, you get lots of integrations–such as to Dropbox and Slack–and way more storage and up to 50 users.
You won’t get that on the free plan, which seems to be a starter option to try it out before jumping to a larger tier.
What You Get In The Free Version of Teamwork Projects:
- 2 active projects
- Limited task boards
- Color themes
What People Think of Teamwork Projects:
“The software seems to be popular just in Europe, so there are a few third-party apps who have developed something connected to Teamwork but it have access to the API and webhooks to compensate.” — G2Crowd
Asana is a very well-known project management software tool that’s used by a lot of teams. They got a huge boost as a company because their CEO was one of the early founders of Facebook. Users generally like Asana because it’s a visually appealing tool that utilizes projects and sections to keep work organized and gives team clarity over precisely who is in charge of what in your project planning. Asana is simple to use compared with most other project management software solutions. It’s easy to move your task and assign work. Their drag-and-drop features are helpful and intuitive. One problem with Asana has been its reliability with its rapid growth. Before committing to Asana for the long-term, check out these Asana alternatives.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Asana:
- Unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations
- Basic dashboards
- Basic search
For more about what you get (and don’t get!) in Asana, check out this comparison.
What People Think About Asana:
“Asana’s feature set and complexity requires a relatively steep learning curve for the uninitiated. That hampered roll-out efforts in my organization, along with the fact there is no desktop app for Asana. After nearly a year, I’m still figuring out all the features and best uses, so it would be nice to have a variety of case studies/examples from which to glean best practices.” – Capterra
Note: Compare Asana and ClickUp!
In Todoist, it’s easy to quickly capture thoughts and ideas on your phone and then get reminded about them later. You can also plug in deadlines, like pay bills in 3 days, and the app will automatically remind you. You’ll get a view of the week ahead and you can plan your to-do list and task list accordingly.
In the premium plan, you can create your own tags, setting your own themes/views, and storing templates. Other task management apps don’t have all that.
Todoist was built as a personal task management app, and not as project management software for businesses and collaborations. To easily manage all users and their tasks, you’ll have to opt for the paid plan or a different tier version. You don’t get any real-time collaboration features in the basic free version.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of the Todoist App:
- Access on 10+ platforms
- Recurring due dates
- SSL secured connection
- Sub-tasks & sub-projects
- Task priorities (4 levels)
- 80 Active projects
- 5 people per project
What People Think About Todoist:
“I haven’t found a way to get integration with Google Calendar in a way that works for me, It syncs tasks, but the manner in which it does so isn’t fluid with the way that I work so that is probably due to user error or my personal preference and less likely a reflection of the program.” — G2Crowd
Note: Compare Todoist with ClickUp!
Airtable is a beautifully designed table meets database. It takes what you love about Excel and Google Sheets and puts a modern web-based project on it. Think of Airtable as a fancy spreadsheet that helps you track inventory, lists of reference items or as a bootstrap CRM.
If you’re used to the “workbook” concept in Excel, then in Airtable it’s called a “base.” Airtable bases can be saved as templates, empowering others to use it for their work as well.
Essentially, Airtable is a super-friendly, non-intimidating database for the 21st century, disrupting traditional database management systems that rely on SQL or other complex languages. The cells and design look like a spreadsheet, but you can also link records across tables, and reference files or attachments quickly and easily as well.
If you’ve used Excel as project management in the past, then you may want to look at Airtable as well, though we don’t usually recommend spreadsheets for project management.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Airtable:
- Unlimited bases
- Unlimited scheduling views
- Rich field records
- 2 GB of storage
- 2 weeks of historical data
What People Think About Airtable:
“I hate that it doesn’t have reminder/follow up capabilities especially knowing they advertise as a team collaboration tool that’s used for customer service.” — G2Crowd
Compare Airtable and ClickUp for project management.
If you’re looking for a high-quality, free project management software with a sole focus only on Gantt charts, then TeamGantt is your best option. This software product is amazing at building out and visualizing Gantt charts to see what tasks may overlap and who is responsible for what.
It’s also a great tool for measuring team and individual progress against the project milestones.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of TeamGantt:
- 1 project
- Basic planning and collaboration
- 3 users
- Team availability and workload
What People Think About TeamGantt:
“The free version only allows one project. The next step up is not that expensive though.” — G2 Crowd
Freedcamp gives you multiple views including a list, kanban boards, and Gantt chart. It also has a wall for social communication and private tasks. It also includes white labeling for client spaces, invoicing and CRM capabilities. It moves beyond project management software into an all-in-one solution, which can be frustrating at times if you depend on one tool for every single business function. The free plan is limited and then pricing plans begin at $5.99 per year.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of FreedCamp:
- Time tracking
- Discussion boards
- Password manager
- Personal task manager
- …and more!
What People Think About Freedcamp:
“I don’t like the fact that it has no mobile application, that would be great to communicate and manage tasks straight from the mobile.” — G2Crowd
Redbooth helps teams team streamline their work and stay focused on the most important tasks. It features a simple, user-friendly interface that helps teams feel comfortable right away. Managers feel empowered to change workloads and resources very easily.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Redbooth:
- Assigned users
- Gantt charts
- 2GB of storage
- Community forums/email support
What People Think About Redbooth:
“File storage is extremely unhelpful. When you upload attachments to tasks, they are just stored as files within a master file, and it takes significant time to organize them separately. We wound up ignoring this feature altogether.” — Capterra
14. Pivotal Tracker
Pivotal Tracker has become a favorite among agile teams. Their simple kanban board style and clean storyboarding lead to a very organized feel. They also have automatic planning which means you can focus less on planning who needs to do what and actually doing it. Detailed analytics make sure your reporting is granular and accurate. The professional plans of Pivotal Tracker start at $12.50 a month and that is for 5 users if purchased annually.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Pivotal Tracker:
- 3 Collaborators
- 2GB Space
- 2 Private Projects
What People Think About PivotalTracker:
“Solid task management and project management features, with good 3rd-party integrations.” — Verified Review on Capterra
Paymo is a great option for single users. People who have simpler project management teams love Paymo since it offers Kanban Boards and Time Tracking that allows for freelancers to easily keep track of time tracked for each of their clients. The biggest downside of Paymo is that the free plan is limited to a single user. The biggest issue is when teams grow you either need to start paying or migrate over to an entirely new platform.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Paymo:
- 1 User
- 1GB of Space
- Time Tracking
What People Think About Paymo:
“Absolutely love the granular control on the reports and ability to manage users, projects, tasks and more.” —Verified Review on Capterra
Podio is almost like a project management and chat software hybrid. They offer conversations in the app and the ability to view all your tasks at an overview or drill all the way down to a specific task. They offer many integrations with many popular software like ZenDesk, Evernote, and Google Drive.
Here’s What You Get In The Free Version of Podio:
- 5 Users
- Unlimited Workspaces
- Chat Capabilities
What People Think About Podio:
“Reliable communication with the team through the chat function. Good personal tas management and also knowledge management. Even though we stored or files in a cloud service, we ‘indexed’ and sorted our knowledge through Podio.” — Capterra
If your team isn’t large, and you don’t want to pay for project management, take a look at HiTask. They are free for up to 5 users and HiTask gives you unlimited tasks and projects. You’ll also get a half a gigabyte of space.
A downside? HiTask’s free plan doesn’t allow any sharing so you’ll need to get creative if you are working with clients.
Here’s what you get in the free version of Hitask:
- Up to 5 Users
- Unlimited Tasks and Projects
- Shared Task Lists, Projects, and Calendars
- 0.5GB of Space
What People Think About Hitask:
“This product is very easy to use, but the user interface is not very intuitive. The pricing is fair considering what you will get in return. If you plan to use this for a personal reason then this tool may be sufficient. ” – Capterra
Another option for free project management software is Zenkit. With Zenkit, you’ll get a decent spread of features and templates to make setting up your workspace easier. While they do make it easy to establish, the 5000 item limit can be a barrier to entry for teams that are busy or who move from another software.
What you get in the free version of Zenkit:
- Unlimited Collections
- 3 GB of Storage
- Up to 5 Members
- Up to 5 Teams
What People Think About Zenkit:
“It is easy to use from day one since most tools are structured very user-friendly. I like the efficiency it provides for sharing information and tasks with my team.” — Capterra
You want the best. And you want it for free.
And don’t forget, you also want your free project management software to do the job. Your whole team should be able to get on board and use its advantages without even considering overpaying for project management software. Because most of these project management solutions are cloud-based, it’s easy to share across your teams, no matter the time or place. Be careful and rank the features that you absolutely need in order to cultivate successful project management. The worst situation is when you enthusiastically embark on a new project – only to be stymied by its lack of features and functionality, baiting you into the paid plan of the solution.
When comparing project management software, think carefully about those features before making a decision. If you want to make a switch, it’s good to back up your tasks into a CSV file and then you’re information is ready to import into your next project management tool.
This post has been updated for 2019.
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