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Project Management Software: Complete Guide (Top 7 Tools)

Project Management Software: Complete Guide (Top 7 Tools)

Looking for a comprehensive guide to project management software?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s:

  • Showing you why you need it,

or

  • Guiding you on how to select the right project management tools,

or

  • Reviews of the best tools on the market today,

We have everything you need in this buyer’s guide!

This Article Contains:

(click on the links to jump to a specific section)

Let’s get started.

What Is Project Management Software?

Project management tools help project managers and teams manage their projects effectively. 

These tools can help you:

  • Schedule your project plans
  • Allocate tasks
  • Monitor your progress
  • Collaborate effectively with your team and external parties
  • Budget your expenses
  • Track your time
  • And everything else involved in the project management process!

Everything?

Well, almost everything!

As projects have become increasingly complex, project management tools have evolved to cope with them. Remember, they need to take care of all the aspects of project portfolio management.

The goal of any project management tool is to give your team a centralized space to manage all your team activities. From planning to execution – your management tool is supposed to handle everything. 

With the right project management software, you won’t have to use hundreds of other tools – it’s going to have everything you need built-in!

Why You Need Project Management Software

Ever wonder why there are so many articles on project management software?

It’s because everyone uses it!

But doing something just because everyone else does is never a good idea; so, here are a few reasons why you need project management software:

A. Better Organization

If all your project management activities are handled within the same app, it’s going to be easier to organize everything, right?

You won’t be switching from here to there trying to manage everything. All you need is neatly stored and categorized inside the same app

B. Smoother Collaboration

Most project management tools have built-in comment sections that support active team collaboration. This helps your team exchange ideas and collaborate over projects effectively. It also makes it easier for them to recommend project changes and take action on any important updates.

Additionally, as everything is stored within your project management app, it’s easier for the whole team to stay updated about a project’s status.

C. Increased Productivity

Structured organization and streamlined collaboration lead to increased productivity.

Think about it.

If it’s easy to access all your project material, and it’s easy to collaborate with your team, you’re going to get through tasks quicker, right?

As everything is available within the same project management app, you’ll have no difficulty mapping out projects, monitoring progress and executing effectively.

What You Should Look For In A Project Management App

You know that you need a project management tool.

But how do you choose the right one?

It’s simple!

Just look for a tool that has these five key things:

A. Comprehensive Features

Remember, your project management tool has to manage your entire project management process.

It needs to have the features to deal with that.

Only look for a management tool that can manage all the aspects of your usual project management process. 

It should ideally include:

  • Project planning – to plan your projects effectively
  • Collaboration software – to help your team collaborate easily
  • Project progress tracking – to monitor your project’s progress
  • Document storage – to carefully store and create important project documents
  • Goal-setting – to give your team a set of deliverables to work towards
  • Reminders – to remind you of your deadlines
  • Distinct statuses – to keep you updated about project updates
  • Client access rights – to give your clients an update about their project’s progress

Important Note

Your company may not currently need all the features of a task management tool. 

However, avoid choosing a tool that’s too simplistic. 

The best option is to choose a tool that is easy to use for basic project management but packed with powerful features that will become important as you scale up.

B. Customizability

This is your project management tool. 

It should adapt to your team and your needs.

It shouldn’t be the other way around.

Only look for a task management tool that can adapt to your company’s unique needs. Whether its the interface, the statuses, the reminders, the views – everything should be customizable to suit your team’s needs.

Why?

If you’re using a tool that isn’t built for your team, it’s going to slow you down – not speed things up.

C. User-Friendliness

There’s no point having a feature-rich tool that you can’t use, right?

If a task management tool is difficult to use, it’s not worth it.

Why?

Your team is going to be wasting time figuring out how to use it instead of working!

Your project management solution is supposed to simplify your project management process – not complicate it.

D. Integrations

Even though your project management tool is supposed to have everything you need to manage your projects, it might not be enough.

Sometimes you just need to use external tools.

For example, every company needs to manage expense tracking and resource allocation

But most project management tools don’t come with those features built-in.

So what do you?

A good project management solution must be able to integrate with external tools to ensure that everything remains unified. This way, even though the project management tool can’t support this feature by default, it can use your external tool to give you the functionality you need.

The Top 7 Project Management Software

Here are the top seven project management tools that’ll help you streamline your work and  skyrocket your team productivity:

1. ClickUp

ClickUp is one of the world’s highest-rated project management tools. Used by Nike, Google and Airbnb, it has everything you need to manage your projects and boost productivity immediately.

ClickUp has tons of other features that you’ll love such as:

  • Multiple views
  • Assigned comments
  • Docs
  • Inbox and profiles
  • Gantt charts
  • Custom statuses

Here’s a closer look at them:

A) Multiple Views

Different divisions in your company might prefer different tools. For example, your marketing team may prefer list-based tools, while your software development team might like an Agile tool instead.

Rather than using separate tools for different departments, why not use a tool that can adapt to different departmental needs?

Luckily, that’s exactly what ClickUp does.

ClickUp gives you multiple views to adapt to all work preferences. 

Here’s a closer look at how it does this:

1) Required Task Views

ClickUp has two required task views that cater to the two most common project management approaches:

  • Board View

The Board view is perfect for fans of the Kanban approach. The drag and drop interface lets you quickly move things around and cope with the principles of Agile development. 

  • List View

The List view is a good view for people who like working with GTD-style to-do lists. This view lists down all your tasks in a simple checklist that can be checked off as you move along.

2) Box View

The Box view is the perfect view for a project manager.

Why?

It gives you high-level overviews of everything going on in your organization. As every task is sorted by assignee, you can quickly take stock of everyone’s workload and assign tasks accordingly. 

3) Calendar View

ClickUp’s Calendar view will help you plan and manage your work schedule in no time.

You can even toggle between views in your calendar, such as:

  • Days: To view all scheduled project tasks on a given date
  • 4-Days: To view your tasks that are scheduled over a rolling four day period
  • Week: For a look at your weekly schedule
  • Monthly: For a bird’s eye view of your what’s coming up over the next month

4) Me Mode

ClickUp’s “Me” mode only shows you comments, subtasks and task lists that are assigned to you. This helps you block out distractions and only focus on things that concern you.

B) Assigned Comments

Worried that people are taking too long to take action on your comments?

With ClickUp’s assigned comments, that won’t be an issue.

This feature lets you instantly convert a comment into a task and assign it to them. They’ll be notified of this and it’ll then pop up in their task tray, where they can start to take action on it.

However, that isn’t all.

They can even mark the task as resolved to reduce the need for any follow-ups.

C) Docs

ClickUp Docs is a powerful knowledge base tool for your company. You can use it to create and store important project and company-related documents.

As these documents are stored alongside their relevant projects, they’re also easily accessible.

ClickUp Docs let you:

  • Store important company and project documents in a secure, accessible space
  • Nest pages within documents to for further categorization and organization
  • Use rich text formatting to extensively customize your documents
  • Edit the access rights to each doc to ensure that only the right people access it
  • Make your docs private or publicly accessible to create a self help desk for your customers
  • Make docs that can be indexed by Google and appear in search results

D) Inbox and Profiles

Want to always keep track of everything assigned to you?

Just open your ClickUp inbox!

It contains every task, reminder and notification assigned to you. You get a quick look at your past, current and future tasks to help you take action on anything immediately. With ClickUp’s inbox, you won’t have to worry about forgetting what you have to do ever again!

Profiles

ClickUp’s profiles are the perfect way for a project manager to keep up with their team’s workload. They can view:

  • The tasks they’ve completed
  • The tasks they’re currently working on
  • The tasks they’ll be working on in the future

This way, in case someone has too much work, a project manager can quickly reassign items to someone else instead. It’s the easiest way to ensure that everyone has an equal share of the workload!

E) Gantt Charts

One of the key things that project management tools do is keep track of your project timeline.

Instead of using spreadsheet-based tools like Microsoft Excel and Smartsheet to do this, why not try out ClickUp’s intuitive Gantt charts?

They’re perfect for visual project management and tracking how your project plan is progressing. Take a quick look at your Gantt chart, and you’ll have everything you need to determine if things are on track or not.

And what if things aren’t on track?

No problem!

Just use the Gantt chart to quickly readjust tasks and items and you’ll be back on track in no time!

The best thing about ClickUp’s Gantt charts is that they can automate tons of processes:

  • They can automatically readjust task dependencies whenever scheduling changes are made
  • They can automatically calculate your project progress percentage based on completed tasks/total project tasks
  • They can compare your current project progress vs. your expected progress to determine how well things are progressing
  • They can calculate your critical path to identify the most vital project tasks to meet your deadlines

F) Custom Statuses

Remember, your project management solution needs to adapt to you.

Unfortunately, most project management tools give you a standard set of project statuses that you have to adapt to.

And in most cases, these statuses don’t accurately reflect your project stages.

For example, can you imagine using the same set of statuses for your content and software development projects?

ClickUp, however, adapts to your needs.

It gives you fully customizable statuses for each of your projects.

You’re not limited to standard “Open” or “Closed” statuses – you can get as detailed and accurate as you want!

Here’s a quick look at some more of ClickUp’s features:

ClickUp Pros

  • Multiple views with saveable layouts
  • Powerful collaboration software
  • Powerful task lists and to-do lists
  • Customizable access rights
  • Native time tracking
  • Custom statuses
  • Offline and online project management support
  • Powerful integrations with invoicing and file sharing apps
  • Powerful desktop apps for Windows and Mac
  • Fully-functional apps for iOS and Android
  • Feature-rich free plan
  • Good customer support

ClickUp Cons

  • No native language translations
  • Relatively new to the market

Pricing

ClickUp has three pricing options.

  • Free Forever – Unlimited projects and members and 100Mb of cloud storage space
  • Unlimited ($5/month per user) – Unlimited projects and members and an unlimited number of integrations + advanced reporting 
  • Business ($19/month per user) –  Unlimited projects and members and two-factor authentication + Google SSO

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4.7/5 (900+ reviews)

Capterra – 4.7/5 (1450+ reviews)

2. Asana

Asana is a popular project management tool that’s known for its clean, simplistic approach to project management. Unlike many tools such as Microsoft Project, this PM software is very user-friendly and will help you breeze through your tasks.

Key Features

  • Unique visual project timeline for easy planning
  • Activity feed for easy collaboration
  • Supports multiple views
  • Helpful drag and drop interface

Pros

  • Easy setup and onboarding
  • Tons of integrations with software like invoicing and expense tracking tools
  • Powerful to-do lists

Cons

  • Cannot add multiple assignees to a task
  • Cannot assign comments to your project team
  • The management solution isn’t built for heavy project management

Pricing 

Asana has four variants:

  • A basic free variant
  • A Premium variant ($9.99/month per user) for smaller teams
  • A Business variant (1$19.99/month per user) for loads of features

User Ratings – 

G2Crowd – 4.3/5 (5500+ reviews)

Capterra – 4.4/5 (7500+ reviews)

3. Wrike

Wrike is a comprehensive management solution that’s built to handle complex projects and tasks like JIRA. Here’s a closer look at why its a great management app:

Key Features

  • Three-pane interface that’s built for quick work management
  • Detailed analytics and reports for visual project tracking
  • Customizable forms and requests
  • Good collaboration features

Pros

  • Comprehensive project management capabilities
  • Built-in expense tracking, file sharing and document management features
  • Can integrate with Dropbox, Google Drive and collaboration tools like Slack

Cons

  • This project management application is not user-friendly
  • Mobile apps aren’t as powerful as its web-based application
  • Cannot add multiple assignees to a task

Pricing

Wrike has three versions:

  • Free tier – for up to five members
  • Professional version ($9.80/month per user) – for up to 15 members 
  • Business version ($24.80/month per user) – for up to 200 members with advanced features

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4.1/5 (600+ reviews)

Capterra – 4/5 (1300+ reviews)

4. Trello

Trello is a popular Kanban based task management software. Like other Kanban based PM tools, its known for its user-friendliness and takes no time to get accustomed to.

Key Features

  • Kanban board interface for simple project management
  • Good scheduling features
  • Multiple power-ups for added functionality
  • Drag and drop functionality for quick changes to your dashboards

Pros

  • Easy setup and onboarding
  • Powerful mobile apps and web-based software
  • Helpful task lists with customizations

Cons

  • The management solution only comes with a Kanban board view
  • Not built for heavy project management
  • No reporting or timesheets

Pricing

Trello has two pricing plans:

  • A Free plan for small teams
  • A Business plan ($9.99/month per user) for large teams

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4.3/5 (8500+ reviews)

Capterra – 4.5/5 (14500+ reviews)

5. Workzone

Workzone is another popular self-hosted project management app to manage your projects and tasks. Like Monday.com and Basecamp, it has multiple features to streamline your work processes.

Key Features

  • Powerful comment sections for efficient team collaboration
  • Detailed reports and timesheets
  • Built-in due date reminders to keep up with deadlines
  • Good scheduling and workflow management features

Pros

  • Powerful online project handling
  • Highly customizable management app
  • Multiple integrations

Cons

  • Mobile apps aren’t as powerful as the desktop and web-based application
  • The project management platform does not support multiple views
  • Cannot assign comments in the web-based application
  • No free plan

Price

Workzone has two pricing tiers

  • Team ($24/month per user): For simple features and 100GB of storage
  • Professional ($34/month per user): For 150GB of storage and additional features

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4.4/5 (25+ reviews)

Capterra – 4/5 (40+ reviews)

6. ProofHub

ProofHub is a simple project management tool and collaboration software to streamline your work processes. Like Teamwork projects, its user-friendliness is what makes it such a popular project management system.

Key Features

  • Simple UI with user-friendly dashboards
  • Highly customizable management app with support for multiple languages
  • Supports custom access rights for guest access
  • Good security features

Pros

  • Powerful mobile apps
  • Simple onboarding with a simple learning curve
  • Built-in reports and timesheets

Cons

  • No free plan
  • Not built for complex workflow management
  • The platform does not support tagging in comments

Pricing

ProofHub has two versions

  • Essential ($55/month) – for 40 projects, 15GB of storage and unlimited users
  • Ultimate Control ($99/month) – for project management collaboration features and 100GB of storage 

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd – 4/5 (10+ reviews)

Capterra – 4.5/5 (25+ reviews)

7. Podio

Podio is a unique management tool that relies on its app market to give you the features you need to manage your projects effectively. Like Mavenlink, it’s not a comprehensive solution, should be enough for most small businesses.

Key Features

  • Powerful app market with an extensive list of SaaS apps for added functionality
  • Activity stream for simple team collaboration 
  • Podio API for added customization
  • Drag and drop functionality 

Pros

  • User-friendly interface with simple onboarding
  • Powerful mobile apps for online project handling on the move
  • Multiple integrations with software like invoicing and file sharing apps

Cons

  • Not built for complex project management
  • The platform does not support multiple views
  • No project planning or reporting features

Pricing

There are four Podio versions:

  • Free – with basic project management and access to the app store
  • Basic ($9/month) – for unlimited projects and tasks
  • Plus ($14/month) – for automated workflow management
  • Premium ($24/month) – for interactive dashboards and added customization

Customer Ratings

G2Crowd -4.1/5 (240+ reviews)

Capterra – 4.5/5 (200+ reviews)

Conclusion

Managing your work processes without project management software is like running a marathon without any running shoes.

Sure, you could still do it…but

A good project management tool is going to simplify resource management, improve collaboration and boost productivity immediately!

While there are tons of project management tools on the market such as Liquidplanner and Zoho Projects, the seven we listed here are easily the best ones. 

And among those seven, ClickUp clearly stands out with its attractive pricing plans and comprehensive feature list. It has everything you need from a project management tool, so why not sign up for a free account today?

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