Legacy software has an artificial cap on team productivity. The glaring signs of outdated project management software: Data silos, onboarding difficulties, and poor communication are gateways for goblins of productivity to creep in.
Efficiency is one of the most basic needs of a competitive business, yet workers are toggling between apps more than 3,600 times a day. And if it’s not to get in a virtual cue for Taylor Swift tickets, the toggle tax isn’t worth it.
All glitter aside, leading a team in times of transformation calls for technology solutions built for today’s hybrid workforce. The tools to meet one of the biggest challenges for modern businesses: Individual and team productivity.
So we’ve short-listed the best project management software and must-have features to cross off Get Shit Done on your team’s 2023 bingo card.
Let’s get started!
What is project management software?
Project management software is a set of tools designed to assist in managing the activities, resources, information, and tasks related to a project. It offers structure and organization for projects of any size so that teams monitor project progress from start to finish.
Most project management tools typically include specialized features to streamline the project management lifecycle:
Resource allocation lets project managers match the appropriate resources to what the specific job needs
Task lists, whiteboards, and chat channels allow teams to work together in real-time or asynchronously
Reporting capabilities provide leaders with insights into the project’s progress
Modern teams have more projects taking up their work time. From meetings to deep work and informal projects to goal tracking, many things are moving simultaneously in a short amount of time.
Without best-in-class project management software, we essentially create more tasks, inefficiencies, and fear-based decisions.
The best project management software in 2023
Imagine co-creating within a shared workspace to bring out the best efforts from every team member and stakeholder. Or, even better, a central platform that’s enjoyable for people to connect, communicate, and collaborate. Project management tools can make it happen.
By choosing the right project management tool, you can onboard and train people faster, no matter where they're based!
ClickUp is project management software designed to provide wall-to-wall solutions for teams to manage all types of work, collaborate on tasks, and streamline multi-step workflows. ClickUp's scalable Hierarchy infrastructure organizes the most complex projects into snackable tasks and subtasks while allowing teams to switch between views of the same project data—all in one place.
Leverage hundreds of fully customizable features to act on ideas and plan milestone-focused project roadmaps. Plus, ClickUp’s integration power connects 1,000+ other work tools for free, including Slack, Google Drive, Figma, and Loom, to improve your project management process, move things forward, and bring teams closer to their goals!
ClickUp best features
A detailed online Help Center, webinars, and support to help you use the platform to its fullest extent
Task Tray docks minimized tasks so you can quickly return to them at any time
Flexible project time tracking and reporting from any device—even jump between tasks or add time retroactively
Detailed Start Dates, Due Dates, and Exact Times for accuracy when scheduling deadlines and Milestones
Watchers to keep teams and stakeholders automatically in the loop when task activity occurs
@mentions and assigned comments in tasks, subtasks, and Chat view bring anyone into the conversation
Space, Folder, and List hierarchy to organize departments, teams, or projects
50+ Task Automations to streamline any project management workflow
So many powerful collaboration tools can pose a learning curve
Not all views are available in the mobile app—yet!
Free Forever Plan
Unlimited Plan: $5 per user per month
Business Plan: $12 per user per month
Business Plus Plan: $19 per user per month
Enterprise Plan: Contact ClickUp for custom pricing
And if you’re on a budget for your team, ClickUp is one of the best free project management software options in this list! Start a free workspace today!
ClickUp ratings and reviews
G2: Rated No. 1 Project Management Product and No. 1 Collaboration and Productivity Product on G2’s 2023 lists
Capterra: 4.7/5 (3,600+ reviews)
Monday is a project management tool for teams to collaborate, communicate, and manage projects. With custom views and planning features, teams can easily monitor all of the elements involved in their projects. It integrates easily with other applications, allowing users to quickly update and check project statuses.
Along with ClickUp, Monday is one of only a few project management solutions offering native time tracking. This is a major plus for small teams looking to track and optimize productivity without adding another time tool!
Monday best features
Unlimited automation recipes (with limitations) to support different workflows
Reporting and analytics to track all progress and create reports in real-time
Integrations with other popular project management solutions
Dependency tracking for managing projects
Customizable dashboards and automation
Steep learning curve to familiarize with functions and interface (check out Monday alternatives)
Slow support response times, especially for live chat, despite it being available 24/7
The Time Tracking Column feature is only available in the Pro and Enterprise plans
Individual: Free forever
Basic: $8 per user per month starting at 3 seats
Standard: $10 per user per month starting at 3 seats
Pro: $16 per user per month starting at 3 seats
Enterprise: Contact Monday for details
Monday ratings and reviews
G2: 4.7/5 (7,550+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.6/5 (3,700+ reviews)
Asana is a popular project management solution for organizing project tasks and processes. The tool makes integrating widely-used apps like Google Drive, Zoom, and Harvest easy to simplify project management processes and team collaboration.
Thanks to its convenient search feature, locating projects, messages, and tasks across the workspace is easy. And if you need something more than a basic search, Asana gives you the option to save any search criteria!
Asana best features
Color categorization in project calendars that double as a custom field value
Automation Rules to send requests to team members or projects
Several calendar views for personal projects or team projects
Expanded timelines to optimize resource utilization
Reports for insight into task and workflow progress
Not ideal for complex projects with multiple workflows (find a flexible solution with Asana alternatives)
No visual collaboration features such as mind maps in its project management platform
No multiple assignees feature, so team workspaces are cluttered with task copies
Basic: Free version
Premium: $10.99 per user per month, billed annually
Business: $24.99 per user per month, billed annually
Enterprise: Contact Asana for details
Asana ratings and reviews
G2: 4.3/5 (9,200+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (11,900+ reviews)
Wrike is a collaboration and project management platform designed to help teams organize, prioritize, and manage tasks. This project management software makes it easier to keep tabs on tasks and assign them to the right people while allowing teams to collaborate and stay organized throughout the entire project process.
The project management tool offers powerful analytic reporting for project managers, including:
A global report: Analyzes data from your tasks for over eight categories. It's useful for project tracking and calculating future resource management
A performance chart: Displays a visual representation of your project's progress over time
Wrike best features
Time tracking feature to compare estimated versus actual time spent
Task priorities so teams complete tasks in the correct order
Project dashboards for better task management
Kanban boards allow complete visibility of tasks
400+ integrations with other SaaS apps
Lacks a document management system (explore better options in Wrike alternatives)
No independent note-taking feature
Gantt charts are a paid feature
Team: $9.80 per user per month
Business: $24.80 per user per month
Enterprise: Contact Wrike for details
Pinnacle: Contact Wrike for details
Wrike ratings and reviews
G2: 4.2/5 (3,200+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.3/5 (2,300+ reviews)
Jira is a bug-tracking and issue-management software for teams working in Agile development. It provides features like advanced reporting options, including user workload, average issue age, and recently created issues. This allows project managers to analyze project performance, manage issue backlogs, and make data-driven decisions to plan efficient Sprints.
Development teams using Jira for project management benefit from integrating with other project management tools. The Atlassian Marketplace provides a selection of 3,000+ apps and integrations to help teams enhance their Jira experience, from automating workflows to improving reporting and visualization.
Jira best features
Incident Investigation Dashboard to resolve code deployment issues faster
Assign tasks or create Jira issues directly from your pull request
Time tracking with a color indication for visual project management
Scrum boards to break down complex tasks
Teams will need multiple applications to simplify work management and avoid overly complex workflows (ClickUp has you covered with a Jira integration!)
A dedicated administrator is necessary to set up and regularly maintain workflows
No multiple assignees feature
Free version: For 10 users
Standard: $7.75 per user per month (estimated)
Premium: $15.25 per user per month (estimated)
Enterprise: Contact Jira for details
Jira ratings and reviews
G2: 4.3/5 (5,100+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.4/5 (13,100+ reviews)
Read about user-friendly Jira alternatives.
The main advantage of Teamwork is its task management capabilities. Teams can track their tasks, deadlines, resources, and milestones and assign tasks to team members while sharing files and viewing project history. The project management software helps team members facilitate communication among team members in real-time and track tasks.
Teamwork also offers a range of collaboration tools to support both internal teams and clients to reduce administrative work. The software allows users to share files, assign tasks, and collaborate on project timelines.
Teamwork best features
Prebuilt project management templates for all types of use cases
Tasks and subtasks for day-to-day project planning
Budget management with invoicing capabilities
Advanced privacy levels and permissions
Gantt charts and Kanban board views
Steep learning curve to train and apply across workflows
Dashboards and goals are paid features
Minimal chat functionality
Starter: $5.99 per user per month, billed yearly
Deliver: $9.99 per user per month, billed yearly
Grow: $19.99 per user per month, billed yearly
Scale: Contact Teamwork for details
Teamwork ratings and reviews
G2: 4.4/5 (1,000+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (790+ reviews)
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-based project management software to help teams manage, track, and plan several projects in real time. It supports collaboration so teams can assign tasks, establish timelines, and share updates with others.
Since spreadsheets aren't the easiest to work with on a mobile phone, Smartsheet has optimized mobile apps for managing projects. However, the project management app only works well for conversing with your team—not necessarily for creating a project planning schedule.
Smartsheet best features
Document generation to build custom PDFs for multiple rows in a sheet
Extensive administrator controls to manage users and access
Project budgeting to see planned versus actual hours spent
Portfolio management features to build efficient projects
Activity Log to view audit trails and daily reports
Limited calendar view and scheduling tools (check out Smartsheet alternatives)
Limited team reporting and high-level project management dashboards
Lack of global automated time tracking
Pro: $7 per user per month (max 10 users), billed yearly
Business: $25 per user per month, billed yearly
Enterprise: Contact Smartsheet for details
Smartsheet ratings and reviews
G2: 4.4/5 (11,000+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (2,800+ reviews)
Trello is a Kanban-based, free project management software designed for planning and tracking projects. Each project is represented by a board divided into columns to organize different stages from left to right.
The tool has a drag-and-drop interface and includes task management features such as checklists, attachments, labels, and comments. It also features an interactive calendar tool so users can easily set and view upcoming deadlines.
Trello best features
Power-Ups (plugins) to link to other apps and project management tools
Project views including Kanban boards, timelines, and calendars
Custom fields to structure information for the entire project
No-code automation built into every Trello board
Project templates for repeatable workflows
Not as flexible for larger teams or multiple projects (find better solutions for complex workflows with Trello alternatives)
Task layers can easily pile up when you’re managing robust projects
Relies on external integrations for functionality
Standard: $5 per user per month
Premium: $10 per user per month
Enterprise: Starting at $17.50 per user per month and up
Trello ratings and reviews
G2: 4.4/5 (13,000+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (22,300+ reviews)
9. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a free project management tool to help teams plan, track, and collaborate on their projects. Teams can create tasks, set up milestones, and assign them to your team. With its intuitive interface, it’s simple to track progress, collaborate on tasks, and stay informed about project updates.
One of the key features of Zoho Projects is its ability to integrate with other Zoho apps, such as Zoho CRM and Zoho Books. This integration gives teams a seamless connection to their project management system with other business areas within their organization. This can help teams streamline their workflows so everyone is on the same page regarding project progress.
Zoho Projects best features
Timeline view lets you see what team members are doing within a specific period
Ability to track the time and consumption costs of each project in real-time
Gantt charts to visualize task dependencies, deadlines, and task lists
Resource utilization chart for managing projects and resources
Employee timesheets to log billable and nonbillable hours
Zoho Projects limitations
Limited project management integrations with non-Zoho software like Zoom
High-learning curve, especially during the initial setup process
Template creation is limited to organization administrators
Zoho Projects pricing
Premium: $5 per user per month
Enterprise: $10 per user per month
Zoho Projects ratings and reviews
G2: 4.2/5 (300+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.3/5 (300+ reviews)
10. Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project is a project management tool designed to help manage schedules and key milestones between stakeholders and the entire team. It provides features for tracking progress, creating budgets, and setting deadlines.
Teams who already use other Microsoft apps, such as Excel, Word, and Teams, will benefit from Microsoft Projects as it integrates seamlessly with these apps. For example, users can import Excel data, create documentation in Word, and communicate updates in Teams.
Microsoft Project best features
Dynamic scheduling based on project efforts required, project duration, and allotted users
Pre-built reports to track progress on your projects, resources, programs, and portfolios
Customizable project management templates for different use cases
Grid, Board, and Gantt charts to oversee schedules
Resource utilization and management
Microsoft Project limitations
External stakeholders and project collaborators will need a project management app or compatible program to view Microsoft files
Limited integrations with other non-Microsoft products (check out Microsoft Project alternatives)
Additional Microsoft apps are required to be a powerful project management software
Microsoft Project pricing
Cloud-based pricing options: Starts at $10 per user per month and up
On-premises solutions options: Starts at $679.99 and up
Microsoft Project ratings and reviews
G2: 4/5 (1,500+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.4/5 (1,700+ reviews)
Basecamp is a project management tool with features such as to-do lists, message boards, file sharing, event scheduling, and notifications that remind users of tasks and updates. But one of the key project management features of Basecamp is its ability to provide transparency and accountability across teams.
Users can track project progress, monitor project timelines, and view team member activity. The project management tool also offers a range of customization options so project managers can tailor the interface to their specific workflows and preferences.
Basecamp best features
Lineup project management timeline to view everything from start to finish
Hill Charts to visually see progress uphill or downhill over time
The Hey! menu streamlines notifications in a single menu
Check-in with an automatic poll for the team
Real-time chat and messaging system
A heavy reliance on to-do lists makes it unsuitable for complex project management
Limited project tracking functionality for basic project management needs
No task priorities (check out Basecamp alternatives)
Basecamp: $15 per user per month
Basecamp Pro Unlimited: $299 per month, billed annually
Basecamp ratings and reviews
G2: 4.1/5 (5,100+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.3/5 (14,000+ reviews)
Notion is a customizable platform that offers a unique approach to managing information. While it can be used for project management, it’s primarily a database tool for users to create and manage various types of tables, lists, and calendars. The software also offers the ability to link databases together, creating a powerful way to organize and connect different types of information.
Unlike traditional project management software, Notion provides a high degree of flexibility. It’s ideal for capturing content, such as marketing campaigns and product roadmaps. The tool’s flexibility and customization options make it a popular choice among individuals and small teams looking for a more personalized approach to managing their work.
Notion best features
Database views, including calendars, boards, tasks, lists, galleries, and timelines
Bi-directional linking to connect wikis and knowledge hubs within the platform
Synced blocks for automatic content updates across all spaces
Integrations with Slack, Figma, Jira, ClickUp, and more
Locked page content to prevent accidental edits
Manual exporting is required to back up data (find advanced export features you need in Notion alternatives)
High degree of flexibility can also be challenging to know where to start or how to organize information effectively
Lacks task-oriented and reporting capabilities
Standard: $8 per user per month
Premium: $15 per user per month
Enterprise: Contact Notion for details
Notion ratings and reviews
G2: 4.7/5 (1,700+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,400+ reviews)
ProofHub is project management software to help teams stay organized and on track with their projects. It offers task planning, time tracking, discussion boards, file sharing, task assignment, and multiple project views.
Templates are available to speed up the creation process for projects with similar processes, deliverables, or assigned team members. There’s also the option to categorize project managers versus assignees within the template!
ProofHub best features
Categories for project managers to group multiple projects under one heading
Resource allocation and task management tools
Calendars to plan projects and schedule work
Interactive Gantt charts to plan projects
Limited integrations with popular tools like Evernote, Calendly, and Slack
No additional project management software functionality like budgeting
No custom roles or workflows in the Essential plan
Essential: $45/month, billed annually
Ultimate Control: $89/month, billed annually
ProofHub ratings and reviews
G2: 4.5/5 (70+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.5/5 (70+ reviews)
Airtable is a cloud-based solution designed to help individuals and teams manage data, collaborate, and get work done faster. The project management software offers a range of views, including a grid, calendar, and gallery so teams can visualize their data from different perspectives.
The interface is highly customizable. Users can create databases and customize the fields, layouts, and colors to suit the project team and their workflows. The project management software also offers a range of templates to use as a starting point, making it easy for small teams to kick off new projects faster.
Airtable best features
Integrations with Box, Salesforce, and Google Calendar to pull in other data
Interface Designer tool to build and share custom interfaces
Shareable forms to populate records into the Airtable base
Software development tools to build reporting systems
Limited ability to handle separated team and individual workflows (check out other project management platforms in Airtable alternatives)
Basic time tracking feature compared to other team collaboration tools
Limited customization options for workspace appearance
Plus: $10 per user per month
Pro: $20 per user per month
Enterprise: Contact Airtable for details
Airtable ratings and reviews
G2: 4.6/5 (2,100+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.7/5 (1,700+ reviews)
Kantata is a marketing resource management solution with a centralized platform for teams to keep track of all projects, tasks, resources, and time constraints. With Kantata, users plan, execute, and track activities in one platform to increase the team's visibility and collaboration.
With a clear overview of project status, teams identify areas where resources are needed and make informed decisions about how to allocate them. This level of coordination helps projects stay on track, and all team members work toward the same goals!
Kantata best features
Project portfolio information to check the status of any task or deliverable
Automated data entry to find where teams spend most of their time
Customizable dashboards to help identify unstaffed demand
Drag-and-drop tools and reusable components
Segment reporting for targeted metrics
Lacks advanced task management features compared to other leading project management software tools
Granular project permissions are potential blockers for cross-functional teams
Steep learning curve for teams to learn, implement, and adopt for daily use
- Contact Kantata for pricing details
Kantata ratings and reviews
G2: 4.1/5 (1,300+ reviews)
Capterra: 4.2/5 (500+ reviews)
The benefits of project management software
For leaders and managers who aren’t in the day-to-day operations of an Agile team, it’s more challenging to see the value of updating their organization’s IT stack. And in some cases, company-wide software is embedded into their business model, making them more resistant to audit and change.
But if your project management software doesn’t provide a productive experience for your talent, it creates more tasks and inefficiencies for everyone.
The cost of project management software
Investing in premium quality project management software is a game-changer for teams and businesses, as it promises greater efficiency, increased productivity, and improved project results.
From Trello and Asana with their basic plans to Jira and ProofHub with their more expensive packages, software prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars yearly.
However, the pricing model (subscription-based, freemium, perpetual license, pay-as-you-go, and custom pricing) is only one consideration of the purchasing process.
Choosing project management software to transform project data is essential for organizations approaching growth and expansion. Across industries, teams are moving to skills-based hiring in the workplace. This new operating model redefines how people work and collaborate today to meet business goals and priorities.
In 2021, 38% of employed workers did some or all of their work at home. This is up from 24% before the pandemic. As teams become globalized and projects become more complex, aligning all tasks into a central work management platform is essential
Benefits from the best project management software include:
Reduced labor costs: Eliminating redundancies and automating repetitive tasks will reduce the time and effort required to complete tasks. As a result, fewer hours are required to complete the same amount of work
Enhanced accountability and ownership: Documenting clear expectations and task goals in the project management tool holds team members accountable for their work
Faster time-to-market: Aligning communication and cross-functional workflows under one platform will help teams manage and deliver projects faster
Improved time management: Scheduling and prioritizing higher value tasks frees up headspace to put energy into the most important work and less on administrative tasks
Better resource allocation: Assigning tasks to the right people distributes the skills and expertise across projects and reduces delays caused by work overload
Increased collaboration: Commenting and discussions within a project management app gives teams and stakeholders a dedicated space to ask questions, provide feedback, and align on critical project decisions
Centralized information: Storing and sharing information reduces the likelihood of lost or miscommunicated data. Teams also benefit from having project records, pocketed ideas, and documentation within reach under one platform
The definitive checklist for project management software features
We’ve covered the high-level benefits of the best project management software. Now let’s take a deep dive into the must-have features to add to your team’s productivity toolbox!
1. Collaborative docs
The traditional business model for a document management system used to be an entity—the primary contact to request files, memos, and records. They would spend hours or even days collating documentation. They’re also known as data silos.
A data silo is a situation in which data is stored and managed in isolated or separate applications within a business, making it difficult to share information across different departments or systems.
New opportunities in customer markets, AI (more on this later), and regulatory compliance require specialized knowledge and a collaborative effort between multiple teams, external partners, and stakeholders.
Today's documentation management systems are a cloud-based repository of project documentation, SOPs, and meeting notes. This level of knowledge sharing promotes consistency and high-quality content to leverage across the organization. As a result, businesses accomplish three things:
Documenting processes, procedures, and best practices so critical information is not lost when team members leave or move to different roles
Reducing the time required to search for information or complete tasks
Meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining audit trails for legal compliance
Considering its importance in the workplace, it's no surprise there are a number of doc-centric management software to choose from. Some of the leaders in this area include Notion, Google Docs, Roam Research, and Confluence. Each tool has a broad application but also specific use cases and audiences.
ClickUp Docs, for example, gives teams the creative freedom to create beautiful content, organize important company information, and collaborate on work in one Doc!
Here’s a peek at a few ClickUp Doc features to break knowledge silos within your organization:
Unlimited number of pages and nested subpages to keep project charters, briefs, closures, and meeting notes from one project under a single Doc
Collapsible sidebars to view and edit document details such as authors, fonts, page links, and rich text formatting options
@mentions to relate Docs to other pages and tasks for easy navigation from different directions
Doc templates to speed up the writing process and keep the documentation consistent
Doc comments automatically assign to Anyone or the person or Team mentioned in a comment
Cover images and page descriptions to add additional context for any use case
Shareable URLs to specific tasks, people, or ClickUp Workspace locations
Doc and page protection options to avoid unwanted changes
2. Ideation tools
Virtual collaboration tools like mind maps and whiteboards let us see thought processes reflected in images.
We need a blank canvas when running to-do lists and documents isn’t substantial enough to brainstorm ideas and map out projects.
Teams use ideation in their projects to develop fresh, creative solutions to the problems they face. When managing projects, these project management software solutions are as valuable for marketing and sales teams as they are for product teams.
Here are popular ways teams use ideation in their projects:
Brainstorming sessions: Teams often hold brainstorming sessions where everyone can share their ideas and build on each other's contributions
Design thinking workshops: This involves a more structured process of empathizing with the end-user, defining the problem, ideating, prototyping, and testing solutions
Hackathons: Some teams hold hackathons, which are intense, time-limited events where team members work together to develop new ideas and prototypes
There are plenty of ideation software with collaboration features to choose from: Miro, Lucidchart, and BrightIdea, to name a few. These tools are a great fit for brainstorming on your own or with a small team.
However, if brainstorming and ideation are a part of your team’s DNA, ClickUp has native mind mapping and whiteboard project management software to pick up and apply to any body of work.
Here are a few ClickUp templates you’ll want to bookmark for your next team meeting to turn ideas directly into actionable items and projects:
3. Resource management
Next to burnout, boredom and monotony are stressors in the workplace. When the same people are assigned the same tasks, it affects team morale.
In most cases, assigning monotonous and repetitive work happens because a project manager doesn't have the right project management software for on-demand, real-time visibility into collective resources.
The more you know from an ROI perspective—achievable project schedules, fewer and shorter meetings, and internal strategic partnerships—the better you address the real issues limiting your team from doing their most creative work.
Teams have distinct ways of organizing their tasks, as every project comes with its own set of objectives, scope, and resources. Resource management in ClickUp gives teams control over capacity planning and resource leveling with built-in tools, including:
Team view: Gives insight into what your team is working on, what they've accomplished, and what their capacity is
Dashboards: Brings together people, projects, goals, and assets across the Workspace to build high-level reports
Workload view: Shows the amount of work each team member is assigned during the time period selected
Read how Walk the Room uses ClickUp as its project management software solution to scale its production planning process!
4. Tasks and subtasks
At first glance, project and task management might appear the same. But they’re actually quite different:
A task is a specific action or work that needs to be completed as part of a project, routine, or ongoing operations
A project is a temporary endeavor to achieve a specific goal or objective that requires a broader range of skills and resources to complete
Proofhub, Todoist, and nTask are among the top task management tools. They’re easy to use and include the basic views, tasks, and checklist features for managing projects.
If you need a platform to scale both task management and project management, ClickUp delivers what teams need within reach to manage personal to-do lists, complex projects, and everything in between:
People @mentions to send a specific person or group a notification about your comment
Tasks in multiple Lists to avoid duplicating or moving work in the workspace
Markdown and formatting options so you don’t have to leave your keyboard
Assigned comments to create specific action items for yourself or others
Custom statuses to organize different team and department workflows
Dependency Relationships to set tasks to block or wait on each other
Single or multiple task assignees options to put the debate to rest
Comment threads to nest replies for a more focused discussion
Recurring tasks to stay on top of routine work and save time
Task or Doc @mentions to create a simple navigation path
And in situations when similar bug reports or requests arrive in the queue, the merge functionality in ClickUp combines all the details into one task!
5. Goal tracking
A project manager regularly checks the temperature of the team’s daily systems and weekly goals.
Do we need external help with business-as-usual projects while the core team is pulled into high-profile projects?
Are cross-functional teams working together on the right tasks?
Is everyone’s to-do list prioritized?
As an organization scales, it’s harder to proactively communicate the company strategy from the top level to the team and individual levels. For this reason, department leaders turn towards goal tracking apps like ClickUp to break down high-level initiatives into granular tasks.
Goals in ClickUp give real-time visibility into where teams are meeting, exceeding, or underperforming against key results. But the best feature of ClickUp Goals is the customization!
Your team has a container to store goals for the next few weeks, months, and even years ahead?
Your team takes planned or unplanned breaks from a goal but comes back and picks up where they left off?
Your team has open access to resources and notes to keep everyone aligned and motivated?
Here’s how it works: ClickUp Goals are high-level objectives made up of smaller, measurable Targets. You have the option to set different four tracking options to specify the type of key result you want to achieve:
Number: Create a range of numbers and track increases or decreases between them
Task: Track the completion of a single task, subtask, or an entire ClickUp List
True/False: Use a Done/Not Done checkbox to mark your Target complete
Currency: Set a monetary Goal and track any increases or decreases
Once a team member takes action on a Target, the Goal progress percentage will automatically update.
So before you open a new email draft to ask for team status updates, try Goals to give everyone time back for other important tasks!
6. Chat channels
With 69% of people working from home during the pandemic and 16% of companies hiring remote workers only worldwide, it's clear a hybrid workforce is here to stay.
And when you consider nearly every project—from Sprints to multi-phase initiatives—involves a growing list of stakeholders, it's clear communication tools are an integral part of any team's tech stack.
The best approach to sustain effective communication in a partial or fully remote workplace is to use multiple communication solutions to cover a variety of common use cases. Most organizations will need:
A chat tool like Slack for day-to-day communication, as well as for team and organization-wide announcements
A screen recording tool like Loom for troubleshooting bugs and walking through complex processes
A video conferencing tool like Zoom for daily stand-ups, weekly all-hands, and impromptu syncs
And while each of these standalone platforms covers a specific need, it should come as no surprise that communication tools are more effective where the work actually happens.
ClickUp has a trove of real-time chat features to help organize conversation channels by team, department, and project:
Record your entire screen, app window, or your browser tab with video Clips (voice is optional!)
Capture, markup, and edit screenshots with ClickUp's Google Chrome extension
Manage due dates, priorities, statuses, and more, right from your Slack channels
Start a Zoom meeting in ClickUp with the button or /zoom slash command
Create dedicated Chat views alongside tasks and projects
7. Time tracking
Time stress is not the vibe we want in 2023.
Tracking time on tasks, meetings, and any work-related activity (looking at you, compliance training) is an essential practice for every single team member.
At a minimum, time tracking will help team collaboration so you finish faster when managing projects. At its best, time tracking will provide data to make better business decisions and automation opportunities.
Dedicated time tracking tools are available to integrate or use alongside project management software. But ClickUp has a global time tracker to track time from your desktop, mobile, or web browser through the free Chrome Extension!
In just a few clicks, you can access time tracking reports throughout your Workspace—no download required! These reports let you view all tracking efforts against tasks by day, week, month, or any custom range for anyone on your team.
If there are time wasters like status update meetings or low-value tasks draining productivity, you can reassess to make long-term improvements.
Use the time tracking entries to plan for similar projects, as it provides valuable time estimates that can inform your project timeline and resource allocation!
8. Flexible scheduling
Scheduling tools are among the most indispensable types of management software available today. They’re instrumental in managing work schedules in service jobs and are adopted by every other industry from real estate to event planning to software development.
Since scheduling requirements differ from one industry to another, using a flexible calendar helps project teams adapt to changes faster and take ownership of their work to meet deadlines and last-minute launches.
Take ClickUp's Calendar view, for example, which offers calendar feeds to send scheduled tasks directly to your favorite calendar app: Apple Calendar, Outlook, or any calendar that allows you to subscribe with a URL feed!
And if you prefer a two-way integration with Google Calendar, any changes made in one platform are instantly reflected in the other.
9. Workflow automations
A Zapier report found nearly two-thirds of knowledge workers currently use automation software.
An all-in-one project management app such as ClickUp is ideal for teams looking to manage tasks, projects, and human resources in one place. And ClickUp facilitates all of this with powerful yet accessible no-code Automations!
ClickUp Automations replace the repetitive work that’s draining creative energy with powerful in-app workflows for any type of job. Here’s what you can do with Automations in your ClickUp Workspace:
Browse through the library of Triggers and Actions to apply the Automation as-is or tweak for a custom fit
Design Automation recipes from the ground up to meet the requirements of your own workflow
Set up Automation integrations with the most-used tools like email, Calendly, and GitHub
A Gartner report discovered that AI will take on traditional project management functions and eliminate 80% of today’s PM work by 2030.
When given a bit of thought, it's easy to see some major areas where AI can streamline project management. Within the next few years, AI is likely to:
Streamline critical paths to find the quickest and most effective ways to complete projects
Contribute to overall project cost reduction by automating repetitive or routine functions
Predict project outcomes and warn when and where things will go off track
Provide data-driven task and human resource prioritization
Assist in resource distribution and task management
Some of these roles are already attainable with the right tools! Project management software solutions like ClickUp can facilitate resource management by suggesting the best team member for a particular task via assignees and predicting who a particular comment might pertain to.
Other ClickUp features like Natural Language Processing act as super-smart "autofill" functions, assisting in due date assignment and time tracking by standardizing common phrasings for dates and times.
Ultimately, project management software automation and AI are not only the way of the future, but it’s also happening right now. If you haven't yet incorporated automation into your daily workflows, we recommend picking a project management solution and getting started!
10. Project templates
You know a good template when you see one: A functional yet beautifully-designed framework to pick up and start working.
Not only do templates promote efficiency and save time, but they provide clarity on the basic requirements to kick off a project or implement a cross-functional workflow.
What makes this better is that you can choose from a template library in free project management software. Modifying a template is much simpler than starting from scratch with every new project!
Here’s an experiment for you: Download a free Meeting Tracker Template in ClickUp for your next 1-1 or team meeting. Customize the content within the Doc. Then, go to Doc settings and add your team members’ email addresses. Casually drop the Doc link into the calendar invite, and start collaborating!
The ClickUp Template Center offers hundreds of prebuilt, unique templates for any use case—a must-have for any project manager. It’s like the best section on a Target shelf to get all the things you need (and didn’t know you need) to build your team’s productivity system.
From project management to professional services and engineering to finance, templates are free to use on any ClickUp plan and 100% customizable!
11. Intake forms
If your current forms are not making a positive impact on your team’s intake process, it's likely because the forms are productivity goblins. They create delays due to slow processing times, excess paperwork, and a lack of clear instructions (and TBH, maybe they’re not cute).
All of the time spent to fix these issues takes away progress on the actual work. To get the most value out of responses and provide a great experience for your teams and clients, try ClickUp Forms!
With ClickUp Forms, you are building digital guardrails to protect your team from having to fill in the blanks for project details and goals.
It’s easy to build a custom Form and even easier for any project manager or requestor to fill out and complete. Once they submit a Form, the response routes to the ClickUp List you’ve already predetermined to create an actionable task. From there, you’ll have all the information in one place to review, assign, and move through your team’s workflow!
12. Customizable CRM
Outside of sales, a CRM system can be useful if the project involves working closely with customers or stakeholders. For example, if the project’s goal is to build/update a new product or service, a CRM system gathers direct feedback from customers and incorporates it into the project plan.
Here’s how to use ClickUp as a CRM:
Customer support: Track customer support tickets, monitor response times, and timely resolution of customer issues through task management
Project planning: Manage project timelines, milestones, and deliverables
Resource management: Allocate resources, including staff, equipment, and materials, so projects are properly staffed
Billing and invoicing: Set project budgets, track expenses, and generate invoices and billing statements for contractors and clients
Marketing and communications: Oversee marketing campaigns, track the effectiveness of marketing efforts, and communicate with customers and stakeholders about project updates and progress
Performance tracking: Monitor project performance metrics, including KPIs (key performance indicators) and OKRs (objectives and key results)
Download ClickUp's CRM Template, a beginner-friendly resource to stay on top of goals, accounts, and opportunities!
The big picture
It’s the end of an era for legacy software. Now we have to ask ourselves:
What if we filled our available time with meaningful work instead of busywork?
What routines, situations, or people could we refocus our energy and attention on?
What new technologies could we leverage to improve our work processes and deliver value?
Project management software has reshaped the workplace to give us greater flexibility, visibility, and collaboration. Organizations have more choices of free project management software to make data-driven decisions and reach new heights of operational efficiency.
ClickUp is the only project management software that can lower the entry barrier to next-level productivity. We hope our on-tap resources help you optimize your team’s work week starting today!
Remember to stay hydrated. Enjoy guilt-free TV. Take care of your physical and emotional health. Build your team’s best productivity system yet in ClickUp.
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Project management apps FAQs
We can talk about project management software all day! You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. So what’s on your mind?
1. What are the four main types of project management software?
There are several types of project management software available, but here are the four main types:
Desktop-based project management software is installed onto a desktop and is only accessible from the same computer
Cloud-based project management software makes it easy to connect with work and teams on the go as long as the device has an internet connection
Open-source project management software is free to use and backed by a wide range of creators and users that keep it functioning and up to date
Integrated project management software combines multiple tools and features to manage projects under one platform
2. Is there a Google project management software?
Google Workspace includes tools such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Google Calendar, which can be used for project management.
But back-and-forth communication buried in inboxes makes it difficult to keep track of important information. There’s a lack of context and immediacy in using Google as a simple project management tool.
Email has a place in ClickUp, and you’re going to love it. Here’s a peek at what you can do with the two-way email synchronization:
Send emails directly from a task comment even if the recipient doesn’t have a ClickUp account
Automate emails depending on triggers like status change or when a ClickUp Form creates a task
Keep stakeholder communication in one place—without the email string clutter!
Create multiple email signatures with rich text or HTML
3. What is the best project management software for construction?
Several project management software options are available for construction teams, each with its own features and benefits. Some of the most popular project management software options include OrangeScrum, Procore, PlanGrid, and CoConstruct.
If you’re looking for task management solutions to track all project work from punch lists to documentation, check out free construction templates from ClickUp and Excel!
Learn how construction teams use ClickUp to manage projects from the office and job site.
4. What is the best project management software for small software development?
Software developers require multiple apps and tools to launch products and services. While all these specialized tools are made for a specific purpose, most don’t offer a built-in project management tool for standardizing projects or task priorities.
Try ClickUp’s task management features to manage daily operations, developer workflows, and Agile projects the way your team works!
Get actionable tips on how squads use ClickUp for software development.
5. What is the best project management software for small businesses?
Some of the top project management software options include Asana, Trello, Monday, and ClickUp! Small businesses should look for a tool that can save them the most time from switching between their most-used apps.
If you have a limited budget for project management software, ClickUp is free forever to help your technical and non-technical teams get up to speed!
Streamline your business operations in ClickUp to free up time for meaningful work.
6. What is the best project management software for small marketing teams?
In our guide, we cover the top marketing project management software for in-house teams and agencies. It comes down to choosing a project and task management tool with key features such as automation, team collaboration, integrations, analytics, and campaign management.
Improve your marketing strategy execution in ClickUp!