All us of are aware that cutting costs and maximizing productivity are one of the most paramount objectives when it comes to handling projects. But, another matter of the fact is that it’s not as easy to accomplish this as it might seem to a great lot of us.
So, the need of the hour says to place all your bets on project management software.
However, with myriad of options available, finding the best one for your team can be a tedious job. Most of the times, people don’t know where to start. My suggestion? Start right here!
Today I’ve compiled best project management software available online to help you pick the perfect one. The list comprises of super advanced, multi-functional, as well as light-weight tools.
Here’s exactly what my review will cover:
- Advantages of project management software
- My picks for best project management software and their detailed review (along with pros and cons)
Let’s get started!
Advantages of Project Management Software
Besides serving the fundamental purpose of efficiency and streamlined operations, some of the key benefits of investing in a project management tool are:
1. Faster Collaboration
Indeed, with everything processed under one platform, it’s easier to collaborate. Nowadays, with too many things to juggle at once, it’s hard to keep track. You have to wear multiple hats during the day to accomplish your individual or team goals. A project management software acts as an excellent support in achieving this.
Lots of project management tools come with live activity streams or instant messaging/chat features to foster a culture of collaboration. As a result, faster decision making is observed and everyone gets a 360 degree view of what’s happening around.
2. Smarter Planning and Delegating
When you have a project management software at your disposal, you get a clear blueprint of what lies ahead, or what has been achieved. This makes planning efficient and also helps in keeping track of milestones.
Similarly, if you’ve ever been in a manager role, you’d know how tricky tasks delegation can get. A powerful project management tool combats this by providing a smart feature set dedicated to task allocation. This allows everyone in a team to get a transparent overview of where each team member stands and how accountability works.
3. Painless Tracking
There are umpteen ways of tracking your projects’ progress and if you haven’t figured out a right way to do it, be ready to pull your hair out!
Don’t worry! The right project management software will have your back.
One of the best project management software out there comes with built-in reports to make tracking even more streamlined for you. Gantt charts, timelines, task dependencies etc are all classic examples of project tracking functionalities.
4. One Place to Store It All
Another major advantage of using a project management tool is the convenience of having it all under a single umbrella. When you have everything documented in a single place, accessibility becomes the star advantage.
Whenever required, all the important files are available through a single click. Another interesting aspect to this is the custom privacy settings many tools come with. You can set privacy levels according to your needs, without ever compromising data confidentiality.
Best Project Management Software to try in 2020
Now let’s move towards the real deal. Here’s my pick for the best project management software and what each one brings to the table:
Taking project management approach up a notch, Asana is my top pick for best project management software.
A refined and a lightning fast project management software developed for projects and teams of all sizes.
- Slick User-Interface
- Project Templates
- Activity Feed
- Task Assignment
- File Attachment and Comments within Tasks
- Priorities and Due Date
- Task Dependencies
- Real-time Updates
- Multiple Workspaces
- Project Timeline
- Notification Reminders
- Mobile Apps
- Steep learning curve
- Limited free features
Asana can be considered as a rather ‘newbie’ in project management world. It’s not one of the oldest software around, but it can still be considered a highly reliable one. The speed and flexibility it comes with allows you to smoothly glide through the spectrum of options the tool has to offer.
On the surface, you might feel swamped with the number of features available. But if you observe carefully, Asana offers a spectrum of tools that you can easily pick and choose from according to your project needs.
Whether it’s simple go-to tasks, or Agile focused projects – Asana serves all pretty nicely. You also get a free library of templates, so you don’t have to start everything from scratch.
- Tasks and subtasks management for seamless workflow
- Timeline designing, along with task dependencies to depict relationships
- For taking real-time updates, tasks assignment and comments
- Milestones setting to highlight important events and achievements
- A dedicated toolset for managing Agile teams
- Multiple third-party application integrations to enhance functionality
Introducing the easiest, yet a powerful project management software on the block – Trello!
Light as a feather, easy as pie, and gets things done for you in a way a powerful tool should.
- Free Version Available
- Drag and Drop Functionality
- Kanban Boards
- Built-in Board Templates
- Unlimited Lists and Cards
- Tasks Assignment
- Reminder Alerts
- Task Status Setting
- Multiple Team Boards
- Unlimited Power-Ups
- Calendar View
- Custom Fields
- Numerous Integrations
- Advanced features not available in free version
- No advanced reporting tools available
- Weak security in free version
If you’re an entrepreneur or run a startup, you need to quit everything and move to Trello now!
Trello has been my favorite project management software for small teams since forever. Marveling at the concept of minimalism, the tool ticks all boxes when it comes to essential project management features. It provides massive customization options to users to help them leverage the freedom in getting things done.
Essentially, Trello offers Kanban boards which come with unlimited lists and cards. There is practically no limit to the number of cards you can add in a list. You can also easily drag and drop these in respective lists (of your choice) to showcase the progress your projects’ currently at.
A great thing about Trello is that all that the tool has to offer works perfectly well for both individuals, as well as teams.
- Workflow visualization through Kanban boards
- Tasks assignment for defining roles
- Task labels, tags, and categories to show work relevancy
- Comments and file attachments for giving more context
- Calendar view and due date commands to keep an eye on deadlines
- Multiple third-party integrations and power-ups for improving functionality
An enterprise-level, robust project management software which smartly caters to your big project needs
Wrike is an ideal pick for large teams working on multiple projects simultaneously.
- Tasks and Subtasks Management
- Recurrent Tasks
- Task Prioritization
- Built-In Templates and Workspaces
- Custom Fields and Workflows
- Gantt Charts
- Document Sharing
- Discussions Within Tasks
- Real-Time Newsfeed
- Customized Reports
- Workload Management
- Time Tracking
- Google Docs, Dropbox, Email Integrations
- Free version has extreme limitations
- Real time reports available in paid version only
- Lacks integrated live chat
Wrike scores big in my list of best project management software. The tool practically has all that you’d expect in enterprise level software. Whether you have a small team or a large group of people collaborating, Wrike’s massive suite of features got you covered.
In my opinion, Wrike competes neck-on-neck with Asana. Taking slight lead on the way projects are executed, Wrike will be the winner here for me! Offering everything a company can ask for, you can take Wrike as a perfect foster home for your projects.
Furthermore, you don’t have to rely on third-party integrations for time tracking. The tool comes with a built-in solution which allows you to start, stop, pause, and edit all of your time entries whenever you want. You can also easily add comments to keep everyone in loop.
- Pre-made project templates for quickly gearing up
- Elaborate tasks and subtasks management, along with folders
- Built-in time tracking with tasks
- Custom analytics and reporting capabilities for tasks and projects
- Third-party application integrations for more power
- Custom project settings and administration rights
A mature and comprehensive project management software available for teams with big appetite
A tool developed for teams focused on Agile-driven projects, especially software development
- Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban Boards
- Customizable Workflows
- Bugs and Issues Management
- Unlimited Custom Fields
- Customizable Dashboards
- Source Integration
- Search and Filtering Feature
- Advanced Reporting
- Advanced Security and Administration Settings
- Easy Data Import
- Data Encryption for Maximum Security
- On-Demand and On-Premise Deployment
- Cluttered interface
- Steep learning curve
- Not an optimum solution for startups or amateurs
If your team work is heavily loaded with software developments or something along the lines, Jira is your fix. An elaborate project management software which is centered on bug fixes and successful software development.
Some of the most noticeable features Jira comes with are Scrum boards, project roadmaps, and distinct agile reports. You can also easily connect your issues to code and find quick solutions. The tool is highly configurable and can be molded according to your project needs.
Although the tool is customizable and is equipped with advanced feature set, it still takes ample time to set up. You might require hands-on experience or training to get a grip of the software. But once set, it can make your software project accomplishment a breeze.
- Kanban boards for workflow visualization
- Roadmaps and timelines for laying out project details
- Customizable project dashboards
- Multiple agile reports to get insights into performance
- Scrum boards for planning and managing sprints
- Custom filters and custom privacy settings
Combining task management with classic spreadsheets, Smartsheet brings a twist to project management.
A powerful hybrid of task management and spreadsheets which provides an all-in-one solution for your projects
- Extremely Customizable
- Gantt Charts
- Calendar View
- Card View
- Due Dates and Reminders
- Budget and Resource Management
- Custom Branding
- Activity Log
- File Attachments
- Mobile Apps
- Lacks modernization
- Learning curve can be steep for many
- Interface is not intuitive
Smartsheet tactfully brings together good old rows and columns with task management features. Resultantly, you get a somewhat inelegant project management tool. Although powerful, Smartsheet should not be expected to provide a slick and modern day project management solution.
If you do not have a good feeling about a spreadsheet-looking-project-management-tool, you should probably not waste your time on it. At its heart, Smartsheet is, after all, a spreadsheet program. However, the good thing is the endless customization you get to enjoy with Smartsheet.
Upon launching, you’re literally welcomed with a blank sheet. Either you create your own data, or pick a built-in template. All the available templates are divided into categories to further make things easy for you. Mold and practice on your data the way you want, for however long you want.
- Kanban boards for visualizing workflow and the progress
- A central team portal for collaboration among team members
- Downloadable project summary reports for easy evaluation and sharing
- Multiple views for tasks, as well as file attachments within tasks
- Numerous built-in project templates for helping you quickly get started
- Customizable themes for branding according to preferences
A solid feature set + thousands of integrations = ClickUp for you
A powerhouse of features, ClickUp clicks all the right notes with all that it brings to the table.
- Free Version Available
- Drag and Drop Interface
- Gantt Chart
- Recurring Tasks
- Task Assignees
- Time Tracking
- Reporting Capabilities
- Activity Stream
- Custom Statuses
- Internal Wiki and Document Management
- Numerous Third-Party Integrations
- Overwhelming amount of features make it hard to keep track
- Interface can seem clunky if you’re just starting out or are a beginner
By the first look of it, you’d think of ClickUp as a boast-y little brother of Asana. Rightly so, ClickUp does have a lot to boast about. The tool is literally chock-full of features. You’d actually run out of time to experiment with them all. This is exactly why the tool comes with an option to hide the features you don’t want/use.
In addition to the mountain of features offered by ClickUp, another thing that left me in awe was the 1000+ integrations it comes with. Not only this, ClickUp claims to release new integration every week. Yes, you heard that right! Every.week!
However, it’s highly likely that the abundance of features makes you frustrated and you lose interest (Like I did). So, it’s important to first understand the functionality of the tool and what it has to offer, before finally diving in.
- Drag and drop interface for making quick changes
- A workload chart showing allotted tasks, along with time estimates
- Tasks and subtasks management, as well as recurring tasks
- Tasks checklists for quickly checking off of tasks from the list
- Custom dashboards, storing portfolio lists for progress tracking
- Calendar sync and time tracking through integrations
- Comes with a free online notepad to jot down notes quickly
A simple project management software meant for small teams with straight-forward collaboration needs
A project management software which covers all the basics pretty smartly and leaves room for more.
- Free Trial Available
- Project Templates
- Interactive Gantt Charts
- To-Do Lists Management
- Notes and File Attachments
- Comments Within Tasks
- Due Dates for Deadlines
- Google Doc Integration
- Group Chat through Campfire
- Team Member Mentions
- Emoji Support
- Notification Reminders
- Mobile Apps
- No free version available
- Limited reporting capabilities
- Lacks built-in time tracking
Basecamp is another one of my pick for best project management software for small teams. A rather simple, convenient, and a straight forward tool which does not over complicate users with a plethora of features like ClickUp. Although the tool still has a lot to improve when it comes to reporting capabilities, it nicely covers up the needs of a standard project.
Basecamp should not be categorized into a fledge project management software as it doesn’t possess a feature set like Asana, neither does it flood your workspace with unnecessary options like many other tools. It strikes a perfect balance by offering something pretty much every project needs and that too at a flat price point.
So, if you’ve ever been daunted by the tagline ‘pay as you grow’, you don’t have to worry now! No matter how many team members you have, you get to pay a flat fee of $99, even when you keep growing.
- A single location for all the team messages
- Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook integration for schedule management
- Access rights to clients for staying in loop with the projects’ progress
- Hill charts to demonstrate the entire projects’ progress over time
- Direct messages with team members, along with emoji support
- Search option, as well as public links for easy sharing with people
A project management software really helps keep your project boat stay afloat. Before you pick the right option for you, I’d suggest that you carefully weigh in the pros and cons and cross-match them with your requirements. Give the potential ones a try and then go ahead with the decision of finally investing in one.
If you already have a favorite project management software, share your experience with me in the comments below. I would love to add in some insights to my blog! Happy project managing 🙂