Which Project Management Tools are the Best to Keep Your Team Productive in 2020?
Project management isn’t just about keeping things on track for large sweeping projects like launching a new product or erecting a building, there are also many smaller day-to-day activities that project management software, templates, and tools are used to facilitate.
If you’re not using a project tracker to ensure all the moving parts of a project are communicating effectively towards your end goal, things can go awry pretty quickly.
According to global consulting firm KPMG, 70% of organizations have had at least one project failure over the last 12 months.
What’s the cost of not properly planning a project management life cycle? It’s estimated that for every $1 billion invested in the U.S., $122 million is lost due to poor project performance, often resulting in lack of good project planning tools.
Companies that use project planning software and best practices waste 28 times less money than those that don’t. That makes finding the best project management software a top priority for companies that want to succeed and gain a competitive advantage.
Best Paid & Best Free Project Management Software
The great thing about downloadable and online project management tools is that they can be used by both small businesses and large enterprise corporations.
There are plenty of choices for free project management software if you’re on a tight budget and there are also project management apps with the capabilities to meet the demands of large organizations.
In our top 10 project management software list, we’ve included some excellent choices that are being used widely around the world. You’ll find 5 free project management tools and 5 of the best project management tools that are paid.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect PM tool to increase productivity and positive project completion rate, then read on to find the perfect fit for your business!
What Exactly is a Project Management Software? Benefits, Uses, and Advanced Capabilities
Project management is about keeping everyone on task and managing the different tasks required to see a project to completion. This can mean a project related to creating a new marketing brochure or one related to building out a client’s design.
A project management app will make it much easier to keep all those moving parts together, by providing a digital means to assign and keep track of all the different project management tasks. Program management tools will include features such as:
- Team collaboration
- Project planning and scheduling
- Time tracking
- Project budgeting
- Gantt charts
- Milestone tracking
You’ll also find that there are slight differences in project management tools and techniques, depending upon which project management methodology you’re using.
For example, you may be looking for Agile project management tools or you may want an online project management software that can be used with the Scrum or Kanban methodologies.
Many of the top project management software options support multiple PM methodologies for flexibility in choosing the one that suits your team best.
Other differentiators are open source project management software versus a proprietary one, such as the Microsoft Project management tool. It generally comes down to how robust you need your PMO tools to be.
Don’t Miss: Best Team and Tasks Management Software
The Best Paid vs the Best Free Project Management Software
If you’re a small business, you might be wondering if free project planning software will work as well as a paid project management dashboard.
While some free options are completely open-source project management tools, with no limits on the number of users, most of the free options on our top 10 project management tools list offer fewer capabilities and/or fewer number of users than the paid PMO software levels offer.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t still get a lot of great features that are perfect for your needs if you choose a free project scheduling software over a paid one.
Many project management apps offer plenty of capabilities using the free version and allow you to move to their paid project tracking tools easily when you’re ready.
See also: Free Project Plan Template (Excel)
It’s important to do a full paid vs free project management software comparison so you know what features you get with the free version and which require the paid level of that particular project management tracker.
As you’re looking through these 10 top project management tools, you’ll want to keep in mind your own requirements for project management and ask a few questions to help you land on the perfect one.
- Do I need a tool that integrates with Google project management apps (G Suite)?
- Would I rather have lots of controls or a simple project management software?
- Do we require Kanban, Scrum, or Agile project management software?
- How much can we afford to spend on a good project tracking software?
- Do these software project management tools offer a free trial?
- Is there any project management app with trustworthy reviews?
Now that you have a general overview of what questions to ask and what to expect from software management tools for projects, let’s dig into the best tools used in project management around the world.
Top 10 Best Project Management Apps (Free & Paid)
Click on any of the links below for a review of these top-ranked program management software options.
Review of the Best Paid & Best Free Project Management Tools
We’ve divided our top 10 list of the most popular project management software into 2 categories: those that offer decent free project planning tools and those that primarily offer a paid version of their team project management software.
These applications include various types of project management software – from open source project management reporting tools to enterprise project management software.
You’ll see some familiar brands on our list, such as Microsoft Project plan and Wrike. You may also see some new names that you weren’t aware of before. All are at the top of their game, which is to provide the best project management software for companies of all types.
If you’ve been trying to use a project management spreadsheet to keep track of each step of a project, you’re going to find these PM tools a welcoming and time-saving change. What is the best project management software? Let’s find out now!
Agilo for trac Review
If you’re in the market for Agile project management tools, then Agilo for trac is one you’ll definitely want to consider. Besides offering a free project management platform that can be used with Agile, it’s also compatible with Scrum and Kanban.
Agilo for trac is a quite robust free project management system. With Agilo Open (free version), you can add an unlimited number of users, which is a big plus that’s not often found among the free project management tools.
This makes Agilo stand out in our project management tools comparison, especially for small businesses and companies on a budget that don’t want to have a limit on the number of users they can add.
Key Features of this Popular Project Management Software:
- Full support of all three Scrum roles
- Hierarchical tickets
- Complete traceability of project management tasks
- A multi-team, multi-project management tool
- Fully configurable (custom types and fields)
- Extendable with free plugins
- Smart drag & drop interface
- Integrated team management
Best PM Software – Free vs Paid Option:
- Agilo for trac Open (Free version): No time limit, no user limit
- Agilo for trac Pro (Contact for pricing): Both hosted and non-hosted options available. Additional integrated whiteboard and more editing capabilities.
The Verdict | Best Project Management System For…
Companies that don’t have a lot to spend but are looking for the best free project management software without any user limitations, will do well with Agilo for trac. This industry and IT project management software has multiple methodology support as well.
The only drawback we’ve noticed is that the project management dashboard isn’t as visually stunning as some of the other project tools, but if it does the job. Then again, that lack of “oomph” when it comes to the user interface may be a small price to pay for the functionality you get.
If you’re a fan of “visually stunning timelines” then you’ll want to check out Teamweek. It promises a highly-functional color-coded timeline and a simple project management software interface. The company also boasts some well-known clients such as Disney and Netflix as users of their collaborative project management software.
Ease of use is the key feature of this best project management software. Teamweek’s user interface is designed to be not only aesthetically pleasing but to also be uncluttered. A simple drag-and-drop functionality, as far as IT project management tools go, promises a great user experience. You can expect that even less techy users will adopt this one pretty quickly.
Teamweek | One of this Year’s Best Free Project Management Tools
Key Features of this Top Project Management System Software:
- Color-coded timeline for a clear project overview
- Easily edit and reorganize project management tasks
- Multiple views: see items by project or by group
- Checklists to allow you to create sub-tasks
- Share project management process timeline with clients and team members
- Multiple integrations with other apps
- Get a daily overview of your project management life cycle
- Instant updates for a better team collaboration
Free vs Paid Best Project Management Platforms:
- Teamweek Free: Up to 5 people, does not include premium features such as annual view, custom colors, or file upload up to 100MB
- Teamweek up to 10 People: $33/month
- Teamweek up to 20 People: $66/month
- Teamweek up to 40 People: $125/month
- Teamweek up to 100 People: $250/month
The Verdict | Best IT Management Software For…
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time helping your team with challenges that come with more complex best project management software solutions, then the simple but intuitiveTeamweek interface could be a perfect solution.
If free project management software programs are what you’re looking for, this could be a smart choice. However, with Teamweek Free plan you can only add up to 5 users which may be somewhat limiting for many small businesses.
Teamwork Projects Review
Teamwork Projects is part of the Teamwork product suite that includes helpdesk, chat, and CRM software. It’s one of the best project management programs because it gives you the flexibility to work the way you want.
This project resource management software is compatible with multiple methodologies and it focuses on reducing the complexity of collaboration and making it easy to keep everyone on the same page and up to date.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a Google project management software, this one integrates not only with G Suite Apps (Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) but also with Microsoft Office.
Key Features of this Popular Online Project Management Tool:
- Team messaging, chat, file sharing
- Panoramic view of project management phases
- Board view to automate workflow
- Timer app to stay on top of project management tasks
- Permissions and visibility controls
- Write and share content in project notebooks
- Billing & time logging
- Project tracker to view milestones and task history
Best Free Project Management App vs Paid Options:
- Free Forever: Maximum of 5 users, 2 active projects, no integrations
- Pro: $9/user/month (min. 5 users)
- Premium: $15/user/month (min. 5 users)
- Enterprise: Contact company
The Verdict | Best Project Management Tools For…
If you’re only looking for a very basic online project management software, then the free version of Teamwork Projects will be a good fit for your needs. In a project management software comparison, the interface is designed to be simple and concise – making this tool easy and uncomplicated.
The biggest drawback of this free project planning software is that it’s very limited, only allowing two projects. If you like the Teamwork PMO software but need more functionalities, opting for Teamwork Pro version unlocks a lot more features and allows you 300 projects.
One of the most used project management software applications is Trello by Atlassian. Google and Kickstarter are among the users that depend on this popular PM tool. As you may have guessed already – Trello integrates with G Suite apps and sets you up for maximum productivity.
The project boards and easy drag-and-drop interface that this project management platform is known for, guarantees easy user adoption and high productivity. After all, that’s what project management tools are meant to do. And Trello knows that an uncluttered, user-friendly interface is the key.
Key Features of this Free Project Scheduling Software:
- Card-based project management
- Add due dates, comments, attachments on each card
- Program management tools including calendar overview
- Add custom fields
- Checklist project tools
- Notifications across all devices
- Robust search and filtering tools
- Simple to use project management tracker
- G Suite apps integration
Best Project Planning Tools for Free vs Paid Options:
- Free: No time limit, no user limit, unlimited cards, 10 team boards, 10mb per file attachment limit
- Business Class: $9.99/user/month
- Enterprise (100 users): $20.83/user/month
- Enterprise (5000 users): $5.92/user/month
The Verdict | Best Project Tracking Software For…
Trello is one of the best free project management tools for companies on a limited budget that still want to have unlimited users and a fair amount of features. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use which is always a plus when introducing your team to new software.
While this is one of the free software project management tools that gives you a great deal of functionality, there are some features you’ll miss out on if you decide to skip the paid version. This includes the Trello priority support, custom backgrounds, unlimited automation commands, and email notifications.
Used by companies such as Verizon and L’Oreal, Wrike is a popular project management software tool that’s both powerful and has an attractive user interface.
Built to encourage collaborative project management tools and techniques, Wrike has customizable dashboards and a variety of templates to get you started on the right foot. Looking for marketing campaign management? Need agile project management software? Wrike templates cover those and much more.
Key Features of this Top Project Management System Software:
- Dynamic Request Forms
- Best Gantt chart software capability
- Color-coded workflow statuses
- Team commenting and real-time feedback
- Project management tracker that gives both the bird’s eye and detailed views
- Integrates with Microsoft programs and Google project management apps
- Designed for streamlining processes
- Project tracking, reporting, and review
Free vs Paid Program Management Software Options:
- Free: Up to 5 users, does not include features such as Gantt chart, calendars, and advanced integrations.
- Professional (5, 10, 25 users): $9.80/user/month
- Business (5-200 users): $24.80/user/month
- Wrike for Marketers (5-unlimited users): Contact the company
- Enterprise (5-unlimited users): Contact the company
The Verdict | Best Software Management Tools For…
Companies looking for the best free project planning tools that also provide a decent amount of file space will like the fact that Wrike’s free version comes with 2GB of file space. This allows them to move from a project management spreadsheet to an online industry and IT project management software pretty easily.
Wrike is at the top of most people’s project management tools list. The biggest downside we see with the free version is the loss of valuable features such as subtask management, graphical analytics, and the best Gantt chart software (which comes with paid versions).
It’s time to move on from free and open source project management software to the paid versions. Some of these paid apps may still offer some “free” functionality. However, during our review of other project management software, it became clear that most paid software companies offer it as a free version. For that reason, these companies better fit the “paid” category.
Asana uses the well-known drag-and-drop interface as many other popular project tracking tools. The company has recently added some new features that put them ahead of the competition.
One of these their newly added features is the Workload multi-project management tool, which lets you see how much each team member has on their plate to more easily asses if someone is overtasked or under tasked.
Key Features of this Small Business & Enterprise Project Management Software:
- Advanced search and reporting tools
- Custom fields and templates for project management solutions
- Premium content available in Asana Academy
- Custom branding (Enterprise version)
- Milestones and task management tracking
- Advanced 3rd party PMO tools integrations
- Workload feature for tasks overview by user
- Scrum and Agile project management tools
Free vs Paid Top Project Management Tools:
- Basic: Free for up to 15 users, but very limited, i.e. it doesn’t include timeline or milestones
- Premium: $10.99/user/month
- Business: $24.99/user/month
- Enterprise: Contact company
The Verdict | Best Project Management Apps For…
If you’re looking for IT project management tools with a lot of bells & whistles and full branding customization, then Asana is going to be a great choice. The fact that they continue to add on features, sets Asana apart from the rest in a project management tools comparison.
This is one of the top 10 project management software brands that offers you complete control and a lot of flexibility to set things up the way you want, which could add a little more time to the staff training phase.
Popular Article: Asana Review – All You Need to Know About the Asana Software
Microsoft Project Review
Microsoft project management software – called simply Microsoft Project – is one of the most popular collaborative project management software systems you’ll find due to the native integration with all the Microsoft products, like Office 365.
Microsoft Project management tools include support for all the popular methodologies, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, waterfall, and more. Microsoft Project plan and tracking tools user interface will look very familiar if you’ve used any MS Office products before.
Microsoft Project Management Tools
In a study the company commissioned from Forrester, Microsoft Project software customers saw a 387% return on investment and 83% reduction in overtime costs.
Key Features of Microsoft Project Management Software:
- Built-in customizable templates using industry best practices
- One of the best Gantt chart software options
- Pre-populated pulldown menus to reduce time
- Robust Microsoft Project management tools for visual reporting
- Multiple timelines per project
- Share a Microsoft Project plan with those outside your organization
- On-premise and online project management solutions
- Microsoft project software to track project health or burn-out
Pricing for Microsoft Project Management Software (Cloud-based)
- Project Online Essentials: $7/user/month
- Project Online Professional: $30/user/month
- Project Online Premium: $55/user/month
Pricing for Microsoft Project Management Tools (On-premise)
- Project Standard 2019: $620
- Project Professional 2019: $1,030
The Verdict | Best Team Project Management Software For…
Companies that want the best project planning software option from a company with a track record spanning decades, will find Microsoft Project software an excellent option. It’s got a very familiar look and feels similar to MS Office, which will make it easier for most users to adapt to.
While the Essentials version of Microsoft project management software is very affordable for all sized businesses, if you want to get more features, the next jump up in price for this Microsoft PM tool is pretty substantial.
One of the top 10 project management tools that focuses on a very simple, clean, and colorful user interface is monday.com. While the name may not be as well-known as some of the others, this is the best PM software choice for brands such as Philips and the Discovery Channel.
monday.com seems to be positioning themselves as the answer to the question, “What is the best project management software for fast and easy onboarding?”
Key Features of this Top Project Management System Software:
- Templates for multiple use cases
- Completely customizable project management dashboard
- Collaboration with organized communication threads
- Best PM software for multiple data views
- Easily see who is working on what
- Simple deadline and project tracking tools
- Integration with multiple 3rd party tools
- Checklists, project management spreadsheet, and more
Types of Project Management Software Pricing:
The pricing for this best project management system is structured a bit differently. They charge monthly in increments of users from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 100, 200+. We’ll give pricing below for 5 users and 30 users, to give you a snapshot.
- Basic: 5 users-$39/month, 30 users-$239/month
- Standard: 5 users-$49/month, 30 users-$299/month
- Pro: 5 users-$79/month, 30 users-$479/month
- Enterprise: Contact company
The Verdict | Most Used Project Management Software For…
If you’re looking for simple and fast to adopt, monday.com will be one of your top choices for best project management reporting tools. The interface is incredibly intuitive and designed for even the least tech-savvy staff members.
The pricing scheme for this popular project management software is not too bad if you’re at full capacity. However, if you are a few people short of your subscription max, then you could end up paying more than for another of the best project management platforms out there.
ProjectManager.com is one of the best project management programs designed to give you the perfect interface for any industry. They tailor project management software solutions to the construction industry, IT, manufacturing, marketing, enterprise, and more.
If you’re looking for Google project management software, you’ll be interested to know that ProjectManager.com doesn’t only integrate with Google Drive, but also with other Google apps like Gmail and Google Calendar.
Key Features of this Best Industry and Best IT Management Software:
- Real-time dashboards with PM tools for Gantt, Kanban, and more
- Easily watch your project management process online
- Empower your team with personal task lists
- Get instant project management phases reports
- One of the best project management programs for time tracking
- See your team’s workload at a glance
- Project management software programs for handling multiple projects
- Integrations with Google, Microsoft, and more
Project Resource Management Software Pricing:
- Personal: $15/user/month
- Team: $20/user/month
- Business: $25/user/month
The Verdict | Best Project Management Collaboration Tools For…
When you want to facilitate your project management life cycle with a tool that has quick and visually appealing reports, then ProjectManagment.com is a software you’ll want to consider. Additionally, their Google project management integration is more robust than most.
While they offer three different price levels for their project management app, the Personal and Team plans are both very limited. Only the Business version has the standard types of features (like dashboards) that you’d expect from either paid or a bit more generous free project management tools.
Sciforma bills themselves as an “enterprise-centric” portfolio and project planning software. It’s one of the more feature-rich project management apps that offers fully scalable and customized setups for customers.
Some of the clients that use Sciforma project management tools and techniques include Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Netgear, and ArcelorMittal. If you enjoy having access to a wide range of resources, then Sciforma’s webinars, eBooks, and articles will be of interest.
Key Features of this Online Project Management Software:
- Project tracker that can be deployed in the cloud or on-site
- Robust PM tool with budgeting and idea management
- Project tracking software with cost and risk management
- Calendaring and staff time tracking
- Simple project management software
- Easy user adaptability
- Holds ISO 27001 certification for data security
- Completely scalable project management collaboration tools
- One of the best project management tools for enterprise needs
Pricing for Sciforma Software Project Management Tools:
If you’re wondering, “What Sciforma project management system software costs?”, you’ll have to fill out their form to find out. The company doesn’t list pricing on the website. Sciforma states that the implementation cost depends on each customer’s requirements.
We’ve found a pricing reference on Capterra project management software reviews, which listed a price range between $17 – $67 per user per month. The best option, of course, is to contact Sciforma directly to clarify what you’ll pay for their project management platform based on your unique needs.
The Verdict | Top Project Management Software For…
In a project management software comparison, Sciforma comes out as one of those most attuned to the needs of large enterprise corporation. It offers several productivity features that are not as common among its’ project management tools competitors – idea, risk, and cost management.
While Sciforma may be a great option for larger companies that are looking for customized program management software with complex features and functionalities, it comes with a price. While Sciforma is undoubtedly a very useful and powerful project management tool, an average small to medium-size business owners may find Sciforma too expensive.
Conclusion – Top 10 Project Management Software Solutions
Whether you are looking for a paid or free project management system, there are several great options out there that can help you keep your team connected and ensure you track projects successfully.
From open source project management tools to fully customizable enterprise project management software, you’ll find a PMO software among these 10 that suits your team’s project management needs. Some will just need a simple project management tool to keep the team in check while others will be in need of a highly complex and sophisticated PM software with a lot of features. We hope that our top list of free and paid project management solutions will reduce your search time and help you find the perfect project planning software for your team.
Author: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Leader and Founder of AGS).
Note: Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. If you have questions, comments, or tips about this Airiodion Global Services content, please contact Airiodion Global Services today.
Image Sources & Attributes:
https://pixabay.com/photos/project-management-planning-business-2738521/, https://teamweek.com/product.html, https://products.office.com/en-us/project/project-and-portfolio-management-software, https://pixabay.com/photos/analyzing-audience-board-3565815/