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Whether you run a small-sized business or a large-scale industry, managing and keeping track of numerous projects at once can be a tedious task.
That’s why project management tools have become so prevalent in the market. In fact, 77% of high-performing projects use project management software.
These tools help you plan, execute, control, and finally close your projects efficiently, without missing out on something important in between.
So how should you choose a project management software for your business?
The top characteristics to consider are:
- Ease of collaboration
- Customer-centric product roadmap
While choosing your project management solution, you should focus on your team size, long-term goals, and then go with the platform that aligns with your unique business requirements.
Here are some of the best project management software for 2020.
Monday.com is a new version of the previously known Dapulse with a lot more features. With a clean interface and color-coded features, this platform is pretty straightforward to use and set up great for project managers and either big or small teams. They also offer a mobile app.
- Offers a colored timeline and option to sync timeline with calendar
- Provides a portal for external stakeholders and clients
- Provides a feature called ‘create a new pulse’ that allows you to copy any list and paste it for full transfer
- Offers undo button
- Offers highly customizable workflows
- Charts for timeline visualization
- Offers map view for location-based projects
- Offers a wide variety of templates for project managers
- Resource management tools
- Unlimited users and boards
- Specific plans for businesses based on the number of users
- Offers a free trial period
- Extensive one-on-one training offered
- Provides service in multiple languages (English, German, Dutch, French, and more)
- Extensive integrations (Outlook, Slack, Jira, Excel, and more)
- Offers a Kanban-style visual layout
- Good help desk and customer support
- All plans include 24/7 phone and email support
- Ability to handle complex projects
- Adding the number of users costs extra money for each plan
- One of the more expensive plans in the market
- Addition of sub-tasks can be difficult
- Can be challenging to grasp for a novice
Monday.com offers four plans. The ‘Basic,’ ‘Standard,’ and ‘Pro’ plans for up to 5 users cost $25, $39, and $59 per month, respectively. The ‘Enterprise’ plan is quote-based.
ProofHub provides all the project management tools you need, under one roof. Tools that help you control your team(s) make it easier for you to finish your projects efficiently. It also ensures on-time project delivery and on-point team accountability.
- Entirely cloud-based
- White-labelling (allows you to add your colors, logo, theme)
- Gantt charts for visualization (track progress, change views, export)
- Efficient security protocols in place
- Available in multiple languages
- Offers Kanban-style boards to visualize and self-manage
- Excellent integrations (Outlook, Dropbox, Google Drive)
- Offers great project templates
- Comes with in-built proofing tool that allows you to share, review, preview, and provide feedback
- Both one-on-one and group chats available for better collaboration
- Allows you to review multiple files simultaneously
- Provides detailed tutorials for introduction to ProofHub
- Tasks and sub-tasks for easy allocation (also imports CSV files)
- Efficient use of calendar (manage all events and milestones, and get reminders)
- High customizability
- 30-day free trial period
- Offers plenty of command shortcuts for efficient working
- Doesn’t offer customer support via phone
- Can be difficult to use for beginners
- Several users have complained about the difficulty in using certain features
- Workflows and requirements management could be improved
The pricing plans start at $89 per month (billed annually) and go up to $45 per month (billed annually). They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Named after a yoga pose, Asana is a highly popular SaaS-based project management system. It can run on Linux, Windows, Android, and iOS. Moreover, it boasts of multi-language capability, including French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
- Offers more than 100 integrations (Gmail, Outlook, Google Drive, Zapier, OneLogin, and more)
- Uses a RESTful API that enables you to update and access data easily
- Offers a wide range of viewing options, including list view, board view, and calendar view
- Comes with more than 50 templates to choose from
- Custom fields to keep track of critical metrics
- Offers dependency management
- Offers a ‘My task’ list and Focus mode
- Get automatic updates in emails
- Provides CSV importer to upload business data into the application
- Easy facilitation of information sharing
- Agile project management tools
- Offers a limited-capability free plan
- Allows easy prioritization and visualization of work
- Get real-time updates and file sharing
- User-friendly interface with easy task lists through the project lifecycle
- Offers email support, tickets, and training
- High customizability (allows third-party API modifications)
- Assigning project tasks can be challenging
- It doesn’t provide live chat or phone support
Asana comes with four pricing plans.
- The first one is a basic freemium plan for individuals or businesses that are just starting out.
- The ‘Premium’ plan is $10.99 per user per month (when billed annually).
- The ‘Business’ plan costs $24.99 per user per month (when billed annually).
- And the ‘Enterprise’ plan is a quote-based plan, where you can customize it as per your preference.
Workzone is a cloud-based project management software. One of its most prominent features is that it allows custom branding for businesses, allowing them to display their logos or signatures. Other than that, its focus is on enabling collaboration between different business units.
- Offers excellent collaboration features
- The project dashboard gives reference to all features
- Offers a wide variety of templates
- Comprehensive document management
- Budget and expense management
- All-in-one portfolio management
- Real-time display of to-do list
- Excellent integration with a wide range of software, including Dropbox, Tableau, Google, and more
- Offers exportable pre-built or customized project reports
- 24/7 support (phone and email)
- Great for businesses that handle multiple clients
- Allows you to create external accounts for specific business requirements
- Time management can be improved
- Lacks the capacity to create a portal for clients or external users
- Beginners might find it challenging to use
- The pricing plan is not available on the website (must contact the company to get a quote or request a demo)
Workzone does not display its pricing on the website. You have to get in contact with the Workzone team to request a demo and get a quote.
Trello is a cloud-based, Kanban-style list-making application. Most users claim it to be a very flexible app that provides excellent project collaboration. The best part is that it offers a basic plan free of cost for beginners.
- Provides a limited-feature, free plan
- Drag and drop feature
- Provides multiple integrations with third-party apps like Zoho, Evernote, Zapier, and more
- Has a voting feature, which allows the employees to vote and decide on a particular course of action in real-time
- Offers unlimited personal boards, cards, and lists to segment and manage the workload accordingly
- Unique ‘power-up’ feature that allows you to edit the content on each board and add different integrations
- Offers inline editing, checklists, and attachments
- Provides regular updates and alerts on deadlines
- Syncs across all devices
- Very user-friendly
- Mobile friendly
- Supports Android and iOS
- One of the cheapest project management apps in the market
- Highly customizable for multiple different project teams
- Easy to use Kanban boards
- Collaboration tools that sync with Slack
- Trello doesn’t provide a separate portal for clients
- The free plan doesn’t include integrations
- Doesn’t have phone support
Trello offers three plans.
- The first one is a free plan, with limited features, but great for people who’re just starting.
- The ‘Business Class’ plan costs $9.99 per user month (billed annually).
- The ‘Enterprise’ plan costs $20.83 per user per month (billed annually).
Wrike is a SaaS product that boasts of a multi-pane UI, and also aids in team collaboration and project management. Since it is available in multiple languages like English, French, and German, and is compatible with both Android and iOS, professionals from different parts of the world use it for their project management needs.
- Visualization tracking
- Easy prioritization
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
- Offers Dynamic Request Forms (DRF) to simplify project planning
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Integrations with a wide range of tools, including CRM apps, email marketing tools, and so forth
- Advanced analytics and data insights from integration with Tableau
- Offers a single platform for all your business needs (no need to use multiple applications)
- Comes with numerous in-built tools to aid and abet your project
- Use of automation
- Has reliable security protocols in place
- 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat
- Some beginners might find it challenging to navigate
- Tasks are highly fragmented and can sometimes cause confusion
Wrike provides five plans that cover a wide range of business requirements.
- First is the ‘Professional’ plan that provides access to up to 15 users, and costs $9.80 per user per month.
- The ‘Business’ plan provides access to a range of 5 to 200 students. It costs $24.80 per user per month. It also offers volume discounts.
- The ‘Marketers,’ ‘Professional Services,’ and the ‘Enterprise’ plans offer access to unlimited users and can be customized according to your requirements.
All the plans offer a free trial period for up to 5 users.
ClickUp is perfect when it comes to solving multiple problems for a business. It offers comprehensive time management, task management, facilitates collaboration between different business units, and offers a wide range of integrations. It is one of the few project management platforms to offer a freemium plan.
- Offers a wide range of templates
- Offers four different views
- Drag and drop feature
- You also get a wide range of integrations (Slack, GitHub, Dropbox, Google Drive, and much more)
- Provides excellent contact management features
- Allows goal-tracking and time-tracking
- Allows automatic import of documents from other apps
- Allows you to organize tasks into sub-tasks
- Task tray feature allows you to avoid opening new tabs
- Allows you to set priorities for your tasks
- Extremely customizable
- Cloud-based application
- Offers a freemium plan for basic services
- Has a customer-centric approach
- The dashboard view is very efficient
- 24/7 speedy customer support
- The user interface could be made more user-friendly
- The calendar is not as effective
Apart from the Freemium plan, ClickUp offers three other paid plans. The ‘Unlimited’ plan costs $5 per user per month, and the ‘Business’ plan is $19 per user per month. Then you have ‘Enterprise’ plan, which is tailor-made for your requirements.
Podio is a holistic, web-based, powerful, and easy-to-use project management software. It is also one of the few project management software that offers a free, basic plan with limited features.
- Comes with filter and reporting options (helps automate sales pipeline and project budget tracking)
- Maintains workflows based on if-this-then-that logic
- Comprehensive task management features
- Offers a variety of calendaring options, including personal calendar, workspace calendar, and more
- Integrations with numerous third-party apps (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more)
- Efficient communications and online meetings (Podio chat, instant messaging, audio and video, and more)
- AES 256-bit encryption for storage and SSL Certified (highly secure environment)
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Highly customizable
- Provides excellent customer support
- Offers an excellent free plan for up to 5 users
- One of the most affordable platforms in the market
- Provides unlimited storage, even for the free version
- Offers tutorial videos for easy understanding of usage
- Powerful templates
- Limited tracking options
- Doesn’t allow archiving and use of markup tools
- No phone or email customer support
The first plan is free and allows up to 5 users. The ‘Basic’ plan is priced at $7.20 per month. The ‘Plus’ plan costs $11.20 per month and offers the option of automated workflows. The ‘Premium’ plan is $19.20 per user and offers a full suite of advanced features.
Teamwork is a team collaboration, project management, and task management software. It is entirely web-based and is compatible with both Android and iOS. On top of that, you get a wide range of cloud-based applications, along with a free plan.
- Provides excellent integrations (Hubspot, Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and more)
- Portfolio feature enables you to get a panoramic view of all your projects
- The “Board view” automates your workflow
- Offers “Teamwork Timer” app to track time
- Gantt charts for visualization of the timeline
- Risk register allows you to manage all risks with your project under one roof
- Offers a client portal to segment your projects accordingly
- Chat option for teams for effective communication
- Allows you to create tasks and sub-tasks
- Use of filters to view project information
- Personalized dashboard to show key project metrics
- Ability to leverage cards and smartsheets
- Invoicing for clients using native timesheets
- 30-day free trial period
- Offers a basic, free plan for up to 5 users
- 24/7 email, phone, and live chat customer support
- Offers free guides and tutorials to get hands-on learning
- Offers a Kanban-style board
- Can be difficult to use for a novice
- The interface is a bit cluttered
Teamwork offers a free plan for up to five users. After that, the paid plans start at $9 per user per month and go up to $15 per user per month. You also get a quote-based plan that is highly personalized. Annual payment helps you save up to 20%.
MeisterTask is a project management software that helps organize and manage tasks in a beautifully designed, customizable environment. It is entirely web-based and doesn’t require any downloading or manual updating.
- Kanban-style boards help in task management
- Mobile friendly and is compatible with both Android and iOS
- Make use of multiple checklists that allows you to break up long lists into manageable sub-lists
- In-built time tracker feature
- Easy project portfolio management
- Offers extensive integration with a wide range of applications (Gmail, Dropbox, Zendesk, GitHub, and more)
- Excellent security protocols in place
- Provides direct import option from a variety of apps like Trello, Asana, and Wunderlist
- You get a personal URL to subscribe to your tasks, schedules, and more
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Predefined workflow helps in efficient team collaboration
- Very efficient automation (offers ‘section actions’)
- Allows you to set up recurring tasks
- Excellent collection of tutorial videos to guide you
- Allows high customizability
- Subtasks are not visible right away
- Doesn’t provide native reminder feature
- Isn’t compatible with Linux
- Phone support is offered only for the ‘Business’ plan
You get a free plan for basic requirements. The paid plans start from $8.25 per user per month and go up to $20.75 per user per month. They also offer one ‘Enterprise’ plan that can be tailored for each individual.
BaseCamp is a cloud-based online project management tool. It organizes everything in one place and eliminates the need for additional software.
Moreover, it helps segment projects into small parts, which increases the focus on each part.
- Provides message boards to post announcements and pitch ideas
- To-do list (make a list of what to do)
- Efficient scheduling
- You can share docs, files, spreadsheets
- Excellent group and individual chat
- Project-based calendar system
- Offers a wide range of project templates
- Provides a client/third-party portal
- Allows you to set-up and schedule notifications
- Offers in-built file management for each project
- Extensive integrations available (Zapier, TaskClone, Pleexy, and more)
- The “Klipfolio” features help you visualize all your business metrics on a single dashboard
- Allows high level of customization
- Doesn’t charge based on the number of users
- Promotes and facilitates collaboration between business units
- Offers an excellent free plan (limited features)
- Offers a 30-day free trial plan for the paid plan
- Compatible with Android, Mac, Windows, iOS
- Extensive tutorials for in-depth learning about BaseCamp
- Entirely based on cloud thus may not be used by businesses who prefer in-house project management
- Doesn’t offer customer support via phone call
The paid plan costs $99 per month. You also get a freemium plan with regular features. However, you won’t get the VIP customer support that is exclusive to the paid plan.
A few tools not yet listed include Zoho Projects, Microsoft Projects, LiquidPlanner, and Mavenlink.
Project management is the science or art of mobilizing a company’s resources towards the completion of a specific project or goal. It may be a one-time activity or a long-term work order. Project management software is either an on-premise or SaaS collaboration tool that allows teams to manage tasks, share deliverables, and work on projects to completion.
Naturally, the software tools that help companies perform project management are called project management software (or PM software for short).
Whether working on a software development project or a simple document, this collaboration software allows teams to work together faster, and save the company both time and money.
Ever since the first PMS was developed in 1896, called the harmonogram, the software has seen profound changes.
These days we have numerous types of project management software apps, including:
- Desktop-based or web-based
- Mobile apps
Project management is prevalent in science, engineering, information technology, military, and construction industries.
The best part is that project management software has brought about considerable automation and resourcefulness, which is a distinct advantage over traditional manual project management techniques.
A project management software app can help you perform the following tasks:
- Time-management & scheduling
- Resource allocation
- Communication & collaboration
With intense competition all over the business world, merely registering for a project management platform is not enough.
You have got to be able to use it correctly and reap all the benefits in all its capacity.
After all, your competitors are going to be using such platforms as well, so efficiency and proper use can be the key to getting a competitive advantage.
Here are some of the steps you can use to maximize your results:
The first step is identifying the parts of the project you need help with and your desired outcome.
You need to identify things like:
- Whether your requirement is internal or external
- Do you need to collaborate with your clients or any other third-parties
- If remote working is possible and what kind of remote working tools would you require
- What’s your budget
If you don’t run a thorough analysis, you might end up overlooking the project management features that could have helped most.
After you’ve selected the online project management software to use, you need to choose the right plan for your business.
You could make a decision based on several factors, like the number of users you have, your budget, or other company-specific variables.
The good news is most PM tools provide several different pricing plans, along with a quote-based plan that can be customized based on your requirements.
With any platform, you need to get comfortable with the navigation panel. This panel contains all the tools that you’ll need to rely on.
Some of the components that a typical navigation panel provide are:
- Stream feeds
- Folders/projects/tasks (sub-tasks)
- Calendars (helps in tracking and following daily work)
Here’s what a typical navigation panel looks like:
You can start by creating a folder and keeping all your team members in the loop.
Creating a new folder is easy in any PMS, and can be done from the navigation window itself.
The folder usually contains all the details of a particular project.
After creating a new folder, start a new project, or add an existing project to the folder.
You just need to follow a few simple steps that are usually go something like this:
Naming —> Setting a start date and an end date —> Choosing your preferred view
The next step is adding the team members for the project. Adding the members is easy, and it allows all your team members to keep track of the progress of the project and other details they are working on.
After the creation of the project, you can start to add tasks and assign them to different people in your team.
Take Trello, for instance:
You can follow each task and see the progress each team member has made over a period of time.
The best part is that you can give each task a name, which helps you prevent overlapping between various tasks. It also helps you to easily locate the task/project when in need.
After the creation of tasks, it’s now time to add the various details.
Some of them include:
- Assigned team members
- Due dates
As you work through the project, you can keep on updating the tasks as well as the sub-tasks.
Sub-tasks are critical additions to the “tasks.”
And just like the tasks, sub-tasks also need detailing, such as:
- Key information
- Assigned team members
- Due dates
- Additional details (if any)
The benefit of most project management software apps is that the entire team can view all the tasks and sub-tasks (despite not being kept in the loop). This helps the whole team maintain the flow, which results in better transparency and flexibility.
A hallmark of using a project management tool is setting the priority levels.
Usually, the priority levels can be of three types:
- High importance
- Moderate importance
- Low importance
This option is mandatory in some, while optional in the others.
However, setting a priority level can help you keep track of the tasks that you need to do urgently and ensure you complete all the projects in time.
It is something you will get the hang of once you start working on your PMS.
Usually, with reports and analytics on your dashboard, you can track and follow the progress of everyone in your team.
Dashboards usually help in filtering the list of tasks. Specific widgets can be created that help users see tasks and sub-tasks within a particular folder. Anyone can access the dashboard and keep abreast of things.
Make maximum use of the various visualization techniques available in your project management tool.
Most of such platforms today offer Gantt charts for efficient visualization that help in easy facilitation of tasks, and a high level of team collaboration.
All in all, project management applications aim to streamline the following work management steps:
- Monitoring & control
When it comes to choosing the perfect project management platform, there isn’t any best or worst. It all comes down to the requirements of your small business, what metrics you use, your budget, among other things.
To choose the perfect software tool that aligns the best with your business, you could start with the following questions:
- Do you need your team to work remotely?
- Do you need a customized plan?
- Do you need a plan that doesn’t charge on the number of heads?
- Would a Gantt chart help in organizing things better?
- Do you want to have an external stakeholder/client portal?
- What kind of third party integrations do you need?
Keeping the above questions and your budget in mind, you can easily find the best project management software tool that’s right up your alley.