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The Top 10 Best Project Management Software Providers

Monday Logo

Monday.com

Best for project management software for small businesses

4.8 4.8 Stars
  • Easy automation features
  • Customizable dashboards, views
  • Affordable paid plans

Summary

  • Starting price
    • $8 per user per month with a 3-user minimum (paid annually)
  • Integrations
    Over 40
  • Free trial or plan
    Free (2 users)
  • Board views
    Gantt, calendar, workload, timeline, Kanban, form, table, cards, files
  • Support
    24/7 email support, knowledge base, a dedicated account manager (on Enterprise only)
For small or large teams, monday.com can be a game-changer for managing team projects, and it’s affordable enough to suit any size business. Its free plan is great for an individual that doesn’t require advanced features like customization and automation.


The list view for a project is a popular choice, but monday.com offers many more, such as Kanban, if you’re better with more visual charts.

Like most project management apps, monday.com offers multiple views of project boards, including Gantt, Kanban, and calendar. There are also more than 40 third-party apps available to create more of a centralized workspace for you and your team such as email, calendar, marketing, and CRM tools.

Getting started with monday.com is easy: Simply sign up for free (you can upgrade later) and answer a few questions about your business. In my opinion, monday.com’s best features are its user-friendliness and flexibility. I set up my first board in a matter of minutes, and it was easy to see how to change my view, add a new task, change statuses, and attach files, for example.

Any team should get up to speed quickly with monday.com, which means you won’t have much downtime for training. Speaking more of its flexibility, I found it easy to share tasks with others, filter content, share tasks and boards, and add apps to my workspace. I’ve used a lot of project management software, and monday.com doesn’t bog anything down with unnecessary complexity or added clicks, so you can focus on the work and not how to set up your project management software correctly.

I didn’t need support, but I did go through the automation guide, and it explained how to set up automations well. The gifs to show you exactly where a tool lives are super helpful.

Who is monday.com best for?

In my testing and research, I found monday.com is suitable for small businesses that don’t have incredibly complex projects. The platform is a great pick for individuals and small teams that don’t need all the tools to manage a handful of projects. I don’t use monday.com, but I’m seriously considering swapping from my preferred project management software.

Pricing for monday.com is affordable, but keep in mind that each paid plan has a three-person minimum.

Recent upgrades

Although monday.com doesn’t update its platform often, it seems to offer new or improved features monthly (there was a short hiatus for the summer of 2022). Recently, monday.com made it possible for you to view workloads by percentage, in addition to the number of tasks or efforts.

Pricing

Paid plans start at $8 per person, per month, paid annually, and there’s a three-user minimum on any paid plan, so you’ll pay at least $24 per month. The Basic plan lets you invite viewers to your boards, which is helpful for service-based businesses, but it’s still fairly limiting. The higher tiers unlock the more powerful tools I mentioned earlier, and those plans cost $10 per user, per month and $16 per user, per month, paid annually for each (bigger businesses can call for a quote for the Enterprise plan).

You can customize your automations in monday.com or use prebuilt templates to create shortcuts for work, such as having the system notify you when a salesperson closes a deal.

Pros and cons of monday.com

Pros

  • Easy automation features
  • Customizable dashboards, views
  • Affordable paid plans
  • Helpful support center

Cons

  • Possibly not complex enough
  • No live onboarding
    Clickup Logo

    Clickup

    Best project management software with a free plan

    4.6 4.6 Stars
    • Excellent feature set even on free plan
    • Advanced reporting included on low-tier paid plan
    • Unlimited storage on all paid plans

    Summary

    • Starting price
      • $5 per user per month
    • Integrations
      Over 50
    • Free trial or plan
      Free plan (unlimited users)
    • Board views
      Gantt, calendar, box, activity, list, table, timeline, chat, form, map, board
    • Support
      Knowledge base, 24/7 ticket support, live chat, dedicated customer success manager (Enterprise only)
    If you’re a solopreneur or freelancer, ClickUp’s free plan may be all you need to manage your work (or personal projects). ClickUp can be a bit sluggish at times with a lot of data on your workspace, though, and it has a steeper learning curve than simple project management software. But if you take the time to learn it, you could make it work well for your projects.


    You can build custom dashboards in ClickUp to see what matters most to you.

    ClickUp is a project management tool that offers five plans with varying features to work for all types of industries, but its most valuable asset is its free plan. As generous as it is with advanced features, it does impose limits, and some aren’t per month. Some limits are for the workspace, so you have to manage your uses well.

    If you’re looking for a customizable project management tool that lets you build a workspace with widgets you’ll use, ClickUp could be a good choice. I’ve used ClickUp in a few different scenarios — as an individual and with a large business with multiple departments — and it’s not that intuitive because there are too many options.

    Yet if you want choices, ClickUp offers a lot of functionality with its built-in features for every plan level. Even if you use the free plan, you can use automations (up to 100 per month), for example. The limits it places on some other features forces you to plan out how to use only 100 over the life of your account as long as you stay on the free plan.

    Collaborating within ClickUp is standard and user-friendly: Leave messages on tasks, projects, and tag any user. I’m not a huge fan of how subtasks work, and it can get confusing within a project if a subtask isn’t completed, but a task is. Yet that could be because I didn’t receive official onboarding.

    Who is ClickUp best for?

    I tested ClickUp in a couple of different settings, and I found it suffered from slow loading time when over 200 users with half a dozen departments and hundreds of projects were on the workspace. Using the free plan as an individual gave me the best results, and it was more than enough of a project management tool to handle my projects. With that said, it’s worth investing in if your team takes the time to learn how to use all the features; plus, the price is low enough to not break a small business’s budget.

    Although ClickUp’s free plan is viable for small teams, upgrading to a paid plan unlocks many other features and removes many limitations.

    Recent upgrades

    The update schedule for ClickUp seems to be monthly, and often the team introduces multiple bug fixes, new features, or upgrades to the platform each time. One of the more recent updates (November 2022) is swimlanes, which allows you to sort tasks on a board by row and column and by multiple categories (such as tags or users).

    Pricing

    ClickUp offers a generous free plan and its paid plans are loaded with even more features and fewer limits. Paid plans range from $5 per person, per month (paid annually) to $19 per person, per month (paid annually). The best part: There’s no minimum user requirement, so no matter the size of your team, you can use whichever plan you prefer.

    Another recent upgrade to ClickUp is the ability to add background colors to cells, which makes it quicker to find what you need in boards if you’re a more visual person.

    Pros and cons of ClickUp

    Pros

    • Excellent feature set even on free plan
    • Advanced reporting included on low-tier paid plan
    • Unlimited storage on all paid plans
    • Versatile for many different industries

    Cons

    • Can be buggy at times
    • Slow loading speed
      GanttPro Logo

      GanttPro

      Best software for basic project management

      4.5 4.5 Stars
      • Lots of custom field options
      • Excellent Gantt charts
      • View multiple projects at once

      Summary

      • Starting price
        • $7.99 per user per month
      • Integrations
        5+
      • Free trial or plan
        14-day free trial
      • Board views
        Gantt, board, list, portfolio
      • Support
        Learning center, email, live chat support, customer success manager (Enterprise only)
      GanttPRO is basic project management software that has mastered the art of the Gantt chart. It has a beautiful interface but it may take a while to learn how to use all the tools and features as you scale up from plan to plan.


      There are multiple fields you can add or hide on your GanttPRO Gantt chart, and you can create custom fields on the PRO plan.

      GanttPRO makes it clear with its name what it does best: Gantt charts. It’s a notable project management tool offering much value at every plan level. You’re likely to find GanttPRO a suitable option for basic project management.

      As much as I love a good Gantt chart, I’m also a fan of list and board (Kanban) views, but not in GanttPRO. I couldn’t change any tasks in board view without going into each task and the list view only shows tasks once they’re assigned. GanttPRO’s best feature is its Gantt chart — it has a clean, easy-to-read interface.

      I like how easy it is to connect one project or task to another in the chart. And the audible notifications are helpful as reminders that tasks are due soon (though the first time it happened. it startled me). Midsize businesses will find the Business plan more helpful because it offers almost all the features available, including resource management tools, time tracking, and costing tools, all of which are necessary for managing bigger teams.

      Who is GanttPRO best for?

      I found that GanttPRO is ideal for managing any project, but it’s best for Gantt charts. It’s affordable enough and comes with the features you should need depending on the size of your team. These include automatic scheduling based on a user’s work hours, custom fields for most paid plans, and time tracking on the higher-priced plans to help you predict project completion time.

      Pricing for GanttPRO is slightly higher than average, but each plan offers valuable features.

      Recent upgrades

      Most updates from GanttPRO can be found in the learning center from the app, and the latest release was October 2022. It included some improvements to the list view, so you can make changes to tasks in bulk and pin an unlimited number of projects to your sidebar. It seems GanttPRO updates its software sporadically, so there’s no real set schedule.

      Pricing

      Surprisingly, GanttPRO doesn’t offer a free plan, but it has an affordable low-tier plan at $7.99 per user, per month, paid annually. The mid-tier plan costs $12.99 per user, per month, paid annually; the Business plan costs $19.99 per user, per month, paid annually, both slightly higher than the industry standard. The Enterprise plan requires a custom quote, clearly suited for larger businesses.

      GanttPRO offers a standard Gantt view that’s easy to edit.

      Pros and cons of GanttPRO

      Pros

      • Lots of custom field options
      • Excellent Gantt charts
      • View multiple projects at once

      Cons

      • No free plan
      • Kanban view inflexible
      • Occasionally buggy
        Teamwork Logo

        Teamwork

        Best project management software for robust features

        4.2 4.2 Stars
        • Project risk management feature
        • Lots of project templates
        • Automation even on free plan

        Summary

        • Starting price
          • $9.99 per user per month with a 5-user minimum
        • Integrations
          Over 100
        • Free trial or plan
          Free plan (5 users)
        • Board views
          Gantt, table, calendar, Kanban, portfolio
        • Support
          Email, live chat, phone support (hours not published)
        Teamwork seems like standard project management software until you dig deeper to find features within features. Although it’s a bit pricier with some minimum user requirements, it could be worth it if you need more robust project management tools.


        Teamwork’s interface is intuitive and you get multiple views of boards (table, list, and card); also, you can view all your projects on one screen.

        Teamwork is a relatively easy-to-use project management tool, but once you dig into its many features, you’ll find it offers a lot more functionality than it first seems. This could be a pleasant surprise to project management managers who like to drill down to the granular level but may be overwhelming if you don’t have much project management software experience.

        The power of Teamwork is when you build out projects and tasks and go deeper to add subtasks, dependencies, attachments to each, and due dates. For example, I created a content plan project in which I had keyword research as a task, and within that task, I added subtasks, which were the topics. Another task I added was to assign articles, but you can’t do that without keyword research, so I added a dependency, which is a great way to help your colleagues prioritize work (especially if they’re new).

        I’d say Teamwork’s strongest selling points are how deep you can go with the feature set. It’s deceptively easy, a powerful project management software that doesn’t seem complicated. Once I got everything built out and looked at my projects in a Gantt chart, I felt a bit of a panic set in — I prefer simple project management software, so it was a bit overwhelming.

        As I built out projects and assigned tasks, I could only add a due date but no time (and let’s be honest, “end of day” means something different to everyone). I also ran into errors trying to update subtasks from the Gantt view. And looking for help through the app to figure out how to add a risk to a project was successful, but it took more than 10 seconds for the help center to even load.

        Despite Teamwork’s small bugs and issues, I could see myself using this project management software. It has a plethora of features that have subfeatures, plus so many project templates, which cuts down on my time spent building a new project. The built-in time tracker is convenient, too — you can start the time within a task.

        Who is Teamwork best for?

        My testing showed that Teamwork can work for pretty much any team, but it seems built for service-based businesses. It’s easy to start with the project management software, but I found the more time I spent with it, the more features and functionality I uncovered. This included automations on every plan, a workload planner (to help mitigate worker burnout), and a portfolio view to give managers a look at the bigger picture.

        Teamwork offers a free plan that allows up to five users, but paid plans require at least five users, making it slightly more expensive than other project management options.

        Recent upgrades

        One of the best things about Teamwork is its updates to the platform. The team gives a lot of attention to bug fixes, new features, and upgrades at least once per month. Even better, there’s a roadmap for future features, so you can see how Teamwork increases in value over time.

        Recently, Teamwork introduced task list budgets, so you can plan your resources across tasks rather than the project alone, giving you more insight into your project budget. A big addition coming soon: Proofing. One of the commonly requested features from users is the ability to proof and markup images.

        Pricing

        Teamwork’s pricing is slightly higher than average for the project management app industry. The free plan is fairly limiting. You can have up to five people on the free plan, 100 automations per month, and only a Zapier integration.

        The Deliver, Grow, and Scale plans range from $9.99 per user, per month to $17.99 per user, per month, paid annually (Scale requires you to get a custom quote).

        Teamwork includes a lot of project templates, and notably many more for marketing teams.

        Pros and cons of Teamwork

        Pros

        • Project risk management feature
        • Lots of project templates
        • Automation even on free plan
        • Hugely popular

        Cons

        • Might be overwhelming for new users
        • Can be buggy at times
        • Help articles load slowly in app
          Zoho-Projects Logo

          Zoho Projects

          Best project management software for affordability

          4.2 4.2 Stars
          • Very affordable plans
          • Interactive Gantt chart
          • Integrates well with Zoho ecosystem

          Summary

          • Starting price
            • $4 per user per month (up to 50 users)
          • Integrations
            Over 35
          • Free trial or plan
            Free plan (3 users)
          • Board views
            Gantt, list, Kanban
          • Support
            Knowledge base, community forum, 24/7 email support, all-day on weekdays via phone and live chat (paid add-on)
          Zoho Projects is budget-friendly project management software that offers three different plans, including a free one. It’s good for anyone who wants an affordable project management solution, but especially if you’re already using other Zoho software.


          You can start time tracking on tasks right from a search bar in Zoho Projects.

          Zoho Projects is a budget project management tool that’s affordable for any person, team, or business. Given that it’s such a low price, you’d expect it to be light on functionality, but it’s definitely a strong contender among its higher-priced competitors.

          At first, I expected to sign up for the free plan, but I got the option for a 10-day trial of the Enterprise plan, so I tried out all the features. I played around with Zoho Projects’ interactive Gantt chart, which makes it easy to move tasks from one place to the other by dragging and dropping.

          Adding new projects, tasks, or milestones is pretty straightforward, but I was surprised to see no way to start with a template — you have to create each project from scratch. Also, if you don’t already have project management experience, helpful info popups explain some features. I think Zoho Projects’ greatest feature is its value; you get many features for a small price.

          For example, I wouldn’t expect cheap project management software to include an interactive Gantt chart, customizable dashboards, and custom fields, all features that make it much easier to manage multiple projects exactly how you want. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t say Zoho Projects is particularly intuitive.

          As I was going through tasks with a prepopulated free trial, I was given a task to create custom fields for issue layouts. Even following the instructions on where to find Setup > Customization > Layouts and Fields > Issues, I had a hard time finding where Setup was located. It’s at the top right.

          I’ve used a lot of software, and typically settings and such are usually at the bottom left or part of the left-hand menu. It seems like a nitpicky complaint, but I wasted a lot of time finding the right menu and then five clicks later, I was finally creating custom fields.

          Who is Zoho Projects best for?

          I found Zoho Projects is best for those who need budget-friendly project management software. It works best if you’re already using the Zoho ecosystem of products because they integrate seamlessly, and Zoho shows up often in other Digital.com software reviews, so they’re doing a lot right. It’s easy to connect any of the 14 other Zoho apps to Zoho Projects to get more functionality, including Zoho Meeting, Zoho Desk, and Zoho CRM.

          Zoho Projects is one of the most affordable project management apps around.

          Recent upgrades

          A big part of project management is to save time while managing teams, tasks, and projects, and Zoho Projects seems to understand that based on the latest feature enhancements. In October 2022, there was an upgrade: Now you can create a duplicate task list, which cuts down on copying and pasting or manual data entry. New features and upgrades come about every month and get posted in Zoho Projects’ updates page.

          Pricing

          It’s always nice to see when a project management app offers a free version, but Zoho Projects’ free plan is probably only good for personal projects because you’re limited to two projects. The good news is the paid plans are affordable; pricing ranges from $4 per user, per month to $9 per user, per month, paid annually.

          Pros and cons of Zoho Projects

          Pros

          • Very affordable plans
          • Interactive Gantt chart
          • Integrates well with Zoho ecosystem

          Cons

          • Not intuitive to use
          • No prebuilt templates
          • Lots of clicks to get anywhere
            Celoxis Logo

            Celoxis

            Best project management software for reporting

            4.1 4.1 Stars
            • Complex, interactive reporting
            • Customizable dashboards
            • App building

            Summary

            • Starting price
              • $22.50 per user per month with a 5-user minimum
            • Integrations
              8
            • Free trial or plan
              30-day free trial
            • Board views
              Gantt, Kanban, workload
            • Support
              Email support at any hour on weekdays
            Celoxis is project management software for heavyweight project managers — it offers a lot of features that help you do your job and see multiple projects from start to finish. The reporting feature is flexible and its interactive Gantt chart helps you make changes quickly without having to navigate to projects one by one.


            Task management in Celoxis looks similar to most other project management tools.

            Celoxis is unlike most light project management apps you see today. It’s a bit pricier at $22.50 per user, per month (paid annually) and offers some powerful features you typically find in legacy software. Celoxis offers an on-premises version if you want to host the software yourself.

            Dashboards are highly customizable, so you can see what you want when you log in. I created a project and populated it with info quickly. Adding tasks was easy, and after that, I wanted to see what task management looked like.

            Celoxis lets you view tasks by a number of filters such as unassigned tasks, which would make my job as a manager much easier when it’s time to send out assignments.

            This was my first time using Celoxis, but I’d heard a lot about its reporting strength, so I wanted to check that out next. I’m convinced this is why users love Celoxis; the reporting feature is so versatile and helpful. There are so many options to filter data and information to pull almost any report you want, from at-risk tasks or projects and bugs to project status or issues.

            The interactive Gantt chart makes it easy to see what’s happening with projects or tasks from a bird’s eye view. The best part was I could select tasks from that chart and move them from one project to another without having to swap my view, which is a big timesaver. I’m also a fan of how Celoxis handles time tracking; I easily set cost rates for each user or set rates per project.

            Who is Celoxis best for?

            After testing Celoxis’ numerous features, I found it’s easy to understand, but hard to master. This project management software will make seasoned project managers happy, But it may require too much training for new users to make it a good pick for a business looking to start right away. If you need the best project management software for reporting, Celoxis could easily fit the bill.

            Pricing for Celoxis works a bit differently than other project management software, and it’s much more expensive.

            Recent upgrades

            Although Celoxis maintains both on-premises and cloud-based versions of its software, it seems to mostly stick to a monthly schedule of updates — at least, until March 2022, the last time updates were posted. Kanban view was made more customizable, allowing more shared dashboards. The limit was increased by the number of users you have, so there’s a minimum of 20 and a max of 100.

            Pricing

            Celoxis handles pricing a little differently than most project management software. You get two choices: cloud-based or on-premises software, and each has a different cost.

            The Cloud plan costs $22.50 per user, per month (paid annually) and On Premise requires a custom quote, but it seems both plans require a five-user minimum. The On Premise plan is a one-time fee for the license, but it comes with upgrades as Celoxis improves its product.

            Apps in Celoxis are essentially automated workflows, and they’re easy for any user to create.

            Pros and cons of Celoxis

            Pros

            • Complex, interactive reporting
            • Customizable dashboards
            • Workflow building
            • Interactive Gantt chart

            Cons

            • Very expensive
            • No invoicing feature
            • May require too much training
            • No free plan
              Wrike Logo

              Wrike

              Best project management software for scaling businesses

              4.0 4.0 Stars
              • Enterprise, Pinnacle plans offer advanced features
              • AI-powered tools (sub-item creation, risk assessment)
              • Few limits on all paid plans

              Summary

              • Starting price
                • $9.80 per user per month with a 2-user minimum; 25-user maximum)
              • Integrations
                Over 400
              • Free trial or plan
                Free plan (unlimited users)
              • Board views
                Gantt, table, board, calendar, workload
              • Support
                Help center, web form all day on weekdays, 24/7 chat, dedicated phone support (high tiers)
              Wrike offers project management for everyone, whether you use the free plan, a low-priced slimmed-down plan, or one of the enterprise-level plans for fully customizable workspaces for all of your departments. The low-tier plans are about average for the industry and have competitive feature sets.


              This is a good example of the AI sub item creation tool — simply highlight text in the app and use the tool to turn a list into actionable items.

              Wrike is project management software that can work well for an individual, small teams, or businesses, all the way up to enterprises. Its scalability is fantastic, with advanced features and tools to help the biggest business with multiple departments manage numerous projects.

              The free plan is fine for an individual; I created projects, tasks, and subtasks and even used the AI subtask creation tool, which saves much time in manual data entry. Task management is excellent on every plan, but to get the most use of Wrike, you need a paid plan. I was impressed with how few limits Wrike places, even on the lower tiers.

              If you go all in with Wrike, you get access to real-time reports, AI-powered risk predictions, and workflow automation. Although Wrike is highly customizable on the paid plans, it does have a steeper learning curve than some of its comparable competitors. But customization is one of its best parts, as are the recurring task or project features to save you time, and I love the AI sub-item creation tool — never having to translate notes to subtasks manually is wonderful.

              When it comes to scalability, Wrike offers resource management features, including workload charts and effort allocation, which help you predict how long a task or project should take to complete. Oddly, time tracking is only available on Business plans and up, along with all other resource management tools. Only Pinnacle users get access to budgeting and job roles; most advanced security features, including two-factor verification, are locked for all plans except Enterprise and Pinnacle.

              Who is Wrike best for?

              It’s clear to me after testing Wrike it’s a powerful program best in the hands of a veteran project manager for a large company. The customization allows you to make Wrike uniquely yours. However, some of the features, such as the AI-powered tools and three different board views make even the free plan enticing for individuals who want shortcuts for task management.

              Wrike recently introduced the Team plan to replace its Professional plan, so it’s more affordable (but still functional) for smaller teams.

              Recent upgrades

              Wrike tends to stick to a monthly update schedule, and in October 2022, it introduced a cleaner interface with a dark theme called Midnight (dark mode has been a popular request). It also released artificial intelligence-powered sub-item creation, so you can highlight a list, for example, and automatically turn those into actionable items.

              Pricing

              Like many project management apps, Wrike offers a free plan for anyone, but this one is best suited for individual task management because you won’t get the features that make Wrike great. Paid plans cost $9.80 per user, per month (Team) or $24.80 per user, per month (Business).

              Those are paid annually, with two users required for Team and five users required for all other paid plans. Enterprise and Pinnacle plans require you to contact sales for a quote.

              Wrike recently introduced a new look to its project management software.

              Pros and cons of Wrike

              Pros

              • Enterprise, Pinnacle plans offer advanced features
              • AI-powered tools (sub-item creation, risk assessment)
              • Few limits on all paid plans

              Cons

              • Steep learning curve
              • Resource management on high-tier plans only (including time tracking)
                Smartsheet Logo

                Smartsheet

                Best project management software for easy customization

                4.0 4.0 Stars
                • Customize with more than 80 integrations
                • Simple automations
                • Flexible for different industries

                Summary

                • Starting price
                  • $7 per user per month with a 10-users maximum
                • Integrations
                  Over 80
                • Free trial or plan
                  30-day free trial
                • Board views
                  Gantt, calendar, card, grid
                • Support
                  Community forum, knowledge base, 24/7 phone support (Enterprise only), other support options, paid add-ons
                Smartsheet is a noteworthy project management software that lets you create your dashboards, views, and reports with no-code customization. It’s easy enough for anyone who has used Microsoft Excel to pick up, but it may not fit more complex project management needs.


                There are various workflow templates in Smartsheet, or create custom workflows to help mitigate repeated manual tasks.

                Smartsheet labels itself as work management software, which may be truer than to call it project management software, but it deserves a space here. It’s like an amped-up version of Excel or Google Sheets with workflow automation, multiple views, and over 80 integrations. It offers excellent and easy customization, but with no coding required.

                You get three views to choose from: Gantt, grid, or card. Once you answer a few questions, Smartsheet automatically sets up a task sheet and project for you with a couple of prepopulated topics. Essentially what you get is an overclocked spreadsheet, which is super helpful if you hate adding formulas yourself ( I much prefer to have it done for me).

                Fair warning, though: Excel formulas in Smartsheet don’t work.

                I found a lot of useful integrations that can help make Smartsheet even more useful, from Slack to Salesforce and business intelligence apps. Not all integrations are available on all tiers, so if you need Adobe Creative Cloud or Tableau, you need to get at least the Business plan (or Enterprise).

                Creating automations in Smartsheet is simple enough; I feel it’s akin to setting up an appointment in Google Calendar. Just choose a template (or create from scratch), and choose the triggers and conditions, along with the action. All it requires you to do is use drop-down menus.

                It’s worth mentioning Smartsheet’s reporting, too. To pull in data from multiple projects, I just had to check some boxes. These features are meant to make it easy to customize your boards, projects, reports, and tasks.

                Who is Smartsheet best for?

                I think Smartsheet is brilliant project management software: My testing proved it’s user-friendly mostly because it’s familiar — most people have used a spreadsheet before. Upgrades like workflow automation take mundane and repetitive work off your plate as you manage projects or complete tasks. And a drag-and-drop form builder means not using a different app to assign tasks or projects (and you can move further away from email).

                Smartsheet’s low-cost plan maxes out at 10 users, and the next plan up requires three users minimum.

                Recent upgrades

                In October 2022, Smartsheet updated its search function (aesthetics and accuracy were improved). Another new feature is the dynamic view, available to Business and Enterprise plan users. It allows you to isolate data on a sheet to share with clients or vendors, and they can even edit it themselves, but it keeps all other data private.

                Pricing

                Smartsheet’s cost is a bit steep compared to other project management software, but not because of the pricing itself. You can choose from three plans all paid annually: Pro is $7 per user, per month (max of 10 users), Business is $25 per user, per month (with a minimum of three users), and Enterprise is a custom quote. But Smartsheet doesn’t offer a free plan, and its value is arguably less for its cost based on what it can do.

                One benefit of Smartsheets’ conversations tool is that you don’t lose sight of the board while commenting on a single task or row.

                Pros and cons of Smartsheet

                Pros

                • Customize with over 80 integrations
                • Simple automations
                • Flexible for different industries
                • Creating reports from multiple projects is simple

                Cons

                • No free plan
                • Relatively expensive
                • Excel formulas don’t work in it
                  Asana Logo

                  Asana

                  Best project management software for collaboration

                  3.9 3.9 Stars
                  • Multiple collaboration tools
                  • All board views are fairly functional
                  • Gamification is great for users

                  Summary

                  • Starting price
                    • $10.99 per user per month
                  • Integrations
                    Over 250
                  • Free trial or plan
                    14-day free trial
                  • Board views
                    Timeline, calendar, board, list, workload
                  • Support
                    Community forum, help center, 24/7 ticket support
                  Asana is a popular project management tool that combines effective management tools for projects and people with collaboration features rich enough that you don’t need integrations. Yet there are still hundreds of third-party apps you can use, depending on the plan you’re on — including communication tools.


                  Asana offers great built-in communication tools, eliminating the need to integrate a separate app for conversations among team members.

                  It stands out from other project management software for its stellar collaboration tools and easy project management features. Asana also offers an excellent free plan that’s fairly generous.

                  Most project management software (like ClickUp) lets you comment on projects or tasks, but Asana goes beyond basics with messaging. You can share files in a team or group conversation, and assign tasks from within those messages, and there are still project comments available.

                  Its strongest selling points are its layout and generous features on each plan. Asana is easy to learn because it’s fairly intuitive, but many may find it difficult to master. And it has a lot of helpful features on every plan to make it valuable, regardless of which plan you choose.

                  Asana’s views are pretty standard, but it’s easy to edit tasks from any view. I think gamification is a helpful addition for teams to get a tiny, colorful celebration every time they complete a task. Making it easy for users to learn a program and get small rewards as they finish work can help encourage task and project completion — every project manager’s dream.

                  Who is Asana best for?

                  The time I spent showed me it’s an ideal tool for any size business that needs basic project management with excellent collaboration tools. I found its user-friendliness, gamification, and messaging abilities mean your team will likely adopt Asana easily and enjoy using it.

                  By industry standards, pricing for Asana’s plans range from free to slightly expensive for the paid plans.

                  Recent upgrades

                  Asana makes it easy to find release notes in its help center and seems to stick to a monthly schedule for enhancements, new features, and bug fixes. In October 2022, Asana added a desktop app icon that is like a mini app to keep you on task. There’s also a new report that analyzes how long tasks move through from one stage to the next, which can help with project completion predictions.

                  Pricing

                  Asana offers a generous free plan that lets you work with a team of 15, but it doesn’t include the tools to effectively manage a team and projects. The Premium plan costs $10.99 per user, per month, paid annually; and Business costs $24.99 per user, per month, paid annually. Pricing is pretty much on par with other full-featured mid-range project management tools (higher than the industry standard).

                  Automated workflows in Asana are a bit more complex to create at first, but easy once you learn how to do it.

                  Pros and cons of Asana

                  Pros

                  • Multiple collaboration tools
                  • All board views are fairly functional
                  • Gamification is great for users

                  Cons

                  • Upsells can be bothersome
                  • Users report too many emails from Asana
                  • Somewhat pricey
                    TeamGantt Logo

                    TeamGantt

                    Best project management software for ease of use

                    3.8 3.8 Stars
                    • Intuitive interface
                    • Multiple project views
                    • All plans get access to RACI charts

                    Summary

                    • Starting price
                      • $19 per manager per month
                    • Integrations
                      Over 5
                    • Free trial or plan
                      Free plan (1 manager, 2 users)
                    • Board views
                      Gantt, board, list, calendar, workloads, timeline, portfolio
                    • Support
                      Email and live chat support in app
                    Even if you’ve never used a Gantt chart, you can easily learn the ins and outs of TeamGantt’s project management software. It’s an instantly intuitive system with lots of helpful tips and guides along your learning journey.


                    The Gantt chart view in TeamGantt zooms out far enough for you to see the bigger picture wholly, depending on how many projects you have ongoing.

                    TeamGantt is one of the easiest project management apps out there — especially if you’re new to Gantt charts. If you’re not a fan of the Gantt view, you can choose from multiple views.

                    I started with a content calendar and began easily assigning tasks. As soon as I connected one task to another to create a dependency, a pop-up asked if I wanted to remove time gaps, so when I dragged one task out to a different due date, the other one rescheduled automatically. But when I set that up for another task, I couldn’t find settings for it and the pop-up never returned.

                    For the most part, anything you can do with another project management tool works with TeamGantt. The biggest difference is that TeamGantt makes it very easy to get started with its software; new users should pick it up quickly (and it’s best to stick with it).

                    Who is TeamGantt best for?

                    My tests of TeamGantt showed that it’s a great introduction to project management and specifically Gantt charts. It’s easy to learn and use, includes a lot of tutorials as you go, and the paid plans give you enough features to manage a team and projects. Especially helpful is the RACI chart, which lets you assign users as a responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed party on a project.

                    TeamGantt appears expensive at first, but each plan only requires you pay per manager — collaborators, though limited on the Lite plan, are free to use the software.

                    Recent upgrades

                    I tried every avenue available to find a roadmap, blog post, email, or any other form of communication about updates or release notes, but to no avail. It seems TeamGantt stopped using social media and perhaps no longer updates its software.

                    Pricing

                    It’s handy to see a free version of TeamGantt, but it’s limited — one manager, two collaborators, a single project, and 60 tasks make it only viable for personal use or managing a couple of freelancers. Paid plans range from $19 to $99 per manager, per month, paid annually; only the Enterprise plan removes all limits. The free 30-day trial lets you test drive the full-featured version of TeamGantt, but you need to enter a credit card.

                    TeamGantt allows you to customize the color of progress bars on tasks, which makes it easy to see which tasks need your attention at a glance.

                    Pros and cons of TeamGantt

                    Pros

                    • Intuitive interface
                    • Multiple project views
                    • All plans get access to RACI charts

                    Cons

                    • No automatic daily backup
                    • No updates for years
                    • Free trial requires credit card

                      How I Tested Project Management Software

                      I spent several hours testing each project management software by signing up for free plans and trials. In addition to comparing the user-friendliness of each one, I also tested the standard and unique features. I contacted customer support (for those that allowed it), or spent time in the knowledge bases to see how helpful the articles, guides, and tutorials are.

                      In the end, I concluded these project management apps are all excellent in their own right, but some stood out for excellent features, ease of use, or affordability. In addition to rankings, I identified what each does best and which businesses they’re best for.

                      It's important to choose project management software your team will adopt, which is why I focused so much on ease of use. A project management app can be simple at the entry level, but still offer enough functionality, customization, and complexity for scaling a single project or multiple projects. Still, I didn’t leave out the simple project management tools because they have uses, too (I personally prefer the stripped-down apps).

                      Finally, I looked at the cost, keeping value in mind. A low price isn’t always enough to justify choosing it. Yet there is a lot of value in feature-packed free project management software, especially for brand-new businesses and solopreneurs.

                      Each project management tool was chosen because it excels at one (or more) particular feature or function, offers unbeatable value, or is an ideal pick for a specific industry or use case.