Best Free Project Management Software for 2022

Collaborative project management software improves team performance and increases successful delivery rates. However, the price of a PM software subscription can be a blocker for smaller organizations. Also, your team may wish to test first a new tool before deciding to make an investment. These are some of the important reasons for using free project management software.

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Benefits of Free Project Management Software

Project management software is a broad category of tools and applications. These solutions help an individual, team, or entire organization become more efficient at scheduling projects, identifying needed processes, and tracking progress/productivity as you move toward your projects’ goals.

Many free online project management tools either offer the same features or the same number of users as their premium counterparts — but usually not both.

As such, many free project management software can provide premium functionality to a smaller team or basic features to a flexible number of users. Free software solutions are invaluable in helping businesses start off in the right direction. And they certainly beat sticky notes on a whiteboard.

But as is the case with all free software, users should be aware of the limitations before adopting a new tool for use in the production environment.

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Top Free Project Management Software

The best free project management platforms allow teams to manage a few projects, organize data, delegate tasks, collaborate, and track progress. Here is a list of PM software with free plans that new teams, startups, and growing companies can all benefit from at no extra cost.

Wrike

Wrike is versatile enterprise-grade project management software for a variety of teams and use cases. Its customizable tools and elements allow users to tailor-fit the in-app environment to their exact needs. Wrike also simplifies communication and coordination with built-in real-time collaboration tools, notifications, dashboards, and dynamic reports.

Wrike’s free plan includes unlimited users and access to desktop and mobile apps. Users also can take advantage of AI-powered work intelligence that provides recommendations, suggestions, and search rankings. Other features of the free plan includes task and subtask management, live activity updates, and collaboration for both internal and external team members.

Wrike

Pros

  • Unlimited users
  • Free integrations
  • Access to project templates

Cons

  • Missing calendars and Gantt chart views
  • Limited admin and security features

Read more: Wrike Software for 2021

monday projects

monday projects enables teams to plan, manage, collaborate, and deliver successful work for any project or portfolio. It provides a customizable and visual work management platform for project planning, management, execution, task management, issue tracking, or strategic planning. Users work from start to finish on a single, central workspace, allowing everyone on the team to streamline work and optimize processes.

monday projects has a free individual plan for up to 2 seats. It’s ideal for individuals looking to keep track of work using an online solution. It includes unlimited boards, unlimited docs, more than 200 ready-to-use templates, and free native mobile apps.

monday projects

Pros

  • Unlimited customizable boards
  • Built-in collaboration tools
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Limited to a maximum of 2 users
  • Kanban view only

Read more: monday.com Software

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is an online platform for project planning, work tracking, and team collaboration. Zoho’s solution is preferred by many teams as an enterprise-grade tool for panning and managing various projects in the construction, software, and education sectors, among others. It has core features like Gantt charts as well as advanced tools like resource utilization and portfolio dashboards.

Zoho Projects’ free plan is good for up to 3 users and 2 projects. Features include simple task management, a Gantt chart viewer, and access to mobile apps. Zoho Projects also has a project activity feed, calendar, and basic task and issue reports. Users can upload file attachments at up to 10MB per file.

Zoho Projects

Pros

  • Document sharing
  • MS Project import tool
  • Google apps integration

Cons

  • Read-only Gantt chart
  • Limited integration options

Read more: Pros and Cons of using Zoho Projects

WorkflowMax

WorkflowMax is a project management option that helps companies run jobs of all kinds in one platform. As a cloud-based solution, users can access the full features of the PM tool from anywhere. Users can send quotes, organize schedules, track time, create invoices, and generate reports.

WorkflowMax customers come from creative agencies, architecture firms, business consultants, engineers, building and construction companies, and IT services. Interested users can test the software completely risk-free—a free 14-day trial period is available for its Standard and Premium plans without requiring a credit card or any other payment information.

WorkflowMax

Pros

  • A comprehensive set of features
  • Invoicing and client management
  • Xero integration

Cons

  • Free to try only
  • Not ideal for agile projects

Read more: WorkflowMax Software

Jira Software

Jira Software is a project management tool for software development and agile teams. This issue and project tracking tool allows teams to plan, track, report, and release software products on the same platform. Features include Scrum and Kanban boards, backlog, agile reporting, custom workflows, apps, and integrations.

Jira Software is free for up to 10 users. The free plan is ideal for small teams who want to plan and track work more efficiently. However, automations work on only a single project. Also, only basic functions are available for roadmaps and dependency management.

Jira Software

Pros

  • Security and compliance features
  • Customizations are invaluable in helping businesses start a project moving in the right direction
  • Seamless integrations

Cons

  • No access to analytics or insights
  • Community support only

Read Project-Management.com’s Jira Software for 2022

Nifty

Nifty is an online project management software that provides a single tool to unite teams, goals, and execution in one place. Teams can set goals and create visual timelines with automatic progress tracking. It also task management with multiple work views, a discussions hub, docs and wikis, and automated reporting.

Nifty’s Free plan is an ideal way to get companies and teams started. It includes unlimited members but is limited to 2 active projects. However, all core features are accessible, from tasks, dependencies, milestones, discussions, docs, and team chat, to portfolios, recurring tasks, and 2FA.

Nifty

Pros

  • Unlimited members
  • Core PM tools
  • Free access to desktop and mobile apps

Cons

  • Small 100MB storage space
  • No guest or client accounts

ClickUp

ClickUp is a versatile project management tool that can help you manage your time, resources, and projects. You’ll be able to view your tasks in different ways: as a list, on a calendar, as a table, and even on Gantt charts. Aside from task management, you can also manage your team’s workload and track the time they use for each task.

In addition, ClickUp integrates with Google Calendar, so you can manage your priorities and schedule through the Home page. It also has collaboration features, file-sharing capabilities, templates, and workflow automation.

You can use ClickUp for free for up to 10 users with limited features. However, to maximize its capabilities, it’s advisable to go for its paid plans, which vary in pricing depending on the number of members you have per month.

Pros:

  • Modern interface
  • Multiple views
  • Workflow automation and templates

Cons:

  • Mobile apps aren’t easy to use
  • It can be overwhelming at first

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a project management tool perfect for users who like spreadsheets and want more organizational capabilities. At first glance, it looks like a regular spreadsheet. It’s immensely flexible, allowing you to add columns you can align with your workflow. You can view your tasks as a table (default) on a Gantt chart, kanban board, or calendar. You’ll also see icons next to them to see if you’ve completed them.

In addition to having multiple views, Smartsheet offers workflow automation features such as event-based triggers. You can integrate it with other tools, such as Gmail, to automatically send out emails when specific actions are done.

Smartsheet has no free plan, but you can get avail of a free trial, which lasts for 14 days. The Pro package is 62 kr NOK (about $7 USD) for a maximum of 10 users and unlimited viewers, while the Business package is 228 kr NOK (about $30 USD) for a minimum of three users and unlimited editors.

Pros

  • Easy to use for spreadsheet users
  • Event-based triggers
  • Integrations

Cons

  • Learning curve for non-spreadsheet users

ZenHub

ZenHub is a project management tool that seamlessly integrates with Github. It has a free plan that offers unlimited projects and users and paid plans if needed.

The free version of ZenHub doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you might expect from other services in this category, but it’s still powerful enough to get you started on your next project. Zenhub offers excellent support for agile methodologies such as scrum and kanban boards, so there should be plenty of room for growth here, even if your team isn’t large enough for their premium offerings yet.

Pros:

  • Seamless integration with GitHub
  • Strong support for agile

Cons:

  • Unexceptional if you don’t connect it with Github

Rocketlane

Rocketlane is a project management tool that focuses on visibility and client onboarding. It has all you expect from a project management tool — task management, productivity dashboards, roadmaps, collaboration features, and more. What sets it apart, however, is how it gives you the freedom to identify which parts and pieces of information you’d like to be visible to your client.

Upon creating a project space, Rocketlane generates a personalized PMCOM you can share with your stakeholders. This allows them to witness real-time updates, so you no longer have to create reports repeatedly to communicate the status of your work.

The Professional package is $419 per month, but some free features are also available.

Pros:

  • Easy to use even for non-techy clients
  • Innovative client onboarding features

Cons:

  • Latency issues

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Types of Free Project Management Software

The project management software market offers several choices and configurations of free PM software.

Online PM Software

Many online PM software providers use a freemium model for their product offerings. They have a basic or limited forever free version which limits some aspects of the tool with the aim of converting regular users to scale up to premium tiers as the volume of their projects increase and as business grows.

On-Premises PM Software

Free on-premises project management software is also available to users who prefer self-managed implementations. This might include desktop app versions of web software, or downloadable open source tools such as ProjectLibre. Users have greater responsibility in keeping their PM software updated, but also have control over the schedule of those updates.

Free-to-Try PM Software

Enterprise-grade project management software provides comprehensive and advanced features that can help growing businesses. These vendors offer fully functional online PM tools for a limited time in the hope that outstanding software features, support, and other value-added services can convince users to subscribe at the end of the trial period.

Read also: How to Implement Project Management Software Successfully

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What Are the Essential Features of Project Management Software?

Project management software, whether free forever or subscription based, help teams and companies go through the different stages and processes of the project lifecycle with ease and precision. But because free PM tools have limits, it is up to users to determine the right combination of features, access, and usage that can satisfy their needs.

  • Task Management: Task management enables users to create, add, break down, assign, and monitor tasks through their various stages within the project. Moreover, the best free project management software provides teams with several ways to view, sort, and prioritize tasks with the ability to capture details and allow changes as needed.
  • Team Collaboration: Team collaboration is an important feature of project management software, so users should choose a PM tool that works for at least two team members. The tool should enable a group of users to work together on common projects with tools such as comments, group chat, file sharing, proofing, and/or shared calendars.
  • Email Integration: Some free project management software limit the number of users who can access it directly. Email integration is basic way to stay on the same page with the team members who do have access to the software.
  • Document Management: Free project management software typically has limitations on the total storage or size of file attachments. It is an issue that users have to deal with and weigh accordingly when choosing a free PM software.
  • Mobile App: Mobility while managing projects is no longer a nice-to-have feature. Luckily, providers recognize this and generally include mobile access to their free project management software via native integration, HTML5 technology, or mobile apps.
  • Third-party Integration: Users expect their project management tools, whether free or paid, to have integration with other software. Some free PM tools offer limited integration, reserving more integration capabilities for paid plans.
  • Support Documentation: Some project management software providers reserve customer support features for paid plans. Free users may need to work a little harder to access documentation and support through blogs, community forums, or non-vendor websites.
  • Customization: Customization allows project teams to adapt the tool to their existing processes and not the other way around. Customizable features to look out for include configurable dashboards, workflows, forms, and templates.
  • Reporting: A lot of free project management tools now offer automations, analytics, and AI to provide not just information, but insights into a project’s health and performance. However, free plans can have certain limits to the frequency or depth of reporting.
  • Scheduling: Scheduling is another vital PM software feature. More tools are giving users a variety of views and interaction to look at their plans and timelines, which include table views, Gantt views, board views, and calendar views.
  • Time Management: Time management is a core feature of many free project management tools, but not all. If included, users will have access to timesheets, automatic task timers, and time reporting capabilities. If this is critical to your workflow, look for a tool that prioritizes time management.

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How to Choose the Right Free Project Management Software?

Businesses and teams of all sizes can take advantage of free project management software to improve company efficiency and team productivity. The right project management software, free or paid, can provide significant benefits. With the right PM solution, businesses can save on costs, adopt useful technology, and establish a culture of productivity.

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Recommended Project Management Software

Free project management software is absolutely the place to start if you’re new to the game. As your projects become more complex, it may be time to consider a paid solution. If you’re ready to learn about  more top-rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 Wrike

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Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.

Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.

Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.

Learn more about Wrike

2 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is an award-winning no-code work management platform that helps teams manage projects and workflows more efficiently.

Used by 152,000+ customers worldwide, this fully customizable software lets you plan, manage, and track every project in one place. monday.com offers time-saving and easy-to-use features such as automations, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time collaboration. Multiple board views such as Gantt and Kanban help you structure and navigate tasks and projects the way you prefer, and dashboards give a high-level overview of your progress.

In addition, integrations with apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Excel, allow you to easily continue working with your favorite tools from within the platform. monday.com also offers dedicated solutions, such as monday dev and monday sales CRM, designed to answer the needs of specific industries.

Learn more about monday.com

3 Smartsheet

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Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform that has real-time work management features, collaboration and automation tools. Users are presented with a familiar and easy-to-use spreadsheet-like interface. However, it has enterprise-grade capabilities that even Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, Bayer, HP, and PayPal are confident to adopt in their business. Strong project management features enable teams to utilize different views of real-time data, and switch easily from Gantt, card, grid and calendar views. Smartsheet has automatic update requests, and can be used for waterfall and agile projects, product launch, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides users the visibility who is busy, and who is not, in real-time. They can also attach files, share sheets, get notified, view the activity log, export, email, and print.

Learn more about Smartsheet

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