Project management software can be a valuable tool for teams of all sizes and backgrounds, but if you’re not careful in your selection process, you may end up investing time and resources into a tool that’s too expensive for your available budget. Even the most affordable project management tools can quickly get expensive, particularly if your team requires any advanced capabilities or industry-specific add-ons.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the best free project management software options on the market today. We’ll discuss what differentiates each tool; any relevant features, pros, and cons; and what you should generally be looking for if you have your sights set on free project management software.
Read more: 10 Best Project Management Software for 2023
|Our Pick||Best For||Pricing Starts At|
|Best Overall||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $4 per user/mo.|
Read more about GoodDay
|Best for Reporting and Dashboarding||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $5/user/mo.|
Read more about ClickUp
|Best for Visual Task Management||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $5/user/mo.|
Read more about Trello
Try Jira Work Management
|Best for Automations||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $7.75/user/mo.|
|Best for AI-Powered Features||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $9.80/user/mo.|
|Best for Third-Party Integrations||Free to try • Paid plans starting at $10.99/user/mo.|
GoodDay is a project and work management tool that offers a number of advanced and helpful tools in its free plan. With the free plan, up to 15 users receive access to unlimited projects, unlimited tasks, dashboards and analytics, and one GB of storage space. The tool boasts more than a dozen project views and over 100 project templates, as well as the ability to create custom views and templates.
Additionally, free plan users can benefit from admin-driven permission-setting, several built-in productivity measures and communication tools, 24/7 customer support, and HR-specific templates and features. The granularity of GoodDay’s permission settings is a particular standout among free project management tools.
Example of GoodDay’s list view. Source: GoodDay, accessed August 2023.
- Various project views: Free plan users have access to 13 different project views, including list, board, table, calendar, events summary, meetings, and portfolio views.
- Granular user access permissions: Features include customizable project-level and folder-level access, access inheritance, private spaces and views, departmental divisions, and admin-level access.
- Reminders and notifications: Features include action-required notifications, reminders and events, dependencies, notes, and to-do lists.
Pros & Cons
•A large number of project view options are available to free plan users; users can also set up unlimited views per project.
•Several customizations are available in the free plan, including custom statuses, workflows, priorities, views, document types, and story points.
•GoodDay is one of the few free PM solutions that include built-in recruitment, onboarding, offboarding, and other people management features.
|•GoodDay does not include any automations in its free plan option.|
•GoodDay has fewer third-party integration opportunities than many larger PM competitors.
•The Gantt chart view is not available in GoodDay’s free plan.
Why We Picked GoodDay
GoodDay combines several advantages into one project management solution compared to many other free plans that only do some of these things well. With a GoodDay subscription, you can have up to 15 users, unlimited projects and tasks, basic dashboarding and analytics capabilities, and up to one GB of storage. All of these features help this solution stand out, despite it being a smaller player in the project management software market. Additional benefits that come from using this free software include access to 24/7 ticket-driven customer support, built-in security features, HR and people management tools, and granular user access and administrative permissions.
Read more in our GoodDay Review
Best for Reporting and Dashboarding
ClickUp is a leading project management software solution that offers a number of useful, advanced features in its free plan. With the free plan, unlimited users can access unlimited tasks, five spaces, 100 lists per space, and 100 folders per space, making it possible to manage or scale up to several projects running at once. ClickUp stands out with some of the most varied and detailed project templates in the project management space, a wide variety of project view options, customization and automation opportunities, and a number of useful third-party integrations.
But what really sets ClickUp’s free plan apart from other free project management solutions is its commitment to reporting and dashboarding. Free plan users receive access to the following reporting features, which most other free tools do not provide:
- Unlimited access to time tracking.
- Unlimited access to sprints analytics and reporting.
- Unlimited home and scheduling reports.
- Unlimited workload profiles.
- Unlimited everything view reports.
- 100 goal reports.
- 100 dashboards.
- 100 sprint point reports.
- 100 live overview reports.
- 10 milestone reports.
Example of a Gantt chart view in ClickUp. Source: ClickUp, accessed August 2023.
- Customizations: Features include super-rich editing and custom statuses, relationships, views, and fields.
- Reporting and dashboarding: ClickUp’s native reporting and dashboarding features allow free plan users to manage and track time, goals, sprints, milestones, workloads, and more.
- Project templates: Users can create their own templates or use a template from ClickUp’s extensive library, which focuses on creative, HR, finance, marketing and sales, and other industry use cases.
Pros & Cons
|•24/7 customer support is available to free plan users.|
•In addition to ClickUp’s extensive project template library, users can create as many custom templates as they want.
•Though quantities are limited in some areas, ClickUp offers one of the few free plans with built-in automation opportunities and reporting capabilities.
|•Limited storage space compared to several competitors’ free plans.|
•The new ClickUp AI add-on can only be added to paid plan subscriptions.
•Forms and conditional form logic are not available to free plan users.
Why We Picked ClickUp
ClickUp’s included reporting features cover goal tracking, time tracking, dashboarding, sprint and sprint point management, milestones, scheduling, workload profiles, and an everything overview. Although some of these uses are limited, including for dashboards and goals, ClickUp provides one of the few free PM plans that natively include reporting and dashboarding capabilities. Additionally, ClickUp project templates are easy to apply to a variety of project types; the ClickUp template library includes thousands of templates for specialty areas like engineering, HR and recruiting, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, IT, professional services, and creative and design. Although the free plan does not come with unlimited project space, the project space is still extensive and allows unlimited tasks and unlimited free user access.
Learn more in our ClickUp Review
Best for Visual Task Management
Trello is a Kanban-style project management tool that is used by a number of teams to manage projects and tasks. Its free plan option includes a variety of features and capabilities for unlimited users, including unlimited tasks, unlimited storage space with a limit of 10 MB per file, and space for 10 boards per Workspace. Among its other best free plan features are unlimited Power-Ups (plug-ins) per board, unlimited automations, command runs, an unlimited activity log, and project templates.
Trello is widely considered one of the most easy-to-use, user-friendly project management tools. Free plan and paid plan users alike benefit from its highly visual approach to task management, which gives users drag-and-drop access to task “cards” that can include text, images, links, and other helpful visualizations for teams wanting to easily check the status of a particular project or task.
Example of a kanban board. Source: Trello, accessed August 2023.
- Built-in automation: The Butler automation tool can be used to automate repeated tasks, set triggers, deploy custom card and board buttons, and suggest additional automations that may be helpful.
- Power-Ups: Trello’s integrations can be used to connect to analytics and reporting, automation, HR, developer, design, and communication tools, among others.
- Project templates: Project templates designed by the Trello community cover categories like education, design, engineering, marketing and sales, HR, and product management.
Pros & Cons
|•Trello is one of the few free project management options that include built-in, no-code automation.|
•Trello integrates smoothly with other tools in the Atlassian ecosystem, including Jira.
•Trello’s card-driven, Kanban-like design is easy to use and presents a clean user interface.
|•Trello does not provide access to unlimited boards.|
•Trello does not natively provide reporting, dashboarding, or analytics capabilities to free plan users.
•Several project views, including Calendar, Timeline, Table, Dashboard, and Map, are only available in Trello’s top two plan tiers.
Why We Picked Trello
Trello is one of the easiest-to-use project management tools on the market because of its drag-and-drop, low-code design that resembles a Kanban board. While this is not a great option if you’re looking for multiple project views, Trello’s a great fit for teams that want a simple user interface and a visual way to manage tasks and subtasks. In addition to its user-friendly board-and-card design, Trello’s free plan offers advantages like unlimited cards (tasks), unlimited activity logs, unlimited Power-Ups (plug-ins) per board, unlimited storage, and built-in automations. In fact, it is one of the few free project management tools that offer unlimited access to its automation feature.
Learn more in our Trello Review
Best for Automations
Jira Work Management is a unified project management platform with a free plan that can be used by up to 10 users. Its basic features include unlimited projects, unlimited tasks, basic reporting and dashboarding, and two GB of storage space. Users also have access to many project views and templates, forms, smart links, customizable workflows, built-in security and compliance management features, and limited customer support.
But Jira Work Management’s free plan is most valuable for its automation capabilities. With easy-to-setup triggers and rich APIs, users can set up single project and global automation rules, use automation-specific project templates, and design other custom workflows that work for their project team’s particular requirements. Jira free plan users get access to 100 rule executions for various automation tasks. Jira also offers enterprise-level security and compliance features with automated capabilities, including automated user provisioning and de-provisioning.
Example of a dashboard view in Jira Work Management. Source: Atlassian, accessed August 2023.
- Reporting and dashboarding: Features include custom field reporting, filters, work logs and workload reporting, advanced roadmaps, and dashboards.
- Configuration and customization: Features include customizable workflows, customizable branding and themes, anonymous access, and rich APIs.
- Security and compliance: Features include data residency, domain verification and account capture, session duration management, SSO, SCIM, password policies, encryption, business continuity and disaster recovery, and mobile device management.
Pros & Cons
|•Jira Work Management’s free plan is one of the few that offer native access to reporting and dashboards.|
•Free plan users have access to 100 rule executions (automations).
•A variety of views, including list, timeline, calendar, board, summary, and form, are available in the free plan.
|•Users do not get access to audit log history with the free plan.|
•The user count is fairly limited for the free plan, with space for only 10 users.
•Customer support resources and availability are limited for free plan users.
Why We Picked Jira Work Management
Jira Work Management’s rich APIs make it possible for users, including free plan users, to automate a variety of processes in the system. Free plan users have native access to 100 automations, which can be used to build rules for frequent actions. Jira Work Management is one of the few free tools that offers native automation capabilities. Additionally, this tool differentiates itself with robust built-in security features, customization capabilities, significant storage space, built-in reporting and dashboarding, and access to unlimited projects and tasks.
Learn more in our Jira Work Management Review
Best for AI-Powered Features
Wrike is a project management platform that particularly excels in providing user-friendly task and subtask management capabilities. With Wrike’s free plan option, unlimited users can access custom work views, project templates, account-wide work schedules, and two GB of storage space. It is a particularly effective solution for teams that are new to project management software and want an easy-to-use product.
Wrike is limited in certain areas where other free project management solutions thrive, but it makes a name for itself with its new Work Intelligence (assistive AI) collection of features, one of the only assistive AI solutions available for free project management software. Nearly all Work Intelligence features are available for free plan users, except for AI project risk prediction. Users can benefit from assisted search, smart replies, document processing, and recommended tasks, among other assistive support features.
Example of a detailed Gantt chart view. Source: Wrike, accessed August 2023.
- Task management: Features include tasks, subtasks, and folders; a drag-and-drop interface; task creation via email; and AI-recommended tasks.
- Wrike Work Intelligence: AI-powered features include smart search, voice assistance, smart replies, quick reactions, document processing, text recognition, task recommendations, and subitem creation.
- Email notifications and integration: Wrike integrates with users’ email inboxes, allowing them to create, assign, schedule, and edit tasks directly from their email accounts.
Pros & Cons
|•Includes many AI-driven assistive features in the free plan at no additional cost.|
•Two GB of storage space is available per account, which is extensive compared to many competitors’ free plans.
•Wrike includes robust security management features for all users.
|•Views and reporting are both very limited in the free plan; calendars, Gantt charts, dashboards, and reports are not natively available.|
•Free plan users are not given access to any automation actions.
•Limited customization is available in the free plan; for example, users cannot create custom templates or blueprints.
Why We Picked Wrike
Wrike is one of the earliest project management pioneers in AI-driven assistance, and they extend that artificial intelligence functionality to their free plan users. AI features include smart search, mobile voice assistance and smart replies, mobile document processing and text recognition, and AI-driven task recommendations and subitem creation. Although the free version of Wrike is limited in some other areas, it is a great fit for teams that primarily need robust storage and user space, advanced security features, AI capabilities, and a straightforward user interface.
Learn more in our Wrike Review
Best for Third-Party Integrations
Asana is a leading project management solution for teams of all backgrounds and focus areas. In its free plan version, Asana gives up to 15 users access to unlimited projects, unlimited tasks, and unlimited storage with 100 MB of storage space per file. Some of its standout free plan features include access to a calendar view, project overviews and briefs, unlimited activity logs, and access to user-friendly mobile apps.
Asana also boasts a deep library of third-party integrations. Though some of these integrations are not available to free plan users, Asana still claims that over 100 integrations are available on this plan, including for time tracking. Asana’s integration library covers some of the following areas:
- Security and compliance management.
- Marketing and sales.
- IT, development, and product management.
Example of a table view in Asana. Source: Asana, accessed August 2023.
- Integrations: Free plan users can take advantage of third-party integrations for time tracking, product management, operations, reporting, files, communication, and industry-specific software.
- Unlimited tasks: Task features include assignees and due dates, task-level commenting, and file attachments.
- Project views: Views available to free plan users include List view, Board view, Calendar view, and a project overview option.
Pros & Cons
|•Asana’s free plan gives users access to a variety of industry- and function-specific third-party integrations.|
•Unlike many other free plans, Asana makes time tracking possible in its free plan, though most of this functionality requires a third-party integration.
•If you require mostly basic features, this tool is highly scalable, with unlimited tasks, projects, messages, and file storage.
|•Asana does not extend reporting or dashboarding features to free plan users; it appears to have little to no automation functionality built into any of its plans.|
•While Asana offers many valuable third-party integrations to free plan users, certain integrations (like Adobe Creative Cloud, Tableau, Power BI, and Salesforce) are only available in paid plans.
•Forms are not available in the free plan.
Why We Picked Asana
Asana offers over 100 integration opportunities to free plan users, covering categorical areas like finance, HR, IT and development, marketing and design, product management, security and compliance, and operations. The tool is limited in certain areas like reporting and automation, but it makes up for these lacking advanced features with the scalability of its basic features. With a subscription to the free plan, up to 15 users can take advantage of unlimited projects, tasks, messages, activity logs, and file storage. This is a great option for teams that don’t need all of the bells and whistles but need to track a lot of moving parts.
Learn more in our Asana review
Key Features of Free Project Management Software
When searching for a free project management solution for your business, consider examining tools based on how they include or address the following features:
- Task Management: Does this tool allow your team to easily assign and manage both tasks and subtasks? In particular, look for free tools with built-in notifications or workflows that assist with more automated, trackable, hands-off task management. For more information, read about the best task management software.
- Communication and Collaboration Tools: The best free tools support communication and collaboration through push notifications, tags, built-in or third-party chat, and task-specific or file-specific commenting capabilities.
- Customer Support Resources: Many free tools only offer users access to knowledge base articles rather than customer support representatives. Some of the best free tools, however, allow users to submit support tickets and contact their teams by chat, similar to paid plan users.
- Reporting and Dashboards: Although many free project management solutions do not natively include reporting or dashboarding capabilities, most at least enable users to integrate third-party analytics and reporting. Look for tools that allow you to easily assess performance both on a per-project and portfolio-wide basis.
- Customizations: Although total customization opportunities may be limited, many free project management tools still allow users to create custom workflows, task types, project templates, fields, and more. If high levels of customization are particularly important to your team and you have the in-house skills to build your own customizations, a free open-source project management solution may be your best bet.
Read more: Key Features of Project Management Software
Benefits of Free Project Management Software
Though free project management software usually offers limited features that may put larger, more complex project teams at a disadvantage, this type of PM software also offers distinct benefits for the right users:
- Affordability: With the exception of optional add-ons, free project management software is free, often for multiple users. As long as your organization grows within the parameters of a free plan, you will not have to pay more as your team, projects, or task lists grow.
- Scalability: Free tools by themselves do not always have all of the features a user may need, but they typically can scale up in a variety of ways. Users have the option to integrate their tool with other PM and industry-specific applications, customize tools and templates to meet their specific requirements, and, if all else fails, upgrade to a paid tier if needed.
- Ease of use: Free PM solutions tend to focus on core project management functions and make them easy to use. Instead of getting lost in endless customizations and workflows, users can focus on simple task management, communication, and analytics.
How to Choose the Best Free Project Management Solution
Free project management solutions run the gamut of included features and capabilities, so it’s important to first determine what you want and need most before getting started.
If you’re working with a large team but looking to keep project management costs at a minimum, Trello, Wrike, or ClickUp is likely your best option. All three of these free project management solutions offer access to unlimited users, though some other features may be limited.
If you’re balancing a lot of projects and tasks and need a tool where you can keep them all straight, GoodDay, Asana, or Jira Work Management is likely your best option. All of these solutions allow for unlimited projects in their free plans. Trello may also be a good option, as the software supports unlimited tasks and 10 boards per workspace.
If you want free project management software but aren’t willing to sacrifice built-in reporting and analytics, ClickUp, Jira Work Management, or GoodDay is likely your best option. All three of these tools include some amount of native reporting and/or dashboarding capabilities in their free plan, whereas most other free solutions only include these features through third-party integrations.
Other decision-making factors when selecting free project management software may include automation and integration capabilities, customizability, and general ease of use. While setting your top priorities for a free project management solution, be sure to include a variety of stakeholders in the process so you can select the tool that best fits your organization’s diverse needs.
Featured Partners: Project Management Software
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.
4 Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is an online project management software that helps teams plan projects and track them efficiently to the finish line. By intuitive reporting of project progress and budget health, the solution enables teams to make quick decisions. Catering to all kinds of teams, Zoho Projects facilitates automating tasks, workflows, and project notifications in a bid to improve productivity.
5 Cerri Project
Cerri Project is a comprehensive PPM solution integrating project portfolio management and strategic planning features to drive value for your business.
Strategic execution of project portfolios, business initiatives and objectives.
Global capacity planning and visibility.
Streamlined workflows with process-driven project management.