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.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Free Project Management Software
- Top Free Project Management Software
- Types of Free Project Management Software
- Essential Features of Project Management Software
- Choosing the Right Free Project Management Software
- Recommended Project Management Software
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.
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 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.
- Unlimited users
- Free integrations
- Access to project templates
- Missing calendars and Gantt chart views
- Limited admin and security features
Read more: Wrike Software Review for 2021
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.
- Unlimited customizable boards
- Built-in collaboration tools
- 24/7 customer support
- Limited to a maximum of 2 users
- Kanban view only
Read more: monday.com Software Review
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.
- Document sharing
- MS Project import tool
- Google apps integration
- Read-only Gantt chart
- Limited integration options
Read more: Pros and Cons of using Zoho Projects
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.
- A comprehensive set of features
- Invoicing and client management
- Xero integration
- Free to try only
- Not ideal for agile projects
Read more: WorkflowMax Software Review
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.
- Security and compliance features
- Customizations are invaluable in helping businesses start a project moving in the right direction
- Seamless integrations
- No access to analytics or insights
- Community support only
Read Project-Management.com’s Jira Software Review for 2022
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.
- Unlimited members
- Core PM tools
- Free access to desktop and mobile apps
- Small 100MB storage space
- No guest or client accounts
Basecamp project management and team communication software is a useful tool for both onsite and remote teams. It helps organize all project-related information so team members do not have to go back and forth between multiple tools like emails, online file storage services, task managers, spreadsheets, or chat apps. It is an accessible workspace that promotes work visibility and collaboration.
Basecamp offers a free Personal plan that is ideal for freelancers, students, and personal projects. It includes for up to 20 users to work on 3 projects. Communication features like message boards, Campfire, and automatic check-ins simplify coordination across team member. Also included in the free plan are a to-do list, a scheduler, and a dedicated docs and files area.
- Free for up to 20 team members
- Built-in communication tools
- Real-time activity feed and notifications
- Small storage space of 1GB
- Limited work views
Read more: Basecamp Software Review for 2022
Trello is a visual project management and collaboration software made up of boards, lists, and cards. It is customizable for a wide range of use cases, from managing personal to-do lists to enterprise workflows. The drag-and-drop interface is intuitive and lets users of all skill levels to easily organize and prioritize work.
Trello is free for individuals and teams looking to be more productive and organized. The free plan includes unlimited members, unlimited cards, unlimited storage (with a 10MB per file limit), and unlimited Power-Ups per board. Other features include up to 10 boards per Workspace, 250 Workspace automation command runs per month, custom backgrounds, and mobile apps.
- Task assignees and due dates
- 2-factor authentication option
- Template library access
- Kanban view only
- Limited customization
Read more: Trello Software Review for 2021
Freedcamp is a free and fully featured online project management software that helps teams and organizations streamline projects and processes. It includes multiple work views to give teams the right work perspective and focus. It also has calendars, discussions, milestones, and time tracking.
Freedcamp includes unlimited users, projects, tasks, and storage. It also offers free access to desktop and mobile apps, as well as its own password manager. Users with more complex needs can pay for additional premium features and add-ons.
- Unlimited users, projects, and storage
- Built-in core productivity tools
- API and Zapier integration
- Gantt charts are available as a premium feature
- No reporting and 2FA in free plan
Read more: Freedcamp Software Review for 2022
Asana project management software helps engineering teams track bugs, marketing teams plan campaigns, sales teams manage customer accounts, and HR teams onboard new employees. The work and task management software solution enables users to stay organized and connected using multiple work views, automation, and integration with other tools.
Asana offers a free basic plan for teams of up to 15 users. The free plan comes with unlimited tasks, unlimited projects, unlimited messages, and unlimited file storage that small businesses can take advantage of. Users can also access their project and work information on the go with free mobile apps.
- Multiple work views like list, board, and calendar
- More than 100 free integrations
- Unlimited tasks with subtasks, comments, and file attachments
- File size limit of 100MB
- No built-in time tracking
Read more: Asana Software Review for 2021
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-Premise 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.
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.
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.
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: