Best Microsoft Project Alternatives & Competitors for 2021

Microsoft Project is one of the best-selling desktop products from Microsoft, with little competition during the early years of its launch. The software remained a desktop, on-premise solution until recently, and now offers several cloud-based solutions.

Users looking for Microsoft Project alternatives will be happy to know that many options are available today.

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Top 3 Software Alternatives to Microsoft Project Online

Users who want a cloud solution for managing a variety of projects in a more flexible way, or need a specialized tool to help streamline a particular workflow — with support for best industry practices — can check our top three recommendations.

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Microsoft Project Alternatives: What to Look for

Microsoft Project is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity tools. But if users need an alternative to Microsoft Project, they should check if essential features are present — so they can manage their projects and teams with better visibility and control.

  • Cloud-based deployment for wider accessibility
  • Simple and scalable pricing plans
  • Centralized project view and easy navigation
  • Intuitive interface for quickly adding and editing items
  • Gantt chart view and other work views
  • Support for milestones and task dependencies
  • Dynamic scheduling with automated date adjustments
  • Project task management
  • Resource management
  • Timesheet features
  • Customization and automation
  • Built-in collaboration, like team communication and co-authoring
  • Mobile access
  • Integration to other applications and services

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Best Microsoft Project Alternatives

Microsoft Project provides users a project management solution. At the same time, more solutions have become available, offering similar features and additional functionality that make them attractive Microsoft Project alternatives.

Asana

Asana is online work and project management software that enables team collaboration. It includes tools to build project plans with several work views like list, timeline, and board views. Marketing, sales, project, and operations teams apply the software to various workflows for planning, tracking, and managing different initiatives.

The Asana timeline view lets users connect tasks and deadlines to quickly identify problems and fix dependency issues. It also has features to prioritize requests, automate work, manage feedback and approvals, allow mobile access, and integrate with other apps. It has a free plan for small teams, and scalable paid plans with more advanced features.

Asana

Pros

  • Easy task management, tracking, and collaboration
  • Built-in communication tools
  • Good visual representation of information

Cons

  • Can only assign a single person as responsible for a task
  • Time tracking is only available through integration with other apps

Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects online project management software is a cloud-based solution that enables users to plan and track projects with team collaboration tools. The PM tool is versatile for enterprise applications, hybrid project management, and industry-specific use cases.

Zoho Projects offers a free plan for three users and paid plans with higher limits and advanced features. Features include Project Gantt charts, task dependency, multiple work views, reminders, customizations, chat, and mobile apps, among others.

Zoho Projects

Pros

  • Easy to create and assign tasks
  • Support for task dependency
  • Time tracking capability

Cons

  • No ready-made project templates
  • Utilization chart needs better presentation

monday.com

monday.com is a flexible online work management system that provides effective project management capabilities. It is a highly visual, customizable, and interactive platform that users can consider as an alternative to MS Project. The software is applicable to different workflows including project planning, tracking, and managing from initiation to closing.

monday.com includes tools for team collaboration, so everyone gets the same information and works toward the same goal. It has intuitive project dashboards to help analyze progress, custom workflows for different methodologies, and resource workload to manage capacity. Other features include integrations, project management templates, and mobile apps.

monday.com

Pros

  • Visual task prioritization and project scheduling
  • Gantt chart with critical path
  • Customization features

Cons

  • Needs better administration of permission levels
  • Users want more controls on notifications

Smartsheet

Smartsheet work collaboration software provides teams a collaborative workspace and a familiar spreadsheet-like interface. Several premium plans offer teams different sets of features and limits to match their project management needs. Users can collaborate, track, manage, and execute work in real time on the same platform. It also supports integrations, add-ons, and a no-code platform for building custom solutions.

Smartsheet features include a Gantt chart with baselining, dependency, and critical path tools. It also has multiple work views, calendars, dashboards, reports, and automation. Users can collaborate over content with markup tools, in conversations within rows and sheets, or through email integration.

Smartsheet

Pros

  • Useful Gantt charts for planning, scheduling, and task listing
  • Customizable sheets
  • Document collaboration

Cons

  • Requires time for familiarization
  • Needs more visual communication tools

Teamwork

Teamwork is all-in-one project management software ideal for client work. Agencies, creative teams, marketing teams, product teams, and PMOs use the software to manage multiple projects, collaborate with partners and project team members, track billable hours, and deliver products or services to customers. It offers several scalable plans, including a free plan for individuals and small teams.

Teamwork lets users manage multiple projects and clients with an online Gantt chart maker. It also has Kanban board, calendar, tabular, portfolio management, and workload views. This MS Project alternative supports tasks, subtasks, milestones, baselining, recurring tasks, and custom fields for more efficient tracking. Other features include built-in time tracking, invoicing, team chat, templates, forms, dashboards, and reports.

Teamwork

Pros

  • Ease of use and setup
  • Drag-and-drop Gantt chart
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Mobile app needs enhancements to match the web version
  • Needs improvements in communication tools

Sciforma

Sciforma project and portfolio management software enables users to plan, track, analyze, optimize, and execute strategy for multiple projects. Used by many midsize companies, it is a robust, functionally scalable, and ready-to-use solution.

Sciforma includes an all-in-one Gantt chart view to manage project critical path, assignments, financial transactions, deliverables, and risks. Users can also do resource management, scheduling, and tracking at a task level. The software provides on-demand status reports with consolidated views, audit trails, and configurable KPIs, as well as MS Project integration through XML import/export. Other capabilities include portfolio management, work management, and time management.

Sciforma

Pros

  • Project portfolio management
  • Resource scheduling
  • Cost management

Cons

  • Not ideal for basic project management needs
  • Needs improvement in report automation

Hive

Hive is a project management tool that aims to help users move forward faster. Customers include startups, agencies, marketing teams, and educational institutions. It offers a free plan for up to two users, and plans paid on a monthly or annual basis.

Hive includes project management tools such as project, task, and subtask tracking. It has multiple work views like Gantt chart, Kanban board, calendar, portfolio, and summary views. The software also has resource management, time tracking, timesheets, baselines, and recurring tasks. It supports team collaboration with chat, comments, email integration, proofing, and approvals. Other features include automation, collaborative notes, and integration.

Hive

Pros

  • Easy project plan creation and assignment
  • Task prioritization
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Needs more custom statuses during tracking
  • Occasional issues during integration with third-party apps

Workzone

Workzone project management software provides a platform of useful tools that are simple to use, but also flexible. This alternative to Microsoft Project is ideal for teams between 5 and 500 users, with several paid plans to choose from. Aside from the software, it also offers webinars, ebooks, and other resources to help users onboard quickly.

Workzone project management tools provide a big-picture view dashboard for all projects. It has an interactive Gantt chart and task dependencies for easy scheduling and tracking. Other tools are to-do lists, templates, request forms, status alerts, workload reports, and group calendar. Document sharing, personalization, and integrations round out the feature set.

Workzone

Pros

  • Effective task management tool
  • Document organization and sharing
  • Automated approval workflow

Cons

  • Needs to be more intuitive for new users
  • Users wish for bulk actions in time entry

ProjectLibre

MS Project alternative ProjectLibre is open-source software for desktops running Windows, Mac, or Linux. It opens MS Project files and provides similar capabilities for managing project plans, schedules, task lists, and resources. Its design allows users to work with the familiar ribbon bar and icons.

Users can download ProjectLibre to start using the open-source PM software. It has a Gantt chart maker and network diagrams. It supports work breakdown structure, resource breakdown structure (WBS/RBS), earned value costing, and resource histogram features. A collaborative, multi-user cloud version is coming soon, according to its creators.

ProjectLibre

Pros

  • Free, open source, and multi-platform
  • Good community of project professionals
  • Good printout formatting

Cons

  • Users wish for more updated UI
  • Needs reporting feature improvements

Plutio

Plutio is an all-in-one small business solution that enables users to manage projects, communicate with clients, and take advantage of team collaboration. It has several paid plans offering all features, only limited by the number of contributors or custom roles. The software has interactive dashboards and client portals to set goals and share project progress in real time.

Plutio provides easy project management and tracking with reusable project and task templates, recurring task automation, reminders, custom fields, and color-coded tags. It has multiple project views that include list, board, and timeline. Other features include time tracking, invoicing, proposals, client management, chat widget, calendar, and integrations, among others.

Plutio

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Client management features
  • Contracts and e-signatures

Cons

  • Slow release of new features
  • Lacks automation features

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Ready to Try a Microsoft Project Alternative?

Microsoft Project remains dependable software, offering new collaboration features as it integrates to other Microsoft products. For teams and small businesses looking for the best MS Project alternative, we hope our list can point you in the right direction.

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